#WFH – Day 3

My zone defense improved today for sure. It was more like I let go of the control and OCD feelings of sticking to the schedule. Which we did adhere to, but with more breaks and chunking (I do remember something from my classroom days).

Charlotte, unprompted, wrote letters to her great grandmother and her best buddy. I thought that was very cool, and likely going to be greatly appreciated, especially by Namaw. Depending on where this WFH life goes, this will be a regular practice. In fact I encourage it. It is important that we do not allow our elderly get isolated from the world. As I said we are setting Namaw up with Facetime.

Something that really struck a chord with me today was the power of gratitude or appreciation. I fired off several emails this morning pertaining to a variety of issues. I made sure in each email, I sincerely thanked the person for their time and efforts during these challenging times. It is something we purposefully always remind the children to express when someone helps or give them something. It is important and impactful. So it again, thank you to everyone who helped us today.

Last thought was another shift for real estate. The market is not necessarily going to stop, but how it operates will be interesting. I mentioned last night how sellers may be unwilling to allow buyers into their home. We will see a rapid rise in virtual tours and a variety of video. We received two addenda today from brokerage outlining impacts COVID-19 will and is having on real estate.

This world is going to keep changing quickly. Keep making the most of it. As you can see in the pictures from today, we did our best with our walks and picnic time, and the 1:1 teaching they are getting.

WFH Day 3

Stay healthy and see you tomorrow.

#WFH – Day 2

We survived! I would scoff at anyone who raised their eyebrows and asked how I handled a classroom of thirty teenagers. It was cake. Sure there was an occassionally raging hormone challenge, but for the most, easy. This 6 and 3 year old on the other hand… Elementary school and day care providers are saints. Let me say it again, saints!

It was easy getting them out of the house for a little morning activity playing Monster tag and climbing in the tree house. The challenge came when we returned inside.

Morning playtime

Charlotte got right to work with her literacy activities. Macon, eh… not so much. We did get a fun game of shape search in. Charlotte and I put colored shapes around the house, and Macon had to go find them. After a quick work call, we had some lunch and then headed back out for some science time. Charlotte had to find a tree and then draw it. We will observe it the next few weeks and see it how changes. She picked the willow tree Kelsey gave me for our ten year anniversary.

Charlotte sketching the willow tree.

We had some struggles this afternoon as social distancing started to become reality. Charlotte is social butterfly, she wants to be around and engaged with people all the time. Kelsey and I struggle with what to allow her to do. And I think other parents in the neighborhood do to. I think it is going to become more and more challenging. How do you explain all this to a six year old??

We did set the kids up on ABC-Mouse and they already had ABC-YA, so they spent an hour or so working through those. Those platforms are amazing. They are engaging and educational. Should be very helpful.

I did get my workout in. Working through a deload week. Deadlift day.

We will see what tomorrow brings. We just got word that Charlotte’s school is closed for another week. Each day seems to get more and more interesting. There are going to be some really interesting outcomes that no one is considering at this time. Major policy changes and protocol creation to deal responses and scenarios we never have faced before.

Where does the housing market go is a really interesting question. The biggest challenge we were facing was the lack of inventory. This is going to shrink even more as sellers do not want people in their homes to showings and open houses. The virtual market will be even greater.

The buyer is the other interesting player. How much impact will shut down business impact their buying? You would think significantly. Where will this put prices then? If demand began to reduce drastically, you would expect price to reflect. Again, a lot of uncertainty at the moment.

Stay safe, stay healthy, see you tomorrow.

WFH Day 2

#WFH-Day 1

Wow. What a few days we have all experienced. I do not think anyone would have expected the rapid changes to our world we have seen. And there are still more to come. I think it is really important to remember a we only know what we know, and to ensure we work hard to be safe, smart, and take care of loved ones. We can find growth opportunities during this time and make the most of it.

I am officially work from home as of today. The kids are officially home from school as of yesterday, and while we all have some dates for when this may end, there is a lot of uncertainty.

Therefore, today I took some time to reflect and plan the next few weeks. I still have a professional goals, personal ambitions, and family responsibilities. As I thought about all these, I thought that it would be valuable to chronicle this. Not to show off, not to overshare, but to reflect each day. Some may think this is too much, some may appreciate it. Honestly, it is mostly for me.

So each day, I am going to write a little about our day and video a little about our day. I will share them at night. Here we go!

