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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!


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.

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.

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.

Seeking thoughts and feedback

December 25th, 2017 at 05:25 pm

My wife and I have been living in a small 2 bedroom townhouse (no mortgage) in the metro area and walking distance to my job. We are planning to return to our 3 bedroom 2 bath house (almost 30k remaining on the mortgage) (30 miles away) that we’ve been renting for the last 3 years to the same renter with the purpose of doing foster care. I will be largely the sole income and while I know foster care does some reimbursement, we know it won’t be a lot. I’m 48, my wife is 54. I’ve got good retirement but am too young to retire especially with health insurance being such an unknown. We have no big plans beyond the next two years at least. I also think that while we’ve lived for 18 months in 800 square feet, long term we need more space.
Additionally, I’ve got shared ownership (with my two sisters) of a small 1 bedroom cabin (no mortgage) on 40 acres (no lake) 2 hours away. They are no longer interested in owning it and so I need to buy them out. The tax assessed value is almost 100k. One sister wants the buy out in one lump sum and the other is open to payments.
What I need help on is trying to figure out once we have re-located to the house, what do I want to do with the townhouse. There is no mortgage and bought it 5 years ago and it’s tripled in value.
Question and other details…
Once we’ve fully moved into the house and the townhouse is empty, I am trying to figure out what to do with it. I see two options rent or sell, perhaps you have another idea?

Renting option:

If I rent it, between property taxes, HOA, renter management (I don’t want to deal with it) I might clear around $500 a month. I could use this to make payments to one sister and pay on a loan for the lump sum payout for the other one. The benefit is that I would hold on to the property and we could always move back into it down the road….but we might not want to go that small again. We have dreamed about using it as a home base while traveling extensively in an RV once we’re older. It’s one level, walking distance to my current job of 10 years, and supposed to be on the light rail line eventually (maybe 5 years) and very easy to close up and leave for long periods of time. When we rent a property, we’re always at risk for damage, including a built in oak Murphy bed in the living room area.

Sale option:

If I sell it, the proceeds will be used to pay off mortgage on the house, pay lump sum to sister for the cabin and balance to other sister and any balance set to payment schedule. If I sell it, it would also free up some of my cash flow during the month because I wouldn’t be paying property taxes and HOA fees (on the townhouse) or mortgage (on the house). We would also lose the Murphy bed because it’s too expensive to move. This would simplify all the property we own from three down to two.

Bonus question:

The cabin was started by our father before he was killed. It’s very sacred space to me and has annual expenses of approximately $5000 between taxes, insurance and operating expenses. Some of the land is rented for agricultural purposes and we gain somewhere between $1500 (corn crops) or $600 (hay crop). Unfortunately, we are only out there approximately 6-12 times a year. My life is too busy to do much more and I feel like we should leverage this space a bit more. We’ve thought about Airbnb or VRBO and the challenge is that we’d have to either hire someone to manage it or at the very least clean after each guest. It would require very special guests to stay as it’s small and simple. Electric and water but minimal cooking facilities and no internet. It might be really nice for a writer or artist as get away. Many people might be interested in renting it for hunting but my Dad was against hunting and I want to hold the land as my father would have wanted to. I do realize at some point, I might have to let the cabin go but I’m not quite ready to do that yet.

Let me know if you have questions and thanks for your thoughts….

New used car purchase

December 12th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

I bought a Honda Fit, it was the first time I spent more than $3200 on a car (except for when I bought the truck from my Dad's estate). I looked at a private party's car over the weekend but it had more damage than he indicated. Thankfully, I've got a good mechanic that checked it out. He recommended that I find one at a dealer because then I know it's been looked over and not a salvage title. I knew I would have to pay more but I guess it was worth it. I found one that was a manual transmission and the price was dropping. I also ended up calling Costco's auto service which automatically got me $200 off. I also get 50% off a repair up to $100. It was totally worth it! I'm glad I checked it out. I prefer manual transmission but it's been a while and it has a feature that I can monitor my mpg which I hope I will adapt to because otherwise I focus too much on it.

In 19 days the renter will be out of the house and we'll be able to go check it out. I sure hope it's not too trashed and we won't need to do too much work to repair it. I'm looking forward to the simple things like a dishwasher and much better water. I think I will actually enjoy the commute too, a chance to listen to podcasts and audiobooks. What are your favorite podcasts? I used to listen to Dick Gordon - The Story which I LOVED, sadly, he returned to Canada. I like The Moth radio hour, dinner party download(for as much as I've heard it), This American Life (of course!).

I'm going on holiday break soon, 3 days after today.