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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?


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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A Great Tool for Tracking Your Financial Progress

life hacking Aug 13, 2021

I want to introduce you to a tool I've used for many years to track my financial progress.

It’s not really an every day tool like a budgeting app. It’s a tool I’ll glance at monthly or every few months.

The focus of this tool is on tracking your net worth. Your net worth, as calculated by this tool, are your assets minus your liabilities. You can import all of your asset accounts and all of your liability accounts into this tool and it gives you a big picture view of your financial health.

As you think ahead toward retirement & financial freedom, you want to see your net worth number growing over time. This gives you a good indication that you'll be financially prepared for the time in your life when you don't have any income coming in from your job.

Types of assets you can import:

  • Bank accounts (cash)
  • Investment accounts (IRAs/401ks/HSAs/529s/stocks/bonds, etc)
  • Real estate (primary home & rental property)
  • Cars
  • Jewelry/Art
  • Businesses
  • You can...
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What If I've Never Filled Out a Contract Before?

Perhaps you’re wanting to sell your home FSBO (For Sale By Owner) to save on real estate commissions but you’re worried about filling out the contract. You’ve always assumed you needed to hire a Realtor because you don’t have any experience with contracts.

Well, I’ve got good news! There are other alternatives that can save you potentially thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands of dollars. Remember, Realtors make money as a percentage of your purchase price (often 6%), which can add up fast.

Here are a few of your other options:

  1. Consult with a family member or friend who has done a FSBO transaction before. They can guide you through the process.
  1. Call a local Title Company and they'll be glad to help because they make money when they close the transaction. They'll often give you the standard forms to use along with some tips on which sections to pay attention to.
  1. If you want to spend a few hundred bucks to make sure everything is exactly...
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How I Went From a 0 to 800+ Credit Score

travel hacking Jul 30, 2021

When I started Travel Hacking, my credit score was essentially 0. Yes, you read that right, zero.

I didn't have bad credit, I just had no credit. This was because I hadn't had any debt in years & I had never even had a personal credit card before.

My credit score really didn't matter to me because I didn't ever plan to borrow money for anything.

But, that did mean I couldn't apply & be approved for some of the best travel cards. That wasn't a big deal, but it did interest me in bumping up my credit score to qualify for these cards. The best cards often require a fairly high credit score, usually 750+.

Here's how I went from no credit to a credit score of over 800 (while still remaining debt free):

  1. I opened an entry-level card with USAA, my auto/homeowners insurance provider. They were willing to let me open a card with no credit due to my long payment history of my insurance premiums. But it didn't have great travel benefits & my credit limit was extremely low, I...
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