Category Archives: updates

Now I am a real investor!

Just got back from checking out the work at our 80 unit property that we bought with 3 other partners about a month ago. I started looking into REI around the beginning of 2013, decided to jump into apartments after a few months considering niches, got myself initially educated and went looking for deals. Found a good partner and mentor who is great about helping out and explaining while listening to input – who knows or thinks of everything, right? We had a couple of deals fall apart in the due diligence phase due to issues with deferred maintenance. Price cures all, but only if your seller cares what a value-based price is. Those deals were still educational in and of themselves. I learned to be even more skeptical than my natural sense, since it seems like much of what you hear initially about a property is either inaccurate or incomplete. (Or worse!)

So, after a nearly 8 month long process, we closed on an 80 unit property in Kansas that was poorly maintained and managed even worse. The owner was making money, which seemed to be ok with them, even if they were leaving an awful lot of money on the table by not going to much effort to do a good job. Ultimately, of course, this is fine with me because by spending some time and effort that value becomes ours instead. It’s a win-win! I feel pretty comfortable with the project, having seen what’s been accomplished already and knowing what’s still to come in the near future. It’s a nice thing that the town is big enough for a full pool of tenants but small enough for talk about a changing reputation for the property to get around quickly.

I’m just glad it’s all very definitely real now, and not some theoretical thing in a planning stage that I very certainly intend to do. Now it’s time to go look for a few more!

Charitable thoughts

Recently, I’ve been having discussions with a business associate regarding one of their projects, which is an innovative look at investing and charity.  It kind of got me thinking along the lines of charity and how to help others out in that fashion.

One of the previous visits back home to the wife’s family in Uzbekistan, my father in law prepared a big plov (the national dish of Uzbekistan, made primarily with meat, rice, and carrots) that must have weighed 40 lbs.  We took it and headed off to an orphanage.  Between 30-40 kids and the orphanage workers, I have to say that plov disappeared surprisingly fast.  And of course, this is just one meal on one day.  That could add up quickly over time, however, it wouldn’t cost near what it would to feed an equivalent number here in the USA.  So I’ve been having some early “what if” type thoughts on how we might be able to help out there.  The idea occurred to me that fundraising for charity isn’t entirely dissimilar to gathering investors for a project, so it wouldn’t need to be constrained by the limits of our personal ability to give charitably, either.  As we’ve traveled the world and seen many other different forms of poverty, I’d always had the sad thought that you couldn’t save them all.  Now I see that there’s probably a lot more we could do, however.  It’s another project to add to the list but I feel pretty good about the general idea.  More as it happens!