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End of March Update

April 3rd, 2014 at 07:00 pm

While we are averaging $900 per month on the food budget, it was up in March. April will see us focusing once more on keeping this down. I am okay with averaging $900 per month instead of meeting $900 every month but do not want us to start trending up.

Helped the brother out a little but gave more advice than money. His budget was a lot better than I was fearing which was nice.

We are still doing the daily breakfast shakes, have started adding more vegetables to them which is interesting. It helps to cut the sweetness of the fruit (why on earth people sweeten fruit smoothies is beyond me).

I appear to have essentially given up soda, which was more than I was hoping for when I cut back so I will take the victory.

Food budget update and dietary changes

March 8th, 2014 at 06:56 am

Only spent $736 out of the $900 goal amount in February so doing much better than expected. I am not going to change the goal amount, however, as some months we may have a hard time staying under $900.

We have undergone a major revision to our diet which should be interesting long term. We do breakfast smoothies (plain greek yogurt, a splash of milk, massive quantities of fruit and leafy greens) every weekday morning. I have never eaten this much fruit in my life. I have always been big on veggies but never much cared for eating fruit but even I have been consistent in my breakfast smoothie (helps that I keep changing each day what fruit is in the smoothie). I have been doing them for 2 weeks, hubby has been doing them for 3 weeks.

Another revision I have made is that I am drinking unsweetened tea and water during the workday. So coffee (with its creamer and sugar) is only allowed in the morning (usually half a cup) and is not drank all day either. I think I am going to try giving up buying mountain dew for at home as well as I just ran out earlier this week.

During the transition from eating out a lot to eating almost exclusively at home, I made a lot of sweets, kept mountain dew at home and was willing to make some pretty high fat meals to ease the transition. The key was breaking the eating out habit. But since we are now used to eating at home, I have noticed that the high fat meals are getting rarer, the craving for sweets is diminishing (thank you breakfast smoothie) and we are eating a huge variety of vegetable based dishes (I have never been a bread and pasta fan so veggies tend to dominate in my house).

I think we still have a lot of changes to implement but I think we have made a tremendous amount of progress nonetheless.

Cash Poor at the Moment, 2014 Goals Posted

December 10th, 2013 at 06:45 am

Between paying off the student loan and paying for the large irregular expenses that come with this particular December, I have an upcoming week (a Mon-Thurs period) where we will have less than $500 cash on hand. Youch. Fortunately after that we will return to normal levels almost immediately afterwards but, until then, I will be watching the cashflow like a hawk.

I am actually starting one of my 2014 Goals early because I have completed my 2013 Goals and because starting this one now will help me afford one of my other 2014 Goals. I am going to start cutting our food budget. We currently spend about $1400. I would like that down to $900 monthly on a regular basis by next December. This is really my only low hanging fruit left. While I can definitely do one month of reduced food spending, its the "on a regular basis" part that will be challenging.

It's my Christmas morning, just setup the student loan payoff!

November 20th, 2013 at 06:27 am

Its my happy day. I was able to schedule the payoff payment to my student loan to clear on Monday because we were able to peek at the paystub for this Friday's paycheck and its sufficient to allow the payoff. (I only get excited when I am setting up payments, not when they clear. That is because once I have scheduled a payment, I have moved on. Same as when I paid off the last of the credit cards as well.)

My student loan was never huge so you wouldn't think I would be this excited but I am. I have been paying on this loan for 8 years so I am thrilled to have it gone.

When I paid off the credit cards (0% aprs), it was sort of a let down because it just wasn't that big a deal by the time we made the last payment but the sense of victory I feel paying off my student loan is everything I could hope for. Probably because this goal was more in doubt as to whether we could finish it this year with everything else we had going on.


Contemplating 2014 Priorities

October 27th, 2013 at 10:46 am

So I expect October to end at 82.39% increase in networth YTD (~187k networth). November and December of this year are as planned as they can be given the huge variable of income so I decided to turn to next year's priorities.

