Nick Lundquist, owner of Tooth X Nail in Edina, spent almost ten years in a large corporate bank doing project management work and apparently received a lot of attention and reward for what he was doing. By building program applications, Nick and his team were able to save the company a lot of money. He enjoyed the challenges of creating solutions for every problem that presented itself. However, it got to the point the reward turned into more problem solving every time a previous solution has been accomplished. That kind of working pattern did not resonate with him. Despite the fact that he was saving the company millions of dollars and gaining them lots of efficiency, his work unfortunately just became a job and no longer an accomplishment. He wanted to give more but it was no longer enough. So Nick took the plunge and combined his desire for corporate freedom and his passion for fitness into a unique outlet for those that share his passion.
A Very Intense Passion
Nick’s passion for his own fitness started in his early twenties. He’s at the gym six days a week with three hour bike rides sprinkled in for fun. The level of commitment he has to his fitness has even cost him relationships and friendships. Too many times he’s heard the question: “Are you ever not working out?”
To Nick, it’s about commitment: “When we do a workout, we commit hours of our day to this. We give everything we have that we just can’t possibly stand up any longer. We have to lie down when we have nothing left in our bodies anymore. That’s the commitment we give to try to perform at the best of our ability and be the strongest athlete we can be and really contribute to our athletic work.”
A lot of people go to that same intensity on any given thing they choose to be passionate about. In Nick’s case, he chose his passion around fitness because he feels it represents his personality well enough that he wants to give his entire life to this endeavor. Some people do it with art, some will do it with music, some people do it with other things while Nick chose athletics.
A Journey Into His Own Skin
To Nick, a truly accomplished individual is someone who can say that they work within their passion. Knowing his own abilities and skill set, he told himself that he can fulfill a need within the fitness industry and he set out to find that niche. That’s when the entrepreneurial spirit really started to burn. He set his mind to find the gaps in the fitness community. He wanted to be the guy to address that need.
Filling a Personal Void to Fill a Community Void
Empty—that’s a great word to describe how Nick felt at the time he was still existing in the corporate world. He wasn’t seeing the fruits of his labor or the people benefiting from his hard work. Using his intellect to be a part of solving problems was not enough. He wanted his abilities to directly help someone and see the reward right on that person’s face. He knew he could do more. He wanted to do something that allowed him to give everything he had.
Nick had a few moments of sitting around in his unfulfilling job and thinking about his life’s passion and how there’s an opportunity out there to fill his own void while fulfilling a bigger void in the community. He has the drive, the skill set, the ambition, the desire and he believed he can be the one to enhance the fitness aspect in his community’s life. According to him, it almost felt like a calling, “It seems a little pretentious. We’re entrepreneurs for a reason. We have this level of arrogance around us like, I was the only one who can do this.”
Failure Is Not an Option
Being an entrepreneur is like walking at the edge of a cliff, looking down and jumping off knowing that there’s no parachute. From the outside, people would say it looks great. It does look great but it is one of the hardest jumps one has to make. According to Nick, “the biggest difference between an entrepreneur and somebody who just wants to be one is the fact that that entrepreneur jumped and that’s the biggest fear that everybody faces is that what if it fails, what if that, what if this. Well, I said, I have a great idea, I am an extremely skilled individual, I made proper choices to be financially stable, I won’t fail. So I jumped because I knew that there was no way I would splat. I was going to survive and this is gonna be successful because I feel extremely confident at what I’m doing.”
Once you’ve taken the leap, it doesn’t stop there. It is a long road where you have to make the decision first, set out a road that’s years-long. It’s a lot of planning, a lot of defining a financial road map. It’s coming up with a milestone checklist that you have to hit and commit to.
“Eventually that milestone comes that says you have to quit your job and you are now going to start living at your own income. And that is probably the equivalent of a prisoner of war being freed. You take that deep breath of ‘I did it!’. I got a long road ahead of me to get myself back from this but I’m now free from every shackle that has been holding me back. All my energy can go straight forward to what I want to do.”
Listen to Nick’s entire podcast episode!
