Author Archive

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.” ~  Dave Barry

Life360 is an app I can’t imagine life without. I have a 16 year old driver in my family and it gives me some peace of mind knowing I can keep tabs on his miles per hour, hard breaks, even his phone useage. It will even contact me in the event of an emergency like an accident or a break down. I believe this is a must have app for any new driver.

You can do more than just spy on your kid with this app. It’s a nice closed circle where you can view the real time location of friends or family members on a private map. There are many other options to use the app. For example, you can receive real time alerts when friends or family arrive or leave home, work, and school. It’s nice if you have younger kids and you don’t want them on social media, but you can still have that experience of sharing photos and text messages with our secure, private chat. You can easily add or delete people from your ‘circle’ and see past location history for your Circle. There is also a Crash Detection service that will contact the parent or guardian. The most impressive thing is that you can track a lost or stolen phone.  Read More→

“I did surveillance a lot, which sounds exciting, but it never was.” ~ Miranda Lambert

The Arlo Camera System is a favorite alternative to the Ring alarm system. It’s very easy to install since it takes literally 60 seconds to set up. It is a wireless system that can be synced up with your smartphone. If you have Alexa by Amazon, this can easily integrate into your existing Samsung family of appliances.

The pros of this system start with the ease of installation. The base plug looks similar to a router, so it is a familiar input, then turn it on. Place the batteries in the case and press the ‘sync’ button. That’s it.

The interface is very user-friendly too, I set up multiple cameras on a property and it was simple to rename cameras based on their location, like ‘garage’ or ‘back door’ and so on. From the app or the desktop website, you can relabel cameras, give preference like which camera is a priority first, adjust the motion sensor and record length once the sensor is tripped. The best thing, in my opinion, is that the camera will record once you open your notification, and it will record as long as you are watching the camera in real time. You can preset time lengths to record or do it manually from your mobile device. There are options for membership features, but the free subscription allows for 1GB of online storage and continuous weekly storage. Therefore, if in that seven-day span you have videos saved, the eighth day will delete the first video on the first day of that time span. This should be fine for most because it gives you the opportunity to select and save videos to a device or PC before the week resets.  Read More→

“HD doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s a technical thing. It’s like demographics. A lot of people know about it.” ~ Craig Ferguson

When we talk about demographic data it is hard to grasp. The US Census information is available for free online, but it is hard to gain anything meaningful from that. The common person isn’t apt at reading through that information, and the way the US Government organizes those numbers isn’t easily absorbed.

Demographix is a very niche app. It is a well organized database that has used the US Census information from 2010. This is not for everyone, but working in different areas I find myself needing access to information fast. Ok Google or Siri doesn’t always answer my questions on the spot. It can take time to work out the details about the population of an area I’m trying to buy or sell a home in. Demographix is neatly organized and at a glance I can look through a clean user interface.  Read More→

“My system for staying young is to work a lot, to always have a project on the go.” ~ Carlos Fuentes

Before insurance companies started offering plug in cameras designed to improve your driving and lower your rates there was already an industry standard port. The ODB-II port is existing technology standard in most every car produced after 1996. Automatic uses this existing port, at first it would connect to a bluetooth device and was only good for reducing your gas waste habits. Hard stops and other things would be flagged and brought to your attention. The second iteration of Automatic Pro adds GPS to track your route if your smartphone is out of battery life. You will still need a smartphone and bluetooth to sync the data later.

The latest version is the third generation of Automatic Pro, which has been the one that made me interested in the app. It’s about $130 and it’s added the 3G network of cell service. A lot of the earlier features have been made obsolete with everyone carrying their smartphone with them. The new app works untethered to other devices. It doesn’t make a ping noise when you hard break, which can understandably become annoying. There is a completely separate app you can find in the Apple Store called Automatic Pro, for iOS 9 and later. It also runs on most Android devices too. The previous adapter is no longer for sale, but the app is free and there is a new adapter available if you want to go that route. Read More→

