I Have Been Diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease

February 3, 2015 Posted by Tyler Cruz

I apologize for the sheer lack of posting lately. I have been having medical issues.

In fact, I will have to keep this post fairly short because of this. It may also not be the most coherent, especially since it’s currently 2:29am as I can’t sleep due to anxiety.

A few days ago, on January 31st 2015, I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. Wikipedia describes it as "a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo, low-pitched tinnitus, and hearing loss.".

Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, let me tell you that it’s a hell of a lot worse than it may sound. While everyone has varying degrees of illnesses and diseases, I can tell you that my personal experience with Meniere’s so far has been absolutely brutal. It has absolutely disrupted my life and made me extremely depressed and anxious on top of the actual disease’s symptoms.

I developed Tinnitus around 3 months ago, which at the time I thought was bad enough. I saw a regular physician who referred me to both an ENT and audiologist. The audiologist ran some tests and discovered that I have mild-to-moderate hearing loss in my left ear, and the ENT didn’t really add too much other than telling me to take care of my ears.

I was depressed about the Tinnitus but actually eventually got used to it for the most part – some days are worse than others with it, and it can really range for me.

Then, on January 21st 2015, I was sitting at the computer when all of a sudden everything started spinning really fast. I went from normal to the world feeling it was spinning incredibly past within a few seconds. I don’t want to dwell on it too much, but it basically felt like the world was spinning at a circular angle from left to right at like 50 KM/hour. It was so severe and such a horrible feeling that I had to immediately close my eyes, clench down on my chair and just wait it out.

I felt extremely panicked and actually cried out for help several times. Fortunately it only lasted about a minute, but I was dizzy afterwards for several hours. I didn’t know what the hell it was, but I basically wrote it off as being dehydrated.

Things continued normally for me (still with the Tinnitus though) until exactly one week later, when I had another episode. This time it happened while I was taking a hot bath to warm myself out from the cold Canadian winter. This time it lasted slightly longer and I again was in absolute agony and high stress while the attack happened. I feel so helpless when it occurs, and it’s absolutely terrifying.

Since both attacks occurred the day after I started playing badminton twice a day (I started playing badminton both in the morning and in the evening on Tuesdays and the attacks both happened on Wednesday), I thought that maybe the two things were related and again thought that dehydration may be the reason.

But then, only a few days later on Saturday, I had a 3rd attack. I was again at the computer, and the attack came on fast just as usual – within a few seconds. This was the worst attack yet and lasted probably around 2… maybe 3 minutes.

I’ve since learned that these attacks are called Vertigo – this isn’t what I thought Vertigo was. I thought Vertigo was more of a very mild feeling, usually due in relation to heights, but the attacks I experienced… were insane. Again, there is probably a large spectrum in terms of severity, but I couldn’t imagine my last attack to be any worse apart from lasting longer.

It was so severe that about halfway through it I started vomiting violently – only I had nothing to throw up as I had woke up not too much earlier. I continued "trying" to vomit until the attack ended, and by the end of it my throat was sore as a result.

Also, by the time the attack ended I was trembling very noticeably from sheer terror, shock, and agony. I also was sweating profusely… as if I had just run a marathon… it was actually amazing how much I had sweat within that short window.

Listen. I wouldn’t wish these attacks on my worst enemy. Not even Hitler, Osama, or Pol Pot. There’s just no reason for anyone to ever have to go through this.

I understand that there are probably worse diseases and situations to have out there, but I’d still say that this ranks pretty high up there… at least the Vertigo attacks. When they happen, I just want to die. I just clench down and beg for them to end. I couldn’t imagine them lasting longer than 2-3 minutes…

Anyhow, that very same day I went to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic and after a 3-hour wait, I was given 5-minutes with a doctor. She believed I had Meniere’s Disease, which is actually what I thought I may have, but didn’t say anything and she came up with it on her own.

I’ve been prescribed Serc which is a Betahistamine anti-vertigo drug. I’ve been on it for 2-3 days now and since taking it I have not had another Vertigo attack for which I am grateful for. However, and I am not sure whether this is due to the sudden onset of Meniere’s or the drug, since my last attack I have been feeling pretty crappy. I have a constant sense of being slightly dizzy, as well as a slight fogginess and blurred vision.

