Hot and Burning HOME OWNER!

HELLO MY FRIEND!
Let me tell you one thing. Owning a home for the first time just is just like the first time you get your ear pierced – black hole! I just want to keep throwing money at it: buy furniture, fix garden, add a yard, how about a new patio… It’s bad, my friend. ๐Ÿ˜›
This is part of me looking for excuses not to update this blog for almost 2 month! It’s my dad’s fault! Daddy visited me late July, built me a fence, cleared and leveled part of my back yard – daddy rocks. 
(Isn’t he the cutest ever?)
So to get back to my marketing plan. First of all, I must register an account with Bigger Pocket! Check me out and add me https://www.biggerpockets.com/users/Fei_InSeattle!
I plan to start marketing within 2 weeks, 10 post cards a week, resend every 3 weeks. I will keep you posted on my marketing results! 

What to Expect From a Lender in Closing

Trust me.

I am currently going through underwriting with my lender. This is a 5% down conventional loan on a $415,000 house.

Oh yes they call your boss. (or your HR)
Oh yes they ask for your employment verification form.
Did your parents help with the downpayment? Oh yes they want to know how did they make that money and they want to see their bank statements too.
Are you self-employed? Oh yes, they need twice as much documents as that a regular employee.
Did you use inspection report to bargain with the seller? Oh yes they want a contractor to sign a letter saying everything is okay, and they will fix that this week.
Conditional approval? Congrads, they are going to come back for more.

Have you borrowing!

(I am so doing seller financing from now on.)

Landlord – are you terrified of vacancy?

Oh yes you do.

A good landlord should:
– have a professional accounting system (so you know your money is being recorded properly)
– have a legal binding lease agreement (so you know your rights are protected)
– have a move-in & move-out inspection form (so you don’t have to argue about carpet cleaning/junk removal)
– have a reliable handyman (so you know the service is fair and trust-worthy)
– is available to gossip with you when needed!

๐Ÿ™‚ Befriend your landlord!

(Landlords, these conditions applies to you as well.)

Power of Delegation – Virtual Assistant

Can’t believe it! I actually hired a virtual assistant from the Philippines!

I have delegated some of my “busy works” to the assistant so that I can sit back and do my marketing! So far the assistant has been doing a great job. She saved at least 3 hours of my time so that I were able to go see 2 houses today and run some bank errands ๐Ÿ™‚

What is virtual assistant? What can he/she do for you? My virtual assistant is helping me with simple research, graphic edit, and document edits work right now, in the future, I will ask my virtual assistant to respond to phone calls to collect buyer & seller information, compile background reports, etc!

A good virtual assistant is punctual, professional, and he/she can communicate effectively. If you are interested, let me know. I am happy to introduce you!

You Can Be Whatever You Wish – TAKEN ACTION NOW!

I went to my second REAPS (Real Estate Association of Puget Sound) meeting this past Sat. It was a whole day event featuring Mr. Louis “Lou”Brown.

To be honest, I did not feel I learned much on the “premier” public event on Thursday night where Lou gave a brief introduction on himself and his products. But I knew there is always something I do not know and what we need now is open up ourselves to different business models. Thus I set my alarm to 6am, and start driving at 7am. 
Do you listen to KUOW? I am a fan. When I heard this story I literally had tears in my eyes… 

Meet The 11-Year-Old Campaign Manager Stumping For Cambridge Candidate

  

Most of the time, volunteers for campaigns become active in politics during college, but in one local election, a volunteer is starting much sooner.

When a political candidate has little political experience, everyone around her has something to add, some experience to share, or some intangible to help the campaign.

Take, for example, Joyce Gerber, who is running for the Cambridge School Committee, and needed help analyzing voter data: 

โ€œI had just posted a job description at the Harvard School of Government, because I was looking for someone to help me with my campaign. I knew what I needed.โ€ 

What Joyce didn’t know is that her next volunteer didn’t drive, couldn’t vote, and stood as tall as her elbow. She bumped into a neighborhood kid, Zev Dickstein, an 11-year-old 5th grader. Zev is a political wonk beyond his years, whom Gerber had met volunteering for Elizabeth Warrenโ€™s campaign. 

