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Archive for December, 2015

new 2016 goals

December 30th, 2015 at 04:18 pm

Hi all

New 2016 goals below and on the left. I have NO pending large repairs across the rentals. what a change. the first two years were ongoing repairs and fix ups.. no such pressure now.. of course still maintenance and I do WANT to do some long term things but they are not required..

Still setting personal goals.. looking forward to another busy wild and crazy with ups and downs year.

Need to reduce my stress, the amount of stuff I have going on and do more for ME

GOALS FOR End of Year 2016
1. Maintain emergency funds at correct levels
2. $310k total savings and investments
3. Increase rents across all units by a total of $600 month by year end
5. Fix up/raise rent or sell 411 house
6. Buy 2 more homes
7. Fully fund Roth/HSA accounts
8. Fully fund 401k account

I will try to fund the HSA and Roth by February then all the rest goes towards taxable savings.. I will try some of the methods folks are using on here to track #s etc. I do VERY little tracking of personal. adn want to do more.

If the 3 units were paid off and I was not accelerating payments on them so much (I pay over $5k for the mortgage right now) I am at about $7k net cash flow/month with a 5% vacancy rate and other escrows included (tax, repair, insurance etc).. I am still smoothing things out so NOT at that right now.. but these 2 months w the new property manager have been the best in terms of stress and money in a looonng time.. I will check my vacancy rate these past 2 years .. and then again this year and onward. I have the feeling I will have less vacancy adn faster tenant placement w these guys..

really excited to compare this years #s to last years and have some more baselines. I did have a handy dandy excel sheet for that (which I still do) but lack of management reports and accountings from the old manager for 6 months makes it more challenging..

Year End Wrap Up #s

December 29th, 2015 at 06:36 pm

Hi all

Year End Wrap up #s

LOTS of savings!! the hard work paid off. I saved $53012 OUTSIDE of my 401k. went to taxable investments, ROTH or HSA
Also got $200k from family.. used it to pay off 6 homes and put almost $80k towards investments

GOAL RESULTS and Networth chart attached

I will set 2016 goals tomorrow..and work on rental year end #s

Also want to track my personal costs like others are doing..

RESULTS FOR End of Year 2015
1. $15k rental EF=-DONE
2. $35k increase in savings/investments-DONE
3. 1 Roof for 6 homes-DONE
4. Decrease negative cash flow on rentals by $400/mth-$356 INCREASE
5. Stay within maintenance and vacancy budget for all rentals-OVER BUDGET
6. Make all 6 homes/3 units payments-DONE
7. Fully fund Roth account-DONE

Got 2 default judgements and striving to reach year end savings goals

December 17th, 2015 at 05:23 pm

Hi all

We got default judgments on both tenants. which means we get immediate possession

1. first tenant has already paid over $1300 to get caught up and formed a plan to pay the rest by 1/8. We still retain the right to remove her at any time up until paid in full. Mgmt company is adding legal fees to her bills too. MUCH lower legal fees w this company
2. 2nd tenant says she is moving by the end of the month. We will wait to engage the sheriff until then

struggling to put as much into savings to reach some goals by year end..

Goal (not on left yet)

200k 12/2015
300k by 12/2016
400k 12/2017
475 6/2018

A little thanks to everyone

December 14th, 2015 at 03:19 pm

Just a happy post today

I am reading through posts waiting for a call to start at work and I just wanted to say thanks. It is so nice and motivating and inspirational and educational to read the posts, learn from others and hopefully support each other along our journey. It is particularly nice to 'get to know' folks from their posts. see their ups and downs. look back to earlier years or remember them and see where people are now.

I really value this saving advice forum and am glad the 'team' is back maintaining it and we are going to be around for a long time to come. I can not wait to see what somme of you guys (me too) do towards your goals and it is SO rewarding seeing some of you (already in my short time here) REACH your goals and move on.


planning for next year-401k, roth etc, need thoughts on Bond funds

December 11th, 2015 at 06:00 pm

Hi all

Starting to think on next year. Work gets really SLOOWW after mid next week because we have what we call a 'freeze' when no infrstructure/network changes can go in and since that is sortof what we do work slows down and people leave for vacation.

As a contractor I pay for my own vacation so I typically take off less but have easier days while everyone is gone

Anyway.. I have set my 401k up as 25% of each paycheck.. my first goals will be to fund the Roth and the HSA and then any savings will go toward investments. i am currently investing in the Vanguard Admiral stock index fund.. pretty standard and low cost.I have my 401k and Roth in the same fund too. I did take a position in a health care stock fund (Vanguards too). this year I may put 20% of my portfolio into bonds too or rebalance my portfolio so 20% is in bonds and the rest stocks. I am only 45 so I may have only 10-15% in binds. We will see

Any suggestions for any good bond funds at Vanguard?

