Scranton, PA Triplex

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Truth be told, I probably won't update this deal diary beyond this post.  I'm blogging about it, which can be found here:

I just purchased my first property and planned to do a lot of the work myself.  I plan to hire out the plumbing and electrical and do the painting, tiling and flooring myself.  I've worked on a few of my own homes so I've got the tools and the DIY skills to do the job well.

Below is a portion of the last blog post I wrote, but I wanted to share what I learned this weekend with as many people possible because I think there are a lot of people making the same mistake I started to make.  Here's the excerpt:

...I was working on tearing up the crappy linoleum floor in the kitchen when I had an epiphany. Why am I doing this? I could probably get someone to do this same job for $12-$15 an hour. Then I started doing the math. Since I have a full time job, I can only devote 1 1/2 days per week to working on the triplex. The building is 2 hours away from my home, so I have to book a hotel room if I'm going to spend the weekend there. Here's what I figured out when I add up my weekly costs:

$100 for hotel

$100 for food, gas, etc.

$550 per week in lost rent

$750 per week is what it cost me to own the triplex in both actual and opportunity cost.

5 days (normal work week) of my labor (40 hours) will take me about 1 months worth of weekends to complete. That 40 hours of labor I produce will cost me about $3K ($750 per week X 4 weeks). If I pay someone $15 an hour, I can buy 200 hours of labor with that same $3K. So, why am I tearing up linoleum?

I closed up the triplex, told my new neighbor friends I'd see them next weekend, packed my tools into the truck and drove home. On the way home I listened to podcast 139 and heard Fat Tony say something that's been on my mind for a few days; "I'm a business man, not a handyman." My goal this week is to figure out how to be more of a businessman and not a handyman.

Looks like my budget is getting re-worked this week.

I have 2 guys that are willing to travel to do the work I need them to do. They are reliable and good carpenters and I offer them a bonus if they get the work done in the time I allotted for. You may want to look into that or even ask your neighbors for a referral. 

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