I’m not sure if the blurred vision is my actual vision requiring a new prescription or is due to the drug (or the disease), but it’s definitely an issue. I did have a ton of visual issues a year and a half ago, which ended up being fixed with a new prescription, but it just seems a bit odd that it’s so sudden and is happening at the same time I just started taking a prescription drug and with my Meniere attacks.

I should mention too that I am very likely to continue losing my hearing and eventually go completely deaf, at least in my one ear.

In the background of all this is my Tinnitus, but again that is so secondary to everything else that I could almost care less about it now. In some ways that’s almost a good thing because when I first got it (and realized that it was permanent with no cure), I was really depressed and anxious.

Anyhow, because of my constant dizziness and more recently my blurred vision, I haven’t been working. Yesterday I couldn’t even use my computer at all… within seconds of looking at the screen I would feel like puking. I’m lucky I’ve been able to use it as long as I have right now to write this post. I did decrease the resolution which seems to have helped a bit though.

In general, I feel so much better away from the computer, so… I dunno. Maybe I’ll have to give up working on the computer entirely and find a new occupation.

I just hope I get better. There are a lot of treatments available for Meniere’s, which all work to varying degrees, but I’m still early on the Serc trial so I have to give that 2 weeks before I consult with a doctor again. Internet research has taught me that a very low-sodium diet seems to help a lot too, so I am working on reducing my sodium as well. I think I need to get it to 500-1,000 MG a day, which is HARD.

The good news is that I actually changed my lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise 2 months ago and so have already been a lot healthier apart from this disease. In fact, I lost 20 pounds in the past 56 days.

I just came across Ed’s Meniere’s Videos as well which are awesome videos by a physician who has Meniere’s himself and has done a ton of research and tested everything to try to "cure" himself. I also subscribed to /r/Menieres on Reddit.

I’ll end this post by adding a few interesting tidbits from UFC President Dana White. He has Meniere’s too and underwent a surgery a couple years ago to try to cure it, but it didn’t end up working and he became deaf in his one ear as a result.

Here’s a quote from him right before he had the surgery:

“This thing is indescribable. People … can’t deal with it. It drops you. It puts you down. You can’t open your eyes for hours or sometimes days. You have to keep your eyes closed. Every time you open your eyes, you throw up.

“And it’s pain like you can’t imagine. You start sweating buckets of water. You can’t open your eyes. You curl up into a fetal position for hours or days. You just lay in bed and pray you fall asleep. You want the room as dark as you can get it.

“I’ve been traveling all over the world for 13 years. I’ve had the flu. I’ve had food poisoning. I’ve had just about everything you can have, and it doesn’t faze me. I just keep going. This thing puts you down.”

Good Lord, I couldn’t imagine dealing with an attack for a few hours let alone a few days. I’ve heard of some people having it for up to 2 weeks. I would beg to die long before that.

But, Dana describes it similar to me. It’s horrible…

Anyhow, a few months later Dana white underwent a very new and experimental treatment.

Here are some snippets from the article:

"Invented by Dr. Wehling, the procedure involves removing some of the patient’s own blood, incubating the blood at a slightly raised temperature and than running the blood through a centrifuge to isolate naturally occurring anti-inflammatory proteins, which are then injected back into the patient.

White underwent the treatment this past weekend, and he said the procedure essentially cured his condition…"

“I haven’t felt this good in two years,” White said. “I’m working out like a maniac. I’ve never felt better in my life.”

The UFC boss said he will undergo another treatment session in approximately three months, but he’s excited for the results thus far.

The UFC boss seemed in incredibly good spirits as he recounted the tale and is hopeful his days of dealing with Meniere’s are over.

“I told them, ‘I don’t give a s–t if I start growing a horn out of my head. If you can stop this, I’ll file the horn down,’” White said. “But according to them, there are absolutely no side effects whatsoever.”

That’s great, I thought at first, but Dana White is a billionaire. The treatment probably costs like $100,000-$1M. But, according to Wikipedia, Orthokine is "only" around $8,000. I may have to get it done in Germany since it’s not approved in the US (and if Dana went to Germany, then probably not Canada either). Hmm… so maybe $11,000~ for travel and expenses if that’s right, assuming no follow-up treatments or anything.

