Never Underestimate the Time and Cost of a House Flip

Some people want to get into flipping houses because it looks like a fast and profitable way to build an income. It can be. But the biggest mistake that people who get into the business make is they underestimate how much time it’s going to take.

They also underestimate how much it’s going to cost. You have to flip a home quickly if you’re going to make money, but the house doesn’t always cooperate with your timeline.

When you start flipping a house, you may run into defects that are hidden beneath the surface. What looks good on the outside wall might be hiding a myriad of electrical wiring problems behind the drywall.

Hidden problems like that are common in almost every house because people don’t often update things like wiring. It’s expensive to have a home professionally rewired.

A problem like that can add thousands to your budget costs. The same thing can happen if there’s a problem with the plumbing. A slow draining toilet or tub is often dismissed as a possible clog but it’s actually a major plumbing problem such as the pipes in the yard are cracked or full of tree roots.

Then you have to dig up the lawn, replace the pipes and then repair the damage to the lawn. Problems always slow down the renovation schedule as well as add to the cost.

The best way to prepare to be thrown off schedule is to budget more time than you think each step of the renovation will take. This way, you build in a time buffer.

Having to depend on other people in a team to help you get the house ready to go on the market can add to the time and the cost as well. Not everyone shows up when they’re supposed to be on the job.

They might arrive a few hours to a day late or not at all. This can throw you behind if you don’t consider working with others can be a time buster. Plus, you might be given an estimate by someone in the team and then it turns out that it’s more work and material than he anticipated so now he has to tell you it’s going to cost several hundred dollars more.

Weather delays should also be figured into the house flip. If it needs a new roof or you need to put in a new driveway, you can’t do that in the rain or in snow. By budgeting in potential problems and overages, you’ll still be able to get done on time and within your budget.

Give us a call to discuss any of these areas!

Renovation and Décor Tips to Help a House Flip Sell Fast

To sell your investment, you’re going to need it to be inviting both inside and out. When a possible buyer looks at the house, he’s either drawn to it or he isn’t. You need make sure that the exterior of the house makes potential buyers want to stop and have a look inside.

The outside renovation is where you can easily go over budget. Making a home have in inviting exterior isn’t expensive. You need to make sure that it’s clean. If the front door is in bad shape, replace it.

If it’s not, then you can clean or paint it. Take out any dated hardware on the door and replace it. Do the same with any porch fixtures like lights, doorbells or faded shutters.

You can put in landscape quite cheaply and put in some flowers either in a bed or in pots. Put up a mailbox and new house numbers. These are all updates that can make a house look more welcoming.

Inside the house, if the walls are in good shape, paint them. It can be tempting to put your own personal stamp in a home when it comes to choosing colors, but you need think what a buyer would want.

Buyers want colors that are neutral. They can imagine a clean slate to work with to put their own personal touches in the room. Stick to soft colors and choose the same if you need put down new carpeting.

New carpet is cheaper to put down than most other types of flooring when you’re renovating but keep in mind that carpet can be a turn off to some buyers. They want the clean look of laminate or hardwood floors.

The areas that can make or break your renovation budget and ones that can help sell a house are the kitchen and the bathrooms. But that doesn’t mean that you need to completely gut the existing kitchen and start over. You can just update what needs to be spruced up by doing things like painting, putting in a new backsplash or flooring and new appliances. If the cabinets are solid but look worn, you can refinish them or repaint them and still end up with a great looking kitchen.

Countertops do matter – so those need to look high end but not necessarily be high end. Update the bathrooms by putting in new faucets and replacing anything that needs to be replaced.

New hardware can make older cabinets look new. Remember when you’re flipping a house not to fix it up like you’d like it to be. You don’t want to spend a lot more money by putting in top of the line appliances or upgrading things that don’t need to be upgraded.

When it comes to décor, make the most of your homes features such as large windows, fireplaces and furniture. Group your furniture so that the room feels bigger in the living room.

Make sure you use soft lighting. This casts a better glow in the room and makes it look warm and inviting. Recessed lighting is good, but careful not to over capitalize depending on the area the property is in. Simply new light fittings or ceiling fans with lights can suffice.

Other areas that are inexpensive but can make a big difference to the overall appeal of the home, are new switches, electrical outlets and fittings. Quite cheap to replace but makes a huge difference and can have the place looking “new” again!