The for sure priorities include maxing DH's HSA and 401(k) and my 401(k). I would also like to max both Roths and my HSA. Looking at the yearly total on that amount however, is very intimidating. Especially since I would like to build up our cash reserves as well. That said, despite the scary yearly total, its really not much more than we were able to accomplish this year when you add in the debt payoff we did.

End of August Progress Report

September 3rd, 2013 at 07:00 am

YTD networth increase: 68.75%

We also broke the six figure mark for the first time in our 11 year work history as of last Friday. I suspect this year will be a fluke and we will reach that number much later in the year for the next couple of years but it was nice for paying things off and ramping up savings.

Otherwise, not much to say. Everything is on autopilot and I will have to wait till the end of the year before deciding what I can and can not accomplish come the beginning of next year or even what I can accomplish this December.

Credit card debt officially gone, on to the next goal

August 15th, 2013 at 06:32 am

The final payment posted today which was nice but at the same time anticlimactic since I had scheduled the payment 3 weeks ago.

My last real goal of the year is the student loan and that gets paid in full in November. Since we are using an already earned but not paid till November bonus to pay that, there really isn't much to do in the meantime financially.

So my current area of self improvement is eating healthier, a never ending challenge for me since I love food (both good and bad). As eating healthier tends to result in cheaper groceries and less out to eat, it does have a financial component but that is a side effect, not the end goal.

Finally hit a slowdown

August 1st, 2013 at 06:13 am

DH's work has cut the overtime. It means a dramatic pay decrease for us and a slow down on goals but that was always temporary money in my mind so no big deal. We do get to sleep in more now. Smile

So the student loan will be paid off in November and the 2013 Roth contributions will moved to the beginning of next year. Credit card payment has been scheduled for early this month so that is completed.

July Update

July 30th, 2013 at 06:06 am

Current YTD networth increase is 64.63%. Which almost matches last year's total networth increase. I also suspect this will be the last year we increase our networth over this amount given the size of that hurdle from now on. After this year, I suspect that shooting for 50% will be ambitious...

The last credit card payment is scheduled for August.

The first extra payment went to my student loan and now I am waiting to see if they will take the auto debit as well. I think they will but we shall see. They do have a feature that when I am ready to pay in full, so long as I tell them what day I plan to make the payment, they will tell me the total final payment.

Temptation - Do I or Don't I?

July 16th, 2013 at 06:01 am

Despite the variability in our income, I am pretty good at projecting it out. I have reached the point where I know by December we will have enough to pay the car loan in full. If I do, one of the Roths will need to be funded in the beginning of 2014 instead of December 2013.

The benefit is that a payment of $409 would immediately disappear. Its the last of my non-mortgage debt (come December). The con is that it delays building the EF and delays putting money in the Roth.

Really it doesn't matter tremendously either way. It is more a psychological victory than anything. It would certainly fit with the theme of 2013 as debt payoff year.

On the other hand, I am wondering what I have against saving up cash. This would not be the first time I delayed building a more robust EF (we have a small one built in to the budget already) in order to payoff low interest debt. Maybe I just really hate monthly payments, hmmm... I seem to have no problem saving to retirement accounts so its not that I can't save money.

I do think a part of it is that I like a simple budget and I like seeing big changes quickly. A car loan disappearing and then being able to save up more money quickly just works for me.

I figure I will probably debate it for a little bit and see how I feel come December.

Progress Report

June 2nd, 2013 at 06:22 am

Our progress is slowing a bit as our summer spending is picking up. Networth increase YTD is 50.7%. Currently looking to pay off the credit cards by September (though we will be cutting that amount in half in June alone) and paying off the student loan by December.

Part of the slow down can also be blamed on the squirreling away of money into our retirement accounts. Our original goal of doubling the amount of money in retirement accounts should be met by October. We have been shooting for 100k in retirement accounts alone for awhile and are on track to meet that by the beginning of December. 2013 Roths and the EF goal will be shifting to the beginning of 2014.

Our first credit card payoff is June 7th with another chunk eliminated on the 14th. Between the two payments, $5k in debt will be wiped out. It will be our first time under $10k since college. I nearly wiped out the student loan first since that actually has interest on it but the credit cards are a bigger psychological victory. Besides, the student loans will be gone shortly thereafter.


