Tentmaking Tips

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Don’t Forget to Protest

house hacking Apr 19, 2024

For many of us, this is the time of year when we are receiving our appraisal notice from the property tax authority in our area.

And it probably won’t surprise you to find that your taxable value went up… again.

Sometimes it makes sense as to why it went up. You’re aware that home prices have risen in your area. Other times you’re confused as to why it went up because sale prices have stagnated or gone down in your area.

Remember, in either scenario, your value is subject to negotiation.

That’s why I protest every year.

Here are a few tips for protesting this year:

  1. Submit your protest right when you receive your notice.

I received my notice recently and immediately went online to protest. Thousands of other people will be doing the same thing, but because I did it quickly (literally the day of), I was able to get an appointment the next day to see an appraiser.

  1. Negotiate with one of city appraisers first

In Texas, both the local appraiser...

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How Should I Get Started in Real Estate?

The title of this newsletter is a common question.

And the answer is really simple.

It doesn’t matter.


I tell people this all the time. How you get started in real estate really doesn’t matter. The key is just getting started doing something.


Because once you get into the real estate world, you’ll find out over time what interests you the most. Just get involved somewhere.

Sometimes people overthink where & how to get started and I remind them that the where & how don’t matter that much.

Here are ways people might get started:

  • Multi-family
  • Development
  • Commercial Brokerage

The list could go on.

Perhaps a great way to choose is to find someone you know & respect that is involved in real estate. Take them out to lunch & ask them to tell you more about what they do. Maybe they’ll offer you the opportunity to tag along & learn from...

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Pay For Professional Photos

house hacking Feb 16, 2024

Remember this when you get ready to put your house on the market.

The price you’ll pay to get professional pictures taken of your home is almost always worth it.

Many people take their own photos or let their Realtor take photos of their house. But I would discourage this.

Great pictures can make a difference in how much interest is generated in your house when you list it (either for sale by owner or with a real estate agent).

In addition to pictures, you can often pay extra for interior videos, floor plan maps, and even drone footage. All of these can go a long way in drawing attention to your listing.

You know me, I’m all for cutting costs and saving money where it makes sense, but this is not one of those places.

If you want to sell your home for top dollar next time you sell it, invest the money in a good media package (pics, videos, maps, etc) to make your home stand out from the pack.

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Why We Try to Live Near College Campuses

house hacking Oct 06, 2023

The last two houses we’ve lived in have been right down the street from a major university.

This was strategic for 2 reasons:

  1. Many of the major universities have been around for awhile & the neighborhoods around them have older homes. This is great because [1] you can find a house that needs some work and create forced appreciation and [2] older homes often have detached structures that you can convert into habitable space.
  1. Short-term rentals tend to do very well near universities. This is because you have a steady influx of parents coming in to visit kids, people traveling in to see the big games, and college kids coming to check out the school (among many other reasons).

In our first house, we were able to convert a storage space behind an existing detached garage into an Airbnb. And in our second house, we were able to convert a single car detached garage into an Airbnb.

And in both cases, the Airbnbs made a lot of money because of their location.

And when we sold...

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Protest Your Taxes

house hacking May 04, 2023

Chances are you recently received an appraisal notice from your property tax authority.

In that notice, they told likely told you your appraised/market value and your assessed value (taxable value).

Most people assume there’s nothing you can do about it.

That’s not true.

Due to the increase in property values nationwide in recent years, tax authorities are taking the opportunity to significantly raise taxes.

An increase makes sense, but you can negotiate with them about how much your increase should be.

And, obviously, you want the increase to be as little as possible.

Their increase is often applied broadly & doesn’t account for the specifics of your house.

That’s why you want to tell them more about your house to have them evaluate it specifically & hopefully lower your taxes as a result.

We had a big increase in our appraised value last year and we were able to protest & negotiate a six-figure drop in value for our house, which was awesome!


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How to Get All of Our Courses Free

I’ve had quite a few conversations with pastors recently who are wanting to make extra money with real estate.