Go minimal if you stage the house. Have fresh flowers on the table and have it set for dinner with nice dishes. Remember to think of the buyer when decorating the home for staging rather than what your own preferences are.

Don’t be afraid to yell out if you have any questions re any of this, happy to discuss!

How to Educate Yourself to Flip Houses Successfully

House flipping is something to get into that has the potential to create a lot of money for you. But there are some things that you have to know going into it. Anyone who’s successfully flipped houses will tell you that you are going to have to have the money to buy the property.

This is something that makes most people pause and think that they don’t have the kind of money up front that it takes to buy a property. You don’t have to use your own money.

You can get the money from lenders and these can be family members, friends, real estate investors and other money lending businesses. You can find some lenders through investment groups.

Just watch the interest rate. If you have good credit and your debt ratio is low, you can take out a loan against property you have, or a line of credit. Some people get creative with their financing for a flip house.

They use a little of theirs, some from family and some from a loan. Some people create a joint venture and split the financing costs. When it comes to deciding the financing amount, always plan on spending more than you think you might need because there are always glitches.

You need to understand how real estate works. You can educate yourself about this by having a mentor in the real estate business or by taking classes in it. But you must know how buying and selling works, how to determine which location is good to buy a flip house in, and what the market is doing.

You need a good figure on what the house will be worth on the market once everything’s said and done. Look for foreclosed homes, homes that look rough but are basically in good shape and homes in sought after locations.

You also need to know how to work on a house. It’s okay to hire those who know what they’re doing when it comes to working on a house, but you need to know what should be done and what a good job looks like on a repair or renovation.

Because otherwise, you won’t understand what has to be done or if it’s being done correctly and up to code. You can have a contractor come out and look at the flip house to tell you what’s going to be involved in fixing it up.

This will help give you a ballpark figure of what you’re going to spend to get the house ready. Just keep in mind that renovation estimates are just estimates. As the work progresses, problems are usually uncovered – so give yourself not only a financial buffer, but a time buffer for getting the project done as well.

When the home is done, make sure it has market appeal by staging the home. There are certain people you’re going to need to be successful with house flipping.

You need someone who’s knowledgeable about the market if you’re not. You need someone to handle the paperwork when you sell the house. You need someone to handle the financial side who can keep the project within budget and moving along.

You need people who are skilled in all areas of home flipping. That includes people who can work on bringing the yard up to a condition that’s appealing to buyers.

You need someone who can put in a floor or renovate a kitchen. You need electricians, plumbers, heating and air experts and any other skilled person to handle areas outside of your expertise.

Understand that time and problems equal a demand for more money. The longer it takes to complete and the more problematic a flip, the more it eats into your profits.

Hit us up if you want any more information on any of these areas!

Linz’s Friday Musings – July 12th 2019

G’day all

Today I am writing this in a break from a Real Estate Conference I am attending in Brisbane (shout out to all the Brisbane-ites! What weather you have here!)

I say “Real Estate” loosely because really this is all about mindset, and one of my all-time favourite and most important events of the year (not my first rodeo I will admit – attended this event a few times). This is the Real Estate Millionaire Within event that I would highly recommend to anyone, and
I say important, because without mindset, growth and belief, all the strategy in the world is useless to you. Without the belief you can achieve, the mindset to be able to overcome the difficulty (and oh my, there will be difficulties!) and the growth learn and grow and be flexible in adversity, you will not be able to achieve success, whether it be in business, investments, wealth, or happiness.

It’s the growth and belief that you develop that allows you to firstly recognise opportunities and strategies that you can use. It’s that growth and belief that will allow you to take the strategies you KNOW you can apply and run with them. And then again, when things get tough, it is that growth, belief and mindset that allows you to push through the barriers, get up after the setbacks, and keep moving towards your goals.

If you have read any of my blogs or musings before, one of my favourite sayings – It not knowledge that is power, but the application of that knowledge. Yes, I agree, we all need knowledge. Hell, I’m pretty certain that none of us (myself included) put enough of our time each day aside to learn, read and grow (well, maybe my business coach who reads a minimum of 2 hours every day) but you get the idea. Knowledge is needed, learning is critical, but if you do not have the personal growth to apply that knowledge, if you don’t have the mindset to succeed in the adversity, then it becomes moot. Just another course we bought and placed on the bookshelf; just another book that looks great, but we never open the cover; just another strategy we have been taught that we never implement.

