Landlordin’ Aint easy is right. This Covid thing has put a damper on my flow. This is when it’s time, as Grant Cardone says, to “10x your effort!!!” In the last couple weeks I’ve sent over 200 Roomster messages (roomster.com is basically Tinder for roommates), renewed my Craigslist ads at least every other day, and have been direct messaging people that post on Facebook looking for rooms. For all of this I’ve shown my house to 5 people. Some of the showings were very positive. One guy I even showed around Charlotte for about 3 hours; He was moving here from Kansas and even liked tennis. I liked him a lot and he mentioned he’d be over the next morning to drop off the deposit. I thought this was a slam dunk… And then nothing. He totally ghosted me. And this unfortunately wasn’t the first ghost. One woman who I even sent through the background and credit check (I use mysmartmove.com for these checks), which she paid for revealing her intent, stopped communicating right before we planned on signing the lease. I did however fill the study room on a 750/month plus utility split on a year lease. This had been renting for 850/month plus utility split on a three month lease for essentially the last two and a half years. This woman seemed real quality, even though her credit had recently taken a dip, so I was happy to take a bit of a haircut to rent it out for a longer period, and more importantly free headspace to study for my exam. The thought of more vacancies, in units I need to fill, is already causing me nausea. Oh I still have one more room in the house to fill… But at least now I have $1595 coming in, on my PITI of $2189.
The Bay City house, on Stanton St, I decided to pass on. On paper it looked attractive. We had agreed on 26k, and my property manager had estimated, through some of his comparable rentals, that it would rent for about $595 per month. I just thought there was too much risk with the foundation and moisture. The known unknowns scared me out of this. Maybe with more experience I’ll be able to properly assess how much damage there really was. What I do know is the inspector said it would be well over 5k. He didn’t want to give me an exact number but said the damage was extensive. I’m out.
My book, Make Better Bets, is available on Amazon. It’s a residual stream that I have now setup. Hopefully this will help some young kids coming up and make me a bit of money. I need to get more reviews. The economics of my book sales are that I make $3.41/paperback and $3.18/ebook. For the paperback Amazon takes 40% of the gross sale price and I have to cover the printing cost out of my 60%. The printing cost per book is $2.58. Now a caveat is that I am able to purchase the books at the cost of printing, $2.58. I decided to buy 50 of them as a test run. I’m going to circulate to people in hopes of getting more reviews. That will be a long term play on getting better search results on Amazon. In a similar vein I’m going to place them in some of those free library boxes that I see scattered around the city. If you’d be willing to help spread some books around your city please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you some books, for free.
I finished Tom Hodgkinson’s Freedom Manifesto. My key takeaways were the following:
- Stop relying on outside help to find peace in your life. Make your peace. He talks about this as being an anarchist. Not in the sense that he wants to overtake the government but more in the sense that you should operate and live your life in a fashion that ignores government.
- Play the ukulele and pursue creative endeavors for their own sake. While I have enjoyed a renaissance in rollerblading I have not gone longboarding in awhile. I think that needs to change.
- Cancel direct debits as people lose track of what is getting deducted. Although burdensome in some people’s eyes writing a check is much more intentional and it will remind you that you’re choosing to pay for something. After reading that I cancelled my gym membership, at least until this shutdown is over. That was like $90 I had paid over the last three months that I didn’t get to use. Also I feel like I’m getting surprisingly good exercise without the gym.
- Embrace Hardship. The air conditioning in your house feels much better after a long day in the yard building a bamboo structure 🙂
- Become a generalist.
I have now started reading Your Money or Your Life. I found it interesting that one of the first exercises she recommends is making a personal balance sheet, i.e. figuring out your net worth. I hope to have a complete takeaway list on the next entry, on 6/20/2020, and with that let’s get to the numbers.
10-day BS Refresh
The Opening NW in the 6/10/2020 column is the closing NW from the 5/31/2020 column. The green numbers represent estimates that I was projecting ten days prior to its stated column date. Ten days ago I was thinking my net worth would be $331,227 today and, shockingly, it’s $342,155. The stock market continues to rise. My cash position was much higher than initially projected for the following reasons:
- Received a check from my home insurer relating to my refinance many months ago of $1,606
- Signed one lease starting 6/11 bringing $500 for June for my Lorraine house
- Handy lady that was suppose to repair my living room hasn’t started the work. I was projecting $2,500 for that expense.
6/10/2020 I ended with a NW of $342,155. I will be collecting a paycheck in the next ten days and paying down my credit card bill. Who knows what will happen to the stock market for this period.
Ideas for increasing NW
- Get more traffic to websites
- Spend some time taking Make Better Bet books around to the “leave-a-book-take-a-book” spots
- Start analyzing how affiliate programs really work. Right now the only things I would consider are books that I really found valuable. But keep an open mind.
- My brother brought up tax liens. I read a book about three years ago on this topic and was super excited but I took no action. Hopefully that will change after my exam.
- If you want the excel workbook that I use to help me track just message at email@example.com. I’m also happy to go through any calculations.
- Make Better Bets: https://www.amazon.com/Make-Better-Bets-Jack-Allweil/dp/1734895616/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=make+better+bets&qid=1590931460&sr=8-1