I tell them I’m glad to help. Then, I direct them to the free resources we offer like:

But it’s usually the case that they want to pay extra for additional courses & coaching.

I tell them about some of our paid products and then share the ways they can get those free as well.

After all, if I’m teaching hacks to get free travel or live nearly free, shouldn’t I give hacks for getting my paid content for free? Ha!

Here are the ways I tell them they can get any or all of our courses for free (and you could too):

  1. Follow my step-by-step guide to earn an extra $1,200 quickly and apply that to any or all of the courses
  1. Refer 3 friends to any course and get all of the course...
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Our House Made Us $9,918 in 2 Bookings

house hacking Feb 24, 2023

Is your house making you money?

If you’re like most people, probably not.

Houses usually don’t put money in your pocket each month, they take money out of your pocket each month.

Well, I’ve got good news.

You can change that.

It’s called House Hacking.

It’s using your house to earn extra income and reduce or eliminate your housing expenses.

Our last 2 guests to stay in our guest house paid us $6,121 and $3,797 respectively.

And what did it require of us?

Nothing really. Just cleaning up & letting them stay with us.

These two guests paid all of my property taxes & insurance for the entire year, with money to spare.

And this isn’t just a fluke. We’ve been doing it for years.

How do we do it?


Move into houses with detached structures that we can convert into guest houses (or that have already been converted).

And that’s not the only way to do it.

I have a pastor friend who bought a tiny home to put in his backyard. They...

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6 Simple Ways to Get Started in Real Estate

Real estate can be intimidating.

Some of the common misconceptions of getting stated in real estate are:

  • I need to go into lots of debt
  • I need to understand the real estate market
  • I need to be able to understand the inner workings of complicated contracts
  • I need to be good at construction
  • I need to be good at decorating
  • I need to have a lot of money

These are misconceptions that keep many people from getting started in real estate.

I’d like to use this newsletter to give you 6 simple ways to get started in real estate (in no particular order):

  1. Buy a fixer upper & update it while you live there

    We’ve done this many times and made a significant profit when we sold. And I’m not handy at all. We hired everything out. What’s great is that if you live there at least 2 years, the profit is tax free up to a certain amount. We call these “live-in flips.”

  1. Airbnb something on your own property

    There are so many ways to make money on...

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How My Neighbor is Making an Extra $2,500/mo

house hacking Dec 09, 2022

My wife and I enjoy keeping track of the houses in our neighborhood that are going up for sale. We live in a historic neighborhood so we like to see what updates people have made to the houses and what price per foot they list & sell it for.

A home built in the 1930s just hit the market. The owners haven’t done many updates to the inside but they converted one of the detached garages to an Airbnb. They’ve had it listed on Airbnb for the last 18 months and they attached an Excel spreadsheet to the listing with how much they’ve made per month.

Guess what they are averaging per month?


I’m sure that covers their mortgage and then some!

What could you do with an extra $2,500 per month? Cover your mortgage? Cover your utilities? Cover other payments? I’m sure you could think of something!

What did they do to generate this extra income that they’ve made consistently for the last 18 months?

Honestly, not much!

  1. They bought a house with a...
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4 Ways to Reduce Your Property Taxes

house hacking Oct 07, 2022

Spending some time working to reduce your property taxes is worth the effort. Here are some benefits:

  1. It reduces the property tax portion of your mortgage payment, or if you don’t have a mortgage, it reduces your yearly property tax expense.
  1. It allows your “house hack” to go further because you have less housing expense to cover.
  1. It speeds up your journey to financial independence because you’ve reduced your total monthly expenses.

Ok, so how should you go about it?

Most people are not actively thinking about their property taxes and believe it’s just a necessary expense of owning a home that they have no control over. But that’s not true. You have a lot more influence over your property taxes than you may think.

I want to share 4 ways to reduce your property taxes.

  1. Make sure you have applied for a homestead exemption

    This is an easy step, but very important. Some people don’t know about this & pay way too much in property taxes...

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