Hell, I may end up using the same doctor that Dana White used.

If so, that’s some positive news.

Heh, it also gives me some motivation to stop slacking like I have been lately, and really work HARD like I used to back in the day… simply because the more cash I have, the more treatments that are available to me.

The Wikipedia article continues:

Chris Renna, a preventive medicine specialist who has referred American patients to Wehling since 2003, said that "because of its expense and status, the treatment is for the 1 and 2 percent of our society."

I’m not sure if I fall into the 1 or 2 percent, but I’m hoping that this is an option for me and that I can afford it. While I do with everyone could afford the treatment, it does shed some reality on another reason why making money is important.

It’s not just for prestige and to live a very comfortable life – it’s also extremely useful for situations such as these.

Anyhow, I’ve been on the computer for a bit over an hour now and it’s nearly 4am. I’ve been lucky I’ve been able to last this long, although it has been a little bit of a struggle. I need to go back to sleep as sleep is apparently very important for Meniere’s, but I was getting very dizzy while trying to sleep so I’ll stay up a bit more until I’m basically too tired to notice the dizziness.

I don’t know when I’ll post again – it may be quite a while to be honest. I hope none of you ever have to go through this.

Posted: February 3rd, 2015 under Personal 52 Comments

Affiliate Marketing Income Report: October 2014

January 6, 2015 Posted by Tyler Cruz

It’s time for another affiliate marketing income report.

I’ve been noticing a problem lately… I’ve been getting pretty complacent and lazy with my affiliate marketing efforts again. As I mentioned before, I usually tend to put in a lot more effort when my earnings are doing really well or doing really poorly – when they are just mediocre, I lose the incentive to make the added effort because I am comfortable where I am. This is something I need to overcome.

I think the other part of it is that my mind has been more on real estate investment lately, so it’s hard to initiative to push myself on my campaigns.

That being said, October was a pretty good month for me, seeing a modest increase over the previous month. Let’s take a look:

October 2014 Affiliate Campaign Income:

$44,811.48

Affiliate Network Breakdown:

  • Affiliate Network #1: $41,901.48
  • Affiliate Network #2: $1,450.00
  • Affiliate Network #3: $1,460.00

(This includes conversion from foreign currencies to USD)

Expenses:

$35,625.55


Traffic Source Breakdown:

  • Traffic Source #1: $13,649.89
  • Traffic Source #2: $2,440.35
  • Traffic Source #3: $1,415.32
  • Traffic Source #4: $448.72
  • Traffic Source #5: $723.43
  • Traffic Source #6: $16,947.84

    …a fair number of traffic sources used. I’m constantly hopping around various traffic sources.

Net Profit:

$9,185.93

It’s not 5 figures, but I’ll always be very happy with a $9K profit month.

It also shows a $2K+ profit/month increase over the past 3 months.

2014 Affiliate Marketing Results

First, here’s a recap of how 2013 fared for the entire year:

Year Gross Expense Net ROI
2013 $823,884.01 $555,024.33 $258,859.68 46%
Total: $823,884.01 $555,024.33 $258,859.68 46%
Monthly Average: $68,657.00 $47,085.36 $21,571.64 46%

And here’s a monthly breakdown of 2014 so far:

Month Gross Expense Net ROI
January 2014 $10,922.80 $8,908.47 $2,014.33 23%
February 2014 $25,941.97 $15,900.52 $10,041.45 63%
March 2014 $24,202.06 $15,408.95 $8,793.11 57%
April 2014 $3,486.55 $3,150.00 $336.55 11%
May 2014 $57,015.00 $38,765.01 $18,249.99 47%
June 2014 $60,753.58 $43,095.35 $17,658.23 41%
July 2014 $50,162.81 $37,073.59 $13,089.22 35%
August 2014 $27,317.35 $21,291.31 $6,026.04 28%
September 2014 $29,935.71 $22,872.08 $7,063.63 31%
October 2014 $44,811.48 $35,625.55 $9,185.93 26%
Total: $334,549.31 $242,090.83 $92,458.48 38%
Monthly Average: $33,454.93 $24,209.08 $9,245.85 38%

I’m at $92K net profit so far this year after 10 months in. That puts me on pace to hit $110K profit this year.