It is growth, mindset and belief that will allow us to take and use the tools we learn and to achieve. And its not something that will necessarily occur overnight, Growth takes time. But sometimes, Mindset and belief can be like a switch! Something will resonate with you, a key that will trigger that inner lock deep in your psyche that suddenly unlocks and all becomes clear…

Find yourself that key, however long your journey takes and suddenly the knowledge becomes vast and available…it was always there, you just couldn’t see it

Happy Investing all! And have a great weekend!!

Cheers

Lindsay

Is Flipping Right for You?

A handful of shows on TV have featured house flipping as a way of life. They show the ups and downs of getting into the business. It looks like fun and you might be wondering if it’s something that you should get involved with.

You can decide if that’s the case by taking inventory or your personality and what you have to put into it. Flipping houses is going to be a pretty serious time commitment.

Though it looks quick on TV, reality is different. You need to be someone who has the amount of time that it’s going to take to dedicate to a project. If you’re stretched too thin right now, then you need to wait until you have the time or have someone Do it For you (like us!).

You’re going to have to hire someone to help you. To get involved with house flipping you need to have a team that you can work with. You may have an electrician, a plumber and several other people who can professionally do whatever task is needed. A general contractor can handle a lot of this for you

You must to look at the cost involved. You need to be able to know how to find a good home to invest in. A good flip home should be priced low enough so that after you repair what needs to be fixed, you have a tidy profit.

That means you can’t pay market value for a home. You will need to find the “fixer uppers” that don’t have serious issues in established or even high end neighborhoods that you can afford i, buy, bring the condition up and then sell.

You do have to be able to buy that house, which means you must have some sort of financing ready. This is a step that should be decided before you even look at homes to buy.

To decide if house flipping is right for you, you want to examine your reasons for going into it. If it’s because you think it’s something that’ll make you rich fast, then that’s a wrong reason. This is certainly a good way to make money, but takes time and effort for sure…

You can make a lot of money flipping houses, but it’s not something that you can rush. It’s something that builds your income house flip after house flip. Your first flip or two is to get you started.

There will always be risk involved in real estate properties just like in any other venture, but the rewards you stand to reap can be substantial. If you have some money already on hand that you can invest in buying a flip house, you’re a hard worker and you don’t give up easily when faced with challenges, then home flipping is probably right for you.

Give us a call, or hit us up on Facebook to discuss your options

Analysis of the RBA’s Rate Cut in Australia – Mark II

My father was a very shrewd businessman, one of the best i knew, and one principle he always taught me was that “you make your money when you BUY something, not when you sell”. Now, I get that you need to sell something to realise the profit, but essentially what he meant was that if you buy anything at the right price, then making a profit once you sell is easy.

So at the risk of sounding all Déjà vu – with another rate cut this week from the RBA in Australia, I wanted to spend a little time analysing this and the impact on our economy from a property investor/developer’s standpoint

I guess for the majority of Aussies, the record interest rate cut to bring our cash rate to a historic 1% will bring one of two emotional responses:

Joy and expectation that the big banks will pass on at least a portion of this cut through to consumers’ loans saving of the mortgage each month;

Or irritation for those savers or retirees who base a larger portion of their income on interest from term deposits, bank bonds etc.

In reality though, to step back and look at the “bigger picture”, I myself, while not surprised at the decision to cut the rate, am concerned at the outlook for the economic future…

Admittedly, even at 1%, we are still higher than most major economies in the world, with some still around 0% and Switzerland still anchored in the negatives.  Only the US and Canada really above us, and even through the US have lifted themselves from the canvas and brushed off, they are staring down the barrel of another cut before year end…

Then there is a famous quote by Albert Einstein, that I feel I am using all too often these days but seems to be a moral to a story right at the moment – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”  I can only assume the RBA has not heard this quote, and/or not sure if they actual expect a different result?  Even looking at the world economies, and with so many central banks already below us still, it has not had the impact on inflation and growth that years ago it might have.  Why we stayed at rates so low, because the RBA was so focused on the exchange rate rather than our economy, driving our housing prices through the roof for 10 years – is beyond me.  But to now expect that cutting rates through the floor will suddenly make it all better…not sure Mr Lowe…

The concern for us as investors is twofold:

  1. Where to from here?  They are wanting inflation to rise, stimulate growth in the economy but what strategies does the RBA or the federal Gov’t for that matter have to fix this?
  2. Where to put our money to try and ensure good returns still with cuts coming left, right and centre?

