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Showing posts from 2018

The Pressures of Social Media

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I am not a huge fan of social media. I have went off it completely at several points in my life. At this point, I'm on it mostly to advertise my houses. It's been interesting though, I do engage with it since I feel like I may as well use it for something in between.

When I left my job, I think a lot of people assumed I had hit FI. That's not true. I just couldn't continue to, as the famous quote says, "lead a life of silent desperation" any longer. I'm completely thrilled I left. Got a lot of support. All good.

Now I'm on my first travel assignment since leaving. I'm in the middle of nowhere, because I'm up for an adventure. There is really nothing to do or see here. I had a 50% no-show rate on my first day because I'm in the middle of nowhere - there is no economy here, so I think a number of my evaluees were not gotten ahold of because they don't have phones. It's a "desolate" place, as one of the locals called it - s…

The Impermanence of Stuff

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I went home to Ohio for a few days to be with my family and help go through my grandma's things. Let me say now, I love my grandma dearly. VERY dearly. But all of her stuff is not her. And as one of my aunts put it, fairly kindly, if my grandparents had a smaller house, it would have been a hoarder house.

It is filled. Filled. FILLED. To the brim with things. To some extent, this is pretty cool, because it's a time capsule. She has things that none of us even know what they are. For example, what appears to be a wedding band. But it's not hers. I suggested that maybe it was her mother's or grandmothers. No one actually knows. It sits on the dresser still. It freaks me out a little, because it makes me wonder how important that was to her, and what will happen to the jewelry of hers I inherited when I die. Will it sit on the dresser and no one will know whose it was? That's a very sad thought.

That does, however, bring me to the impermanence of stuff. It can be the…

Job job jobs jobs

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I put in my resignation. What happens?

Before I put in my resignation, when I just said I was going to, I get a job offer.

After I put in my resignation, when I tell a colleague, I get another job offer.

After I put in my resignation, and start my S-corp, and get a checking account, and liability insurance, and renew my out of state license, and apply for my in-state license, and....well, I think you get the drift...my current employer tries to keep me.

You hear about this shit happening all the time to FI bloogers (that was a typo, but I liked it, so I kept it), but I didn't really believe it. I also happen to know one FI individual who got laid off, so it seems too good to be true, but I'll be damned if it didn't happen.

No one came through with exactly what I wanted, mostly because, well, I don't want a full time job with a boss any more, but I think all three of these offers will play out as contract work. And that, my dear sir, is exactly what I want.

In the mean…

Trying not to go dark again

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It was kind of creepy looking back at my last blog post. I called it. My grandma was the one who was in the hospital and she passed about three days after I wrote that. And I did put in my resignation; I put it in today, to be exact.

I have a lot to say about this matter. A whole lot. I will refrain, at this point, from going on some sort of a rant about the bureaucracy I work/worked in. I feel like there's some kind of statute of limitations I have to let pass on that before I go full on whistleblower. I will say, however, that we have a cockroach problem there. I will entertain you with a recent picture from my office.

Okay, so on to the good stuff. As I mentioned, I turned in my resignation today. I knew I wanted to, slept on it for a night, went in and wrote the letter...and my boss was out. So I let it sit over the weekend and submitted it today.

The reason I'm trying not to go dark again is simply how busy I've been. It's not like I decided to just quit my job a…

Just Breathe

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This week has been a long pause in posting. I went to Florida for a wedding, and I think I saw the preface to a funeral. A family member of mine wound up in the hospital. I fought tooth and nail to keep her alive. It's a good thing I'm a "doctor" of sorts and knew some people at that hospital since it's where I used to work. Regardless, it's not looking good right now.

On the plus side, I took off work. I didn't have to worry about money or time. On the down side, I came back to a bit of a nastygram about it. They can fuck themselves. I have since asked how to turn in my resignation. I knew I needed to do RE and get my shit together and get FI, but apparently this has changed my life in a significant manner. When your boss reminds you of your clinical duties rather than asking you about how your family member in the hospital is, it's more than time to go. Just burning leave and wrapping up. I'm out by the next Federal holiday.

That's about al…

"Well I certainly hope you don't have any problems with that."

