<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Category: Musings

Viewing the 'Musings' Category

Updates-rentals, Dad's estate, future plans

March 13th, 2018 at 07:41 am

Hi all

I feel this is a season of change for me.

Dad died.. new job (not sure if I like it or it was the right idea).. take two of my first day is tomorrow. I am doing school work today. I have several assignments. Will work til maybe 1 and then call it a day (it is 9:30 now). For assignments not done by then I may choose to take reduced grades. Someone told me once "no one checks graduate school grades" but I would like to complete.

New Testament starts today

My cabinets are getting painting this week. They came by yesterday for the doors to paint in the paint booth and will come back to paint the rest this week. Also was going to get new vanity tops.. upgrades that will add value to the house or help it sell faster WHEN I sell. not selling now. Total cost for all that probably $2800

Dad's estate is approx $300k so I can expect $90k.. and probably keep $80k of that after taxes. All will pretty much go towards Vanguard investments. I am the trustee of the trust so expect to disburse after I have clarified taxes and final medical bills (for ambulance, ER, silverado). I have $5k in a local account for Dad that should pay those.

I also pretty much decided to sell the 2 flat.. comps may be lower than thought. not sure. I expect to make less than $5k or be slightly negative. All the payoffs I have done though will give me a net of almost $40k at close which will go to Vanguard investments.

I have $201k in Vanguard now so expecting to tack on another $120k.. which will put me at $320k taxable money (the rest is tax deferred).. Doing this (selling 2 flat) also alleviates my self imposed pressure to pay the bulk of that 2 flat off in the next 6 months which means my rental funds each month can go towards savings and investments. We are putting a for rent sign up today at the 2 flat.

Just stressed!!!

I have been dating but have not found "the one" .. I still have the bad habit of not cutting things off right away when someone is not a good match. I have to break things off w this guy here shortly but have "delayed" it due to guilt or whatever but really just need to move on. Life is short. I have kept myself off the market needlessly. I need to be quicker w my evaluations. I think a better support system will help with more friends

Looking forward to meeting more girlfriends or in general being out of the house w this new job or whatever.. just stressed the job was a bad move..

We will see.

talk soon.

Feeling very much in flux and stressed.

Starting final homework now!

Also need to get back on track w eating.. gained 8 lbs since July and never lost it or got back on track

Dad died of hardening of the arteries and I want to live long and vigorously.

I am making the 2nd to last 3 unit payment TODAY.. after this I will make the last payment whenever rents are sent to me. generally last day of the month.

At this point I will own:9 homes, 1 2 flat and 2 3 units outright. The 2nd 2 flat referenced above still has loans on it.


Catching everyone up, Dad died, 2 flat, new job

March 9th, 2018 at 09:01 am

Hi all

Catching everyone up.

Dad passed away suddenly Monday. Atheroschelerosis.. hardening of the arteries.. believe it was a heart attack. Good way to go as it was quick and sudden. He was done eating lunch at Silverado, walked to his room and collapsed

Very sad shocking stressful.

I got the call at work and left immediately. It was my first day and I left at 1pm. That felt stressful too but folks understood. I left shaking and crying.

I am the power of attorney, trustee of the trust and executor of the will and only local relative. There are 3 total kids though. I am the youngest and only girl. LOTS of work getting everything ready and taking care of arrangements for Dad and coordinating everyone else.

Service and viewing is Sunday 1:30. Dad wanted to be cremated. We will have a 3 hour service, have a Deacon say prayers mid way through and visit and then go out to eat. A candle was lit at the Notre Dame grotto for Dad too which was nice and someone is setting up 'perpetual prayers'. Mostly family is coming and some of my friends will drop in and out. Dad's long time girlfriend, Rogene, wants it small and intimate

Having someone die and returning to work in an office setting (even for 4 hours) really crystalizes that I am burnt out w the office setting program management role and want to enjoy life more. I only did an hour formal intro of policies at work and then got my laptop working so did not do anything substantial or meet many people. I suspect when I have something to do and make friends and have a permanent desk (they are going through a reorg of the seating chart so I am "squatting") I will like it more but I was stressed and not sure I liked it.. and then Silverado called so not a super awesome 'test' of my first day.

It crystalizes that life is short too and precious. Some of the staff where Dad was may come too which is very nice. Sortof emotional and stressful.

I 'met' several people this week with the Catholic Church, hospital, funeral home and others and there are so many other jobs I can do and still do well. I am really burned out and stressed.

I have been scattered the last 4 weeks w school too. Last quarter ended last week Monday but I asked for an extension and was granted one til Friday (today) but realistically folks are flying in today (now) and I do not think I can complete all papers by tonight. I feel I have been working 24 hours a day on the arrangements and have not had time to grieve either. I took off this week from work but folks are not leaving til Monday and again I have had no time. I am thinkinkg of asking if I can return Tuesday or preferably Wednesday.

Also thinking of getting Spiritual Formation done and then asking if I can have til Monday to do Old Testament and Intercultural Ministry.

I am VERY STRESSED and do not want to be.

We are having everyone fly in that I have not seen for years I want to grieve, be sad, relax and enjoy the 'reunion' and hopefully get the family off on a different foot so we stay in contact.

What do you guys think? Do you think it is too much to ask for school extensions til Monday and Work til Tuesday or Wednesday.

We have to spread the ashes too when folks are in town.

Very stressed.

2 flat passed today.


Two flat final inspection, did not pass

February 23rd, 2018 at 05:29 pm

Hi all

Final inspection today. It did not pass.. minor stuff.. smoke alarms were the wrong height, one electric box not labeled, globes on lights in closets and some outlets were not grounded. Much of this should have been done by the electrician. Anyway he is fixing tomorrow and Monday. Reinspection Tuesday AM. Hoping (praying) for a pass. Plan still is to rent it and figure out if I want to sell it is in a month or two.

Getting applications on that house. hoping to rent it very soon here.

The guy we are evicting is moving out looks like mid next week. Market is hot for 1 bedroom units should rent fast.

The 2 flat has 2 bedroom units .. those should rent fast too.