While I cannot comment on the first point, not being an economist, my opinion is just that… but on the second, my 2 cents worth… I am happy to be in real estate!  Its right now, where I would be eying my share portfolio (if I HAD a share portfolio) with intense scrutiny wondering what it was going to do next.

Even in markets with the economy floundering, people need to live somewhere.  We need to watch our strategies, and I certainly would not recommend purchasing retail properties right now, with the fear that if prices fall and you are highly leveraged, you could get into trouble.

Bear with me a moment and imagine if you will a strategy :-

We purchase a distressed house for a cash investment (yep – bear with me here!) say for around $50K on the wholesale market.  Put another $20-30K into this to get it back to a nice standard and tenant the property.  As a rental this property is now giving around a $1400 per month income (approx. 15% yield net).  Valuations of the retail price come in at around $90-100K now.  All looking nice (*sips the whisky*)

Now – the “crash” hits – GFC mark II…boom!…  Prices drop 30-40%.  People are losing their homes left and right.  You drop your whisky (shame too…it was an 18 YO Glen Morangie…) and hit the numbers to see the impact…  Your investment is now valuing at around $70K (ooh look, that’s about what it cost you) OK so that’s not too scary.  Maybe even your tenant leaves, but with so many people now losing their homes, rental market is hot right now, and you have prospective tenants lining up at $1600 per month to take your place (now up to around 17% ROI net…) 

Now firstly, with the above scenario I am NOT predicting the next crash or GFC (although I would argue the world is in a financial crisis at the moment with global interest rates…but that’s another blog) and not at all saying this is a good thing.  But I just want to highlight that if you buy real estate right, and have the right strategy, even in tough times (or especially in tough times) you can still have good investments…

Hit us up to chat more about these strategies…

So, other than purchasing properties at retail, through realtors in the states, another good option for the savvy, experienced investor is Wholesalers.

Now in the scheme of real estate in the US, Realtors are essential on the “Retail” side of sales, and Wholesalers are on the “Wholesale” side of sales. Here in Australia, we generally don’t have the wholesale market as much, unless you are a larger developer etc looking at more commercial or larger residential blocks for subdivision

Wholesalers may not be someone you will be able to get access to up front, it might take some time in the market to seek out and find these guys, but can be handy to know a couple.

On the flip side, you must also be careful with wholesalers. They often may not be as reliable or honest as Realtors (that is if you can say all real estate agents are honest?!) but there are a lot less rules and regulations around wholesalers

I would certainly still use my Realtor (at least for a time until you have more experience in the region) to deal with the wholesaler, visit and walk through the properties and negotiate on your behalf, just to help keep the wholesaler all above board so to speak

Generally, you may not know a particular person who is a wholesaler so it is often a matter of finding them. Your realtor may know one – hell some realtors are wholesalers themselves, but I would be careful here, as in that case you would no longer have an “arm’s length” relationship and the realtor may not be working in your best interest and could be getting kickbacks from the wholesaler to sell the properties, just watch out for this.

To find a wholesaler, sometimes Mr Google is your friend 🙂 If you type into a google something along the lines of “buy homes in Cleveland Ohio” for instance, this will bring up a number of listings pertaining to Cleveland. Most will be realtors, but you will find scattered throughout this wholesalers as well. Can be good to get onto a couple of wholesalers mailing lists and they will then send through deals to you.

Our US Property fix and flip course also contains more information so if you’re interested – please give us a call below.

Linz’ Musings – July 5th, 2019

G’day all

While we are all waking up to a gorgeous Friday morning (at least here in Melbourne ) The US is coming to a close on their July 4th Celebrations!  Happy July 4th to all our American mates! And Happy Friday to the Aussies!

As the sun rises here, and the US celebrate their Independence Day, the one word that comes to mind is Freedom.  We are blessed to live in this lucky country, and to quote John Williamson in one of my favourite songs of his “Australia is another word for free”

One of the definitions of freedom (apart from the one that says “not being imprisoned LOL) is the ability or right to act, think or speak as we want.  Now, all quips around political correctness aside, we are lucky to have this freedom, and there are certainly many places in the world even in this advanced 21st century, where this is not a given.

