Investing, family and footprints
Real estate investing is our family business, and I’m not just talking about Ashley being my partner. Our kids have also been involved their entire lives.
You see, Ashley was closing a short sale and fielding calls while giving birth to our first born. I’m not joking. I have the video to prove it. She was on the phone talking to a seller while 8 centimeters dilated. You can literally see her having a contraction on the monitor while talking to those folks. She’s a tough woman, isn’t she?
We have a picture of my son at the foreclosure auction four weeks later helping Mommy buy two properties.
Our kids have been with us door knocking pre-foreclosures. And they really have a keen eye for pointing out vacant properties.
They’ve gone with me to do in-homes on potential tenants and have seen how we take care of our rental houses. They understand how important it is to take care of our tenants because they are the ones who pay for us to live.
There have been multiple times that Daddy has had to get up from the dinner table to go on a service call because one of “our people” as we call them has a broken water main or some other emergency. They understand that it’s our job to make sure that those families are taken care of, too.
My kids are no strangers to rehabs, either. They’ve been in houses where we are doing nothing more than paint and floor covering, and they’ve also seen complete gut jobs. And they’re always willing to help.
I just got through listening to a book called “Intentional Living” by John C. Maxwell. In the book, John challenges the reader to choose to live every day with purpose and intentionality. He points out that living this way doesn’t just happen. It takes effort and planning.
One of the quotes I enjoyed in the book goes something like, “You are supposed to leave footprints in the sands of time. Unfortunately, many people just leave butt prints.” John was using this point to say that people sit around waiting for purpose to strike them. When in reality, you have to go and pursue an intentional life.
I want to live a life that matters. I want it to matter to my Father above and to His cherished possessions He put me in charge of — my wife and children.
One of the things I want to impart to my children is that everything we have belongs to Yahweh. And in accordance with Deuteronomy 8:18, it is Yahweh who has given us the power to gain wealth. Without Him, we are nothing. But with Him, we find everything. We are to be good stewards of what Yahweh gives us and use it to do good in the world.
The only way I know how to intentionally show our kids this concept is by being a good example at home and then bringing them to work with us. This allows them to see visions of what could be in a property, how to plan well and what hard work and dedication really look like.
Take a flip project we have going on in Calhoun. My kids got to see — and smell — what the house looked like from the beginning. They got to hear Mom and Dad strategizing about changes to be made. They got to see the house as it moved through the rehab process.
And last week, they got to help on the work. You see, it has been raining a bunch with cold temperatures, and we still needed to paint the back deck. On Sunday, we got our chance.
Now, I could’ve had guys come in and do it for us, but I wanted me and my boy to and work together. And it was awesome. My seven-year-old worked tirelessly to get his portion done. As he did, we talked about all kinds of things ranging from comics to economics, family and faith.
Did I have to go back and fix runs in the paint? You bet. But I was there working with purpose, intentionally leaving footprints in the sands of time with my son, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.