Remembering My Buddy, Bob.

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a while and I apologize. I’m sorry to say that my best friend and companion, Bob the Bulldog, passed away in early March. It’s tough to put into words what he meant to me so I’ll keep it simple: Everything.

Bob helped me through some of the lowest points in my life. His unconditional love was the most stable thing in my life for a long while. He could always be counted on to cheer me up. I hope he felt my unconditional love back.

We helped each other to live better lives then in the years before we were each other’s owners. I know he lived some of the happiest years of his life these last 6 years.

He was there through some of the best moments of my life—starting my business, becoming a member at the Dunes Club, or finding the love of my life…just to name a few.

He will always be in my heart. It’s been tough, and will be for some time, but the pain will subside. The love I felt for him will not.

So, here’s to Bob. A buddy to everyone.

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Why lease with Wayne Enterprises

Have you ever hired someone to do some work on your house or car and noticed they don’t care nearly as much as you do about the outcome of the project? Does it seem like they are only trying to get paid and get out of there?

I would be surprised if you haven’t. No one cares about your home, car, business, etc. as much as you do. And that’s why WE only manage our own properties and always will—because no one cares more about our properties and our tenants more than we do.

When you lease with us you will get quick responses, quick fixes, and quick delegation if an outside contractor is required. That’s because we care about two things only: 1. The health of our properties 2. the happiness of you, the tenant.

If you know someone looking for office/medical space, send them our way. We will work with you or your friends to make the space yours. Whether that means renovation or an allowance for work we will make something happen so you and WE are happy.

Why rent when you could buy?

As our Vale View project at 260 Franklin St, downtown Valpo, progresses I want to take a moment to give you a something to chew on.

Why rent when you could buy? Great question. The american dream has always been to own land and a house. For most, it’s the biggest investment of their life! Think about it, you should be putting 20% down on a home and then will have principal, interest, insurance, tax, and maintenance costs for the next 20-30 years of your life. That’s a huge decision and one that should make your life a little more stable. That’s the point.

So, what about if you have only 5% down to pay…does that make you feel comfortable knowing you will have a larger principal and interest payment for 20-30 years? And what happens if your life changes and you can’t make your payments…all that equity will be gone in a foreclosure, leaving you with nothing.

Are you in a stable job and you know you will be in your house for the next 10 years? Well, if you aren’t so sure you will be stuck in that house and having to deal with the hassle of selling it to move…and you may lose money on the deal.

And how about a new roof? A new furnace? A new A/C? Keeping your house up to date both mechanically and aesthetically will cost you a significant amount yearly.

So why rent when you can buy? That 20% down is yours…now you can use it to travel, play, visit your grandkids or parents. When you are off doing these life events, you’ll know that your apartment will be taken care of when you get back. Any issues that may arise as far as structure and mechanical’s are out of your hands financially.

How about flexibility? You don’t know if this is the home for you or if this is the location for you…well you can move as you please—after your lease is up—and are able to wipe your hands free of it. No listing, no updating, no repairs, no negotiating. Nothing.

When you sign up for a lease at Vale View you will get amenities you can’t find anywhere else and a location that is amazing. You will have a built in grill, an underground parking space, a gym at your fingertips, the ability to choose many of your finishes, trash chute, and many other amazing amenities. It’s your new home, with the ability to live your life care free.

Vinyl Flooring--it ain't your grandma's vinyl anymore

Sup Y’all,

VINYL FLOORING! You may be standing on some right now and don’t know it. That’s because these days LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) is making waves in the world of interior decorating.

What is LVP? LVP is a flooring type that can be used both commercially and in your residence. It comes as a glue down or a click plank. What makes this such an attractive product is three fold: 1. Aesthetics 2. Durability 3. Cost.

LVP comes in, literally, thousands of different wood, stone, and color finish looks. This allows the product to be used in virtually any decor scheme. You can create borders, inlays, herringbone, etc. because it is laid like a wood or stone product.

It is an extremely durable product which makes it ideal for any commercial or residential space. But you wouldn’t know it’s a vinyl product by looking at it.

