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Three Investment Rules We Broke To Buy Our First Duplex

– Posted in: Real Estate
Investment rules we broke when buying our first duplex property

We bought our first multi-family property – a duplex in the trendy Riverside area of Jacksonville, Florida – and broke three investment rules in the process. We did our due diligence (e,g, property inspection, cash flow calculations) and felt that the opportunity matched our philosophy of cash flow and value over the long-term. But to get the deal done, we did have to relax some of our investment rules that act as checks and balances. Here are the three investment rules we broke and why [...]

Running Cubbon Park in Bengaluru India

– Posted in: Health Running
Route that I ran in Cubbon Park in Bengaluru India

I spent the last three weeks accompanying Trailing-Wife on her business trip to India.  She was to spend two days teaching in Bengaluru (known here in the US as Bangalore), and with our older daughter finishing up a volunteer project in Jaipur a few weeks prior, we decided to spend a couple of weeks travelling the country with our daughter before business. I love to run, and always look for opportunities to run outside when we travel.  My detailed running log goes back almost 19 [...]

100 Dreams of Travel Destinations

– Posted in: Travel
Applying my own 100 Dreams coaching exercise, here are my 100 dream travel destinations

I have a coaching exercise called 100 Dreams, which helps clients flex their wish muscles and also reminds them that there isn’t one be-it-and-end-all dream. The popularity of the exercise has resonated with the likes of Chris Guillebeau and Laura Vanderkam, and I’m thrilled they have introduced it into their communities. I do the 100 Dreams exercise for myself, and increasingly my dreams revolve around travel. I could fill the entire exercise with just my dream travel destinations. Of course, there are whole countries on [...]

A Spa Escape From New York: My Adventures At The ISPA Media Event

– Posted in: Health
Reporting on my adventures at the 2017 ISPA media event in New York City

A visit to the right spa can be as restorative as a vacation and as much a contribution to wellness as good nutrition, exercise, and sleep. So I was very excited to get a press invite to the ISPA Media Event 2017 in NYC, which featured a number of spas, wellness centers, and wellness products, not just from NYC but as far afield as Italy and the Dominican Republic. The event was a generous three hours but, being someone who gets overwhelmed in large venues, [...]

Favorite Stress Management Books

– Posted in: Health
These 10 books have stress management nuggets, to help you find your peaceful path

For me, health optimization is related to stress management. When I’m stressed, I get sick – a cold that won’t go away, an upset stomach, sore muscles. In the year or so right before I left my corporate career, I was besieged by tingling nerves and numbness in my hands and feet that would come and go. Because it was clearly nerve-related, I had my spine looked at, an MRI done, as well as a full check-up. I had been diagnosed with a heart murmur [...]

How To Decide What Order To Pay Off Mortgage Debt

– Posted in: Real Estate
See four strategies for determining how to pay down mortgage debt

With 12 properties in our portfolio and a tendency to be risk-averse, I think a lot about how quickly and in what order we should pay off mortgage debt. We own three of our rentals free and clear – i.e., zero debt – but that leaves nine mortgages, including our primary residence. Our loans have different balances, different interest rates and different maturities. I rank ordered our mortgage debt based on four pay-off strategies and then took an average ranking to see which ones we [...]

Seven Skills That Give Us The Time And Money To Travel

– Posted in: Travel
Skills that have given us the time and money to travel

We are not independently wealthy, and we have two kids who still live at home, but, we still have the time and money to travel. In 2017, for instance, we’ll be away from home for about three total months, with several of the trips international. Our careers in our 20’s and 30’s were traditional corporate jobs tethered to our desks. But we did pick up some key skills that have helped us to untether, now that we want the flexibility to roam and still stay [...]

How We Can Use Real Estate To Pay For College

– Posted in: Real Estate
As college approaches, see how we plan to use real estate to pay

Our oldest daughter is about to enter her last year of college. She got a full tuition scholarship to a city college, which saved us over $200,000 over four years vs going to a private college, an opportunity cost large enough to buy a house outright for cash! While we didn't do that, we invested that money in her future in other ways, including real estate. While we dodged the college-tuition bullet there, the college monster rears its ugly head again, as our youngest daughter [...]

15 Properties In 15 Years: Finding Helpful Connections For Buying Real Estate

– Posted in: Real Estate
Helpful Connections for Buying Real Estate Don’t Need to Actually be in Real Estate

This year we are marking 15 Properties in 15 Years by sharing our top insights. If you are interested in real estate, but don't know where to start and don't have network of real estate professionals to lean on, don’t worry – we didn’t either when we started.   The most important thing we did to start was to let other people know that we were looking to buy. We didn't really know where we wanted to buy our first property when we started looking in 2001, [...]

Why We Passed On This $400,000 Vacation Rental Investment In Costa Rica

– Posted in: Real Estate
Sunset from the beach in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

On our first trip to Costa Rica, while driving around the different beaches in the Guanacaste area, we stumbled on an Open House sign for a development near Playa Flamingo. We saw multiple lots, where we could develop a property, and we also saw an already built spec home we could have immediately. It was 1,950 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It had a garage and infinity pool, with a view of the ocean in the distance. It was listed at $399,000. [...]