a picture of the REL Freedom logo in black and green with a picture of Mike on the right side

I had the pleasure to speak with Mike Swenson on his REL Freedom podcast the other day, and we had a great time. This was a chance to really dig into some of the traditional real estate investing principals and calculations as they can pertain to actually increasing the return on investment with your real estate deals, among other things.

About Mike and REL Freedom

Mike grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota with a huge love for sports growing up. As he started to explore his career aspirations, he quickly found real estate and dove fully into the entire sphere of real estate investing.

Mike quickly rose to the title of COO, and with his team of agents, worked on over 600 transactions in five states over his first six years in the space. But he wanted more.

Honing in his love for entrepreneurship and setting out on his own, he started his own team – the Elite Advantage Team, serving mostly the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

While busy building his new company, he still made time to be a boys basketball coach, teaching financial management courses, writing on a finance blog, and coaching real estate to help others reach financial freedom (or their own specific goals).

Most recently, his company REL Freedom helps people use real estate investing to reach their financial goals in life, whatever they may be. You can check out REL Freedom here.

Using Practical Sustainability to Reach Netzero for Real Estate Investing – On The Podcast

During this 30-minute podcast, Mike and I talked about all kinds of things surrounding this space of clearing out the noise around what netzero and sustainability really is, and how we can use it with traditional real estate investing.

We cover topics such as:

  • A little bit about my background and the origins of my purpose to start Attainable Home, including my start in real estate investing.
  • My specific goals with making green homes and having the investing numbers really work, including:
    • 1) Keep the total cost under the median average home price of the area.
    • 2) Ensure that it can rent out for 10-15% above all ownership costs, including long-term maintenance.
    • 3) Be fully net-zero, with efficiency and renewable energy (solar) powering the entire house. 
    • 4) Bonus – Have enough budget and power production potential to also power an electric car fully.
  • Making sure to do the projects so you can still cashflow as a rental property through all real estate cycles and conditions.
  • Why I moved and picked Florida as a good state at the time to try to do an affordable netzero home as an investment.
  • Specifics on solar energy and what dictates a great home and roof for solar viability.
  • Touching on the BiggerPockets.com types of real estate investing terms like BRRRR strategy and House Hacking.
  • What are some key affordable DIY energy efficiency things you can do in your own projects.
  • The downside of living in a home renovation and lessons learned. Also benefits of getting a lower primary residence mortgage rate.
  • The timing of these netzero renovation projects.
  • How benefits of making rental properties netzero helps with tenants and that relationship.
  • Experiences with the appraisal process and the lack of comps out there, but benefits I discovered.
  • Discussion on the 2020 and 2021 overall real estate market and finding good homes that could work as a netzero solar home.
  • Discussion of real numbers on our first and second netzero solar home renovation.
  • Advice for people who want to start chipping away at efficiency and renewable energy home renovations.
  • The benefits of a blower door test with air sealing.
  • Thoughts on insulation, HVAC, water heating, and other big ticket cost items for energy efficiency savings.
  • Combining efficiency and solar to produce a higher ROI than a traditional real estate investment.
  • What you can do now to start on your own projects if you have interest.

It was a really great time and we covered a lot more. Here’s the link again to listen to the full episode.

From The Show Notes:

What if you could create a net zero home (creates enough renewable energy to power the home) that also was a profitable rental? Meet Erin Shine, who is the perfect balance between sustainability and a real estate investor. After creating his own 7-figure Inc. 5000 company, which he successfully exited in 2017, and having been a real estate investor since 2009, he set out on a new adventure. He wanted to combine using energy efficiency and renewable energy with traditional real estate investing principles to make a win-win with both monetary and environmental goals. He packed up from Denver, CO and moved to Cape Coral, FL to create a net zero rental property. Listen and find out how he did it, the lessons he learned along the way, and how you can position yourself into an amazing niche where you too can help the environment and create a profitable rental portfolio at the same time!

And be sure to check out REL Freedom here as well if you’re interested in Mike’s work and coaching.

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