Archive for the ‘painting’ Category

Window Repair with #2 Son

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

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Last Saturday I took my 10-year-old son along with me to repair a window in one of our rental houses. I like to take one of my boys along so they can learn a thing or two about how to repair things, as well as so they can see how I deal with tenants, and, mainly so that we spend some time together and have fun together. I always try to make it fun for them. For example, we went to ACE Hardware to get a new window cut, we looked at the stuff he likes to see, like BB guns and rockets, and, I bought him a bag of Boston Baked Beans.

It was really a big help to have #2 son along. He not only does what I ask him to do, unlike his teenage brother “Mr. Cool Guy”, but he also brings an enthusiastic spirit to the endeavor. One of the first things I have to do is to chip out the old putty from around the window. It’s my least favorite part of the job since it involves a lot of tedious work. After I explain what I am going to do, my son responds. “Can I do it?” I say “okay, go at it,” but I’m thinking, “Well, if you really insist!” What is old hat to me is new and exciting to him.

When we arrived back from ACE with the new window, I accidentally broke the window as I took it out of the back seat of my pick-up. I thought it might discourage my son to head back to ACE again to buy another window, but his response was, “I need a refill on the Boston Baked Beans anyway.” After that the broken glass incident became a running gag with comments like “is it time to break the window again?” and “let’s break the window again and get some more Boston Baked Beans.”

I must admit, it’s not nearly as entertaining when I have to do those little repair jobs all by myself.

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Now is the Time to Start Meandering into Fixer Upper Houses

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Yep, that's me painting a fixer-upper house

If your circumstances are such that it is impossible for you to start investing in real estate today, you can start by just meandering in that direction. You can program your mind to pay attention to anything related to real estate. Cut articles out of the newspaper, buy books at book sales, ask friends and co-workers how they purchased their house, watch for free classes or seminars.

If you don’t start following your dream now, you may never do it. There’s a lot more to life than just making a living by working at an uninspiring job.

Start to Prepare Yourself

You can be constantly learning and preparing for the day you will purchase your first fix-up property. Virtually anything you need to know is available to you through books, audio recordings, workshops, seminars, public education programs, consultants and training programs.

I meandered for approximately 11 years before purchasing my first investment property. Now I wish I had started sooner, but you can’t begin until you have the desire and the knowledge. Sometimes, desire and knowledge can be acquired simply by observing someone else operating a successful business.

Reason to Not Invest and Reasons to Invest

There are always reasons not to invest in real estate. The most common reason used to be that people thought house prices were too high. Now, the situation has reversed itself and housing prices are at historic lows.

The time is ripe to start meandering in the direction of Fixer Upper Houses.

See What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood

You might want to check out how low houses are selling for in your neighborhood. You might be surprised.

You can find housing prices at Zillow.com or on the multiple listing service (MLS).

Save Money on Making Fixer-Upper Repairs

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Every person who owns a fixer upper house business ought to learn to make repairs.

Take a look at my new ezinearticle entitled Save Beaucoup Money When Investing in Fixer-Upper Houses! 5 tips on Learning to Make Repairs.

Preview: Tip #1 is Stick to Experts Like Glue

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Fixer upper ceiling repair update

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Sunday was a day to continue work on our present fixer upper house.

The house had a leaky cooler on the roof when we bought it. I repaired the roof with E-LAS-TEK rubberized roof coating (for flat roofs like we have in Tucson), but I had not repaired the ceiling until Sunday It had been stained by the water from the roof.

(The picture dates are wrong. I didn’t update the camera last time I changed batteries.)

I scraped the old paint away above the bathtub. I used joint compound (“mud”) to patch the spot. After the mud dried, I brushed on “Kilz” to cover the stains and to prevent any future leaks from the roof to stain the ceiling. Later, I will paint it again with the white latex paint we are using for the bathroom.

Another project I worked on Saturday was to continue painting the house roof overhang. It could easily have been 50 years since some sections of the overhang were painted, other sections never had paint. The wood absorbs the paint like a sponge. The wood is so old that, in places, a it has a hair-like covering. Before painting, I scape off the hair (I give it a shave) with one of my “mud” spatulas. You could probably use a wire brush too, but it comes off pretty easy with the spatula.

I started off using the cheap $1.00 “throw-away” brushes that you can buy at Home Depot. They didn’t hold the paint too well, so now I am using a more expensive brush which is working a little better. The paint spreads a little easier.

Most people wouldn’t notice whether or not the overhang was painted. However, we want this house to last a long time, so the paint goes on.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my wife & I do the repairs on this house in fits and starts. Since we live in the house, we don’t have the the pressures to do it rapidly, like we did for our last fixer-upper house. (For more info, see my latest book “How to Turn Your Home into a Rental House, Instead of Selling It).

For that one, the “Planeta” house, we worked late into the evenings and we would take turns getting up early the next morning, to put a few hours in before going to work. One of us would stay home with the sleeping kids. Making the monthly mortgage payments and all the repair costs that we were racking up, gave us real motivation to finish and get a renter in there ASAP.

In the present situation, it works best for me when I set easy short-range goals. Right now my goal is simply to get up early & paint for one hour before I eat breakfast and get ready for work. On weekends I can do more, but just an hour a day keeps the ball rolling.

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