To me though, Freedom really means Choices.  The ability to choose what we what to do, where we want to go.  Real freedom is having the option to choose.  People talk about freedom being “not having a job” or use the term “financial freedom” as this holistic, airy fairy term that apparently we are all striving for…but in reality what is the definition of “financial freedom”?  Until we cement this down, we will never achieve it.

If freedom in your life is having the ability to choose; choose if and where you want to work; choose how long you want to work for; choose where you want to go, what you want to do, then is not financial freedom, the ability to choose what you do with your money?

I feel financial freedom really is this – the ability to choose where you spend or what you do with your money; because at the end of the day, really, that is all money is good for – to exchange for goods or services or to gift to others.  It is not some magic pill that makes everything better; not some new age cure for all that ails us; simply the ability to exchange for goods or services we want or use it to help others do the same…

So then financial freedom would, simply put, be the ability to choose the goods and services we want, when we want or to gift to others to do the same…right?  So, what choices do you want to be able to make? What freedoms do you want?  Travel, healthcare, ability to spend time with the family?  Give to charities or create your own? 

My wife and I are about to book a farm stay on Airbnb in the Blue Mountains to get the grandkids and family all together for Christmas in a large 5-bedroom home.  This will cost in excess of $5000 for 4 nights, but this is the choices we want to be able to make, the reason we work hard and ensure our investments are working hard for us – what’s your reasons, your choices?

Anyway, have a great Friday everyone, I’m going back to choosing to film the gorgeous sunrise here in Melbourne this morning

Happy Investing all! And have a great weekend!!

Acquiring Property Deals…

My father was a very shrewd businessman, one of the best i knew, and one principle he always taught me was that “you make your money when you BUY something, not when you sell”. Now, I get that you need to sell something to realise the profit, but essentially what he meant was that if you buy anything at the right price, then making a profit once you sell is easy.

So, other than purchasing properties at retail, through realtors in the states, another good option for the savvy, experienced investor is Wholesalers.

Now in the scheme of real estate in the US, Realtors are essential on the “Retail” side of sales, and Wholesalers are on the “Wholesale” side of sales. Here in Australia, we generally don’t have the wholesale market as much, unless you are a larger developer etc looking at more commercial or larger residential blocks for subdivision

Wholesalers may not be someone you will be able to get access to up front, it might take some time in the market to seek out and find these guys, but can be handy to know a couple.

On the flip side, you must also be careful with wholesalers. They often may not be as reliable or honest as Realtors (that is if you can say all real estate agents are honest?!) but there are a lot less rules and regulations around wholesalers

I would certainly still use my Realtor (at least for a time until you have more experience in the region) to deal with the wholesaler, visit and walk through the properties and negotiate on your behalf, just to help keep the wholesaler all above board so to speak

Generally, you may not know a particular person who is a wholesaler so it is often a matter of finding them. Your realtor may know one – hell some realtors are wholesalers themselves, but I would be careful here, as in that case you would no longer have an “arm’s length” relationship and the realtor may not be working in your best interest and could be getting kickbacks from the wholesaler to sell the properties, just watch out for this.

To find a wholesaler, sometimes Mr Google is your friend 🙂 If you type into a google something along the lines of “buy homes in Cleveland Ohio” for instance, this will bring up a number of listings pertaining to Cleveland. Most will be realtors, but you will find scattered throughout this wholesalers as well. Can be good to get onto a couple of wholesalers mailing lists and they will then send through deals to you.

Our US Property fix and flip course also contains more information so if you’re interested – please give us a call below.

Linz’ Musings – June 28th, 2019

G’day all

Happy Friday! The only way is up right!? With winter solstice behind us, days start getting longer now… although it is going to take some time to recognise this. The US are now in their summer break, schools are on holidays and people are enjoying the warmer weather there. Be a nice time to visit if anyone is thinking of planning a trip! Oh, and if so, please let us know, we can help give you a checklist to get a bank account open in your LLC name (if you don’t yet have your US company set up – give us a call to chat!).