Doing some touch up painting round MY house this weekend..

New job starts in a week. still nervous but I think it was the right idea.

TWO more payments on those 3 units (both in March). Almost paid off!!!!

I find my mindset lately is one of 'winding things up'.

Running scenarios on rental income, stress test was wrong

February 19th, 2018 at 03:10 pm

Hi all

I figured out finally why my stress test looked so low. (been a stressful few months.. must have gotten mixed up). I multiplied my total rental income by 30% instead of 70% to get a rental income with 30% vacancy (dooh!!)

Anyway here is where I am with vacancy at 33% and current costs.

I check every year if I can cut utility costs and food and misc. I will check that now. I generally do not run credit card debt but have some now w the 2 flat. Also should be able to reduce health insurance

Intersting to run #s. Final punch list for my 2 flat happening now. Have some good interest on that vacant house..

The scenario below does not change my plan to work ALL of this year.. With that said I still expect to be working and putting all funds through August to pay off the 2 flat debt (home equity, $16k) and 40k I took from other accounts) down so I only the seller financed mortgage..currently standing at approx $18981 but going down approx $1000 a month... by August this seller financed mortgage will be approx $12k. The seller financed mortgage pays itself off June 2019 with regular payments.

My mortgage (over $3k, 15 year loan) makes up the bulk of my monthly costs. I am no longer looking at refinancing but might be open to moving if the opportunity makes sense and the housing cost is LESS than what this would sell for. Need to move while I have high income. I have $205k equity approx in the house.

Of course if I sell the 2 flat all the 2 flat debt will be wiped and I will cash to invest. The plan is to rent it immediately and decide on selling it based on the market in April

It will be so nice to lay off having to payoff so much every month and thsi crazy treadmill. I can sortof feel myself semi relaxing now and starting to give a little and 'enjoy' a little bit without being so stressed with money, costs etc

It would be fun to start some small business again doing something I enjoy (part time) and NOT NOW. I know I have way too much going on w school. But that not for profit I found netted me I think a little over $30k.. (gross) and was part time and fun (for a while)

I look to get over $2MM net worth by the end of this year unless we have some MAJOR MAJOR crash in markets.

I resigned yesterday

February 15th, 2018 at 12:31 pm

HI all


Cabinets are IN. punchlist at 2 flat is being done this weekend. Hoping to get the city through Tuesday for final inspection

I resigned yesterday( scary tense day). Response was surprise from my current company and wantnig me to stay. I am still leaving but am leaving on VERY good terms Feels good.

New job starts 3/5
Last day 2/28

I am taking 2 days off

I have a vacant house that I really need to get rented and them some guy in the 3 units did not pay rent since Nov, we got possession at court but he has til Month end to get out. This guy told my attorney he wants to work out a payment plan to pay the judgemetn off.. fingers crossed but we stil want him out. Really wanting rentals on solid footing again. 3 unit rent is $650, house is $1275. That is my loss of rent every month. Maybe if the blizzards and sub zero temps would moderate some Smile

2 MORE PAYMENTS for the 3 units
One due March 15 then will pay the April payment at the end of March.. then all my rental income will go to the 2 flat payoff (for fix up debt)

I an doing all sorts of supplies returns tomorrow and getting supplies for the punch list so will figure out final 2 flat debt after that

THANKS to this team for helping me get the courage up to make the job transition!!

I can expect a $1000 net increase in take home pay on a 40 hour week, FRIENDS/social during the day and challenging while retaining some work at home and JEANS when I at work. 401k no match but I can start contributing in July

Still nervous but getting a 'little' excited too


I got the offer! I have to let them know today, thoughts?

February 6th, 2018 at 06:44 am

Hi all, I had my 2nd interview yesterday and an hour later got the offer. Pay $18k more per year on a 40 hour workweek. I can wear jeans to work. WOrk is in town (15 minutes away). Work is similar but would be net busier than what I am doing now. However I am doing very little now and have been doing very little for the past 6 months (waiting on a large project to assign me too). I have been disorganized with school and other things and this 'having nothing to do' has allowed me to do that.

I told them I would let them know this afternoon. I am stressed and unsure. Stressed because it is NEW and a change. What if it does not work out? I am in school and this is a very taxing semester. What was I thinking? quarter ends in 4 weeks. I would lessen my load regardless for next quarter. A large part of why this quarter is difficult is I am not spreading the homework out throughout the week

Snafu so kindly pointed out the changes a new job would pose to me "I see the net benefits of the new job. I think there will be a period of adjustment as you get used to working rigid hours and the prep time to get ready, business attire, more laundry, more shopping, higher grocery cost for added convenience, AM traffic, taking your lunch and no longer controlling your time. There are expenses associated with work like the cost of gas, more frequent vehicle maintenance, costs associated with social activities like coffee, snacks and restaurants, make-up, clothes, shoes, accessories and possibly parking fees. "

I did talk about hours. We will have 1 work at home day a week sounds like and can have somewhat flexible hours as long as we get the work done. ie 9-5 or 7-3-4.

I actually eat MORE when I work at home or at least now as I am so bored. I eat out all the time.. bored..gained weight due to 2 flat stress . do nto work out as much.. sortof flattening out with this unmotivated streak. I think going out to work and meeting people would liven me up. I am socially isolated which I do not like. This new job will not be that far and sounds like it will allow me to go downtown to school on school days.

I would have to wake up earlier, get dressed and ready but do not have to buy a new wardrobe and can come in jeans. I need to organize my time better but I think I am actually less productive with nothing to do as I sit around all day and am really unmotivated. getting up, dressed, with a role, friends, social would probably be more energizing and jeans is a real plus. Maybe I can work out at lunch or on the way home> All good things. I drive right by the gym

Not sure. I will write the pros and cons down this am, talk to people and talk to people I know at BMO about hours, stress, work life balance etc

Any thoughts from the folks here? Any thoughts are really appreciated.

Risks with where I am at.. may not get renewed at work in June. I am well respected there but currently under a GREAT senior VP but he has brought on 70 some contractors... not sure if he has room for me and currently has no work for me so I am 'on loan' to another department. Much less pay. Work at home basically forever. little social at work. Thsi senior VP only does internal projects. I would be in a better position if I was back under my old boss wh did client projects.

