It Ain’t Over ‘Till The XXXXX Lady Sings



This has been an apocalyptic year and tax season for our Investor friends. In reality, there are only a few folks who are COMPLETELY done with their income tax today. For most, their questions go unanswered.

As I write this, today (May 17th) marks the end of a tumultuous tax season.

Without a doubt -- pardon the pun -- it’s been taxing for everybody. In conversation with many colleagues around the country ... there is wide agreement that *this* season has been the most challenging in decades.

Next Steps

Soooooo, what now? I'm glad you (ahem) asked.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be looking for information from the IRS, status updates, or just needing help with various matters. Here are a few “what ifs” that you might be thinking about.

1). If the IRS owes you a 2020 refund, be patient.
While they aim to issue most refunds within 21 days, the reality is that the IRS is

The Side Hustle Tax Trap


“Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.” - Ernest Hemingway

Earning some extra cash from a side hustle is something many are doing these days. Here are some tax implications we want you to know about so you can hold onto as much of it as you can.

In most situations, you’ll be earning this extra income as an independent contractor, rather than as an employee. As a point of clarification, you may hear the following terms bandied about in relation to the gig economy

Independent contractor
Sole proprietor
Schedule C business
1099 contractor

Here’s the important part: All of these terms mean the exact same thing.
In other words, if you’re delivering for Doordash on the weekends, you’ve now become the self-employed owner of a Schedule C sole proprietorship business.
Now, let's prepare you for what this means in terms of your new tax situation and responsibilities.

You’re Responsible for More Taxes

When you work a regular job as an employee, your employer pays half of the legally requ

Keys to Title #1



Title closings and title insurance are very important real estate investing topics that don’t get a lot of attention. Along with the real estate purchase contract, title is something that you will need with every transaction. Next month I will cover the contract.

The first thing you need to understand is that your title company (or attorney) is really an insurance sales company: they sell title insurance on real estate transactions. The underwriter (who you might not even know about) is the title company’s insurance company—the company that actually insures the transaction. As insurance agents, title companies are heavily regulated by the state, including their fees. Most investors choose a title company not necessarily based on costs, but on experience doing investor transactions.

So, the first key is to choose a title company and escrow officer that are highly experienced working with investors! Investors use techniques like seller financing, wholesaling, private lenders, etc. that require knowledge and experience beyond processing the closing. Without experience, the title company may not close the transaction correctly.

Split closings are another important thing to understand about title. In Utah, we’re allowed to have split—where the buyer and seller close their side at different title companies. But, a title c

What Business Owners Need to Know About Commercial Real Estate Mortgages



"You just can't beat the person who won't give up." - Babe Ruth

For many people, the American dream includes a cozy home with a manicured lawn, and our home loan system is merrily set up to make this dream a reality for quite a few people.

But for entrepreneurs dreaming of owning their own store, shop, or office location, the dream is a lot murkier. There are quite a few differences between residential mortgages and commercial real estate mortgages, and you need to be sure you fully understand what you're getting into before taking the plunge into commercial property financing.

Commercial Differences from Residential Loans
The United States has some of the best home loan options in the world. The most common loan type, which you're probably familiar with, is a 30-year, fixed-rate loan. These residential loans are readily available, have low interest rates, fairly low fees, and carry no prepayment penalties.

Commercial real estate mortgages tend to be the polar opposite.

Commercial mortgages tend to be much shorter time periods. Five to ten years is a typical loan term. The monthly

Home Construction Changes and Mold



I have concluded that mold and “mold load” in homes is getting worse, not better. Over the past 40 years, we have made some significant changes, that have negatively affected our home's indoor air quality. Here are a few reasons for the increase in mold exposure to all of us. 

1. Homes can't breathe: In a cold climate during the heating season, moisture vapor inside a building is driven outward into exterior walls. When it reaches a surface that’s below the dew point, the vapor condenses into a liquid. That surface is typically the backside of the exterior sheathing. Rigid foam board, particularly the foil-faced kind, creates a vapor impermeable barrier, so the wall cannot quickly or fully dry out. 