There’s a bit of story behind the location. There were a couple of areas of town Nick wanted to be a part of but those did not pan out as well as he wanted to. There was a day when everything was ready to go and all he had to do was to keep things moving forward but his location wasn’t quite there yet. He ended up driving around, got to Edina, saw a sign in front of a location, called the number, saw the property the next day, and had a lease ready for him to sign in two days! This ended up being the current spot and at that time, it spoke to him that it was the area ready for business. Nick wanted to do business with people who wanted to do business.
Nick takes pride in how this location turned out. He did all the renovations himself and grinded the space in 60 days, 16 hours per day.
Niche Products and the Reemergence of the Brick and Mortar
Nick researches what his niche market needs. By listening to his community’s needs, he offers niche products that address the community’s actual needs.
Currently, Tooth X Nail specializes in the needs of the workout community and crossfunctional fitness. If you are looking to purchase proper weightlifting shoes and grips, or looking for hard-to-find yoga and crossfit gear, Tooth X Nail is the place to go. Look at the actual products yourself, try them, test them out, and be completely satisified with your purchase.
For more information on Tooth X Nail’s products, look for Nick and his team to help you with your purchasing decision.
How Todd’s experience on the farm helped him get where he is today
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Today we are at Zel Skin & Laser to speak with two of the top skin bloggers in the nation – the Skin Sisters. Real life sisters Brooke and Lauren who use their decade of professional dermatology experience to answer all questions relating to skin health. From acne, skin care cream, to the most effective skin care products, the Skin Sisters MN cover it all.
Carrie Guarrero of Fairway Independent Mortgage is fired up over a CNBC article with a misleading title that, at first glance, implies the gloom and doom of home buying down payments. Evidently, that is not the case, especially in Edina with over 52 pages of different payment programs readily available to home buyers! Think you need to slave away for a 20% down payment?
Home Buying Myth: Wait, What?
The article, based on analysis by rental listing company, HotPads, claims it will take about six and a half years for a person to save the “needed” 20% mortgage down payment, and if you only read the first few paragraphs, this is all the reader would know. The article did eventually offer other options for the reader and home buyer, but with people usually just skimming through instead of reading fully, most people would have already disqualified themselves from the dream of buying a house. To Carrie, this is unfortunate and troublesome because buyers who don’t check with a loan expert just believe what they skim through online.
The Truth About Home Buying: You Don’t Need a 20% Down
Does it really take a person six and a half years to save for a home down payment? The simple answer is no. Each person is different. There are people who cannot save even if their lives depended on it and there are people who can diligently put away a specific amount of money every month. And then there’s the option to choose among different home buying programs depending on one’s credit standing and location. Carrie says that she’s had clients buying homes with very little down payment from 3% to 5% to nothing at all at 0%. In fact, for Minnesota home buyers, there are actually over 52 pages of payment programs available. To quote Carrie, “every individual circumstance is going to dictate a different product, a different program..” so obviously, a 20% down payment is not universal.
Current Rent Prices Versus Mortgage Payments
In today’s Minneapolis market, as rental prices keep going up, Carrie is seeing more people who are qualified to buy homes with their projected payments less than their rent. “People don’t need the down payment that everybody thinks they need,” Carrie emphasizes again. There’s usually a payment shock when her clients find out what that there’s no difference between mortgage and rent amounts.
A great example of this would be a client who was paying $2400 a month for a 700 square feet condo. Carrie helped them with their first home purchase, a 3-bedroom with a couple of baths, with a mortgage payment of $2000 per month.
Listen to the entire episode!
Ask an Expert, Get a Sustainable Home Loan
With everyone consulting the Internet about everything these days, few bother to ask an actual expert. This could be said about mortgage loans and the real estate industry. Google searches won’t give you the entire story which could lead you down a path of disqualifying yourself from your own capabilities.
Carrie’s own philosophy when it comes to helping her home buying clients is in itself a very buyer-centered one. “My philosophy is, I don’t say no, I say not now. But here’s what’s going to take to get you where you want to be. I’ll sit down with people whether face-to-face or a Zoom video conference call. We’ll walk through their credit, we’ll walk through their assets, we’ll walk through what they’re paying for rent, what their situation is now, and then we’ll set a clear path. These are the three steps you need to take in order to get where you want to be and we’ll check in on a monthly basis, see where you’re at and when you’re ready, we’ll go.”
The idea is to put people into houses that they can afford to have for the long-term. Carrie adds, “I’ve always said it’s not just my job to put people into houses; it’s my job to keep them there too. We do sustainable home loans.”
