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Got my 401k match and possible new 2 flat

March 14th, 2016 at 03:28 pm

HI all
I got my 401k match from last year. approx $3650.. nice!

I am trying to get my entire 401k in this year by July in case my contract ends (but do not think it will). it also forces me to live on much less which is good and I will continue at once I am complete w the 401k deductions (approx July)

I am looking at a 2 flat, contract sale
occupied , price $72,500, total rent $1750 ($900 and $850)
With all expenses (water bill, tax, maintenance escrow, insurance and mgmt) the cap rate is over 14%. Seller will sell with $25k down and finance the rest over 4 years,. payments $1018

I did an inspection (cost $450) and seller is fixing a big list of items I asked for . I should say this is a seller referred by the property manager and she is wanting to sell all her properties and move to a different area. First floor unit just prepped for new tenant too.

So i will re-inspect property Friday (my list of items) and see if it makes sense then.

Inspections are SO WORTH it. even if listing is 'as is'. I wish I had done then on the '6 homes' but live and learn. Smile


Great meeting with Property Manager

December 10th, 2015 at 07:25 pm

HI all

had a great meeting w my property manager

Felt more confident, reassured, got more access to their system and my data. They showed me how to access 'notes', 'event history'.. everything.I can log in and see if rent is paid and if not I can see the notes of what they are doing about it. Still having to toss 2 people.. upsetting .... court date ALREADY set up though for the 15th on 1 and still setting court date on the other. I want good LONG term tenants and good properties

house across from my Victorian is SMALLER and listing for more than I wanted to sell mine for. wow. Hope mine sells well next year.

ALso having some new thinking about section 8.. these people really have a system for handling section 8 and it might be worthwhile. they know how to handle the tenants and I can tell the tenants already respect them

I have MUCH LESS stress from the homes

I stil think I am 2-3 months out from smoothing the homes out (getting these folks out, new folks in) they sent out new leases yesterday so the tenants are on their leases.

Repairs so far (have not been many) have been reasonably priced and well done.

We have a small backlog of minor repairs to do from the prior manager but feeling very good and like things are being HANDLED

also makes me think I can buy more.I am still short of my $8000 net a month goal (even if the 3 units were paid off) there is an investor who wants to sell this house that is in real great shape for $62k.. and it would rent for $1250.. looking at it

Work is ok. feelign on track but feeling sortof bored too. want a new challenge

I am working out and doing more things but still troubled by this personal relationship.


I am REALLY feeling like I CAN DO THIS.. and meet my goal of $400k by 2018, $8k net cash flow and be on my way to relaxing more and freedom.. Wow..

Accelerating payments on the 3 units makes things tighter but I wanted to force myself to do it

First day at NEW JOB and more savings

February 1st, 2015 at 07:01 pm

Hi all

My old job asked me to bill an extra 20 hours last week so I could help with transitioning my work after hours. Total billed 61.5. that is 700 extra after taxes) WOW! That is awesome. Also got an unforeseen insurance refund of $100.

I put $1900 towards the vacation fund (as you know) and $500 towards saving to keep me at the $500 short still for the month... actually now only $350-400 short for the month. may put more towards the rental fund. we will see.. My plan/challenge is to make that $500 shortfall happen without dipping into savings.

FIRST DAY at the new job tomorrow.. sortof nervous.. excited.. hope it goes well

14 inches of snow today. glad I got my snowblower as a gift and that I still have the Tahoe.. need to figure out SOMETHING with a 4 wheel drive or the Tahoe.

3 units .. bumpy road but not unexpected. Guy who is not paying should be moving out this week. GOOD NEWS.. need to turn it over ASAP. Will take his security and unit should be in good shape as it was just fixed up last mmonth for him

Other lady who is behind missed 2 payments . we are doing a 5 day notice tommorrow and just getting rid of her. HOPEFULLY she goes fast without a big court thing and then we have our first renewal notice going out at $630 this month to another unit.

So little rough right now but will be better long term to get rid of these bad tenants and bring it back up to market rents.

6 homes continue to chug along but had a 'city inspection on 2 of them' (happens every 4 years).. got a big list .. property manager is figuring out costs and what exactly inspectors wants.. costs/plan next week..many items are small and you never really know from looking at the list as they pick from 'pre written drop downs' to fill in the form

STIll believe in homes and the plan.

My notice date-old job

January 21st, 2015 at 08:37 am

Hi all,

My notice date.I went to work and said I could give 2 weeks notice.. they were thrilled and said they need that etc etc..They also said that my original PO is up THIS FRIDAY but an extension was in the works and I should assume I was worknig for 2 more weeks. They were going to do the right paperwork etc.

Much back and forth and updates occurred and basically they are not able to reach the person ( the final signer) who was to sign the work order so are just going to have me leave Friday.

That was what I originally wanted but upon thinking on it was going to work the extra week and bank that towards a vacation fund. I do not have time to list all the back and forth but how this was handled is very disappointing and shocking and makes me think that had I NOT given notice I would have been dropped anyway with no notice due to lack of the final signature.

Shocking .. demotivating and upsetting

I work at home today and will wrap things up for an end date of Friday.

The project sponsor is all upset and is trying to see if they can override the decision and keep me for a week but not feeling too confident.

tight month next month but onward!

Finally!!! I got a new job! Wowzer

January 17th, 2015 at 06:25 am

Hi all

I have been quiet here as I have been in major job search mode and after so many disappointments did not want to share news until I had something. I DO.

$57 hour plus INSTANT vested 3% match.. at my old company. either work at home or in Lisle (10 minutes away tops). Contract for at least 1 year but they are already talking full time. This is the largest financial services (to banks direct) company in the world so a great place to land full time if the pay is right. I am going in as a senior project manager working directly for the office of the CIO. I give notice Monday. Job is for a senior PM so have to look at payrates etc.. but either way.. GREAT NEWS! also JEANS when I go to work. all good!!

6 homes going great
3 unit transition going great. feel really good with the property manager I have and we are working so well together. this year the goal is to raise rents across all the 3 units by $4-500 a month. this will completely close the negative cash flow gap! PM has already talked with all tenants and we have 3 that look bad or iffy but it is in the plan to turn over 3 units. HE is getting better rent collection though on these 'iffy' tenants then the old PM.

