Sunday January 1, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
Sleep in from around 6pm to 2pm. Upset at Galina from last night, and refusing to talk about it. I need some space.
Meet up with David Ga. at our favorite Denny’s to return his cell that he left at the party. We talk for a couple of hours about last night, 2005 performance, 2006 goals, life, faith, struggles, etc. We encourage each other and pray. Come back to apt. Talk w G about last night, and make peace.
I make and drink 2 cups of carrot juice to get the juicing goal started.
We go to my parents because G wants to talk to Margarita and Kristina. We snack and hang out with Steve and Kristina for a bit then all of us go pick up Jessy.
We go bowling at Crestview and get to interact with Jessy for more than just a few minutes. Come back to the house and hang some more.
Galina and I debate whether we should take a random trip out of town for her b day. She wants to do something special but I don’t feel like it. We end up taking Chris’ Jeep and going to South Lake Tahoe. No packing. No warm clothes. No problem.
Its about 11pm. Rain/wet snow. Chain control. We got 4×4. We keep going. We get into town.
Shop for hotel via Google SMS. Lakeside Inn wins. Our favorite cheap breakfast place / drink place from before. After some minor inconvenience with getting wrong bed count we get in to a room with a king. The inside is surprisingly nice - cabin style. We go to sleep around 2-3am.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 February 28, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
I woke up around 6:15am and got up to turn off the alarm and felt pretty very tired/sleep still since we only got 4 hours last night. I took my phone with me back to bed and set the alarm for 7:15 so I can catch another hour of sleep. I told G to turn off her alarm because she has a habit of snoozing it for a very long time, don’t get any sleep that way. Well I slept through my alarm at 7 and kept sleeping for a bit until I got a phone call from Diana the tenant buyer in Burdett property. She asked about some minor repairs that still needed to be fixed and gave me her fax number to fax the contracts over for her records. I didn’t get to do that today, I need to get back to her tomorrow on that and ask Peter to finish the fixes. I didn’t fax it because I have been trying to get the fax machine setup with Vonage all day. Back to the morning. I hangup with Diana and try to do figure out what i’m going to do. I hate waking up late because the whole morning is off. I do some juicing and try to do some work. Galina is upset because I didn’t wake her up after I got up and since I asked her to turn off her alarm she kept sleeping. We enjoy our juice on the couch for a bit. I take a shower reciting the first set of topical verses and do my cold water treatment. I have not missed it since I started doing these. Everytime I’m taking a shower since I have been turning on the cold water at the end for 30 seconds or so and back to warm, and sometimes just end with cold. Its always hard to do and takes some willpower. It gets a little bit easier but not by much. However, I always feel refreshed. Its overwhelming because I have lots of stuff that’s coming together all at once and there is stuff that I need to do to keep stuff going. I talk to Bill about Muncy loan and tell him to go for stated/stated since I’m having problems doing a VOD of my wells fargo account. Its a long process and I need to close. RC calls me to checkup on Muncy and I tell him that everything is smooth except for the VOD and we should be closing soon. Highland, UT property is coming along smoothly too according to Mark and should be closing by friday or monday too. I’m overwhelmed because I’m not sure what I will be doing with Sonora property in Albuquerque and Highland UT. My plan was to make a trip out there and to lease option them out real quick. However, I’m not sure if I should fly or drive and I’m not sure how much time it will take. It may take longer then a week. Or maybe I should use a property management company to take care of my lease optioning. Also if i’m going to do it myself I need to get the website going and put an ad in the local paper so that it will run this weekend. That way I can lease option it out right away. So much to do and so many decisions to make. Also i’m not sure if I should take Galina with me or not. Its going to be expensive to fly together, but driving it should not add much additional cost. The other factor is that I wanted to get away for a bit and enjoy some alone time. One side of me really wants that. Especially since my resolve from a week ago about taking some time apart. The other side of me wants to work together and work toward unity. Lately she has been working pretty good and starting to want to help out with the business. I can definitely use her and it would be great to have a husband-wife team. I’m torn. Lord please help me and guide me. Also there is the 2nd St foreclosure/sho
Saturday Analysing Deals April 15, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
Shopping in the Morning. Nothing spectacular. It nice to finally go though. We haven’t gone shopping in a while and our fridge has been empty for a couple of days — ever since we came back from Hawaii. Everybody is shopping at the same time as we are. Of course, it is Saturday morning and it is the day before Easter. I get some good organic food for juicing and eating for a couple of weeks and Galina gets stuff to make food for tomorrows family thing.