Stop Wasting Time: Timyo App Review

Posted on February 6, 2017 by

“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

I didn’t think Timyo was going to be a game changer for me. I already felt like I had great management tools using Gmail in the first place. A friend recommended that I check out this new app so I tinkered with it for a while. It is an email inbox management system that works best with Gmail, Office 365, Outlook.com and Hotmail. I have tried other inbox zero apps but I’ve felt like it’s a waste of time for me to go through all my emails weeding out the junk. I have used Gmail options before but it still seemed like I was getting a lot of emails that were not a priority first. My time is valuable since I’m running multiple projects, what I focus on needs to be what moves me along to the next step in line.  Read More→

“I live a highly scheduled life. There’s absolutely no time wasted. I’m very focused. And I have a great assistant.” ~ Madonna

Amazon Echo has been a game changer at my house. I find it a great selling point for new homes I’m working on as well. I use “Alexa” to turn on my lights, my television, set the thermostat and basically anything that’s connected to the system. It’s been really helpful around the holidays too, baking with the family has been a breeze while “Alexa” sets up the timer and converts measurements for us.

I’ve talked about other systems, like the Ring for the doorbell answering service, but Amazon comes to a new level with Echo. Technology won’t solve all our problems but it does make things a bit easier. While baking holiday cookies with the kids, I do have a bit of trouble in the kitchen. It’s just that Echo made small tasks easier like setting the timer and changing the measurements from weight to cups. Small hiccups were easier to get through when the tech was literally a voice command away.  Read More→

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” ~ Walt Disney

When I first started, I felt like I had no business designing spaces. I’m good at the big picture but putting textures and colors together that will sell the house I was not so confident. I’ve been using Pinterest and Houzz to piece together ‘dream boards’ that you would put together using ripped out magazine pages and taping them together to compose some sort of theme or color scheme.

Pinterest is known as a predominantly female geared platform. People use it to plan events, like weddings, or recipes for special occasions or holidays. It is a great tool to use to plan your decorating scheme for an interior and the exterior. You can easily gather ideas for landscaping, curb appeal, how to style your front door and entry way, from kitchen materials to flooring and bathroom tile. What I like best is that other ‘pinners’ have done most of the work for you already. Most pins that you research are already part of a larger board, and if you visit that board you can see what else that user put together already. It has been easy to use, either hit pin, send or like on the image. Once you click an image it usually leads to the website that sells the item or a blog post about how to do the project. Sometimes it’s just a source image from google, so it is still a good starting point to show a contractor to get the gist of the idea.  Read More→

This month is renovation month at Atlanta REIA and I for one am super excited.  For the past 19 years I have managed to perform just about every type of real estate transaction there is.  Everything from notes, wholesale deals, lease options to subject to deals.  I’ve used every buying strategy known to man and every creative technique to sell my properties. But, no technique has made me more money than the good old fashioned “rehab” fix and flip.  People often ask me how they can make lots of money in real estate.  You would think that answer would be wholesaling because you don’t need a lot of money and it is quick and sometimes painless. Well the truth is, the fastest way to wealth in my opinion is to “Find ‘Em, Fix ‘Em and Flip ‘Em.”

When doing a rehab or renovation successfully it requires tools just like any job well done.  If you have the proper tools in any job, the job goes much easier, faster and most efficiently.  Rehabbing is no different.  There are six steps to successfully performing any renovation of any size or shape.

The first step is PLANNING.  Making sure you have the proper tools is essential to your success.  Things that you should have with you at all times will make your job easier.  These items include, Inspection forms, Camera, Flash Light, tape measure, graph paper, lock box and “”We Buy Houses” sign.  These tools allow you to initiate the first step in any rehab.  In my opinion you also want to invest in a design program so you can “Mock Up” what you want your rehab to look like.  If you have an iPad my recommendation is an app called Tap Glace.  It allows you to measure and create that vision on paper before you ever touch anything inside the house.  Read More→

“My grandmother had this high-tech security system – a rusty nail she used to lock the door.” ~ Quincy Jones

Once fall comes, we’re thinking about getting the kids back to school and falling into a familiar routine. You’re not the only one thinking about that, other people may be looking forward to quiet days in the neighborhood too. Break-ins usually happen during the day when no one is at home. If your neighbors are on the same grind as you are, you may not discover a robbery until you get home and see your door open.

