Real Estate Creeping

So my husband and I currently own a two family house.  It’s pretty awesome, because after rent from our tenant, we pay about $650 a month for our mortgage, over $500 of which goes to principal.  We also think it’s appreciated in value a bit since we bought it almost three years ago — over and above what we’be put in (which includes taking OUT the dilapidated barn and paving the driveway). That said, it has some negatives — like that our living space is pretty small.  We only have two real bedrooms (plus a small office space) and ONE closet.  In my last place, I basically had five closets to myself, so having one closet is not ideal, to say the least.

So we occasionally like to creep on open houses for houses that we have no possibility of buying.  Today we checked out a four bedroom house in a cute neighborhood with a really nice yard.  It was really nice (I liked it more than he did).  We are definitely not in the market to buy now (largely because of the $1,050 minimum payments on my refinanced student loan), but it’s nice to get an idea of what we collectively like and don’t, and what we’ll be looking for when we ARE in the market.   I’m currently hoping that we can pay off the student loan by this time next year, at which point we’ll start saving pretty seriously for a down payment on a new place.  Not that we’re not already motivated, but thinking about being able to move to a bigger, nicer home is a pretty good motivator for getting my debt paid off.   Until then, we’ll continue to creep on open houses.


May Update ($29,793)

It’s been a while since my last post (over three months, actually).  I keep meaning to post an update, and it just keeps not happening.   That’s what happens when I draft puzzle updates when I’m away from home.  I won’t be doing too many more puzzle updates, because the brackets on the back of the frame are breaking one by one, and soon I won’t be able to hold it in.  So this update is 324 pieces, and will probably be the last one until late this year (although with how lazy I’ve been with updates, it probably wouldn’t have been much more than that anyway…).

I’ve been able to make TONS of progress this year, even since my bonus, thanks to (1) almost $1000 of my minimum payment going to principal (only a few more thousand* more to pay down before it’s a full $1000 a month) and (2) all of our tenant’s rent payments going straight to principal.  We also took a big chunk of tax return and put it towards the loans.   I’m feeling good about my goal to be free from student loans by my 35th birthday (I’m not-yet-34 now).

$35,141– remaining balance:

  • $2,625 $0 (freshman year – undergrad)
  • $8,500 $0 (1L subsidized loan)
  • $12,000 $0 (1L unsubsidized loan)
  • $8,500 $0 (2L subsidized loan)
  • $12,000 $6,141 (2L unsubsidized loan)
  • $8,500 (3L subsidized loan)
  • $12,000 (3L unsubsidized loan)
  • $3,500 $0 (Grad Plus Loan – bar fees and prep)
  • $1,200 $0 (Irresponsibility Loan #1)
  • $2,500 $0 (Irresponsibility Loan #2)
  • $1,200 $0 (Irresponsibility Loan #3)

And just like that–I’ve paid off my first year of law school completely, and I’m well over halfway through my 2L loans.

A few smaller thoughts:  As part of my super awesome student loan refinance, I needed to move my “primary banking relationship” to the new bank.  When I did this, my friends at Bank of America started charging me $12 a month, because my direct deposit of $100 a check wasn’t big enough.  So I’ve since said goodbye to BofA, and I’ve opened up a new Fidelity account.  This should make it a lot easier for me to transfer to my IRA and to the baby’s 529 account.

I’m also looking into going back to Ting.  I definitely use a lot more data than I did when I had Ting two years ago.  The nice thing is that my Verizon bill has gone down $20 a month now that I’m out of contract.  

I am hoping to get back to being more vigilant about bringing my lunch everyday, for financial and health reasons.  I’ve also been  buying way too many fancy coffees from Starbucks.  
* It’s crazy to me that there’s such a thing as a “few more thousand.”  I think the first loan I paid off (in my set of private loans) had an original amount of $2,800.  And I had that took YEARS to pay off.