Blog – Own a piece of America

Owning a Piece of America is a founding principle of our great nation over 200 years ago. Real Estate Concierges is here to be your Real Estate Coach and Concierge for life to help achieve your financial freedom through owning a piece of America--one property at a time.

Macro vs. Micro in Real Estate Investing

  I’ve met with many individuals interested in real estate investing who read numerous posts/articles about what markets to invest in and what to buy. However, they get stuck in reading about others success and never pull together the macro vs. micro to get ahead.  I believe success in real estate investing comes down to […]

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3 Steps to Financial Freedom

As Mark Twain best said, “The secret to getting ahead, is getting started.”  People talk about financial freedom, but many, given their current financial situation, don’t have a plan or understand how to get ahead.  But in order to get anywhere, you have to get started and have a disciplined plan to stay focused to […]

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Success Depends on One Skill

About a year ago, my 17 year old son asked me,”Dad, what makes people successful?”  It was a question I didn’t expect, but as I thought about it for a few minutes and reflected back on my experience and many conversations with successful people, I responded, “It’s how you spend your spare time.  It comes […]

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Buyer Power: Improve Your Credit Score

As I’ve written in past blog posts, the three most important financial numbers you need to understand is your Debt-to-Income ratio, Down payment, and Credit Score.  These personal financial numbers determine a big part of your home buying power.  I want to spend a little time on the last personal number, your Credit Score.  Before […]

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10 Ways to be Home$mart for Summer

Summer officially begins on June 20th this year, but why wait until then to get into the summer spirit? Get a jump-start by prepping your home for warm weather so you can enjoy your summer to the fullest and hopefully save money and get the most out of your real estate investment! Keep an eye […]

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Tax Benefits of Investing in Texas Real Estate

With its pro-business political environment creating jobs, its diverse economy, and booming cities, Texas has long been a desirable state for real estate investors.  It’s the main reason my wife and I chose to begin our real estate portfolio 10 yrs ago in Texas.  Today, we have over 40 rental units that are all positive […]

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Why You Won’t Get the Low Interest Rate Mortgage

With interest rates remaining at historic lows, you may decide that now is the right time to start searching for your new home.   And that makes sense: the lower your interest rate on your mortgage, the more money you’ll save over the life of your loan. Just a one-point difference can mean saving thousands of […]

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Homebuyer Education with Open Houses

Spring is the season for open houses!  In many housing markets, spring is the time when the bulk of houses for sale are listed. If you’re toying with the idea of buying a home in the near (or even not-so-near) future, do yourself a favor and spend a few spring weekends cruising open houses. According […]

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Tax Benefits of Investing in Texas Real Estate

Since it was just a week ago that most of us made a payment to Uncle Sam, I thought it might be useful to share some thoughts on how investing in Texas real estate could help your wealth strategy. With Texas’ pro-business political environment creating jobs, its diverse economy, and booming cities, Texas has long […]

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So You Want to Buy a House – Where do you start?

Owning a Piece of America is a great opportunity to invest in your future and build wealth over time.  As Andrew Carnegie said best, “Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate”.  However, where do you start?  I wanted to share my thoughts in three phases: First, get Financially Fit.  It comes […]

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You Can Survive a Bidding War

A creative approach — and a healthy cash deposit — can give your offer the competitive edge.  Let’s face it, the home-buying process is stressful. Factor in incredibly competitive market conditions and you may need to book a week at the spa just to get through the next open house.< Never fear, we have you […]

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10 Ways to De-Stress Your Move

De-stress a move?? As if you can plan a move without living in a stress bubble, right? Well, you may not be able to eliminate the stress completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to keep stress to a minimum before, during, and after the moving process.  With Real Estate Concierges, […]

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Think of these 5 things BEFORE you move!

Leaving an old community can be difficult. On top of moving your possessions, selling your home, and saying goodbye to old friends, it can be hard to remember the things you need to do in order to set up the new life waiting for you in a new community.  We have created this handy guide […]

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Your Buying Power Depends on 4 Numbers

When my wife and I bought our first home we were one year out of college, both had good jobs and had a down payment in the bank.  We had narrowed down our options to a two- or three-bedroom house or townhome because I definitely wanted a garage.  We knew what we wanted and thought we were in good […]

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Get to Know Your Personal Finance Statements

Personal financial statements are your roadmap to guide you from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow. They also provide fixed points of reference from which you can measure your progress over time.  It’s very difficult to achieve financial fitness and stability if you don’t have a baseline of where you […]

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New Year’s Resolution – Financial Fitness

2016 is just around the corner, and while you are thinking of your New Year’s resolution of a better diet, more exercise, spending more family time, etc.,don’t forget about your financial fitness.  It’s time to take a break from the holiday shopping and eating out, and get your finances in order before the New Year. […]

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15 Ways to Prep your Home on a Budget