He sees the apartments as I do.. very nice easy to rent and can definitely see the increased rent potential. We are looking for $630 for existing folks and $650 or more for anyone we turn over.

feeling really good. speech is coming back.. less stressed.. real nice day out. all is good..

other stuff. need a new pc.. $350-450? Frown.. old one crashed
new job pays the 15th and lsat day of the month which means my first paycheck from them will not be until the END of February. I currently get paid every week. the last check from my existing company will be Jan 30th so I have essentially 4 weeks with no paycheck. I need to figure out how to do that and not draw from savings etc

I feel energized and alive with the new job opportunity. 401k option again with match and being on track w the 6 homes and 3 units..

April 2015 marks 2 full years of the 6 homes. only 3 left after that on the current pay schedule but looking to move that up

Goal now is to pay off the 6 homes by 2/2018 or 3/2018 vs May, 2018 or with my newly gained more free time (with the new job) exploring options to get a larger lump sum and pay them off years early

I now can make decisions on the Tahoe soon too with the lack of a 100 mile roundtrip drive every day

Life is good. onward

getting new PC today hopefully

the month of no paychecks is likely to impact my savings for this month and next month.. trying to minimize that impact

Checking in to keep on trackp-General updates on all

January 5th, 2015 at 06:56 pm

Checking in.. Clarifying goals for the 'not for profit, personal goals and financial goals tomorrow. I work at home tomorrow.

Still at that job but kicking up job search again thsi week. I am in for 2 jobs. fingers crossed. Got word on another work at home last week.. called.. submitted and then put on hold. Crazy!

6 homes property manager officially took over the 3 units on the 1st. VERY excited w him and encouraged but Very disappointed with old 3 unit manager.. apathetic towards rents, costs way overbudget, dishonesty.. etcv


She put in a problem tenant that she gave $20 off too (without asking) and that tenant is now not paying rent and owes $746 + late fees + this month rent. We are doing a 5 day notice tomorrow am and my guy has dropped by 3x. Upsetting but 'part of the business' and 'part of smoothing' things out. I forecasted turniing over 3 of the 6 units this year due to raising rents so this is not 'out of the budget' totally.. .though the back rent is.

I find out tomorrow which rents are inm at the 6 homes and 3 units. One thing I like w this guy is that I have certainty w rents and information.

I am also thrilled that I am managing him and the costs better.. Feeling very good.

Work is 'ok'.. my speech has taken a major hit w the stress at work. tyring to get it back. If I was not so threatened at work I could stand it a few more months. even the 2 year term (but likely only have work thru June) just every day is SUCH a nightmare right now w layoffs, and so high stress and hostility.

I will petition to work 5 extra hours a week again starting next week.

Not for profit cat rescue is coming together too.. setting goals and managing people and finances better. Tough 'health' month.. Lost 3 kittens..FIP, lost 1 adult..liver/anemia issues .. and 2 kittens have ringworm. Crazy days but nothing we have not seen before. BIG #s this year and lots of volunteer engagement. I have our annual party this Sunday with all (most) of the volunteers.

Other rescue who wants our cage bank (we have 3) says they will have the $ in 3 weeks. Fingers crossed.

Have not sold the Tahoe or really tried too. Hard for me to list the Tahoe when a snow storm (like today) could crop up any second and my job depends on driving 100+ miles a day.

I will either hold off on selling until March or see if I can figure otu another 4 wheel drive option for snow days.. I can get an older SUV for $7k.. still in good shape...and the rescue is primarily who needs it so can kick in something. I WIll be selling that Tahoe at some point soon.

My boyfriend grew up on a farm and is one of those crazy handy types and an engineer. He is also 'more practical' then warm(?) with his gifts.. He got me that snow blower for Christmas but then what was super nice. I am Christian. he got me this super nice house thing from a Christian store and (drum roll please). I had just lost that adult cat (very sad upsetting case.. I only foster the tough cases so I lose more than most) and he built me a kitchen in my 'back-back room' in the basement. I have a 3/4 finished basement and 1/4 unfinished.. The unfinished side is 30x 17 space unfinished (its own room). he carved out 10 x 17 of that. installed cabinets, sink, mini fridge, microwave, lights, counter top.. very nice. I am going to paint that tomorrow or something. This will make it much easier for the next hard case so I do not have to run up and down the steps to the fridge, microwave, blender. I can just hang the sub q fluids. Easier to clean, isolate all sorts of stuff.

Made the first payment on the new home mortgage!

Onward. I so enjoy reading everyone else's info and updates.

3 unit update and other updates

December 19th, 2014 at 05:59 am

Hi all

feeling better today.. almost Christmas too.

I have been wondering why I am so much 'shorter' this year. I took off time last year and felt good about it.. this year I need to impact savings to take off and am only taking off a few days.. but it is good for the soul to have rest and take off from thsi insanity

Anyway last year I had no mortgage and full income from the 2 flat.. so I must have been rolling in cash

I want THOSE days back. haha. Smile

3 unit update. Talking to the NEW property manager (that has the 6 units) felt very good with our talk. he is calling people next week w transition info and sending something out

No blips in 6 homes and I PAID off the roof and gutters so I have done an insane amount of upgrade/fix up work on those 6 homes and survived (and saved some)

Next year we may have to turn over a few of the 3 units which is fine.. if we can get them turned over quickly w good tenants and HIGHER rent.

I discussed the issues now w the 3 unit so this new guy is prepared

We are not going to be lenient like the other PM was..

My phrase (said partly in jest) 'nothing is up but the rent' (from an eddie murphy movie) and the old PM was very bad with collections and running a tight ship.

Anyway. goal is to markedly close the gap w those 3 units so i have little to no negative cash flow

and maybe turn over 1 more section 8 house to raise the rent by $300

We shall see what makes sense and how the 3 units go

In for 3 jobs but not expecting news until after the new year

One in Naperville. One in Warrenville and one at my old company (REMOTE!! or work in local office which is 5 minutes away)

Fingers crossed.

