Question of the week

6a00d8345200d669e2017d3c4bb6eb970c-800wiI am going to answer a question about a topic I rarely write about….real estate. 

I know you've been involved with a
few construction projects over the years. Let's talk about real estate,
real estate development (as a biz), and real estate development (for
personal property)

I love real estate.  Owning a piece of property for personal use or even an investment can be a great place to park your cash if of course the location is right, the price is right and you are thinking long term.  At least that is our strategy.

My first "aha" moment with real estate happened many years ago.  A friend of ours owned a strip mall in Kansas City that was bequeathed to both him and his sister from their Grandparents.  Skipping a generation with a gift is a benefit for tax purposes.  Not sure what it is but I am pretty sure there is a benefit and perhaps that does not exist anymore but at one time it did.  Regardless, every ten years, him and his sister would take out a new mortgage on the property.  The property was completely rented out so they were receiving monthly revenues from this investment.  By pulling money out of the property with a new mortgage every ten years, they were able to pull out a significant amount of cash to split and the revenues coming from the property paid the mortgage back and then some.  In essence, the property was a constant source of income with a size-able kick every ten years.  I thought it was brilliant. It was one of the moments where I said…note to self, buy real estate.

When we first got married, we bought our first apartment.  We have purchased several pieces of property since.  We like owning things that we can touch.  More than likely over the next couple of years we will begin to buy more property for investment purposes that can generate revenue and go up in value over the years to come. 

I also enjoy the project.  The creative aspect of building something for personal use that I want our family to live in is rewarding.  I like making decisions every day.  I am good at seeing the vision.  I know for many it is incredibly stressful to go through a process like that but I enjoy it.  The key is really having a good group of people around you that you trust from the architect, designer and builder.  One thing to keep in mind is every project takes a life on of its own.  I don't care if you have done it ten times, the eleventh time is different.  There are always mistakes, it never comes out exactly perfect but it generally comes out pretty damn good.