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Don’t Forget This When Selling Your Home

house hacking Jul 08, 2022

One tip to sell your house for more money the next time you’re ready to sell is to have it staged.

Staging is the process of furnishing and decorating a house to appeal to current retail buyers.

One mistake people make when they sell their homes, in my opinion, is selling it vacant or with furnishings/decor that won’t appeal to buyers.

Sometimes people think that moving all of their furniture/decor out & selling it vacant is best because the buyer will see it as a blank slate. In most cases, this isn’t true. Or people think that they have great taste & just leaving their stuff in there should be fine. This can also be untrue.

Most buyers will pay more for a house that is professionally furnished & decorated, also known as being “staged.”

A seller in my neighborhood, who is also a real estate agent, recently had an updated rental property he wanted to sell. The tenant had just moved out, so the house was vacant. He also believed it was not...

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How to Begin a Tentmaking Journey

Maybe you’ve thought about doing some tentmaking on the side but you’re not sure where to begin.

I’d love to help.

By tentmaking, we mean earning money to support your ministry from outside your ministry. This could be supplemental income if you already have a ministry income. Or it could completely replace a ministry income and you could derive all of your income outside of your ministry.

Here are 4 steps to begin a tentmaking journey:

1. Determine how much extra income you need

Are you just needing an extra $5,000 each year? Or are you needing part-time income? Or do you need full-time income? This will help you decide what types of tentmaking opportunities to pursue.

2. Determine how much time you have to generate this extra income

Do you only have a few hours available each week or could you spend more time? Depending on the type of ministry you’re in now, you may either have quite a bit of flexibility to pursue tentmaking on the side or you may have...

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Avoid Buying Now If You Can

house hacking May 13, 2022

Warren Buffet once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

I’ll give you one guess which situation the housing market is in right now.

People are greedy!

The market has been incredibly hot.

The median home price in the US has increased around 15% from this time last year. 15%!!!! In some markets, it’s way above this! Whoa!!

You’ve probably heard that many homes are selling far above the list price. And, often, there is a bidding war that decides who wins.

In our part of the country, I’ve heard of homebuilders having auctions to sell their new houses. And the highest bidder has to waive the appraisal contingency to win. In other words, the builder knows you are paying so much money, the bank will never appraise it for that price. So they make you waive the contingency so you don’t opt out when the appraisal comes in low. You have to come up with the difference in cash.

It’s a great time to be a...

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$68,000 and $1,200/mo

house hacking Apr 08, 2022

House Hacking is a great way to supplement your ministry income!

You can use it to make extra money and also reduce your monthly expenses to nearly $0/mo.

I shared in another post about our current house hack, and in this post I want to share about our previous house hack.

In order to take advantage of both house hacking benefits listed above, we knew we needed to do a few things:

  1. We needed to find a house off-market at a good price so we could make extra money by selling it for a profit a few years later. We also wanted the house to require some updating so we could fix it up some & increase our profits even further.
  1. We needed to find a house with some kind of detached structure that we could convert into habitable space.
  1. We needed to live in an area where there was a high demand for rentals (like near a college campus).

Here’s how we were able to accomplish each of these:

  1. My wife began door knocking in a neighborhood where we knew homes sold for a premium. She...
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The Power of Knocking on a Door

There’s almost nothing more powerful in buying houses (either personal or investment) than having face to face conversations with homeowners who have homes you’re interested in purchasing.

Direct mail, calls, texts, & web forms of marketing all work. But nothing is quite like being face-to-face.

The problem with face-to-face is it’s hard to scale. And because it’s hard to scale, you won’t have a lot of competition when you show up at someone’s doorstep.

We’ve bought so many houses this way, especially personal ones.

Here are some advantages:

  1. People like selling their home, especially if it is sentimental, to people they know & trust.

    As you meet a homeowner at their door & build a relationship with them, you’ll often find that they become more comfortable with the idea of selling to someone they’ve met. When Realtors are involved, it’s more uncommon that the seller actually meets the buyer.

  1. You’ll...
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The IRS Home Sale Exclusion

house hacking Feb 18, 2022

I want to share with you a benefit of owning property in the US that has allowed us to generate so much extra income over the years!

*Note: This blog is geared toward our American friends, but those of you reading from around the world might also have a similar benefit in your tax code.

The IRS wants to give you a generous gift.

I know that’s hard to believe.

Yet, so few people take advantage of it on a regular basis.

I’m talking about Publication 523 in the IRS code on the Home Sale Exclusion.

Here’s basically how it works:

If you’ll buy a home & live in it as your primary residence for at least 2 years, then when you go to sell it, you can take up to $500,000 profit TAX FREE for married couples ($250,000 for singles).

You might want to read that again.

Since when do you ever get tax free profit on anything?

Yet, in this case, the IRS will give you tax free profit on the sale of your home as long as you meet certain qualifications.

Here they are:

  1. You...
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House Hacking & Afghan Students

house hacking Jan 14, 2022

Honestly, when we decided to buy our current "house hack," we never could've dreamed we'd have this current opportunity.

I shared in a recent blog post, A Closer Look at Our Latest House Hack, that we recently finished renovating our single-car garage into a guest house. We were planning to use it for family, friends, & guests on Airbnb.

In our first 2 stays on Airbnb, we had a 30-day and a 31-day booking. In each of those stays, we made almost double what we made per month in our previous Airbnb. We were hoping to continue the 30-day booking streak when the Lord put something in our path we couldn't ignore.

We received an email from a campus ministry informing us that the university near our house was planning to scholarship 5 Afghan girls to come to college here & finish their education. These girls were in the middle of a degree plan in Afghanistan but had to flee the country when the Taliban took control in August 2021. They knew that the opportunity for women to get...

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Why My Wife Loves Older Homes

house hacking Nov 12, 2021

My wife definitely loves older homes.

I often joke that unless the home is older than 1970, my wife probably won't like it. Haha!

She'd tell you that older homes have a certain character and build quality that is hard to replicate in newer homes (especially with the increasing cost of lumber). This is obviously an opinion & very subjective! ;)

That's led to us living in many different older homes over the years.

And these older homes have really accelerated our financial goals.

I want to share some reasons why older homes can be advantageous if you're looking to supplement your income.

  1. Older homes give you the ability to "force" appreciation

    I'm using a term here that's more common in commercial real estate but applies here as well. Normal appreciation is the 3-5% (on average) that your home may increase in value each year. Forced appreciation is when you accelerate the appreciation by making changes to the house that increase its value quickly (like updating a kitchen or...

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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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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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