Idaho Vacation Spotlight: Spokane (Part 1)

SpokanePutting a Washington city in the Idaho Vacation Spotlight is cheating! Who writes these rules anyways? After some careful deliberation, I have decided to include Spokane in our spotlight because: A) Its not even an hour away and B) I like Spokane. Now then…the “Idaho” Vacation Spotlight this week!

Spokane is a cool city. It blends just enough “small town but city” feel (alla Boise) with “real city, but spread out enough to feel homey.” Aside from being a great place to live (you can choose urban or country housing and STILL get to work on time) Spokane manages to have a ton of great local events, and just the right amount of city flair! This week I will cover some of Spokane’s great venues, and we will follow up with food and events in later weeks!

Idaho Vacation SpotlightAh, food! My favorite subject! Typically getting high quality cuisine this far inland is a chore. Somehow the local business owners manage to get fantastic quality food and it shows! Whenever you think of a foodie city, your mind wanders to New York, or Portland kind of places. Fact is, food network has made several trips to the amazing local restaurants up here, and eating at any of them is a treat! Guy Fieri liked the area enough drive-ins, diners and dives made FIVE appearances in Spokane!

Elk Public House has amazing sandwiches and is well known for great atmosphere. The owners have several other restaurants around the area (MOON TIME SHOUTOUT!) that are fantastic and its an all around good idea to hit them up!

Hill’s is a cool divey place. Located in an old pharmacy, they make everything from scratch. Everything. The food tastes just like you would expect: amazing. Highly recommended and scrumptious. Waddell’s and Picabu’s both have the brew pub vibe. Great sandwiches, environment, and sides. Rather then mess with the menus just ask your server what is fresh. Sometimes the chefs go crazy and create awesome concoctions that are a sure bet! If your looking for a good time, and an awesome sandwich to get on your hands, any of Spokane’s finest will satisfy!

Sometimes I get carried away with my Pub Grub. Its amazing! There are also many folks out there that love the upscale dining scene.

BUT THAT WILL WAIT TILL NEXT WEEK! 

All this talk of sandwiches has me hungry…I’m going to make a stop at Meltz…

Read More

Real Estate Investing: Preparation

preparationThis weeks real estate investment blog is about preparation. When you first step in to the exciting world of chances are you haven’t run a cost/value comparison, comparative rental market value report, or anything else with a big name and the word “report” at the end. Don’t worry, we will get there! When pursuing a new investment opportunity, you can’t research enough! The more time you put into early preparation, the more ready you’ll be when a property becomes available. There are several things to consider while preparing to invest in real estate.

  1. Cash on Hand. How much money do you have available for the down payment? Unlike when you purchased your first home (typically with government help), investment property loans have stricter requirements, higher interest rates, and more down payment money. Typically you will be looking at a minimum of 25% for an investment property down payment. There are several ways to help generate this needed cash (ira funding, equity back loans, etc.) that can be financially beneficial depending on your current portfolio’s status. You will want to get 25% to avoid the slew of fees for only achieving 20%. Just avoid it altogether, the lender will tack on so many fees it will end up costing you virtually the same! Don’t do it!
  2. Finding the Right Property. Chances are if this is your first investment property, you will be stretching your budget to buy the property. We all started there and you should be proud to be able to invest! When you start looking for the perfect property, keep in mind your own budget. The property needs to work within the confines of your budget and expense funds. DON’T OVERSTRETCH. You will be able to buy additional properties in the future, don’t break your back on the first one! Careful preparation, cash down, and an affordable payment will make the property work for you! Our job is finding the right property. Don’t rush it.
  3. preparationCost of Ownership. After the inspection comes back, and the property is in the most pristine condition of any recorded history, it will still have issues! Its a guarantee of ownership: you will have to fix broken stuff. The good news is most repairs will fall under about 10% of the yearly rent. That includes incidentals, taxes, and tenant move-out related costs. If something bigger needs repair, you will want to ensure you have a cash reserve available for the property repairs. If the investment property passed inspection, you should be safe with just a few thousand dollars, but its best to keep your CoO expenses in mind!
  4. Ignore the Hype of Flipping. The time for flipping real estate is passed. Nowadays, real estate is rapidly appreciating in value and there are no legitimate flipping opportunities. When looking into real estate investing, know your going to own the property for the long term. This will change your focus points and what you’re hoping to get from the property. It will also help you commit to the long term. Real estate investing is not a get rich quick scheme, its all about long term steady growth. Ignore the TV shows, and settle in for the long term.

After finalizing the financial basics the next step will be the application! We will go over that next week! See you soon!

Read More