And it’s cost is low. Like any flooring product, there is a wide range of price for the product itself. But the labor costs are very low because of it’s workability and since it’s laid as a plank it’s easy to replace/repair.

I am a huge believer in this product and use it almost exclusively when renovating any space. It’s a quality product that makes your home or office look it’s best and stand up to the toughest test.

Time Vs. Money

Hello my adorable minions,

Do you ever take the time to think back on where you were a year or five ago? I was sick this weekend with a cold. Being a man, that meant I was basically out of commission. So, naturally, I had plenty of time to reflect.

Typically, I am a forward looking and thinking individual. My whole life for the last 10 years has been thinking about where I want to be in 25 years. But this weekend I looked deep into my past of almost 55 months ago. Spoooooooky. This made me think of many things about being an entrepreneur but specifically the two things of which you need one of to get started: Time and Money.

When starting out as an entrepreneur you need to either have plenty of time or plenty of money…not to mention a number of other things like common sense but that’s another day. In the world of real estate management, development, investment, sales, or whatever it is, you need either lots of time to focus on your task at hand or the cash flow to hire someone else to do that focusing for you.

When I bought the first rental I had plenty of time and just enough money for a down payment on the house. I was the business manager, the plumber, the electrician, the carpenter, the landscaper, the whatever you need guy, all wrapped up into one business engine that could! I had to be and there was no way around it. I couldn’t pay someone else to come fix a leak or mow the lawn…between a mortgage and taxes I was lucky to have enough to pay the utilities it seemed. But I embraced it because it needed to be done. If you want to start a business and aren’t willing to do what’s needed to be done then you will fail. Plain and simple.

But, being the forward looking person I claim to be, I relished the opportunity to work all these jobs because I knew that one day, because of my drive, I would be able to hire employees to help with these tasks. And if I didn’t have any idea what it took to do this work, the time and effort needed, then how would I be able to efficiently manage my company? How would I know when someone had been working their tail off and deserved a break? Or if a job wasn’t getting done in a suitable period of time and someone needed to get after it?

Well, almost 5 years later and I wouldn’t change a thing I’ve done to get to where I am today. And one day, if you have the drive and energy, you’ll feel the same way too. You can do this, you can start your own business or invest in real estate or become an astronaut. Ok, maybe not the last part. But you can do these things and more if you just take a Saturday and Sunday to get up and do what needs to be done. Plan ahead. And work harder AND smarter.

An Update on Vale View

Good Evening my peeps!

Just wanted to share a quick update on Vale View! I am so excited to bring such an amazing project to Valpo. It is going to be a shining example of the kind of investment and belief that we should have in our amazing city. And it has been amazing the amount of support being shown us by the citizens of Valpo and the City government itself. I have really enjoyed working on it with my dad, Bill Oeding, Patrick Lyp, Chester, INC., and everyone else who has played a role…Lydia, I’m talking to you here!

I can’t unveil any floor plans or future tenants yet but I can reveal some of the amenities we will have:

  • Underground Parking with electric plug-ins

  • Private Elevators

  • Resident Gym

  • On-site Management

  • Trash Chute

  • Built-in Grills

  • Dog run

I am eager to get construction started…and we will be demoing the house next week! This process has been such an amazing learning experience. To implement a dream is exciting, difficult, stressful, and rewarding. It has not been easy…but nothing in life worth doing is ever easy.

Love, Peace, and chicken grease

What Adds the Most Value to Your Property

Hi :)

To my complete and utter surprise, people seem to be reading and enjoying this blog. Crazy. Well, thank you to everyone who is reading and I hope you continue to enjoy reading my thoughts.

I was asked by a friend the other day what was the best thing you can do to increase the value of a house. Simple enough question, I suppose. But in thinking about it—and over thinking about it, as I am prone to do—that’s not a simple question and the answer is even more complicated. Where do I begin…

What, to you, is value? Of course this person meant dollars over what they paid initially, plus costs of renovation, plus time and what would garner them the largest margin at sale. But value means different things to different people. Sure, the easy answer is upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms, add a bedroom, finish the basement…whatever the typical flip sale answer would be that you see on HGTV. But this is real life and, in case you haven’t figured out, HGTV is scripted (and they do cheap remodels).

