I’m a 30-something Structural Engineer by day, a real estate investor, cat mom, and a writer by night. I write mostly about what I have learned in the world of personal finance and real estate investing, and I hope that sharing my lessons learned will help others avoid mistakes and have better financial futures.

My most popular articles are:

Zero Waste hacks anyone can implement

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, according to an article by the Washington Post. Guiltily, I once thought my plastic waste was not contributing to this issue-it was other countries not properly disposing and recycling their waste. But as I’ve become more educated on the topic, it’s clear that everyone is contributing to the problem. Our plastic waste is not being recycled and while we need to put pressure on large companies to change their plastic waste problem, we can also make individual choices to reduce our plastic waste.

These are a few of…

How I got the deal in this competitive market

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We have all heard the stories — simple, modest houses selling for tens of thousands over asking prices with multiple offers, bidding wars, and cash buyers. For anyone trying to buy a house, or worse their first house, it’s a crapshoot.

When my boyfriend and I wrote an offer, we were not expecting to get the deal at asking price. We talked about what we thought the house was worth, the potential for future growth, and of course, what we could afford. We wrote our offer and prayed that we would be the winners.

We got the house

Our sellers…

In less than two years on a 5 figure income

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Saving for a downpayment is by far the largest barrier to purchasing a home. Whether the market is up or down, having at least 20% down in cash with closing costs will put you in the best position to be able to get into a property.

It can take a long time to save a significant amount of money to put towards a property, especially on one income. The best time to start saving is right now if you think you may want to buy a property in the next 10 years.

Two years ago I cleared out most of…

The IRS has entered the chat

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You may be familiar with the tax benefits of retirement accounts like a 401k, Roth IRA, and Traditional IRA that allow you to grow your investments tax-deferred or tax-free.

What if there were ways to defer your capital gains tax when it comes to real estate?

Primary Residence Tax Exemption

If you are selling a primary residence, you will pay no capital gains tax on the first $250K of profit for single filling status, and $500K for married filing jointly.

For a property to qualify as a primary residence, you must have lived there 2 out of the last 5 years.

No problem, right?

How to avoid buyers remorse

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Have you ever wanted something expensive and saved up to buy it, only to regret your purchase? Welcome to buyer’s remorse.

I have felt buyer’s remorse on everything from a pair of shoes to a full-blown house. Actually, I have felt buyer’s remorse on both houses I bought at some time or another (Currently, I feel no remorse on either — however if you ask me at some point in the future I may feel differently.)

There’s no return policy in real estate

It’s easy to return a pair of shoes, or resell them and make most of your money…

Even if you are starting from nothing

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Real estate investing is intimidating. Unless you want to invest in REITs (real estate investment trusts) there is a large barrier to entry taking the form of a downpayment.

I never set out to be a real estate investor, but after buying a house and deciding to move and rent it out, I fell into becoming one and realized all of the benefits that come with real estate investing.

Not everyone has to become a huge real estate mogul. Even growing to 2–3 good, cash-flowing properties can provide substantial wealth over your lifetime.

Start Budgeting and Saving

Investing in real estate takes money, and…

The method I used to find my latest cash flowing investment

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Real estate can be a great investment, not only to diversify your portfolio but to build wealth faster through cash flow, home equity, and appreciation. However, real estate can also be a depreciating asset and could easily drain your available capital.

Evaluating a property is the most important step to deciding if and where to invest your money. Forgetting one cost could lead to years of lower profits or losses on a property. At the same time, one cash-flowing property can provide extra income and help grow your net worth.

How much cash do you have for a down payment and closing costs?

Just like buying a primary residence, buying a rental property…

It’s under $500 and why that’s okay

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There are a lot of anecdotal stories on Medium about Real Estate. As we go into 2021, I thought I would share real numbers on how much I made (and lost) on my rental property last year.

Let’s start with a little background. This house was never supposed to be a rental property, it’s just something I fell into after buying, living there myself, and ultimately deciding it was not for me. Thus I became a landlord and found all of the stress and benefits that go with that title.

Let’s get into a full income assessment for the property…

Set up your financial future for success by doing these 5 things

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

If you had asked me what my best financial decisions were as a 20-something recent graduate, my answer would probably be pretty lowkey. Something like “I google an item and shop around for the retailer with the best price before I buy it” or “I’m only allowed to buy coffee from the coffee shop on Wednesdays.”

Sure, decisions like this make an impact, but I made other financial decisions as a recent grad that had a much larger positive impact on my financial future.

Opening a credit card

As soon as I graduated college and started my first job, I opened one credit card…

Katherine Quigg

Real Estate Investor sharing my journey

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