When Trying to do the Right Thing Financially Bites You in the Ass

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If you make it to the bottom of today’s post, there is a reward for you! True story.

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My wife and I are in the process of refinancing our house. When we bought the home a year ago, it was about as painless of a process as buying a home can be. There was some grunt work on our parts, but by and large it was what you would expect; chasing down bank ledgers, getting statements, providing numbers, signing papers, etc.

This year we wanted to refinance. It has only been a year, but the interest rates have dropped enough that it meant freeing up some cash each month that we could then focus on debt in the short term, which was critical given our situation.

What we have found is that the process of refinancing has been FAR more imposing than the original purchase. Not only has it taken months of work to make it happen, but it has also required me to provide what seems to be the same information several times over.

At a certain point in the refinance process, I was also working on getting some debts consolidated at a much lower interest rate (%29.99 > %13.99), but before I did this I asked our loan officer if this would affect anything. I was told it would be fine, since my credit rating was already verified and the interest rate of the refinance was locked.

Smash cut to Thursday morning when I got a call from the same loan officer asking me why there was brand new debt on my profile. I remined her that it was the consolidation loan, and here response was, “Well, Dave, you personally took this debt consolidation loan out, and when you had originally asked me about it, I thought it was to consolidate your own debt. Instead you used it to pay off debt that was in your wife’s name, hence it now shows as new debt on you, and thus we probably can’t secure the loan for you at this time.”

Let’s unpack this for a moment:Read More »

We Live in an Awesome House that We Almost Certainly Can’t Afford

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Fun Fact: If you type “rhododendron” as “rotodendrum,” or “rodadentron,” spell check just basically looks at you and says, “You really should have paid more attention in school.” I had to Google that sucker.

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You people better buckle up, because I’m about to get real with myself on a number of levels with this post. Come to think of it, I guess I had better buckle up too…

We live in a rad house that we purchased a year ago this past June. We’ve had 3 homes go on the market in our gated community this year, and each has been listed (and sold) for $1-$1.5 million bucks. At the same time we’re kind of “out there” in the country, so it’s a really nice quiet community mostly filled with hard-working blue collar Contractors and Boeing Engineers who have built a hell of a good life for themselves and their families.

Our house wasn’t a million dollars for sure, but we do get million dollar views. We have views of both the Cascades and the Olympics, and I tend to post buttloads of these photos on my Instagram Account.

I mean, just look at this view I get to experience from my back yard:

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(Ignore the  ratty lawn in the middle one. I hadn’t mowed yet this year.)

Now I know what you’re thinking right now; you’re thinking, “Awesome, d*ck. Great of you to post on your blog about your awesome view and house. Maybe for tomorrow’s post you can show us your killer sports car. JERK.”

BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER! The absolute BEST part of my house?

I don’t think I can afford it.Read More »

That One Time We Bought a House that We Couldn’t Afford

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The truth of the matter is that if we are being honest, we knew we purchased too much home before they could tack the “SOLD!” tag onto the sign in front of the new home. However in practical terms it took us about 7 months to fully comprehend.

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,570.87
Total Paid Off: $16,739.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

My wife and I bought a house in June of 2018. We actually bought our 3rd home to be exact. Now before you think I’m some well-to-do, let me tell you a bit about my first two houses…

Our first home was a very modest rambler that was located just a stone’s throw from a Federal Correctional Institution, or in other words… a prison. It was close enough to our home that we could hear the prisoners playing softball on warm summer evenings, and I often took advantage of the way the yard lights illuminated my darkened house to navigate to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Long before “Orange is the New Black” made prisons chic and hip, people would often asked us, “Aren’t you worried about living that close to a prison? What if someone breaks out?”

My response was always that if someone was going to break out, they sure as hell weren’t going head to the modest rambler a few blocks away and hang out for a month. At most they were going to steal one of our cars to get as far away as possible as quickly as possible.

When we moved into that home, we had a nice retired couple living on one side of us and a young family on the other. Across from us were some well maintained and relatively new duplex apartments, and all of this combined to make our dead-end street a pretty great place for a first home.

Within 3 years however, the retired couple moved to Arizona and sold their home to a rental agency. That agency in turn rented the home to a man who (get this) worked on race cars that he raced at the local race track on weekends. Apparently when you work on race cars, it requires that you rev them up to deafening volumes at all hours of the morning and night, usually while blaring Megadeth or Iron Maiden.

Within a month of this happening, the married couple with the kids on the other side got a divorce, and things went really sideways for the dad. The mom moved out, leaving the teenage kids behind, and the dad began drinking heavily. I know this because he offered to drink with me at least 5 times a week. His 15 year-old son held parties almost every weekend, usually with dad partaking, and we had the pleasure of catching young men standing on his roof peeing on to our roof next door on more than one occasion.

Yup… you read that correctly.Read More »

Refinancing Our Home – One Step Back, Several Steps Forward

Again, this will potentially save us tens of thousands of dollars in the long run and we’ll put the extra cash to good use each month, but I hated the thought of that debt increasing in any ways, shape or form.

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,570.87
Total Paid Off: $16,739.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

While I’m probably the only one that pays close attention to that little stat tracker at the top of each post, some of you may have noticed that my total credit card debt went up as of today’s post while my total paid off went down. Here is what it looked like yesterday:

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $108,870.87
Total Paid Off: $17,439.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

This is sort of (to borrow a term) “ass backwards” of the intent of my efforts.

When we grabbed our proverbial shovels in January and decided to dig out of debt once and for all, we made a promise that we would close all of our accounts and never look back. We made good on that promise almost immediately, and I can now say that all of our accounts but one are closed for good. The reason we left one open is this:Read More »