The Larger Picture: 22-Month Analysis

Below are my overall numbers from my campaigns since I started recording them in January 2013:

January 2013 to October 2014 Gross Expense Net ROI
22-Month Total: $1,158,433.32 $807,115.16 $351,318.16 44%
Monthly Average: $52,656.06 $36,687.05 $15,969.01 44%

Getting close to 2 years of recording my affiliate marketing stats, my monthly average sits at $15,969.01. I’m very happy with that. However, things are dropping; I averaged $21.5K/month last year, but am only averaging $9.2K/month this year. It scares me what things could drop to next year…

October Recap

October was a bit interesting as it was the first time I did any real volume in mobile.

I had tried mobile very briefly a couple times in the past, but we’re talking about only $1,000 – $1,500 a month in ad spend. This time, I ended spending about half of my entire monthly budget on mobile!

Since I’m still a major newbie to mobile, most of it was spent on simply gathering data, although I did end up making a small profit if I remember correctly.

I also ran web with my other half, but I had trouble scaling anything there. I also tried revisiting a couple of old traffic sources again, which ended up being utter failures.

I haven’t made any new landing pages in quite a while or even played around with targeting much. Mostly, I’ve been split-testing offers. To be honest, I’ve gotten pretty lazy lately in terms of testing new stuff (apart from mobile).

From what I can remember, I think I worked a decent amount on my campaigns in October, which is good and can be seen by the month’s results.

November Plans and Predictions

Normally in this section I list the plans I have for the upcoming month as well as predict how I think the month will fare profit-wise. However, since November has already come and gone, I will be skipping this section in this report since I already know how it went.

I’ll have November’s report up soon, keep an eye out for it.

Posted: January 6th, 2015 under Affiliate Marketing 32 Comments

Affiliate Landlord: Hitting the Streets – Tour #2

December 22, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz

11 days ago I published a post on my walkthrough tour of some rental properties I was interested in purchasing.

A couple days ago I went out for a 2nd tour, this time for new properties I was interested in, and so I thought I’d share how it went again.

As with the first time, I had an absolute blast again. It’s just so fun to go out and look at something physical to invest in. I’ve been working online nearly my entire working life and so the closest to any "asset" I’ve ever had was owning income-generating websites – but again that is still entirely digital.

Anyhow, let’s proceed with the 2nd tour! This time, we left a little bit earlier and set out to look at 5 properties. Inventory here right now, partly due to the season, is really low and there actually aren’t too many other rental properties available.

Property #5: The Ocean View Duplex

Funnily enough, this is another property on the same street as my favourite property from my first viewing. It’s one of the streets in my town that is infamous for being fairly undesirable to live in.

However, the street is pretty long and this property was situated at the very other end of the worst part of it. Basically, it’s the "rich" end of the street. I didn’t even know the street went that far or that the property value increased as you head along it.

The property is a Duplex priced in the low $400K’s and has only been on the market for 2 weeks.

What amazed me first and foremost was the view. While not perfect (there’s some logs floating around from the logging industry here, and partially blocked with a few trees), the property is quite high up that you still get quite the view. It’s December and was raining when we went, and yet I’d still classify it as a "million dollar view".

In fact, the view is taken advantage of with the layout of the construction. For example, the kitchen window overlooks it, as does the living room windows. It’s just a bit amazing to have such a view at this price range here.

Below is an actual shot courtesy of Google Street View of the view… but that’s taken at street level – again the property is quite high up so it really gets a much better view. You’ll just have to trust me that the view is a lot better than this photo Smile

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Setting the view aside though, this duplex was just simply awesome. Each side has its own garage, which is not very common in duplexes of this price range.

In addition, every single inch of this property both inside and out was in superb condition. I mean, walking through it I felt very comfortable and at home; I’d love to rent here myself! My agent was pleasantly surprised as well.

The property is also nicely landscaped both in the front and back, including 2 nice wooden sheds, a back privacy porch, etc.

