Friday, December 31, 2010

My wife and I have set out on a new adventure that we hope will bring us closer together, closer to God and closer as a family. This began from frustration at just being broke all the time and feeling like we weren't getting ahead even though we were making plenty of money. I picked up Dave Ramsey's book "Total Money Makeover" and we set out to 1. set up a budget and stick to it and 2. become financially set using Dave's principals.

We don't carry that much debt, I paid off my credit card each month and only used it for paying for school and then paid it back using the VA GI Bill money. I paid it off and canceled the card. It was a Capital One Double Miles card, after passing a lot of money throuth the card, I could barely afford a one way ticket from Columbus, Ohio to Seattle, Washigton. So it wasn't worth the yearly fee. So now we are credit card free.

That left Becky's Tahoe and I took money from my trading account and paid it off. So now all we have left is the house. So in Dave's book he say that we should be saving for a rainy day fund. After we have 2-3 months of expense money saved in the rainy day fund, we should be putting 10% into giving, 10-15% into savings (IRA, investments and savings) and after we pay out bills, we start putting extra on the house.

At this point we should be jumping up and down and socking the money away. I have fifteen apartments and a single family home that seem to need tons of maintenance and then people stop paying their rent for some reason so I end up paying people to live in the apartment for a month or two until I can get them out.

I have the rentals for sale and have most of them rented. I think that I am on the downhill side of some of the maintenance that I should have done and not put off. I am hoping that I can contribute less to them and more to my own fund.

Enough whining about me going into debt to get rich by taking mortgages to fund my purchases. The main goal is to get out of debt as fast as we can so that we can both get on to do what we want, when we want. That mainly is traveling.....

I have ambitions of traveling the world on a sailboat seeing every reef, wreck and ocean through the lense of my dive mask and then switching from water to dry land and spend time traveling the world on the back of a motorcycle around the world. My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about this. Maybe I can convince her to hit every state with a ski slope in US and Canada. Our son would be happy about that! We both would like to get a camper and travel around the US seeing all the beauty that we have here.

We have asked God for his favor as we embark on this journey and pray everyday for his blessing to be with us. I pray for everyone out there who is on the same mission. We are all missionaries for God and for financial responsibility.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lead Paint!

I haven't written on my blog in a few years, mostly because of the advent of social media. Facebook. It happens to be a great way to stay in touch with old friends and make new ones and along the way share the ups and downs of life.
I have a few rental properties and one is an older brick home that was converted to four one bedroom apartments. I rent to HUD/Metro and single people. During the last HUD inspection, they determined that my property didn't pass inspection because there was peeling paint on the outside of the building. I had more than 20 square feet (about five feet by four feet). Since the building was built before 1978, I need to have a lead safe contractor come in, remove the lead paint and get it recertified by the EPA as free from lead.
I'm not the only one facing this issue. Many people that rent to persons receiving HUD funds are finding themselves in similar situations. They are going to lose tenants, some very long term and tenants are going to be forced to move.
Lead may have affected some children over the years but there were generations that grew up with lead based paint and lead based lots of stuff and most of them are fine. Now, we the new owners are being forced to repair, replace and upgrade because an advocacy group got their way in Washington and got a bill passed. They didn't stop to ask how this would efffect home owners, land lords, tenants and business owners who are now forced to jump through more regulator hoops and spend more money on permits, training and equipment. To me it seems like a big money maker for the state.
I realized that lead is dangerous and I am probably glossing over the effects and the dangers of having lead in our bodies but most kids aren't eating the windowsills or picking the paint off the walls. It is frustrating to work hard to have a nice place for people to live and I want to provide a safe, healthy environment for my tenants but when it requires me to expend thousands of dollars just for a new paint job and a guy to take a few test, I feel a little angry at the government. My tenants will be moving on and I will be forced to find new ones to replace the income I have lost and I will have to deal with the peeling paint issues.
The moral I'm trying to come to is this, when you let the government pay your bills, the government gets to make the rules. We have given far to much power to the government to rule our lives. I didn't see anything about lead paint in the Constitution and I never will but for now, I have lead paint test kits and dollar signs dancing in my head.