Tax time is upon us here in Oz… can be an exciting time or a depressing time, depending on your view point. How have your investments performed this financial year? Are you happy with their effort? One thing I always believe we must ensure that our money works HARD for us. We work hard for it, and it is only right that we expect the same in return. Think of your money or investments as employees – they need to give you good outcomes, good return or you need to change something.

This is a good time to sit back and take stock of where your investments are going and ensure they are moving you forward. This give then the next few months before the end of the year, to make some changes and put steps in place if needed to change direction

One thing a mentor of mine went through recently is when reviewing parts of your life to your goals and how they are performing, whether it be investments, business, job, or life, knowing when to change (Innovate), tweak (Optimize) or grow (Scale)…

For instance: If your investments are performing less that 20% of your goal, you should innovate – essentially look to change tack complete and start again.

If on the other hand, the performance is within that 20% range, then optimize – tweak a few areas just trying to increase returns.

And lastly of course, if the performance is exceeding goals, then scale – grow the investments!

This can give good clarity on how to ensure your investments are working has hard for you as you do for them! Tax time can be very exciting 🙂

Have a great weekend all and Happy Investing!!

Cheers,

Lindsay

Analysis of the RBA’s Rate Cut in Australia

This week I wanted to give you a quick analysis of the impact in Australia of the rate cut seen recently.  Probably even more so that the election, this is one of the larger impacts on our economy and hence the property investing market. 

The interest rate cut in Australia by the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) was the first in almost 3 years!  The last being in August 2016.  Will be interesting to see how quickly and how much is passed through to consumers, but with funding costs easing for the financial institutions as well, they should be in a position to pass this on.  Next question though is how many rate cuts will we see?  It is out of character for the RBA to cut rates once then leave the table, generally we see cuts in 2’s or 3’s.  Financial markets are whispering about 2 cuts this year…bit time will tell. 

Quick analysis of the winners and losers in the market from a rate cut for you: 

Winners 

  1. Businesses 

Rate cut basically means more money in household budgets with mortgages getting cheaper and generally this means people spend more.  It can also mean that commercial loans are a little cheaper, so little more in the business’s back pocket too 

  1. Exporters 

Generally, a rate cut means a lower AUD so this can help exporters.  Interestingly though, the AUD held steady for the hours after the announcement and even firmed a little in the day or two after, so it shows the financial markets already had the rate cut priced in.  Interesting again, to see if this holds, or if the AUD drops in the coming months 

  1. Real Estate Market 

Firstly, the property owners win as the mortgage rates come down a little giving better rental returns and this can also be a driver for the market to start a turn which can drive the equity in the real estate up as well 

For real estate Agents, this can also mean a more positive sentiment in the market, putting a few more people out looking for houses, so some stronger growth for the agents 

On the flip side for Real Estate, it’s not all rosy – with increase in sentiment comes often rising prices which for first home buyers can be difficult.  Suggest to start looking and get in now if you are looking to buy your first home, before the prices jump.  Liberals plan to help with Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) does help though 

  1. Jobs & Wages 

With more money coming into business through rate cuts or consumer spending this does help drive down the unemployment rate and create more jobs.  With more jobs, comes more competition for labour and therefore can increase pressure on wages.  This can be a win/win for employees and job hunters 

Page Break 

Losers or little/no impact: 

  1. Credit Cards 

It is certainly doubtful we would see any cut to interest rates on credit cards – one of the biggest rorts in this country.  Unfortunately, these rates (including personal loans etc) are not linked to Reserve Bank interest rates 

  1. Savers 

The person, not the store [Symbol]  People who are good at saving can generally lose out here, with interest rates going down, so does interest earnt on savings and bonds etc 

  1. Retirees 

Retirees can see a mixed result.  If they are relying heavily on savings returns and bonds etc, this can go down, with investments in real estate etc, that can go up, so this could go either way depending on how the superannuation fund is structured 

  1. Online Shoppers 

If the AUD does drop, then be careful with that credit card on the late night shopping channels and Amazon!  Exchange rates can make goods imported from overseas more expensive and increase shipping costs 

So out of all that, how did you go?   

At this time, a move to alternative property strategies can be advantageous because particularly in these times of cheap money, people often make mistakes and end up with negatively geared results.  Is frustrating to see… Don’t be this person…  

High cashflow properties are ideal.  Give us a call to book your strategy session NOW!