Jason: And good morning, Triad. This is Jason Bramblett, your host of the Jason Bramblett Real Estate Show. Hope everyone is doing awesome today. If you are a duck, you are in good condition and good weather out there because it is unbelievable. I think every ditch is full, every pond is overflowing, and yet, we keep on pushing through. This is a great time to test if you have a waterproof basement and or crawl space for that matter. I say that kind of tongue and cheek because I know there are some folks out there struggling, and if you need a good contractor, if you need some help with a situation, maybe an emergency that you are having, give us a call. We have got resources for you. We can get our folks out there to help you with your basement, your leaking crawl space, your leaking basement, any of those things. And obviously make sure that if you are near any kind of ditch or stream, use caution because I think they are talking about some flash flooding out there today. So, as you are cruising around enjoying your weekend, be safe out there.

So, a couple of things we are going to dig into today into the real estate show. We have got some great questions in this week. We had an absolutely phenomenal response to last week’s show. So, thank you very much for that. Keep your questions coming. If you have them, go to Jason Bramblett dot com. Click in the top right corner. You can click there on the envelope email icon. Shoot over your questions, and what we do is we look for questions that will reach the most amount of people, and we share them right here on the air. So, we have had some good ones coming in.

But Facebook Live is going live and well, so good morning everybody there on the Facebook. They are a little bit behind, so you will see that in about 40 seconds or so. Anyway, just reaching out to you a bunch of different ways. You can obviously follow us on Twitter as well at Jason Bramblett.

So, let’s dig in. Let’s get started. First question of the day is from David and Heather. We are considering getting into the real estate investing, and that could be a slippery slope and that can be an awesome thing. But where do we start is the question. We have some money. We are ready to get going. They have got about $20,000 they say here, and we want to get started in real estate investing. And is that a realistic amount and should we do it? And this is David and Heather asking the question.

There are lots of ways to invest, especially in real estate. There are lots of opportunities out there. Obviously if you have been on any TV show, HGTV, any of those things, you have got everybody under the sun flipping houses, flopping houses, remodeling houses. Whatever it is. And making just money all over hand in fist, in a shocking 23 minutes. They go from disaster to amazing in no time at all. It is not quite that easy, folks, but there are ways to do it.

Here is one of the things that I get a lot, and congratulations if you are considering investing in real estate. I like real estate. We have multiple investments, but something about real estate that I like is that you can drive by and you can see it and touch it. We have 401K and SEP and all that stuff, and I just do not get that warm, fuzzy feeling about touching paper or air actually. You just get a statement in the mail, and that is it. Something about driving by and seeing what you own and seeing that tangible asset, I think is just something that a lot of people can relate to.

So, what do you do? Where do you start? I am kind of reading between the lines here with what David and Heather said. One of the things that it sounds like they are saying is it sounds like they are saying it takes money to make money. Because we have got $20,000, where should we start? And that in and of itself is somewhat of a limiting belief in that it actually does not take money to make money. The first thing it takes actually is courage. You have got to have courage to get started. You have got to have courage to go out there and take that step. I had a friend of mine that was talking to me about a large project he was doing. He goes, Jason, when we walked in the bank to borrow $20 million, every single person there knew we did not have the money. Right? It is just a different equation with a different zero on the end. And there are not many people out there. There are certainly some that can write a check and stroke a check for $20 million, but it is not many. So, it takes sometimes a tribe, if you will, to put together some of these larger deals.

So, the first thing I am going to assume with the $20,000 that you guys have set aside is that you also have an emergency fund. You always want to make sure there is an emergency fund for the household that we are not tapping in to that. That money is not getting bored, and you do not need to take it somewhere else. I promise you. This is a Dave Ramsey principle. If you do not know who Dave is, check him out online, but Dave has got some good stuff. This is just really Grandma’s common sense. Okay? This is do not take your emergency fund and go do stupid stuff with it, because as soon as you invest your $20,000 emergency fund in real estate, something is going to go terribly sideways on your house or your car or your life, and you are going to need the twenty grand. And so, we always want to make sure that we have the emergency fund.

Assuming it is in addition to, which we hope that it is, then we have got some options for you. There are certain things you can definitely do to get the ball rolling. One of the things to make sure that you are diversifying, and you are not necessarily putting all of your eggs in one basket, if you will. So, I like to look at duplex, quadplex, triplexes, anything multiple family, multiple units to start.

