Rookie Mistakes-My Contractor Experience

On A Supply Run For Rental Property

When you think about rehabbing a project, one of the things that may come to your mind is HGTV. Of course, you have watched tons of HGTV shows and they show you how they are doing demo and encountering an issue here and there, but is that really what happens when “YOU DO IT”.

Uuuuhhh yes and no. Yes demo and issues happen when doing doing a renovation, but what those tv shows don’t show you is how it all starts. I’m going to break down my experience as a newbie real estate investor and explain the process I went through.

After the paperwork was signed and I officially owned the property. I followed these steps.

Step 1. I got a home inspection. Why, because as stated in a previous blog (, the home hadn’t been lived in for years and I needed to get a full view of what I was going to be dealing with.

Step 2. Put together a list of questions for the contractor. I included, things like are you insured, licensed, do you work on weekends, etc.

Step 3. Meet with contractors to do a walk-through of the property and get quotes and references.

Step 4. Sign the contract of the contractor and pay a deposit

I failed to follow steps 2 and 3 more thoroughly. In step 2, because of the rural area, the rehab was in, I found that lot of contractors were actually handy men. Some of them were not even registered with the state as an official business. In step 3, and this one may have saved me thousands of dollars, I didn’t call and check references of work they had done previously. I was impatient and it cost more money.

Looking back, I definitely realized that my process needs refinement, but now that the property is rented, I’m happy that I have lessons learned so that I can apply them moving forward.

In my interview with Coach Carson, we discussed my successes and losses with contractors. Please click on the link below for more details.

How To Avoid Bad Contractors

I Read A Book-I Got An Interview

Retire Early with Real Estate: How Smart Investing Can Help You Escape the 9-5 Grind and Do More of What Matters

For anyone who is trying to get into a new career or hobby, you are always told to learn more about the subject. Real Estate is no different. I’ve read a lot of books about real estate investing. I joined my local REIA (Real Estate Investment Association) and subscribed to a few youtube channels.

I have an audible subscription so I listen to books mostly. While searching for my next book to read, I came across a book published by Bigger Pockets. Bigger Pockets is the largest website of real estate professionals. It’s a great place to connect with people and learn from their experience. The book is called Retire Early With Real Estate by Chad Carson. It’s a really good book filled with stories and experiences of other real estate investors. I found it be very resourceful and one that I will probably have to listen to again as I grow my real estate business.

The one thing that was really special about this book is at the end where Coach Chad gives the readers of the book the chance to share their story and so I did just that. After I finished the book, I emailed him and I wasn’t expecting a response, but I got one along with an offer to share my story on his podcast and youtube.

You can find the podcast interview at

Quit Claim Deed Rental-Keeping It In The Family

My First Rental Property

 I recently finished my first rehab project on a rental and I couldn’t be more excited. With the help of my family, the property is now rented. It was a challenging road though.  I acquired (free of charge) the property from my mom through a Quit Claim Deed. A Quit Claim Deed is roughly a two page document that is used to transfer ownership of real property from one party to another. It took me a whole year to convince her to do it.  She had every excuse in the book saying, “it’s in a bad neighborhood and nobody wants to fix us their house in the neighborhood” and at one point she said she was just going to give it away.  About a year ago, she finally changed her mind and came to me and said, you can have it. I found a lawyer that would draw up the paperwork I couldn’t let her just give it away.  It was the first home she purchased and it had no mortgage.  She lived in that home for over 20 years.  It’s the only home my little sister knows and although they didn’t want to leave it, it was the best decision for them after my stepdad passed away. 

Two months after I had the warranty deed, I came home to start looking for contractors. The home needed a lot of work since no one had lived in it for nearly 2 years. I interviewed a few and I settled on a contractor who was the cheapest. Yeah, it was a bad rookie move.  The contractor basically tore the house apart, only to come back to me and ask me for more money.  When I declined, they stopped working on the home.  So I was back at square one.  Luckily my boyfriend has a friend who lived in Louisiana and was familiar with how the homes are structured so mid Jan, he began to  work on the property and all was going well for the few couple of weeks. When I visited in Feb, I was hoping the property would be near completion, but it wasn’t and although I was disappointed, the trip was not a complete waste because I managed not only to find a Property Manager, but also a tenant in the same week. Although I had not planned or even entertained the idea of a Section 8 tenant, it was an opportunity presented to me and I took it.  The next thing I knew I was preparing for a Section 8 tenant to move in which required an inspection that is like taking a National Certification Exam (nerve wrecking). 

After the contractors had done all they were going to do, which wasn’t the complete job and I refused to pay him the entire remaining balance, my family stepped in to finish the job and after 3 inspections, the property passed and the tenant moved in.  Looking back, there are a lot of things in my process I would change.  However, the fact that the property is still in our family and it looks better than ever is so satisfying and I cannot wait to take on my next deal after further reflection and a down payment.

Investing In Real Estate Without Doing Any Work

Fundrise Portfolio

As I continue on my real estate journey, I’m finding more ways to invest in real estate. One day I found a way to invest in Real Estate where I didn’t have to go property shopping, looking for ways to fund the property, nor did I have to put in work to rehab the property. I came across an ad for a company that required a minimum of $500 to begin and they did all the work. The company is called Fundrise.

Fundrise is a crowd-funding platform for real estate investors. Investors looking to update or build new properties provide documentation to Fundrise and Fundrise raises the money for them from people like me looking to get a better return on their money than they would from a bank. They have different levels of investors (Starter, Core, Advanced, Premium) and you get to choose your investment level. By that, I mean, do you want to be more or less aggressive with the returns you receive. You can also choose to invest as an individual or as a company without being accredited investor.

In addition to investing in the stock market, I chose the alternative. I’ve been investing for almost 2 years with Fundrise and I really like it. Not only do they do all the work, but they send me dividends on a quarterly basis directly to my bank account and provide updates on how the properties are doing.

If you are interested in investing or diversifying your portfolio and looking for a place to start, I recommend Fundrise and if you’re interested in joining click on the link and you and I both will have our advisory fees waived for 90 days.