Smelling the flowers

Petunia

Member
My daughter still hasn't gotten back to me on the tablet, and I'm glad. I hope she shifts direction and asks for something solely for herself.

I went to the real estate investor meetup, and met with the realty guy I mentioned beforehand. It went really well and today we are going to see two properties. They'd both be flips and I'm really excited by the adventure of it all. I still need to talk to Twitch about pulling equity out of the house we co-own, but I think he'll let me do it.

My middle kid is set to start welding school next week. He's excited and pleased with the amount he'll be getting in a Pell grant and the GI Bill. He will have zero education debt when he finishes. It's pretty exciting. It's going to improve his life so much.

B had a kid crisis yesterday that seems to have improved greatly today, plus her ex finally paid a bill that's been hanging over her head for the past three years. He told her he'd pay it when it occurred, because it was for the separation he wanted, but then he never did, so this has been a huge negative ding on her credit report.

We don't have much planned for the weekend and we'll be kid-free. I may end up doing some real estate stuff as a result of seeing those properties today, but that's unknown at this point. I'm looking forward to a couple of easy, relaxing days.
 

Petunia

Member
Seeing the properties was a lot of fun. The $39K bungalow would have been a total gut job and for me that's exciting, because I love creating more efficient floor plans and designing kitchens. The other house was pretty hilarious. There was a short door in the kitchen and behind that door was a toilet. No sink. Just a toilet. The ceiling was just above my head and I'm only 5'4". The upstairs bathroom had three doors - one from the hallway, one from a huge bedroom (master bedroom, I guess) and one from another bedroom whose only door was into the bathroom. Can you imagine having that bedroom?

"Hey, how long are you going to be in there? I gotta go to school."​
:D

On top of this the house didn't have good bones, so it was a definite no-go.

We decided to pass on both houses, because we need to create a team of professionals we can work with for rehab's. We are meeting up with a lender, a property manager and fellow real estate investor, and several general contractors. It's pretty exciting.
 

Petunia

Member
I'm moving forward on the real estate investing. I applied for a HELOC on the house I own with Twitch. He would like me to buy his interest out and is willing to take 50% of his 35% vested interest in the property now and the second half at a later date, TBD.

My daughter messaged me last night that she is not feeling up to coming for the holiday. She started on new medication and it's kicking her butt. The doctor said it may take a month to adjust to it. She said that she's been awake for only 6 hours in the past four days. Ugh.

Then this morning I woke to a message from my middle kid asking if he and his gf, and his daughter could come up on Friday (leaving for home on Sunday at noon) for Xmas instead of next week. That really moved my timeline up considerably. I sent all of their presents to their house in KY and today I believe the last of them will arrive. So no presents, but just visiting. It'll be so nice to see my grandbaby!

I sent a text to my youngest son about this and he replied, "These are things I wanna be able to plan for mom". Yeah, you and me both, kid.

Having Josh and family here this weekend will mean foregoing two holiday parties that friends are throwing on Saturday. One is a holiday open house where friends have been invited to drop by between 3 and 6 for cookies and drinks. The other was a gathering following the solstice celebration at a (nearby-to-the-host) park.

This morning I stripped the bed in the guest room this morning and got the bedding in the washer. S3 had a sleepover with 3 friends last weekend and the room is absolutely destroyed with boy stuff all over it. It's going to be a rush to get things in order before my son arrives, because Thursday afternoon we're heading to Chicago for a concert and we won't be back until noon on Friday. I'm seeing a property with a realtor at 1:00 pm and I don't know how long that will take or what time my son is arriving. I don't know what time they are leaving from KY. I should ask!

Bond has today off and he's running errands, like Costco. Hopefully he'll pick up the fajita meat.

OMG, you guys we discovered a hot pot restaurant in town and we've gone there to eat every Tuesday for the past three weeks. I love it even more than the one we've gone to a couple of times in San Francisco. Nom nom!
 

