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Archive for April, 2014

Updates, feeling frustrated, Murphys Law in spades

April 30th, 2014 at 12:36 am

HI all

Good news first.

Interview went very well. News tomorrow. Drive was not as bad as I had thought.. it is off of 355.. vs 294. 50 minute drive there (3pm) and back (5pm).. not a lot of bad traffic and it was raining

Met with two directors... did not meet w hiring manager so was not able to ask about flex time..

Other news. frustrated with current property manager of the 6 homes. again left in the dark... called him today. it is 7:30 and no response yet... pissed. worried as that tenant turn over is not done yet. so that is up in the air..

Boss returned to work but I called in sick yesterday because I was so frazzled with the paint job abnd interview. so no news on renewal. upsetting

paint job gone bad.. guys started.. color in main rooms I do not like so having to choose another color which may impact other room colors (already bought) and just found out they left out a room in their quote.

Work stopped and they are coming by to requote tomorrow and set a time to start again. (this week I hope). meanwhile I am painting paint samples on the wll. .I can be indecisive and it is frustrating! and expensive

and 'hail mary' to the bank for the 2 flat failed. it will confirm on the 13th. no extra month rent.. and the tenant called today because of a water leak. water is in my name there so that is a concern. will fix tomorrow... just a tub handle washer but more $$

I want this 2 flat gone and that tenant (who moved out) . I called him at work. still no word on money and I am not feeling positive.. upsetting

I will continue to call him at work until he responds

Bad news day. tomorrow will be better.

Feeling short of money and bad... and stressed w work and a lot of stuff up in the air. thanks for listening.

and not for profit is not going well and I am feeling like I have no time to look at that. want to close it and just be free.

Job Interview Monday! and update from bank

April 25th, 2014 at 09:45 pm

Hi all

I have the face to face interview for that much higher paying job MONDAY 4pm. Interview is at 4pm so I can see the drive time aftewards

AND the bank may move back to the 2 flat confirmation date which, if they do, results in an extra month of rent for me.

Prayers on both!

and selling one more Craigs list thing (they will be here in 40 minutes)

after that. have a $500+ item trying to sell

Have a good weekend all

Dr Atkins day 4 update and other updates

April 25th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Hi all

Day 4 here and weighed myself yesterday

LOTS of new energy..diet is not hard. I am averaging 30 carbs vs 20 but weight today was only 3 lbs down which means i am still in the 'possible' water weight category.

Getting consulting website and charging up and running. charged 2 craigslist things for folks to help facciliate the sale to practice running cards again.

Been swamped at work.. testing days.. and boss comes back next week... hoping for renewal so I feel strong going into my interview.. which recruiter is trying to set for next week

No new $ news. it is so much funner to 'save/invest' something even small amounts eery day or every few days to see the #s change. sortof addictive.. I need to get this consulting up and running and that will help with that.. right now only paid 2x a month

Been a tough month financially but only down $800 now (for bills due around the first) and have plans to get that.. so will likely only need to take out $2500 for roofs (or less) from rental emergency fund

Will call property manager today for updates on turning over the house. I WISH he was like the other property manager who gives me updates vs my having to track him down all the time

Onward and spring is here.

No $ from that ex tenant yet and no word from bank on delaying the confirmation

Have a great day guys.

Dt Atkins Day 1 and rental and other updates

April 22nd, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Hi all

Dr Atkins day 1.. I did not have proper food in the house and had to run out for food ...starving. anyway I finished the day with 37 carbs.. goal is 20 for the first 2 weeks. I am doing this for 2 weeks. I will do better w proper food in the house. I also got those ketone testing strips. I lose weight pretty easily so thinking even though I am over I am off to a good start.. just starting is good!!

Interview. we are trying to coordinate for next week. 401k looks possible at the new job

Got a $550-600 water heater warning from my property manager.. for the 6 homes..(unless I have MASSIVE repairs in addition to this.. this does not exceed my monthly budget)

I am 'short' approximately $1200 (not including roofs) for bills due on or around the 1st (even with no 401k) . I will continue to sell stuff. Sold $450 so far this week! and listed some more high dollar items too..some of this shortness is because credits/refunds are not going to be in by the 1st and that rental guy has not paid me yet.