Lastly, one of the units has an unauthorized suite on the bottom floor. It is "unauthorized" only because the property is zoned for a duplex and not a triplex… otherwise it would be okay. Normally I am against unauthorized suites for the very small risk of there being an issue in the future, but in this case the risk would be even smaller since I could still rent out both sides even if I was told to stop renting out the bottom portion. It would still suit people in certain situations, such as a family with a teenage/20-something child, in-laws, etc.

The garage (which are actually finished inside BTW… bulkheads, drywall, lighting, paint, etc.) also contain lockable doors to both the upstairs and downstairs which means that I could choose which configuration would get the garage.

The unauthorized suite is both a pro and a con… it’s a con for the small chance that the city have a problem with it in the future, and a pro for the added rent! I should mention though that there are a few duplexes right beside this one though, making any "complaining neighbours" even less likely.

Overall, I loved this place and it’s now the strong favourite on my list. I think it is a bit premature to make an offer it though since it has only been listed for 2 weeks so far, and the holidays are coming up.

It is already priced pretty good so I’m hoping it doesn’t sell before it drops… I don’t expect a drop to be until mid-January at the earliest, and more likely in February.

Oh, almost forgot – here are the numbers:

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Property #6: The 8-Plex Historical

Boy, where to start on this one…

This property has been on the market for a while and never really tickled my fancy before due to its age, but with a very limited selection out there, I decided to take a look at it as the numbers on paper appeared to be pretty good.

It is a 114-year-old officially historical home that was converted to an 8-unit boarding house in the 1960’s. It was more recently converted into rental housing for the university students here.

It has 2 floors with each floor having a shared bathroom. That’s 1 bathroom per 4 units! Surprisingly though, even though they hadn’t been cleaned for a week apparently, they were pretty decently clean!

The listing realtor met us there to give us a detailed tour of the place which was actually pretty informative and helpful. There is also a separate title for the back lot which is zoned and ready for a 4-plex.

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The age of the property aside (it had a lot of renovations over the years and is in decent shape, although there is obviously a lot more risk with an older building than a newer one), this property was really quite shocking to me.

We saw the entire building, including every single of the 8 units. Upon "entering" the first one, I was really in a state of shock, although I tried to mask it. It was tiny! I knew the rent numbers of the units going in, so I had a certain idea in mind what to expect, but just couldn’t believe that someone would be paying that much rent for what was quite literally just a room.

The tenant was there and seemed very happy living there though. He said he loved living there and that it was "enough" for him. All the other units were the same, more or less. Some were a little bit bigger and some a little smaller, but they were all just 1 single room with a closet and tiny kitchenette (literally smaller than an RV kitchen).

It’s funny because I was briefly discussing how I couldn’t believe how small the units were in my chatroom (some by and say hi), and one regular said something along the lines of "They are young college students – they’re probably elated to be living on their own"… and that is true! I forgot that when I first moved out of my parent’s place that I was just so happy to be going out on my own that the actual place didn’t matter all that much.

I’m old now and forgot that your first place is usually not a palace. Plus, these rental rates were like 60%~ of normal rates, so that does make sense too.

Anyhow, back to the property. The units themselves all seemed in decent condition, and there is a caretaker who would like to stick with the property who deals with all the tenants, cleans, keeps an eye on the place, etc. for an extremely cheap rate.

Numbers-wise, the place cashflows nicely. Here are the numbers:

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In the end though, I think that this is a bit too much for me to tackle for my very first income property. It’s not out of the running, but I’d need it to drop in price a fair bit before I’d consider placing an offer on it.

Property #7: The Simple House

This one wasn’t all that interesting. It’s a "simple" small older house situated on a somewhat noisy street. It’s not really a real busy street, it’s just a bit loud – you can hear traffic drive by from the living room.

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This house doesn’t have a suite, so it would be rented to just one tenant, but it’s a complete house with a yard and appears to be in good shape.

I wasn’t that interested in this one on paper, but as I mentioned before, inventory here is really low so there aren’t that many options out there and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take a look.

The numbers are actually not too bad for this property, although my realtor has some reservations as to the traffic noise insofar as resale value.

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My purchase price here, as with all the other properties, assumes a moderate reduction on the current list price.

If this property drops once or twice more, it may not be such a bad purchase… numbers don’t lie.