Look at RC’s deal on Westeria. Its a pretty good house in good part of Orangevale. I take a few pictures and notice the repairs needed. Then I go to parents house to lookup the comps. The original reason i go there is for Steve to fix my ignition problem. So I look at the comps but they are coming in about 20K lower then I was told. I call RC and tell him about it. I pass on the deal.
Look at open house. On the way back from Westeria I look at some open house. I notice it because of the multiple signs on the street advertising it. I have seen the signs before. They are unique — made out of plastic pipes. The signs also say “free list of homes for sale in the area”. I like the marketing so I go and talk to the agent about it. The agent there is not the listing agent. I guess that’s usually the case with open houses. Maybe not. The agent there is a buyer’s agent looking to find a buyer to work with that might comes through the door without an agent. I talk to him for a bit and at the quality of the remodeling job. He has some kind of House Buyer’s Club thing that’s supposed to be better/fresher info for the public then realtor.com. However, he wants me to signup for it and have him be my buyer’s agent for 120 days. I decline.
I see an agent advertising on a fence of a house on the way back. I’ve seen it before. Its an interesting place to advertise. First I would think its violating some kind of city code. And if its not, then its great advertising because its located on a busy street and its a big sign. I wonder if the owner of the house is the agent himself or if he allows people to advertise on his fence and how much. It would be nice to put up a big “We Buy Houses” sign there. I go and investigate and realize its not a house but a small baseball field. There are more signs on the inside of the fence for the same agent. I call the agent and leave a message. Interesting.
Steve fixes my car and changes the oil. I’m happy to have a brother who is a car mechanic. He has been improving in this area. It used to be that I was hesitant to have him fix stuff because a couple of times he didn’t do a great job. However, in the last couple of years I feel good about his ability. Of course I pay him but he gives me a good deal and I can trust him.
I look at the house for sale next door to parents house. Meet Mike and Larry - contractor/wann
I go back to the house and talk to Steve about doing a new salvage car. The Taurus is getting up in miles, almost 100,000 and I should sell it before it starts to really break down on me. Steve thinks I can only get like 2 grand for it. I don’t really want to deal with selling it. I think of going to CarMax and seeing how much money they would offer me. Then maybe I can have Steve find me a car on the auction and fix it for me so that its cheap yet quality.
I go home, Galina made some nice looking jello deserts for the party tomorrow. We go to sleep late.
Sunday Easter in West Sac April 16, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. 1 comment so far
A day of going to church in West Sacramento, and hanging out with Supruns, stopping by Mistuiks and Peter’s…
A pretty good Easter service at the Russian church in West Sacramento, celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Then lunch at Suprun’s, then we swing by Mistuiks, then I go to Peter Peychev’s house and talk to him about real estate.
Monday a Waste Mostly April 17, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
A day of waking up very late and not doing very much, except for meeting with dad, that’s good…
This has to be one of the laziest unproductive Mondays in a long time. By the time we got out of bed it was around 3pm. I’m have been feeling kind of unmotivated the whole day. Not sure where to start working. The apartment is a mess. Lots of loose ends with the business. Moving this weekend. Gotta plan the next move with the business. Etc.
The thing that kind of saved the day is that I met with my dad today at Fresh choice for dinner and we talked about marriage, relationships, God, etc. It was a good time and dad encouragement me in my struggles in marriage. I feel blessed being able to have a good relationships with dad that we can meet and talk honestly.
The only other thing is that G and I have been doing good today and she got some work done while I was out. Also I got to say hi to Rita and Steve at home. I realize I want to hang out more with my family and siblings and develop a relationships. I need to find a way to do that. I need to find a way to balance.
Tuesday Boxes But Not Packing April 18, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
A day of getting boxes from Walmart, doing some work, but not starting the packing yet…
For once in a few days we get up early, somewhat, at 7am or so. We go over to Walmart because they give out their used boxes to people who are willing to get up at the crack of dawn and go and pick them up. So we get the boxes but we don’t do any moving today. Instead we work on some business and Galina does lots of good work today. I feel good about that. She is really starting to get into it. We take a nap around 3 and end up sleeping longer then planned. I managed to cleanup the kitchen. The rest of the place is still a mess. We need to get packing because its already Tuesday and we need to be moving this Saturday. We’re also trying to decide between hiring movers or asking friends to help. The longer we wait the less time to ask people and actually get somebody. On Sunday there is David Lindahls apartment boot camp in San Francisco. So it would be nice to be all moved by then. So all this talk about moving and packing, now I’m getting really determined to get up tomorrow and work the whole day on that.