Hope everyone is having an exciting close to the year.. can not wait to calculate results and set new goals for the new year

Did not get job

December 17th, 2014 at 09:59 am

HI all

I did NOT get the job.. they went with an engineer turned project manager instead (the mgr had sortof hinted at that BUT they said I am welcome to apply elsewhere in teh company and they will recommend me. I will! Large bank. lots of job always popping up) AND I heard on that other job (that was on hold) .. they are closing the role due to layoffs.


ON a high note. I am going for another job at a prior company.. Downers Grove location.. pays the same and 6 month contract to hire AND also going for a job at my last company (the one I left a few months ago). Job is based in Brown Deer Wisconsin (head of their network operations center) but it is routine for folks to w work at home. so I will explore that. I now have VERY good written references from my co workers to use too and their contacts.. Making calls today.

I am already in for job #1.. Downers Grove.. $65/hr contract to hire. would love to work there again. worked there for 4 years. got merged out then was called back to run their outsourcing contract. so from an IT perspective I know their technology AND the technology and staff where they outsourced.,I reached out to a coworker who just so happens to be a VP now and this role in in his organization. He says he will make sure I get 'due consideration'

They are not looking at resumes til after xmas though

For the other job. Brown Deer job at the comapny I just left. I am going to talk to the headhunter now and see if I can get a phone screen and sell myself for the work at home. . I have no problem driving out there every so often though.

that is contract to hire with a hire salary of $115-120k

Jobs will open up in the new year too but I am only looking super local right now. at home or near Naperville

Fingers crossed.

Got dealt a bad blow there yesterday but still fighting

I REALLY want to settle somewhere so I can stop this crazy job search every year or two so contract to hire is optimal.

Feeling I have until at least March at my job now.. it DOES pay well.. and I ccan get some overtime.. just the drive.. politics and lack of stability.

Onward. Smile

3 unit update and job update

December 15th, 2014 at 04:50 pm

HI all

No interview results yet. Tomorrow am they say. Got a lead on what looks like an awesome job. infrastructure project manager at a company I used to work full time for in 2004. Pays more than the 'interview job'.. I know people .. fun atmosphere, close to home and contrct to HIRE! I am being submitted for it

3 units news. been quiet about that as I am getting so frustrated. 3 units turn over at the end of this month. That vacant unit. STILL NOT filled.. well sortof filled.. Property manager said it was filled and move in date was 12/1..that date came and went.. Pm says he can not come in due to work . then each week he was going to pay something.. and move in 'that weekend'.. today I call PM (he was going to pay thsi weekend and move in). did NOT pay in full..I told her the unit should not have been taken off the market if rent was not inn hand and security deposit.. she says she knows this guy etc.. and this is a one time case.. a large expense last month...child support mix up.. I asked her to send me his application in the am, lease and proof of income. She gets huffy and asks if I want to rerent it > I said I would let her know in the am and if so I will transition immediately. I said I do not care what issues he has or that she knows him I care that he is going to pay the rent on time on the first for the next year. She says she knows what is going on and that is why she feels comfortable. I said I do not and it is your job to convey what is going on so I do understand and feel comfortable if it makes sense to do so. Someone else is paying $100 late too and I asked when that was coming in and she says 'it was either that or the electric bill.. it will be in next week'

I said I wish I could solve everyone issues but I can not .. I have bills too and I need the rent.


The issues with her if you recall have been RENT COLLECTION and filling of units quickly! I can not stress how easy these should be to rent.. and to thikn she held it without a dime after saying it was filled. lease signeed.

Only possible good thing is the she SAYS (we will see what she sends) but she SAYS lease is signed for Dec 1 and so he is paying in full for this month. (or so she says)

Hopefully job news tomorrow..and get this 3 unit straightened out.

I am expecting some turnover at the 3 units next year.


Interview update

December 13th, 2014 at 11:38 am

HI all.

Thanks for the well wishes..

interview update..mixed.

I was supposed to meet with 3 people.. 2 semi-peers and the director of the group.

One peer was not there. his Mom had some emergency

Met with the first guy for an HOUR.. crazy.. speech held up (remember I stutter.. its get worse if I am tired, stressed or sick and unfortunately I focus on it when nervous and focusing makes it worse).. Anyway interview went WELL.

30 minutes left or so I though.. Boss comes in and we talk for an HOUR (this is 'hard speech situation so to talk for 2 hours straight in a stressful situation really wiped me out).. anyway not the friendly expressive type.. (at all). shot me some rapid fire questions..said he lets the other two screen people so he said he 'was sure I can do the job'.. he said he more interviews for personality and FIT.. Said 3 times that folks from an 'engineering background' do best in this role.. I am not from an engineering background. He gave no 'buy signals' and wished me well.. said 'if I talk to you next it will be in that room (where the group sits) .. if not. have a Happy Holiday'

So.. I do not have the super positive/sure thing feeling I had with the last job but I do not feel negative. I DO think the peers have the MOST influence and my sense was they really liked me.

My written references from their client partner were a HUGE HIT and hoping the rest was.. 3 people were interviewed. I was last. They talk Monday or Tuesday (whenever that guy with his sick Mom gets back) and will make a decision. I am the ONLY one who did not meet with all 3 . though I did talk to that 3rd guy on the phone and he seemed impressed them obviously.

I was LESS interested in the job after meeting w the boss.. (did not click with him) but after thinking about it .. talking to my references friends whoever. I still want it and REALLY want it and this is a MEGA bank that is GROWING so I can get in.. work 12-18 months on contract and switch groups or get hired or whatrever and EVEN if I do not like it .. .I can find a job MUCH easier with a part work at home job then this insane 3 hour a day commute job I have now.

So FINGERS crossed but more Scared Nervous than normal as the boss interview was not overtly positive (though it was not overtly negative either)

I DID call on the Oak Brook job. I am still first in line.. they laid off 100 people last week but say that role is still funded, open and needed.. Maybe that will turn out.

Just need OUT of this crazy job I am at before I get let go.

CEO stepped down last week .. to give the job to someone on the merging company..reorgs and layoffs are rampant.


Interview day-wish me well.

December 12th, 2014 at 06:17 am

HI all

interview day.. 1pm to 2:30.. got my suit.. studied.. a little nervous.. going in with 2 written references (from the similar company that is a partner of this company) and already sent call references.

