Rule #1: Cash is Not King

There is much talk about how cash is king.  Cash is king when you can’t pay your bills.  Cash is king if you’re starving and need a hot dog.  It is king when you have liquidity problems. Cash rules when you can’t meet your financial commitments. The truth is you only want to keep enough cash on hand to meet your obligations – mortgage, ongoing expenses, and a buffer for unforeseen costs.  Having all your assets denominated in cash for long periods is one of the worst things you can do. Especially, with the budget and trade deficits [...]

By |2018-12-13T08:34:24+00:00May 19th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Bellevue Real Estate Barron’s Secret to Success

Yesterday I went to a luncheon sponsored by Liberty Road Foundation a local nonprofit in Washington that partners with businesses in Northwest.  Kemper Freeman was the speaker of the day.  To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations, as I didn’t know what to expect.  I ended up really enjoying it and learned a gold nugget I thought worth sharing. For those who live in the Northwest but haven’t heard of Kemper Freeman, you’ve probably “partnered” with him by visiting Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place (aka The Bellevue Collection).  Just eat at The Cheesecake Factory or [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:51:57+00:00May 13th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Berkshire Annual Meeting 2010

The Breakfast of Giants Vanilla and chocolate - the perfect recipe for a better investor. It’s 8am Saturday morning, the day of Berkshire’s 2010 Annual Meeting.  As my wife and I walk up to the entrance at Qwest, shareholders pass us eating Dilly Bars.  Remind you, it’s 8 o’clock in the morning and 50 degrees out!  How many sixty year olds eat that for breakfast?  We thought to ourselves, what a peculiar thing. Dilly Bars are what’s for order.  Just ask Bill Gates.  My wife and I got a chance to say hi to him as [...]

By |2018-12-13T08:33:21+00:00May 5th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Warren’s Annual Recital 2010

Warren's Annual Recital As you probably know, I have a deep respect for Warren Buffett.  Not just because he’s one of the wealthiest men alive or that he gave all his wealth to society, but because he’s such a great example and teacher. When asked, “Why do you teach people the principals of your investing strategy when it basically educates your competition?” Warren responds, “I was freely taught by Benjamin Graham and believe I should do the same.” I feel in many ways that is the spirit of this blog - to teach and to educate.  Saint Matthew [...]

By |2018-12-13T08:33:54+00:00April 29th, 2010|Uncategorized|

The Zen of Getting Homeowners Insurance 3 Steps. The HO-3 and HO-6 policies. If you said “Huh?” you’re in good company. Whether you plan to buy homeowners insurance or already have a policy, you likely fall into either of these two buckets.  The HO-3 (or Homeowners-3) is commonly known as “basic” homeowners insurance and HO-6 (or Homeowners-6) is commonly known as the “basic” condo insurance for the unit owner. But what is basic? If you purchased your home and purchased a policy, this will be review.  If you haven’t, this will be a quick guide to finding the right homeowners insurance, hassle free. [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:52:18+00:00April 15th, 2010|Uncategorized|

6 Ways to Lower Your Mortgage Payment and Stay in Your Home

You can run, but you can’t hide. You signed on the dotted line.  Now every month it comes to get you. Your mortgage. It hits you every month.  For some people, paying the mortgage isn’t a second thought.  For others, it’s a daily challenge.  Whether the economy blazes or struggles, the average American spends a large percentage of their paycheck on their mortgage – often times, more than half of the take home. Fortunately, in the world where short sales account one out of five homes sold and foreclosures account for one in 136 homes in the U.S., [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:52:56+00:00April 9th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Three Pillars of Real Estate Tax You Should Know

The US Government subsidizes real estate in the tune of trillions of dollars (that’s right, trillions). Taxpayers Uncle Sam subsidizes real estate by backing and guaranteeing mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  According to the Wall Street Journal, nine out of ten residential mortgages currently originated in 2010 are backed by the government. How does this benefit you? You get lower interest rates.  The Government's purchasing spree has pushed down and kept interest rates low for quite some time. What's another subsidy you can take advantage of? Tax breaks for homeowners. As a homeowner (or potential one), [...]

By |2018-12-13T08:30:01+00:00April 2nd, 2010|Uncategorized|

5 Myths You Need to Know Before You Buy Short Sales

Short sales.  Buy pennies on the dollar.   Instant equity. A lender's loss is your gain. A couple years ago, your pocketbook could only afford you a modest house with three bedrooms, now with the same pocketbook, it appears can afford a mansion with five. Before you get your hopes up and your heart set on getting your dream house for 50 percent off, remember that short sales typically have a 30% success rate.  Sellers change their mind, buyers walk from the deal, or banks disapprove of terms. So before you put in an offer, arm yourself with information [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:53:18+00:00March 25th, 2010|Uncategorized|

How to Prevent Mold from Destroying Your Home

Your home is your biggest asset.  Many things can destroy your asset - termites, a fallen tree, three wild rambunctious five-year-olds, you name it. If you are an Office fan, I’m sure you just saw the most recent episode of Jim and Pam having a baby!  On the way to the hospital, Pam asks Dwight Schrute to pick up an iPod from her home, but made it very clear to only touch the iPod.  While searching for the iPod, Dwight finds mold in their kitchen and feels he must eradicate the deathly mold from the premises.  [...]

By |2018-11-10T22:33:50+00:00March 11th, 2010|Uncategorized|

9 Lies Realtors Like to Tell

In the interest of full-disclosure, I am a real estate agent. While this may make my profession look bad, I believe that consumers need to be educated.  Please remember, not all agents are liars.  There are some that conduct themselves with integrity and look out for their client's best interest.  Enjoy. 1. "Once in a lifetime opportunity!" - sometimes an agent will tell you this is the "once" in a lifetime opportunity.  If the agents are out of the field and looking at homes constantly, opportunities happen on a monthly basis.  When the agent tells you this and [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:54:09+00:00February 25th, 2010|Uncategorized|
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