The Value of Education

What is the value of Education? Personally, I don’t think you can put a value on it. I believe it is that important!

It seems that all too often, people are either put off by the cost of education, or the thought of re-living less-than-pleasant school days, and they sadly don’t realize what they’re missing out on.

There are so many forms of education these days, that it’s crazy not to take advantage of it in one form or another! Whether you are trying to further your career or your own business, or trying to improve your own personal qualities, everyone has something to gain from being taught something new.

I’m currently undertaking an intensive training course in Real Estate Investing (the FortuneBuilders Mastery program), and to be honest with you, I don’t think I would be able to navigate this industry without it! There’s so much to this industry, and so many creative ways to be successful, plus many risky aspects about it, that I would be foolish not to take some guidance from successful experts on it. Why reinvent the wheel?? Why not learn easier, better, faster ways of doing things? Why not learn from others’ mistakes, and learn how to avoid them?

Of course, there is also the value of learning from your own mistakes – which are going to happen – but the more educated you can become on a topic, the more you reduce your risk of making such mistakes, and better equip yourself to handle them when they do happen.

I was fortunate enough to go to University (Uni) and get a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. I took a year off after high school (a “gap” year) before I started Uni, so that I could take a break from studying, get a job, earn some money, and travel around the world with my mum, backpacking (It was SO awesome! :-)). Entering the work force, earning money, and then traveling the world was a wonderful education in itself! The things I learned about the world, about myself, about my mother, and how close it brought us together, were life-changing. And it better prepared me for the 4 years ahead of me at Uni. If you know of anyone considering taking a gap year before they start college or Uni – please encourage them to do so!! Also encourage them to do something useful with the time though – not just fluff around the house in their PJ’s playing video games – and I can attest that their mind will be in a better place when it comes time to tackle formal education again. Too many kids drop out of tertiary education because they just plain burn out after so many years in primary and secondary school.

I think everyone should get a tertiary education of some sort. It is a shame that tertiary education is so expensive in America. I was lucky to undertake it in Australia where I grew up, where it was government subsidized and my out of pocket expenses over the years for the whole degree were in the thousands, not tens or hundreds of thousands! I can’t believe the student loans that people accumulate over here once they graduate – often bigger than a mortgage! No wonder more kids don’t even consider tertiary education, when there’s that ball and chain waiting for you at the end of it all. And if you don’t end up “using” the degree, that makes it feel even worse!

I was one of those who didn’t “use” my degree – I ended up working in Information Technology for a long time, because I wasn’t able to find zoology/biology-related work that paid as well. But just the fact that I even had a degree enabled me to negotiate a higher salary from my employers, even though the field was unrelated! It shows an employer that you have the skills it takes to complete such an undertaking.

The same qualities it takes to get a degree, are the same qualities it takes to be successful at anything in life; motivation, action, time management, goal setting, punctuality, people skills, organization, perseverance – the list goes on. But not all of those qualities are BUILT-IN to a person – some you have to learn (and some you have to learn the hard way!), but over the course of a degree is when you can learn and hone those skills, and come out with a tangible asset at the end. People talk about the “life education” of tertiary study, and that is what they are referring to (plus the socialization part, of course ;-)). The life education that I experienced while attending University, as well as the friendships and professional relationships that I developed, were priceless. And I believe that everyone should have an opportunity to experience that. AND IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

So go on, get out there and learn something new – even if it is just for fun! It’s not just the content that you learn, but you will pick up some life skills along the way, and that, to me, is the true value of education.

Be excellent to each other!
Anne

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What’s cooking?

Or perhaps I should say, What’s sizzling??

Sizzle features are no secret – most people know what a sizzle feature is, but even if this is the first time you’ve heard the term, it’s pretty self explanatory: It’s an attractive feature in a home that makes it Sizzle. Adds a WOW factor. And can quite literally sell a home on just that feature alone.