The pros with staying are basically 'comfort, avoidance of change' and potentially more flexibility but was I really any more flexible when I was super busy at my current job?? probably not .

And either I need to get super busy at my current job or I am not sure it makes sense for my boss to renew me and continue loaning me out to someone else who contributes zero to my expense

mixed feelings and stressing a little.


Potential new job? thoughts welcomed!

February 2nd, 2018 at 11:03 am

Hi all

I am not looking for a new job but open to it for a few reasons. One. I work at home.. no socialization at all. sortof a BIG downer. Two, I do not have much to do and am being 'loaned out' to another department while the other department is paying for me (risk to renewal?). Three I have no work to do. maybe 10 hours of work for a 40 hour week. I can still bill 40 hours but no chance to make more.

I got a call from a contracting firm/consultant to work for a large bank that I worked with through the company I work at now (this bank is not subject to the non compete agreement I have with my current contractor firm)..

Pay $11 more than what I make now which is $22k more on a 40 hour a week job. Job would be back to leadership again. They are local to town and I can work 'at work' a few days a week AND at home..jeans when I am at work and working with at least some people I know.

I have a second final interview Monday at 3pm. First interview was yesterday.. it was sortof informal as I was 'presold' by the folks I had worked with already at the bank

the new contractor firm does NOT match the 401k (where I am now matches 3% of my gross) so you can decrease the per hour increase to lets say a net of $9 an hour MORE than what I make now.

The current job I have I am renewed every 6 months (or not) This job is the same role for 2 years and a 2 year contract..and then if I want to go full time they say they want that. Less risk of being cut loose unless I really mess up.

I have already decided in my head to work through the end of the year and maybe a little more. not sure... I am likely not going to score more than 40 hours where I am now, my pay is below market and no work at an office option really. With the new job I can move, make more, similar work, in town, still some flexibility and make significantly more. and they may ahve more than 40 hours. It seems too light nowadays to only work 40 hours and being a consultant gets me paid for every hour I work. Health insurance through the new contractor would be $200/month less for roughly the same plan

Thoughts everyone?

Still finalzing the 2 flat, counter tops next week, punch list today and weekend or Monday,

1 house vacant but getting interest (water STILL not turned on from pipes freezing) but fixed and we are showing the house. Water company wanted to redo their meter etc etc..crazy! what if someone lived there? anyway they are turning on the water Monday

And 1 eviction underway for one of the 3 units. rent loss $660 a month on that.

I did not get my refinance so my house payment (at my current job) making 40 hours a week exceeds my take hoome pay on the first.. which means I have to escrow from the 2nd check for the following month.

2 more 3 unit payments!!!


My Vanguard selection

January 23rd, 2018 at 08:09 am

Hi all

Thanks for your advice. I picked VTSAX.. Vanguard Total Stock index admiral fund (lower costs) for my taxable funds.I am really happy to have my funds back at Vanguard!

No other news. 3 more payments on the 3 units. cabinets come Thursday for the 2 flat. countertop next week. Have a short punch list of items to do at the 2 flat that I will have the mgmt company do.

Hoping to have it ready to rent by first thing next week.I can show it without the countertops and w the punchlist done and then will have the city by for a final certificate of occupancy late the NEXT week (fingers crossed)


Funds arrived in my Vanguard account!

January 19th, 2018 at 06:24 am

Hi all

vanguard funds finally arrived in my account (the funds from Schwab) I was planning on doing a target date fund for all. Most are taxable funds. some are rollover or IRA. Any things I should consider or am missing here. It will be fun to set up auto withdrawal to go into savings/investments again!

I am wondering if a target date fund is the way to go or if I shoudl just invest in the underlying funds target funds invest in. The reason is I can invest in the 'admiral' version of those underlying funds paying a .04 % cost vs .16% for the target funds. of course if I buy the underlying funds I have to manage the percentage in each fund over time. thoughts?

Cabinets go in Thursday at the 2 flat
Counters the week after Wednesday

Almost there

Low month w rentals. I am missing 1 house rent and have LOTS of costs w the pipes freezing. I also did not change my 401k soon enough and it was still set to 40% from last year so my check was halfed

I will somehow make it through but my 2 flat debt payoff goal for this month is unlikely to be hit

I will post 2 flat total debt numbers on the side once I have firm total.. still accruing at this point but ALMOST DONE

School is way more work than I had thought.. struggling but exciting and good

Glad work is slower..but more money is always welcome

3 more payments due on the 3 units. Those payments are over $5k a month. Once those drop I will put tjhat money towards the 2 flat debt and then in June reevaluate and maybe put it towards investments

Still trying to pay off all 2 flat fix up debt by end of June and have only $30k left owed on the 2 flat loans.


Net worth and results from 2017

January 10th, 2018 at 11:55 am

Hi all

Networth attached from the end of last year and I met all goals except increasing my investments to $380k. I was almost $43k short. That was due to the excessive money put into the 2 flat. I want to have at least 50% of my networth be savings and investments. Right now i am at 22%

I also started school last year. Masters in Ministry leadership.

2 flat carpet and appliances go in today. so on the home stretch!

I will set new goals next shortly. Rentals are definitely stabilizing but w the income from those and this job I need to take some steps to save taxes. I am talking to my accountant on that.


1. $425k in Total Investments
2. Rental emergency fund $18k+
3. Personal emergency fund $15k+
4. Payoff 3 units
5. $20k left on 2 units or SOLD

Final 6 months of 5 year goal

January 9th, 2018 at 09:00 am

Hi all

I will post 2017 #s shortly. I am 6 months from my original end goal timeframe.. end of June 2018 is the end of my 5 years.

