Dream Now. Yes, Now.



“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”  -George Bernard Shaw

You'd probably be surprised if you sat in on some of the meetings I have with certain tax planning and preparation clients.

This is by no means the majority of my clients, but there are some who have socked away a significant nest egg ... but who are bored, tired, and a little numb.

And, of course, there are those among my clientele who have not yet reached the financial (or otherwise) zenith they've been working so hard towards, and they are still stuck in the grind of "everyday living". They spend hours reading the "news" and tilting at windmills on Facebook, and then they wonder: where is all this time that others seem to have to build their career?

In many instances, they haven't taken the time to re-assess whether or not what they're shooting for is, in fact, the place where they will be most alive.

They haven't taken the time to dream. And, more importantly, they haven't put a concrete plan to whatever dreams they might have had in earlier days. They're dragged around by their nose by national events and whatever circumstance comes their way. Read More...

3 Keys to Converting a Single-Family to a Commercial Property



Hopefully you’ve learned there are a lot of ways to make money in real estate! Forcing appreciation and “best use” are common terms. How do you make a property more valuable than it currently is? That’s the real question and there are a lot of ways to do it. One way is to change the “use” of the property. Below are 3 simple keys to evaluating a deal where you take a single-family residence and turn it into a small office space.

Obviously, there are a lot things to consider during the entire process, but these keys will help you evaluate the property to see if it will even work.

Key #1 – Zoning: This should make sense. You need to find a property that is in a zone that allows the conversion. You see things like “mixed use” or other classifications unique to the city. The best place to start looking is on wider, more congested streets where there are family residences or where you see these kinds of conversions already existing. This is usually due to the changing nature of that part of town. Many cities will re-zone those areas into mixed use to encourage a change in use. If you don’t’ have the right zoning, either you can’t do the deal or you’ll have to get the lot re-classified. While possible, it can be a much longer and expensive process but one worth looking into.

Key #2 – Parking: Assuming you have t

The Series LLC



Have you heard of a “series” LLC? It’s a special kind of LLC that is available only in a handful of states. Delaware was the first state to adopt it and now about 20 states that offer it and the list is growing.

While it was initially designed for other purposes and industries, the real estate community has jumped on it. So let’s explain what it is. First, it’s an LLC in structure like any other LLC. There are members, managers, an operating agreement and certificate of organization, which is filed with the state. It can be taxed as a pass-through (single member), partnership (multi-member), and it can even make an “S” election with the IRS to be taxed like an S-Corp (although there’s rarely a need for this and it can cause tax complications).

But then, this special LLC is permitted to create what are called “series” within its structure. To understand this, we need to talk liability protection. If you own a rental property in an LLC and there’s a slip and fall, the plaintiff will sue the owner of the house, that is the LLC. Being the defendant on lawsuit means that if there’s a judgement against it, the court can go after ANY asset the LLC has. This would include other rentals. Thus, most investors prefer to separate out their rentals so that the bunch are not as risk if there is a problem with one.

So, investors would set up a holding company (t

What You Should Know About The CDC Eviction Stay



“Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.” -Socrates

So yes, this is real, and it is happening.

But it's also not something that means "instant apocalypse" for landlords, nor does it mean that every renter can simply and legally stop paying rent and " just tap their heels together three times and..." and pocket it as savings.

That's because, of course, there are caveats, provisos, etc. So, let's dive in...

First of all, the authority the CDC cites to establish this rule is the Public Health Service Act of 1944, which is also being cited in a variety of contexts over the course of the past 6 months.

Might there be legal challenges to this? Oh yes.

But that doesn't mean it's okay to ignore this eviction moratorium. It's on.

Per the ruling, the eviction stay is in place until the end of the year (for now).

But good news/bad news, this doesn't mean that anything goes.

Tenants must:

  • Earn a documentable AGI (Average Gross Income) of less than $99,000 (single) or $198,000 (married filing jointly),
  •

3 Keys to Seller-Financing: Key #3: What complications are there?



Now that you have a basis of understanding for seller-financed transactions, the next step is to really understand the deal and learn what issues and complications might arise.