Why? Diversity. Okay. If you buy one single-family home and that tenant quits paying and there is a mortgage, then you are the one that is stuck with the obligation. The bank does not care if the tenant is paying. They only care if you are paying. Okay? And so, if you put all your eggs in one basket, and you buy one home and then they stop paying and then it takes five months to get them out and then it takes two months to fix the repairs, and the repairs cost $4000, that all of a sudden does not look like much of an investment. It feels more like a boat anchor actually. It is not something that is fun. It is not something that is exciting. It is not something that you are looking forward to doing over and over and over again. Right? So, when you do single family, there is added risk. When you look at multiple family, you look at apartments. You look at these quadplexes and six-plexus and these different things. The likelihood of all tenants moving out at the same time is far diminished. Right? They are not typically all related. They are not all moving in one pack, if you will. And therefore, you can spread out some of your risk amongst multiple units.

The more units you can have under one roof, it is also easier to manage. Four, fix, six homes spread throughout the Triad logistically can be a pain to manage. When I have six units under one location, under one roof, on one parcel of land, I have got one roof to worry about, one foundation to worry about, one yard to worry about as opposed to being spread out all over the place. So logistically, these also become a much more easier thing to manage.

Now maybe you are not going to manage your properties, and so that is not a concern. And that is certainly fine. We have lots of single-family property owners that do not manage their own property. Not a big deal. But these are things that we look at. Diversity. We look at reducing our liability. These are the things that we look at.

And one thing that you do want to take a look at in getting started in real estate investment is establishing a relationship with a local bank. Taking the time to go in there and actually meet the person behind the desk, right. Go in there and meet the person that potentially you could build that relationship of long-term time with. And this could be done at a credit union or a smaller community bank. This is what I prefer. This is what a lot of our clients prefer. We have phenomenal local people in the marketplace that can help you. And some of the big institution lenders out there, sometimes they fall into the one-size-fits-all model, and that does not necessarily work for real estate investment. That does not necessarily work for maybe what you are attempting to do. And so, the other thing that it does is well, sometimes these big banks, even though you are putting your money in here, they are putting their money somewhere else. The local community bank, typically your credit unions, the money that you are investing is also staying within the community, which is a nice thing. If you have not noticed, we are building some stuff in the Triad. There are banks, commercial construction is going just amazing. If you go by and look at the signs in the yard of who is financing this stuff, most of it is local community banks. Very rarely are you seeing a huge, one of the big national chains out there, one of the big national banks financing these local projects. Pay attention to that because that is you are investing, and you have your money with some of these smaller, local banks. You can see with your own eyes they are reinvesting back into the community.

You see restaurants going up. Hotels, different things, so take the time to meet and make those relationships. They can really work out for you long-term because obviously we want to start with maybe one house. And then we want to start with a duplex, and then maybe you get a 20-unit apartment building. And before long, you are doing a 300-unit apartment building. And if you start small and keep those relationships, and they have that track record with you, you are not having to get reintroduced to different people all the time. So those relationships go a long way.

So, think about that. Congratulations. Investing in real estate, I believe, is a smart thing. And you are like well, duh, Jason, you are a real estate guy. So, of course you do. But it is just common sense as well. If you look at the wealth that is being created in America, real estate is at the forefront. It is at the core. It is one of the leading causes of wealth. And so, if you want to start building wealth, start investing in real estate.

The first and best place to start though is actually with your own house. Right? With your primary residence. And doing that properly and having guidance and having the right team of people behind you to make sure you do not do something foolish can also help you get started with building your portfolio.

I have met many, many throughout their career. They have never sold a house. They have bought a bunch from me, but they buy one, they live in it, they move out, and they turn that one into a rental. And they just keep going and keep going and keep going. Every single home that they have acquired as a rental property is a house in which they lived. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Over the course of many years, you can accumulate quite a few homes. And their goal is to use that to, many of them, to pay for their child’s or the kids’ college education. To have that cash flow coming in to pay for that education, which is not a bad thing either.

There are certainly some tax advantages to being able to transition your primary residence into a rental house. One, it is easier to qualify to buy a primary residence as opposed to a rental property. Things to think about. There are many different ways, many different strategies to get going and investing in real estate.

Got another question coming in from Robert. Robert is saying Jason, should it ever stop raining, and amen, I am with you, Robert. Could you prioritize the yardwork that I need to do to get my home ready to sell this spring? Signed, building my ark, Robert. Of course, Robert. And I can relate.