May 16th, 2013 at 06:44 am

Investments $76,498
Home $200,000
Car $11,000

Mortgage $112,160
Student Loans $6,859
Credit Cards $8,979
Car Loan $9,213

Networth $150,287

Already posted the above in a forum post so figured I would add it here. YTD networth increase is 46.70%

As I really started investing in a down market, watching the gains from a climbing market seems insane to me. Market gains are contributing almost as much as us at this point.

June begins the elimination of the last of the credit card debt so there isn't too much going on while I wait for that.

Did get the touring bikes though, have already been out on them and am planning an extended ride with picnic this weekend. Its so nice being able to go for bike rides again. We had forgotten how much we enjoy them.

Added a spending goal

April 19th, 2013 at 07:38 am

Because I don't have enough goals to work on, I am planning on buying DH and I road bikes this year. It's my fault because I mentioned wanting to get road bikes again and DH went and researched the ideal ones for long distance travel (we think of 30 miles as a quick bike ride). Long term its a fairly cheap hobby and we got our use out of our bikes we bought last time (sold them awhile back because they were too small long term and we knew we needed larger frames). Fortunately with all the overtime DH has been working and the raise he got, it won't actually slow our debt payoff.

If you include debt payoff, we are saving 45% of our gross income this year (25% gross to retirement savings). While I would have preferred to wait another year, I think we are doing well even with this big purchase.

End of March and beginning CC payoff

March 27th, 2013 at 06:57 am

We have increased our networth YTD by 31.6% which means we just beat 2011's entire networth increase.

Assets Debts
Checking 3097 Mortgage 113362
Taxable 0 Student Loan 7189
Savings 300 Credit Cards 11279
Retirement 59470 Car Loan 10013
Home 200000
Car 11000
HSA 2786

(Ain't that savings amount the most pitiful amount you have ever seen? Mind you the checking holds a part of savings as a cashflow cushion but still...)

The next 3 months will be all about the credit card payoffs. I just scheduled the first payment for April 22 for $2100. May will see the payoff of the 1st card and probably a payment to the second card and June will finish the second and final card payoff. July we will allow the coffers to refill and then August and September will finish the student loan.

That just leaves October through December to stash money in our Roths which is doable. Any excess cash will go into our EF which needs to eventually get to 24k.

For the curious, even during the payoffs, we are keeping about a 2k "cushion" so our EF is technically larger than my savings but its definitely not large.

Just when I was starting to understand our income

March 20th, 2013 at 06:39 am

DH goes and gets himself a 9% raise, lol. The big issue with that is not the salary change but the calculation change for bonus and overtime. Base alone, that is another $5k per year. Though to be fair, they are changing the bonus structure here shortly in a way that will benefit us so I was never going to get an idea on those. However, this does mean that funding the EF might just be possible this year.

I currently think this will be around an extra $250 per paycheck (ignoring bonuses). It does not actually change anything before June though. The big difference is that the student loan payoff will move to August. At that point, I will probably have to ask myself if I would like to max my 401k for the year (because I don't have enough savings goals for this year) as it will be doable at that point.

End of February Update

March 1st, 2013 at 08:56 am

Finally gave in and upped the value of the house. Its still $50k lower than Zillow's estimate but I think that is as accurate as I care to get. My previous value was starting to look ridiculous given the home sales in the area. Glad I don't have to buy a house in this area for those prices though.

Total networth is $127k now. Excluding the house value increase, we upped our networth by 11.49% year to date. Hardly surprising considering the massive increases to our retirement accounts. Should be quiet for awhile as we rebuild our savings for paying off the first credit card.

I do not expect as much progress in March. We have a vacation, a new (well, restarting an old) hobby and spring fever to contend with in that month so I suspect our biggest accomplishment will be minimizing the increase in spending.

Finished 1st Goal of 2013

February 22nd, 2013 at 06:30 am

I just sent the final amount to my Roth IRA for 2012 so I have officially maxed by Roth. Sadly, its my first year doing so but should not be the last.