For example, a lovely kitchen with a built-in wine cabinet and cooler, like this one that I saw on Zillow Digs:
Traditional Bar with Paint 1, Hardwood floors, Marvel 45 Bottle Wine Cooler with Stainless Frame Glass Door, Standard height

Or a mud room with built-in cabinets – and maybe even pre-installed washer/dryer. Or a beautiful big deck or patio with a built-in BBQ – although, I have seen this done the wrong way in masses of tile and it was more of a suffocating feature than sizzling…

And then there are the more subtle features, such as chair rails and crown molding, end caps on kitchen cabinet sides, under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. What seems to be all the rage right now are white cabinets in the kitchen with dark granite counter tops, and an accent island with a butcher block top. And wood, wood, wood flooring everywhere.  Even in the bathrooms; those wood-look porcelain tiles are making a gorgeous statement right now, as seen here on Zillow Digs:
Contemporary Master Bathroom with Standard height, Master bathroom, European Cabinets, Rain shower, picture window, Shower

I’ve also noticed a penchant for what I like to call “Farmyard Accessories”, such as those lovely big white farm sinks, and interior barn doors like the behemoth below I saw on Zillow Digs. I even saw a house in my area for sale recently, with a tricked out chicken coop in the backyard! Pre-populated with chickens and ready to go!
Country Laundry Room with Paint 1, specialty door, Crown molding, Paint 2, Standard height, Undermount sink, Hardwood floors

Whatever your tastes are, the best sizzle features are the ones that cost the least, but look the best. Sometimes the choice of paint color or accent tile makes the difference between a room that people just look at for a moment, or stop to stand in it for a while and imagine themselves there. That’s when the emotion of “I want to live here” kicks in, which more times than not will sell the house!

Cheers,
Anne

What’s in a blog?

A blog by any other name would smell as sweet… OK, so maybe blogs don’t smell, unless they really stink – which I hope this one will NOT do! Time will tell, I guess…. so here goes!

This is the start of the Pageburn Properties blog – The Adventures of a Central Coast California Real Estate Investing Company! Welcome to our blog. We hope that it brings you interesting, entertaining, funny, enlightening or educating moments to brighten up your Fridays, for many Fridays to come!

So what are we up to these days?? In one word: Marketing!

If someone had told me, when I first started being a Real Estate Investor, that my job in this industry would mostly comprise of Marketing, I would have cocked my head at them sideways and said “Eh???”  I wouldn’t have believed them! Isn’t it all about the romance behind driving neighborhoods and finding lovely old homes that have seen better days, and lovingly and adoringly bringing them back to life by hand??? (Kind of like how Nicole Curtis on the TV show Rehab Addict does it??)

Sure, driving the neighborhoods is one way to find properties that we want to purchase and work on, and is one of our Marketing tools, but we use a multi-layered approach to marketing: casting many different nets in different ways will usually yield a greater catch.

There’s Direct Mail, where we send letters to homeowners of properties we are interested in purchasing. There’s scouring the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for properties that match our criteria. There’s hunting on Craigslist for FSBO (For Sale By Owner) homes – I have to be careful when going on Craigslist – I’m easily distracted by all the wild and wonderful items people sell on there… I might not buy a property one week, but hey, that crooked old dresser needed a home… LOL. There’s attending public property auctions. Networking with Realtors, and other investors. And of course, the all-important online presence, such as our website at www.pageburnproperties.com

Checking off all these Marketing channels each week takes a plan, and a commitment to consistency. And it’s pretty much a full-time job! So no lovingly and adoringly rehabbing old homes by hand for me – we keep our contractors busy doing that, so we can keep busy bringing in more properties for them to bring back to life. That is, until we grow enough to hire a Marketing department! Then you just might see me out there in the field, driving the excavator myself, demolishing fire-ravaged parts of a building, bringing in light to an old vacant home locked up for years… for now, I’ll just watch Nicole Curtis doing it, while I watch her TV show from the comfort of my couch, in my jammies late at night 🙂

Be excellent to each other!
Anne