โ€œWe had a little discussion, we had a policy discussion. And he sent me a very nice email and said he would love to be my campaign manager,โ€ she said. 

That’s right; campaign manager. 

Gerber told him she would talk to his mother, who signed off, and Zev soon began knocking on doors for Joyce’s school committee bid, just as heโ€™d done for Warrenโ€™s campaign. 

Zev said he learned a lot from Warrenโ€™s campaign. 

โ€œI learned how to canvass, I had no idea in the beginning,โ€ he said. โ€œAnd, I learned what people thought of campaigns.โ€ 

In the cynical, political world it might be easy to see Zev, The Campaign Manager, as a mere gimmick. But, the boy has been doing the grunt work that thousands of campaign workers do all across the country every year: 

โ€œI create voter lists to contact, I do strategy, I helped with the Web site, I created the campaign literature. Luckily the election, I mean itโ€™s mostly in the summer.โ€ 

Summer is a time when most 11-year-olds are in camp, in a pool, or riding their bike to a friend’s house. But Zev has his time management down pat. 

โ€œI do my violin when I get home, then I work on the computer for Joyce. Itโ€™s really busy,โ€ he said. 

In politics, sometimes you need luck to fall your way. 

This Sunday, when Zev helps Joyce kick off her campaign at a Cambridge block party. This 11-year-old will also be performing magic tricks.

Zev Dickstein, credit Anne Mostue / WGBH

This 11-year-old campaign manager made my morning. It is the type of “motivational injection” that last me a whole week.

There I am, sitting in the middle of a whole room of people from all ages. Many of them had already owned more than 5 houses at the moment, some even holds more than 15 properties. On one side, I wish I could understand and absorb as much as they would do, because I know the more you practice, the more you would value continuing education. On the other side, I am so proud of myself perhaps being the 5th youngest person in the room, and I know – WE ARE DOING THIS! Not tomorrow, not next year – TODAY. NOW. 
Good news, I am closing my very first deal with the help from my wonderful realtor Mrs.RoJane Maybee. Tomorrow is my first inspection, and I already have renters coming to check out the house! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s all happening! I LOVE IT. 
Please stay in tune, and I would like to share something I learned from Lou last weekend with you shortly.

Living in Greenwood (Demographics – 2010 Census updates)

Where is Greenwood??
Greenwood is the neighborhood between Aurora Ave N and 8th Ave NW, from 75th to 135th St. 
Greenwood is a booming market. It constitutes zipcode areas 98103, 98133 and 98117. I have organized some demographic data from the 2010 Census. (You won’t find this on Zillow! My Econ degree is coming to play hah)
Here is the 2010 Census data. Over the past 10 years, Greenwood has attracted 10% more families (2+ household). In the 2000 Census, there were about 42.2% households with only single persons. And only 17.8% of the households has children. By 2010, census shows 31.8% of the households in Greenwood now has children! 
Source: Zilliow.com; demographic information comes from data in the 2000 U.S. Census.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you believe there is a misinterpretation of the census data on my charts or you see a way to improve them! I appreciate your suggestions!
Next time I will pick a few houses for sale in Greenwood, and we can talk about them ๐Ÿ™‚
See you soon!

Living in Greenwood (To Be Continued…)

Spoiler alert! I have been living in Seattle for the past 7 years. I lived in U District (bought my first piece of furniture, a old old wing back chair from a lady in Bryant), Northgate, Central District (23rd and Jackson), and now Greenwood.

I enjoy living in the North Seattle area. But out of the 4 neighborhoods I lived in, Greenwood is my favorite. Hold your breath! (maybe not for too long, just a little bit) I would love to give you a short review on Greenwood, tomorrow!

First, please let me show my love for.. BEER. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Naked City is AWESOME. Have you heard of the Humor Program yet? Comedy every third Sat. Are you coming? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hit me up!

Again, Naked City Brewery – Walrus Beer Garden for the Summer

So many cute and fun stores to look at on Greenwood Ave. 

More to come. Thx!!

JOIN YOUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION!