Feeling short, made some mistakes

April 21st, 2014 at 06:56 pm

HI all

bad news but using this as a diary too

Bad news

I 'assumed too much and too positively."" on items that were out of my control

Assumed tenant (who moved out of the 2 flat early) would pay me $810 on time.. it is late and may be a week or more out or I may have to fight for it. I have to pay utilities on that the 2 flat til it sells and this would have gone towards it. potential $2-400 utility bill outstanding??

and assumed 2 flat would not confirm til the end of May. it is confirming on the 13th

also roofs will likely be $2000+ more than I budgeted (low budget!)

Thsi means I have an $800-1200 hole for this month (plus roofs) and owe the other 2 flat people $400 out of their security (which I already reclaimed)

I already used the security..so this represents $400 i have to come up

BAD assuming..

Here is my plan

1. sell my stuff (sold $310 worth so far.. got more to sell and appointments this week).. potential of $300+ more and may list other stuff ($300 more.. but not this week likely)
2. stop 401k for next check. potential $730 more $ to me
3. stop unnecessary costs (getting refund on 'just answer' website subscription and stopped that, stopping my fico.com, getti8ng refund of $120 on something else (potential $175 but refunds not coming instntly)
4. see if I can delay confirmation one more month (got a call into the bank).. worth $1025
5. start consulting ASAP (now).. probably can do $200-300 by end of the month
6, take $2000 out of rental emergency fund to pay for roofs AND maybe delay unti that one house is turned over
7. call that guy who owes me $6000.. see where that is at.. that will go towards the rental emergency fund by the way
8. stop auto savings plan for this month or next check

and lastly DO BETTER next time.. stop cutting things so close with stuff out of my control in the air

Onward.. hoping to update with good news.

tenant who owes $810 contcted me today but says they are short and do not have it.. trying to come up with when they will

also my not for profit is in a cash crisis.. which is stressing me and I have very little time to deal with it.. want to close that thing.

with the money shortage..'Necessity is the mother of invention!". I do not want to reduce my emergency fund accounts.. trying to make up as much as I can with adjustments etc.

Job interview(*good news), 2 flat and roof update

April 18th, 2014 at 06:21 pm

Hi all,

I got news on the job. They WANT a face to face w me and will set it up next week. I have not found out if I am the only one called in but I may be.. which means i am a shoe in. We will see.

I have asked the contracting company if they have a 401k I can join right away. News soon. I assume there is some waiting period. he will see if I can join.

Roofs looks like $2000 over budget. My budget was for a layover. now doing a full tear off (much better idea!).. architectural shingles.. $8k for 2 homes. I am holding $6k. I will ahve to use my rental emergency fund for the other 2k and then build it back up again.This job would go a LONG way towards building it back up.

2 flat was reclaimed by the bank. my guess is because of the pending 'life safety violation'. Confirmation date is 5/13.. I make $1025 on rent there.. I wonder if I should ask them to delay confirmation for one more month?

If the original confirmation date is held I owe the renters some $450 on the 'settling up' . I am short because the other renters owe me $810 and have not paid yet.

Finances are feeling very tight right now.

Question-what items are sellable

April 17th, 2014 at 08:10 pm

Hi guys

Knee deep in my house clean out etc.. So I do not wnat to donate to Goodwill what I can sell

What items are sellable on Craigs list or Ebay (never used ebay.. is it hard)

1. books?
2. those sauder shelves
3. purses? clothes?
4. lawn stuff (leaf blower etc)
5. pictures
6. artificial flower arrangements
7. vacuums

I do not want to have a garage sales per se.. there is a 'New uses' store here that buys things (not big $ and they do not buy books and some things) but trying to clean up

Also heard folks buy things at garage sales or get them used and sell on ebay or Craigs List.. any money makers there.

