Thankful for my Mentor

While it might seem like I have everything together, the truth of the matter is that I count on my mentor to help me grow beyond my current skillset.  You see, I have wanted to have a serious rental portfolio for years and there is a certain level of knowledge required to make that happen.  Since I realized that I didn’t have the required skillset on my own, I sought out someone in the local area that was an expert in rental properties.

I didn’t just work with the first person I met.  I decided to look at this much like you would look at a job interview, and therefore I had some questions for my possible mentors to find the right one that would meet my needs.  In fact, Mike, who is my current mentor, was the fourth person that I spoke with, and I think from the get-go we knew we would be a good fit.

I can still remember my first day working with him to try and find some replacement windows in Los Angeles for an apartment building he was renovating.  I made so many mistakes that first day, but somehow I was able to come out the other side of that task a little smarter.

I know that I have a long ways to go before I am any kind of real estate mogul, but I am so thankful that I can learn from one of the best in the industry right here by my home.  I am so thankful for my mentor.

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Posted by Melissa Jones - December 5, 2016 at 11:00 pm

Categories: Business   Tags: , ,

Dealing with a Mold Problem

For the last few months I have been buying up houses in foreclosure and flipping them.  I was inspired by the many television shows that depict flipping houses to be an easy way to make money, and for the most part it has been very profitable.  Up until the house that we bought last week our purchases have only required minor renovations to get them to the point where we could put them up for sale, and I really thought that we had the hang of the whole “house flipping” business model.

It seemed too easy.

Unfortunately everything changed last week.  We picked up a house that looked like a steal and we thought that we had another winner on our hands, but we were wrong.  When we opened the door to the house, we quickly realized our mistake – the home smelled like mold.  After a little more exploring through the home, we discovered that there was extensive water damage that would have to be dealt with before we could sell it.

I was worried that fixing this “little” problem was going to eat up all of our profit.

We consulted with a firm that specialized in mold remediation Los Angeles to get a feel as to what we had gotten ourselves into.  After they came out and looked at the problem, they put together a plan that would solve the problem with the least amount of money.

Thankfully we were not in as much hot water as I thought.

By the end of this week the mold issues should be dealt with and we will be able to work on renovating the home.  Hopefully we will be able to list it for sale by the end of the month.  At this point I would be happy to break even on the property, but only time will tell how well we make out.  It has definitely been a good learning experience that will impact how we buy properties into the future.

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Posted by Melissa Jones - November 5, 2016 at 8:25 am

Categories: Real Estate   Tags: ,

Last Minute Window Repair

Up until yesterday, everything was on schedule for the property that we had been working on for the last couple of weeks.  We picked up this small, three bedroom bungalow a couple of weeks ago with the intention of quickly fixing it up and flipping it for a profit.  Like all properties that you are going to flip, speed was of the essence and the longer that we held onto it, the less money we were going to make.

In a nutshell, we were in a rush.

But we had not accounted for something to happen at  the last minute.  It was an accident, but the cost of once choice was going to make the difference of us being able to sell the home right away or wait until we were able to get it fixed up.

Let me tell you the story of how a broken window just about cost us a house sale.

It was the last day of the renos, and we were just doing the finishing touches and staging the home.  The lawn had grown a little longer than I had liked, so I decided to take the lawn mower out and give it a once-over before being done for the day.

It really only should have taken twenty minutes, but I never made it to those last five minutes.

Disaster struck when I caught a rock in the lawnmower and it flung the rock through the window in the house.

It broke instantly.  All of a sudden, the home was not in saleable condition.

It wasn’t exactly how I envisioned how the day was going to go.

But I had an ace up my sleeve.  I had a buddy that worked installing windows in Glendale, and I called him to see if he could help me out.  I explained the situation, and he hopped in his car and was replacing the window just a half-hour after we hung up.

It was exactly what I needed.

Thanks to the last minute window repair we will still be able to put the house on the market on Monday, and I am hoping that it sells right away.  Fingers crossed that there are no other problems in the next few days.

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Posted by Melissa Jones - November 4, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Categories: Real Estate   Tags: , ,

New Uniforms for the Staff

It seems like ages ago since we bought our first uniforms for our staff.  Five years ago when we bought a little pet grooming shop in our town, I thought that we would start off things right with groomers jackets & smocks emblazoned with our logo.

It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

In fact, it was what set our shop out from the crowd.  You could come in to our location and you would know right away who the staff were.  In a sense it gave us a spirit of unity, and to this day has been a positive experience for our staff.

But it was time for a change.

Recently, we decided to revamp our logo and our old uniforms just were not going to cut-it anymore.  It wasn’t that they were worn out or anything like that, but the branding needed to change to reflect our new look.

So that is what we did.

Our new uniforms showed up yesterday and we are planning to present the staff with them at our company retreat next week.  I’m hoping that they love them as much as I do – I think the changes that we have made will be good for the company.

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Posted by Melissa Jones - November 4, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Categories: Business   Tags: , ,

Water Problems with our Rental Property

Owning rental property comes with some big pros and cons.  On one hand, it is an opportunity to make some passive income.  Instead of putting in time to make the money, your investment keeps paying you back, month after month.  In fact, every time I receive a rent cheque, it puts a smile on my face – it is one of the easiest ways that I have ever found to make money.

But it isn’t always a walk in the park.  In fact, our experience this past week with our rental property in Los Angeles has not been a good one.  Unfortunately for us, one of the water pipes in the basement of one of our units burst when the tenant were gone on vacation.  When they came back, they were greeted with a basement full of water.

Guess who received a phone call about it?

We did.

And we had to deal with it.

I knew that we had no clue how to solve the problem, but we needed to get the rental unit back in liveable condition as soon as possible.  We contracted a company that specialized in water damage restoration Los Angeles.  We had them out to assess the situation and give us a quote on the solution.

We just received the quote today and accepted it, with the plan that the work will commence next week.  I’m hoping that we’ll get everything cleaned up quickly.

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Posted by Melissa Jones - October 7, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Categories: Real Estate   Tags: ,

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