Tonight was our first night attending our local Real Estate Association event. If you are an real estate professional in the Puget Sound area or interested in working with other professionals in this area, I mean lawyer, accountant, adviser, investor, broker… no matter what hat you wear or how many you wear, YOU SHOULD JOIN – Real Estate Association of Puget Sound. 

It was a great great new member event, featuring Louis Brown! Tonight was only an introduction. I will be coming back again on Sat for a whole day training! I will write a few more blogs on what I learned (and will learn) from Lou over the weekend.

Besides Lou, I also met some of the most wonderful people in the room. Today we got to speak with Ms. Wendy Ceccherelli. To be honest, her blog was my inspiration – why don’t I write down the encounters I had while learning how to invest in real estate? I love her blogs and that’s why I started this one ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t believe I actually met her in person today!! Only when I got home and click on my RSS, I realize — OMG. I just talked to Wendy! IN PERSON!  Please consider this as my little fan fever.

Wendy is fabulous. I wanted to share with someone about the leads I have been getting these few days. Oh, did I mention I got new business cards for me and Brian? “If I close on a real estate transaction due to your referral, please let me know and I will send you a check for $500!” I did what Alan (remember our Rich Dad class?) told us to do, and have been distributing my cards since I got them yesterday. Can you imagine it? I have a few leads already! But now I have to think about the strategy, the analysis, how to change a lead to a real deal…

I believe: one shall only touch the wall to tell it’s hardness (let’s hope we use our hands, not our heads). I approached Wendy after the event. Let’s cut the chase, here is what I learned today. Ask people about their investment goal first, then tell them what you have. And a little revisit of what Alan taught us: you got the contract, you got the deal. Must must must remember to get a seller under contract before you present the opportunity as a “deal”!

I enjoy learning from experienced people, very very very much. Can’t wait for the day I am sharing with new investors who is standing where I am today! ๐Ÿ™‚

Talk to investors in your area. Enjoy!

Refreshing Kitchen Color Theme and Kitchen Remodeling Work-Book

I just can not resist this ocean blue!

This is, again, from Houzz.com. 
I have been learning so much from Houzz.com on many types of remodeling projects. Can’t wait to actually start my own remodeling! Of course I won’t have enough return on a $70,000 kitchen remodeling (until I buy a multi-million villa, huh?) but I think it is reasonable to paint the cabinets and change the faucet and sink, as well as backsplash, right?

Uh-oh.. there we go. Me setting crazy plans again.. Why don’t we take some time to review how to plan and execute a kitchen remodeling this time, and I will consolidate a few good blog posts about DIY refinish kitchen cabinets and backsplash next time? Ohhh, and counter top material as well ๐Ÿ™‚

Work-Book to Kitchen Remodeling

Often time, when I visit an open house or house show, the first thing I would love to change is the kitchen (followed by the bathroom, of course). I know it could be very costly when it comes to kitchen remodeling due to the functionality design, as well as plumbing, electric, and appliances. But when do you start? Here is an awesome blog post:
Some kitchen remodel considerations:
  • Are you remodeling your kitchen within the existing footprint?
  • Do you want to relocate the sink or range, which would mean moving the plumbing or gas lines?
  • Are you planning on opening up to another room and you aren’t sure if you have a load-bearing wall? This might require structural work and unforeseen costs.
  • With new construction, you might have already heard prices referred to as the cost per square foot, but this formula rarely works with remodeling. Every home has unique conditions due to age, construction type (masonry versus frame, for example) and layout.
  • Detailed pricing information up front will help you meet your budget. Where to start? Here are a few suggestions.
Budget, plan, find a good pro and work with them – there are much to learn! 

Custom Media Wall for less than $2,000!

This week: Frugal-tastic Media Wall $2,000!

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/12160998/thumbs/Basement-of-the-Week–Expanded-Living-Space-on-a-Budget

As a real estate newbie, I am always a little hesitant about the basement. It is dark, gloomy, enclosed… A custom media wall may cost you at lease $5,000 in addition to the overall remodeling of the area. Geez. Let’s just through a TV on a stand and call it a media corner!

Well, we have an cheaper alternative for you and it looks just as cute!

If you are interested in a tutorial, here is the designer’s website: http://www.no29design.com/2012/04/built-ins-part-one.html

See before and after here