I’ve personally invested in real estate. I love real estate as a tool to invest long term and/or build a cash flow business. What I hate about real estate as an investment is when first time investors read a book or see an informercial where you can get rich quick flipping houses using other people’s money and blindly take a huge risk. Yes, some get lucky but most learn the hard way that the risk is too high.
Here is the point of this blog and feel free to read further for explanation: It’s very risky to use other people’s money to flip properties. In great/low inventory/seller’s market areas the return is too low because you can’t get good deals when you purchase. In riskier/high inventory/buyer’s market areas the deal will be there when you buy but then after 3-6 months of rehab the buyers have dried up and you have to take a loss or break even to get it sold.
I get many phone calls from first time investors. They call and ask me to send them good properties that are great for investment. For the inexperienced investor that wants to flip a house in the suburbs of Philly it is difficult for me to tell them the truth: You’ll be lucky to make a 10-15% return on your money on a flip. That is assuming you are using your own cash for down payment and fix up costs. If you are not using your own money then that return goes down more.
So, how do you get the best return on a flip? You make your money when you buy.
Is there another way to make money investing in real estate? Yes! Cash flow properties but again you need cash.
Those are some quick tips and thoughts on investing. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Laura Laws firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-985-5222.
A dream of mine was to one day have a whole house built-in stereo system that I could run off an app. I knew it would be quite expensive so I thought it would be years before that made it to the top of our home improvement list. Then last year Amazon came out with a voice controlled bluetooth speaker and without hesitation we bought it.
It’s been a year since we got Alexa and I can’t imagine living without her now. The Amazon Echo or Alexa costs $179.99 and the voice remote is $29.99. If you are an Amazon Prime member (if you are not then you should be immediately) then shipping is free and they guarantee it will arrive in 2 days.
What is Alexa? It is a voice controlled bluetooth speaker with 7 microphones around the top that are always on waiting for you to wake her by saying (sometimes yelling if music is playing loudly) “Alexa”. Click the video to see how easy it is to check the weather. We have an excessive heat warning in West Chester, PA today and also my cat Sadie wanted to say hi!
What can Alexa do? She plays music from a variety of sources: your library, Amazon Prime library, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart radio & TuneIn. You can also have Alexa read books from your Kindle library in a weird robotic voice or if you have an Amazon audible account you can play your audio books through Alexa. You can ask her for traffic and weather. You can set a timer or an alarm. You can ask her a silly question like with Siri on your iPhone. You can also hook her up to a hub to control smart home devices through voice control. Click the video to see how easy it is to play music.
How can you control Alexa? Through your voice. You use the wake word “Alexa”, then she lights up and you can ask or command away. There is an Alexa app as well where you can just click what song you’d like her to play. Also, there is a voice remote. I keep the remote in my office which is located in our 2nd floor loft while our first floor Alexa is downstairs in our foyer. To use the voice activated remote all you need to do is press a button and speak into the remote and it works just as if you are standing next to her. There is also a play/pause button so if I get a phone call I can quickly stop the music playing downstairs to take the call.
Can you integrate Alexa into a Smart Home? Yes! Once we learned all the things Alexa could do we spent a lot of time and effort and we now have a smart home. We can now control our lights, heating, air conditioning, front door, outside lights & even christmas lights through Alexa. We love Alexa so much we bought a 2nd Alexa for our basement. There are 2 times I am aware of to get deals on Alexa. We got our basement Alexa on Cyber Monday last year for $149. Amazon just had Amazon Prime day on July 12th and Alexa was selling for $129.99 which is a great deal! Stay tuned to my website and soon I’ll give you a tour of my smart home.
Here are links to all of the products we’ve used in our SmartHome: