November was again focused on house remodeling.
I finished remodeling one unit and am now preparing to rent it out. It took a lot of work but I got it to a dramatically better condition as cost-efficiently as possible.
Here’s a before photo:
Now I’m about to start remodeling another unit – the one K and I plan to ultimately move into.
I also pushed out new content to HYW, including part 1 of my new house hacking case study series. Check it out!
In November we booked revenue of $2,550, down -42% year over year.
So, we’ve had 3 down months in a row now, and it’s clear this year will close out lower than last year. Bummer. It’s another reminder of the importance of diversifying passive income.
You never want to be reliant on a single source, whether it’s your job or website or a rental property. You want as many pillars propping you up as possible.
Our new 4-plex, once fully rented, will add a big new passive income stream. In the long-run, it will also be an important tool for building wealth and generating cash flow (kids’ college tuition, retirement, etc)
OK, let’s see what happened last month.
1. Remodeling continues…
At beginning of November, our first tenant vacated. After they left, I worked furiously to ready the apartment for a new tenant. We had a big remodeling list. We knew every day the unit was not ready was a day we couldn’t advertise or rent it out.
To minimize time between old vs. new tenant, I did as much leg work as possible to vet and schedule contractors.
Each contractor had dependencies (e.g., acoustic ceiling removal must occur before recessed light installation, which had to go before painting, which had to be done before carpet replacement, etc).
So sequencing everything as efficiently as possible was challenging because I didn’t control or have visibility into their calendars. It was lots of phone calls, emails, back and forth. This was significant work, but let us minimize turnover time.
In the end, it took 18 days to finish all the work. It could have been done in 10 if every single day had been scheduled packed. But of course, there were weekends we couldn’t schedule and some weekdays where schedules didn’t line up.
But overall, I’m happy with the turnaround time. If I started only after the unit actually became vacant, it could have easily taken much longer, especially since folks shut down end of November for Thanksgiving.
In early November a second tenant gave notice they were vacating. They’re moving beginning of December, so not in time for this income report, but I’ve been running the same “playbook” for their unit as the one before, and I’ll be doing the same rinse-repeat process again.
For their unit, I’ll remodel it a little bit nicer because it’s the one K and I will actually move into end of year.
More updates on that soon – I’ll also be writing a case study on our remodeling strategy, so stay tuned for it!
2. Case studies
This month we released 2 posts. One is a review of tax changes coming in 2018 including key changes being proposed in current congressional legislation (which just passed the Senate, and now must be reconciled with House legislation).
The other is part 1 of a new series on house hacking using our recent 4-plex as a case study. Check ‘em out, there’s good info there, and more posts in the series are teed up over the next few months.
3. Growing traffic
Didn’t get to this. Again. (Looks down at my toes.) House remodeling took the day, and frankly December will be even more busy. But I do need to keep setting this goal as a reminder because it really is important for long-term growth.
The site is growing organically, to be sure, but it will grow faster if I consciously work to pour fuel onto the flame (e.g., guest posting, pitching journalists).
November net new subs: 58
November Twitter followers: 1,894
1. More remodeling. And moving…again.
While December is generally slower at work, it’s going to be a very busy month because we’re doing our biggest remodeling push in December.
And end of month, we’ll be moving again. We’re living in one of the 4-plex units temporarily. We’ll move upstairs after we remodel this next unit. Then after that we’ll remodel the unit we’re leaving behind.
2. New case study
I’ll be releasing another post in December that walks through how to due diligence a new real estate market to determine whether it’s good to invest in real estate there. The post will use Austin, Texas as a case study.
Btw, if you’re looking to sell in Austin, but don’t want the hassle of cleaning, staging, marketing, and dealing with nosy open house neighbors, then click below and let’s talk.
I can close fast and get you a good price. 🙂
3. Grow traffic
December stretch goal is, again, to learn 3 new list building techniques from the list building workshop I recorded a while back and break 2k followers on Twitter.
December net new subs goal: 60
December Twitter follower goal: 2,000
Another month closed; one more left in 2017!