I am one of 3 ..

Fingers crossed and prayers. I will apparently find out right away like Monday/Tuesday next week.

Got the face to face interview!

December 9th, 2014 at 03:23 pm

HI all

I got the face to face interview at that place.. Friday at 1pm.. 1 1/2 hours long.

I am calling all my references tomorrow.. studying.. RELAXING and praying

I will work at home that day and then do the interview. 3 were called back and this job is pretty competitive

Prayers. This might just work out.

To make what I make now I have to work 46 hours a week at this other job (equivalent to 40 at my old job but does not take into cost savings of working so close to home and less time per day)... overtime is frequent at this other job and since it is either at home or 5 minutes a way that is not a big deal.

when I work 40 hours a week at this job I have now .. I am actually gone 55+ hours with the 3 hour commute each day.

Gas savings potential $350 a month!

Clothing savings.. eating out for lunch savings and general lower stress and MORE time to explore other income opportunities or whatever.. just live life!

Fingers crossed.

Job interview went well!

December 8th, 2014 at 08:01 pm

HI all

Job interview. phone interview.. hour and a half..crazy but WENT WELL!!

$56/ hr (I make $65/hr now).. but THREE (count them.. THREE OR MORE) work at home days.. and the rest is LOCAL Naperville.. similar job to my last job (not the one I have the one BEFORE it).. network project manager for banks.

18 month contract or contract to hire. apparently LOTS of work.. and overtime (at straight rate). average 45-50 hrs a week .

Really want it..

I hear on if they want me in for a face to face in the next few days or by early nexxt week.

FINGERS crossed.. This is with a BIG BANK.. (people in Naperville must know which one) but super excited and hopeful..

Fingers doubly crossed.

I have to have 2 things happen now.. (1) asked back for face to face (2) I will be 1 of 3 if asked back and then get through that and get an offer.

So mch want anohter job

The other Oakbrook job is NOT dead yet (pays $65/hr but in Oakbrook) so I may hear on that in a week or so but they are going through a reorg.


3 unit management contract cancelled, job, year end progress

December 3rd, 2014 at 04:06 pm

HI all

I cancelled the 3 unit property management contrct today in writing. Cancel date the end of the month. I expect to talk to her tomorrow. Contract calls for 60 days notice but betting she will not hold me to it. No word on if the new renter moved in. Last I talked to her which was Monday pm. she had the lease signed and almost all monies and he was going to move in this week

This is a REALLY long time.. to wait to turn it over and cost to turn over. $1400.. crazy!!

One of my goals for 2015 is to raise ALL rents there to at least $630..$650 each will Completely close my negative gap.

Trying to wind up the year strong .. trying to get that Tahoe sold.. and wind up some other stuff.

Roofs WILL be done this year and PAID for and I expect to be able to get the real estate emergency fund back up to at least $13k by year end (goal is $15k). I have already remmoved the roof funds from the #s to the left by the way.

IF I have to turn over multiple apartments out of the 3 units that will be a cost but I think a well worth it one with high benefits

Also may turn over one more house.. current rent $800..market $1050-1150.. section 8. That person has lived there 8-10 years and no longer qualifies for a 3 bedroom (only a 1 bedroom) so her portion went way up and she is not able to pay it long term. in fact right now.. she gets a $100 personal discount because I did not want to turn it over during the "property manager switch over-2homes vacant-esclating costs fiasco in July-August" so a few thousand there to turn that over.. but after this main updating in the homes is done (and 3 units) any future near term turnover should be less.. also will start to request 1.5 months security from now on on the 3 units. Section 8 rents are frozen due to the sequester on existing tenants so I can only get rent increases if I turn the units over.

Semi-word on that one job. they ARE going through a re-organization and the recruiter is still trying to find out info.. Meanwhile I got a phone screen for a network project manager job at a hgue Naperville company.. $56 an hour but part at home. and 5-10 minutes away when I am at work.. long term contract. I make $65/hr now.

That is Monday at 2pm. I will study up before hand.

Excited for the new year.

Have a great day everyone.


Got my deed, loan and job update and musings. :)

November 26th, 2014 at 01:11 pm

Hi all

Loan update. Loan IS funding today .. YAY!!!

Got my deed! Cost me $198.. and I now know the process for the other 2 homes that I can pull out early

JOb update.. (this is the 3rd time this has happened).. I was the top candidate but now job on temporary hold. they are going through a re-org.. recruiter says if no news next week I should move on.


Cars.. Carmax was at $20k for the Tahoe.. seems like I can sell it online for $22k. Cashed in the warranty.. $2000.. Genesis worth $18-19k.. (not good resale value).. still figuring out if I should sell the Genesis or the Tahoe or both and get a smaller SUV. Listing Tahoe on Craigs List while I figure that out. Owe $171l1 on the Genesis but if I sell the Genesis I owe actually less because I had a full warranty on it and thzt will be refunded.

Goal-- have no car debt and a car that I can use and will do well in snow. Also feeling I need an SUV for the not for profit but not a higher end one..not for profit can kick in for that in some way if needed. thinking and doing up a excel sheet that I am filling in

I am assuming this job w the LOOONG commute is short term (few weeks/months) but I still have it so need to plan for the commute.. 50 miles each way.. crazy... I currently spend $350 a month in gas for the car.. thinking that will go up to $450 w the Tahoe..

If I am not planning on the car long term I shoudl sell it now because resale value is really dropping. Tahoe is really holding its value in a big way.

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

Main home refinance, I close tomorrow, and other stuff

November 20th, 2014 at 05:15 pm

HI all

Got the clear to close. I close tomorrow on the main home refinance. I have to bring $294 which is fine.. rate 5.375%, 5/1 arm. Savings of $1200 a month. This frees me up from the risky high rate hard money loan and buys me 5 years but hoping to refinance to a 15 year conventional in August.

I was not escrowing taxes yet for next year so my 'real reflected savings' over what I was paying is only $261.. that will go to savings

Paying off the roof this weekend.. and other stuff.