First of all, save me a seat on your boat because at the way things are going right now, we may all need a seat on Robert’s boat. It is unbelievable. The rain is just, I cannot understand it. Anyway, here is one thing that I am hearing out here is we have gotten so much rain I am actually hearing that some of the septic tanks are actually rising to the surface. Now, you do not have to be in the septic business to know that is not good because the pipes are not moving. It is just the tank. Therefore, I am assuming these pipes are coming dislodged from the main tank. You have heard about this in New Orleans and different places where they had the flood and then when the hurricane came through and they had cemetery vaults and they were popping up like corks. I guess that is the same thing. Some of these septic systems have not been installed properly or anchored properly, I should say. And some of them are rising to the top, which is never a good thing. So hopefully that is not anyone that we are working with or anyone listening. If it is, we have a phenomenal septic contractor we can get you in touch with. You can give us a call at the office. It is 553-0796. And if you see that happening, I am going to go with probably steer clear and let a professional handle that. You will probably be running off by all the aroma and everything coming out, but just trust me. It is like yellow snow. Do not play with it. Same situation with that. Steer clear.

But it is amazing what all this rain does from foundation walls to septic issues to water in a crawl space. But to get back to Robert’s question. Curb appeal. Curb appeal is huge. And remember curb appeal starts on the internet these days. It actually starts online. So quality photos are key and number one. What we recommend is kind of go old-school or old-fashioned. Go all the way out to the curb and look back at the house. And then what you see or even get your phone out and just look through your phone or camera. I do not even know anybody that uses a camera anymore, but look through your phone, and what do you see? So, can you see the house? That is key number one thing. When you look through the phone, when you look through the lens, can you even see that there is a house there? And some of you will know what I am talking about as you drive around town and you see these houses with mature landscape. Well, overgrown may be the better way to put that, right? So, when you see that, think about these flip flop shows. What is the first thing that they do? The first thing they do is they go in and rip out 99 times out of 100, they rip out all the old landscape. And the reason why is because it is just something fresh about a new start. Or something that just makes the house look younger and newer when you go back with fresh plants and fresh landscaping and those type of things.

Pay attention to those shows. They are not just ripping those bushes out and ripping all that stuff out because it makes great TV. Think about that end product. Think about what it looks like. So, getting those things back to fresh and new look makes a huge difference. It actually takes some age, well, it actually makes some of them appear about five times bigger than they are because you cannot even see them from all the foliage and all the stuff.

So, there are other things that we are going to look at. We are going to take a quick timeout. Go pay some bills, as they say. When we come back, Robert, I am going to get into about 10 or 15 more things that you can do to get your house curb-appeal ready for the spring market. Stay with us. We will be right back here in just a few minutes.

And good morning, Triad. Welcome back to this wonderfully wet Saturday morning.  We are glad you are here. We were digging in, talking about a few things. Robert had a question about landscaping and when it finally quits raining, what to do, where to start. So, we talked a little bit about curb appeal. Getting in front of the house. Checking out the property from the curb, looking back because that is what the folks are going to see. And remember great photos are everything because curb appeal actually starts on the internet today. So not as many people driving around as they used to. They just, well, sit on their couch, chill out and look at us on Facebook Live like they are doing right now.

But they also do that with real estate. So here is the key. Here is what we are going to look at. Trees overhanging the house. Are there any? And this is where probably we need to get some professionals. I am not encouraging anyone to get up on a ladder that should not be, and most homeowners should not be. As a matter of fact, if you are my age or older, stay off the ladder. Stay on the ground. It is easier to write the check than it is to pay the hospital bill. Okay? So, get a qualified professional out there.

But if you have tree limbs hanging over your house, this is always something that comes up on a home inspection. So just be prepared. People are going to ask you to do those things. And while you have the professional there pruning the trees and trimming everything, have them clean the gutters as well. Another thing that always comes up on the home inspection, of course if your gutters are clogged, you know it today because all the water is overflowing into your yard and not down the gutters. But add some nice clean lines to the landscape. So, prune everything. If it is not overgrown ridiculously and you have got something to work with, get everything trimmed, pruned, looking good. Add some color. Make the front yard pop. And this could be done with some potted plants. You do not have to go in there and spend a bunch of money on just replanting everything. Take a few potted plants, get some nice color and just do some accept pieces. Maybe on the corner of the front porch. Those type of things. Make sure the sidewalks and driveways are clean and free of debris and those things.

