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Posts tagged with: financial advisor

Buying & Selling Houses

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For someone who has had zero experience with real estate in the past, I’m sure getting pretty familiar with the buying and selling of homes now!

We have officially hired a realtor to sell my Dad’s Texas house (I orchestrated the sale of his Utah house over summer; it closed in mid-August). It needs some make-ready stuff so it’s not on the market yet, but should be within 2 weeks’ time. All the necessary work has been outsourced and is scheduled. Fingers crossed, we hope to net nearly $200,000 from the sale of this property.  I met with a financial advisor over Labor Day weekend while I was in Austin, but I wasn’t crazy about the person. He also does insurance and kept pressuring me to do an annuity and seemed a bit shady when I asked about fees, etc. Luckily, it was a free consultation so no money lost, I’m just out the time it took to meet with the guy (which was 2 freaking hours!!! and i literally had to get up and walk out because I had another meeting but the guy was STILL talking).

Any suggestions on ways to find trustworthy financial advisors? I had found this guy through Dave Ramsey’s site (he was listed as an ELP, even though the things he was telling me definitely do NOT align with Ramsey’s views).

Meanwhile, we’re also on the brink of buying our first home! Eeek! I’ve had quite a few suggestions to hold off for the time being (see this post) but I think we’re already too emotionally invested in it at this point. We found a house at the end of August and put in an offer over the Labor Day weekend. It took a couple weeks for negotiations (the “owner” is actually a company that does flips and – it seems – is not as eager as a physical occupant might be to sell the place. We went back-and-forth a few times, but it was at least 2-3 days to hear back after each offer/counter-offer). After negotiations our offer was accepted and now we wait for the inspection. My mom (a real estate broker) has warned me to stay guarded until we get a report back because, of course, it could be a game-changer. The house is 30 years old, so there’s that. If all goes well we could be moving in early October! Woohoo!!!   Oh – Also (!!!) – the monthly payment is actually going to be smaller than we’d originally planned. Even with the taxes included in escrow on a 15-year fixed mortgage it looks like the payment will save us probably $200/month off our current rental rate.  I’m trying to temper myself and not get too excited (since things could still fall through), but it’s tough!!! I’m already envisioning furniture placement, etc.

Aside from real estate stuff, this weekend is going to be jam-packed! We’ve got a playdate at the local (free!) splash pad on Saturday morning (probably our last hurrah of the summer), then “Parents’ Night Out” (a free kids’ care program offered by our preschool so parents can have a date night. They do 2 per year and its such a nice perk – and totally free!!!). Sunday I’ve got a long run planned in the morning (have I mentioned I registered for another half-marathon?  My third total, but second since I’ve been blogging here.) The half-marathon is in December but my training plan started a couple weeks ago and Sundays are my long run days. Then Sunday afternoon we’ve got a kids’ birthday party for the girls to attend. Lots of fun and mostly free events. Now I just can’t wait until it truly feels like fall weather here – it’s still hot as blazes in Tucson! Bring on the cooler temps!!!

Hope your weekends are hoppin’! : )

 


Everyday I’m Hustlin’

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Logged into my email today to see this little guy smiling back at me:

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Sure doesn’t get old to see these “loan payoff” emails! I’m now officially down to 7 Navient loans (out of what 12). To be fair, I’d paid off this loan prior to last month’s debt update, but it took until the next billing cycle (now) for them to acknowledge that the loan was, indeed, paid in full.

Anywho…..pretty exciting stuff! Still lots of big loans ahead, but it’s a nice little pat on the back, indeed!

Lots (and lots!) going on in life right now! We’ve been house-hunting twice (no offers yet). We have lots of work/social functions (Last weekend was an “early faculty” happy hour. Tonight is a departmental social function). Next week we’re going back to Texas as a family. Originally hubs was going to go on his own (to spread his grandfather’s ashes with his mom), but it’s Labor Day and the kids have 2 days off of school anyway so we decided to just all go back together. I’m going to be doing various dad-related duties while in town, including:  1. going to social security office with him so I can get official permission to talk to them since they don’t recognize power of attorney, 2. meeting with a financial advisor to better invest my dad’s money, 3. meeting with a realtor to sell the Texas house.

I’m a teeny bit bitter that a chunk of my trip is going to be monopolized with dad-related stuff when I have two siblings who live in the same city that are perfectly capable of doing the things I’ll be doing. But such is life. There are ebbs and flows. Sometimes my sister picks up more of the “dad slack” and sometimes it falls on me. It’s already a huge relief for his Utah property to be sold and, although we’d originally talked about renting the Texas house, no one has stepped up to take control and my #1 stipulation is that I don’t want to deal with it. Since the duties have fallen to me anyway, I’m going to handle it how I want….which is to get rid of the property so I don’t have to deal with it. We have other (more personal) reasons why we want to get rid of the property instead of renting it, too. Mainly that, due to my dad’s disease, he has a tendency to f*ck stuff up and I just have a gut feeling that if we were to try to keep and rent the property, he’d find a way to mess it up. Might just show up at the front door (illegally) and demand something of the tenants. Or might cause an altercation with the property management company. Who knows? To limit liabilities (and make my life easier), the place just has to go.

So that’s what I’ll be doing the Friday before Labor Day (the only business day that I’ll be in town). Hoping I can get that drama out of the way and enjoy the rest of the long weekend doing low-key and cheap or free activities with the family.

Do you usually travel for Labor Day? We typically don’t, but it’s just worked out that way this time. 

What’s the last debt you paid off in full? Every new Navient loan that I pay off feels like a major triumph. Sooooo over that company! I swear! Once our house situation is squared away I plan to refinance my student loans through another company so I can get a reduced interest rate (and just not have to deal with Navient anymore).


Big Spending Problems…

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I was reading an article in the Sunday paper that talked about spending habits and how to save money. The article stated that most money is wasted on big ticket items and NOT the $4 Starbucks you buy every morning before work.

Um.

I hate to disagree with a professional financial advisor but…

He’s dead wrong (and is obviously invested in Starbucks).

At least when it comes to me anyway.

I don’t buy big items. I bought my dining room set for $75 off Craigslist five years ago. My couches are ten years old. My bed is a hand me down from my sister. How do I spend my money?

According to my online banking… I spend it in tidy $20 increments over… and over… and over again. My money doesn’t flood out, it trickles. The article recommended taking 24 hours to consider every purchase over $100. Good advice, but the last purchase I made over $100 was months ago. It’s not the $100 purchases that are killing me!

I feel like the article should have simply said, ‘Watch where the bulk of your money is going and try to find ways to save from there.’

My goal this month is to watch my ‘trickle’ problem. I’ve gotten to the point that I have to seriously consider every item I purchase AND if I wait long enough, will it go on sale? will the newspaper run a coupon?… or will I forget I even wanted it in the first place?

Is your problem a trickle? Or a flood?