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Archive for October, 2007

Calming Down.

October 22nd, 2007 at 07:11 pm

So I've decided what to do about my recent stickiness:

1) Staying in my house. It's going to be a bit scary...this neighborhood isn't the greatest. When my ex moves out, so does his truck and his dog...both good deterrents. But the upsides are that I do have a monitored alarm system and once the garage is finally clear, I'll be able to park in there!

2) Not using the $20k to pay down the home equity loan. Either I need to completely get rid of that monthly payment, or just keep slowly chipping at it.

I got the first "installment" of the gift, $5k. Put in a transfer of $2k to give my ING a boost. I'll stop building it up once it hits $10k. Should take just a few more months. Once that's done, I'll stop the monthly transfer of $100.

So between that, also getting out of my work's ESP Plan, removing the ex from my health insurance, downgrading garbage, satellite TV and my gym, in a few months my income should be up about $100/mo, and expenses down around $160/mo. That should help a bit. I'm still very worried.

I have a lot that needs to get done around here. Need an electrician to install ceiling fans and install another motion detector light outside. Also, just had a landscaper out to give me an estimate on building the fence, and finishing up priming the flowerbeds...they are currently mostly clay and rock...very hard...there's no way I can dig it up myself. These things need to get done if I'm to improve the value of this house at all...right now it's just bare dirt and weeds. Also, I will feel better about living here.

Ah!!!!!!!!!!!!

Massive, Scary Life Changes.

October 6th, 2007 at 04:12 pm

WARNING: This is just one big brain dump. I'm a bit numb and need to regain focus.

Let's just break it down into digestible chunks:

1) I broke up with my boyfriend of 6 years last week. We haven't set his move out date, but it'll happen in the coming weeks. It's heartbreaking, but it's the right decision.

2) 3 weeks ago management hinted that my company is possibly heading towards layoffs.

3) Need there be more?

I'm thinking of hiring a financial adviser to get me through the next few decisions.

THE HOUSE:

As it stands, I own a 1978, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1200 sq ft house with a pool/hot tub. Purchased for $280k, 10/01/04.

Mortgage: $214,470. 5.75%, 30 year fixed.
Equity Loan (obtained 05/2006): $41,260. 6.99%, 15 year fixed.

I cannot live in it alone,it's just too big for me to maintain, and the monthly bills would leave me scraping by each month...and I'm not going to do the roommate thing. I don't want to sell it as the market just bites right now and I would not only lose most of my original 20% down payment, but every other dime used towards improvements (carpet, appliances, landscaping) in the last 3 years. So the logical step is to rent it out. Actually, hire a property management company to do the dirty work as I am in no way ready to be a functional landlord.

BUT...the house still needs work. An electrician to install fans in 3 rooms, need a fence put up between my front yard and the neighbors, need to finish sprinkler install in backyard, need to add plants to both front and backyard (right now two big brown dirt patches), re-install carpet in one bedroom, and repaint exterior trim and garage.

The good news: I just received an unexpected $20,000 gift.

OK. So. Do I spend a good chunk of that money to do all the fixes I need to prep the house for renters? I doubt I could get $2025 monthly for the place (my minimum mortgage and home equity payments), but I am prepared to eat the home equity payment each month and have the place get rented out for $1620 (plus mandatory pool service...spent too much money renovating that thing to let some renter ignore the upkeep). Then go rent a nice, affordable apartment, and use the rest of the money to pad up my emergency account for any home repairs/unrented months/possible unemployment. Is it totally retarded to be renting out my house while I rent myself??? This seems the safer option.

OR, do I use the entire amount, plus sell off $21,000 worth of my stock portfolio, and pay off the entire home equity loan? I would still need to fix up the house pretty quick and wouldn't want to dip into my E-fund, so money would be pretty tight and I'd probably have to stay in the house longer, until I raise the funds each month to complete another project.

About my job. Yes, I could go find another, but I love love love my company and the people I work with. No definite layoffs, but I know we're going through a re-org, and my group might be affected. I know I'm being too sentimental about this as I could get more money at a new job, and also probably find something closer to home (my current job is 40 miles away...hello gas savings).


Ugh. It just seems so huge.