When my wife and I sold our first home in 2000, we didn’t know where to start to get top dollar for our home.  We were still in our 20’s and didn’t have a lot of money to sink into our home to get it ready to sell.  We’ve now sold multiple homes and wanted […]

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4 Financial Terms Every Home Buyer Should Know

Financial fitness and money management generally isn’t a fun topic for most of us–it can be boring, scary, and frustrating. In Fidelity’s recent study, 39% of millennials worry about finances and 25% don’t know who to trust.  How do you know if you can afford to go to that music festival with your friends today […]

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Don’t Overlook These 7 Neighborhood Details

You know you want to live in a safe place, but what else should you be looking for when evaluating a new neighborhood?  If you’re in the market to buy a home or rent a home, location is crucial. Quality schools, low crime statistics, commute times, and even grocery stores are likely already on your […]

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7 Crazy Things About Buying in a Seller’s Market

Insane prices, zero inventory, multiple offers, and more: Soon-to-be homeowners, we feel your pain. When it comes to real estate, some markets are partying — or at least spending — like it’s 2005. A seller’s market is great if you’re ready to pull up stakes (although you’ll be on the receiving end if it requires […]

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Stage your Home for Resell: 15 Budget-friendly Ways to Prep on a Budget

Now that you’ve decided to sell your home, sinking a bunch of money into home improvements probably isn’t high on the priority list. But inexpensive upgrades are crucial for curb appeal and leave a strong first impression to buyers.  The good news is that it doesn’t cost a lot to stage your home to sell […]

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R > O > I = Home$mart

You want to build wealth and achieve financial stability, but where do you start?  Especially if you’re renting and paying a landlord 25% of your income, how do you get out of the Renter rat race to become an Owner and ultimately an Investor where you are the landlord and achieve Home$mart financial stability?  How […]

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3 Tips to Selling your Home this Winter

Although the real estate business tends to slow down in the fall, the season can still be an attractive time to put a home on the market. If you want to sell your house in the next few months, it can be done. When my wife and I sold our primary residence in 2004, it […]

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My Top 5 Insights for Real Estate Investing

I call it the R.O.I. Journey to Financial Freedom.   I’ve seen hundreds of people like my wife and I move from Renter >> Owner >> Investor to achieve financial freedom.  My wife and I bought our first home in 1994 and moved from Renter to Owner.  In 2005, we moved from Owner to Investor and […]

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5 Steps to Start Building Wealth in Real Estate

When my wife and I bought our first investment property over 10 yrs ago, I regularly saw my friends holding back from investing in real estate. Whether they had little money or didn’t know where to start, the result was the same – they were not actively trying to grow their wealth. Most people I […]

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5 Habits to Financial Freedom

It was January 2014 and my doctor scolded me for high cholesterol (250), being 20 pounds overweight, and threatened to put me on cholesterol medicine.  I knew I needed to change my lifestyle habits.  I cut back on red meat and sweets, got a personal trainer, started taking omega-3 daily, and began working out 3-4 […]

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Here are 7 ways owning a home is a smart money move.

I never wanted to be a ‘renter’, but rather a homeowner and landlord.  I graduated college in June 1993 and purchased my first home in January 1994.  Since January 1994, I’ve always been a homeowner and landlord building wealth through owning real estate for the past 21 years.  I always wanted a long-term relationship with […]

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10 Reasons to Make Repairs before You List.

If you’re planning to list your home for sale, it’s time to tackle all the necessary repairs. These repairs can save you money in the long run — money spent on improvements now will be far less than the cost of that first price reduction if your house sits on the market. When my wife […]

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Own anything with 20/30/50!

Financial discipline is key to financial freedom.  It’s not what you make, but rather what you do with what you bring home.  Whether you’re a parent with two kids or a recent college grad working your first job, our 20/30/50 guideline can help you assess your budget to work towards owning anything! It’s an easy […]

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How Much Can You Afford? – Get Pre-Approved

When my wife and I bought our first home in 1994, our PITI (Principle, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) was about 30% of our gross monthly income, well within the lending Debt-to-Income ratio.  However, it’s important to understand not just what the maximum is you can afford and qualify for, but also making sure you enjoy […]

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Choosing the right time to list your home can make all the difference.

There’s a season for everything — including real estate.  When my wife and I sold our first home in 2000, we lucked out and decided to list our home in June. Our first child was 6 months old and we were ready for a bigger home, but had no idea that summer was one of […]

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5 steps to get your house market-ready to sell.

You’ve made the decision: You’re going to sell your home. Now you’re probably wondering Where do I go from here? Start putting fresh paint on the walls? Panic? Don’t stress: Your Real Estate Concierge is here to help.  Unfortunately, when my wife and I sold our first home in 2000,  we didn’t know where to […]

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5 Unexpected Lessons From My First Home Purchase

When I was in High School, I can remember telling myself that I never wanted to be a renter, I wanted to be the homeowner and landlord.  I never wanted a long-term relationship with a landlord, but rather a mortgage broker.  Building wealth through real estate was something I could always see myself doing vs. […]

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