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Green Lifestyle Choices: Home Cleaning Products

Green Lifestyle Choices: Home Cleaning Products

Green Cleaning at Home Today I walked into the laundry room and pulled my cleaning bucket out from under the plastic laundry tub in the corner. As I peered inside it, I realized that there were no harmful or toxic chemicals in it, and thought […]

Eco-friendly Holiday Gifts

Eco-friendly Holiday Gifts

Hop onto the “green” band wagon this year and invest in some eco-friendly gifts for those special people in your life, this article will give you some great ideas to get you started! With the green revolution in full swing many people are looking to […]

Real Estate Property Analysis in Houston Texas

Real Estate Property Analysis in Houston Texas

I searched the MLS for potential properties in Houston, Texas. My range was anything below $150,000 with five or more bedrooms. Lo and behold, I found a five-unit apartment building for $140,000. The screen shots below show you the search results, the property I picked and finally the web page where the listing came from.

My instincts tell me that a five-unit building with $140,000 price tag stands a good chance of having positive cashflow. Within NestVest, I save the property to my Favorites so I can analyze it properly.

We don’t know what the monthly rental income is. The MLS didn’t say. But NestVest queries, which uses the zipcode, number of units and the number of bedrooms per unit to calculate what the potential rent might be. We know from the listing that this is a 5 unit building with five bedrooms so that’s essentially five one-bedroom apartments. We buy houses Houston projects the rental income in this area is $750 per unit or $3,750 in total.

When we return to the main screen, the Preliminary Cashflow is $1,371 per month. Um . . . that’s pretty good.

The Expenses are all based on estimates. Within NestVest Premium I can search to find out what the current interest rates are and also the monthly insurance payment and monthly property taxes for that particular zip code. I push the button and returns the values I’m looking for. When I go back to the Property Info screen, I can see the new estimated monthly cashflow is $1,546/month.

The interest rate seems low to me. For a non-owner occupied building, I can only assume the lender will charge more for the interest rate. Also because this is a Five-unit building, some lenders get funny about their lending with more than four units. Beware of that. Im going to change the interest rate to 8% just to be safe. Now I can see the new cashflow. is $1,318/month. Cap Rate is over 18% and the Cash on Cash ROI is eleventy gabillion percent. Huge.

Since the units haven’t disappeared from the MLS, I can only assume the adage To good to be true comes to mind. If the units truly were the deal of the century then someone would have snatched them up by now. Are there catastrophic problems with the building? Did it fail a building inspection and requires major overhaul? Divorce?

Good questions to ask and definitely worth checking on. The original MLS listing did not mention anything about the property being sold as-is. When a property is sold as-is, it usually means the property has a major problem and the owner doesn’t want to pay for it. They want to dump the property onto someone else for a reduced price.

As far as the on paper aspect, the property appears solid.

Impound fees with Mortgage & Property Tax Deduction

Impound fees with Mortgage & Property Tax Deduction

You say to your friend, “Friend, let’s go out tonight.” “I can’t,” Friend says.  “My property tax bill came (website).  I have to save all my money.” For the next month, Friend eats only ramen noodles.  Before long, Friend starts looking a little ripe from […]

Cremation, is It Really a Choice?

Cremation, is It Really a Choice?

Final arrangements. All your life, there are choices. You live your life believing we are always in control of the things we choose. Or are we? Recently, I have been the unfortunate participant in planning a funeral. My parents have long since been deceased, since […]

Preparing for Home Inspection

Preparing for Home Inspection

How do you prepare for a home inspection?

Proper planning for a home inspection by the buyer and seller make home inspections go much more smoothly.

As a seller, it is best to prepare as much as possible by making sure your home is clean and presentable.

  • Allow two to three hours for a complete home inspection. Sometimes even longer depending on the size of your home, number of rooms and age of your house.
  • The buyer should accompany the inspector for best education. As the inspector finds problems, the inspector is able to explain to you in more detail by speaking with you then and there and pointing out the problem rather than trying to write a detailed report.
  • The property owner should be contacted regarding the time, date, and estimated duration of the home inspection.
  • The home inspector should have the buyer’s full name, address, and phone number, if the buyer is unable to attend the inspection. It’s best practice if you can not be present, send someone to be there anyway. They can explain to you better what situations have come up.
  • The home inspector should be contacted at least 24 hours before the inspection if the appointment needs to be canceled or postponed.
  • The property’s systems (i.e., gas, electric, water, and oil) should be turned on for the inspection. It’s pretty difficult to test electric current or water pressure when there is no service.
  • The owner should be informed that all appliances, equipment, and systems will be inspected and returned to the condition in which they were found prior to the inspection. The inspector should NEVER need to permanently damage any appliance or any part of the existing structure of the home to make an inspection.
  • Access and keys must be made available for all property, including garages, closets, attics, etc..
  • The owner should move items that block access to the furnace, the boiler, a hot-water heater, the attic, crawl spaces, access panels, electric service panels, water meter, etc…
  • All sinks, tubs, and basins should be emptied.
  • The written inspection report is provided to the buyer after the inspection. The buyer should indicate if the report should be shared with the real estate agents, realtors in Houston Heights or other parties. Often it is best to submit the findings when you are ready to make an offer, as a reason as to why you have reached the final value of the house that you have.
  • Payment is due upon completion of the inspection.
Hot Tips for Cleaning Your Bathroom