2. Changed the way we build homes: We are using less and less real lumber: We have exchanged real lumber for manufactured particleboard, and pressed wood. Particleboard is a widely used material in the building industry. It is created by placing wood chips, fibers, or even small scraps of wood under intense pressure with adhesives and chemicals. Cost is the overriding factor and the main reason builders choose particleboard over any other building material. It is a fraction of the cost of lumber. When building large projects that require hundreds of sheets of material, or even when you use it for small pro

Planning For a 30-Year Retirement



“The greater damage for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” - Michelangelo

Your retirement savings – combined with any pensions you’ll receive plus Social Security – will ultimately dictate the lifestyle you’re able to live in retirement.

Looked at another way, knowing how much you’ll need to withdraw from your retirement portfolio every year can help you determine how much you need to save.

From either perspective, these are good numbers to know. As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. So, how do we go about making these determinations?

Safe Withdrawal Rates
Back in 1998, three finance professors at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX published what has become one of the most influential research papers in the history of investing. The purpose of the study was to

5 Cybersecurity Steps all Business Owners Should Take



“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” - Margaret Thatcher

Whether your business is in full-on work-from-home mode, or your business is such that this is a totally foreign concept, the reality is that cybersecurity steps are something you absolutely need to address.

Your office computers, employee laptops and tablets, cloud services (which can be accessed remotely), and even company cell phones all have an insane amount of information on them that hackers would love to get their digital hands on. Along with customer credit card numbers and employee SSN’s and DOB’s, your digital records contain a wealth of valuable information. Even something as seemingly innocuous as customer estimates and invoices can look like hidden treasure to the world’s digital pirates.

Taking basic cybersecurity steps is cheap protection against potentially embarrassing and expensive data breaches.

If you do have employees working remotely, it’s your responsibility to protect customer and employee data. Just like the IRS sets minimum requirements for us to protect YOUR private information, you should als

Partnering v. Syndications Part 2


In our last blog, we covered the considerations that determine when you might be engaged in a partnership or a syndication. And, if you fall in the syndication category, then you’ll need to comply with SEC regulations. Or, if it’s an actual partnership, then you do not. That is an important question to answer and not always as clear cut as you might think. There are a lot of variables and uniqueness to your specific deal that can make a big difference in the answer.

In today’s blog, we are going to cover the legal structures of these two types of investing techniques. Let’s start with a syndication.

A syndication is almost always an LLC structure. But, before that, you will also need a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM). This is a business plan with the terms of what you’re offering that will be giving to potential investors. You may also need a Subscription Agreement. This is an investor’s pledge to contribute to the deal at the stated terms before the syndicators actually need the investment. Then at some point the Subscription Agreement is “called,” and the investor will wire funds at that time, completing the exchange. Then, of course, there is paperwork to be submitted to the SEC and to states in which you are raising funds.

Now let’s talk about the operating agreement for the LLC.

Rize Property Management Offers Realtor® Referral Program



Do you love selling properties, but not the hassle of leasing and management?

When you partner with Rize Property Management by referring property management clients to them, they’ll send the love right back!

  1. YOU RETAIN YOUR CLIENT RELATIONSHIP - They have a guaranteed non-compete agreement. If your client ever expresses interest in buying or selling any property, they send them right back to you.
  2. THEY TAKE GREAT CARE OF YOUR CLIENTS - Old school property management of reacting to issues is out the window. They’re proactive and investor-focused to ensure the property management experience is smooth and profitable.
  3. THEY PAY YOU FOR EVERY REFERRAL - When you send them a property management client who hires them, they pay you a $750!

To learn more, visit:

To contact Rize Property Management:  Call (801) 471-2473, e-mail, or visit

Businesses Win That Are Controlling Costs



“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”  - Beverly Sill

Depending on the type of business you run, you have a myriad of things you need to pay for to stay in business from rent to office supplies to payroll to inventory (not to mention all those pesky taxes).

When a business is brand new, most business owners go over the top controlling costs. But over time, they tend to loosen their grip on such things and inevitably experience “cost creep.” Sound familiar?

Every dollar you spend on a business expense means one less dollar in profit for your business (think renovations). So, it’s a good idea to periodically check in on your expenses to make sure you’re controlling costs where needed.

But where do you start?
Looking at your income statement may just give you a headache. Plus, that P&L is a summary of categorized expenses and doesn’t tell the full story about individual costs racked up throughout the year.