My original goal was to pay off all original properties by then.. towards that I have the 3 units to pay off ($15k owed.. payoff end of March). I should reach that goal.I bought several other properties since and my other goal (new goal) is to have $30k left to pay on the 2 flat.. by June 2018.. Stretch challenging goal w all the overages. I have no other rental property debt

Anyway..today I asked the broker to sell all my funds in preparation of again moving to Vanguard and setting up shop there. There fees are lower and it easier to send in small amounts. I will take a tax hit to do this which is why I waited until after the new year but better now then later. I feel my decision is a good one.

2 flat painting/misc is DONE. What is left is : cabinets, carpet, counter and final city inspection. I will have final quotes on all hopefully by tomorrow.

I will order carpets, appliances today. hope to have tthem brought yet this week. I will push for cabinets Friday or first thing next week. We can start to show after the cabinets are in but I can not have occupants until the city walks through (we fix any remaining items they find. hopefully nothing) and the counter tops are installed which will be 7 days after the cabinets

Home stretch!!

I will decide to sell it or not in March

Other homes going 'well' except major cold related issues.. 3 homes w pipes that burst..2 minor.. 1 not so minor and requires a plumber (hopefully coming tommorrow). others were fixed by the property mgmt firm. People did not keep heat high enough or run water in the pipes despite being warned and advised to do so.

I am feeling better today... like I am finally seeing the end of this BIG HARD TREADMILL like existence and goal I have been under

I plan to work this high dollar job all this year and will reevaluate next year

School starts TODAY.. Taking Old Testament, Intercultural ministry and Spiritual Formation and Discipleship

Hours are still VERY LOW at work.. hoping to catch a larger project in March.. no foreseeable hope for more hours until then. I barely have 10 hours of work as it is but can bill 40.

Wrapping up items for the year

December 18th, 2017 at 10:33 am

HI all

Hoping to wrap up 2 flat work this year and get it listed first thing next.. and then either keep or sell it.. stressful!!

Got a house vacating at the end of the year but rents have gone up dramatically so hoping to get $100 more for it. Last tenant was Section 8 and she is moving to non Section 8 (good news for her!).. We are listing it now at $1350

Doing Dad's finances.. he has 3 years 9 months left of funds at the current run rate.. July 2021.. scary to have so little left.. net cost per month is a little over $8000

No other expected vacancies and last year we moved lease ends (as much as we could) to not end in the winter time but folks appear to be happy and staying in the majority of the units anyway as things have smoothed out quite a bit these past few years

I still believe in real estate income as a good monthly income source. Still streamlining things more and more but feel very good w how things are going.

Still NOT approved for the refinance to the 30 year (on a 15 year now). hoping to hear this year

Next year my goals will include paying off the 2 flat and the 2 flat debt then just saving/investing. no more purchases in mind.. also enjoying some.. have not jsut enjoyed for some time

My current monthly cost (w a 15 year mortgage) require me to make at least $80k a year and that is with out savings!! I want to get that down quite a bit to needing a $50k income to pay just normal bills.

FOUR more payments due on the 3 units. approx $20k.. I have already escrowed one of those payments in advance and ready to pay on the 1st


I got a raise, though small one

December 8th, 2017 at 11:28 am

Hi all

I asked for a $5 hour raise. I got $2. That is 3.5%. That is still good considering the work at home and autonomy I have and potential for extra hours (there now may be potential next year)

Still plugging away at the 2 flat (bad topic), school (last week of school. grades should be out late next week) and winding up various goals for the year and getting organized and setting goals for 2018

Time goes by fast.

I feel positive that Patient Saver is almost at $1MM..it makes me feel encouraged. I am at about $330k investment assets so a ways to go but will be able to save more next year and onward.

I DO plan to work all next year..and may switch to a job that is work at the office. I am tired of work at home and have less social life than I would like. I may put out feelers at the end of this contract term (June 2018) and find something else to complete the year. We will see.

I need 48 hours to graduate from Moody. If I continue full time which I will I will have earned 18 of those by June next year... so over a a third of the way through. That makes me think I need a flexible job to go to school downtown. ..maybe no job change afterall.

We will see..


Asking for rate increase today and other thoughts

December 5th, 2017 at 08:06 am

Hi all

I am asking for a rate increase today. I am asking before I sign my renewal paperwork

Rate for my work has gone up (they went down in 2008-2009 but since resurged)

In 2009ish I was making $60-62 hour

I took off 5 years and returned to work at $55 (8/2012) but for a work at home job. Now I make $57/hr

Rates for my skill set are more like $65-70 but some involve going downtown or driving further than I would like. You do not get that rate with a lot of work at home. I no longer really need or want work at home but would like 'work nearby'

I am asking for $62/hr .. so a $5/hr increase. My company asked me for bullets etc so hoping to hear something in the next few days and at least they are considering it

Getting an increase even to $60 would be great but would be awesome to go to $62/hr

Fingers crossed and going to say a prayer now. I just sent out my bulletted list.

The two flat is still a bit of a downer just want it done!!!


Got renewed at work and other 2 flat news

December 1st, 2017 at 08:27 am

Hi all

Few updates

Got renewed at work.. cap of 44 hours.. renewal is through 6/28/18. I am assigned to a program where I am not in charge so significantly less stressful (but much less challenging and fun).. I am on this program through at least March. The client I was on wants me back and may be funding a small project starting next year that may involve overtime hours

I am down to owing approx $30k LEFT for 2 flat fix up.. I had to switch contractors.. more delays. .. I will see the two flat tomorrow and hopefully there is large progress. I had to terminate w the last guy in the middle of the job. I am now trying to work out payment w him for what was done. stressful. just want this 2 flat completed

I have made LOADs of progress in paying things off but paying off $30k may extend to April as I have to reinstitute my tax escrow as of February. I am currently not escrowing for rental taxes to allow me to pay off this debt. When I restart the escrow the amount will be $1300 more than it would have been had I started escrowing in September but I can still pay it based on average rents.

Estimates rents at the 2 flats are $950 each. we will be renting at a bad time though but the units will be all fixed up. Whatever I get will be helpful towards paying off the debt

I have 4 more payments to make to pay off the 3 units by the way. payoff is late March. almost there!

I will start setting new goals for next year and wrapping up this year shortly.

I am totally missing my investment goals as you can see from the side board. I have made no deposits since June which was when I got this 2 flat.

