In January, we finished remodeling our 3rd (and largest) unit of the 4-plex. That’s the one we moved into temporarily at the beginning right after we closed the purchase. We also (mostly) unpacked after moving into our new permanent unit, so it’s feeling a lot more homey now.
Also published a new case study in my house hacking series: How to do a residential property inspection step by step (what smart real estate investors look for)
In January, side biz revenue was $2,581, which was down -28% year over year.
Let’s dig into the details…
1. Finished remodeling 3rd unit
When we first bought the 4-plex, we parked temporarily in the only vacant unit available at the time, which was the “owner”s” unit: a large 3 bed apartment that’s basically like a single family house.
We didn’t need a space that large, but living there was the only way we could avoid paying a mortgage + outside rent simultaneously. The unit was old and crappy and not updated, but better than nothing.
In January, we finally were able to actually remodel it, after moving out and into our new permanent unit.
Since we already had our remodeling “playbook” down from doing the first two units, and we already knew which contractors to use, it was a lot smoother than the first two units in terms of getting the job done.
Like before, we packed almost every single day with remodeling work, which allowed us to finish the whole thing in 3 weeks. We even were able to add a very big unplanned work item relatively late in the process, without losing any time on the schedule: We replaced all the windows in all 4 units with brand new shiny double-pane Low-E3 vinyl windows. We also replaced all the outdoor deck patio doors.
This cost us a pretty penny, but it was worth it and we were incredibly lucky it didn’t cost any extra time on the schedule, since we had buffered things well. The new windows will provide better insulation from both heat and cold, which should translate to lower electric bills each month (for all units).
It was certainly stressful at times (as remodeling always is) but the unit looks waaaay nicer now than before and should be able to get some good tenants.
2. New case study
Also managed to crank out a new case study which shows how to do a residential property inspection step by step. It shows how to “walk a property” the way smart real estate investors do. What to watch out for and how to tell whether a problem is serious or not. Give it a read and let me know your thoughts!
3. Growing traffic
Again, I didn’t make time in January to work on dedicated growth tactics. Between unpacking, remodeling, and a trip I took toward the end of the month (which I’ll talk about in a later post), this fell on my priority list.
That’s why Twitter followers dropped again. February should actually give me (comparatively) a tiny bit more breathing room, so I’m going to try to kick this up on the priority list again for the upcoming month.
January net new subs: 66
January Twitter followers: 1,850
1. Remodeling gets a breather (for now)
Happily, we won’t be doing much further remodeling in February and will get a breather for a few months.
What about the 4th unit? The 4th and final unit is currently being rented by a tenant who is already paying market-level rent. Even though the unit does need to be upgraded eventually, there’s less pressure to do so immediately given the rent gap has already been closed.
Even so, I still want to remodel the unit sooner rather than later, both to be done with it and out of mind but also because I want my tenant to be more comfortable. They are good tenants who pay rent on time, so remodeling the unit to be nicer will hopefully give them extra incentive to stay with us long-term.
2. New case study
I plan to also crank out another case study in my house hacking series. This one will cover tips and strategies on how to actually write an offer to buy a house that stands out and wins.
If you’re in a super competitive real estate market, you need every advantage you can get to make your offer attractive, especially if you are not bidding the highest price. My new case study will show you everything I’ve learned for how to do just that. Keep your eyes peeled for it!
I previously wrote about the tax bill while it was still working its way through Congress, but now that it’s been finalized into law it’s time to react. While the new bill has sweeping changes affecting huge parts of the economy, I’ll focus my case study in particular on changes (and potential new strategies) that are most relevant to wealth-building.
Hopefully it’ll help you make sense of it all and equip you with some new ideas for how to use the new tax changes to your advantage to minimize taxes and increase wealth-building.
3. Grow traffic
My goals for February are:
February net new subs goal: 75
February Twitter follower goal: 2,000