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That phrase drives me crazy. I hear it all the time.

"Well I certainly hope your tenants don't tear up the place."

"Well I hope they don't stop paying rent and you have to try to get them out."

"Well I hope you don't need a new roof."

JESUS CHRIST people! Apparently most people go through life just hoping nothing goes wrong every day because they're so FUCKING terrified of it. And real estate seems to make them particularly terrified.

Nobody, NOBODY said anything like that to me about getting a dog. No one says that about going to grad school. What do they usually say when you're pregnant? Congrat-u-fucking-lations, and let me tell you, that is a lot more problematic and expensive than having a bad tenant if it all goes to shit. I used to work in a prison - do you know how many parents have dumped their life savings into their psychopathic children? I think I have a pretty good idea of it.

But guess what? Things go wrong. Things went …

The Acceleration of Money

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All the FI bloggers who are there (at FI) talk about that J-shaped curve, where you start off with a little, and feel like you're making no progress for...well, ever, then all the sudden, overnight, it's like you have a million dollars. All because money accelerates. You hit that tipping point at which it's coming in, and that money makes more money, and all the sudden, you're going downhill at 100 miles an hour (I mean downhill in terms of acceleration, not downhill like, in an "oh shit" kind of way).



I'm starting to see that. Not so much in my retirement accounts, because I regularly rape and pillage those for real estate purchases, but in the RE. It's amazing once you have a house or two and all the repairs are made and they're leased up and rent is coming in...it's like a little miracle that every month $2000 or whatever just magically shows up in your account. THEN, someone suggests to you that instead of renting the house, would you own…

Tenant Screening

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You would think people would use basic manners if they want to rent your house. This is not the case. I have stories. Let me tell you just the one from today.

I had a lady who showed up on time for her appointment to see the home. She was pleasant enough. She did, however, show up in cotton short shorts and house slippers. A little ghetto, but okay.

What I did not care for is that she brought a male friend with her. And I don't care that she did that, but this particular guy. In no world is he a plus. I looked in his eyes and thought, "Where do I know that look?" I knew it was a vampire movie...I Googled 2000s vampire movies later. Oh yeah, now I remember, this one.
He had the biggest, blackest pupils. They took up his whole iris. And he kinda tended to scrunch his face like that too. Gait was abnormal. At first, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and think neurological disorder. Nope, just high. Not sure on what, but he was twitchy. If I have to use another m…

A Foray into Creative Financing

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BRRRR!

It is a little chilly here, but I'm talking about the BRRRR strategy in real estate. That stands for Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat. I am about to implement this strategy.

I'm not much of a worrier. I think that to some extent, you have to have the nervous system of a shark in order to do real estate and still sleep at night. Being the first time I'm doing this, it does make me mildly nervous. I'll be happy when it's successfully completed. Let me tell you about it.

I found a house in a neighborhood with which I am familiar, but for whatever reason, property values on this street are a little higher than the rest of the 'hood. Locked down the price on the house. Got a rehab estimate for most of the work, which came in as expected. Looks good.

Now, I do not have 15% to put down on this house and also finance the reno, but I have a motivated seller and I'm a motivated buyer - so that's where the creativity comes in. I'm buying the house w…

Um, wrong blog?

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I'm doing so many RE posts I feel like I should have made my blog "The Gallavanting Landlord" or some shit. Meh. I said I was doing this as I go...and I went to RE.

I thought I would share some "after" pictures of the rent house. You can see that removing junk, a coat of paint, and an actual cleaning after 30 years of decay does a pretty damned good job at turning a place around.




So there's that. Now on the day I'm writing this (2/5/18, for posterity), the #flashcrash just happened to the markets. I am surprisingly unconcerned by this. One reason is the real estate. Another is that a lot of my IRA funds are in international mutual funds, so my IRA barely got nicked. Haven't looked at my TSP yet, that one might hurt.

I'm also starting a bit of a new adventure - before this house was even done (it's still not technically done, the carpets get cleaned tomorrow...), someone called from the sign in the yard and asked if I did rent to own. Of cou…

You Might Be a Landlord If...