Reimbursed emergency fund, getting back on track

November 19th, 2017 at 08:04 am

Short post here. But I finally got the rental emergency fund back up to $18k. Everything from now on goes towards: 2 flat payoff (fix up and payoff) and 3 unit mortgage which is paid off in March 2018

Work has capped my hours firmly now at 40 hours a week.. I will ask for renewal the week after Thanksgiving.

Lots of drama on the 2 flat (still not done) had to switch contractors again mid way through

Learning lots but definately ready to move on from it or get it rented

Working on tightening up the rentals even further

and finishing up week 5 of school and about to enter week 6

I am taking core courses in 8 weeks 'sprints' vs full semesters. VERY challenging.. but learning which is fun.. My next two are Old Testament and Spiritual Formation and Discipleship. They start in January


I want to put more $ towards investments and do better with investments. All these people are making a killing off of bitcoin. I want to learn more about that and put my $ in the 3 fund vanguard model but then reserve some $ for higher risk investments as I go along.

Currently all focus is getting out of debt

I will put my 2 flat fix up debt on the left once it is totally fixed up and I have all #s. Currently forecasting approx $35k left to pay off (of incurred and not yet incurred costs. I am utilizing a 0% card for $6k and the rest is on the equity line of credit)

It bothers me I am not saving and putting more towards that..

and I will have to figure how I can fund the 401k next year. I was doing 40% last year to knock it off in 6 months but this year being capped at 40 hours and having all this debt it will have to be slower

I am thinking of worknig through the end of next year before considering any changes though.. not sure..

updates on school, refinance, 2 flat and me

November 6th, 2017 at 04:22 pm

Hi all

few updates

Just finished the 3rd week of school for these courses.Intro to Theological Research and Hermeneutics. VERY challenging.. lots of writing, lots of research, lots of citations. I signed up for my 2nd 8 week series next year..I am taking Old Testament and Spiritual Formation..

So far all costs are on loans.. 6% rate..

2 flt passed framing, passed insulation inspection. target for cabinets end of next week. We will rent for at least a few months then see if I want to sell.I do not have final costs yet as we are still doing work but estimating ending up at 45000 (crazy!). Target to complete end of next week after cabinets. I want it done and am so tired of working in it. we had to rebuild the stairs too.

No news on the refinance. hoping for news soon but in the meantime really cranking on the mortgage. only owe $283k and paying off over $1500 a month towards principle.

Rentals continue to fine tune and crank out an incredible amount of cash and are getting better controlled. last month I pulled over $8000 out of them (all went towards the 2 flat) and backfilling that rental emergency fund. I will have completely rebuilt the rental emergency fund by the end of this month then every extra amount goes towards paying off these crazy 2 flat costs.. So glad I got the home equity loan (2.9% for 6 months)

I am still planning to pay off as much of hte 2 flat as I can by June 2018 and am on track to do that

Work has increased again. I can likely average at least 45 a week .. likely more like 50 hours a week. that brings me an extra 2k a month and next year will allow me to contribute to the 401k easier.

Payoff of the 3 units (payment over $5k a month) still on target for end of March but then I immediately divert that to the 2 flat payoff and fix up costs.

Been thinking more flexible. so either work this high dollar high stress job until end of 2018 or convert to some other "funner' job after.. Many people have 'retired' or became financially free and then returned to work in a NEW capacity. I do not want to sit at home. I am young and am good health. I jsut want to be free of this crazy job (and the 2 flat. haha) and have more free time and do what I want to do. I have deferred that for almost 5 years.

Health insurance will go up approx $50 for WORSE coverage.. $6500 deductible.. 50% copay. what is the point of having insurance??

I am going to make it a priority to get all my doctors appointments in the next few weeks as I already paid the deductible for this year.

Taxes done. only getting about $7400. way below my hopes.. my accountant says I am trouble for next year. We will work on tax strategies next week..I do not have the expenses anymore to offset all the rental income

Still have not found a long term relationship..


updates on 2 flat, school, rentals and me

October 27th, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Hi all

Just a quick update

IF the rentals were paid off (they are not.. but 5 months barring no issues they will be) I can expect to pull some $7000+ a month from them. I am straining for that day

the 2 flat purchase was a mistake and I am seeing the consequences of that every day.I really just want it to end. Electric done and passed. Framing done and passed. Insulation is pending. Contractor has another death in the family. Never know if to believe him or not

Taking Tony Robbins words 'what is good about this (bad situation) that you are not seeing right now.

I certainly have learned a lot. Have gained some contractor contacts, learned about the permit process and inspections. Learned the hard way about what to look for.. just crazy

Anyway I am continuing to plod ahead. Currently forecasting a total fix up cost of $44-45000. May be more. May be less. Just want it done. My hope was to have it finished next week. Now may go into the week after with all these delays. It is what is it and I am going to try to make as much lemonade out of lemons as I can. Bad time to rent but again it is what it is.. just doing the best I an with what I have. Takes a lot of time though and stress. Most time intensive property. Most stress.

Other rentals going well.

I feel very strongly I will sell it in the Spring but we will see. Projected costs puts me at a cap rate of 10.6 right now.

I continue to put all I can towards the current mortgages on the 3 units and this 2 flat property costs

Hoping to fully restore the rental emergency fund this month.

School started last week. I started with 3 courses but dropped one. I am in Intro to Theological Research (hard!) and Hermeneutics (less hard). Both are VERY challenging and LOTS of work. I am struggling to find a routine to fit it all in

Work picked up slightly. I will be billing 50+ hours this week and last

About all for now

Health insurance is likely to go up.I pay $485 now just for me.. $6000 deductible then insurance pays 100%. It appears they may be able to sell some scaled down plans this year for less costs .I am not on meds or have any special needs.. We will see.

Onward but wanting to get off this treadmill of always having to pay something off

End of March and selling this 2 flat can not come soon enough!