Next up on the agenda is paying off the credit cards. That really must wait till June so that won't be completed for awhile.

We are on track for DH 401k but I won't mark that off until its completed so that will be there till the end of the year.

I have no clue yet when we will finish the student loan, its too far out for an accurate read though I should be able to update in June.

Remaining Debts

October 16th, 2012 at 06:57 am

The Debts (as of early November)

Amount Item Interest Expected Payoff

$11554 credit cards (0%)(variable but 2013)
$11499 car loan (1.1%) (March 2015)
$7994 student loan (5.15%)(April 2015)
$115745 mortgage (April 2025)

I thought about posting a budget but its not really necessary. We earn more than we spend and that is true by quite a bit. We were spending fools this summer because of the long overdue items we had been holding off on and we still made progress (and that was prior to my husband's job upgrade). Our choosing to cut back on eating out just allows us to put even more towards the credit card payoffs.

We also have the additional promise of bonuses for my husband in the future. We figure these will go straight to debt or savings depending on which is the priority at the time.

While the credit cards are our lowest interest rate, we want them gone for convenience sake so this last balance transfer round is our final one (which is why everything is based on November, we just played the transfer game this month). Our main goal is to see how quickly we can pay these off. Currently shooting for July but may move that up if our extra income is much larger than expected (no, we still don't know the full amount of his pay increase by virtue of the bonuses and his overtime).

The car loan and the student loan vanish at a similar point in 2015 which is why we are thinking of letting those two run their course and build savings in the meantime (not to mention both are designed to make it difficult to make extra payments).

I think I would be happier having a full emergency fund which is something I haven't been able to justify while the credit cards are around. That said, I suspect that when my cash equals the remaining balance on either of those two items, I will just make one final payment and be done with it.

Also, after the credit cards are gone, I will have both of us ratchet up to 15% in the 401(k). I have a roth I contribute to as well though the amount is only 2.6% of my income.

So current goals

1. Payoff credit cards
2. Up 401(k) contributions to 15%

Its steps 3 and 4 I am not sure about. Should I up my roth, build my savings, payoff the student loan (car loan is kind of pointless other than to say its gone) or some combination of the above. I have plenty of time to decide so its not like I have to make up my mind immediately but I am not used to being so wishy washy on my goals. I think part of the problem is that I really won't know the full extent of our extra income until spring so I won't know how many goals I can work on simultaneously until then.

For now though, those two goals should be good. If I blow through the first one faster than expected, then I will probably have enough extra income to work on multiple goals which would change them anyway. :P

What would you do as your next steps?

Need to set new goals

October 15th, 2012 at 07:03 am

I have been lurking for awhile but not posting since I haven't had much to say lately. For awhile I wasn't making huge amounts of progress due to the change of jobs and drastic cut in incomes but since then both my husband and I have recovered financially to a point where we are both better paid than we were before the whole layoff fiascos.

We are about to break the 6 figure networth mark (probably in January) and I am currently debating setting more specific goals for myself.

At the moment, our newest goal is to minimize eating out. We still have some credit card debt (11k) left from the bad old days when we were spenders and had significant drops in income so eating in will allow us to speed up paying this off. Basically, the less we spend, the more extra 1k payments we can put toward the debt. It will definitely take less than a year to pay them off but I am shooting for early summer payoff if I can.

I was thinking that once the credit cards are eliminated, I can focus more on building emergency reserves. We have a small one growing in the background right now but know that I will need a roof and furnace in the future plus I want 6 months expenses in the bank at some point.

Then there is also the retirement savings. We contribute over 10% at the moment but will up this after the credit cards are gone. Maybe up that to 15% and the rest of the extra can be to the emergency reserves.

Still thinking. Later when I have more time, I will post the debts and budget so people can see where we are at and weigh in.

May 2010, goals, debt

March 10th, 2009 at 09:41 am

May 2010 is a realistic date for being credit card debt free. As of April, we will have racked back up to 20k (paying no interest but still). *Sigh*

I am glad we have the house, but all the repairs will have set us back a whole year. It doesn't help that everyone is running deals right now in order to get business or that I have no patience.