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Landlording has put me into a number of ridiculous scenarios lately. I thought I would start sharing them with you for your amusement. Some even have pictures!

You might be a landlord if...

...You've showed up to Home Depot at 8:45 on a Tuesday night in your full pajamas and slippers, because it just occurred to you this is the only time you'll be able to get that part for that repair tomorrow.

...You leave yourself interesting little Post-Its like this:

...You now have paint on every pair of jeans you own.

...You have approximately 7 LLCs, 4 trusts, 18 units, and 6 bank accounts to keep track of.

...Every time you get a text, you assume something bad just happened at one of your houses.

...You have so many keys. So many. And you're not sure what exactly all of them go to.

...You could probably build a house from all the random parts and extras you have stored in your basement.

...Someone has said, "Oh, I'll glue that back on later," and you've responded …

And Another One!

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As a certain DJ says...


Closed the next rent house as scheduled. I cleaned SOOOOOO much shit out of it. So much. I have to call for extra trash pickups. Yes, more than one extra. It's crazy how much shit people accumulate. They just stick it in a closet and forget they have it and then buy 3 more, because they have coupons or something. There were so many cans of furniture duster. Jesus.

Anywho, here's some pictures of what it looks like post-clean out, pre-painting and cleaning. Again, forgive my formatting, this is not my specialty.







I also found some cool shit and learned a few things. I found this stuffs:



I may eventually post some pictures of the finished product, but that's all I got for now, I'm still cleaning shit out. The painting and cleaning and whatnot is hopefully happening this next week.

To "celebrate," I put this house into my Personal Capital account. That made a small incremental difference in the whole number at this point, because of cours…

Stopping to Count

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Closed on another rent house today. This one, I'll have my hands full with for a short while. It was part of an estate, so there's still some stuff in it and it was last re-decorated in approximately 1979. Actually, that may have been when it was built...maybe it was just decorated in 1979. Anyway, there's some cleaning and painting that's going to be happening, the decor probably won't change for a while. Just gotta get it rented.

Sometimes people ask me how many houses I have now, and that's difficult to answer. Are we counting my primary residence in there, which I bought really to eventually AirBnB and which I rent out when I'm traveling? Hm. Also, do they mean doors or actual physical buildings?

So when I stop to count, I've had four closings, on five buildings, which is a total of seven units. See? Tricky.

What's interesting is that when I started this, I actually didn't imagine going this big this quick. If I look back at my business pla…

Catchy Title TBD

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I didn't want to call this one "Hacking your HELOC!" Firstly, that's what everyone else calls it. Secondly, I don't have a fucking HELOC because I only put down 10% on my house. (That's what investors DO baby, leverage!) But I am hacking a regular old line of credit. So what does that leave us with?

Lamaze your LOC?
Lick your LOC?
Lock down your LOC? (Too redundant?)

Ooooh, ooooh, I got it!

LIQUIDATE YOUR (MF-ING) LOC!!!

I love doing stupid little acronyms and word plays. The favorite part of my research is coming up with those fun titles to call a study so everyone's just like, "Yeah, the RaINBoW study showed...." and it's this mess of the first few letters of a bunch of words strung together to just remotely kinda sorta describe what the study did. FAVORITE PART. But I digress.

To make a long story short, I been doing a little research on this bitch, and I think it will work. So typically, people hack their HELOC and pay down their house …

The World's Worst Blogger

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I am aware that I may be eligible for some kind of nomination for shittiest blog. I rarely post, the ideas are mostly thought-vomit, and lately there is not even a generalized theme to said vomit. I am posting this largely because I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was posting my recent landlording adventures on Facebook. He, being a Facebook heretic, asked me why I wasn't blogging about them. I said I was ambivalent. It's true. I really don't like it when people talk about how they're going to do 3 posts a week to build their empire and all that. I hate marketing. That's one reason I don't buy shit. Why should I market to anyone if I hate marketing? Makes no sense. But he thinks FB is evil and uses mind control as well, and I kinda agree with that. Therefore I remain ambivalent about which is the lesser of the two evils.
But enough of that! My recent landlording adventures have seemed very toilet-centric. I can now change toilet water lines. I can snake a…