Negotiating a Get Rich Slow Scheme


by Dave Miller

The easiest way to get rich quick is to accumulate wealth slowly. Well then, how does one accumulate wealth slowly?

First you need a plan. A solid, well thought-out, practically applicable plan.

This requires a solid plan, to preserve your precious capital, as you do not want to go backward. The retaining of capital is a key element of moving toward your goal. If you lose your initial capital you must not only gain it back but also recoup the lost time.

It must be well thought-out; you do not want to be jumping on some quick get rich band wagon that is ready to go bust.

The plan must be feasible. Over the ages three areas have proven successful; real estate, gold, and businesses. Most wealthy people own one of these three.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, just like your Daddy told you. But nevertheless get some baskets and fill them with eggs. Many people use that line to delay saving and investing.

The real estate basket is the topic of discussion today.

Enter John Schaub and his book Building Wealth One House at a Time.

Building Wealth One House at a Time – John Schaub

This book focuses on strategies for creating wealth through real estate by starting small – and making the right moves. Nationally known real estate expert and speaker, John Schaub, learned his craft in the best way possible–on the job, and through every kind of market. He published a great book titled Building your Wealth one House at a Time. In it he shows you how to buy homes with little money down using private or owner financing. By doing this he eliminates the whims of the banking world. The lender he says, is more concerned about getting his money back than earning high interest. In Chapter 6 he tells you to do what it takes to make the lender happy, over secure if you must.

Click this link to read an article I also wrote on keeping the your lender happy.

He recommends only single family dwellings, no fancy shmancy highfalutin projects. Just solid homes the typical family desires and can afford to live in.

The part that hit home for me was that he says buy one home a year. No more. He warns of the dangers of diving headfirst. By waiting a year to purchase your second investment property you will learn innumerable lessons before plunging in.

John uses two people to accumulate wealth; his renters and his lender or investor. His lenders allow him to buy the home and the renters pay for it. In the meantime he is accumulating wealth. Renting to long-term tenants, with financial incentives to pay on time.

By using leverage, i.e. owner financing, investors or the bank, he can purchase a home that otherwise he would have needed to walk away from. This then allows him to have a renter paying down on the mortgage. But remember, leverage is a two-edged sword. It can help you accumulate faster and it can take you down even faster. You must carefully consider the amount of leverage you are comfortable with and what makes sense in your situation.

Building Your Wealth One House at a Time is very concise yet an easy to read book. It lays out a blueprint that is easy to follow using graphs and figures.

Unique is his approach to focusing on buying houses in good-quality neighborhoods while simultaneously creating positive cash flow properties. John uses the Goldilocks theory when choosing a neighborhood: not too expensive and not too cheap. Go with a neighborhood where prices are just right.

Buy his book today. Read it. Implement a plan. Take the first (I know this is the hardest one but do it anyway) step. You will not get rich quickly but you will most definitely be headed in the right direction.

Now for the good news! John Schaub is coming to town. Well, rather to a town in New Jersey. Iselin.

John is presenting a one day class called “negotiating secrets of a Professional Buyer”. Saturday June 23 2012 from 9:00 to 4:00pm. You can register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3199047437 I plan on being there so I hope see a few of you there. If anyone is interested in carpooling from Lancaster County just call me. Cell number 717-656-0749. Currently four of us are heading there. Join us.

A quote from John’s site:

John has survived, prospered, and helped his students to make money in every market since 1975. Come learn how to recognize which opportunities are right for you today and for the next five years at this most interesting time in our history. Get ready for an exciting and profitable future!

You can subscribe to my blog on the right side bar for farther updates. If you do so, you will receive a copy of my blog as soon as I post it thus saving you time by not needing to check back.

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Money In Your Pocket – Or Out of Your Pocket


by Dave Miller

When was the last time you looked at your insurance policy? Do  you really know what’s in it?

This week I bought 3 houses and at the last-minute I thought about insurance. With a phone call and a scrambling agent I got the coverage I needed. The downside was that I did not shop around or really think through the details. This is a huge downfall to those of us who wait till the last-minute at times.