Thanks all

Great meeting with Property Manager

December 11th, 2015 at 03:25 am

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

My meeting with the property management company

December 9th, 2015 at 04:09 pm

Hi all

I met with the new property management company face to face to sortof review 'month 1' and make sure we were on the right track. It went SUPER WELL. I feel reassured, informed and more confident in their processes, procedures and professionalism

I also think I am looking at 8-12 weeks of smoothing out tenants (we are likely removing 2) and to get through then backlog of minor repairs that have not been taken care of and then i think it will definitely smooth out and get more regular..and I can COUNT on the $$. Wow..I can already count on a certain amount but with this backlog of repairs and dealing with bad tenants it does not feel smooth

They are already doing things to improve processes at the rentals, working w tenants, doing small things to improve the properties. Cost of 'work done so far' has been reasonable and well done. Makes me feel I am can start to relax a bit with them. they pulled up the online system at the office and showed me how to access some things and how to submit requests myself. I got a little more access and understanding of their system. What is neat now is how I can login and see what rents are in, tenants notes, event history all of that.. all documented, repair orders, costs, when fixed AND they are going to start sending pictures before and after (not the super minor simmple repairs but other repairs or replacements )

We also talked alot about Section 8 and why I got so turned off on it and the issues I was having. mostly excessive repairs (which may have had a lot to do w the property manager). they say they have 45 Section 8 tenants and have no such issues (they did when they were new_)but they have learned the game and have RELATIONSHIPS w Section 8 they also said that certain houses lend themselves more towards Section 8.. not just neighborhood but type of house.. like simpler newer homes.. one storey etc

Anyway talking to them made me feel they could get GOOD Section 8 tenants and control costs and that that was an idea worth looking at again for some homes. THey also have a system of tracking repairs and 'condition of the house' so for example if a Section 8 inspection this year turns up (fix a, b and c) and then next year they have new items to fix.. they refer to those as tenant damage (as applicable) as they were obviously fine in the first inspection. That was one of the most irritating things. having items that I had to fix that were caused by the tenant and not getting reimbursement and excessive unjustified repair costs

they also talked about they DO plan to stay in this for a long time and are bringing their adult kids into it. they do not plan to fold the business anytime soon

I really like how things are systemized and have a process. I toured the new office, met everyone, they doubled their office size..

just all good. feel better and good and looking at a property for $40k and one for $60k..and I am definately listing as a goal for next year selling that big Victorian and moving on to a simpler property but with similar cash flow.

I like learning and I feel sortof surprised, amazed that it is really appearing my 5 year plan is going to work! 29 months to go.

Rental updates, feeling like my 2018 goal is in reach

December 8th, 2015 at 03:48 pm

HI all

Been swamped and struggling with what to do with a personal relationship... have not figured it out yet.

Anyway. back to finances

new property manager still going well. some bumps in terms of communication but overall much better. We have a face to face meeting today to check progress after month 1 and I will talk about communication etc expectations. I feel confident we can smooth it out.

Meanwhile they are MUCH tougher with rent and faster to serve 5 day notices and get people on track which I like.

STILL smoothing out which is upsetting but necessary and hopefully this will be the last time.. We are doing 5 day notices on 2 tenants.. both the old property manager put in.. both fairly new. one is that tenant he put in after 4 months of searching or 'not searching'.. whatever. Anyway I feel good these people will put BETTER tenants in faster.. Hopefully that is the case and I really feel it is.. very happy w new 3 unit tenant

The Victorian I was going/am going to sell next year/this year.. I just got a good comparable on it. the house across the street just listed (not sold) for MORE than I was going to list mine at and mine is larger etc.. so hopefully I can get the price I want for mine but really I do not have a lot in the property so just want to move on.

Section 8 inspection over there went well. much smoother.. lower cost.. LOWER stress.. we have another one this month on this other house

We are also going to have to turnover 1 unit in the (2) 3 units. and will look to do so for the $50 upcharge we did last time.

They moved in someone within 3 DAYS (of old tenant move out) to fill that first 3 unit vacancy!!.. so almost no downtime. minimal cost to fix up. just great

Hoping that repeats itself.

I have now determined I can NOT refinance out of this loan for some time (my main house loan). so committed to sticking around at least for a few years.. house is a nice ranch.. large lot. updated.. great area. I have my big fence up so private.. sortof like a 'compound' and house has all I need..

I AM paying $450 more a month on that mortgage.. .. started this month

Goal is to get under $130k by 6/18

I also talked to the 3 unit seller (I have a seller held mortgage) and re amortized the loan to pay it off by March/April 2018. With the payment being due on the 15th and the automated system w the new property manager only sending checks the 14th and 28th. this requires me to keep $4k in the account as overage. I am doing that this month. After that. I should be able to pull cash from the account each month and still save on the side. Overall savings goal is $5800 a month towards my investments funds or to fund ROTH IRA and HSA. I will also contribute to the 401k

I AM getting renewed at work which is HUGE (but paperwork is not in yet so not counting chickens until hatched/signed)

So counting my blessings.. still struggling getting these homes/units under control but feel I am coming out on top and feel good I am with a company (property manager) that is professional, cares about the upkeep, is finding good tenants and cares.. ie wants to do well and HAS SYSTEMS in place to do so.. I can tell tenants already respect them more.

I feel my goal of $8k a month NET passive cash flow is in reach. I am still challenged by the $400k by 6/18 but definately in reach too and still need ideas to get the mortgage (main house) under $130k by 6/18

I feel am going to reach my goals.. maybe I can even go full time sooner. I am liking my job. I work at home. and do well. full time will pay $105-110k and comes w 3-4 weeks vacation. why not? or take something else. I want to travel, do stuff.. live while I am young.

I am excited to do 'year end math' and see how I did in all areas.. I know I was way over with vacancy and repairs for the homes but tracking (and new management and learning) is the first step to improvement. I have approximately $400 to go up in rents still that did not happen this year.. (below market rents not just renewals) so if these people move out and at least 2 of them are next year.. I can raise those. this will also mean rehabbing the last 2 homes (if I do not sell one first) . It feels good to have the homes up to a baseline (the ones I did do) and just in general things more under control. By the way. I am now looking for LONG TERM tenants and to keep good tenants. this year poorly handled turnover, legal costs etc, rehab due to new tnenants was my largest expense! Here is hoping that takes a dramatic turn for next year w the new management.