Wednesday Starting the Move April 19, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
We have some good food at Mongolian BBQ. Its good to see friends. I borrow my dad’s truck and go back to the apartment where Galina already started packing. I help her pack and we move our entire office that night to Yulia’s. We got home around 1am. I’m reminded how I hate moving because of all the manual labor involved. It seems like wasted effort to me. There is got to be a better way. Since we move so often we should be getting more efficient at it by now. We’re actually considering hiring movers this weekend instead of obligating friends and family to help us again.
Thursday Modesto and Bruce Norris April 20, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
We go to Modesto to look at the stuff that Joel did on the Muncy property. Its funny because the whole time I thought he was the other contractor (Tom). So when he walked in I couldn’t figure out what was going on for a second. Its just he is more expensive then the other guy I wanted to use.
The job was done pretty much in line with what I wanted, so its good anyway. This was supposed to be just a quick half-rehab and then decide on what to do next. Either continue to the full rehab and retail or just try to sell it as is. In order to improve the initial curb appeal I had him replace the garage and front doors, fix the living room ceiling, clean up the trash and try
to clean up the pool/spa water. The pool is better but is still cloudy. The spa bottom is dirty. He says its stained by the leaves that were there. I pay him and he goes on his way. We think about it for a bit.
I feel overwhelmed by all this work and having to figure out how much money and effort we will need to sink into this thing. California market is reversing and I need to sell this thing quickly. Galina and I get into a little bit of a conflict on the way back because I’m kind of taking some of my frustration on her. That’s not fair to her though. So I need to stop. Part of me also wants her to take this job on so I don’t have to deal with it. She’s not ready for that yet. But she is willing to do this kind of stuff in the future so that makes me feel good.
We also get a tip from Joel about some other investor who has property he may want to sell as is. After picking up some food at Olive Garden we swing by the property. I talk to the investor on the phone and get the numbers. Its 6 units on one lot - 3 houses and one triplex. After looking at the rough numbers and the neighborhood I decide not to touch it.
We drive back through some traffic and come home. I am feeling sleepy and want to take a nap but Galina wants to go to Home Depot to look at some materials and prices. I don’t want to at first but then agree to go. Once there it was good. I look at some of the stuff that we talked about when getting contractor’s bids. Knowing the prices and the possibilities is a good thing. It opened up my mind a little as to what I can do when remodeling. A lot of stuff is easier then I though. For example instead of tiling the shower walls I can buy a whole shower box and just drop it in. Same with other things like ready-made cabinets, counters, etc. No reason to go custom and pay the big bucks. So it was educational.
After that I take a nap and go to Norcal REIA to see Bruce Norris. Since I’m doing the California Investor Series with Bruce the stuff he was talking about was review to me. Still I took some good notes and thought about some things I need to start doing to get ready for the “California Crash” that’s going to happen. If I get my act together this will be one of the best times to pickup good deals for pennies on the dollar. I need to get talking to REO agents and get my hard money lined up. That’s basically the strategy.
The networking was good tonight. Got to talk to Stephany from the Norris group, Zack, RC and Dorthy. I met some other people too. I need to implement some kind of a follow up system.
Friday Cable Guy and Not Packing April 21, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
We spend the first part of the day at Yulia’s place (our new place) waiting for cable guy to show up. I work on ripping the NIV Bible on CD onto my computer, finally got a chance to start on it. Its a big task and I think I will write an article on how to do that in the future. Galina plays with Yulia’s cat with a laser pointer. The cat takes a dump and smells up the whole place. Not fun.
The cable guy comes and connection the internet. I take care of business via phone and laptop. Galina takes a nap. While she’s napping I talk to Dorthy and propose the idea of her helping me work the leads. I also sign for the Cracking the Millioner Code 3-day seminar next weekend as Dorthy’s guest, ‘cuz its free. I talk with Galina later and she thinks both of these things are not a good idea. She makes some valid points, though I resist her opinion at first.
Also, one of the leads was a wholesaler (via a realtor) who has a great deal in Dallas area, Texas. I talk to him and want to jumps on this deal but he already has a buyer. On monday I will find out if the buyer backed out. I called around to see where I can get some hard money or private money. Uncles don’t have that kind of money and my hard money connection is non existant at this point. I really need to get some cash lined up to take advantage of such deals.
Later at night we go to my parents’ place and have some food and tea and go to the apartment kind of late. Galina is upset at me because I spent the whole day and we didn’t pack for tomorrow. Tomorrow was supposed to be the moving day. I agree with her. I have been very lazy / passive about the whole moving thing. I really don’t like moving. So its now a mess because we don’t have any movers or friends lined up to help us move tomorrow.