The only remaining projects in the house are the roof and the furnace. Everything else (and I do mean everything that isn't a gut and rebuild) has been dealt with now. The roof and the furnace both should last at least 4 more years but I will be keeping an eye on them.

I want to get to the point where we are saving up the money and then spending it instead of doing the 0% deals but I suppose I will at least celebrate the victory of not having paid interest on debt in the past year or even in the future year.

At least I don't spend as frivolously as in the past.

That said, here are my goals. I want to get credit card debt free, I want to be maxing out our retirement accounts (at least this has been improving over time), I want to save at least 10% in our emergency fund/long term savings and I want to save 10% for our short term savings (vacations, things or projects that come up, etc).

I think I have a much better chance of reaching these goals from this point forward because I finally have a handle on the splurge money and the house repairs (both of which kept us running over, though to be fair, the house was the biggest issue). That May 2010 date will be reached with full employment and full splurge and house repair levels so it seems highly likely though not guaranteed.

For the EF, I am thinking a year of expenses keeping in mind the potential for needing to fix things should be good but I will have to mull that over. That would be ~41k. So probably 2 years to build that but probably 4 instead so that we can max the retirement at the same time. Definitely something I will be replanning when the debt is gone.

A reward for being good...

January 23rd, 2009 at 09:35 am

I would like to be extremely cheap for the month of February. No purchases and very little on food. I think it will help me become conscious again about spending money which I seemed to have lost thanks to the house purchase.

Here is where you realize how pathetic I am. I need a reward to be this good for a month. Something to give me a good reason for doing it. So, I am thinking a new kitchen countertop, just a laminate premade piece like what we have but less atrocious.

The kitchen will NOT be remodeled for at least ten years and the lime green countertop with bleach stains while functional is hideous. It will cost about $100 for this piece. I only get this if I do no purchases AND get the food under $500. Its not a need, what we have is functional but it would be nice to not have to flinch when we walk into the kitchen.

Originally I wanted to replace the sink in the bathroom with this decent $200 18 inch wide vanity that actually has storage space but realized by the time I added in the vessal and a new faucet, that would defeat the whole exercise.

This is something far more economical and while we would eventually be replacing this as well (and everything I have done so far has been avoiding any need for redoing), its also a cheap luxury. It also would be a reward for my dear husband so that he didn't have to look at the lime green countertop when he does dishes or cooks. So maybe he will help me with the challenge. Wink

I figure I can even start this challenge next week for the food portion.

Trying to eat at home and other goals.

January 12th, 2009 at 10:15 am

Buying the house really messed up our cooking schedule. So we are currently trying to get back in the habit. I seem to have mostly cured myself of eating out at work but supper still needs some work. Good news is that more salad and homemade artisan bread has been making it into the rotation (I really only like artisan bread and that is because its crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside). Smile

We have a new porch light to put up to replace the one they left us that has a nice large burned out hole in it (too high of a wattage bulb is not a good thing). It hangs down instead of standing up which is good because the current one nearly touches the roof (aka, doesn't really fit in that spot).

We still need to clean the old apartment and I think that may be a project for the upcoming weekend. Fortunately this weekend I did manage to sort our clothes. 1 bag to throw away, 1 bag to goodwill. Yikes that is alot. Other than the cords sitting next to the TV (still haven't hooked the Wii up), the new house is mostly cleaned up and organized. Finally.

I dragged my DH out this weekend for a beginning run (think mostly walking with some running) and figure we will do that 2x per week to avoid giving myself stress fractures (again). I am also going to push for us to do weight training 2x per week as well. The lack of exercise for the past 2 1/2 months is killing me (no walking a 1/2 hour per day every day doesn't count) and may be contributing to my wanting to eat out all the time (both act as stress relievers). Since neither of these activities require new equipment (well, we did by non-summer workout clothes but that is multi-use and needed), we can just do it and not have to worry about the money for it.

The items that were required were shoes for him (since he hadn't bought any in the past year) and some workout clothes that weren't shorts and tank tops, lol. I was able to get my stuff at Ross but we had to pay a little more for his since Ross didn't have anything in his size (a normal problem, small is a very popular size for the guys).

