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How to Find a Flat Fee Broker

agent hacking Oct 22, 2021

If you get your real estate license, finding a flat fee broker is essential (also called 100% Commission Brokerages).

A flat fee broker keeps a flat fee, rather than a percentage, of each of your commission checks.

This is quite uncommon among brokerages.

Usually a brokerage will charge you a significant percentage of the overall commission - 25% on the lower end and up to 50% on the higher end. In addition to this, the broker will often have monthly fees they charge for office, equipment usage, supplies, etc.

Imagine you make $10,000 in commission on a deal. If the broker takes 25-50% ($2,500-$5,000), that’s a huge chunk of your earnings. Add to that any other monthly fees they charge.

On the other hand, if you find a flat fee broker, they may charge you $500 per transaction regardless of what you make. In the example above, if you made $10,000, they’d take $500 and you’d make $9,500! Wow! Quite a difference.

In this scenario you’d have to do between 2-4x...

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Is Flipping Houses Really That Easy?

flip hacking Oct 15, 2021

Flipping Houses is simple, but not easy.

The process to flip a house is simple.

  1. Find a property off-market that's in need of some work
  1. Buy direct from the seller at a discount
  1. Fix it up (fix & flip) or leave it as-is (quick flip)
  1. Resell it for a profit

See. It's simple.

What's difficult is taking action.

A lot of people understand how flipping works, but they never take action and actually do it themselves.

Here are the common objections:

  1. I don't have enough money to flip houses
  1. Flipping houses would take way too much time
  1. I'm afraid I might lose money flipping a house

The problem is, these objections don’t apply to all types of flips.

Remember, there are 3 Ways to Flip a House.

The one I focus on and teach other pastors, missionaries and Christian leaders to focus on is Quick Flipping (aka Flip Hacking).

With Quick Flipping:

  1. You don't have to have money to buy or remodel the house
  1. You don't have to spend as much time as a retail fix & flip
  1. There's...
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Christmas in New York City

travel hacking Oct 08, 2021

When our 2 daughters were young, my wife told me that she wanted to take them to NYC for Christmas one day.

She had been with her mom & sister to NYC for Christmas & thought our girls would love the lights, the decorations, and especially the shopping!

At the time, that wouldn't have been in the budget. Plane flights for all of us + hotels + taxis + food + shopping made me think it was more than we could bite off. We were in ministry, after all.

Once I was introduced to Travel Hacking and started earning rewards points, I knew this was the first place I wanted to take the family!

Like I recommend on this blog, the first card we applied for was the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (my wife got it first — click here to see why). We applied for several other cards as well, and with the welcome bonuses from those cards, plus the spend we put on those cards, we eventually had enough points to go to NYC for 4 nights FREE (well, free travel that is — we bought some toys...

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How To Sell Your Home For Top Dollar

If you're wanting to use your house to make extra income, you'll want to sell it for top dollar every single time!

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many people leave money on the table when they go to sell their home. And I'm not talking a few dollars here and there. I'm telling you people leave thousands on the table, that could be theirs, when they sell their home.

I don't want that to happen to you. Next time you sell your home, I want to help you get top dollar for it.

My wife and I have sold many homes at top of the market value, sometimes even over market. We've had houses under-appraise on several occasions. That means the appraiser doesn't even think it's worth what someone is willing to pay us.

Here are the 5 items you need to focus on to sell for top dollar:

  1. Remodel the areas of your home that are in need of being updated

    People don't want to pay top dollar for a home that doesn't look top dollar. That doesn't mean you need to spend a ton...

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Why You Should Invest In Index Funds

life hacking Sep 24, 2021

Let me start with a disclaimer.

I'm not a licensed financial advisor (which may be a good thing for this blog post). I'm neither a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) nor a CFP (Certified Financial Planner).

I'm just a Tentmaking Pastor sharing educational information that has helped me and may help you as well.

When I first started saving for retirement, the professionals that I talked to recommended that I place my money in actively managed mutual funds that would hopefully "beat the market." No guarantees of course. I didn't realize at the time how much they, and many others, would benefit from me investing in these types of mutual funds. And I also didn't realize how often I wouldn't "beat the market" by investing in these funds.

I figured if I was going to be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars over my working career investing in these mutual funds via my retirement accounts, I better understand how they work.

What I ended up learning from the likes of Warren Buffett,...