Thanks guys

Trying to figure guidelines for throw out, donate and sell to New Uses, or on Craigs list/ebay

Smile

Sharebuilder bonus, 2 flat, Craigs List

April 17th, 2014 at 02:02 pm

Hi all.. got a $50 Sharebuilder bonus and been reading all these folks selling stuff on Craigs List (my stuff has not sold for weeks).. Thinking I am too high adn I just need to suck it up and get rid of stuff.

Trying to sell a couch for $550 and sectional for $450.. just read someone got emails (I have received NO EMAILS!) and was selling a couch and something else for $150. I need this stuff gone so will lower prices and hope to get some interest..

No word on job yet.(no bad news but no good news either)

and expecting roof quotes today. getting a few more for those 6 homes.

So motivating and instructive to read others blogs on this declutter challenge and 'my organized friend'.. i struggle w organization so taking some tips and will start setting aside time every day

Anyone read Flylady (organizational lady. very good)

Have a good day.. Hope to hear good news on the job and Craigs list.

2 flat goes to foreclosure sale today!

Job interview update and other rental updates

April 16th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Hi all.

Job interview (phone screen) went well... lots of 'buy signals'.. "when you are here.." etc..
others
I felt good it went well. less good w the distance. I asked some 'work at home' questions that may have given her the impression that I did not want the job. I said I did want it obviously but may ahve been less convincing .. Thsi is practice and 'what if'. If they have interest I will be told today if I get to come in for a face to face and hten basically it is mine. I should have news from the recruiter today.. Job would net me approximately $3000+ MORE a month. Drive is 43 miles one way (gas costs). If I am seriously thinking of it I will drive out there this weekend and see how far it really is.

I am already pulling traffic reports for time in the car.

Looks like work at home 1x a week..(after a while) and she wants me to work 8-5.. I am BETTING I can get flex hours. I do not want to take lunch and hten leave at 5 in the middle of rush hour.. 8-4 is fine.. eat at my desk..better yet 7:30-4. I am an early bird.

Office is in LINCOLNSHIRE but a straight shot up 294.. actually fine for 4 days a week.. 50% more pay. no hours cap and SOCIAL life at the office. I work at home now and when I do show up at work (which is rare) no one is there (really.. maybe 2 people.. very quiet.. boring etc..) that is partly why I work from home. so boring at work.

This sounded like a fun (actually easier job). I could work w people and be more involved. Contract per interview could be essentialy as long as I want it if they like me and it is a good fit.. never had someone 'not like me' or let me go so thinking this may be long term

So we shall see

2 flat sells tomorrow
Feeling frustrated w current property manager (slow response time, confused paperwork etc etc). new one is taking over as of 6/1.. hoping we get this unit turned over quickly.. tenant has found a place and is waiting for S8 to 'approve' and transfer paperwork.. So it will not be a sure thing until that happens. which means the 'move in' date for any new tenants (none found yet.. but soon) is a little fluid as we wait that out.

Things are moving forward but lots in the air

boss gets back 4/28 from India and I expect news on the renewal then.

I feel 'short' this month and do not like it..

*I just looked up traffic reports and traffic is light on the route.. 40 minutes leaving at 8am..I am actually HOPING I get the call back and afraid I seemed too disintersted or concerned w the drive.. PRAYERS I get the call back.. what an income boost, more social, easier and work would be left 'at work'" and LONG term contract. (years)

Job interview today!

April 15th, 2014 at 06:08 pm

Hi all,

job interview today. I make $55/hr now. interview is for 50% more... rates must have gone up! a recruiter just found me on linkedin yesterday and set this up today

I have not heard on my renewal but still feel I will be renewed

I am taking this job interview for practice, confidence and 'what if'. this is a 50% jump over what I do now and they are saying that I can work from home after the first several weeks. Initial job though is 45 minutes away.. it is a deal breaker if I can not have flexhours to minimize traffic.

Interview is via phone. I have a slight stuttter.. always prefer to keep phone interviews to a minimum but in my field this is the norm and I get through them

Here we go.. 6:30. wish me luck.