  1. In an effort to ensure Namaw (my grandmother) can still stay connected to everyone and avoid putting herself in unnecessarily risky situations, we decided it was time to introduce her to the world wide web! Mom and Pops activated her internet service, and we are working on setting up a device for her. She will soon be Facetiming and Click-listing.
  2. With the kids home for at least two weeks, and probably the foreseeable future we want to ensure we do not lose what they have lost in school and keep moving forward. Thanks to the educators at school we have a full notebook ready to roll, and we mapped out a daily schedule for both kids. Here is the schedule.
  3. Then it was a little me time. I want to ensure I keep growing and working on my professional development. I had an hour chat with a potential new coach, took the Clifton Strengths assessment to develop more, and mapped a few activities for myself. Even made my own daily checklist where I am reading, writing, and exercising every day. Also added some research planning, time to setup my Roth IRA.
  4. I did venture out today. Popped into Home Depot because the kids and I are going start a garden. A little STEM time.
  5. And so you know it is not all roses and butterflies, we had a wrench thrown at us due to the closures. We are refinancing the house. We were scheduled to close yesterday, but with the courts closing, we had to postpone. We are in a holding pattern until the county courts open, hopefully Thursday. Big shout out to my team in this process doing what they can.
  6. Stayed outside and raked up the leaves, might as well take advantage of the weather and time.
  7. Finished the night with a good cardio session from the Beach Body series. Kelsey and I like to get a few of these in a week together. She has been super committed the last two months.

Again, I think it is really important to ensure these days home are not “snow days.” We will have fun, we will appreciate the time but we will keep getting better. Maybe sharing what we are doing each day will help someone else out too.

Stay safe, stay healthy and see you tomorrow.

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 14 – Jason Kilgo at Tang & Biscuit

It is always fun to have an RVA guy on the show who is building a successful business and raising a family back in his hometown. RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate had that this week when we hosted Jason Kilgo of Kilgo Insurance. And we did at one of the hottest spots in Scott’s Addition, Tang and Biscuit.

This eatertainment spot is putting out special plates and cocktails that you can only get here. You have to try the lightbulb drink and the tang-tang cauliflower.

Jason and I chatted about his insurance business and how they want to make every customer feel confident they are covered. We also chat about our love of the Tar Heels.

Parney and Kitchen 64

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 13 – Parney and Kitchen 64

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate had a very special RVA guest on this past week when we stopped Kitchen 64. We had the one and only, Parney. Better known as the Todd Parnell the COO of the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Parney and I chatted about how the Squirrels have been so impacting on RVA and really vice-versa. If you have ever interacted with Parney at a Squirrels game, you know why he is the face of the franchise and his personality is as big and fun as the pants and suits he sports everywhere.

But let us not forget about Kitchen 64. Scott Watts, chef/owner is putting out massive plates of traditional diner style food. We had a club as big as our heads, and the Scott’s Addition french dip/steak and cheese hoagie that was life-changing. Next time you hit up the Diamond, be sure to stop here for your pre- or post-game meal.

Parney and Kitchen 64

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 12 – Steam Bell Beer Works

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate continued its RVA tour stopping in Midlothian ant another great local brewery, Steam Bell Beer Works. We had a chance to chat with Brad Cooper the owner of Steam Bell as he shared some of their fan-favorite brews and talk with me about the origination of his brewery.

Brad highlighted several beers with us. One of their flagship brews is the Tiramisu Stout, which helped put them on the map. The other is a new one, the Extra Plenty Gose with Lemon and Green Tea. This one is going to be a huge hit, especially as the temperatures warm up.

If you have not made your way to Steam Bell, you need to add it to your places to visit list. It is super family friendly and there is always live music playing. If you head to their Facebook Page, you can check out the lineup for weeks to come.

South of James

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 11 – South of James

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate recently hung out at Steam Bell Beer Works with an awesome local band South of James. These guys are playing all around RVA and covering some classic rock hits in the best food and beer venues around the city.

We shared a few of Steam Bell’s best pours while we chatted about their favorite gigs and why they love RVA. You need to check out these guys out.

If you head to their Facebook Page you can keep up with when they are back at Steam Bell or any of the places they set to play.

South of James

Bold Colors are Back

Light gray.

Beige.

Pearl.

Neutral, neutral, neutral!

Neutrals

This is what every homeowner hears when they decorate their homes or prepare them for selling. Using subdued earth tones has become the standard company line from Realtors as it has been considered the least offensive to potential buyers. Walking into a home and seeing Candy Apple Red walls in the dining room or a lilac wallpaper in the master could be a turnoff.

Yet, the in-the-middle approach contradicts our mindset of making our homes, our “own.” It also contradicts much of our societal mindset where we embrace our personalities and being willing to share our uniqueness. We walk a fine line of neutral versus personality. The “stay neutral” approach is also contradicted by the major paint manufacturers naming Color of the Year in a bright, bold hues such as navy, dusty pink, and a variety of greens.

Credit to Amy Wax

So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with a shift in the norm or accepted. Inserting more bold colors has become not only accepted but more welcomed and can leave your home more memorable to the buyers. Balance is key.