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Earning Extra Income with Live-In Flips

house hacking Sep 17, 2021

House Hacking is essentially using your house to make extra money & live nearly free.

I talked about the “living nearly free” part in a recent post entitled "A Closer Look at Our Latest House Hack."

Now let’s talk about the “making extra money” part.

How awesome would it be for your home to generate income for you and your family?

Well, that’s what our home has done for us over the years. Each time it made us money, we kept putting all the extra money toward our mortgage until we eventually paid off our house. You can read more in the article "How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in 6 Years."

One way your house can make you a chunk of money every few years is by doing Live-In Flips.

What’s a Live-In Flip?

Pretty much exactly like it sounds. You buy a house in need of work and you flip it while you live in it. Then you eventually sell it for a big, tax free profit!

If you buy a house, live in it at least 2 years, then sell it, the IRS lets...

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The Key to Passing Your Exam the First Time

agent hacking Sep 10, 2021

The final exam to become a real estate agent is known to be tricky. In fact, many people don’t pass the first time and have to sign up to take it again.

The exam is broken up into 2 parts. A state section and a national section. The national section would be similar for all of us who take the test and the state section would be specific to real estate regulations in your particular state.

You can pass one section, both sections or neither, but if you don’t pass either section, you have to go back to retake the sections you didn’t pass.

The reason many people don’t pass the first time is because the test covers such an extensive amount of information. It’s hard to know what to study and there are a ton of names and dates to memorize that can get a bit overwhelming.

That’s why I always tell people that the key to passing the first time is to buy an exam prep wherever you purchase your licensing courses.

The exam prep is often optional and many...

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Your New Favorite Hotel

travel hacking Sep 03, 2021

There is one hotel chain where your travel rewards often go further than any other.

If you listen to travel rewards discussions online, you'll hear people raving about this hotel chain.

Can you guess which one it is?

Hyatt.

Each Hyatt point is worth about 1.9 cents! In other words, a $250/night room would only cost you 13,158 points!

In case you're not sure whether to be impressed or not, let me compare it to several other popular chains.

Marriott - .8 cents each

  • A $250/night room would cost you 31,250 points

IHG (Holiday Inn) - .5 cents each

  • A $250/night room would cost you 50,000 points

Hilton - .6 cents each

  • A $250/night room would cost you 41,667 points

We could keep going.

As you see, Hyatt points are worth between 2-4x what other hotel chain points are worth!

It gets better.

Chase is a 1:1 travel partner with Hyatt. That means each point you earn on your Chase Sapphire card you can transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 value. 1 Chase point transfers as 1 Hyatt point. You can rack...

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Q&A About Our 1st Flip

flip hacking Aug 27, 2021

I'm sure after reading The Story Behind Our 1st Flip last week, your mind may be filled with questions. I want to address some of those in this post.

How do you find deals like this?

Contrary to what people may tell you, deals are everywhere. That doesn't mean they're always easy to find. But if you're persistent in looking, you'll find them.

On this particular deal, we just happened to be attentive to what the previous owner of our house told us. He mentioned the owner across the street was looking to sell, and we knew we needed to talk to him.

One of your first steps to finding deals is to let people around you know that you're looking to purchase a house that needs some work. Tell them to contact you if they ever hear of anyone looking to sell.

In addition, you can start proactively reaching out to people in neighborhoods you'd like to flip in. Drive up & down the streets. Look for people outside. Pull over & talk to them. Let them know you're looking to buy in the...

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The Story Behind Our 1st Flip

flip hacking Aug 20, 2021

We've flipped over 100 houses through the years, but I want to go back to the very beginning and tell you about our first one.

Prior to this story I'm about to tell, we had flipped our own house several times (live-in flips). I often refer to that process as House Hacking.

But I'm going to tell you about the first flip we did of a house that we didn't live in. This is what I often refer to as Flip Hacking. We specifically bought this house to flip it & sell it soon after.

It will probably help you to read the blog post entitled "3 Ways to Flip a House" first, if you haven't already. That will explain some of the terminology I use in this post.

Here's the story:

My wife told me about a house she really loved in a great neighborhood we had lived in before. The house wasn't currently for sale, but I contacted the owner anyway to see if he'd be interested in selling. The timing was perfect & the owner let us know he had been thinking about selling soon & liked the idea of...

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