First Sharebuilder investment went in. Exciting and motivating to be investing again even in small amounts. I just did an Index and Bond ETF I think

Deciding on 2 roofs for the 6 homes today
Shoudl have news this week on showings on that one (of the 6) homes we are vacating and turning non section 8.. 2 showings last weekend. apparently both were interested and took applications.

Fingers crossed for all

I miscalculated and have ZERO $ to save from now til the end of the month. I will start over next month.

I bought new furniture from Pottery Barn this month.. to refresh the house and start over.. very nice.. cannot wait til it comes.. that is where the rest of my tax refund went.

I am not seeing large lump sums to the rental emergency fund in the near term.. still $8750 short w an expected $5-6 coming w that loan payoff (not in yet though)

2 flat renter still owes me $807 .. he says he will deposit shortly. I need it immediately so I can close that out. house sells 4/17.

An observation about 'stuff'

April 14th, 2014 at 01:54 pm

Hi all

I am going through my house and 'clearing out' like many are doing w the declutter challenge.

Nothing cures wanting to buy more stuff or trinkets like going through cabinets or your WHOLE house and throwing out bags, boxes of stuff that you paid essentially thousands for and in some cases never used, never wore, 'lost' so you bought 2 or three of them.

Wow. I am trying to sell some of my stuff and getting 'pennies on the dollar'

Throwing out books too and realizing the library is a better option sometimes.

Wow.

then looking at pottery barn or other catalogues or model homes and seeing THEY actually have LESS stuff out .. less decorative items but nice well placed ones.. wow always learning

Same goes for my insanely large yard.. I just had it mulched.. 50 yards..I was originaly thinking wow I have to fill all these beds.. now thinking I will get some advice and go for a few well placed things.

Have made zero progress (actualy have not tried) towards losing my 10lbs I put on w the 'house saga'

Thinking of Dr Atkins for a week. it helps me to get the head start that gives and then I tend to be thin so can just get exercising again etc and eating normally. just need push at the start

Onward folks. good to read everyone else's stories

Dialing for dollars again and saving money

April 12th, 2014 at 02:32 pm

Dialing for dollars again and saving money.

Got a cable/internet/phone deal $130 a month LESS than what I have

and having someone look at my not for profit phone deal (currently paying over $280 for 3 phones.crazy).. looking to get that down to $130ish.. this does not directly impact my budget but will for the NFP

The savings for the cable almost pays for my Sharebuilder deposit every month. Good fun trade.

Also using mint.com and seeing decreases in fast food and grocery and more awareness of other stuff

Exciting to see progress.

I opened a Sharebuilder account

April 11th, 2014 at 01:04 am

Hi all.

I opened a Sharebuilder account so I can start investing w small amounts. I am just trying not to lose momentum here but my main goal is to STABILIZE these rentals, get 2 roofs and save up $30k for the rental emergency fund. I only am $8650 away from my $30k fund.

I figure my part time consulting income will offset the investmnet and force me to get that going.

Got recruited for a $115/hr job .. WOW..

Far.. 60 minute drive but maybe work at home. I sent my resume. you never know. That would represent DOUBLING my income and where I work now I have an hours cap.. (40 hours).. no hours cap at this job.

Positive news on rental we are turning over.

April 10th, 2014 at 08:43 pm

Positive news.. renter that we are letting go in the '6 homes' house IS in fact on her way out and MAY have found a place. We got the reference check yesterday.

We will start showing the place this weekend and will clarify her move out date as well. She is w Section 8 so all has to be approved through them (this is why the dates etc are a little influx) but I am feeling encouraged.

Hoping to raise rent $250/month

Meanwhile holding a garage sale the 26th-27th... trying to sell and get rid of stuff. Any tips on a better garage sale? I can take charge cards.. hopefully that will help.

ALL rents in and general rental updates.

April 8th, 2014 at 06:03 pm

Hi all

ALL RENTS in across 6 homes and 3 units.

