15 Fastest Growing Cities and 5 Are in the Same State

The US Census Bureau released data on the fastest growing cities in the nation and there definitely seems to be a trend. The below list ranks the 15 fastest growing cities by percent gain with a population of at least 50,000 or more between July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015. The US Census Bureau also ranked the top 15 cities that added the most people between July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015. Some highlights: 14 of the fastest 15 growing cities by percent gain were located in the South and West. … continue reading.

The Starbucks Effect

The Starbucks Effect - How Lattes Perk Up Home Prices

In the book Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff and Chief Economist Stan Humphries describe what they term the Starbucks Effect. The Starbucks Effect is a phenomenon where home prices within a quarter mile of a Starbucks, tend to appreciate more quickly than homes elsewhere. Specifically, between 1997 and 2014, homes within walking distance or 0.25 miles of a Starbucks appreciated 96% as opposed to the national average of just 65%. Interestingly, homes near a Dunkin’ Donuts also showed a similar historical trend. While proximity to a Dunkin’ Donuts appreciated … continue reading.

My Monthly Cash Flow Report – June 2016

Welcome to my June 2016 cash flow report! Each month I document how my rental properties (RP) are performing in order to track my monthly cash flow. I share both the good and the bad, as well as any lessons learned from investing in out-of-state rentals. For these income reports, I’ll report everything as they occur. That means if no rent came in, there will be a big fat zero. The same goes if there were no maintenance issues for a given month. This is different from when I analyze a potential property that … continue reading.

2016 Mid-Year Goals Review

It’s the end of June already. 6 months have flown by and with half the year over, I like to revisit where I’m at with the goals I set for myself this year. In a nutshell, here are my top level 2016 real estate related goals. I had 2 major results-oriented goals: pick up 3 rentals and launch a real estate blog. Underneath each major goal, I list out specific action-oriented steps that are essentially mini-goals that are needed to reach each major goal. Adding 3 More Properties My primary goal this year … continue reading.

Forget The 1% And 2% Rules, But Focus On Your Returns!

rent-to-price ratio cash flow

I recently had a conversation with another investor who was adamant about finding investment properties that met the 2% Rule. This was their primary criteria for offering on rental property. Our conversation went something like this. 2% Investor: What rent-to-price ratio are you getting on your properties? Me: About 1.25%. 2% Investor: That’s not very good. You should shoot for 2%. I’m hitting 2% on my properties. Me: Umm, well…. That’s great. (nice comeback) Other than me feeling a bit patronized, what can you gather from this brief dialogue? Did you think it was … continue reading.

Back from Washington D.C.

I recently got the opportunity to take a work trip out to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. For people who love history, big cities, and all types of ethnic food, you’ll love D.C. Seriously, you can eat delicious steak frites at Le Diplomate to a filling falafal wrap on the go from Amsterdam Falafal or even go with some classic Ethiopian cuisine at Keren Restaurant. The city can be a bit hectic at times and this might bother some people who aren’t used to this. Being from L.A., I wasn’t bothered  by all this … continue reading.

Market Research Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Google My Maps

I don’t know about your internet research habits, but if you were to look at my internet browser, you’ll see at least a dozen tabs open at one time. This gives my wife anxiety whenever she borrows my computer. I have a problem closing tabs out of fear that I’ll need to refer back to them again so I leave them all open. My Excessive Tab Disorder (ETD?) gets even worse prior to taking a trip to an out-of-state market. Why? Because I would have a standard Google map open for every property that I plan … continue reading.