A Passion for Learning, and the heart of a teacher
I’ve always had a passion for learning, and helping others in their own endeavors to learn. I love that moment when I see the light click on when the person understands something that was confusing before. I spent 20 years teaching Information Technology classes in the Silicone Valley for corporate employers like NEC, Hewlett Packard, and Stanford. Because I never felt comfortable teaching something I didn’t also do outside of the classroom, I immersed myself in projects to gain real world experience.
In 2003, I became interested residential real estate. Simultaneously, I began to wonder about teaching real estate investing.
There was just one problem.
I was completely unqualified. I had no experience other than my own personal home.
My own financial crisis
My timing couldn’t have been worse. It was the early 2000’s and everyone seemed to be real estate geniuses. And my own personal home’s value had done nothing but increase. I bought my first investment real estate purchase during this euphoria. And then came the Great Recession of 2008. My rental property’s value dropped to less than one half of what I paid. It was painful.
I owned a house that I didn’t want anymore.
Worse, I couldn’t sell it.
Fast forward several years. I’ve learned a lot of lessons I wish I had known when I first got started. I didn’t stop investing in real estate. And I’ve never lost my heart for teaching and continue try to pass along what I’ve learned.
Have you ever owned a house you didn’t want anymore?
Obviously, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have a property that you don’t want anymore, and you need to get out from under. Your situation may not be the same as mine. But when I talk with homeowners, they often share feelings that I can identify with. I can relate because I know what it’s like to need to sell a house you don’t want anymore.
I’ve had the good fortune of helping people solving their real estate headaches. I’ve been able to help newlyweds sell one home, so that they could move into another home. One homeowner had the opportunity of a lifetime to buy his dream home, but needed to sell his existing home quickly in order to buy his dream home. And then there are the landlords who have rented out their former homes to family, or tenants and had them destroyed by their tenants or ruin family relationships.
These owners aren’t looking for the traditional, long, drawn out real estate transaction. They’re looking for an easy solution to quickly solve an immediate problem. Sometimes, I can help them solve their problems without their having to sell their homes.
You see, I don’t have to buy every home to help people. I simply love helping people, and giving them the information they need to solve their real estate problems. That’s why I created the rental property evaluation calculator. I wanted to help people evaluate if their rental property was a good investment.
And very often in the process, we become more than buyers and sellers of a house, we become friends.
Robert’s in the news again
|Robert discusses whether refinancing into a 15 year mortgage makes sense or whether it’s better to just make extra principal payments. If you have less than 18 years left on your mortgage, it will be cheaper to just make extra payments than to pay the refinancing fees.|
|This article discusses several real estate agents discuss ways to get your house off of the market faster. Robert suggests that home sellers professionally stage their home and use professional photographers for pictures.|
|Robert’s article on the best places to live in Sacramento is cited.|
|When home owners want to improve their home, they often add square footage with room additions. Robert reminds people to make sure their additions make sense. It’s way too easy to turn your house into the Winchester Mystery House instead of the Taj Majal.|
|When looking for a real estate agent, Robert suggests you look for one who is going to protect you legally from lawsuits and small claims court.|
|Robert discusses four rules house flippers should never break. Never ignore your numbers – stick to your budget. When shopping for a house to flip, you’ll see some crazy floor plans. Remember, you can’t fix stupid. Never forget that location is everything. Lastly, always have a contingency fund.|
|Robert shares some of his early mistakes in home flipping and how he lost $90,000 in cash on his first investment. He reminds landlords that cash flow is always king and to not assume property values will keep going up. Seems like common sense now.|
|Robert answers the question, “What should you ask your landlord” when moving in.|
|Robert identifies four common DIY mistakes he encounters with remodeling homes. He addresses the need to make electrical connections in boxes that can be accessed, using the proper pipe under sinks, using galvanized nails on the exterior of your home, and evaluating your own expertise before starting a DIY task.|
|Robert reminds people that price per foot is just a tool, but should not be relied upon, and is rarely accurate for pricing your home. He explains that the price per foot increases as homes get smaller, and decreases as the square footage get larger.|
|Did you know that your real estate agent can receive extra money for having you write a full price offer? Robert discusses a common financial incentive that seller’s agents use to entice your agent to only write full price offers.|
|There’s a common assumption that adding a pool to your home will increase it’s value. Robert says that’s not always the case. “If you live in a typical community where some houses have pools but most do not, having a pool built will probably not have any impact on the value of your home,”|
|Robert contributes to this list of 40 signs that there’s something wrong with your house..|
|The article from Yahoo Finance including Robert’s four house flipping rules you should never ignore is syndicated to Go Banking Rates.|
|Robert discusses seller net sheets, provided by your title office to help you understand how much money you will receive when you sell your home.|
|Robert emphasizes the importance of first impressions when listing your home on the Internet and the value of using a professional photographer.|
|There are several things that first time home buyers may not think about when buying their new home – like when you buy a house, you also buy your neighborhood. Robert gives some suggestions for checking out your neighborhood before buying.|
|Robert discusses the current COVID-19 pandemic and why landlords might consider selling their rental properties.|
What some of our clients are saying
“I was near the end of my rope! Having lost my job and struggling to make house payments, I was getting nowhere… I was depleting all my savings trying to keep up. When I called Robert, he was confident and reassuring and took care of all the details… Now I can get on with my life! I have peace of mind… Robert was helpful, friendly, took time to answer all my questions, and took care of me and my home respectfully.” – Barry P.
“I want to THANK YOU for your prompt response and the painless process that you setup for us. I can testify to the great service that we received from you (I hope you don’t mind that I now do consider you as a personal friend, for that’s how you made me feel).” – Joe Ramos