Hot Tips for Cleaning Your Bathroom

Keep it real. Real clean. Ah, the bathroom. Known as the dirtiest room in the house. It can be quite a chore to clean, but with a few simple strategies it can become much less taxing and a shorter task to complete. Before you know […]

My Diary

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green eco products to clean your homeGreen Cleaning at Home

Today I walked into the laundry room and pulled my cleaning bucket out from under the plastic laundry tub in the corner.

As I peered inside it, I realized that there were no harmful or toxic chemicals in it, and thought this would be great information to share with those who cared about making green lifestyle choices.

To start this article, I first pulled out all the contents and spray bottles in my bucket so that I could provide the reader with an adequate list of what you would need to make all the environmentally safe cleaning products that I use around my home.

All of these products are safer for the environment, my children, my grandchildren, and my pets, plus they cost much less than store purchased chemically-based products. I even use them to clean several commercial spaces for catering Houston, so I know these are powerful.

The ingredients I used to mix up the various cleaners in my cleaning bucket include baking soda, borax , vinegar, salt, lemon juice, vegetable oil, cornstarch, toothpaste, liquid soap (vegetable based castile soaps are best used here), glycerin, and scented oils, also referred to essential oils, which are mainly used to deoderize or disinfect.

Most of these oils can be found in health food or herbal supply stores and can include, but at not limited to, lavendar, mint, rose, lemon, and tea tree oil, which is best used as a disinfectant.

Below I have listed the use of the product, and the recipe to make it:

All-purpose Cleaner: 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup liquid soap, into 2 cups of water. This recipe will clean and deodorize all surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom. This can be poured into a spray bottle and used daily.

Scouring Paste: 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1/3 cup liquid soap, and 2/3 cup baking soda. This can be used to scrub pots and pans. Keep this scrub mixture in a plastic tub and store under your kitchen sink. You will find a million uses for it. Best used with a teflon scrub pad with degree of roughness required to easily handle the job.

Disinfectant: 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil, 1 cup of baking soda, and 1/2 cup of water. Mix together and put in small spray bottle. Can be used to deodorize or disinfect most surfaces.

Oven Cleaner: 1/2 cup of water, 2 teaspoons liquid soap, 1/3 cup salt, and 3/4 cup baking soda. Mix and place in spray bottle. Spray oven thoroughly and leave overnight to soak. Personally, I perfer to foil line so this product is obsolete.

Glass Cleaner: 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 cup water. This works best using newspaper as opposed to paper towel and a little 1 teaspoon amonia added will cut any grease build
up or smoke film on windows.

Rust Remover: 1 bottle of coke soda pop. Wipe or soak the rusted area and then rinse…this method is still being used by those who use wells in rural locations.

Stain Remover for materials: 1/4 cup glycerin (glycerin helps oil and water mix for removing tough stains) 1/4 cup liquid soap, and 1 1/4 cups water. Mix together and place in spray bottle. Spray affected area and leave to dry – wash or vacuum as required.

Wooden Floor Polish: 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup vinegar, 12 drops of scented oil (optional). Mix and wipe clean or polish.

Removing Crayon: To remove crayon marks on walls, floors, and tables, use toothpaste on a damp cloth and rub until the mark disappears. Not for use on porous surfaces like wallpaper.

Removing Grease: Immediately pour on salt. Let sit a few minutes and brush off.

Removing Scratches: Use equal parts of lemon juice and vegetable oil and apply to a soft cloth. Rub until they disappear from the wood.

This completes my regular cleaning products. I still use laundry detergent purchased at the store, but I am always careful to find a low phosphate liquid brand, as this is easier on the environment.

I hope this list helps you decide to make a green lifestyle choice and use homemade environmentally friendly cleaning products the next time you pull out your cleaning bucket.