Putting $750 more towards savings

Interest in the ellipitical at $75
NO interest in exercise bank or cage bank.I will call animal control and that low cost spay neuter clinic to see if I can get some interest even if I go down in price

Vacuuming my Tahoe this weekend and will get estimates from carmax and this local place

Work is insane.. 90 minute drive home.. and layoffs in 3 weeks.. boss was talking today about losing his job.. VERY high pressure and stress.. but on a high note.. got overtime approval again.. 5 hours. unfortunately they want 3 hours of that TONIGHT.. (tired from long crazy day w work and loan and drive home)

Have not heard on that job I interviewed for .. still hoping for good news soon



Main home refinance update and job update, quick question

November 18th, 2014 at 04:43 pm

HI all

Main home refinance is proceeding as planned.. looking to get a close date in the next 48 hours and they are trying to close Monday so it funds before the end of the month.. 3 day right of rescission on the loan

payoff estimate was slightly off.. I will have to contribute approx $1050.. rate is 5.375 do you suggest I roll that in (I can) or pay it.. I am thinking roll it in as I am trying to conserve cash

Job update.. talked to headhunter. they followed up last week and were told that they should get a positive response shortly.. no word since.. they are wondering if the company is determining where the funding will come from, start date or which supervisor this position will report too or something else happened. Current job cut hours back to 40. Frown

So job NOT in the bag yet.. still hopeful and praying..

Talking to 6 unit property manager more.. feeling satisified and in control..

Not as satisfied w 3 unit lady and may end contract after 3 months.. and switch to 6 homes guy.. she tells these little 'lies' frequently .. saying somethign just to appease me when it is not true and then having to back down from it later.. and lack of complete communication

new tenant moves in Saturday she said but this is delayed from the 17th, delayed from the 18th, unit is STILL not finished (18 days after move out.. all we were doing was touch up paint, clean carpet and clean unit).. not a huge deal but adds up and overpromising under delivering gets old.. more to share here

Feels good to learn more and grow in these rentals and be able to think ahead and be proactive, raise rents, fix up.. proactively control my net cash flow.. really feeling these are good for me long term.. just waiting for time to go by so I can get out from under this high mortgage and cash flow pressure.

I am already running $300 LESS in projected negative cash flow a month across all units then I had in year 1.. w significantly RAISED reserve amounts for vacancy and maintenenance.

Hoping to close the $450 monthly cash flow gap on the 3 units w the new property manager.

6 homes gap will be harder to close (or not as fast) .. as homes have people who have lived there for 8-10 years and if I turn them over I can expect $3-6k?? updating fix up costs each. That is based on the turnover cost of the first two. I do not want to spend that cash right now (and do not have it) so am fine w the lower than market rents and steady income

Obtaining that free and clear deed to one of the homes is in the works!

Quick updates, savings, job, 3 units

November 17th, 2014 at 05:41 am


Quick updates

Called seller on the deed.. no issues.. he wants me to fax him a note and he will call his attorney to get that working.. YAY

no word on job yet.. hoping to hear GOOD NEWS today.

My job now is very political..stressful and w this high profile program risky.. IBM guy said last 2 people who tried to turn it around by resolving highlighting issues were let go. I am already feeling the heat.. not good at all

hope to have a closing date on that loan today

$3200 more to savings (went to real estate emergency fund and will immediately go towards roof)

Boyfriend bought me $900 snowblower this weekend. NICE.. savings and a quality unit.

Saw 3 units today and took pictures.. made a list of long term items (sealcoat parking lot, trim trees back and either siding or repaint current siding).. I will get quotes and budget for next year

FEELS good to get involved and KNOW my worst case and costs

I DID sign up for 6 months w that lady (existing property manager) with a list of concerns I want her to address etc.. I will cut it down to 3 months if possible..caught her again fudging costs and she is simply not set up to turn these units over fast..I saw it on the 15th.. it was vacated on the 1st and NO WORK was done.. her goal is to have someone move in (already approved and waiting) on the 18th

Units were LARGE, well lit, updated, front and rear door first floor units, nice area of town.. rents are only $565-585.. she does not want to raise rents and is conservative in that way but the research I and Matt (other property manager) has done shows those could go for at least $50 more maybe a $100 more each and they are so small (500-600 sq feet) that turnover costs should be low. I have a $500 loss on those every month (on 5 year payoff).. It appears I can close that gap maybe in full in a yearish w raising rents.. lower costs. thatt would be a HUGE WIN.. this means more savings or more breathing room..

Onward to work!

Final loan outcome and interview news-good news

November 13th, 2014 at 05:26 pm

HI all

Final main home refinance outcome.

Conventional was denied for now. Everything approved (income, credit, extenuating circumstances) but the fact that I converted by chapter 13 bankruptcy to a chapter 7 counts as 2 bankruptcies and (even w extenuating circumstances) I need to wait 3 years from the BK discharge so August next year. Broker will keep all info on file and has a diary note to contact me 8/15 to just resubmit income and assets to get the final approval. 3.6 or less rate if rates do not change too much

Meanwhile.. 5/1 arm APPROVED and they are trying to close next week. rate 5.375%, amortization 30 years, 2 points

MY PLAN.. do the 5/1 arm then switch to conventional in August, 2015. Why not stay w the hard money loan until August next year? (1) even w the points/and cost rolled in the loan (balance increase) .. it is $6600 less to do the 5/1 arm for 9 months then keep my current loan (2) my current loan is being called 11/15 no extension. I do not want to get up to September and find out I can not go conventional. This loan gives me some breathing room.

All costs rolled in loan. Payment $368 LESS than what I pay now AND includes taxes and insurance. I will auto save the $368.

That last roof on that house (of the 6) is being done this weekend
Looking to sell the Tahoe next week.. pay off the Genesis and save the rest
Looking to wrap things up for year end and end strong..trying to pull as much savings out of the hat as I can
Finally calling seller to get that first deed. Asked realtor what he would estimate the SELLING price of that house would be so I have a value. he is researching

Goal w rental emergency fund is to finish this last roof and then build fund back up to $15k and leave it there..

Interview went well. I should have news tomorrow or early next week on the new job.Same rate I am at now.. Oakbrook (much closer), can wear JEANS!!, flex time and they are open to some work at home.. and contract to HIRE if I want to be hired... SOLID household name (on every corner company)

Fingers crossed.