Value just depends on your situation—long term home: keep up with little things and when you are ready to sell, if you have light pink walls and green carpet don’t expect full market value. Flip home: HGTV it up. You’ll probably end up selling someone a pig with lipstick though.

Value to me is putting in money to keep the building structurally sound and healthy as well as doing updates/fixes that keep my tenants happy. If they happy, I happy. My business plan is very long term, buy and hold. I don’t care about flipping the property with aesthetics but rather keeping it in tip top working shape for what it was built for: somewhere safe for you to have a roof over your head, running water, heat, A/C, and electricity. The aesthetics are important to keep tenants happy and paying a healthy rent. And this coming up is the most important piece of it all: making a margin that allows the business to save and do major projects and remodels. This is the key…and where the bottom drops out for many would be investors.

Tenant turnover is part of the gig. If you don’t plan for this mentally and financially then you will fail. No matter the relationship you have, good or bad, eventually the tenant will leave. To have the money saved for the vacancy period and to attract a new tenant is key. As well, you will run into MAJOR costs. I just paved the parking lot at 502 Wall St. It was somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000. If not for solid financial planning then we would not have been able to afford this, the lot would have gotten worse, tenants would grow unhappy, hazards could occur, and then who knows what.

Seems simple, logical…but then again…if it was easy everyone would do it.

Happy Turkey Day ya Turkeys!

Hi Everyone! I hope you all have a safe holiday and make sure to give thanks for all the good--and some of the bad-- that is going on in your lives. I am thankful for my family, my dog Bob, my girlfriend, my employees, and all the good and bad being an entrepreneur has to offer!

Here's something good: WE GOT THE OK TO START DEMOLISHING FOR VALE VIEW! Woohoo! One of the things I am learning the hard way is that this takes a lot more time and planning than I could have ever imagined! I had hopes that the building would be done this year! That's because, behind the scenes, we've been working on this for almost two years. I've seen buildings built, like we all have, and think wow that went up quick…not knowing what all went on to get it there. But we are making progress and working with a great team over at Chester Inc.

Something I want to mention is how much stress and anxiety my business--and I'm sure your job or business--causes. If you are dealing with stress and anxiety you should help yourself by getting the help you need. There is no shame in wanting to be as mentally healthy as possible. Don't brush it off but instead attack it with therapy or medical assistance. Don't be a dodo.

Happy Thanksgiving and I wish you all the best!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

LANDLORDS! They are the absolute worst, aren’t they? All they want is your money, your hard earned money. How dare they!?

Well, I’m not hear to agree or disagree. But I am here to tell you what it looks like from my perspective in the realm of residential rentals.

The “American Dream” is to own your own house. Or so we are told. Sure, you buy a house but who actually owns it for the next 15-30 years? The bank. The best part of owning your own house is that you get to build up equity into something that you hope retains or gains in value. But, you pay a downpayment, you pay interest, you pay taxes, you pay for maintenance, you pay electric bills, gas bills, water bills. You mow the lawn or pay someone to mow the lawn. You paint the house or pay someone to pain the house. You landscape or pay someone to landscape. You fix the plumbing or heating or pay someone to fix it. You roof the house or pay someone to roof the house.

So, why is renting a good option? Sure, you pay money to a service provider you will never see that money again. But that service provider covers ALL those issues and costs. It’s not a perfect system, but it works. And as a landlord, we rely on you to make timely payments. That’s it.

So, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…what’s that all about? Well, I think you can categorize properties and their landlords into these three categories.

The Good: New construction, decently well kept, little to no maintenance required. Quick to get work done in your particular unit.

The Bad: Dilapidated and no help in sight. A landlord who does nothing. Let’s the property go to shite. Or a slumlord.

The Ugly: Help is on it’s way. The property is probably over 100 years old and over time has had a dozen owners, all of which did the bare minimum. A landlord who gets things done quick, puts his money back into the property to keep it structurally sound while also realizing there is a lot of work to be done but everything can’t be budgeted and dealt with at once. But no one likes him or her.