Petunia

Member
Thanks, fuchka! :)

Well, it seems my granddaughter is not going to get to come to Wisconsin to visit grandma. :( Her mother decided that she's taking her to see her other grandmother for the weekend, even though it's my son's weekend with her. Her mother lives about 4 hours away and they see her often. Additionally, she's brought the level of nasty up a notch by saying that she doesn't want [granddaughter] around his girlfriend, because she has lost custody of her kids. She lost custody of her kids due to physical abuse by her ex-husband which left her physically unable to take care of them while she healed and the court granted him custody. My granddaughter loves my son's girlfriend. He's planning on taking her to court once he starts school (next week). Such a mean person.
 

Petunia

Member
My holiday has been very nice and hope that yours has been also.

I popped into work today to double check on my vacation time. Good news; everything is fine. Our time sheet software wasn't playing nicely when I tried entering it before leaving on vacation, so it's been hanging over me that I might have to make up three hours and this would be my last opportunity to do so today, as I already plan on working tomorrow. I'll be off the rest of the week, although, it's tempting to come in Thursday and Friday and save those hours for later in the year.

Right now I'm messing around on the internet and not rushing out of here to get back home, because it's very peaceful here. I love Bond to death, but it's been a lot of togetherness and I'm about ready to loose my shit. He is such a nitpicker and he wants things done his way, so even simple tasks that I do I feel like I'm being corrected left and right. It gets old.

This afternoon we have several friends coming over for cocktails. Super casual and chill. And hopefully not too long either. LOL

I forgot that I signed up for an art installation at a coffee house in Monona in January. I need to swing by there and take a peak to see what's what with wall space and hanging hardware. I gave most of my paintings to my good friend who works in rehab for their new space, so as it stands I only have 10 or so paintings that I can put up, unless I borrow a few back from her. They haven't hung them yet as they need to paint and then get command hooks and they have no budget. Speaking of which, I volunteered to buy a 5 gallon bucket of paint for the walls, and I also told her that I'd do a painting class for the residents.

Well, I best get out of here and do the things.

Happy New Year, you all. :)
 

Petunia

Member
January is no fun. Short days and cold temperatures. And a job I feel like I'm drowning at. I need to make a decision about taking out a HELOC on the house I co-own with Twitch, or putting it up for sale. It's hard to displace my tenants, because they've put so much into the house. And it's hard to let go of a place that was my home for so many years. The place where my kids were children. People do it all of the time, I tell myself. I can do it, too. But it's hard.
 

Petunia

Member
After a solid 11 or 12 days of cloud cover, we finally had sunshine yesterday. Oh what a relief! I'm having a hard time dealing with this winter weather. I'm so tired of the kids and I wish I could take a trip to someplace warm and sunny.

Bond and I are celebrating our 5th first date anniversary tonight. We're going back to the restaurant where we had our first date. But before that we have to pack up my artwork at a local coffee shop. Our actual anniversary is tomorrow, but that's our triad date night, so I wanted to celebrate a day early. Mondays are our day of the week to focus on the two of us, which usually doesn't amount to us doing anything special. I let Bond know that I want to celebrate the milestone and that I wanted to do it on our Monday night. Sometimes it's difficult for me to speak up and say exactly what I want and then I'm left with unmet expectations simply because I never voiced what it is that I want. Bond makes it comfortable to voice things and I feel incredibly thankful to have him for a partner.

We had a fun weekend. Saturday B, Bond and me went to the National ice sculpture winterfest in Lake Geneva. OMG, people are talented. Sunday B and I went to a ladies high tea to celebrate Imbolc. The weather was mild, so we spent most of our time outside around the fire. A lovely day and lovely people to spend time with.

We're starting to gear up for our annual Valentines party. We've settled on Mexican food. I still need to sort out which desserts I'm going to make. Oooh, that reminds me, I need to order my sweeteners from Sukrin.
 

icesong

Member
What a funny coincidence! Tomorrow is my first date anniversary with Artist - also five years, even!
 

Petunia

Member
What a funny coincidence! Tomorrow is my first date anniversary with Artist - also five years, even!

Very cool. Congratulations on your anniversary!
 