I make a quick call to Brian the guy who did the hauling job for me on Burdett property. I asked him if he can come out and help us move tomorrow morning. He said he’ll get back to me. We go to bed. I really need some of this sleep since I only got like 2-3 hours last night.
Saturday Moving Day April 22, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
We wake up and Max and Lamine, the movers, call me in the morning while I’m still sleeping. They want to know when to come. There must have been some miscommunicatio
The movers are supposed to come at 1pm. Galina and I need to get our butts out of bed and pack everything up before then.
Its 8am or so. Galina is a hard worker so she jumps out of bed right away and starts packing. I’m being lazy and I lay in bed for a bit longer and she gets upset at me. She has every right to. I’ve been lazy and passive for this entire move while she has been working hard. So I kick myself in the butt (yes its possible) and get going.
We pack and pack. The movers come late because they are confused about directions. That’s good because we have a little extra time. By the time they get here we’re mostly done with packing. They bring a moving truck that looks just like the one you rent from U-Haul. A 17 foot one I think.
The movers are from some French-speaking
The move goes pretty good and we pack the truck up tight. Pretty much everything fit. I also borrowed the pickup truck from my dad to carry extra stuff.
The movers’ truck has a flat tire so we go and fill up some air on our time while we’re paying them hourly. Not a good thing. I wonder if they do this kind of thing on purpose to get more money. Probably not. I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they didn’t know about it. Still, that’s something a professional mover should notice before going on the job. You would think.
OK OK. I will not complain so much. They are nice guys. And they say they don’t charge very much, just $75/hour flat for 2 people. Nothing extra for truck or driving time/miles.
The only other company we shopped was “Starving Students”. Starving Students wanted a little more per hour and charge double while driving. But maybe they are a little more professional and careful. Will have to shop around more next time.
When we get to Yulia’s place in West Sac we get some extra help. Galina’s dad comes out to help and Yulia does too. The move goes quicker. The monster desk was a challenge back in the apartments and is even bigger hassle here. It takes 4 of us this time to get it up the narrow stairs and into the bedroom.
We pay the movers for 5 hours of work and let them go. This is the first time we use hired help. Even though we would have preferred better quality movers I still enjoyed having them. It was convenient not having to rent the truck. Also I didn’t want to bother friends and family last minute. We have been moving a lot lately too - on overage once every six months for the past three years! I feel like friends and family may do it out of obligation with resentment. I sure don’t always enjoy helping people move. I have thought of writing an article about it.
I swing by the Peychev’s get together where my dad is. I give him back the truck and go to Suprun’s place where we have some food. Then back to Yulia’s. I’ll start calling this “home” from now on. Galina goes to sleep right away. She is smart because tomorrow we need to get up at 4am to get to San Francisco by 8am and go to the Apartment seminar. Its 12:45am and I need to get my butt into bed now. As soon as I finish this post.
Sunday David Lindahl Seminar April 23, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
Wake up early and go to San Francisco to attend David Lindahl’s bonus worshop on apartment investing. It came free with the study-at-home course I bought of his back at the Real Estate Annex in San Francisco. The thing ended up being mostly education and some selling of his 3-day bootcamp. Can’t get away from having stuff sold to you at every one of these things. That’s natural. I don’t mind, as long as they don’t go over board and still provide quality education. I did sign up for the 3-day course. I’m a sucker for some of these things. I have been signup up and buying lots of education lately. Its all good though because I will learn the stuff and actually apply it and be successful at it.
During the seminar one of the Learning Annex guys offered me a “good deal” on a loft in SF, South of Market area. I talked to him and his broker friend afterwards but realized that its not much of a deal for me. I can’t easily resell it at their asking price and I will not be able to cashflow it at all. Yes I can try to offer a lower price and try to haggle a bit but I decided not to bother right now. I need to stay focused. It was a good experience to analyze the deal and meet the “slick” broker nevertheless. His marketing materials were really nice. He is a young guy too. Its good to see young people in the real estate business.
We go home afterwards and visit some of Galina’s family and call it a day.
Monday A Little Organizing April 24, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
A day of doing a little bit of organizing around the new place. After I finally getup I do some work on getting the office and electronic systems in shape. A lazy unmotivated day for me. I need to give myself a kick-in-tha-but
Tuesday Phone Calls and Errands April 25, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
A day of trying to track down some financing for the deal that came up in Dallas Texas from a wholesaler. That takes many different phone calls to the loan people - mortgage brokers and hard money lenders.
