I bet you thought I wasn’t coming back! Yes it has been 5 months since the last update so I have alot to tell you.
In May, I went whitewater rafting down the Grand Canyon again with Advantage Grand Canyon. This time I did the upper section and I went in paddle boats and kayaks. This is much more exciting than going on the larger motorized boats. The video of the trip is below. In July, I went to Colorado and did our annual mountain biking trip in Crested Butte. The vacation video is the second one.
I went back to Chicago to take a look at my Evanston condo. It was empty during the month of July so I was able to see it and get it all cleaned up for my next tenant.
While in Colorado, I looked at some Crested Butte property. My friends and I have always wanted to get a vacation home there. There are townhomes that were about $1,000,000 at the peak which are selling for $650,000 right now. After looking at a bunch of them and running the numbers, we realized that it just did not make any sense. We would put down $200,000, rent it out as a vacation rental, and still be negative $800/mo.
My SLC townhomes have appreciated a little. I thought about selling them and had a real estate agent run a CMA. The CMA was not high enough for me to want to sell the townhomes so I’m renting them out again. The rents have increased in that area about $200/mo. So I can potentially increase my cashflow to $500 a month from $300 a month when their leases are up.
I sold my Ferrari last week! I was driving it less and less in the past few months and it was just sitting in the garage most of the time. So it was time to sell. I put it on Ebay and received alot of inquiries. It took me 3 weeks to sell it.
Which brings me to my final real estate update. I’ve been looking at properties in a specific condo complex for a while now. In fact, back in 2011, my dilemma was to buy an $80,000 condo (short sale) in this complex or the Ferrari. So now that the Ferrari is sold, I’m looking at these condos again and one came on the market 2 days ago at about $115,000. I’m going to put an offer in and see what happens.
Obviously, the decision to get the Ferrari is going to cost me $35,000 in appreciation and also the cost of ownership of the car, which would make this condo decision swing about $70,000! I don’t regret my decision at all, but it’s sort of crazy when you look at it in terms of just straight money.
This condo rents for about $800, so when you factor in all its expenses I would get a return of about 5.5% on my cash.
My online stores took a huge hit in June and July. They were the lowest months I’ve ever had since I’ve moved to a warehouse. I think I may have just broke even as my monthly expenses have been going up. I hired a marketing company to take over some of my PPC campaigns and customer retention. They have a 6 month contract so we will see where that goes.
August has recovered nicely as the first 15 days were very good. I’m importing more and more stuff and the warehouse is at 100% capacity. My inventory is sitting there waiting for Halloween and Christmas season to come. I vow to not run out of inventory this year!
Amazon sales have been doing well. I have been sending shipments to their warehouses every week. We are trying new things out there by shipping them a couple new items. When they sell out in a few days, we ship them more and more and more. It just keeps growing.
A couple of my friends have new businesses which recently launched.
Urban Trike – These adult big wheels are pretty cool and turn heads wherever we take them. You can also find them on kickstarter right now.
Ecom Lab – This is an ecommerce store training company. Membership gets you access to videos made by fellow successful ecommerce store owners.