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We made it

September 10th, 2019 at 06:49 pm

There was a delay to our close by one day due to money transfer problems. We finally made it in. The storage container is emptied and gone. We have some stuff at the old house and hopefully we will have an offer on the house soon. I hope it's a quick close. We love our new place but there has been some adjustment.

We now have to pay for HOA fees and an additional garage rental cost. Utilities will be cheaper.

Not so good news and silver linings

August 29th, 2019 at 11:33 am

So when I went behind the stairs to pull out some paint to take to the county disposal I discovered a little bit of mold. We told the agent to told the buyer and they came to look and withdrew their offer. It's not fun but there are worse things to deal with. The paint and etc is gone and they county didn't even charge us. I cut out the mold in the drywall (the floor wasn't wet so I think it was from when there was a renter in the house). I discovered where we believe some water has come through (it's been a very wet summer) and I'm glad to have the chance to repair it. We close on the new house next Wednesday (6 days away) so we're moving forward with that but not putting the old house back on the market yet because we don't want to deal with viewings while we move out. We will do the move and then get it back up probably the week after.

Sliver linings:

We were going to have a 5 day window to move everything out and clean the house...now we have more time.

We were going to delay celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary until after the move. Now we can do it on the day.

Everyday later for closing on the old house allows us to pay less capital gains tax. I just want to make sure we get rid of it before the snow flies...

**We also have someone who heard through the grapevine that the sale fell through and who has a sister in the neighborhood who is requesting a viewing even though the house isn't officially on the market. That happens tonight.

21 days - hard to believe

August 14th, 2019 at 09:44 am

This summer has been a LONG slog to finding a new home to purchase, packing, getting our current home ready to put on the market and selling. We have three weeks to go to start the transition. We have about 5 days between the close on the first place and the close on the second. We're going to stay over in a hotel near where we will do the closing (and pre-signing for the old property). We decided to do this because it will just be simpler. Tuesday night we will pack up both vehicles with our mattress (it can fold up and be shoved in the truck - benefits to foam) and pack minimal necessities. We are going to stay in the hotel so we can get up and not have to drive an hour in commuter traffic to get to the office. Once closing is done we can move in the bed and etc and then I will have to go to work. I don't get many days off that I can choose (I'm in education) so I only took 1/2 personal day (of the 2 I get all year). Each night after work on Wed, Thur and Fri I will rush back to the old house to pack up more things to bring to the new house. Our storage container will be picked up from the old house on Thursday and delivered to the new house, Saturday we will have movers help us unload. We have three floors and no place to park so there's going to be a bit of a walk to get our stuff in. I sure hope the weather will be decent! Friday night is our 2 year wedding anniversary and depending on where we are with the move, we might celebrate or we might push it off until the following week.

If everything goes right, we will be ok despite paying a capital gains tax of $18,000 or so. We will figure out a way to get the emergency funds slowly but surely back up to where we want it but it will be ok. After that's set, I'm looking forward to planning travel and etc, which we delayed much this summer.

Next year should be lovely...as we will have a pool to be in at our new place!

work your network

July 8th, 2019 at 09:43 am

Mid-May we were able to see a townhouse in an area we wanted to live before it went on the market. I learned about this unit through a coworker of mine who lives in the save development. We heard they wanted a just a certain amount and so we checked it out. It was still a work in progress and there were parts that were great but some not so much. We struggled and decided not to put in an offer, plus the agent who the owner directed us to said that it was $5-15K above what we heard it was going for. I was nervous because it was ok but not quite there. Also the lower level didn't have any way out of the basement except for stairs so we couldn't use it for a guest sleeping space because I worry about a fire.

A week later we went to go see another one that wasn't on the market in the same development and we both LOVED it. It had the no carpet(allergies) that we were looking for and the lower level was a walk out which also overlooked a creek. It was beautiful and simple not too overdone (so much trending gray). We asked them what it would take for us to buy it and they gave us a figure that was higher than the first one we looked at. We just said YES. And so we close 9/4. They are selling it by owner and because they have lived there 21 years and already have their winter home in AZ and their summer home up in the woods, they are leaving some really lovely furniture for us, like multiple bookshelves.

All our energy went into packing and storage to get our house on the market. So last Wednesday 7/3 our house had it's first showings and last night we accepted an offer. It was $5k above asking price but we are also paying closing costs for the buyer so it all evens out. The close date on that is 9/9 which will give us time to get the rest of our stuff out of the old house.

I also turned 50 so my spouse had a surprise birthday party for me on Saturday. It was very lovely.

It just doesn't get better than this!


May 28th, 2019 at 03:32 pm

We've made attempts at purchasing but so far we've not had good luck. News reports say our current housing market is like Denver or Seattle. Many empty nesters are selling their family homes and buying townhouses which are on short supply.