Now, do not pressure wash if you do not know how. Just because you own one does not mean you know how to use it. Okay? And I know that, well, here is the first rule. If you are using the pressure to remove the dirt and the gunk and those things from your sidewalk and your driveway, stop because you are doing it wrong. I know it sounds like device and the machine would say pressure is good. Remove the dirt. But I can assure you, my friend Chris, can remove everything from your roof, your house, your driveway, your sidewalk and he uses a garden hose because it is not necessarily how you do it. Sometimes it is what you know.

And so, Chris has got a great product. It is bio-friendly product that is some kind of enzyme that does the heavy lifting and then you can just take a garden hose and just wash everything away. What happens when you use pressure, because it is coming out of the nozzle at such a small point, you cannot control the same amount of pressure evenly across the sidewalk. And then so when people come to see your lovely home, they are welcomed by this bangled, triggered-looking sidewalk with stripes or zebra stripes or tiger or whatever you want to call it. I usually say it is the tiger-striped driveway because that is what it looks like. And it is because you could not evenly use the pressure washer and you blasted out too much dirt in some spots and not enough in the other, and it looks horrible. And you just wasted 20 hours of your life when you could have just, you could have done anything else. There are a hundred other projects that I probably could have had you spend your time on in the house and let a professional do this. So, it does make a difference. I know it is fun for the first five minutes because I have unfortunately tiger-striped a sidewalk or two in my day. But I can assure you it is easier to write the check and just let the professional handle it and it looks phenomenal. As opposed to ending up with a product that nobody likes anyway, which is never any fun, especially after you put all your hard work and time into that.

Another question we got it this week, which this one here is a great question by Kelly. Kelly said we are redoing our kitchen and our bathrooms. We are going to put tile down. Do you know how much this will increase the value of our home? It is going to cost around $3200 to install. First of all, Kelly, thinking right and thank you for the question, Kelly. You are asking the right question. Is, I am going to put XYZ, first of all, she obviously must be thinking about selling, and then she is also thinking about investing. Is that a good thing to do? Not always. Some of the things that you put money into you will not see a return, and therefore, maybe you should hold back. Some things that are so worn out and need replace, like if you have got a blue bathtub, you do not need to ask me. Go ahead. Do that. I get accused of not liking brass somewhat. If you have brass, you do not have to ask me. Yes, replace the brass. I promise anything you choose will be better. Green bathtubs, blue bathtubs, yellow bathtubs, yeah, call the guys that can come in and help you. No question about it.

But tile, it is interesting, so $3200, that tells me a little bit that more than likely, this is a do it yourself project. $3200 for a normal-sized kitchen and say two, 2 ½ baths is probably not enough money to hire a professional. Okay. That is probably enough to get the material and do the grout, and that is probably about it. So here is where sometimes doing nothing is better than DIY. Because some DIY projects start out like this. Hey, hold my beer. Watch this. Watch what I can do. I can buy tile. I can mix this grout in a bucket, and I am pretty sure I can apply it. And that guy I saw doing it on TV, I am a lot sharper than him. Well, until you have to cut it. Until you have to go around the toilet. Until the room is not exactly four foot by eight feet and you end up with a tile that you need to cut into a third. And oh, by the way, the wall is not plumb. And it is not straight at all, and how are you going to know that? And where do you start? Do you start in the middle? I have heard you start in the middle of the floor. I heard you start against the bathtub.

If you do not know these questions, these are where professionals come in. I have unfortunately witnessed many, many DIY projects over the years that truthfully it would have been better had they not done anything at all. It would have been better had they just gave an allowance. It would have been better if they had just bought the tile, set it in the bathroom, and said hey, if you buy our house, we have already got the tile for you. Or whatever it is.

It is like painting. Some of you know I have joked about painting. There is one thing to apply paint to a wall. And there is another thing to, one you can schmear color to the wall. And the other one, you are actually painting. You are actually accomplishing something. And the same is true with tile. Just because we can see it on TV sometimes, these DIY projects can be careful. So, Kelly, be careful. Let’s talk about it. Let’s get some more detail. Let’s take a look at it. You may be awesome at it, but we do not want you spending money in the wrong place.


If you have got more questions, go to Jason Bramblett dot com. Click on that email icon. Shoot them over to us. We will share them on the air, and we will see you next week right here. (336)553-0796. Everybody have a great weekend.