Petunia

Member
I have the paperwork to sign for the HELOC. Today my real estate investing buddy who also happens to be a realtor is going with me to see the house I own. He'll help me determine the value of the house and what the after repair value (ARV) would be if I go that route. I'm considering a new kitchen, new windows, and an egress window, which would move it from a 3 bedroom to a 4 bedroom house. The ARV is the determining factor. It may only make sense to replace the windows.

I am fairly confident that my tenant would do the work, seeing as he's a carpenter by trade and has already done a lot to the house in exchange for money off the rent. This time I would pay him directly which would then give them a nice sum to use as a down payment if they decide they can afford the house or another house if this one is out of their price range.

Saturday morning I am meeting with him and his wife to discuss the remodel plans, pricing, etc.

I love these tenants, so I really hope it works for them to buy the house. That being said, I want to make as much as possible off the sale as I'll be using the proceeds to fund other purchases.

I've put a lot of time into planning kitchen layouts that best optimize the space, pricing cabinets and materials and such. It's now time to show others my plans which always makes me nervous.

Tomorrow night I'm picking up my grandson for the weekend. It's been ages since I've had him and I can't wait to see him.
 

Petunia

Member
My tenants have gotten back to me to let me know that they spoke to a mortgage lender and they are on tract for the end of August to close on the house. I'm excited. With them buying it, I was able to drop the price to within their reach, I won't have to paint the interior and refresh carpeting in the lower level, remodel the kitchen (although I was pretty jazzed about that process), or put in an egress window, or list it with a realtor. All of this is going to save me t a lot of money and work.

Due to the flu hitting my grandson's household, we postponed his visit until this coming weekend. Bonus for him is that S3's friend group is going to the Dells to a water park on Sunday and he gets to go along. He'll love that!

We had our annual Valentine's Party last weekend. My head is still buzzing with all the interactions. It was a ton of work, but it was also a lot of fun. I made 5 desserts, and B and Bond made chocolate dipped strawberries, so wowzer, we had a lot of desserts which to us goes hand-in-hand with Valentine's Day.

My middle kid's GI Bill came in, so now I can go back to paying down debt instead of keeping him afloat. Yay! Twitch did my taxes, and I should be getting $2,900 refunded which I am applying directly to a CC bill. I'm tempted to order the couch I want, but B's been telling me to wait until S2 is out of the house (he's a Junior in High School this year) before investing in new furniture. He's kind of hard on it, so I may take her advice and wait.

Yesterday Bond had the day off of work. I had a morning meeting and once I was out of it I left for the rest of the day. We went to the botanical gardens in town, then out to a low carb cafe, and then to Menard's where we bought all the black pipe pieces we needed to make three blanket holders for the wall in B's living room. We went to her house, assembled them, and installed them. It looks pretty cool and is very functional for her small space. I think the next project will be to install a sliding barn door on her laundry/pantry. After that we joined some friends for cocktails, before heading home around 9:00 pm. It had been snowing all day and by then we had gotten around 5.5" of snow. Our driveway hadn't been cleared, and it's uphill and the Bond's 2nd car that we've been hanging onto for the kids is parked on one side. Well, the Tesla ended up sliding right up against the other car. :eek: Somehow Bond was able to get them separated without a lot of damage to either car, but they do both have owies. I was more upset than he was. He can be so damn calm.

Once we got settled in the house I spotted a deer feeding in the back garden. With the trees and ground all coated in thick snow it was almost as light as daytime. I love where we live.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
My tenants have gotten back to me to let me know that they spoke to a mortgage lender and they are on tract for the end of August to close on the house. I'm excited. With them buying it, I was able to drop the price to within their reach, I won't have to paint the interior and refresh carpeting in the lower level, remodel the kitchen (although I was pretty jazzed about that process), or put in an egress window, or list it with a realtor. All of this is going to save me t a lot of money and work.

That is awesome! (After all of the unnecessary stress I went through with Old House - I cheer anyone who takes the opportunity to do it an easier way :rolleyes:)

It had been snowing all day and by then we had gotten around 5.5" of snow. Our driveway hadn't been cleared, and it's uphill and the Bond's 2nd car that we've been hanging onto for the kids is parked on one side. Well, the Tesla ended up sliding right up against the other car. :eek: Somehow Bond was able to get them separated without a lot of damage to either car, but they do both have owies. I was more upset than he was. He can be so damn calm.

