Monthly Archives: May 2014

Create Your Sports Car Bucket List

They're all neatly sorted in magazine boxes and I try not to look at them when I'm supposed to be doing other things. But often I find myself thumbing through a bit of nostalgia, marveling at how long ago things that still seem fresh in my mind were.

The raw materials to inspire a Sports Car Bucket List

A disturbingly large portion of my youth was spent poring over car magazines. There was always a stack of them lying around, and to this day I have kept all of them. In fact, I have a whole wall of them in my house.

They’re all neatly sorted in magazine boxes and I try not to look at them when I’m supposed to be doing other things. But often I find myself thumbing through a bit of nostalgia, marveling at how long ago things that still seem fresh in my mind were.
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Ohio’s Triple Nickel and Other Epic Back Roads

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The road started off straight as an arrow as I made my way from rural Michigan to Columbus, Ohio to visit a college buddy, his wife and their four young children on my way home.

Somewhere between realizing the march of time had turned us into college kids masquerading as grownups and test driving his new Subaru BR-Z, I told him of my intent of hitting the back roads on the way home, specifically Route 26 through Wayne National Forest.
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REITs May Be The Single Easiest Way to Invest In Real Estate

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) invest in a variety of real estate and related asset-backed securities.

Office space is one type of commercial property that REITs invest in.

While buying real estate can be a great investment, there are also ways to invest in it without actually directly acquiring property. It’s a little easier than buying property, renting it out and managing tenants.

In this case I’m talking about a vehicle called a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). REITs are akin to partnerships, and were created as a result of legislation in the 1960s to provide investors with additional opportunities to invest in real estate, and receive advantageous tax treatment compared with how they would be taxed as shareholders of a corporation.

REITs buy and operate real estate in a variety of sectors, with some specializing in office space, warehouses, shopping centers or apartments. Others, known as mortgage REITs (mREITs) invest primarily in securities backed by pools of mortgages. Some REITs are publicly traded just like conventional stocks.

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One Way to Get A Mortgage Without A Bank

Hard money lenders and private lenders will lend on a handyman special or a fixer-upper when banks won't. The numbers just have to make sense.

Most banks won’t lend on a “handyman special” but hard money lenders will

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, quasi-government entities that primarily buy and securitize mortgages originated by banks, help provide financing for traditional “steady state” situations. These are relatively low risk, long term term residential loans of up to 30 years in duration.

That form of lending is what most banks offer. Their underwriting criteria are based in large part on the borrower’s income and creditworthiness. However, those types of loans don’t work for certain situations such as when a vacant, dilapidated house needs to be completely rehabbed. These “transient” situations are where non-traditional, private lenders come in.

Often referred to as hard money lenders, they operate toward the opposite end of the risk/reward spectrum, and do so for shorter periods of time, often six to 12 months. Faced with far fewer rules and requirements, private lenders typically base their loans on the value of the property used as collateral rather than the buyer’s qualifications.

Because of this loans can be approved very quickly instead of reviewing a mountain of documents about the borrower’s creditworthiness, such as tax returns and personal financial statements. The main thing they want to know is are they going to get their capital back, and are they going to earn the desired returns? These are the key questions they will ask:

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Racing and the Fine Line Between Courage and Foolishness

It’s been 14 years since I raced a racing kart. This past weekend I stepped back into it again, this time in the popular TaG (Touch and Go) class – a class I had never raced in before. I don’t know why I ever stopped.

What’s it like? You have to experience it for yourself to get the full effect. But the video (my new GoPro camera worked great) above can provide a bit of the flavor, and I’ll elaborate below.
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Three Secrets of Speed

Three Secrets of Speed. A racing kart is the best tool for discovering the secrets of speed, learning hot to race, and driving fast well.

A racing kart is the best tool to discover the secrets of speed.

Many guys would never admit or don’t even realize they aren’t good drivers. They let ego and a lack of awareness prevent them from actually becoming more skilled. Often they attempt to compensate for this lack of ability by buying faster cars or making excuses.

  • That guy bragging about how fast he was going on the freeway “racing” other cars?
  • That guy pulling up next to you at the light and gunning his engine?
  • That guy with the lowered econobox bouncing down the road with 10 degrees of negative camber?

All of them were cut from the same cloth. While some people seem to equate the two, the ability to buy something is entirely divorced from the ability to use it well. Don’t be that guy (see video).
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Ayrton Senna’s Final Race

Remembering the good times. Watch from 3:00 for the start of one of Senna’s greatest laps ever.

Twenty years ago today was a Sunday. I awoke earlier than usual and went to check that the VCR (yes, it was that long ago) was recording the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. Formula One coverage in the U.S. was sparse then, only available on ESPN and often with a strange start time like 7:50 a.m. Since I was already up, I decided to watch the race. It was to be one of the sport’s most tragic weekends and, unexpectedly, three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna‘s final race.
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