We've made the decision to pack up most of our stuff in a storage container and sell our house. Thankfully my father's project truck has been sold. We were on a previously planned vacation but now we're back in full steam ahead. We'll empty the house and live minimally until it closes. We will live at the cabin (85 mile one way)while I'm working the lighter summer schedule. Month to month efficiency apartment until we find something. If we buy after we have sold our house, we can do a cash offer and hopefully have less competition after school starts back up.

We've sourced free boxes, used moving blankets and priced other packing supplies. What an adventure and amazingly my spouse and I are doing well despite the stress.


April 14th, 2019 at 09:10 am

So normally we would have gotten our taxes done in March during my spring break but apparently we were a bit delayed making our appointment. I'm glad that we finally got the taxes done with a small refund. What we also learned was because we moved back to the house that we had rented for the last 3 years, we would have to live there for FIVE years not 2 like we originally thought**. Now we want to leave ASAP. The market is HOT and we're probably going to have a hard time finding something because our price point is going super fast and usually $5-10k above asking price due to market. We need to pack so we can move. We have a trip planned mid-May and once we're back we're kicking it into high gear. There's quite a bit of stuff that we need to go through and figure how what to get rid of and etc. The biggest challenge that I have to deal with is navigating getting rid of my Dad's partially restored truck. He's been gone for almost 12 years and it's been in my garage since before his death. I don't know how to get it gone and my dream would be for someone to buy it and restore it and sharing pictures of it but I doubt I can find it. It's not a fancy truck and very niche. My siblings need to help and if they don't, it's possible it will be scrapped.

We meet with the realtor on Tuesday and we should know more.

**We have heard from dearly concerned friends that we should double check this but I expect it's true.

Sights on the future

April 1st, 2019 at 10:08 am

We're looking forward to our move. We discovered that to avoid capital gains tax, we can't sell the house we're currently in until end of April 2020. We're so ready to move. The market is crazy where we want to move towards but we have an idea of what we want. I think 9/2019 we're going to get pre-qualified which won't be a problem. We have no debt and can probably come up with 20% down payment. I'm guessing an ARM should be fine because our plan would be to buy in October or November and close in December or January. Do a slow move in Feb or March with the house put on the market by March and then sold and close by end of April. That's my hope. I hope that buying something in the slow period and selling at the start of the high market will allow us to benefit.

Anyone have any thoughts about that? Know any special tricks or finance vehicles? Our current home is paid off and we're trying to stay in the same budget but with realtor fees and closing costs, that might be a bit tough. We'll see depending on what we buy and where we can sell at...

We've put up our small travel trailer for sell. Lots of interest in the less than 24 hours but we'll see how many actually come an look at it. After that, it's a partially restored mid 30s Ford Farm truck. I need that OUT of my garage. It was my Dad's project and he's been gone 10+ years but it's still painful to deal with. I wish a really nice person would come along. Cross your fingers as we deal with that.

Big Sigh

December 19th, 2018 at 08:30 am

This has been a very busy semester. I'm glad it's almost over.

We just completed buying out my sisters of our Dad's cabin. It got a bit sticky towards the end but it's done. I've got a few days left of work before a couple of weeks time off. We've figured out the schedule which includes a week at the cabin but a couple of days in a hotel for swimming and etc. We're going to spend some time with my sister. It will be good to relax.

I also got some unpleasant news, recent diagnosis of just over the end of type 2 diabetes. I know that it's likely my destiny because my Father and younger sister had/have type 1 and my mother and maternal grandmother had/have type 2. I'm too young. I've done some research and I'm planning to reverse it. I've gone completely off added sugar even though it's hard to avoid as it's in everything. I'm looking into taking potato starch and something called berberine. I haven't lost as much weight as I had hoped to do but it's only been about 6 weeks. As soon as we're back into the cities, we hope to have an elliptical and get moving more. I'm trying to move as much as I can before that. We had two hikes last weekend and plans for more during winter break.

We bought tickets for a May trip to AZ, bringing my mother and perhaps my son and his GF will come and visit when we're there too.

Not much spending for Christmas but some. I hope this time of year is bright for all of you.

Summer is nearly done

August 13th, 2018 at 12:03 pm

I'm mostly back to work full time except for a couple of days. So much has happened this summer, landscaping, road trip, sister got married, visit to my son in WA and he was here for the wedding too. We're starting our foster care training. Work is heating up, and I will have more responsibilities. I feel like I've got to mindfully pay attention to self care. There's not a whole lot of wiggle room for getting sick and etc.

As far as net worth, I've been hanging around $800k for the last few weeks. I did meet with a Tiaa Cref representative to see when I could retire. With the marriage and my spouse not having great retirement, if we can figure out healthcare, I could probably retire at 62. I love what I do but I'm not sure where things are going. This is the longest I've been at any job (10 years) but I feel like I'm working with golden handcuffs.

