Thursday, December 28, 2006

Investor or Idiot?

Real Estate Investors amaze me. First I suppose we need to define what an "investor" is. Most people consider themselves one if they plop down a few thousand and buy a home. Congratulations, you own a home therefore you are an investor. Please. You own money pit that will drain you dry.

At best you are just ignorant or you are an idiot. In the last year or so I have seen more people come up with the oddest strategy to determining if a property is a good value. They will do everything to make a home work, except doing the math. One buyer recently said, "This home is so pretty, everyone would want to live here so this has to be a good buy." She will probably be in the middle of a foreclosure in about 12 months.

An investor is one who has studied the market, the home to be purchased, understand what rate of return is and how to figure it. They are making, that's right, making their money work for them. This is not guess work, it is having an understanding of the environment around you. All aspects, from the job economy, industry statistics, the mechanics of the homes, and the true cash on cash value.

I have seen more people get into the real estate investing game in the last few years than ever before. I have also seen more people loose their shirt because of having insomnia and getting sucked into late night TV. There is nothing easy about real estate investing. The pros at it make it look easy. That's why they are pros. They understand how the market reacts, what the public wants, and they do their homework.

Real Estate can be the best investment one can make. It can also be the worst. I just met with a couple who lost, yes lost, over $50,000 when they had to sell a duplex. They didn't know what they were doing when they bought it, and it wiped them out. "Real Estate always goes up in value," they said. "That was an expensive lesson," I responded.

You can do this real estate investing venture. Just learn. Find someone who is not just a real estate agent, but one who knows investing. Most real estate agents are not investment strategist! I can help. If you decide that investing is for you, call me or email me and I can send you some names of people that can assist in your area.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

End of an Era

We knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but yesterday December 23, 2006 was that day. Bea Black also known as Mimi, was laid to rest in Norman Oklahoma. She was the only grandmother I really knew even though she wasn't mine by blood, she was my wife's. She was 94.

Mimi was full of life, spirit, and creativity. I remember when I first met her 21 years ago and I thought this woman is no ordinary grandmother. She was vibrant and colorful, she even wore a turban the our wedding. But the thing I remember when I first met her was she accepted me with open arms. She wrapped her arms around me, which made me nervous at that time, and said, "welcome to the family and pay no attention to that man over there." She was speaking of her husband, A.D. who was known for razzing new green members of the family. She was supportive. She was caring. She was loving. She was Mimi.

As we were leaving Norman Oklahoma, we realized we may not come back. Although it is a town full of memories, the remaining family members have moved to different locations and have paved the way for other new families to begin their legacy. The Blacks were fine people. We loved them very much; will miss them but know that they too have gone on to be with Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I will never forget her.