The Best Lake Day of the Year…

View of Flathead Lake
View of Flathead Lake

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Out of all 365 days in the year, the 4th of July is the best day for my greatest passion… the lake! I hope you are spending quality time with your family and friends this holiday weekend and even better are at the lake on the water!

I would love to share with you guys a story from a lake place in Montana I grew up visiting. I know I talk a lot about the real estate side of things but this holiday is so near and dear to my heart I have to post something!

So it was 4th of July weekend and I was about 10 years old and my family was up at the lake in Montana. My family loves to have a good time so we spent about $1,000 on fireworks (back then that was a lot) and there was this one particular firework called “The Destroyer” and we saved it for last. We launched fireworks off the dock for a solid hour. Everything from bottle rockets, to roman candles, to artillery shells, we had a ton of fireworks!

My cousin’s were all older than I was and they were at the age where any time you could do it “bigger” “faster” “harder” they were going to do it. So my oldest cousin has the bright idea that he’s going to launch “The Destroyer” off of a pvc pipe and not on the dock, but from up higher at the cabin. Keep in mind, this is July and it was a pretty warm day so at the cabin we had the windows open to keep cool, nothing out of the ordinary. My cousin lights “The Destroyer” but right before it takes off, the launch pad (pvc pipe) FELL OVER.

This massive explosive is aiming right for the cabin, windows open and all, and all hell broke loose in a matter of seconds. From the time the launch pad fell to all of us yelling to get down and take cover. Surely, I thought this was it. This was the end and we were all going down in fiery glory on America’s birthday. I look up and “The Destroyer” was laying on the ground, aimed right at the house, and still unexploded. We all sort of looked at each other like, “Did we really just get that lucky?” and “Should we go pick it up?”. We waited for about 5 minutes, not moving and laughing/crying over the bullet we just dodged, then my uncle very, very carefully used two brooms to bring it down to the water and drown the almighty “Destroyer”.

We were upset we spent the money for this extravagant show we never saw, but in all honesty, the adrenaline rush and emotions that came from the whole situation was a priceless memory none of us will ever forget. In fact with the digital world we live in now, every 4th of July we remind each other of the extra life we somehow gained that day.

So to sum it all up, enjoy these holiday’s and time spent with family and friends. Make some memories and BE SAFE! Enjoy everyone! Until next time.

"The Destroyer"
“The Destroyer”
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Avoid This Rental Mistake At All Costs

Hey guys, it’s Brad again with another tip in the world of real estate and real estate investing. I just wanted to share with you guys a story that happened a couple days ago and one of the my biggest lessons in my career so far.

As you travel along the path towards your financial goals, real estate is an absolute phenomenal way for people to achieve those goals and you’ll find that along the way you’ll run into setbacks. Everyone does. I have a few rentals in the greater Spokane, WA area as that is where some of my family is from, and one particular property where an older couple is living.

If you don’t know anything about the summers in eastern Washington, well… it’s gets hot. Really hot. I put in a brand new air conditioning system last fall and as most investors will do I chose the company in my area that would do the job for the lowest price. That decision quickly backfired on me when the couple moved the following spring. The very first 80 degree day we had the couple went to turn on the air conditioning and it would not stay on for more than a couple minutes. They of course called me to let me know they were dying because of how hot it was in the house.

For the sake of the post I won’t name the company but I had them at the house the very next day to fix the problem. Boom! Got it fixed and everything’s great… Nope! Two days later the same problem happens again and I’m getting a call during my kid’s soccer game with a very unhappy tenant.

And you know what, I completely understand their frustrations. There is nothing worse than trying to sleep when you are uncomfortably hot. It’s the worst. I cut ties with that company the very next day.

Remember the advice on relationships I gave you in the last post? Well, keep that in mind as you put yourself in my shoes during this whole fiasco. I started doing some digging in my personal network and found a business card in my wallet from a guy I met at a wedding a couple years ago. He was the owner at Cougar Mechanical, an air conditioning and heating company in Spokane. Thankfully, we hit it off at the wedding he knew I was in real estate and gave me his card. So, I called him up and he had a technician come out to look at my unit that same day and got the problem solved right away. They didn’t even charge me for the consultation fee! Take notes business owners, that is how you do it in customer service. I would recommend them to anyone needing air conditioning or heating help in Spokane. Here is the link to their website… cougarmechanical.com.

This a great lesson for anyone just getting started in real estate investing or even first-time home buyers. Sometimes cutting corners in terms of your budget in the long run will cost you more. Thankfully for me I had great service but it could have easily put me out a couple thousand. Have you guys ever had an experience like this? I want to hear about it! Email me at help@lakescommssion.com. Later!

 

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3 Things You Need to Know Before Anything Else

When I was first getting started in the real estate investing game I learned that there were three main things I needed to figure out and understand before anything else.

The first thing I learned was to never stop learning… I know that doesn’t sound super practical but if your goal is to create a life-long asset for yourself your biggest and best asset is YOU! Never stop learning about how you can become a better investor. Luckily for you there are tons of ways to get information about how to improve your real estate investing skills via newsletters, websites, podcasts, video, books, seminars, etc. My recommendation is spending some quality time on YouTube watching videos and taking notes about other people’s strategies. Which leads me right into my second tip.

The second thing is to develop a strategy or a niche that you are going to execute on. This will allow you to focus and make a plan on exactly how you are going to make a return on your investment and go all in on that strategy.

What do I mean by strategy? Well, you could be flipping the house, wholesaling the house, or even using a buy-and-hold method. Any of these can be great strategies for you to get a great return on your investment if done correctly. The niche is also extremely important and might depend on what strategy you are looking at using. For example, are you buying a single-family home, commercial property, or multi-family home? Your niche is where you are going to implement your strategy to get the maximum amount of return on your investment.

The third thing is to build great relationships with companies and people who are going to be able to help you along your real estate investing journey. This includes contractors and friends from service companies who can help you improve your property and you overall investment to again, maximize your ROI. I’ll give you a great example that happened recently. I was working on one of my projects in North Spokane, WA and had a private showing with a friend of a friend who was interested in buying. When I went to the property prior to the meeting to make sure everything was ready, the garage door froze up on me when I went to open it. The timing could not have been worse! I called a friend of mine who I’ve done business with in the past at Spokane Garage Services who came out and got the problem fixed in less than 2 hours before my clients arrived which led to my closing the deal. An absolute life-saver and they do amazing work. You can check them out by clicking here.

The most successful real estate investors are the ones who never stop learning, understand their niche and match their niche with a great strategy, and build great long-term relationships. I have no doubt in my mind anyone can create a substantial income with these 3 easy principles.

That’s all I have for this one guys. Later!

 

Add-ons like this one can bring so much more value to a property .
Add-ons like this one can bring so much more value to a property .

 

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Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new blog all about real estate and real estate investing. I really enjoy sharing with others how I’ve found success in this career choice. A little bit about me, my favorite place in the world is the lake! Yes, it is ironic that my last name is Lakes… but it is true! There is nothing better than a campfire on a summer night at the lake. This is one of the reasons I love real estate and real estate investing so much is I get to see all of these amazing properties and add pull styles from other people and create my own unique styles in my own properties. Anyways, I hope you like this blog and can take some info from it and apply it to your own life. Look for more posts coming soon! See ya!

One of the most expensive pieces of lake real estate in the world. Shelter Island, Flathead Lake, MT, USA
One of the most expensive pieces of lake real estate in the world. Shelter Island, Flathead Lake, MT, USA.
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