SSS #176: Pulse Check


Livin' La Vida Luna


Some Valentines Day Fun

In this video, John Mayer describes the "creativity faucet" process he uses to create a new song.

He says, "If you're not Ouija Boarding immediately, you're wasting time."

So in this week's newsletter, I'm going to try just that.

A Free flowing, stream-of-consciousness summary of the past week.

Annual Physical

Around this time last year, I found out I had really high cholesterol.

Since then, I changed my diet, adjusted my exercise routine, and started taking supplements.

I just had my bloodwork done again. The numbers came down, but not quite enough to put me "in the clear".

My PCP is recommending I go on Lipitor (again).

It's a tough choice. I feel like the only thing holding me back from going on meds is my ego. I identify as a "healthy" person. Signing up for a lifetime of statins feels contradictory.

On the other hand, I'm not really willing to adjust my lifestyle much more than I already have.

Decisions, decisions...

I don't have to commit one way or another today as I'm still "young", but you know what they say, "Anxiety and stress come from unmade decisions".

Internet Friends

Dia thinks I'm crazy, but over the years I've become good friends with a few people I found on the internet, but never met in real life.

The first one that comes to mind is Ben from WODprep. We have a monthly call to catch up and I feel like I can be totally transparent with him.

Admittedly weird - but I've told Ben things about myself I wouldn't dream about telling my closest IRL friends or family members.

This past week, I think I may have made a new internet friend that has the potential to turn into a long-lasting meaningful relationship as well.

He has a pseudonymous account on Twitter: @HelpfulLandlord.

He recently tweeted something about building a high-end spec home so I DM'd him and asked if we could set up a call. We hopped on a Zoom on Friday and spent 90 minutes getting to know each other.

Super cool dude with a fascinating story. Looking forward to getting to know him better.

Quick Straw Poll: Is this behavior weird? LOL

Catharine St Project

We're almost finished with the renovations at our Catharine Street Project in Philly.

My business partner, Francis, crushed the timeline. We bought this property on 11/30/22 and we're just about done with the renovation.

If you're interested in seeing what we've done to the property, check out this Story Highlight on my Instagram.

All that's left now is a little bit of trim, cleaning out, and painting the exterior.

We should be ready to list the property on or around 3/1/23, just in time for the spring market.

Our construction budget here was $100K and our total budget (including soft costs and carrying costs) was $150K.


As you can see, we've spent $75K on labor and materials (supplies) and another ~$50K on other soft costs.

I actually think we're going to come in under budget, which is wild🤞🏽.

Here's where things get a little spicy: we're listing it for rent and for sale.

We're trying to achieve either a sales price of $800K or a $5,250/mo lease.

Either result would be a huge win. I'm partial to keeping the house as a rental for a year or two because I anticipate mortgage rates will drop, which should make prices rise again.

Mortgage Application

I promised Dia 2023 was the year we'd buy our first home.

I'm a man of my word so I applied for a mortgage and the process has been an absolute nightmare.

The sheer amount of documents we have to submit is unreal.

We did all the "normal" stuff like filling out our income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.

But one look at my tax return triggered the following email.


Now I have to go dig up K-1s and/or full tax returns for all the businesses I've started or invested in since 2020.

26 in total... Ugh.

Thankfully, the bank we're working with comes highly recommended by other real estate investors that have much more complicated tax returns than me.

If this doesn't work - I'm not exactly sure what my next step is.

Unless... we buy something...


Yeah right.

Duplex in Passaic

We got a duplex in Passaic, NJ under contract off our direct mail efforts.

The address is 200 8th Street Passaic, NJ. Here's a Picture Link

Our asking price is $575K. We pegged the as-is value of the existing structure at $600K.

The value add opportunity here is that it sits on a double-wide lot so there's precedent to subdivide and build another duplex next door.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in taking it down, shoot me a text or email and I'll connect you with my partner, Bill, to discuss further.

We have ~14 days to find a buyer before this deal gets killed. Happy to pay a referral fee if you bring me a buyer.