Very quick post-mortgage refinance

October 23rd, 2017 at 11:53 am

Hi all

Still struggling to get my mortgage refinance.. still doing paperwork but STILL very glad I am doing it

I will post more later.. VERY swamped with work and school. will share later

interesting quote I read just now..this is NOT my quote. This was in response to a retiree asking if they should go down to a 15 year mortgage

"With the stock market averaging 7% after inflation and deductible mortgage interest at 3.6% equivalent to 2% I would not consider putting a spare dollar into and early mortgage payment.
That 140,000 more for the 30 year mortgage isn't going to be worth even half of that in the dollars you will be paying in 30 years.
The longer you have the mortgage the cheaper it is to pay it off. 100,000 after taxes in a 401k is earning 7000/year. 100,000 in home equity is saving 3600/year. "

Crazy idea- 2 flat

October 9th, 2017 at 02:12 pm

Hi all

Work is REALLY slow so I called a realtor to get on those MLS listing services to look at homes in downtown area of where I live and 2 flats. My house is nice but is slightly out of downtown and a 'differnt crowd'.. suburbia.. snootier etc.. I never liked that and have been thinking for months about moving but it never made financial sense but I would eat in downtown and walk past all the small cute homes (and large ones) and feel envious of people living in downtown.

Anyway, my goal was to see if I could move to the downtown area for LESS that my home now.

Turns out there is a shortage of mid priced homes in downtown .. most are $800k and up. I am trying to downsize in cost.

They had 3 2 flats though.. 2 over $875k and one . a duplex for $560k right downtown near the train. I looked at it today.

These are side by side units.. with 3 bedrooms/3 bath each (crazy).. the 3rd bedroom is small and the whole unit is about 1600 sq feet. attached 2 car garage for one and separate 2 car garage for the other and then a FIFTH garage space to rent to a train commuter... currently rented for $125 which is Low. I rented an OUTDOOR space in my drivveway 15 years ago for $100. . There is also an efficiency over the garage (not rented) that was rented for $650 before.

I took a look at it today (like i said slow day at work) and it gave me some ideas.

I have approx $200k in my house.. if I put that down and took out a mortgage my mortgage would be approx $2700 (30 year) and the rents are currently $1950 (already rented) and $125 (garage) and if I rent the efficiency ($600) minus lets say $500 (utilities for the 2 rentals) pretty much pays for the mortgage.

I could live almost rent free, live downtown in a more lively neighborhood and when I get married again (assuming this) I can just pick up and go with out a fuss and rent out the unit I would live in (people just moved out of it apparently... but was rented at $2200)

I could move from this 'less friendly neighborhood'.. and start over and have MUCH less financial pressure.. more freedom.. more liveliness. and not feel pressured to keep up w the jones'.

I am scheduling to see the other unit (the occupied one) and the efficiency and rented commuter garage Wednesday. Will also get other info.. roof, mechanicals. etc.. but built in early 90s

Rooms were smaller and NOT all my furniture would fit but really seems warmer, cozier and I can move ON..and make a 'home'. Unit is in good shape (no immediate requirements). It does have grey carpet and light blue walls. I would want to make it my own with different colors..

Not sold totally just an intriguing thought right now.

thoughts people?

Asking for quick thoughts-changing investments

October 9th, 2017 at 09:33 am

hi all

My investments are with an advisor charging 1%. I want to switch them back to save the advisor fee. I am up $19k in taxable investments and 2k in non taxable this year.

To sell everything for taxable would incur approx $4k in taxes. Anyway to avoid this that you see?

I would want to sell the funds that is in to simplify to a 3 fund or target date retirement fund model


After I get all these properties paid off I will be SAVING more. I want to have more investments... up to this point although I have managed to save a lot most of my focus has been on getting these properties paid off and up to speed.

I think I would feel real good if I had $700k... will take some time..

and I am really considering staying at this high dollar job through the end of next year... especially if I can get some hours.

We will see.


Stress testing-Scenario no job past 12/2017

October 6th, 2017 at 08:47 am

Hi all

I work on contract as most folks know. Today I am stress testing my plan if I was NOT renewed and did not find work for 6 months, had no 2 flat rent and 30% vacancy across the rest with no 'other payments' coming in.

Enlightening!! Makes me feel grateful to have a job. I encourage all of you to do a similar exercise.


2 Flat finances

October 5th, 2017 at 07:45 am


I paid $65,000 for the 2 flat
$25,000 from seller financing, 5%, amort/24 months
$40,000 I borrowed from myself from another account

In addition I am estimating incurring approx $40k for fix up.

$40,000 fix up
$4,500 already paid off
$5,500 incurred and not paid on a 0% credit card
$10,000incurred and not paid on a 2.9% equity line
$20,000 NOT incurred yet but estimated to be needed (will go on line of credit)


My plan to pay off involves the following chart and assumptions.

1. defer my $3500+ rental real estate tax escrow until January so I can use that 'escrow money' towards debt. Restart the escrow in Jan at a higher amount
2. assuming $2k/month from rental
3. assuming $1600/month savings from me
4. I get paid $300 a month from my brother
5. $8k tax refund estimate from accountant
6. birthday/christmas money
7. the 3 units pay themselves off March 2018, use that $5k mortgage money towards debt


if I can make this payoff I will have paid off all fix up costs and will only owe $30k total on the 2 flat by June 2018

Assumptions ARE aggressive and assume no further big snafus. They do assume 40 hours per week. I have been pulling regularly $2k from the rentals after costs.

See chart
Please note: chart has me bringing rental real estate fund back up to $18k by year end too

Investing question and 2 flat and other updates

October 4th, 2017 at 01:00 pm


Quick question.

I put my money with an advisor at a 1% rate . This was done last year but 'everyone' knows you can often do better than an advisor when you invest yourself in a few mutual funds. I generally use Vanguard. What mix do you guys suggest for mutual funds. I know there was a recommended 3 mutual fund mix by Bogle a while ago. What have you guys heard? thinking of closing w the advisor and sticking w a 3 fund mix and just thinking long term and leaving it. Also easier to send money in etc to invest more.