Ouch!:eek: One of the things I love about driving an endless string of beaters is that I never have to get worked up about inevitable mishaps. Dude wants a Tesla in the worst way (and a solar array/power wall, and ...lots of things :p - I think he wants to be president of an Elon Musk fan-club :D) so I am always interested in hearing about yours.

Once we got settled in the house I spotted a deer feeding in the back garden. With the trees and ground all coated in thick snow it was almost as light as daytime. I love where we live.

This. Last weekend we watched a hawk hunting out our kitchen window, many mornings the deer stomp and snort at me as I am getting into my car leaving for work. Flocks of turkeys. Watching the 4 seasons transform the surrounding fields and woods as the months go by - I feel like I get to live in a state park!
 

Petunia

Member
That is awesome! (After all of the unnecessary stress I went through with Old House - I cheer anyone who takes the opportunity to do it an easier way :rolleyes:)

Thanks. :) I am so lucky, aren't I? I'm feeling tons of gratitude towards the universe and my tenants. They have really been the best tenants possible. The only downside is that they usually pay their rent late. The upside is that they remodel the house - like put in a bathroom and a bonus room - oh, and they added a deck.

Ouch!:eek: One of the things I love about driving an endless string of beaters is that I never have to get worked up about inevitable mishaps. Dude wants a Tesla in the worst way (and a solar array/power wall, and ...lots of things :p - I think he wants to be president of an Elon Musk fan-club :D) so I am always interested in hearing about yours.

Good point about not getting worked up about mishaps if your financial investment isn't big. Bond was so okay with it after the fact. I was more upset on his behalf than he was. I fucking love that car. It's such a sweet ride. Bond is talking about the Y, the SUV, that is about to hit the market. My eye is on the truck.

This. Last weekend we watched a hawk hunting out our kitchen window, many mornings the deer stomp and snort at me as I am getting into my car leaving for work. Flocks of turkeys. Watching the 4 seasons transform the surrounding fields and woods as the months go by - I feel like I get to live in a state park!

That sounds lovely. Having those moments really adds a lot to life.
 

Petunia

Member
I am such an obsessive person. Once an idea takes hold of my mind, I go all-in. It's all consuming, and right now I'm focused on planning a second story for our house. Because who wouldn't want to enlarge a five bedroom, three bath, 3,263 sq.ft. home into 4,898 sq.ft, with three master suites, 4.5 baths, featuring a high(er than what presently exists) vaulted ceiling in the central living room, a stunning catwalk, an office, and three living rooms? And all off of a solitary comment from B that she told Bond to add a second story apartment for her onto our home and she'll move in.

Once I mentally took the roof off, well, things really grew into possibilities. More light, more industrial modern, and aesthetically improved all around. Goodness, if you give a mouse a cookie...

I went a different route than straight up creating an apartment, because that would require rezoning our home from a single family to multifamily. Bond weighed in and said the stairway to the second floor would need to be interior. I had already been planning a master bathroom remodel for our en-suite, and one of the big ticket items is a soaking tub, purely for the girlfriend's sake. However, I don't want to invest in two fancy/expensive bathrooms. It also seems crazy to create another kitchen when we just put in a very expensive one with incredibly nice appliances. Therefore, I created two master suites on the second floor with one audacious en-suite bathroom between them, walk-in closet(s), and washer and dryer within the space. I've come up with 8 different floor plans. Obsessive much?

I wouldn't doubt if it would cost $300K to do all of this, but in our neighborhood, this is not out of bounds. The next-door neighbor's house is 5,422 sq ft and was built in 1989, same year as ours. It contains 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The Zestimate for their house is $837,979. Lordy, I just read that it has eighteen rooms total. (Ha! I just counted up the number of rooms we'd have with the 2nd story addition and we'd be at the same number.)

My biggest worry is the annual tax bill on a property this expensive.