Credit Sherwin Williams

As you begin to decorate and color your home, consider what your feel most comfortable with, but the trends. When making bold color choices be mindful of the size of the of the room and the lighting. Accent walls, pillows, and smaller decor can add a balance of color pops and neutral. If the uber-bright is causing some anxiety, you can dial it down by adding a little white or gray.

One last consideration is timing. Are you planning on being in the home for 3-4 years? If so, reserve your color for accessories and accents. When you make your way to a home situation that is more permanent, now is the time to go for it.

Credit Sherwin Wlliams

Where does this leave you? You may have more questions now than you did when you started. If you are considering selling in the near future, the best thing to do is talk with a licensed professional and be willing to take their advice on the best ways to prepare the house for the market. This may mean removing some of the big colors or repainting a wall. Receiving consultation will pay off and reduce stress.

Real Estate Investing for $5

Yes, you read that correctly. There are ways to invest in real estate today for as little as $5. We have talked about real estate investment before on this blog. Many people are hesitant to explore this because of the expense upfront, despite the traditional high return on investment. Micro-investing offers a unique approach to this, while trying to mitigate this concern.

Investing

As social media and digital platforms continue to evolve and find opportunities to monetize the internet, no niche is left untouched. Which brings us to micro-investing in real estate.

Investment portfolios are encouraged to be diversified, and real estate is a segment that should be included due to its lack of volatility and valuation growth unrelated to the stock market.

A model that has been used for a long time is something known as a real estate investment trusts, or a REIT. REIT’s are more like stocks than they are rentals, because the return from REIT’s are associated with performance.

Crowdfunding has found its way into real estate. Crowdfunding, is the means to generate small amounts of capital from a large group of individuals,typically achieved through digital engagement.

Crowdfunding

Let’s look at some of the positives of real estate crowdfunding?

  1. High dividends: Most crowdfunding of real estate operate through REIT’s, which are legally required to pay 90% of their taxable income to investors.
  2. Diversification: Adding another method to invest, provides greater security and longevity to your portfolio.
  3. Low investment minimums: Depending on the platform used, you can begin investing for well below traditional buy-in costs. Typically, initial investment in REITs begin with thousands.
  4. An easy investing experience: Crowdfunding companies want to attract new clients, the best way to do this is keep it very simple. Allowing customers to download an app and begin investing in moments is very alluring.

What are the pitfalls?

  1. Fees: There are no free lunches, and there certainly are no free investments. Most companies are going to charge a minimum of 1% annually. This may not sound like much, but you need to ensure you understand the fine print.
  2. Illiquid assets: Unlike most stocks, you cannot quickly turn investment into cash. As with most real estate investment, there is a longer window to see a return on the initial investment.
  3. Newness: This is a relatively new investment strategy. This leads to several concerns for investors and financial advisers. Many of these companies have only been around for 5-6 years. Some have not survived.
  4. Accreditation: Real estate investment, historically, as required the investor to be accredited, meaning having a net worth over $1 million. Some platforms will require investors to be accredited.

What are some of the options out the for those interested in this investment path?

  1. Compound is a startup working towards raising $10 billion a year to purchase properties. The focus of Compound is to offer investors a means to invest in high-end properties in populated cities. A share purchase with Compound can begin as low as $5.
  2. Fundrise got off the ground in 2012 and has seen solid success in this niche market. Through Fundrise, investors can put in a certain amount of money and the company than spreads that money across investments to create immediate diversification. Fundrise investment can begin as low as $500.
  3. Crowdstreet launched in 2014 with a focus on commercial properties. Crowdstreet offers investors three approaches based on the level of control they are seeking. Minimum investment with Crowdstreet is often $25,000 or more.
Fundrise

So is micro-investing or crowdfunding real estate right for you? That is a question you have to answer, obviously. It is certainly atypical from real estate investing, whether it be REITs or working locally with rentals or flips.

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 10 – Fest

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate stayed out in Midlothian this past week as we headed to Fest Biergarten. Fest is part of the Capital Ale House group, but this place is certainly breakaway from those RVA classics.

Fest is located down Hull Street, sandwiched between the Woodlake and Magnolia Green Communities. They offer a relaxing place to enjoy classic and local artisan sausages, sandwiches, and salads with beer and wine in a friendly beer garden atmosphere. The patio outside is a great spot for families to enjoy this Spring as they have a plate for everyone, and mom and dad can enjoy a local craft brew.

My guest this week was the one and only Sam Anderson. An entrepreneur who left the “safety” of a traditional career path several years ago and launched several businesses. Enso Media is the one we are most associated with, because that is who films and produces this show. Sam and I chatted about his entrepreneurial life, his major life changes this coming Spring when he and wife Holly move into their new home and welcome their new baby girl.

Sam and Me at Fest