Cutting Edge Insights
with Dr. Lee

The Essence of Value Engineering

The following is Investopedia’s definition of Value Engineering: Value engineering is a systematic, organized approach to providing necessary functions in a project at the lowest

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Where’s Waldo Today?

Somewhere in the continuum between one extreme of a complete blank slate of vacant land and the other extreme of a newly constructed medical office

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The Power of Trust

Stephen Covey, Best-selling author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, also wrote “The Speed of Trust.” The premise is that trust is important

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Belts, Suspenders, and Fail Safes

The primary definition of fail-safe, according to Merriam-Webster, is “incorporating some feature for automatically counteracting the effect of an anticipated possible source of failure.” In

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A Tale of Two Suites

Back in the days of the recession, roughly 2008-2010, I would walk potential tenants through my office then into the vacant space in my building

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Humbled Again

Life has ways of reminding us that we are human, imperfect, and fallible. It helps us from developing too big an ego when things are

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Structural Design

“Engineers do engineering work, and developers do development work.” Further, builders build, realtors sell, doctors examine and diagnose, and speakers….speak. Sounds great to me, if

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Our Flag Was Still There

From Wikipedia: “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from the “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, a poem written

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I Broke My Own Rule

Sometimes the guidelines we set and attempt to live by simply cannot be followed every single time, and although we may strive for 100%, we

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Production Builders

By reading my previous work, you already know that I am in favor of any worthy and productive business cause. You also know I pull

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Power and Control

Accomplishing anything in life involves at least some basic communication with other individuals. Perhaps answering questions, perhaps asking questions, perhaps negotiating, problem-solving, dialogue back and

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Water Distribution, Part 2

Last week I blessed you (my exaggeration) with my concept of efficient water distribution in a residential enclosure. Talked about wasted costs that often occur

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Something For Nothing

“…and your chicks for free.” Hmmm, first, that’s not very nice. Hmmm, second, that should have been “Money for nothing, and your chicks for free.”

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“Savers are Losers”

The title of this article is in quotes because someone said it. That someone wasn’t me. “Someone” refers to a well-known financial author; specifically, Robert

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Why Renewable Energy?

In my previous article (“What is Renewable Energy?” – read it here), I defined a term that I feel tends to be used without command

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When 8 – 4 = 100

Fuzzy Math. That’s what the equation in the title resembles. “There is no conceivable way within our commonly accepted system of modern mathematics and numerology

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NIMBYs, Episode 2!

Last week, we defined NIMBY (an acronym for “Not In My Backyard”; a term used to describe someone who is opposed to a certain (or

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Banks, SMH!

I actually was almost finished with the original article I was writing this week when circumstances shifted my course 180 degrees. I could not let

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Happy Labor Day

Labor. As a noun, “Productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.” As a verb, “to perform labor; exert one’s powers of body or

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What About the Wage Index?

Last week, I mentioned the significance of the 50-year anniversary of then-U.S. President Richard Nixon “temporarily” discontinuing the convertibility of debt into gold. In other

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Something Turned 50 Yesterday

Something, not someone. Yesterday (August 15th, 2021) was the 50-year anniversary of then-U.S. President Richard Nixon removing the country from the gold standard. There were

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Is Home Equity Bad?

Generally, equity is thought to be a positive thing and something to strive for.  Primarily because it means ownership.  And the opposite is encumbrance, or

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Ask and ye shall receive

My cell phone rang during my lunch break. Looks like a local number…low robocall risk. Then again, I’ve been spammed by robocallers using local numbers.

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When Buildings Fall Down

A dark side of real estate investing, development, construction, and building science is what happens when structures fail. The short story…people are hurt and many

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A Real Shareholder Update

If you own a mutual fund, ETF, or other equity conglomerate, you may know that you receive periodic updates, perhaps quarterly, perhaps annually, concerning the

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The Allure of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin.  Ethereum.  Litecoin.  Ripple.  Stellar.  Dogecoin. The list goes on. The list is 4,000 names long as of January 2021, according to Investopedia.com. Cryptocurrency is

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What is Counterparty Risk?

Counterparty risk is an important concept to understand in any transaction.  According to the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, “Counterparty risk

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What is GWP?

GWP stands for global warming potential. I’m not an environmental activist. I do like progress. I also like trees.  Progress means we can build more

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This World Needs More Bills

Periodically, it’s nice to have a diversion from the typical real estate investment, construction, or building science type of pontification and talk about life.  We

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The Illusion of Average

Mediocrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be “Average” can function both as a noun and an adjective.  As an adjective, some of its meanings

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Inflation, Mea Culpa 

I received some great feedback from last week’s article on inflation and how it helps you profit in real estate (read it here).  Thanks to

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Generalizations, Generally

Generalizations are assumptions that involve ‘painting with too broad a brush’ as is sometimes stated.  One of the perils is simply assuming things that may

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What is Cap Rate?

The term “cap rate” is often used in discussions of real estate investing.  Do you know what it means? Cap rate is short for capitalization

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Who put the ‘L’ in Wealth?

According to the New World Encyclopedia, “Wealth refers to some accumulation of resources, whether abundant or not.”  And, “Wealth is from the old English word

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What is an Investment?

Investment is a word that gets used very frequently, often without consideration of its true underlying meaning.  It traditionally is used pertaining to an infusion

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Land Contract Master Series – Part 2

This week’s blog post features the second of a four-part video series all about land contracts in real estate. If you haven’t used land contracts in real estate investing, you’re potentially missing out on a great opportunity both as a buyer and as a seller. However, like anything in life,

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Land Contract Master Series – Part 1

A land contract is an indispensable tool in a real estate investor’s toolbox. There are many reasons why one might want to either acquire or sell a property over time and without bank financing. I was very honored to have a seat at the table with my friends Jeremy LeMere

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The Essence of Value Engineering

The following is Investopedia’s definition of Value Engineering: Value engineering is a systematic, organized approach to providing necessary functions in a project at the lowest cost. Value engineering promotes the substitution of materials and methods with less expensive alternatives, without sacrificing functionality. It is focused solely on the functions of

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Nerdiness in a Commercial Rebuild

A commercial remodel is supposed to be fun, right? Let’s pick out the paint and floor colors and styles, and fine-tune the floor plan…I mean, the structure has already stood the test of time for over 40 years, so it’s tried and true, right? Guess again. The usual protocol in

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Diamonds in Rough Shape

Or, as the old saying goes, “A diamond in the rough.” Indeed, real estate deals don’t all come to you on a silver platter. They typically aren’t spoon-fed to you, either. They don’t come wrapped with a ribbon that says, “Deal Alert! Buy me now!” However, if you take off

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Real Estate Round Table – Cash Flow!

It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with like-minded individuals whose work ethic and skills are similar to one’s own. I’ve had the great fortune to work with Jeremy LeMere and Michael Parks on several projects over a 2+ year period. We’ve collaborated in the sense of promoting each other’s work

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