This month I will owe less than $200k across the 6 homes.. getting more roof quotes now (want to do 2 roofs this month) and working on my own house which is fun.. and a nice break. Not doing any repairs.. more tightening up.. and redecorating some.. FUN.. exciting. The house is MINE now.. wow..

Love spring.

New property manager takes over 6/1. can not wait. These homes are a major part of my early retirement plan and I need them running like clockwork. I have $1050 of monthly allowance for repair/vacancy each month across the 6 homes and 2 3 units. would love to save some of this.. vs shelling it out.

My current property manager will start marketing that one home (of the 6) thsi week at a $250-300 rental increase and look to coordinate a move IN at a similar time to the lady we gave 30 days notice too move OUT

Lots of things in play.. Stay tuned but would LOVE a $200-300 rent increase each month and 100% of the 3 unit folks are ALSO due for an increase this year too. looking to raise $10-25 each.

Egress window court date-2 flat

April 5th, 2014 at 01:12 pm

Egress window court update.

Fined $200. Supervision for 90 days (all offenses)
Had the lady move upstairs (out of the unit without proper egress)..city is fine w that

Both tenants are in the process of settling up
One utility bill switched over to the tenant (Nicor)
City of Naper wants $400 deposit from tenant to switch the other one over so I will hold it and 'bill her/take credit' up til house sells and is confirmed

Sale 4/17.. confirmation 30-45 days thereafter

Should hear on RENEWAl in 3 more weeks

PRAYERS and onward.

Someone died, insights and no retirement w house debt

April 1st, 2014 at 06:32 pm

Hi all

I have been meeting people through this guy I am seeing who are RETIRING at 53 etc.. He worked at a company his whole life and has a pension too and big 401k. They are still laying off there and every so offten a friend gets laid off and gets a financial package. Everyone there is apparently cashing out the pension vs taking payments. Many also have huge 401ks..He does not feel he has enough to retire but wow if I had what he has and the rentals paid off I would be GOLDEN. He is 53 I am 43..

I WANT TO RETIRE EARLY (or be in a position to do where work is a choice not a necessity or work part time) I just want to have more time and freedom. CHOICES

I have come to the conclusion that to feel free I need to add to my goals to pay off the house ASAP. Big goal.. $300k...and involves some creativity and NEW thinking but I am going to figure something out. I can not pay off the house or reach my goals with saving $500-$1500 a month.. need to step back and get a whole new paradigm

I really do not feel comfortable relying on the real estate income I will (not now but later) have with the house debt still there and not working liek I do now. I know I will want the house paid off to relax.

Someone died today.. the realtor who sold me the 6 homes died before they closed and the attorney on both just died yesterday. Makes me think of how short life is.

Life is short. I want to seize the moment and use more of it. Spring is starting and I want to feel FREE.

I am ok working super hard for a few years, taking some risks if I can get what I want later.

I hesitated writing because it feels like I am setting a goal that I am not sure (yet) I can meet and in a public way but I have done 'hard things' before and I am sure I can think of a new paradign/way/idea to make this happen..

Prayers for creativity, opportunity and logic to avoid too much risk .

Good news from my aunt

April 1st, 2014 at 01:08 pm

Hi all,

I talked to my aunt yesterday and she gave me (will send) the $7000 she had pledged IF the house worked out.

WOw! wow!

Feeling like things are all going well lately.

I have $21k in the rental emergency fund (need $30k) and have $6500 for roofs (at the 6 homes.. quoted cost).Calling this guy today to see if I can still get the winter rate. That motorcycle guy still owes me $6k and is in touch every week.

Talk to old/current property manager today..and to new one (to confirm for June 1)

We give notice to the SEction 8 lady today.. 30 days and will look to rerent it immediately pending her response. I am giving her $100 move out credit for the inconvenience and if damages do not exceed her security deposit and if she cooperates w showings. I think it will go ok. Also my talk with current property manager gives me a chance to set real expectations for renting this out. was in the past 'afraid' to be too direct as I had no back up.

Onward.