Credit Card Churning Fail: How Not to Lose $500 Worth of Credit Card Rewards

If you’re going to attempt credit card churning (signing up for credit cards and spending the minimum amount necessary to reap the program’s reward), here’s a tip: Make sure you’re keeping up with your spending, even if you have to call the customer care center to make sure you’re on track. Quick story: I signed-up for the Chase Ink Bold credit card on March 16th, 2014 hoping to receive 50,000 bonus points 3 months later. This is when I was on my quest to become a travel writer and credit card slayer. All I had to do was spend $5,000 on the credit card within 3 months. I figured it’ll be easy to spend $5,000 on the credit card by 16 June since I had a lot of personal and business expenses to pay. Unfortunately, I wasn’t deliberate in my spending. Meaning, I didn’t keep track of all of my

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Taking Action May Increase Your Bottom Line by $40,000

On April 23rd, 2014, my current primary residence was listed on Realtor.com. On May 13th, 2014, my current primary residence went under contract. The initial offer was a $135,900 cash offer with a $2,000 earnest money deposit and no closing cost credits required. I was willing to accept it since it met my “numbers” criteria. Mainly, I would be walking away with at least $33k from the deal, tax-free, since it’s my primary residence. However, my unofficial real estate investment “adviser” suggested I counter the offer with $137, 500 with a required $5,000 earnest money deposit, in addition to getting away without paying closing costs credits. My counter offer was accepted and I am set to close this Friday, June 13th. Taking Action Three years ago I asked on this blog if I should buy another home. I went back and forth about the idea because I knew I didn’t

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My Investment Property, After the Rehab

Finally. On April 9th, I first presented the investment property that I recently acquired. After a few hiccups trying to get financing on my own terms so as not to disrupt the closing date of May 13th, 2014, I settled on a hybrid option of using a personal loan and cash for this property. There are plenty of advantages for going this route. I wrote about some of them here. If I can help it, I’d never try to use a mortgage for an investment property again. A primary residence, sure. But my experience with Wells Fargo shows that an investment property mortgage is a mortgage for a property that is move-in ready. I learned that when you are trying to acquire an investment property, you must move fast. You won’t have much time to wait for a bank’s red tape. After all was said and done, I closed on

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One Morning You May Get Punched in the Face. Here’s Why:

A couple of weekends ago, a friend and I had a hilarious conversation about those of us who don’t know how to mind our own business. Or when we do mind our own business, it’s usually done at the wrong time, which is an inconvenience to others. For example, someone who “speaks-up” in an attempt to correct the person who cuts in line at a theme park will probably be the person who walks away from the opportunity to come to someone’s rescue if that someone is being harassed in the same line. In the former case, cutting in line affects them, while the harassment affects someone else. The Encounter at McDonald’s My friend substantiated his argument with a personal story that occurred at McDonald’s. He was already having a bad morning because he only received about two hours of sleep during the last twenty-four hours of his work day. Also, right before leaving work, he was pulled into

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Use a Personal Loan for Your Investment Property. Here’s Why:

Yesterday, I wrote about several ways that one can purchase an investment property without using a home mortgage. The post was written in response to Wells Fargo’s underwriting team that wanted to impose red tape on my investment property purchase. Instead of folding to their demands, I figured I’d try other ways to finance my investment property so I wouldn’t have to extend my closing date any more than I had already done. I went to my primary bank, USAA, and looked at all of their personal loan options. When I saw that USAA offered personal loans that could be used to purchase a property, I was super excited. My adrenaline increased and I was off to complete my application. But, not before comparing with other bank’s loans and conditions. After checking around, I was sold on USAA’s personal loan product. They were offering personal loans up to 84 months

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Why You Should Buy An Investment Property Without a Mortgage

Should you buy an investment property without a mortgage? The answer is a resounding yes. This is what you should do instead, if you can. FOUR WAYS TO BUY AN INVESTMENT PROPERTY WITHOUT A MORTGAGE 1. Consider paying cash. If you don’t have the cash, then save until you can get the cash. 2. If you don’t have the cash, consider a personal loan from the bank. The interest rate will be much higher than a mortgage, but you’ll have to deal with less red tape when it comes to securing the property. 3.  If you don’t have the credit or income that would approve you for a personal loan, consider a hard money-lender. Their interest rates and fees are much higher than the bank but with this method you again get to escape the red tape of the mortgage underwriters at the bank. 4. If you’re buying a property from an actual person who is

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Busy, Busy, Busy. And What Should I Do With My Real Estate Portfolio?

Happy May 1st everyone! You may have noticed that I’ve been absent from the blog. I have plenty to say but I’ve been focusing my efforts else where. I’ve been burning to write a post titled, “How to Live a Champagne Lifestyle on a Water Budget” ever since I was accused of this by the person whose house I decided not to rent. But, that’s another post for another day. I mean, who other than me can write such a prolific post with hundreds of examples, such as how I shop at thrift stores and Ikea to save money? haha. Oh, well. I have too much going on in the next two months, all which was amplified when I decided to become a real estate mogul. So, unfortunately I don’t have time to shine such a positive light on this negative person. This weekend, I’m off to a friend’s “Big Fat Mexican Wedding” in New Haven, Connecticut. It’s going to be great. She’s

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How to Save Money and Pursue the Job You Love

I have a guest post, How Much Do You Need to Quit the Job You Hate, featured on Untemplater.com. It’s all about how to save up enough money to pursue the job you love. If you are a young, obsessed entrepreneur and you haven’t checked out the content on Untemplater, you are really missing out. The website is all about breaking the proverbial mold and becoming an anti-conformist. My post couldn’t have been featured on a better website.  Its tagline is, “Work where you want…Live How You Want…Be Who You Want to Be.” Hence, my post about quitting your job…eventually…fits well. It lays out a plan that was taken from my personal finance book, The Wealth Number: The Financial Solution to Pursuing the Job You’d Love, that helps anyone maximize their savings rate. In summary, it offers the following key to maximizing your wealth number: Determine your target wealth number. Separate your accounts, rearrange your billing

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Purchased a Primary Residence. Here are the Pictures.

I still don’t feel like writing so I figured I’d just share the pictures of my future home. Eventually I’ll write in length about how I evaluated this property…maybe…so if you are interested be sure to sign up for the blog using the subscription form on the right side of this site. I received word today that my offer of $153,000 was accepted by the seller…right on time. I gave the seller until 5pm today to accept. It was a different type of foreclosure but a foreclosure nonetheless. The price was non-negotiable because the listing price was subject to HUD listing guidelines for properties that were foreclosed because of the death of a “reverse mortgage” mortgagor. The weekend trip to acquire the property was pretty efficient. I knew the area in which I wanted to purchase because my lady, LaTisha, and I visited last weekend the area last weekend, scoped

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I Purchased Another Investment Property. Here are the Pictures.

I haven’t written on my blog in a while. Quite frankly, it’s too time-consuming. This isn’t a problem in and of itself, but it tends to be one when it starts to interfere with a lot of other things that I have going on…like traveling, reading, getting ready to relocate to another city, and beginning a new obsession as a real estate investor. Writing a great blog post from the heart can take hours. For now, I’d rather focus that energy on this new real estate mogul obsession. So instead of writing today I’m going to post the pictures of a home that I purchased at the county courthouse for only $86,050. It will likely require less than $10,000 in work (labor and materials) before I can place it on the market to sell or to rent. Comps in the neighborhood shows that I can rent the property out for about $1,200

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