Why hello! Long time no see! How’s life on your side of the computer screen? Life’s been a whirlwind on my end. I’ll see if I can catch you up with a ‘short and sweet’ update. Memorial Day weekend last year I went to a weekend seminar on Financial Freedom hosted by Gary Johnston. He talked about a myriad of topics – ranging from taxes to real estate, but he also challenged me to look at options I hadn’t previously considered on my path to financial freedom. As a result, I redoubled my efforts toward achieving financial freedom, and more specifically, starting looking for a real estate deal that would move me closer to my goal. So I started talking to mortgage brokers, agents, and started looking at houses that would be good investments. Over the course of several months, I saw pretty houses, ugly houses, and mediocre houses, but I didn’t really fall in love with any one property. Until..I saw a duplex fixer upper in a great neighborhood. It didn’t look like much at the outset, but it’s potential (to me) was as clear as the hope diamond.
Some of the things I liked about it:
1. It was a duplex in a good neighborhood – right down the street from my favorite coffee shop. The duplex would allow me to live in one unit and have the tenants in the other side pay off a good portion of the mortgage.
2. It was right down the street from my favorite coffee shop. This shop served a mean vanilla cappuccino.
Also..It was near a coffee shop that I liked to support. (They also served my favorite beer: St. Benardis)
The building itself definitely needed some work..The roof needed replacing, the yard was 80-120% weeds, there were holes in the walls, water spots on the ceilings, and the iron support columns for the front stairs were not grounded in concrete. [Yikes!] But it wasn’t so much work that it discouraged me.
After seeing the property online, I immediately emailed my agent to schedule a viewing.
My Realtor and I were scheduled to see the duplex the day AFTER I saw it come on the market, but unfortunately someone made an offer and just like that, the duplex was off the market. For what I thought was forever. I was bummed to say the least. I ate Ben & Jerry’s Moose Tracks in pajama’s, spent hours watching old episodes of Property Brothers, and drove by the property while blasting the same song that John Cusack played in Say Anything.
I went out and saw other houses, but it was kinda like dating after you’ve been with Beyonce, or right after a broken heart. No matter how cute, the other houses just didn’t do it for me.
Luckily for my real estate love life, the previous buyer got tired of how slow the bank was moving (it was a foreclosure) and decided to pull out. Which, via a series of strangely fortuitous events (Thank You Jesus), allowed me to slide in with an offer the day after it was put back on the market.
I’ll fill you in on more about the duplex later, but one particular thought hit me as I was doing some work on the duplex late one night. On this particular night I was trying to rip up two rooms of carpet and padding, in order to throw it away in the dumpster that was there for the trash from tearing off the old roof. Not the most fun work. In fact, because of how the type of staples the previous owner/handyman used it was downright frustrating.
There came a point where I attempting to roll up the carpet and doing mental calculations and visualization techniques as I was trying to figure out how to get the unwieldy, heavy carpet off the floor and through the narrow doorways and into the dumpster at the bottom of two flights of steps (see picture above) I tried tugging it one way, experienced some resistance, decided to try it another corner, and when that wasn’t any easier tried grabbing it from the middle. No one ways was really working great.
At some point, I realized I was bullshi**ing.
I realized that no matter what method I tried, it wasn’t going to be easy. In fact, it was going to suck no matter what. I realized that the most important thing at this point was horsepower, not mental agility. After that realization I gritted my teeth, lifted from my legs and pummeled the two rooms of carpet and padding through the doorways, out the exterior door, down the steps and finally down and into the dumpster.
It made me wonder about what else I’ve been BS’ing about. What else have I been trying to ‘figure out’ instead of just powering through. I started to wonder what my life would look like in certain areas – If instead of giving 25% in order to see if the idea is sound, I gave 110% and adjusted only as I encountered true resistance, not ordinary difficulties.
Going to try my best to keep that in mind as I keep trucking.
Fly or Fall.