So now I’m thinking about insurance. Am I paying too much? Why do I have it? What’s covered?

Here is an article that has helped me.

One cost saver for me is my high deductible. I say insurance is not to cover every little thing rather it’s to keep me from losing my butt. I carry a $5000 deductible, but then I also have high liability coverage.

Check out your policy. Maybe you can save a few dollars. My agent said yesterday that by raising the deductible to $5000 it would probably save me 12%.

Ask your agent questions. Maybe you need better coverage. Shop around if you must but be aware. Be very aware.

Published in: on November 5, 2011 at 7:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Choose What You Want To Learn in Real Estate


We, at Shepherd Real Estate LLC, are offering a few FREE classes this fall.

Our class-room style lectures are structured around real estate investing. The Shepherd Team consists of professionals in Lancaster, PA with experience in real estate. We are investors ourselves and want to help you succeed in your endeavors. The Shepherd Team has a wealth of knowledge to share. In house we have an attorney, a CPA and Realtors all ready to help you.

 We need your help in deciding which classes to offer. Our goal is to give you what is of most value to you. We are conducting a survey to choose to the topics.

Please click through to the survey to make your choice.

Click here to take the survey.

Your response will help us pick the best topics.

Here is a breakdown of the options:

  • Investment Analysis

Crunching the numbers

  • Building your Power Team

Realtor, attorney, insurance agent, consultant, property manager

  • Assets Protection

Entities, insurance

  • Improving Cashflow

Proper management for better cashflow

  • Taxation of Real Property

Structuring your investments to avoid excess taxes

Click here to take the survey.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

Email me if you want to be notified when we schedule these FREE classes. They will be held at a location to be announced in the Lancaster PA area.

realstreet@frontiernet.net

Warren Buffet – Just Shut Up


by Robert Ringer

As much as I dislike being harsh to my elders, sometimes you just can’t control yourself.  That said, though I mean no disrespect to the man, I have to get something off my chest that I’ve wanted to say to Warren Buffett for at least two decades:  Warren, will you please — PLEASE — shut up!

I’m tired of hearing about how you’ve lived in the same modest house since 1958.  I’m tired of hearing about how you plan to give away 99 percent of your fortune, primarily to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  And, most of all, I’m tired of hearing your pleas for millionaires and billionaires to pay more taxes.

I found it sad that when you finally bought a private jet (through Berkshire Hathaway) in 1989, you were so guilt-ridden that you named it “The Indefensible.”  Sorry, Warren, but when I was in the real estate business in my late twenties, I bought a private jet, and I found it to be indispensable. What a great moneymaking tool a private jet is for a high-flying (excuse the pun) entrepreneur.

Don’t be embarrassed about your jet, Warren.  Enjoy it.  You earned it.  And, best of all, it helps you make more money, which in turn creates more jobs and helps grow the economy.  The only private jet I know of that does not do any of these things and is truly indefensible is the one your pal, the White House Whiner, flits around on.

Speaking for millions of Americans, we don’t want the government to have any more of anyone’s money.  Boehner & Friends have already screwed us yet again and given our make-believe president the right to print trillions of additional paper dollars and thereby reduce the value of what money we have left.

And what will that additional funny money be used for?  Not to pay down the debt, for sure.  The debt will not, and cannot, ever be repaid.  Let’s stop the let’s-pretend games.

The money will be used by BHO to start and expand more government agencies, hire more government workers, give Jeffrey Immelt and his other sugar daddies more government subsidies, increase his record-breaking food-stamp binge and other welfare programs, and promote his reelection campaign.

There is a misconception about money and morality, money and intelligence, and money and common sense.  Buffett clearly has a genius for making money without dirtying his fingernails.  For that, I tip my hat to him.  But it says nothing about his common sense or knowledge in other areas of life.  I’d venture to guess that he has never read Ludwig von Mises … or F.A. Hayek … or Ayn Rand … or Murray Rothbard … or Harry Browne … or even Ron Paul.

