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June 22nd, 2020 at 08:34 pm

Hi there. An update here.

I have officially finished the house. What a long strange trip it has been. I essentially broke even on the fix up which is a HUGE achievement considering all the issues I encountered. So no net worth change basically since late 2019. I took out $150k from my taxable investments for the downpayment on the house and then some fixup.. I now 'have that money' in the house. It is preferable to have it OUT of the house and in investments but it is what it is.

Sales price is $850-900k per 3 realtors. worst case net $800k,

It occurred (and is occurring to me) to sell it and move to a lower cost house with a very low mortgage or no mortgage but I am just so exhausted from moving and 'fixing up' homes that I am sortof done (for now).. At least I know I have the option to do that. The area I am is pretty stable so I should have that option in the future too. The idea of having a paid off home is very attractive. The house I have now is gigantic for me and essentially brand new.. better suited for a growing family.. I often think of the opportunity cost of staying and wonder if it is worth it.

I will refinance the house in the fall to lower my payment by $3-400 a month.

I owe $316k on the house and $93k house fix up. I plan to pay off my real estate taxes and then defer all rental profits to the payoff until done. Target if the job extends is to pay the 'house fix up' off in February.

My contract likely ends mid December. I am on track to still have 30k left to pay off at that time. I am on a high priority project so may be extended but this company has a mandatory 23 months and you are out (for 3 months) policy.

I want to basically stop working January.. or take a break. so tired of my job. I really dislike sitting at a desk or doing desk work.. and very high stress.. sortof burned out.. This particular job though allows me to stop and then come back in 3 months if I want.. So I am figuring I will stop, not work, test my courage in relying on the rentals and doing my own thing, draw unemployment for 3 months or so..not sure.. I can always go back to this job or some other.

I want to continue to save lots though so the high dollars are attractive. I would do better in a more active job even if in the same role..or I can do something else. I will take those few months or from now til December to figure it out

From now to December I also want to tighten up my budgets, figure out what I spend on, tighten up the rentals.. etc

On a HIGH surprising (in a good way) note. the rentals have held firm through the virus and riots. no real missed rents.. The only impact which is huge is that the management company suspended showing and renting properties from March to June 15. I have 3 vacancies.. 2 homes and 1 1 bedroom. Hoping to fill them soon. Lots of money lost.

Lots more to share. and have goals to set. I see a lot of long timers are getting 100% out of debt lately. very impressive.

II want to turn away from 'work'.. the crazy house fix up project and start doing 'life' more. I just moved in to the house slightly over 2 weeks ago and the stress is starting to dissipate and I feel energized.

Hope all is well with everyone in this crazy chaotic year.

Today I paid off my last property

March 6th, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Hi all

Today I paid off my last property... the infamous '2 flat'

Work still going well. rentals still going well .. I am now waiting to make a decision on the 2nd floor work on my house.

Once that is done I will revise my budget to see if I can get that paid off within a year.

yesterday was the anniversary of Dad's death.. feeling slightly melancholy, sad, sortof like I need to change my life and life is short.. do more of what I want to do..

Have a great day everyone

I DO feel good I made this last milestone and am upping my deposit into investments while I figure things out.


It would be easier if it was not SO COLD. I get tired after being cold all day and struggle to be productive or do much after work a I am workig out in the am now, trying to get to work earlier and do some physical activity after work to counter that.

I am back-Rachael Update

February 28th, 2019 at 01:15 am

Hi all

I have been away awhile here.

LOTS happened since we last talked.

I went to Israel!! wow.. incredible amazing trip. There is SO MUCH archaeological support for what is in the Bible.

I bought a house in Downtown Naperville. 2300+ square feet.. $433k.. $182/sq foot. Average square foot cost is $240 but going up to $400/sq foot across my side of downtown over the past 2 years.. got a real good deal I think.. my house was the 2nd lowest in 2 years outside of a tear down

I did the following to the house and just got permits completed TODAY

Full repipe, upgraded electric, regraded yard (owner had 4 feet of dirt piled around the house with landscape stone retaining wall), drain tiles, new kitchen, remodeled basement and 1st floor full baths, repaint, refinish floors etc

I WAS going to extend the dormer roofs but that is a little complex (older home, newer codes, higher cost than you would think to retrofit) and really there is no way to make the 2ndfloor look as nice as the first floor so I am investigating removing the 2nd floor and building a new full height second story going out to the outside walls.

Rough bids were between $135 and $175k.I have drawings and am obtaining detailed bids from 3 firms. My goal is around $135k or LESS and I think I can do that.. I can bring my own contractors for some trades and will do so for HVAC, electric, plumbing and windows.. all of which worked on the 1st floor and give me contractor rates.

The 2nd floor will add 600 more square feet.

I got $153k from the sale of the old house and have $70k of that left. I will make the rest up with income from me or rentals. and short term line of credit (already open if necessary). I do not want to OWE anything of the remodeling after a year. I pulled $100k out of investments to put down on the new house.

I have a NEW job.. LOVE it.. pays well. in Naperville.. great.. awesome.. 18 month + contract.. low stress.. large bank.. program manager. I can wear jeans to work!

Here is my net worth now. You will see it did not go up that much as I am spending a lot on the house and will not show or realize any value add until it is done.

House is 6 blocks from the train and real nice sought after area so expect to get my money back w this rehab if done cost effectively but I am involving realtors and other advisers to keep costs in check and make sure the value is there for the work I am doing

Networth below.

I am RELIABLY pulling $7-8k out of the rentals a month for the past 3 months!!!

2 flat cash flow analysis-prior to poss sale

September 8th, 2018 at 03:27 pm

Hi all

Lookings like I can list the 2 flat around $134900.. sell between $125-130. I owe $11800 on it.

These are the #s (attached)

It will need a new roof at some point and it was a nightmare to fix up. I do not think I want it anymore and would prefer to invest the cash.

Below is my rental budget WITHOUT the 2 flat. With the 2 flat it goes up approx $1000

3 units paid off-5 years coming!

April 3rd, 2018 at 01:02 am

Hi all

3 units paid off today. Title transfer this week. WOW! 5 years coming

For those new to my blog, I had set a crazy 5 year plan that I stuck to and I am 2-3 months from finishing it. Wow

Got some one who looks good for the 2 unit. hoping to fill the downstairs shortly and then will work on upstairs.

Rents are exactly as expected and got a 4 year inspection certificate on it.

Busy day with homework

Just sharing. WOW! It is coming together.

I will use what I will get from Dad to payoff the '2 flat fix up debt' by the way and decide the fate of the 2 flat once it is all filled. Getting a 4 year certificate is pretty big..means 4-5 years with no inspections.. and if we get good renters and this property mgmt company seems to do that with MUCH more frequency than the last one I can make some good money on this property.

Wrapping up items for the year

December 18th, 2017 at 06:33 pm

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 07:28 pm

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 $ 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 04:06 pm

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 04:27 pm

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.