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Why do the rich keep getting richer? Most of the time, it’s not because of luck. It’s not because of the family they were born into. It’s not because they won the lottery.

Wealthy people simply do things differently.

It may not seem fair, but the fact is the “income gap” is increasing and most financial expertsonly see this trend continuing with no end in sight.

In preparation for this column, I sat down with someone who knows far more wealthy people than I will likely ever meet: Jeff Rose. Rose is a certified financial planner, author and blogger at, as well as a millionaire himself, who dedicates a good portion of his time to helping people become, and stay, wealthy.

I asked Rose why he thought the income gap was growing. He mentioned five primary things that wealthy people simply do differently than the rest of the world. Here are those five, in no particular order.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Fixer-Upper Property


Remember that high school movie where the homely girl was transformed into the beautiful prom queen when she removed her glasses and put on some makeup?

(Yeah… me neither. I was watching Die Hard.)

The point is this: Human nature loves to see transformations. We love to see the before and after and marvel at what it must have taken to get from A to B. Just tune into any episode on HGTV to see what I’m talking about.

For this reason, people love to buy fixer-uppers. But is this always a good idea when investing in real estate? Should you invest in a fixer-upper when getting into rental properties? Let’s find out.

What Is a Fixer-Upper?

First, let’s all get on the same page as to what I’m even talking about when I use the term “fixer-upper.”

A fixer upper is a home that needs either minor or significant rehabilitation before it can be used for its intended purpose. This could refer to both a “house flip” or a “rental property,” but I’m mostly going to focus on the rental side. The repairs a fixer-upper can need range from light cosmetic work, such as fresh paint or new carpet, to more intensive renovations, such as a new roof, foundation, plumbing, or electrical.

I actually love investing in fixer-uppers. In fact, I’ve never purchased a property that didn’t require some level of rehab to get it to a rentable condition.

For me, it has just made sense.

On the 44th episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, Michael Woodward tells a story about taking his kids to look at potential houses to buy. Michael mentions that when they walk into a house with an absolutely terrible odor, he turns and asks his kids, “Boys, what does that smell like?” In unison, they shout, “Money!”

What this cute story represents is often the truth with fixer-uppers: There can be money in the mending, riches in the restoration, freedom in the fixing!

At the same time, fixer-uppers do carry a large degree of risk and can turn your investment into a money pit. So let’s examine both the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)


(A special thanks to Keystone CPA for their help in making sure the information below is as correct as possible!) 

Taxes suck, don’t they?

Sure, they pay for our roads, our schools, our bank bailouts, and our welfare system… but they are kind of the pits.

But what if I told you there was a way to make them suck a little less?

Enter: The 1031 Exchange. To a lifelong real estate investor, this little trick might completely revolutionize your business and help you save on taxes AND build significantly more wealth. This post will be your road map to make this happen.

What is a 1031 Exchange?

If you decide to sell a rental property at some point, you will need to pay taxes on that gain.


Now, this might not be a big deal if you are a terrible investor or have had some bad luck and you don’t have any financial gain. But hopefully you are a smart real estate investor. You read BiggerPockets, after all. You aren’t going to make some measly profit or sell at a loss. You are going to rock this game and make some serious moolah when you sell! In short, you are going to have so much cash that you’ll need to get yourself some bigger pockets. (See what I did there!?)

But then Uncle Sam is gonna come a-knockin’ for his piece of the pie. And trust me, he’s got quite an appetite.

Don’t fret, though! I’ve got some good news: The IRS wants to partner with you on that money by allowing you to do a 1031 exchange.

Seriously? Partner? With the IRS? 

Yep. Through a 1031 exchange.

A 1031 exchange (pronounced “ten thirty-one exchange” if you are cool like me), is a tax strategy so named because of its inclusion in Section 1031 of the IRS tax code. It also commonly known as a “Starker exchange” or a “Like Kind exchange.” In essence, a 1031 exchange allows an investor to “defer” paying any property taxes on the property when it is sold, as long as another “like-kind” asset is purchased using the profit received. We’ll talk about exactly what that means in just a moment, but let’s cover the big picture first.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

 The Rookie Landlording Mistake Most New Investors Make

So, you just bought a rental house or small multifamily property. Congratulations!

Now what?

Well, you need to probably fill that vacant unit with a nice family who is going to pay top dollar on time each month, never complain unnecessarily, and treat your property with respect.

***Special Note: If you are interested in more time-saving tips for new real estate investors, don’t miss this week’s free Webinar, “How to Invest in Real Estate While Working a Full-Time Job” here on BiggerPockets! Okay, back to your regularly scheduled blog post!***

So you place an ad on Craigslist, Zillow, or in the newspaper, or maybe you put up a sign in the yard. Quickly you begin receiving phone calls, and they typically look like this:

Landlord: Hello? 

Prospect: Hi, I’m calling about your property at 123 Main Street.

Landlord: Yes, it’s still available. 

Prospect: Great! Can I schedule a time to see it? 

Landlord: Sure thing. How does tomorrow at 6 p.m. work for you?

Prospect: That would be great. I’ll see you then! 

Landlord: Sounds good. Bye. 

Did you notice the rookie mistake in the conversation above? Here’s what it is:

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

 What to Do When Vacating Tenants Owe More Money Than Their Deposit Will Cover

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming title “The Book on Landlording” that I and BiggerPockets will be releasing soon… stay tuned for an official announcement in the next several months!


My first thought was: there is a dead body in this refrigerator.

Of course, upon closer inspection there was no dead body, just rotting food, garbage, and other unknown objects. The smell was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

I don’t make it a habit to inspect rental properties myself anymore, as I have built systems to handle that, but I happened to be in this part of town a few hours after a tenant packed up and left, so my wife and I thought we would swing by and see how the property looked.

I wish I hadn’t.

The unit was left with garbage covering nearly every square inch of the floor, holes in the walls, doors missing, crayon on nearly every surface and that smell that permeated every cubic foot of space. All in all, it took nearly $4,000 to get the unit fixed up and ready to re-rent, including the costs of lost rent.

Luckily, when the tenant moved in, we had collected a double security deposit due to a minor red flag when performing her tenant screening. But as any third-grader can tell you, having a deposit for $1,000 and a bill for $4,000 means one thing: we were in the hole $3,000.

So what now?

I wanted to write this post because this is not an uncommon occurrence, especially among low-income tenants.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

4 Tips for Workaholic Entrepreneurs to Avoid a Crumbling Marriage

I wrote this article originally for, and they’ve graciously allowed us to repost it here. Enjoy! Also, be sure to sign up for this week’s Webinar here on BiggerPockets! Click here to learn what this week’s live show is all about! And now, let’s get to the post.

I’m recently took a six-week road trip around the U.S. with my wife, and I’ve had the same question asked multiple times on this trip:

How do you spend that much time with each other without killing one another?

Simple: We’ve worked hard at creating an incredibly strong marriage that can withhold a lot more than six weeks in a Prius!

In a similar way, we’ve also worked hard at creating a marriage that can withstand, and benefit from, my obsession with entrepreneurship. The following are four tips that I’ve used to make sure my marriage stays solid while my business grows.

1. Get Your Priorities in Order.

Businesses will come and go, and I’ll fail at some, succeed at others. But my wife is here for life, so my priority will always be her above all else.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)