Relieved loan decision is DONE for now


Interview today, loan news, and more savings

November 12th, 2014 at 07:57 am

Hi all

Over $2000 in savings this month so far with a forecasted $3500 more (which will go right to the roof on that last house)..trying to tie up things and end the year strong and then set strong goals for next year.. need to get this LOAN STRAIGHTENED out.. hard to plan with that outstanding

Loan news

1. conventional guy sent me a text (a text, what an idiot) ..saying they were not able to get it through the system etc and he is basically giving up. upsetting. I called him immediately and will continue to call until I reach him.. loan was approved manually they were just trying to figure out the new system. I need info on details of loan etc.. any error codes so HE can either keep trying or I can try someone else.. very upsetting like he gave up.also called Fannie Mae directly and they need that info to look into it.. they say this occurs w new programs but hte manual underwrite approval is a good sign. I mean maybe we can show more assets, go for a 30 year not 15, or whatever. I need to know the reason it is not getting through to solve it and if for some reason it does not work not I need to know when it will so I can plan.. VERY upsetting this no call back

2. 5/1 arm still pending

Interview today 2pm.. feeling good..prayers!

getting lots of overtime opportunity at work (at straight rate).. maybe can make up to $4-500 a week extra.. crazy but nice..

First full rent month in what seems like a LONG time (July!).. crazy.. finances are much better w full rent.. with the property manager switchover I had 4 months of not full rent and high costs.

Answering questions from Another Reader made me realize I will only owe $119k across the 6 homes at the end of nexxt year.. why not formulate a plan to gather that $119k (or as much of it as I can) and pay them off early a the end of next year

WHAT A AWESOME thing that would be. Can you imagine? even I only got $75k gathered.. be great to speed up the process considerably. I would rather work really hard, think creatively and just get it done.

$119k is not big in the scheme of things but need to think outside of the box if I am in to get there (and need to get this loan settled)

Interview news and loan update but no approval yet

November 8th, 2014 at 07:58 am

Hi all

been quiet here..

Loan STILl in the works

5/1 arm.. they said it was conditionally approved then found out they did not submit the rental information. This income is not included in my stated income but opens up a possible can of worms. Went back for formal approval or submit more docs Friday..so not as firm as I had hoped

Conventional loan. As you recall this had to go through manual underwrite since I had extenuating circumstances AND we are using that new rule. if you BK out of homes you later foreclose on. the date the waiting period starts is the date of the BK discharge. Anyway.. manual underwriter reviewed it and approved it however in just these past few weeks there is some new fannie mae system (an actual software system) that even these loans have to go through and the underwriter has put it through that a few times and it has NOT popped out w an approval. This is such a new system no one is sure why it is not approving it but the underwriting is trying to 'fiddle with it' to make it go through and to find out what is making it not approve.

HOPEFULLY she does not lose patience w this process..and keeps trying

I REALLY need and want this loan

Meanwhile the roof on that one house is on hold while I wait for loan approval

Either one when approved will close fast as we already have the appraisal

Job news.. my phone screen DID go well. I got called in for a face to face which is next Wednesday. I believe they only called 2-3 in so if I can hold my speech together and sound intelligent I have a very good shot.

REALLY want the job .. $65 an hour.. larger well known company.. Oakbrook. (will share name once hired) and they want contract to perm but contract can go at least 18 months.

Meanwhile where I work now... I am now program manager of this big insane program that is out of control that I am taking over from IBM. I got the ok to work more hours and am doing those extra hours mostly at home which takes some of my evenings but mostly weekends. will try to bill 50 hours as long as I am there.. that nets me almost $1600 a month more

Still believe in these homes/3 units but the financial strain this year w the house (whee I live),the missteps w the new property manager for 3 months, rehabbing 2 homes and putting 2 roofs on and other stuff feels really sstressful sometimes. I want things to calm down and I want to enjoy the journey and I want to have regular savings and I guess MORE savings.. I have only $54k savings with $18k of that retirement. Income estimate onnce the homes/3 units are paid off is approx $7k now but I am lagging behind on my savings goals.

I have 5 months 3 years to go on these homes and am feeling more comfortable/safe as i knock out these 'larger maintenance items' and have a property manager that can FILL the homes quickly..but strained. The house and job being in the air is crazy too..I am trying to do more little things for myself and loosen up a bit money wise so I can enjoy the journey..but some months I feel I am just 'making it' or surviving' and not saving.. alot of this is forced because I cut things so close trying to save/cut corners.. that is why I am trying to loosen up. I have a WAYS to go yet and need to 'make it emotionally' there too

Onward and hoping for good loan news next week!! Smile

I earned a free and clear deed!

October 29th, 2014 at 02:30 pm

HI all. I finally paid off enough to earn a free and clear deed to one of the homes in the '6 homes agreement'. I am going to choose the one I fixed up 2 months ago that rents for $1435. I will do paperwork next month or December. If I default and can not recover I still keep all deeds I pulled out so this house is MINE (soon).

I can pull my next home out 2/2016

Homes paid off 4/2018.

3 1/2 years left on the 6 homes agreement. I will breather easier once we are half way there.October 2016.. is the half way point.

No loan news yet
Job interview tomorrow in Oakbrook. Fingers crossed!!

Got overtime, job and rental updates

October 26th, 2014 at 10:04 am

HI all

On a 'high' note. I got approval to work 5 extra hours a week for the next 3 weeks. at the 2 week mark I will see if I can get it extended or increased. I think I only get paid straight time for 'overtime' so if I do 15 hours extra over 3 weeks I can expect to NET $653 more than normal.. will see if I can increase that or make it the norm

1.. Interview next week for a closer to Naperville job
2. Still waiting to hear on that work at home interview I had last weeek (interview was harder than I had thought so although I was 'strong' it was not my best interview. had a very bad cold.. speech was worse etc)...waiting to see if I get called back for a 2nd phone interview (only 3 out of 10 do)
3, and still waiting for first interview on that other work at home job I REALLY want

Praying for a work at home job. feeling swamped and stressed and rushed most of the time w a 3 hour commute each day.. crazy..and need to get more fall/winter work clothes if I keep this job much longer.