Property #8 – The "Full Circle" Property

Okay, so this one is a little interesting.

First off, it’s basically "slum lord" property. I don’t really like to use that term, but this is about as close to slum lording as you can get here. It’s a 10-plex property situated literally right behind a corner 7-11.

What’s interesting, and why I’m calling it the "full circle" property, is that I had actually looked at one of the units here back around 2005 when I moved out from my parent’s house and was looking for my first place to rent.

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I remember waiting for the lady (I’m not sure if she was the owner or a property manager) to meet me there and her ending up being late. She then showed me inside and I immediately regretted my decision to consider this property. It was cheap, which is why I had wanted to check it out, but then I realized why it was so cheap.

Basically, while relatively decent inside, you could tell it was a recent cheap renovation – the way I remember it is with wood-coloured vinyl everywhere – the floor and even the walls. But mainly, it was just really small. The ceilings were really low which made me feel claustrophobic and the entire unit was just simply tiny.

Still way better than the 8-Plex historical units mentioned earlier (by far), but I just wanted to get out of there. I remember asking her a few questions just to feign relative interest so that I wouldn’t "hurt her feelings", such as "I see I see… so… it is wired for cable Internet then?".

And now, nearly 10 years later, I am actually looking at this place (the entire 10-plex, in fact!) to consider purchasing as an investor. Ha! Who would have thought? My entire blog was actually started to document my journey moving out on my own and trying to make a living from the Internet.

Now, this place scares me for a lot of reasons: the quality of tenants, the age and condition of the property (it needs a new roof right off the bat my agent says), and the location.

But do the numbers work? Let’s see:

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They do. Damn. Heh. But are they worth the issues mentioned above? For me, no, they aren’t. For my first rental property, this would be pretty ambitious.

That being said, this place has had some pretty big price drops; it’s dropped by $100K since it was first listed, and it’s due for another drop. If I can get a deal on this place, I might actually bite the bullet and take the issues that come with a property such as this one. But I’d need to get a deal.

Property #8: The Sold Duplex

There’s really not much to say on this one.

Basically, we took a look to see it because it was on my list, but it just happened to get an approved offer that same day. We checked it out "just in case" and to give it a look-see.

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It’s fine though, as it didn’t seem too impressive to me. Nothing special…

I won’t bother including the numbers on the property here since it’s most likely sold now.

So – there you have it. Another 5 properties looked at in person. There’s really not much else out there… there’s a few more, but definitely nothing that excites me.

I really love Property #5: The Ocean View Duplex. It’s just a bit of a difficult place to be with it only been listed for 2 weeks, and with Christmas coming up within a few days. The other interesting thing to consider is that a $15,000 difference in purchase price only makes a difference of around $40-$50 a month in cash flow.

But… that’s also a 30-year difference… so that’s $18,000 in profit (not taking inflation and raised rental numbers into consideration). So, a $33,000 difference over 30 years.

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 under Miscellaneous 12 Comments

Affiliate Landlord: Hitting the Streets

December 9, 2014 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Heh, this title sounds like a reality TV show.

As you know, I’ve been seriously looking into acquiring an investment property, specifically a buy-and-hold cashflowing rental.

On Friday, after a lot of research and analysis, I finally went out with my investment agent to take a look at some of the leading properties on my list in person.

I’ve always enjoyed looking at properties in person (having only done it for personal purchases before though), and looking at investment properties was no different. It’s just extremely fun for me… I get a huge high from doing it.

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Anyhow, I thought I’d share how things went. We looked at 4 properties. For privacy reasons, I will not be including the address or any actual photos of the properties (Once I purchase a property I can include photos though).

Property #1: The Feud Duplex

On paper, this was my favourite property. It cashflowed nicely, was in a decent location, and looked like an overall good property.

However, and this is only something that could ever be learned by visiting a property in person, there appears to be an issue between the upstairs and downstairs tenants. Apparently they do not get along… at all. One of the tenants claimed that the other threatened to attack him if he kept gardening.

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The feud must be pretty bitter, considering that the tenant appeared to quickly volunteer this information after some short friendly banter from my agent.

