Archive for the 'Real Estate' Category

My House Flooded! What do I do? Start Here

This is a series of articles I’m writing based upon my own experience when my home flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Obviously some things will be different depending on your part of the country / world, whether you flooded from a small, local event vs. a large scale event like a hurricane that affected your entire state, etc., but I hope to give you some peace of mind and set you in the right direction.

In the beginning:

The water has finally receded enough for you to get to your house. You open the front door expecting a horror show inside and possibly get a surprise like I did and find that your house doesn’t look much different inside at all. Then you step through the door and are greet by the SLOSH sound your foot makes when it steps on the soaked carpet. Your house has flooded.

Your head swirls with a million thoughts about how much of your stuff is ruined, how much can be saved, how much is it all going to cost, how long will it take to get back to normal, I can’t believe I forgot that precious family heirloom was in the bottom of the closet, it’s ruined! Should I get a carpet cleaning machine or maybe a wet / dry vacuum to save my carpets??

You aren’t going home tonight. You’re not going to be able to go and stay home for a few months. It’s going to take a bit to wrap your head around what’s happened to you. Take a bit of time to let it all sink in, then you need to go into mental battle mode. You don’t have time to mourn or sink into despair. You are now in a race against your neighbors and your entire flooded community and the time to start is RIGHT… NOW.

Open an Insurance Claim

Assuming you have a safe, dry place to sleep for now, the first part of this race is for you to IMMEDIATELY Continue reading ‘My House Flooded! What do I do? Start Here’

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How to choose a backup generator for your home

I have always thought about getting a backup generator for my home, but always thought it would be immensely expensive and complicated.

Considering that we don’t lose power very often it seemed like an unnecessary expense. What finally got me motivated was hurricane Irene. My area was heavily affected by the hurricane and we all lost power for days.

Luckily our house was fine and suffered no damage but with a young child, it wasn’t an option to stay home with no power and no refrigerator, air conditioning, etc. for days on end. We ended up staying at a hotel for three days until power was restored. When we got home we had to throw away about $500 worth of food from the fridge and freezer.

Doing the quick math, the hurricane cost us almost a thousand dollars cash simply because we had no power. Factor in the fact that we were uncomfortable away from home and living out of a suitcase. I suddenly realized that if I had spent a bit more than what the cost of the hotel and lost food were on a generator for my home, I’d have been able to stay home and live comfortably and normally waiting for the power to come back on while watching TV and surfing the internet with a glass of iced water on my own couch.

You basically have to look at owning a standby generator like buying insurance. You may feel silly for spending the money on it if you don’t need it for a while, but when you’re suddenly in a bad situation and everyone else is scrambling to find a place to go and watching their food spoil, you are comforted to know you thought ahead. As the Boy Scouts say: Always Be Prepared!

Generator Options

I started my research and quickly found that there are two main options for home backup generators:

Continue reading ‘How to choose a backup generator for your home’

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The right way to buy a rental property

Rental PropertyIt is very possible to buy a relatively “safe” rental property that will all but guarantee you a steady income and help to make you wealthy in the long term. The keys to success are location, cost versus cash flow, and quality tenants.

Buying a rental property is the ultimate savings plan. You can buy the house and your tenants will pay it off for you over the life of the mortgage at effectively no cost to you. Fifteen to thirty years later, your house is paid off and has most likely appreciated significantly since you bought it. I like to say, “If I walked up to you today and told you “sign this paper and in 20 years I’ll give you a fully paid off house for free”, would you do it? Of course you would! Continue reading ‘The right way to buy a rental property’

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