Economic Update

Week of 3/23/2020 Economic update.


Posted on March 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm
Nick Leonard | Posted in Uncategorized |

Designing Your Home Office

Image Source: Canva

Working from home is an aspiration for many of us, but to do so effectively takes effort. A disorganized space at home can be just as troublesome as a hectic office. The most disciplined telecommuters will tell you that you need a structured routine and organization in order to be successful.

Having a designated workspace is one of the most important elements to your success when you make the switch to telecommuting. Even if you live in a small space, you need to find a balance between home and office. People who work from home often have a difficult time separating their work hours from their non-work hours because it’s so easy to keep at it late into the night. But maintaining a balance and shutting down the computer is important for overall wellbeing. What are some other must-haves for a successful home office? Here are the top five:

  1. Natural Light – Study upon study tells us that natural light is needed to boost productivity and mood. Make sure to set your desk up as close to a window as you can. If being near a window isn’t an option, a natural light lamp is the next best thing. It helps balance your body clock and leaves you feeling rested and refreshed.
  2. To-Do List or Planner – Start each day off by making a to-do list outlining what you need to get done before the end of the workday. Make sure to set a realistic time frame in which all of that should be completed, so you can check each one off the list and feel immense accomplishment once you’ve completed them all.
  3. Storage – If you have a big enough space, put in a large bookshelf where you can organize everything (think storage boxes). It reduces clutter and looks stylish. Using your walls and cabinetry is the most efficient use of space.
  4. Calendar – Many people tend to rely on digital calendars these days because of their convenience. When all of your devices sync together and pop up with reminders, you never have to worry about missing an appointment. However, many people find that it helps to keep a paper calendar handy too so you can easily view your whole month at a glance. Choose which options works best for you by playing with both options, or something in between and see which one lets you be more productive with the least amount of stress.
  5. Space for Inspiration – It doesn’t matter what field you work in, having a source of inspiration in your workspace is essential. Whether it’s a photo of your family, your dream car, or that vacation you’ve been dying to take, having that inspiration right in front of you provides a constant reminder of why you do what you do.

Posted on March 23, 2020 at 3:10 pm
Nick Leonard | Posted in Helpful tips & Ideas |

ORGANIC FOOD ON A BUDGET

Organic food usually tastes better, and is better for you, but it can also be very expensive compared to non-organic products. Organic food can cost nearly 50 percent more, thanks to the extra labor required to produce it and consumers’ demand exceeding supply.

So how do you get tasty organic food without spending a ton of extra money?

Follow these tips to get more bang for your buck.

Shop at farmers’ markets: You can get fresh organic produce for far less at a farmers’ market than you’d pay at the grocery store. It’ll taste just as good, and you’re getting your food straight from the source.

Choose seasonal produce: Out-of-season produce usually has to be imported, and that can really drive up the price. Focus your meals on in-season fruits and vegetables so that you don’t end up paying $6.00 for a pound of organic asparagus.

Shop more frequently, and plan your meals around bulk sales: The trick here is to only buy what’s needed for your meals, and to only plan for a week of meals at most. That way you’re less likely to throw food away, because you can use leftover produce for more meals before it goes bad.

Grow your own: A home vegetable garden will provide some extremely cheap organic produce, and gardening can also be a fun and rewarding hobby.


Posted on February 12, 2020 at 9:26 pm
Nick Leonard | Posted in Helpful tips & Ideas |

How You Can Finance Your Home Renovation

Outdated kitchen. Overrun backyard. Unusable basement space. If you have a home renovation project on the mind, the first thing you have to consider is how you are going to finance it. Here are the most common options to make your dreams become a reality.

Cash. Paying in cash is the most straightforward financing option, just save until you have enough money to cover the expenses. This will help eliminate spending outside your budget; however, it can also extend your timeline.

Mortgage Refinance. If you’ve been making payments on your home for a few years and your interest rate is higher than current market rates, you may be eligible for a mortgage refinance, reducing your payments and freeing up some money.

Cash-Out Refinance. You can tap into your home equity and borrow up to 80 percent of your home’s value to pay off your current mortgage plus take out more cash to cover the renovations. This option is encouraged only when you’re making improvements that will increase the value of your home, as it can add a lot of interest and fees.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but may be worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

 

 

If any of this is of interest to you feel free to reach out to me anytime and I would love to help you choose which option would work best for you.