Even though I’ll be hiring a property management company to handle any such situations such as feuding neighbours, I don’t like the fact that the tenants do not get along. I know that this situation is not really under my control and will happen regardless eventually, but it may just sway me from purchasing a property where I know that a feud is currently in place.

Anyhow, here are the numbers for that place:

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Property #2: The Hobbit House

This is a very interesting one.

Normally, I would never consider a property such as this one. It’s in one of the worst (if not the worst) areas of my city and is a very cheap property.

But looking online, there was just something about it that drew me to it. I think I saw the income potential of it – unless the photos were completely deceiving, it looked like it might cashflow nicely.

My agent was very vocal in telling me how cautious he was of this place, because of its age and location, but I still wanted to see it.

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I nickname this one the Hobbit House because the basement has a round entrance door, and the ceilings are low, and it has wooden exposed beams.

Anyhow, arriving at the house and walking up to the front door, I smelled a strong odour of marijuana. When we later went in, the smell was completely gone, so it must have been from the wonderful neighbourhood… as if to remind us where the property is situated.

The main floor was very small and basic, and I noticed some water damage with mold in the corner of a ceiling, but we’re pretty sure we know what it’s from and it should be a pretty easy fix ($200~ I’m guessing). Otherwise, the top floor was in okay condition overall though.

There is a large detached wooden garage as well.

Downstairs was interesting. It had a separate entrance, and was very small and quaint inside… just like you’d expect a Hobbit Home to be. The ceiling was low, which my realtor told me would make the suite illegal. It had a rather large bathroom (in proportion to the rest of the unit), and the whole unit was recently renovated… which was most notable in the new tile that made up the entirety of the floor. Get this though, it was all radiant floor heating! It felt so cozy!

Overall, I was really impressed with this property. It does needs a new roof – cost estimate is $6K-$10K, is in a bad neighbourhood, needs some basic water damage in the ceiling repaired, and has an unauthorized suite (my biggest con), but the numbers are good.

Check them out here:

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With all contingencies in place, and allowing myself a $10K budget for a new roof, the place will cashflow at $575~ a month, close to $7K a yet in profit.

However, the resale value of this property is very poor due to the neighbourhood, my agent warns me.

I’m not going to go out and make an offer on it this moment or anything, but I’m definitely watching it closely. If it drops in price again, there’s a good chance I will put an offer in. However, it did just drop last week after being listed 3 months prior, so it probably won’t drop again until the spring, if it doesn’t sell before then.

Property #3: The Frat House Duplex

This was another property where the numbers on paper were fantastic.

It is another duplex, but a larger one than the first property we looked at. It’s located close to the college here and is really quite large. The listing mentions how both sides just finished having lots of renovations.

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Good Lord! I won’t go into any great detail, but basically the renovations were absolute shit! You could tell the owner did it himself, and it was basically beyond belief. The ceilings throughout the entire unit (we only looked at one side) were completely wonky – sagging, curving, and looking like there was 500 tons of water in the attic or something. Every other reno job was just as bad. The tiling was horrible, the floors had huge lumps and crazy slants… it was really bad.

I mean, I even spotted one room where you could tell it had wallpaper before and they literally just painted over the wallpaper – you could easily see the texture underneath.

No thanks. I don’t care how good the numbers are, not interested in the place in the least.

I won’t even show you the numbers because this place is not on my list anymore.

Property #4: The Overpriced Duplex

The last property we looked at was yet another duplex.

This one was extremely clean inside (it helps that the tenants themselves were very tidy and minimalistic), and in superb shape. It was also quite large. Overall, a great property.

However, the numbers are not as great as can be seen here:

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The rents could probably be increased… but even at $1,000 per side it would only cashflow at $392.80 a month. Hmm… I guess that’s not that bad, but really what I need is for this place to drop in price. The last drop was 2 months ago, so it might drop again soon.

Also, while it’s in a nice safe neighbourhood, it’s not all that close to a lot of places, so it could possibly take a little longer to fill up any future vacancies.

Anyhow, there you have it. As expected, you learn a hell of a lot more by visiting a property in person than what you see on paper.

I have another 4 properties lined up to look at, and I can’t wait to see them! Let me know if this post was interesting and if I should do a report on the next 4 properties.

Posted: December 9th, 2014 under Miscellaneous 11 Comments