It has been quite the busy month of February as you can tell from my lack of posting. I have been trying to negotiate and restructure a deal with a partner in the commercial building that we own (or rather bank owns). He is the tenant and wanted to construct the building since he was tired of paying rent to someone else. It makes sense on paper, but when the economy struggles then having lower fixed costs make the most sense.
Taking Over the Building
Since I had quite a bit invested in the building, I determined it would be better to suck it up and just take it over entirely than to let things languish like they had for the past several months. I would have ultimately born some of the responsibility anyway so it is better to get it under control now, get in the bankers’ good graces and figure out some more solutions down the road if necessary.
But it will hamper the debt payoff plan. You can read more about that at my newest blog, Shredding Debt. Despite that, I still plan on being aggressive and will see what I can accomplish over the next 3 years. I will know more once the building payments are caught up and I can see what my budget and cash flow will look like the rest of the year.
At least the money that is spent will create some real estate losses and lower my tax bill so the ultimate impact may not be as bad as it could be. Plus I will have 100% control of the asset so that when it is paid off, I will be in great shape. It is just the journey that might be tricky.
Looking Forward to Learning
I do look forward to learning more about the commercial real estate business and making new contacts. I think it will be a great experience that can only help me as I continue to become more involved in real estate. Ultimately, I would like to own more property. It will probably be after the consumer debt is paid off and some more of the kids move out of the house. But having something to do with my time after I retire from my full-time employment will be very good.
I am kind of disappointed this morning since I found out yesterday that the refinance on the rental homes would not work. Apparently, my credit score is not good enough. Ever since 2008, it has been incredibly difficult to get credit so I will be focusing on getting out of debt instead.
Ultimately, it turns out that the net impact on the monthly cash flow won’t be all that different without the refinance. That is because I had to have 2 appraisals and one came in below the expected amount. As a result, I had set aside $10,000 to bring to closing in order to save about $650-$700 per month through decreased payments.
Now that the refinance won’t be going through, I will using that money to pay down a credit card balance in order to save over $2300 per year in interest. Once I get this card paid off which should be in the next few months, I will save almost $800 per month in cash flow which can be added back into the budget. So all is not lost with plan B.
Then once that card is paid off and I get a little more credit card debt eliminated, my credit score may very well be in a better place that I could refi the rental houses, decrease my interest rate and my term. I don’t anticipate rates moving up any time soon. I would think that I have a year or more to get a better interest rate.
If not and rates start to increase, that would mean that the economy is heating up which will only help my retirement account investments in the stock market. So I look at it as a win-win.
With this behind me for the time being, I can now focus on getting the business transaction complete and meeting my 2 goals for this year which are losing weight and paying off debt. In fact, I am about to launch a blog solely devoted to working my way out of debt which should bring some increased accountability and motivation to the equation.
I will let you know when it is up and running.
Here are the recent carnivals that have included articles from my blogs:
Wow, I can’t believe how busy it has been last week and this week. I will have to write a post about it sometime to explain what has been going on. Suffice it to say, that it is certainly interesting and will make for lots of good posts in the future. As a result of all that has been happening, I am just now getting to the obligatory goals post for 2013.
It should be a pretty easy post though, because I only have 2 main goals: Pay off some debt and lose some weight.
1. Pay Off Debt
I am having a new blog designed to help with this goal and will probably put more information on that site once it is up and running, but I am wanting to pay off quite a bit of debt this year which should help with the monthly cash flow. I have put together a spreadsheet and a plan and so far, January is going according to plan. It should be a lock for the first half of the year. I am a little more concerned as we get into summer.
You see, the plan is to pay off a certain amount of debt each month and maintain a cushion since my income can fluctuate somewhat from paycheck to paycheck and the budget is pretty tight although it is better than last year. I have enough in the cushion to make it through at least May even if the income comes up short or I have an emergency. But, I want to be able to continue the momentum as long as possible so I will be keeping a close eye on the extra funds.
2. Lose Weight
Unfortunately, yesterday I was the heaviest I have ever been in my adult life. Terrible, I know. I suspect that it has something to do with the amount of stress that the debt had been having on me throughout the last half of the year. Now that I have a little breathing room and a plan for creating more room, I should be able to focus more on my health. I do continue to lift weights and plan on playing softball in the spring and summer, so I have to get to a better playing weight by losing 15 pounds by May. That is only about a pound or a little more per week, so it should be quite feasible.
The way I look at it, focusing on just 2 main goals for 2013 will increase my odds of success. I really don’t have any blogging goals for this year since I am really just going to consider it a hobby and will write when I have something to say and feel like I have the time.
If what I am working on pans out, then I will have enough to do and can make money at the same time.