I also run some errands - pickup mail where I get my mini-SD memory cards so I can now turn my PDA/phone into an MP3 player, take care of the Guadalajara well paperwork, send Myles some deposit money for the Texas deal, stop by the old apartment to pickup the last of the stuff, and stop by and pay Brian for his hauling job. I also talk to some different people today - friends David Ga. and Brad catching up on stuff, Sherry about land development syndication in Texas, RV sellers trying to get a descent cheap one to drive around Texas, and other investors.
One phone call in particular was not so pleasant. I talk to Tennis who is an investor/loan officer I met through Whitney courses. I call him to catchup and he complains that I don’t use him for loans. He is upset that he has been giving me free information and referrals and I’m not returning the favor. I guess that info came with strings attached, heh? He got pretty upset and hung up on me. I couldn’t believe it. So unreasonable. Now for sure I’m not going to use him. I got kind of worked up by it at first and wanted to call him and tell him how I felt but then decided to let it slide and move on
Tuesday Muncy Bid, Dallas and Organize April 26, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
We decided to finish the rehab on Muncy. So we meet with Tom and his wife Hidi at the property this morning to have him re-bid the rehab work. We liked Tom the best last time we did the bidding. This time Galina is handling the process and she made a big detailed list for him to go over and fill-in the amounts. This way we’re getting a more precise bid which should result in fewer surprises down the road.
I’m happy Galina is taking charge of this. I think she will be really good at it. She has great attention to detail and makes a good manager. She can use a little work on being more extroverted and outgoing but that’s really her only challenge beside the lack of experience/know
Afterward we go home. Galina takes a nap and I work on trying to do the Angleridge property in Dallas. Mark found me a really good hard-money lender that may be able to close by next week. However, the lender wants to do their own appraisal and inspection which I have to pay for upfront. Also they want a contractor’s bid to be submitted to the appraiser for them to calculate their numbers and After Repair Value. The good news is that the lender is quick and they can do upto 70% ARV. They do charge 5 points with 14% interest and 3 month prepay. That’s what makes it “hard” money I guess.
I gave them the lender the info they needed to get started and I will be hearing from the appraiser and inspector tomorrow. I need to get a rehab bid as soon as possible tomorrow morning.
I don’t really like all the work that’s going into this deal, specially since the margin is not as big as I thought. However, I want to make a good impression on the wholesaler and lender so that I can use them again. By doing this deal and coming through I will build a good reputation and be able to do more deals better and faster. This gives me a way into the market in Dallas.
I join Galina for a quick nap. We wake up and get the fax back from Tom and Hidi. Galina calls them back to double check some of the numbers. The bid is in line with our budget so Galina is going to meet with them tomorrow sign some kind of paperwork and get them started.
The rest of the day, I continue to organize the office, taking a trip to Fry’s to pickup some stuff: 1) a CD case for organizing all the training audio/computer/
Should I go on? May 8, 2006
Posted by sercasey in uncategorized. 1 comment so far
I have not skipped a day in the journal for this entire year but about a week ago I stopped caring about it. I stopped posting and let several days go by. With every day that passes the discipline and motivation is getting weaker. I want to keep doing this but i’m not sure why. What benefit is there?
1. caleb dunlap - June 14, 2006
of course u should. please? ~Caleb
Sunday July 17, 2006Posted by sercasey in daily journal. add a comment
Lot has happened since the last entry. I took a break for about a week from blogging and then decided to continue writing a short recap of each day on my pda saving it in the drafts. I kept at it for the entire time not skipping a day up until today. Then in my attempt to backup all the messages I accidentally deleted them! I felt really bad and became very irritated and was snapping at Galina for no good reason.
I spent several hours trying to figure out what to do about blogging and stuff. I looked at the old Blogger blog but decided to stick with this one because it already has a lot of posts and comments. I’m still very upset that the last several months have been erased. I hope to review it from memory in the next couple of days. I also want to get into a habit of daily writing like I have been on the PDA for the last couple of months. Its too bad Wordpress doesn’t support post-by-email like Blogger. It would have been nice to just post straight from PDA before going to bed. They will probably have a feature for it pretty soon. Going on my laptop every night will be a good habit to develop anyway because I could also upload pictures and update Money along with blogging. So now its 3:25AM Monday and I need to get going. But first a quick recap of Sunday.
We drove from Hollywood to San Diego and checked into a hotel. In Hollywood we attended David Lindahl’s seminar on apartments for 4 days. This week we’re going to go to Kris Kirshner’s seminar on buying and selling houses efficiently.Its
I feel so irritated by the fact that I’m up so late and and that all those records were deleted from the PDA. I must learn from this to backup my posts. I also don’t like using the computer again to write these posts. Using the PDA seemed easier and the posts ended up being very short and concise. I will give it some more thought. Lord please help me figure out a way to do this journal.