Its a good thing I restart my budget every month because January was again over budget. Not, surprisingly, for out to eat food or groceries though, just house stuff and clothes. That has got to be a first for me, food under budget and household stuff over budget.

Woohoo, found a range hood for a decent price

January 9th, 2009 at 08:48 am

The original one I wanted was $1400 (6 sones) but I finally found one that is only 11 sones and $470. Previously, everything I found in that price range was 30 sones which is the equivalent of a helicopter in your house.

We have the guy who does tuck pointing coming over the 19th (I think, still waiting to hear when) to do the estimate so at least that is under way. He does historical matching so this way our bricks won't be damaged by new mortar.

Now we just need to find someone to do roof vents. I was told by the home inspector that we should be able to get that done for about $400 so we will probably get that done soon so we can install bathroom ventilation using one of the vents.

This weekends accomplishments need to include the sorting of clothing (get rid of old stuff and organize current stuff), the painting of trim in the library and finishing hooking up my wii and organizing the cords on my home entertainment set up. If I manage to accomplish that, I will be very happy.

I would also like to start planning out our front garden because March 23 begins our planting season here and that front yard is a bit rough at the moment. Wayside Gardens has me drooling :P Such beautiful drought resistant plants.

Finally past the tight point

January 5th, 2009 at 10:27 am

January 15 is the tight point and all the finances are set up for it. That's what I get for buying a car with cash and using the credit card I pay in full for every home improvement shopping trip in the month of December. The good news is that starting February 6th I can start paying off all of those 0% interest debts I have accumulated for the house.

CC#1 676 (couch) can be paid off in February

CC#2 4061 (old debt) can be paid off in March plus in March we will buy the ventilation for the kitchen and bath and pay for DH's class that he wants.

CC#3 2900 (appliances) can be paid off in May

CC#4 2434 (old debt) can be paid off in June (final card)

And January 2010 we can afford to either remodel our bathroom or replace our windows. (Probably will replace windows since that will help with the heat bill).

On a more personal note, the 2 long weekends have helped me recover from my stress freak out and I feel ready to face my life again.

As to my budget, because of the car making temptation more easily accessible, I will probably have to wait a couple of months to see what the eating out budget becomes. My goal is to get us eating all meals during the week at home and to eat out once per weekend day. We will see how that goes.

Goals for this weekend (which starts Thursday)

December 30th, 2008 at 02:04 pm

I want to get all the clothing arranged. We went from 2 large closets to 3 little closets. I have bought an extender rod so I have 2 rows of rods in one of the closets so shirts can go there.

I also would like to sort all of the electronic cords and get my home network set up this weekend. This could range from simple to complex. At least I know the settings for my game consoles but I am not sure about the dsl modem's settings (used to have cable).

After that, I should be able to relax and just tidy up a little. So glad we have the majority of the work done now. Still need to paint the hallway, paint the bedroom and finish a doorway but that can wait till later in January when DH will have a week off to work on things.

I swear I am going to take some time this weekend and relax. It will be good for me.

Feeling less frustrated today

December 12th, 2008 at 08:25 am

Which is good because I have a lot of things left to do.

Weekend to do list

Get Emissions Certificate for new car
Get Bill of Sale from seller of car
Fax Bill of Sale to insurance
Wait for internet repairman
Get 8'-10' washing machine hoses
Do laundry
Finish unpacking
Move 125g down narrow stairs into basement
Move headboard down narrow stairs into basement
Do dishes
Finish bringing stuff over from apartment
Paint ceiling in library
Hang ceiling fan in library
Rip out door frame in library
Nail in painted trim in library
Finish spackling library
Buy curtains for kitchen
Buy microwave
Take trash out of the house
Buy a couch that fits through a 35" door

Theoretically I can get this done in one weekend. In reality, given how things have been going, I will consider myself well pleased if I get through half of it.

The must haves are the microwave, trash, washing machine hoses and unpacking.