These thoughts are frightening, but there are things you can do to prevent it. Wired home alarm systems are great, but if you don’t have the budget to pay a monthly service to monitor your property a one-time investment is perfect. There are wifi cameras and apps that you can use from different manufacturers, motion sensor lighting and timers for your interior lamps. But having the peace of mind that there are eyes on your house at all times and having great customer service is a winning combination.  Read More→

Subject-To Real Estate Contracts

Posted on September 7, 2016 by

Existing Loan Stays In Place – No Liability To You!

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” ~ Dalai Lama

A Subject-To deal simply means that you get the deed/title to a property and take control over the property. The existing loans stay in place in the original homeowner’s name, negating the liability to the purchaser. The mortgage is not being paid off through a Subject-To contract transaction, just taken over by the purchaser. As long as the purchaser of a Subject-To deal makes the mortgage payment to the existing mortgage lender, there are no consequences to either party. However, if the purchaser stops making the payments on the mortgage, the seller’s credit will be damaged.

Most sellers are in a situation where they may have to relocate quickly, have no equity in the home and just “want out,” or are about to go into foreclosure and want to save their credit. These folks are motivated to sell on a Subject-To deal to get the payments caught up (or maintained) and stay on time to help their credit.

One reason you would purchase on Subject-To is to utilize a seller’s lower interest rate than that is on the market at the time. For instance, if the market rate is 7% and a seller has a 5% fixed rate, the 2% difference can make big difference in your monthly payment. You are able to purchase the home in a 7% market at 5% interest! For instance:  Read More→

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~ William Arthur Ward

It is best to teach by example. Now that everything is on a digital platform it can be difficult to find the right words to explain an action step-by-step to someone. Whether it is a menial task like sorting through spam email or getting a website listing to appear on a mobile platform, it is confusing to explain something in an email or text message. I find myself to be a visual learner and the best way to show me something is a short video tutorial.

Thank goodness for app developers: Pro Recorder (Free): Record Web Screen/Video – for Dropbox and Google Driver is By the company CONG DUC TRAN is the solution to my problem. As I often do, I was browsing the app store looking for something that could capture my screen actions in a video. I am familiar with other programs but they only cover my desktop or laptop, not my iPhone or iPad. Using this is a breeze, especially since you can easily save to a Dropbox or Google Drive account. It makes sharing the video easy and since it saves on a cloud storage platform no need to eat up all your memory.  Read More→

“I like to talk to people. I’ve got one assistant, one Blackberry. That’s my overhead. I don’t text that much or email. I like to sit down face-to-face and have a conversation with you. I’m old-fashioned.” ~ Mark Wahlberg

As the owner and operator of my own business, I’ve become very self-reliant. I know that if I don’t take care of important tasks myself I will stress over them. It is hard to delegate work to others that you haven’t really had the time or know how to run background checks on. Even when you have carefully planned projects, sometimes it is difficult to find people with the qualifications you would prefer.

For the past few years now I have been discovering amazing talent online. I know it seems like a big risk, putting jobs online and hoping someone responsible answers your ad. Avoid the anxiety over in person interviews and researching qualifications, it’s time-consuming and I would rather focus my efforts elsewhere. It doesn’t mean I take hiring practices lightly, but I know where my strengths are.

There are many online freelance worker/client websites, but none other than Upwork. Upwork.com has been a great tool for my growing business. As I said, for many years I’ve been a one-man show. We all need a little help from time to time, and Upwork makes it simple and stress-free. Whether you need someone short term or long term, if there are short tasks you need to get done that you have no time for or if you want to build a working relationship with an independent contractor for the long haul, Upwork has this covered. For at least five years, the website has had some changes. It was once called oDesk, but the changes have been great improvements. Things have been simplified and there are safeguards in place for both contractors and clients. Plus you don’t need to be a large company to use this service. Businesses like Unilever, Pinterest, and NBC are just a few that use Upwork for hiring out virtual assistance specialists.
Read More→

Page 1 of 5:12345