Where does your landlord fall? And recognize that sometimes things just can’t always be done your way. But you need to keep constant and open communication with your landlord because chances are you aren’t the only tenant, unit, property, business, life issue they are dealing with. If you keep in constant contact on a particular issue it won’t get brushed aside. That’s the key. KEEP IN CONTACT. Sure, you may be annoying but it’s the best way to keep work on schedule. Ask the landlord how much it would cost, when it could be done, where it is on their list of priorities. To you, it may be the end of the world, to them they may have bigger fish to fry in their lives.

Basically, I’m just trying to say…give peace a chance.

Why do you pay what you pay? AND REMODELING!

Sup y’all! Happy Saturday! A friendly reminder that Real Estate Taxes are due the 13th in PoCo. Get those checks in the mail STAT…you’re already paying enough.

If you look at our residential pages, you’ll see that all of our residences are older homes. With older homes there are naturally going to be a number of problems. But when it comes to older homes that have been divided into apartments the problems are ten fold. Why you ask? Because the previous owners did the minimum, if that, to keep them up.

Our goal at Wayne Enterprises is to continue to put our tenants hard earned money back into the place they call home. Our 1a and 1b priorities are happiness of the tenant and health of the property. The two go hand in hand typically. We work round the clock these days to continue to update and upgrade our properties. Currently, we are remodeling two of our residential units. What that entails is a large cost and a vacancy—which itself is an even larger cost.

So, when you rent, do you ask who the property owner and management group is? You should. In the case of our apartments, there will be little things that pop up from time to time that you will need to deal with. But we will deal with it as quickly as possible.

When you are paying rent at any property you may wonder why your rent is what it is. Well, a very simple way to break it down is this: I as the owner and manager have to look at what costs I have, what costs might I have, and how do I save accordingly to cover these costs. For starters there is a mortgage, interest, insurance, and taxes. You may know that the referendum has pushed taxes quite high recently in Valparaiso—next time you vote as a renter you need to consider the burden a Real Estate tax will put on you because as a landlord we need to meet a threshold to keep from letting the property deteriorate. The next thing I consider in a cost analysis is what is a safe amount of money to have saved in a pinch? That just depends from property to property. But, it is a must. Then I budget for work to do this month, this year, and what needs to be done in the coming years.

As I stated earlier, we are currently remodeling several residential units. I am SO excited about this. They need a little face lift and now is the time. They are great units but just needed some aesthetic changes. We are remodeling two kitchens, painting the trim in all the units, painting the walls in all the units, and putting down new wood flooring! All these units actually have beautiful original oak floors but as a way of preserving them we are putting in a new float wood floor throughout the units. This mean no tack, no nails, just a beautiful new floor and a way to preserve the old underneath.

Well, back to work for me. Ciao!

WE HERE!

HOWDY! Together WE Can! This is my first blog and, though I’ve never done this in any facet of my life, I hope this is entertaining and informative. Some of you may know me but if not, a little bio—I was born and raised right here in Valpo. My great grandparents first came to the area for VU law school and to be nurses. Somewhere along the way the family ended up in Valpo for good. I graduated from IU-Bloomington in 2010. One of my goals in life is to always be learning…no matter what you think you know, you know nothing. If that makes sense.

I started my business with a single multi-unit home and realized quickly you can’t make a living on one property. I received my realtor license and worked for a couple years as a realtor on the Matt Evans Team at RE/MAX. I also received my commercial ACP accreditation while working for RE/MAX. Over the years my workload at Wayne Enterprises made me realize it was time to tackle my business on it’s own.

We now have a couple of amazing staff members: Jeff Crowe, our head of maintenance, and Christine Crowe, our property coordinator.

It’s fun but hard work. I work 7 days a week most weeks but am able to make my own hours. If something needs done, it gets done immediately. In between meetings and paperwork I will come home to play with my buddy Bob—he’s an 82 pound English Bulldog. He’s pretty damn cool.

Well, I’m out. But check back here for more updates on our properties, thoughts, and insight.

Love, peace, and chicken grease!