What Warren Buffett needs to do is educate himself on history, morality, philosophy, and ideology in time to bring about a deathbed conversion.  Does anyone really believe he has ever thought about the basic question of whether it is moral for the government to take people’s property by force?  Does anyone really believe he has ever given any thought to the concept of Natural Law, which gives rich people the same rights as poor people?

Until and unless you do, Warren, I again urge you:  Please, shut up!  Write the government any size check you feel is necessary to soothe your neurotic guilt feelings about your success, but, please, leave everyone else alone.

If you want to pay more taxes, I call your attention to the fact that there’s a place on your tax return that gives you the right to do so.  If you don’t feel that the nearly $7 million you paid on your taxable income in 2010 was enough, there’s absolutely nothing to stop you from paying more.  All you have to do is do it.

Copyright © 2011 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is the author of three #1 bestsellers and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. Ringer has appeared on numerous national talk shows and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron’s, and The New York Times.

To sign up for his one-of-a-kind, pro-liberty e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, visit: www.robertringer.com


Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 5:38 am  Comments (1)  
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Does Barter Work? How I Made it Pay Better Than Cash


by Dave Miller

Two large maple trees loom over our house gracing our front yard. Sadly the one seems to have some disease and is dying. If we need to remove it, it would leave a gaping hole. It’s tough to think about removing a beautiful tree like this, planted by my father 43 years ago. It’s so large and graceful.

So I called in a tree doctor to analyze and diagnosis. His prognosis was that there is a 25% chance of saving it. That’s not what I wanted to hear.

He tells me they can trim the tree to maximize its chances. Looking at this tree and our 4 other maple trees in need of trimming, he proposes the cost to be $1900. Even though I really like my trees, that’s a lot of money.

So I called “Mr. Mow It All”. Yeah, that’s his company name. Two young men, clean cut and buff, survey the task. They leave a proposal for $1200 with my wife. We are heading in the right direction but I still cringe at parting with $1200.

My wife says it’s barter time.

To barter is to exchange goods or services directly without money or another medium of exchange.

When Sage from Mr. Mow It All calls me, he is professional yet eager for the work. We talk about the barter option. He wants to grow his business so we discuss ways I could help him by working as a consultant. Sage was reluctant to barter all his services for strictly my services. I can’t say I blame him. So we negotiate – 50% cash and 50% consulting in exchange for tree trimming.

My goal, which I think is attainable, is to provide him a service that will far exceed the cash value. To pay him in a way that continues to return profits for years to come. Sage made a remark that is true in bartering, he said “I feel like you are trying to give me something in return rather than just getting me to work for less”. That comment is the essence of bartering. Both parties get more.

A few months back Matt from J M Lapp, LLC asked me to do some consulting and writing for him. He was attempting to get his Master Plumber license in Lancaster City, a tough job. So we bartered my writing and consulting skills for his plumbing skills. We put together a presentation for the board, asking them to waive the apprentice requirement and allow Matt to take the test.

A few months later I received a phone call from a proud jubilant Matt proclaiming his success. He is a Master Plumber. He didn’t even need to take the test.

After he got his master plumber license I was working on a project in Lancaster City. The property manager’s plumber was not available. I asked if he is looking for another plumber. He said he is that it’s always good to have options. So I recommended Matt to the largest property manager in Lancaster City. I hope they partner in the years to come.

In barter cases both parties feel as if they received more. If your client feels as if he received more than he bargained for, he will more likely refer new clients to you.

Put together a barter list to help you negotiate when the time is right. List items or services you have available. This will assist you when the opportunity arises.

 

I recommend the skills and knowledge of these people:

Mr. Mow It All 717-598-9478, Tree Service, Lawn Care, Landscaping, Trash Removal, Snow Removal.

J M Lapp LLC 717-405-5718, Plumbing and drain cleaning, Heating and air conditioning, Water softeners and water treatment systems

 

 

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 6:25 am  Comments (1)  
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We Need More Christian Billionaires


by Dave Miller

  “We need more Christian billionaires, let’s be Christian billionaires.” my friend said. At first I brushed the comment off without any farther thought. But a day later the comment was still ringing in my head. Was there more to that line than I was giving it credit for? Was there a deeper truth I was ignoring?

  I started asking additional questions. How would society benefit by having more Christian billionaires? How many exist?

  The more I looked at it I realized once again it was not the money that made the man. The wisdom and experience would outweigh the money. In order for a person to gain that amount of financial savvy he must immerse himself in knowledge and good judgments. 

  What are deeper ways to benefit society?

  • Philanthropic efforts – This is first thing that most people think of. Even though I think it’s deeper than that, this is still a way to impact people. As always it is risky, because finding avenues that contribute to society in a healthy way is tough. So often money or food is given to poor people and it encourages that society to expect a handout. Nevertheless with a little research good missions can be found.
  • Political clout – People with money have influence. In 1776 this was the case and our foundation was built. Just as the left does damage with its money to expand its agenda, so can a Christian.
  • Betterment to society with experience – We are better off if we can learn from experience, our own or others. Who better to learn from than a Christian? A person with the fortitude to make a billion dollars could contribute to society in incalculable ways.
  • Jobs that have a healthy atmosphere – The work place has a huge impact on people’s lives. If that area can have a Christian vibe to it then it will filter into their personal lives.
  • Wealth building through job creation through efficiency – Better work ethics, which I think Christians (especially of Protestant descent, create better efficiency which equals more competitive prices. This means more business coming your way, and then you hire more employees creating more jobs, thus equaling more wealth. Wealth building is more than having a job, its learning to do a good job.
  • R&D – Research on solar, wind, gas, ethanol or other energy, should not be subsidized by the government. When a private enterprise does the R&D it is usually viable. And if it’s viable, well, then it’s worth doing. If the government gets involved they attempt to create a market in areas that are not viable. They subsidize it and this puts supply and demand out of balance. A mess is created. Again, ethanol is a prime example. Let the private enterprises do the R&D.
  • Educational advancement – When people have money, they like to put it to use in a way that satisfies their worldview. Education is an example on this. A lot of money has been spent on education in the last 150 years. The worldview of these advancements has devastated our educational system. By having money and a good worldview this decline could be reversed.

  Far greater than having a Christian with a billion dollars is the influence and contribution he can make to society. The means of getting there, the knowledge retained, and the intellectual value far outweigh the money in the end.

Pay Yourself First


by Dave Miller

Every month we chose who we will pay. The gas man. Rent. Groceries. Yet we forget about ourselves. There never seems to be any left for me. Why do we lower ourselves to such a degrading standard?

As a business owner if I were to decide to pay my employees last, only if there is money left, I would be jeopardizing my business. The employees would not be motivated. They would probably vacate. So in order to keep employees motivated, I pay them first. I would rather have a creditor calling than lose my employee’s loyalty.

So how can I avoid this lack of motivation in my life? I say set up a savings account and on every pay day put 10% in to the account. Before you pay the bills. This is your pay. I suggest you make this your investment account. A fund for your later use.

If you are saying you can’t afford to do this then change something. Cut spending. Increase your income. Whatever you do, do not say it’s not possible. Do you want to work for nothing all your life? I’m guessing your answer is no. Then stop the madness and get your act together. Adjust, adapt and move forward.

Your motivation will increase as you realize you are building something. It’s not about only surviving the day. There is a bigger picture out there. Pay yourself and you will find it.

To accumulate wealth you need to invest. Many times we look to outside methods to get rich quick. We are grasping for the big break. We heard of a product or method that promised big returns and we are intrigued. Be careful.

Invest in yourself. Every pay-check you get, look at it, decide who you are going to pay.
Hold yourself to a higher standard. Are you last?

Make yourself first by starting to invest yourself

Related Posts:

Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stupid Excuses to Avoid Action – Building My Master Plan, Part Two


by Dave Miller

Work sucks. Don’t tell me what to do me. I’m Lazy. These are a few of the excuses I unconsciously use to negate my desires to improve. I know plans are important, they work, and I’m a better person through them, yet I find excuses.