I am always available to help!

 


Posted on February 3, 2020 at 1:29 pm
Nick Leonard | Posted in Helpful tips & Ideas |

Why I chose Real Estate

Why am I involved in real estate?

I first started gaining a passion for real estate in my early teens. My mom had been buying and remodeling houses and often had me do a lot of the labor work like demo, clean-up, paint, sanding, etc. This taught me a lot about construction and how to make remodeling cheaper by doing it on your own. My mom has such a good eye for bringing things to life and seeing hidden value that others miss not to mention she owns her own appraisal business which I frequently helped with and went along with her on some of her appraisals. I have had the advantage of learning first hand from her on so many aspects of real estate: construction, value, markets and investing. I think learning this so early on and experiencing it first hand is what really helped spark my interest for real estate so I began to dive in and really try to learn and understand all aspects of real estate. I decided to work really hard through my teen years and bought my first house when I was 18 years old. I didn’t know how important this would become to me until later down the road. The only unfortunate thing about this was that it was in 2008 which was definitely not a good time to buy but hey I was young and I didn’t know any better.

 

My First House

My house was a 3 bedroom 2 bath house so I rented out the other 2 rooms to my friends. As you can imagine being young with 2 of your friends, we were always having people over and always had something going on, it was great. I learned quickly though that not everyone has the same values or values the same things you do. Being the fact that it was my house most of the stuff in the house was also mine…..this didn’t always go over so well when others couldn’t understand why respecting my stuff was so important to me……I wanted it to last awhile whats wrong with that? When your young you don’t always have money. I was only charging $300 for rent and everything was included (this was cheap then and is really cheap now) but still it seemed as though it was hard for my friends to come up with the money. It isn’t very easy being a landlord, a friend and living in the house together especially when they owe you money and don’t have it. People would argue with me and say its not fair to pay my mortgage or this or that excuse. I went through a lot of room mates in the 5 years I had my house and also had a lot of amazing experiences as well. Through this experience and looking back I learned a lot about property management, renters and how earning passive income is the key to wealth. Adding this knowledge along with what my mom taught me and understanding passive income has been one of the greatest wealth building tools I have learned.

Alaska and Selling My First House.

I had spent the last few years working in Alaska furthering my skills and knowledge in construction. At the time I worked for a company who did general contracting jobs for the Forest Service, Coast Guard and Navy. I have always had a passion for business and investing however it was during this time in Alaska I became obsessed with reading, putting in hours a day! From there I spent years reading and studying the most successful people in many industries. What I learned from this was that many of them, no matter what industry they were in, owned real estate. I started learning about tax advantages, appreciation, depreciation, leverage, debt, 1031 exchange and more about passive income. It was then July of 2013 that my little brother passed away and October of 2013 I put my house on the market. Losing my brother was a huge turning point in my life so I set out for a new change. I put my house on the market and decided to head to Colorado. My house sold for the same price I bought it for so I didn’t win nor did I lose. However I did gain an enormous amount of knowledge and had a new vision, I wanted to become a real estate investor.

Colorado

My friend had gone to Colorado the year before and made some really good connections. He got me lined out with a job bar-tending at this private members club on Beaver Creek mountain in Avon. I had no idea what I was in for. This place was absolutely amazing it was a huge cabin on the side of the mountain and was only accessible by skiing-in and skiing-out. The food was incredible not to mention we had the best view on the mountain and it was exclusive to members only. When I say exclusive I mean to belong to the club you had to own property on the mountain which was 2 million to 10 million dollars plus you pay $90,000 for your membership. Here I was 23 years old, I had to snowboard to work everyday, they fed me amazing food everyday and I felt like I was in paradise. This is where I really started wanting to become an Investor because I was surrounded by many successful business CEOs, venture capitalist, professional athletes, NFL team managers, actors and other celebrities. I wanted to have the life they had. I took every opportunity I could to talk with them, hang out with them and just do whatever I could to surround myself around them and learn. One of the members at our club owned over 1000 properties all over the world with the smallest being a 200 unit apartment complex. I spent countless hours over the years talking and getting to know him as I did with many of the members. They shared their successes with me, mentored me and gave me the drive I needed to get started.

My Career and Today

 


Posted on January 3, 2017 at 10:17 am
Nick Leonard | Posted in Uncategorized |