I got assigned at work so expect my hours to pick up as of next week. I am still working on the 2 flat .. inspections etc.. so will have to manage that but will be good to make more money

Speaking of inspections I had the final inspector out for his first inspection. I have had plumbing, electric and now building. Building guy was the final and his list was very short 3 easy items.

Still have not found an electrical contractor. 2 guys faded away. one guy hoping for a quote today. will make some more calls.

IF all goes well. electric will finish mid/late next week and then 'all the rest' can start.

Goal is to have it ready to rent by 10/27 or end of month.

Not a great time to rent but it is what it is .

I have considerd selling this but will see how fix up goes. may be 'all fixed up' so why sell? On the other hand I am putting extreme pressure on myself to essentially pay off all 'fix up costs' and the mortgage down to $30k by June 2018 which is essentially $70k at this point. If I sell. even if I only make $20k from my total cost assuming a April/May sale and renting it in the meantime I will have already paid off quite a bit so the sale will give me cash in hand that I can invest.

Current payoff 'plan' has me only owing approx $40k by May which would mean with a NET payoff of let's say $120k I have $80k to stick in investments.

We shall see.

School starts 10/17, I am trying to get syllabuses ahead so I can start early

Intro to Theological research
Old testament

I am back, been living the life of Job lately

September 28th, 2017 at 09:15 am

Hi all

I have wanted to write and update for a while now.

Anyway I am 9 months off from my 5 year goal and I was on relatively easy street w the goal in mind.. clear sailing and them made an ill advised decision, took my eye WAY off the ball, and suddenly it appears everything that can go wrong in several areas of "the plan" is going wrong

Please constructive feedback only. The situation is painful enough as it is and I see no way out but through.

K.. neutral news first

1. I applied for and was accepted to Moody Bible for a Masters in Ministry Leadership.I start in 2 weeks!! scary, exciting.I am getting more involved w the church and that is neat..I sometimes doubt this is what I want to do but then I get excited. I am trying out various jobs at the church and exploring outside of church to see what I want to do.

2. I decided to REFINANCE the house again. I know I just did and it does not appear to be a year that goes by without some crazy restructuring of the loan. Anyway I got a 15 year no cost loan before, against some people advice including some on this forum (Another Reader for one! Smile ).. and on thinking of it and getting closer to the 5 year goal I am thinking there is NO WAY I am going to feel comfortable paying so much for the mortgage and lowering my income. I have a 3.15/15 year loan now.I am approved for a 3.8725 30 loan with NO COSTS at all... even refunding the appraisal cost. This will lower my payment over $800 which I can put towards investing and savings. The rate goes up but I am no longer think of this as a long term house so would prefer to put the $ towards saving and investing. If anyone has thoughts on this I welcome them before I finalize it.

3. Got renewed at work through December but currently waiting for our big account to sign a big contract so have very little work.. and can only bill 40 hours per week..but maybe have 5 hours worth of actual work to do (I am used to 50+ and want to make more $ now. will explain lower). The longer they wait to sign the more at risk I feel.

4. No change in Dad who has Alzheimers.. just slowing down. sleeps most of the time...I see him every week, we will wake him for lunch, eat and then he goes back to sleep.. talks some, smiles some.. we have 4.5 years worth of funds left where he is at which is a great place. He no longer goes out at all. I am POA over everything

5. been dating and met some great guys just not the one. I have been wondering if now is not 'my time' or if I stop looking he will just appear Smile

6. all real estate taxes paid across all homes. rental homes going well.

k. the bad stuff.

I bought that 2 flat.. on contract, $65k. Comps were $115k for a 2 flat next door with tenants in it. Estimate was $20k to fix up including new windows throughout. My post is getting waaay too long. I will sum it up and share more later. Project went WAY SOUTH. My $20k estimate has turned into $40k and is at serious risk of going to $45k. When water was turned on it was discovered a main drain pipe had cracked prior. The resulting water leak caved in the kitchen ceiling and then ripping out the rest of the ceilings and 'built on the wall cabinets' exposed out of date piping and electrical. The city is now involved w permits. Had to do a full repipe of the whole house and now electric may have to be updated through out ( we were just going to update the kitchen. I see inspector at 3pm today). Even at $45k to fix up we are still at 11% cap rate with expected rents but project is WAY MORE than I expected. though I make much less right I am grateful for the time the reduced hours and no work gives me as I have had to meet inspectors, make phone calls, source contractors, vet them etc.

I got a equity line of credit for this (not expecting $45k) but just something to have. It will come in handy.

This puts my goal at risk and to meet my goal I want to have paid off ALL fix up and $25k of the $40k I borrowed from myself to buy this by June 2018. In addition to getting my rental emergency fund back up to $18k. This obviously adversely impacts my savings rate and also puts the completion of the 2 flat in a bad 'rental season' which may impact rents or length of time it takes to rent. Also I want to have the management of all homes crisp and clear.. I am still fine tuning things there but definately going in the right direction with good tenants etc, rents paid etc.

You can see where extra hours would come in handy.

This week and weekend I hope to clarify the last remaining costs.. electric, cabinets and counter top and get an electrical guy and clarify my timeline. My electrical guy who was going to do this walked off TODAY.. this am... at 8am saying he was pulling his name off the permit.



Updates, buying a 2 flat and the 5 year plan.. almost there

June 23rd, 2017 at 07:34 am

Hi all

Some updates

I paid my real estate taxes (first payment) and paid off the 2 flat ($22750). This 2 flat payoff was a $5k discount. To do that I had to cut into my rental emergency fund and that is now down to under $3k. SCARY!

I got renewed at work by the way through 12/29. Good news. It is easier to get renewed at year end or year start so I anticipate being renewed again.

I am working some 78-80 hours a week almost every week due to a rocky implementation. Reminder.. I work for a large financial services company that has 'the banks' as its customer. I help lead the largest account for that company. Crazy hours lately. not the norm.. but these hours will subside but for now are good as I need the money to catch up quickly. I chose to work on contract so I can get paid for every hour of work.