I almost didn't get the house

November 20th, 2008 at 08:29 pm

but fortunately my realtor was willing to do whatever it takes to close such as begging her husband to get out of bed early this morning and go into the cold and cut bars of my windows.

Backing up a little, last night we got the all clear on the loan, 20 minutes later we were told we weren't going to be able to close until the security bars on the windows were removed. With a mere 5 days before the drop dead date, that wasn't good.

A flurry of phone calls and the sellers claim they will take care of the bars that night. I am in shock. These are the people who couldn't even sign the first contract on time. But hey, if they say they will....they didn't.

Realtor does a flurry of calls this morning, no one knows anything. She yanks her loving and very tolerant husband out of bed and has him accompany her to the house. The bars are still on. They begin work, more calls and emails ensue as people search desperately for the appraiser to confirm their removal and fortunately all is cleared with a mere 1 1/2 hours before closing.

All said and done, closing was the easiest and least stressful part of the day.

Both realtors saw the value of not trying to wait till the drop dead date. This is why I am always early and always prepare for potential complications. Life is less stressful if complications have time to be worked out.

Needless to say, we made sure to grab a thank you card and some gift certificates to a restaurant we know they go to alot. Funny part was, she had a card ready for us with a gift certificate to home depot. Smile She takes very good care of her clients.

My net worth is down 5k thanks to the purchase but its worth it to have a place of our own. Hurray!

Just put a bid on a house...

October 5th, 2008 at 09:32 am

Oh boy. So bid is in. We will end up with this house if the following go well:

Sellers accept the contract
Bank approves the bid (this is a short sale)
House appraises for the bid amount
Home inspection goes well


There are no real comparables for this house. Fully remodeled, it would go for a lot more (add another 100k+ even in a down market and they go in less than 5 days at that price). Big issue, its not remodeled. It needs lots of work. It also has a basement and the cheaper homes in the area do not. So our Realtor isn't sure it will appraise high enough. Not that she thinks it will appraise low, she just doesn't know what they will appraise it for since this neighborhood doesn't sell homes very frequently.

Bank approval of the short sale should go well, the other agent just had a contract fail at that number due to down payment assistance disappearing as of Oct 1. Incidentally that's why we made the offer there. It is a discount of 8k and if it doesn't appraise there, it will quicker to have an appraisal come back too low then to have the bank reject our first offer and then go through the whole process anyways.

I am really not too worried about the home inspection. This house is valued so low and has so much potential that its a steal even in this market. But the missing water heater will need to make it back there before inspection. This was a rent to family while we buy a new house deal that went very wrong. On a positive note, that means that the sellers are in a better position to help out and the utilities aren't way behind as a result.

Wow. This is going to be a major project. But definitely worth it if we can manage to get the deal to go through...

Progress on the house buying

September 10th, 2008 at 07:51 am

So got the preapproval, looks like they did it just off of my DH's income since we are asking for so little. We have an FHA 15 year at 5.5%. As of this Monday, we will have all the money to close and this Saturday we are meeting with a Realtor that I know from work. (She has a sense of humor, always takes good care of her contacts and seems to have enough time to get things done right despite being very busy).

So tonight DH and I get to put together a list of houses, a list of wants and needs, and a list of questions for the Realtor. Not only that, if we are closing before December and maybe sooner, I need to start packing.

So basically, all we are missing is the house :P

Set up an appointment with a mortgage counselor from a local bank

September 5th, 2008 at 09:16 am

Have to say, I was more than a little surprised by the not so subtle desperation in her voice. I know the industry is in bad shape but I didn't expect a bank based mortgage counselor to sound so desperate. After all, local banks tend to be stricter about qualifying for mortgages so they shouldn't be as bad as the mortgage brokers.

I was more than a little surprised when she offered to come to our home if we wanted rather than having to come to her office (we told her the office was fine). We did claim evening was best for contacting though so she is probably the one who works nights and weekends alot.

I figure meeting with the mortgage counselor is my last minute sanity check before starting this whole process. That and I know this bank does renovation loans which may be a nice way to go depending on what we get.

We meet on Monday(our day off) so will let you know how it goes!

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