Expecting to hear on the loans by mid next week. excited.

I GOT the appraisal from the first bank that the 'bad broker' went too.. ( this is good news.. the broker was holding it 'ransom' for his fee) and had to file a criminal compliant for extortion against the broker. he was threatening to disclose personal information unless I paid him his 2 points even though he did not get the loan. Cops called him and apparently he agreed to stop and told them he would file a civil suit. he has no case. I called the bank and they also said the loan was not approved

Need to increase my rental fund back up and take care of these expenses.. fund is going down to approx $10k an still ahve 1 roof and some other stuff pending.

I DID drive out to those 2 homes that are side by side and was THRILLED w the condition of the homes...with the tenants everything. I will take one of those homes as my first fully paid off deed'.. tenant was talking about wanting to plant a garden etc.

November (how the pay checks work out ) I should be able to save or 'use towards the rental emergency fund' almost 2 full checks $3600 so that should go a long way. determined to save SOMETHNG every month towards my general investment fund.. even if only $100 or less

and have some interest in my cage bank.. will send pix to the person.. try to get $2000-2500 for it and have other stuff to sell too just been SO SWAMPED w this job. What a crazy idea it was to take this (they did say I would have more work at home) but STILL

But at least I have a paycheck and these 2 loans look like they can wrap all costs in the loan which considering the lower rate /amortization will pay that extra portion off in very short order

We shall see

Rambling note..onward. Smile

Main house refinance, turned 44 the 15th, and other misc

October 18th, 2014 at 10:04 am

HI guys.

Got home from Florida w a cold.

Here are the updates.. diarying for now.. hard to get to a plan until this loan comes through.

Main home refinance. i am pursuing two options simultaneously.

5/1 arm 5.6375, 2 points..
15 year CONVENTIONAL..3.675

News on BOTH next week and then proceed to appraisal. Both gave me the 'ok' on prequalification. now going to underwriting. Conventional has to be manually underwritten.

Old loan broker who wants his fee even though he did NOT secure me a loan is literally threatening me via email, text and phone saying he will send out a mass email to my work and contadcts (on my application) that i am not paying him and are in breach of contract. Talked to several people and we are in the process of reporting him.. seems like this guy came unhinged!! Glad did not go through him. Also notifying hte licensing entity and the bank he was trying to go through. he is forging documents etc trying to make it seem 'I was approved'. Attorney recommending calling bank Monday and we will . CRAZY!

Anyway.. PRAYING for the conventional to turn out.. payment would be approx $3100 with taxes and insurance. I pay $2970 now WITHOUT taxes and insurance. Loan would pay for itself in 2 months!! all the rest is gravy

So looks like I will get A loan (somewhre) by the end of the month.. or have it settled..

Had a phone interview last week .. went ok.. panel interview for a work at home job.. hear on if I get called back (another phone interview)next week... other than that all quiet on the job search front..and entering the job dead zone pretty soon here.

Glad I have a job and figuring switching again in the middle of a loan app is not a good idea to so ok w the fact that I have not found one yet but want one soon.

6 homes, 3 units all filled and feeling like they are in better shape now. more confident from having gone though some rough times.. units and homes rent easily and for a good price... they are small and basic so not super expensive to fix up.. will switch 3 units to 6 homes property manager next month.. they really seem like a good long term monthly income source.

Only have til April 2018 to go on the 6 homes payoff . 3 years 6 months... getting those paid off wil be a HUGE relief (and should start netting me $4k a month once paid for. but was planning to put that towards that 3 units which will get those paid off 5/2019). things are tight and risky w the 5 year contract on the 6 homes and early payoff on the 3 units.... not a lot of room for error in these first 5 years at all and I consider myself blessed and fortunate that I have a high paying job and have had no job breaks.. Thank you God.

Auto saving $250 Monday and will try to put another $1000 in there but need to rebuild the rental fund. can not have any risk w the 6 homes..

Still holding on to that missing mortgage payment for the 6 homes and will send that once the settles.

onward. Smile

Still waiting for motorcycle guys $6k which will go directly to the rental homes emergency fund which is about to be depleted by almost 3k for the fix up work on the last vacant home we turned over. But good to get these homes all up to standard shape

Turned 44 the 15th. 6 homes wil be paid off when I hit 47

work at home job and being grateful

September 21st, 2014 at 07:07 pm


Got a lead on a 100% work at home job. $57/hr (and one position that is higher rate..) 18 months.. I am trying to get in w the recruiter tomorrow. They have 10 + openings but the job was sent to 200 people.I am a good fit.. need to look at what $57 hour would be vs $65 I make now (but minus the gas costs)..My last job was $55/hr./. I woud also have time AND energy if I worked at home to do my consulting. easily $500 a month.

Hoping to hear on at least one job next week and THE LOAN. Geting that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach w this loan .. really need it to close..

I am off to Florida w that guy I am seeing Friday thru Monday... his daughter ad grandkids are out there. I wil try to work more hours Mon-thursday so I do not take such a paycut.

trying to take note of of things I am grateful for.. and will start that. unfortunately too tired to list or start tonight and have to be up early for this insane drive

I DID get 4 new tires. car rides like on air now.. very nice.

Loan update, property update, job update

September 18th, 2014 at 06:07 pm

Hi all,

Feeling a little discouraged.. probably because I am SO TIRED and waiting for all these things to finalize

1. jobs. submitted for probably 4-5 more. all in town or nearby. got one phone interview. no word yet on 2nd interview. got turned down on that one job. Job cycle is MUCH SLOWER this time of year.. 4 of the jobs I applied for went on hold.. Crazy!
2. Loan.. on pins and needles waiting for the 'clear to close'..I guess i was expecting it in a day or two after the appraisal. broker says it can take up to 2 weeks and they do purchases first. mine is a refinance.
3. 6 homes. I am looking at that vacant house we are fixing up on Saturday. supposed to be done or almost done.. looking to start showing it next week to rent. rent $1050 up from $1000 but may go down to $1000 dependent on reaction. this is a SLOW season
4. foundation guy (on that same house) appears to have found a solution for the lingering water issues... $1800. down from estimated $5k
5. looking to do at least 1 more roof this year on the '6 hommes'
7. 3 units property manager contract is up 11/1 (and it is w the lady who was managing the 6 homes who I jsut switched from) I am thinking of switching that to this other PM who manages my 6 homes now. I am acting different w him, different expectations, less anxiety and it is really working out great.. plus his contacts are thousands lower for the same or better job..also he is creative and has so many homes he has ads out all the time. he has already referred folks for the house we are fixing up so hoping to fill that asap

Basically my two biggest stressers are the job and the loan not being finalized. the loan is a big stresser as I want to settle and relax in the house and I am holding off on all sorts of things pending the exact numbers on that

Onward.. but resting tonight. Smile

October will mark a year on SA and I am going to do a wrap up time capsule of the year. I am hoping it includes closing this loan!!