For more information, contact Carrie directly:
Producing Branch Manager
“I’m going to the cabin this weekend!” How many times have you heard that from a neighbor, a friend or a workmate and thought that dream of a second home is out of reach for you. Think twice. Second homes are in reach for almost all of us. Mortgage expert Carrie Guarrero, debunks the myths around what it takes to get into your dream getaway.
Is 20% Down a Must?
It’s a common misconception that in order for you to afford a second home, you have to have plenty of money. According to our go-to mortgage expert, Carrie of Fairway Independent Mortgage, “plenty of money” is a relative term. We have good news for people looking into investing in a second home: you DON’T NEED 20% DOWN PAYMENT. The “plenty of money” aspect would have more of a role in maintenance, repairs, and affording the payment.
Second home mortgage rates are actually lower than commonly thought as long as you utilize your second home as an actual second home and not as an investment property. In fact, interest rates are very comparable to primary residences.
Three Things to Consider for Second Home Buyers
When looking into second homes or investment properties, there are three important things that Carrie highlights to her clients and these are:
- Reserves: When investing in a vacation property, Carrie cannot emphasize enough that you will always need reserves. Reserves are available funds you can use to pay your mortgage if an interruption in income does happen. You have to consider the possibility, God forbid, of temporary disability or loss of income. Carrie says that money in the bank is where magic is. You don’t need to worry if you have 6 months of reserves to subsidize your payments or debt load if something happens.
- Maintenance and repairs: Extra responsibility comes with owning a second home. A second home is an added layer of potential for maintenance and repairs as you will be maintaining two households. Costs can come out more than what you expect so make sure to plan carefully.
- Taking care of the property: This is the part that most people tend to overlook according to Carrie—regular maintenance, repairs, utilities still need to be taken care of even when life events prevent you from going to your vacation property. There are options available. In most cases, vacation property owners tend to self-organize into little communities with an association that employs a maintenance person to run around and take care of the grounds or properties. If that opportunity isn’t for you, you can always do your research. Carrie and her Fairway team help guide people through these things.
Can I Rent Out My Second Home?
With the rise of Airbnb and similar services, the trend of renting out vacation homes is on the rise. However, if you need to rent out your second home to afford it, it becomes an investment property. Investment properties and vacation properties are completely financed differently.
Your second home is a property for your own personal use.
You can occasionally rent it out but don’t count on the income. Carrie again emphasizes the importance of reserves because when you count on occasional rental income and it doesn’t happen, that could mean financial heartache.
From a financing perspective, renting out your second home once or twice a year shouldn’t be a problem.
Getting into nightly rentals or something similar, though, would qualify you for a different kind of loan. Take note that a rental home is considered a commercial property. For vacation homes, there are actually documents you have to sign indicating that you will not be renting your house on a daily basis. There’s a big difference between the two and Carrie would be more than happy to walk people through those variables.
Listen to the entire episode!
Loans Are Not as Complicated as the Media Portrays It to Be
For Carrie and her team who do loans every single day— and they’ve done a lot! — they understand that loans can sometimes be terrifying for those who are vaguely familiar. A lot of news headlines plant seeds of doubt in people’s minds. People get scared and don’t bother learning that buying a second home can actually be an option.
“Don’t disqualify yourself…don’t let that stop you. Check it out. What do you have to lose? Bottomline: people just need to pick up the phone and let’s walk through it. If the time is not right now, let’s make a plan to get where you want to be.” -Carrie Guarrero
For more information and to ask Carrie a question:
Producing Branch Manager
Some of the most amazing and successful products on the market today were invented by accident, and that applies to Ben VandenWymelenberg, founder of WOODCHUCK USA. It all started while he was a student at The U. He invented something that saved his iPhone. What he didn’t anticipate was the reaction from friends over that simple accessory. That reaction drove Ben into a business that creates beautifully designed wood products hand-crafted in Minneapolis. Today Ben takes you through Woodchuck USA’s history. From the innovative way they got their product into a college bookstore, to why their run at Target almost put them out of business. Find out the exact moment changed the course of their business, and how that moment turned Woodchuck from a business that sells wood products, into a business that has literally changed the environment through each sale by connecting people with nature.
Warning: Language used in today’s podcast may not be suitable for all audiences.