We've discussed having our BFF, the botanist, move in with us when he can no longer live alone. His siblings are a generation older than he is, so it's likely they'll be gone before he reaches this stage. He's turning 60 this year, so he's not that old and this would be down the road, not in the near future. He is a retired college professor and he travels 90% of the time. We're going to talk about this more seriously with him after our trip together in May. But, maybe adding the second story and having an available master suite available may precipitate things, not that he is particular about his living environment.

The other thought is that B's daughter could take that space. I'm guessing that it'll be 18-24 months before we'd want this completed. By then S2 will be in college, and B's oldest would be a senior in high school, S3 would be a high school sophomore, and B's daughter would be almost done with middle school. And hopefully, S1 will finally be out of the house a year later.

It seems like a crazy amount of space for three or four adults, but would be lovely and we'd have several guest rooms for when they return to visit.

The thing I cannot fix is the number of cars that will fit in our garage. We could make it two deep, but that's not all that easy to live with on a daily basis. We plan on making a parking pad to the left of our driveway, but that won't provide shelter.

Bond seems to be considering the addition as it would allow him to stay in this house. He loves the location and he does not want to move. Currently our house is ADA compliant. In order to move our bedrooms upstairs and still age in place, we would likely need to install an elevator in our later years. I think I've created space for this in the design plans. If we move forward with this crazy plan, an architect would need to make sure it's possible. Hell, an architect would have to make sure everything is possible and flesh out the details.
 

Vicki82

Member
Wow. That sounds absolutely amazing.
 

Petunia

Member
Wow. That sounds absolutely amazing.

It's one thing to dream things up, but it's another to see them become reality. :) The odds are not in my favor. LOL
 

AlwaysGrowing

Active member
There are also the moving chair things for stairs. Although that does not help when the person with mobility issues needs to get mobility aids or other items (larger walker/wheelchair, unwieldy cleaning supplies, etc) from one level to another.
 

Petunia

Member
There are also the moving chair things for stairs. Although that does not help when the person with mobility issues needs to get mobility aids or other items (larger walker/wheelchair, unwieldy cleaning supplies, etc) from one level to another.

Very true, and that thought crossed my mind. I am concerned about having enough room for a chair and walking space on the stairs. Our stairway to the basement has wide landings, but the stairs themselves are 3' wide and the stairway to the upper level would be in the same footprint, so not a lot of room.
 

Petunia

Member
Yesterday Bond and I helped my youngest son at his duplex. I put up blue painter's tape, and pulled off tape that helpers had done in reverse order. He is going in order of ceiling, walls, and then trim, and they had taped for trim ahead of the walls, so it was reversed and needed to come off and be redone. While I did that, Bond got paint off of the hardwood floor in the upper flat where someone (before my son owned the place) had gotten paint next to where they had taped off, and then he came back to the first floor and removed plate covers, registers, smoke alarms and things of that nature that need to either come off the wall, or be loosened temporarily for painting.

One of my son's friends is an electrician and he is going to update all of the outlets. The two of them were going to go to Home Depot to buy the outlets and cover plates, and register covers last night. I'm not sure if that happened, but if not, it'll be happening soon.

Three of his friends are moving into the flat with him, and one of those friends mentioned another friend they have that might be interested in the upper flat. I don't think he'll have any trouble renting it, as it's really a nice space. Basically, the rent his roommates will be paying will make the mortgage payment including escrow, and the upper tenant's rent will cover the other expenses, like capital expenses, plus there will be cash flow from the get-go. And he'll be living rent-free, so he'll be able to put away a lot of his income. Additionally, he is likely to get a promotion which would increase his income by 50%. He's stoked to say the least.

I'm super happy for him. He has marked his calendar for one year until he can purchase his next multifamily unit using a VA loan the next time. If he's willing to keep house hacking (living in the house for 1 year minimum) he can keep rinsing and repeating with FHA loans, I believe. I'm not sure if the same is true of VA loans. If he wants to purchase other properties during that one year span, then he'll need 20-25% down. With his penchant for saving, I'm sure he'll have the funds to buy additional properties with conventional loans.

It was fun to talk to his friends, because some of them have siblings doing this, or friends that are doing it, and they're all so motivated to do the same. Truly a group that is going to succeed financially in life.
 
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