I put an offer in on a 2 flat owned by the head of my property management company. He does not have time to fix it up so is selling to me at discount. However the 2 flat next door just sold for $124k in a few days. He was offering it to me at $65k. Hoping he does not back out. It needs $20k of work .. much of that due to paint, drywall and then all new windows throughout (currently stickered for boarded up windows). I will have news today as to if this deal will go through. Hope it does. Deal is $40k down and seller holds a contract for $25k over 3 years at 5%

Numbers below.

My plan is to get the money from a equity line of credit on a rental property. I have initial approval on this loan but need to submit docs. I will do so thsi weekend. Line is 2.9% for 6 months then 5%.. and starts with only a $50 fee. Crazy good deal!

My 5 year goal ends 6/2018

My plan is to buy this 2 flat (fingers crossed), set a reasonable time frame (4-5 years from now) to get it paid off, keep working this high dollar job through 6/2018. saving as much as I can....My large payments end 3/2018 (3 units payoff). After that pay off happens I will divert funds to investments not house payoff. I also plan to increase the rental fund to $25k by the end of the year.

Any ideas from the group

Have not made a decision on school. but need to make a decision on if I enroll in the Fall or not with in 2 weeks. I will NOT quality for aid.. Moody Bible. Masters in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship. For fun and to get a job in a more helping helping training field in social service or with the church

Paying off the 2 flat

May 11th, 2017 at 03:00 pm

today I pulled out $22750 from the rental emergency fund and tax escrow fund to pay off the 2 flat.

payoff is Monday

First 1/2 of taxes are due 5/31

I will be working next week figuring out how to balance things off and pay this borrowed money back and get taxes paid

Still I got a $5k discount on payoff so worth while

this is also my last check with 40% 401k deduction so future checks will be higher

My goal is to repay back the tax escrow and rental emergency fund this year.. and keep on saving as much as I can and meet all the other obligations

If I just put what I would have paid to the monthly 2 flat payments to paying myself back that is already $9770 approx from now through the end of the year... so my realistic shortfall is approx $12980 that I need to put new cash too.

Just cash short right now especially w taxes due.

I will update after I get rents. Rents have been more and more stable which is wonderful


real estate updates

May 9th, 2017 at 07:18 am

Hi all

Real estate updates

2 flat seller and I agreed on a payoff due 5/15 of $22750. This is a $5k discount and means EVERYTHING is paid off by March 2018. I am taking this money from the emergency fund and will pay it back to that. also scraping it up from other sources

The house I put a bid on.. the bid was not accepted and it was sold to someone else. Frown

My last 401k contribution comes out this paycheck on the 15th. after that I should have a big bump in take home pay.. especially with extra hours

My contract is up 6/30 and I am trying to get it renewed. talks are in the works. nothign guaranteed. I expect to have word in 2 weeks. a little nervous but I think I will be renewed.


More news! crazy month

May 3rd, 2017 at 06:57 am

More news

The 2 flat owner is looking to see if I can pay off now at a discount. I currently owe her $26k and am scheduled to pay it off per the contract April 2019 but was going to pay it off early in June 2018 (she does not know that)

Hoping she comes back with a good figure and if so and I can raise the money I will pay her off early and then my total payoff ends 3/2018!! (with only the 3 units left)

It would be exciting to start 'winding up' my 5 year goals.

How much do you think the discount has to be to make sense for me to pay her off early?

No news on my offer yet! Hoping for good news today.


Updates, rentals, job, 401k, savings, school, and Dad

April 27th, 2017 at 01:29 pm

Hi all

Quick update. Been busy. Still have not done my tax speadsheet. It WILL be done this weekned and then I should have a refund in a few weeks. I have my taxes done by an accountant

This year he is doing Dad, the last year of the not for profit and ME.


As you recall my work contract is up 6/30. I am already making inquiries at work and pushing to get that extended another 6 months. There IS work but I was transferred under another VP and the work is under the VP I was with before. Things are in the works. I DO feel I will be extended but not certain. I need to be extended or find a job asap to not risk the 5 year plan. I average 60 hour weeks now but it is not as hard as it sounds as I can work at home 3 days a week. Every hour is paid which is great

I will be finished w contributing for the year after the 5/15 paycheck. I had a 80 hour week and put in 50% of that check. I am currently putting in 40% of my salary. After the 401k deduction drops off I will continue to live on this '60% amount and put the rest in savings/investments. I rushed the 401k contribution so I got it all in before my contract was up


Homes are plugging along. No big issues. I do have 2 long term homes turning over . one should be ready in a week. The other will vacate the end of May. I think they will rent fast. Others doing well. I DO have city inspections this year on the 2 flat and 3 units which will cost a few thousand each and may put in new windows on the 3 units.I am at $18k for the rental emergency fund (have not paid for windows if I do them). My goal is to have that at $25k by year end


Still at Silverado. 77 now. We have approx $400k left which is 5 years worth of funds. Dad is doing 'well' but Silverado predicts less than 2 years left. Hard to tell..Dad is not talking to much nowadays and needs help dressing, showering etc.


I want to go back to school for a masters. never mentioned this before. I want to go into more of a social services, healing teaching training or church field when I am 'financially free'. I have been looking at a Masters in something Christian related. I have looked at a few schools etc and currently thinking I am leaning towards Moody Bible. Masters in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship. If I get renewed I will start this in the Fall. They have a Timothy scholarship which works that if your church pays 1/3,. Moody kicks in 1/3 and you only have to pay 1/3. They also have limited merit based scholarships. Still working out money and switched churches so have not been that involved yet to ask them to put in 1/3

I am almost at the end of my 5 year plan
I am at risk of falling short on my home payoff and on the $475k total investments but doing all I can do to get there and have slightly over a year left

In terms of the property payoff... I will owe less than $40k across ALL by 1/2018. 3 units payoff will be done 3/2018 and the 2 unit pays off 6/2018


Tiring road but I think I see the end coming

I had a 'post apocolyptic dream' last night and looked up what it meant. apparently it means the end of a something and beginning of somethign new. it is seen as a GOOD sign

Maybe I will pay off these crazy properties, start in a new field, get my masters and meet someone and fall in love!!

thanks everyone for the support

<< Newer EntriesOlder Entries >>