Appraisal # is good!! 6 homes updates, and jobs updates

September 10th, 2014 at 04:12 pm

HI all

Appraisal is IN.. $510k. This means I will need to pay approx $13k to close the loan.. with $5100 of that being 'starter escrow funds' so this is money will get back on the next loan or house sale since full escrow is being taken every month too

The new payment is $1111 LESS than what I pay now with the mortgage (and self escrow for taxes and insurance)

I will make up the true costs of the loan in 8 months and the full $13k in 12 months with the rest just being savings. I think it is a good deal and I am locked in for 5 years and it is an arm. In 5 years I can get a normal loan. Rate now is 6.125.

Feeling good. Closing to be set very soon.

However this eats up my ENTIRE emergency fund (need to rebuild that). I am owed $6k from that guy (his bike will sell at some point and he calls every week).. and I have the Tahoe to sell. $23k? maybe I will have money left after paying off the genesis. and have a few more things to sell.. $1000? and once things STABILIZE (w the homes) I can save $1500 a month

Got quotes on the vacant house fix up thru the new property manager.. $2500.. much less than the last fiasco.. I feel good w that.. done by next weekend and then rerent ASAP. I need rent!!

Short term insurance lady moves in tomorrow.

And i need to do that French drain system to ensure that both homes are water free.. $3-5k. dependent on how involved I need.. worth it.

JOBS.. getting more and more calls on jobs. got another interview tomorrow for an AWESOME job in Oakbrook.. 2 year contract, $65/hr and 401k with match in 3 months. FINGERS CROSSED.

No news on first interview.

Onward. This appraisal coming through is a BIG weight off my mind. Can not wait to get the closing date.. hoping for next week.

Looks good for new renter

September 8th, 2014 at 05:02 pm

Hi all.

No word on appraisal or jobs today. submitting to yet more jobs at one certain Naperville company that I will share once I get a job there!

Anyway.. short term renter is signing a 6 month lease at $1435 w it converting to month to month after that. We are hoping for 9 months. we shall see. that is a $510 increase over the last rent which will hopefully offset my costs as of late and let me start to rebuild.

Getting quotes on the now vacant house to get it moving.. goal is to have it fixed up by next weekend and ready to rent

This house needs french drains..guy who was going to do it . his voice mail has been full all day. hope he can stil do it

SUPEr swamped at work and stresed w the insane drive.. had to work 'later' today and drive was incredibly bad!

Praying for a new job (local) soon at same pay.

Onward but TIRED and STRESSED.. need a day off..or just work at home or something.


Main home refinance update, ponderings

September 4th, 2014 at 06:04 pm

HI all

Loan update. They got the paperwork wrong. rate was wrong. they sent me 5.5% but for the program I am . it should be 6.25%.. no change in any other terms. Still very good. Apparently someone at the mortgage company made several errors like this. They fired her and are submitting all new paperwork for me to sign. Makes me nervous. ON a higher note they charged me for the appraisal, $370, which means someone has to call me soon to set that up. Once that is over .(and hopefully turns out well) I am home free. Reminding folks..one of the reasons I need to get out of this loan is the payment is $2970 WITHOUT taxes and insurance (that part adds almost $1000). I can not afford to escrow that without a severe cut in any monthly savings. ANd if I escrow I need to start escrowing this month. W the new payment, I will pay the same amount or less and it will cover taxes and insurance as well. HUGE savings. Anyway, they are looking for $525k for the value to wrap in all the banks costs remaining... 525k would be awesome but a little less is fine too. Also for folks who were not tuned in up front.. part of the reasons things are tight (outside of my crazy 5 year ambitious plan) is because my 'plan' did not include having a mortgage payment AT ALL for probably 2-3 more years out. I got an opportunity to buy my OWN house from the bank (it was in foreclosure) and I did so because of the equity and peace of mind that brought.

Ponderings.. paid all personal bills for this month just now and figured out 6 homes/3 units costs for the month (standard costs) based on estimated rents/expenses. I am basically surviving now.. not putting much into savings. I put $453 in last mont, zero for July, and will try to put $1000 in this month. All my extra funds is going towards the loan costs ($1000 to date, paid out of close) and overages on the 6 homes due to lack of rent.

Trying to think positive. I am doing a good job of squeeezing things to cover my costs without dipping into emergency funds so when the homes stabilize.. I should be doing real well and when I switch jobs (if I do not take time off.. which I likely will) will have an $1800 cushion between jobs.

We shall see.. trying to SEARCH for anything positive.. too much in the air still.


Job Interview!

September 4th, 2014 at 04:35 am

Hi guys.

No word on Naperville jobs.

Got a job interview though (sortof sudden) and had it yesterday. I think it went very well. They have 2 openings and I think I am one of 5-6 so have a fairly good chance.

Oakbrook.. 30 minutes drive or less
Flex time- YES
Manager is open to 2-3 work at home days a month
this is a contrct to perm..
Contract $63/hr
perm $110-$120k

Need to investigate the permanent side more.. would like to get $120k

I will hear on this job within a week (maybe even THIS week).

they were in such a hurry they did a phone interview so I have not seen the office, done the drive yet so need to do that.

Gives me some hope to have some movement on the job front and interview went very well. gives me confidence.

Still waiting for loan appraisal

Praying that goes through. Calling broker in an hour


NEED good news on the 6 homes.


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