With the current state of the country, I also dream about leaving. Listening to podcasts and reading blogs about expats. I loved New Zealand and heard that Thailand is a great place to be as well.

Townhouse sold

June 4th, 2018 at 02:12 pm

We sold the townhouse, after closing costs we received a check for over 108k which is pretty good since I bought it for 35k in 2012. I used a chunk to pay off the mortgage on the house we're now living in and will use some to buy my sisters out of the family cabin(they both want to sell). I've got it currently in Ally bank because that online savings account has the best interest annual interest rate at 1.6%. Anyone know any better rate to keep it liquid in? The rest will be used to do some things around the house. I feel pretty good about it. I'm now completely debt free at age 48.

Our family is a single income family right now and our plan is to begin the process for foster care licensing.

While I don't care to live where I do because it's so conservative and rural, the house is paid for and if we lived closer to the metro area, we'd have a higher housing expense. We will plan to live in our current location for at least two years to avoid capital gains. It's been hard to return to where I lived because of the isolation I feel. We just returned from a nice two week road trip to see some of the National Parks. Roosevelt, Estes Park, Arches, Canyonlands and hiked Bear Butte. It has me dreaming about purchasing some kind of campervan or simply a van for future road trips. We spent more on hotels than I'd like because camping wasn't has comfortable as it has been when we were younger.

I've also been dreaming of living abroad for a few years....but I'm not sure what country I would want to live in that is affordable. I guess I feel like I'm trying to position myself for future.

Stock Market correction?

February 5th, 2018 at 12:38 pm

I don't pay too much attention to the stock market because I'm young enough that I can still be a bit aggressive in my investments. I figure that anything too terrible will correct itself eventually. I also figure since my most active retirement account is my 401k through work, it's just buying more shares when the market is crappy. The current ride of great returns has been nice but it seems that is changing.

I wonder if this is a big long term change or if it is only a temporary blip.

My wife recently retired and rolling over her retirement account. We're also going to get her going with a ROTH.

I must confess, I'm hoping eventually we'll have better saving interest rates.

How are you taking today's stock market news?

slow but sure

January 29th, 2018 at 07:01 am

Rooms all painted, flooring installed. We now are dealing with serious cleaning and repair of the bathrooms and kitchen. I was able to get the upstairs bathroom sink to plug up and then replace a gasket in the tub so it would also plug up so we could clean the jets. It's clean but there is mineral build up so we're going to have to soak some vinegar rags in the jets. The downstairs bathroom needs work. The shower stall has a hole and is cracked. I went to the company we bought it from and it's no longer made so we're going to have to replace the whole thing. We got a few quotes and we're going with the guy my wife thought was the most easy going, happens to be the cheapest price. Although, this weekend she saw the Frankie and Grace episode where the contractor take the money and all the copper pipes so she's nervous. I think it will be ok.

What we have to start doing is getting packed up. We're probably going to have to hire someone because most of the folks who have helped us have already been very generous and our friends are getting up there in age or have medical issues. Soon we can start bringing over car loads but the big stuff like a sleeper couch we have will need stronger hands. I expect we'll be in within 6 weeks. It should take a day or two to fix up the townhouse for sale.

Family budgeting software?

January 11th, 2018 at 02:13 pm

I am really accustom to doing things on my own and now that I'm married, I'm hoping that I can find some kind of software or program that I can share with my wife that allows us to do some budgeting.

I do use mint but mostly to see my net worth, I don't really use the budgeting aspect of it. I don't really want to pay too much...I peeked at YNAB and it's $$$.

Care to share what you use? Can two people equally use a budgeting plan or does it really boil down to one person managing it and the other following along?


slowly but surely

January 8th, 2018 at 03:26 pm

We have access to the house. There has been some damage. The carpet in the master bedroom, hallway and lower level bedroom have all been ruined by the dogs. The master bedroom door is scratched up, basement door is completely missing, the lower level bathroom has a cracked and hole in the shower stall, I looked into this and it seems that it can't be replaced separately so I might have to install a new shower. I just looked it up and it has been discontinued but they direct me to replacement...I wonder if that will work? There's also a small utilitarian light fixture that is broken. I'm trying to work with my management company to help me claim all of the deposit (1 month rent plus $500 for dogs) and I'll put it into the repairs. I know that it will cost more than that but I just want to move forward.

It needs a deep cleaning...

We have pulled up and recycled almost all of the carpet ($20 for 2 truckloads), 2 bedrooms are painted. We have a carpet installer coming to measure for the carpet which is from a wholesaler.

We're starting to purchase used furniture and etc. I expect we'll start to move in within a few weeks to a month. I'll do some repairs to the townhouse and then put that on the market. It's a sellers market so I'm looking forward to being in the big house with the mortgage paid off.