The first and most obvious is the due on sale clause when there’s an underlying mortgage. The key here is to reduce the red flags to the bank. Most banks, especially the big ones, do not routinely check title to see if the borrower has sold the home. They only check if there’s a reason to. You want to limit your conversations with the bank, try to do everything online, do not modify the underlying insurance as the bank will be alerted to that, and be careful about how you make payments. I could spend a lot of time on this as there are numerous ways to accomplish this.

Another issue that does come up (I’ve seen it many times) is when the seller misunderstood the transaction and then wants the mortgage paid off. This might be due to faulty (or lack of) communication by the investor, forgetfulness, or they just want it removed. They may even get a lawyer who doesn’t understand subject-to and claims that it is illegal to leave someone’s mortgage in place with the house is sold. Having really good documents and disclosures goes a long way in protecting yourself.

Then there are issues with the sellers. What happens if the seller dies? What happens if they file for a

A Tax On Your Labor (Or Lack Thereof)



“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” –Farraj Gray

This will be a bit of a scattershooting article, as there are a variety of things that I want to cover that all can be filed under the heading "labor".

As we all know, the "labor force" right now has been massively disrupted. And for those of my readers who are in that category, the word "disrupted" is far too tame. Let's call this for what it was: there was an unprecedented economic tsunami this spring and summer, and we have still to recover from it.

That said, recent data is encouraging. According to last week's DOL report, there was a 12+% decrease of seasonally

Use These Financial Reports For Business Decisions



A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. - Edgar J. Mohn

Some business owners never like to "look under the hood" of their finances, and their accountants or financial partners can sometimes encourage that behavior by keeping them in the dark.

Well, I hope that won't be you.

In fact, you need the kind of insight into financials to make strong decisions.

One way I'd like to help YOU is by pointing out different reports and metrics that you can find in most accounting software, that business owners or their bookkeepers often neglect. Knowing these numbers will help you avoid an embarrassing flub in YOUR business.

Even if you are using some of these reports, I'm sure you'll find a few more to add to your repertoire. Of course, this is just a very basic introduction, but hopefully it'll spark some ideas.

1) Profit & Loss Summary and Previous Year Comparison:Most business owners rely on the Profit & Loss Summary report, but comparing your results to last year can provide quick insight into whether your revenue is growing or contracting--as well as how fast expenses are rising.


How Your Company Can Do More With Less Time



To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult." -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Many businesses find themselves continually in "scramble mode", taking no chances to slow down and think of ways to get OUT of it.

As is often the case with money, it takes time to make more time.

And it takes the willpower to allow certain other things to (perhaps) fester, while you and your team focus on the most-important tasks.

So, I'm taking some of MY time to give you ideas for how YOU can take more of YOUR time ... to save more time. Got that? Here we go...(who's on first?!?!)

  1. Choose Your "Focus Times"
    Every employee, yourself included, has a different style they like to work in -- we all also have times of the day when we work best. Only your team will know when "focus times" should occur, but I highly recommend intentionally setting these blocks of time in place.

Discuss with your team about which blocks of time, throughout the week, can be blocked off for individual work and individual work ONLY. No meetings, just focus time.

  1.

How Businesses Get More Done With Less Time



"If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough." - Oprah Winfrey

Parents and employers take heart: could it be that a rhythm of working a little less might actually make you and your team more productive?

It's a pretty counter-intuitive notion, but the reality is that we business owners entered into this role for many reasons ... and I know that for many of us, prime among them was this notion of freedom.

But this could also be equally true for our team.

That's why the notion of "80/20" (the Pareto Principle) is something worth studying when you are looking at having to cut down your own time, or your team is needing to reduce hours for childcare reasons, etc.

There was a study done about a decade ago that offers

How To Market More Effectively In This "New Normal"



"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun." -Mary Lou Cook

I'll be honest ... I hate the buzz phrase "new normal".

None of us want this present reality to remain the permanent reality.

That said, I use it because I think you understand what I mean -- the ground has shifted under our feet.

So, what will we be doing about this?

I should state from the outset: I'm not a marketing guru. But, I keep my eyes open and notice what is working!

How do you do that?

1) Share Yourself
Chances are, you're not the only person selling what