As I think through my Master Plan (for part one click here) I realize I want the result, but not the work. Classic ambivalence. Why is this? What is going on inside?

Many times the desire to plan is squashed by opposing emotions. Summarized here are a few emotions that love obliterating a plan.

  • Disciplinary fears – The love to be wild and free. Uninhibited. We want to be our own man. By making a plan we feel as if our spirit would be tamed with a schedule. Little do we look at the exuberance created by having a well thought out goal in mind.
  • Work sucks – We are stuck in a dead-end job. The desire to excel is lacking when you’re in a job you don’t really enjoy.
  • Nothing is easier to do than something – Since The Fall we are looking for the easy way out. The snooze button allows us to push-off the inevitable a little longer. One must work against one’s sinful nature to overcome the sin of laziness.
  • Feelings – We don’t feel like it. Today’s society wants to base life on how they feel. Everyone is focusing on “How do I feel about that.” If I lived on feelings I would not have gotten out of bed this morning.
  • Inadequate plan – Planning is good but I must also conquer the over-planning syndrome. Action is the key.

A task list helps you triumph over these emotions that are hindering you. Goals help you to know why the tasks on your to-do list exist. Dreams are in a sense goals without a plan.

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

The key is to find the proper balance between planning, preparing and action. In too many cases the emphasis is placed on the planning and preparing stages while forgoing the action. Michael Masterson summarized it well from his book “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

The idea, in a nutshell, is this:

  • Action is the most important thing. Careers and projects are killed much more often by the reluctance to act than by acting too soon.
  • Still, some planning and preparation is helpful.
  • Get it roughly right as soon as you can, and then start. You can work out the kinks later.

  Thus, Ready, Fire, Aim.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The Transition – Building My Master Plan, Part one


by Dave Miller

I sit in the woods in Huntington County, reflecting on the past, enjoying the solitude of the woods.

I think back, pondering. Contemplating a transition. Visualizing and planning for the more future-oriented me.

In the past two months, I have spent almost all my time and energy on the rebuilding of my business after it was destroyed by a fire. Endlessly I worked to get the shop back in production. Doing whatever was needed at the moment. Bending to the tyranny of the urgent. Even though it was imperative that I do so, you can only survive in this atmosphere. A change of thinking must take place or insanity will set in.

My accountant, Mike Stoltzfus said you may allow this to happen. The rushing about in urgency. But it must also stop. “It’s okay to act like this for a while, but set a date for when it will end,” he said.

I took his advice seriously because he knows how to make things come to fruition. He is a real example of what one can do if he pushes himself to the brink. He took 5 years of college in 2 ½ years while working full-time as an accountant. Does the word discipline come to mind? A plan, perhaps? He didn’t accomplish that running on emotion.

One reason to stop the spinning of wheels is for sanity preservation. The other is to gain traction and initiate moving forward. Not only forward but procuring the right direction.

With the help of 5 friends that meet regularly I am putting together a master plan for the next seven years of my life. We are studying The Pledge by Michael Masterson and building from his structure.

The book covers four areas around which to formulate your plan.

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Self Improvement
  • Social Happiness

The key is to have enduring ambition while maintaining balance.

This plan is not something to take lightly. So, I will spend the next few months building and refining, sorting out the differences between dreams and goals.

Goals are attainable while dreams are not. This makes me remain honest as I keep the realism in place.

Here is a list of values present in goals but absent in dreams

  • Goals are attainable
  • They have a timeline
  • You can break them into action steps
  • They are specific

Start by thinking about the future and who you want to be. How do you want to be perceived by your friends, family, neighbors and peers? Think about it.

Now that you have given it some thought, do they see you in the light you want to be seen in? If not, are you heading in the right direction?

Think about your goals. Write them down. Even if it’s not some master plan. Write down a few things you would like to accomplish today.

