It’s that famous holiday time! Most of you are probably still feeling stuffed of turkey and mac & cheese (although probably fewer people than in past years due to the ever-increasing numbers of vegetarians and vegans) and all you can think about is just hanging on until Christmas so you can enjoy a week or two off from life and work. I hear you. It’s exciting for me too. Except there is one thing…
End of the year = time to hustle.
I’m very excited about the holidays coming up and the thought of kicking back and relaxing, but at the same time, next year is riding heavily on my mind too. As you know, Hipster has sky-rocketed this past year (yay!) and I’m telling you, I can’t slow my creative juices down. I am so pumped and looking forward to next year I can barely stand it. There are so many cool things I want to do with Hipster, places I want to go, people I want to talk to… Well, what better time to plan all of that out than right now while everyone else is slowing down for the holidays? It’s the perfect time to spend time with myself, figure out my goals, figure out how best I can work to accomplish those and really just let those creative juices fly! Most people wait until January to start planning for the new year but I think that is way too late. I want to plan now, while things are quiet, so once the new year hits I’ve already hit the ground running without looking back.
End of the Year To-Do List
I want to give you two things to do as the year comes to a wrap. Doing both of these things will propel you so fast into success in the new year you won’t know what happened. Don’t slack on either of these things.
1. Be Thankful. I mean, we did just finish Thanksgiving. It’s easy to forget even the meaning to the holiday’s name: thanks, giving. Give thanks. But don’t just give it to do it. Be truly thankful for the many things going on around you that, when you really think about it, are insanely amazing. When you are truly thankful and you say as such, you summons even more abundance your way.
What I am truly thankful for:
- The health of my family. This one tops my list every year. I have so many friends who have lost family members or have family members struggling with major health issues, I just can’t be more thankful I am not currently experiencing that with my family (albeit we are an extremely small family).
- Hipster’s success. Hipster is still very much a baby. But thanks to Hipster, I was able to leave my corporate job a year ago and start living a life that has made me happier than I could ever imagine. It’s been the most challenging year of my life, no doubt, but I’ve never been happier either. Hipster is making it! Slowly but surely, but all the signs are there that Hipster will be dominating the industry very soon. I can’t be more excited and grateful!
- People around me. I truly have some of the best friends someone could ask for.
- Venice Beach. Sounds like a weird thing to be thankful for, but I never could have imagined finding a place to live that I feel so at home at and am truly happy with everything about the town. It’s a great community, I love the people, and I can’t imagine ever leaving here!
- Learning so much about myself. As I mentioned talking about Hipster, this year has been the most challenging year of my life. In the midst of those challenges though, I have become so aware of myself, what really drives me, what really makes me happy, and I’ve been able to tap into a very spiritual side of myself that I knew existed but not to the level that it is really there. Trust me, being able to sit on the beach and truly meditate is a huge feat for such a left-brain like me!
- I’m sure there are plenty more things I will come up with as I scarf turkey so standby for those.
2. Make a plan. Most people wait until they get back from the holidays to sit down and figure out their plan for the new year. Do you know how much time that shaves off from the time you have to accomplish things? When you get back from the holidays, you are inevitably going to be feeling sluggish, possibly unmotivated, and seriously disinterested from being amazing. Coming back after the Christmas holidays is like a Monday gone 100x worse. You think Mondays are slow, try the start of the year. How exactly do you expect to accomplish much if your brain isn’t feeling like turning on? You won’t. Not unless you made a plan beforehand. If you have a plan in already place, when you sit down that first week in January you don’t need your brain to be involved to rock it out. You can just look at your plan and start on your already-written to-do list. It’s like working on auto-pilot. It’s the perfect solution for a sluggish return back to real life!
Let’s talk real estate now for a second. Most everyone reading this blog probably found my website because you either are a real estate investor or you are aspiring to be one. I know, because I talk to a lot of you on a regular basis! So since you are interested in investing, let me tie this idea of planning to real estate.
So many of you have been holding off on buying investment properties. You have the money, you’ve done a lot of research, you may have even picked a market and know what you want, but you haven’t pulled the trigger yet for whatever reason. Well let me tell you something. Two things, actually. I’m about to tell you two major reasons why you should think today about what you want to do as far as buying goes.
- Tax benefits. You’d be surprised how many benefits come with buying rental properties. One of which is the purchase itself. There are major strategic moves that you can make when it comes to your end-of-the-year tax planning that could impact your tax benefits tremendously. Depending on your current situation, it may severely benefit you to buy that property you’ve been wanting before the end of the year. If you have been on the fence, talk to your accountant right now to know for sure. It may be smarter to buy it in the beginning of next year, but you won’t know until you talk to you accountant. Don’t wait until Dec. 31st to ask because if it turns out it would have been amazingly awesome to buy that property before the year end, it’s too late then. If you check in with your accountants now and find out it would help to buy it this year instead of next year, i.e. next month, you still have time to get that property.
- Changes in 2014. I’m no crystal ball expert, but I do know the trends that have been occurring over the last couple years and more recently, the last couple months. The trends I’m referring to are the increasing housing costs and decreasing rates of returns. For example, Chicago housing values increased 11% in the last four months. Seriously. I’m not making that up. That is how fast the market is moving. Looking at a longer time frame, you could easily get 14% cap rates on turnkey properties in Atlanta in 2011. Now you are lucky to get 9%, and that is on an insane deal. You’re going to be looking more at about 7% in Atlanta now. Umm… that’s a huge difference from two years ago! I don’t make this up, it’s all fact. So in thinking of the drastic changes just in the last couple months with housing, what do you think is going to happen to values after the first of the year? Prices are going to soar! In case you don’t believe me yet, understand something else too. Historically, few people buy real estate between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. For obvious reasons. But historically people do buy real estate in January. So just thinking of supply and demand, that alone says that prices will be higher in January than they are right now. That’s not even looking at a continuation of the pricing trends over the last couple months.
You may not want to buy a property before Christmas, or maybe it wouldn’t be beneficial to your tax situation, but if you aren’t going to buy now, at least have a plan in place for buying as soon as we are into the new year. If you wait until January to start thinking about buying again, you are already going to miss the ball. You will be so far behind the crowd that you will be destined to be stuck paying higher prices and getting less on returns.
There you have it. The magic formula to having a successful start to your year next year and by doing both of those things, I guarantee you will accomplish more in total next year than if you sit back and wait to start thinking about what you want to do. Not even just with real estate, but with your regular job, your family, your hobbies… everything!
I would love to hear about the things you are thankful for and any plans you have in thinking about next year! Leave them in the comments.