Action is the key. (Another article on this next week)

 

Related Posts:

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Yogi Berra

Real Mistakes by Real Investors, and How You Can Avoid Them (Part One)


by Dave Miller

In the real estate world investors tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. Then after a time they learn and either stop investing or stop making the mistakes. When they stop making the mistakes yet continue to invest, then the dividends start coming in.

Yet new investors emerge into the market place making the same mistakes their predecessors did.

You have a choice; to make the mistakes yourself or to learn from other people. I say, learn from other people’s experiences. It’s cheaper than way.

#1. Ignoring Risk Management

   Investments consist of two sides; risk vs. reward. Yet many tend to skip the risk element. Buying and hoping for the best. “Hoping for the best” is not risk management. You must carefully weigh the risk-to-reward ratio. All investments have risk, there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. Even if the risk is only your time or your money being tied up. You therefore risk your time or money on this project while it could be used on another possibly better deal, losing chance of a greater return.

  Loss of capital can come in various forms; capital loss (devaluation), loss of greater gains, loss of additional capital (lawsuits),i.e.

Here are few ways to reduce risks:

  • Purchase your property in a LLC
  • Discuss the purchase with a trusted attorney
  • Know the market
  • Get liability insurance

This list could be ten pages long, yet I will stop with this. Encircle yourself with trusted and experienced advisors. Ask questions. Weigh your options. Call or email with questions, call 717-951-0201 or realstreet@frontiernet.net , I will gladly give you a free 15 minute consultation. (Consider the risk first, losing 15 minutes vs. gaining 15 minutes of knowledge)

#2. Over Leveraging

Investors love the way leverage increases the return on the investment. Yet they forget it is a two-edged sword. Leverage magnifies both profits and losses. Investors tend to use too much leverage and use it too long in their careers.

Am I advocating no leverage? No.

Investors should use leverage early in their careers, making sure they can cover the payments with alternative means, and move towards more secure loan-to-value ratios later in their career, making the net worth they achieved more secure.

#3. Picking the Wrong Strategy

Pick a strategy that matches your strengths. Not everyone is cut out to raise the rent on eighty-five year old ladies or evict 6’ 5’’ drug thugs. If you don’t know how to fix a roof and are scared of heights then stay off the roof.

Aligning your strengths with your strategy requires honesty. Rather than focusing on how someone else did it, look at yourself and your potential. If you are not a sales person but rather Mr. Fixer-upper then outsource the sales aspect and focus on fixing.

#4. Overstating Returns

Hunters and fishermen tend to exaggerate, telling tales that captivate their wide-eyed audience. Real estate investors tell even wilder tales. Telling friends they made $5,000 on a wholesale deal yet forgetting to mention they spent $12,000 on some guru telling them how.

Whether working with partners that hold an equity position or private money investors, you need to gain their trust. For this deal and for the next. If you overstate the returns and then fall short of your promises you risk losing a partner. But if you honestly and accurately state your expected returns and then supersede them, you win.

#5.Overimproving Properties

There is no profit in fixing something. The profit is in the added value of the improvement. If it costs you $5,000 to build a garage that increases the property value by $5,000, you have not added value. Make sure the improvement adds value beyond the cost.

The profit is in the purchase price. Not in the improvements. Improvements cost money, paying less does not.

Many investors pay too much for fixer-uppers. Don’t be one of them. Make your money on the buy.

Avoid trying to squeeze every penny out of the deal when you can close the deal with a decent profit. A certain dollar today is better than an unsure dollar tomorrow. Here is an example of a property I could have made more money on but chose not to (Click Here). Get the fast buck not the last buck.

#6. Waiting Till April 15th to Check If You Turned a Profit

April 15th is when you report your profits to the IRS, not when you see if you had a profit. In real estate numbers are everything. If you lost money on a deal you need to know that NOW! Not after three more deals like it. Run the numbers. Have your accountant involved in your planning.

Quotable Quote:

There’s blind luck, dumb luck and then there’s get up every morning at 5:30 and sweat the details luck. Few people actually stumble into wealth. It takes persistence, tenacity and a tireless work ethic. In the end, luck has little to do with success. It takes experience and hard work. Pure and simple. –  Smith Barney

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