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0 3754

Regarding the garage thing… Last year around this time we were ready to pull the trigger and hire a contractor to get the whole garage thing taken care of.

Clearly, it never materialized.

At the time, I was ready to sign off on a $60k project.

Like, hand me the pen and I’ll sign right now…

Actually, I brought my own pen. Just show me where to sign…

We went to one of those barnyard places — you know, the places that sell sheds and things — but an upscale one. Oh, why not name names. It was Kloter Farms — they’re pretty big around this area.

Anyway, they build furniture, sheds, gazebos, pool house, horse stables, and, yes, two-story 3-car garages.

So my wife and I took a day off from work and drove out there with the intention of signing off on a purchase pending a loan application through their own financing, pulling a building permit, and just getting the whole process underway.

We got there on a very un-busy fall morning and hung out in the “model” that we liked best until a salesperson finally made their move and sunk their hooks in.

Up to the “office” we went — time to hammer out a deal…

Or so I thought.

The dude asked us simple questions like “How big?” and “How many bays?”.

“Seriously, man? The one we were standing in when you saw us and we said that it was perfect… Just like that one. That’s what we want. Duh?”

Obviously, I was too gracious to vocalize the snark outloud…

So he proceeded to circle pricing figures and turn down corners of pages in their catalog so we could “reference them later”.

“Um, yeah, I get the catalog in the mail and I visited your website before coming. I know the price and I pretty much know what I want too.”

So, here this sales dude had us AT HIS DESK where we were 100% ready to make a deal and he just circled a few charts in their catalog, stapled his card to the front cover, and sent us on our way.

Befuddled, we did just that. Went on our way.

Seriously.

Or, should I say “NOT” seriously since he clearly did not take us seriously.

Needless to say, they’re no longer our first choice for constructing this thing…

We’ll still buy a kitchen table from them though…

Anyway, it took me back to when I first ventured into that BMW dealership back in 1999…

After casually pondering the idea for about a week, I decided that I wanted to buy a BMW Z3 just like the one in the James Bond movie that, to this day, I’ve still never actually seen.

One night, after work, I drove my Jetta to the dealership, got out, and started milling about the lot.

Much to my surprise, none of the scummy looking salesman in the pecking order took notice. Not one.

Sure, I was a 23 year old VW driving kid trying to sport a wannabe beard in jeans, a tie dye t-shirt, and sneakers so I might not have been their typical customer but, still, I was in the showroom on a Tuesday night — the only customer there — opening doors and playing with radio knobs.

Unbeknownst to them, the “so slimy that I’d even call them buttery” salesmen were totally missing some low hanging fruit.

Someone was going to sell a car that night. A blue one.

To the kid in the t-shirt.

For real.

So eventually, after maybe 30 minutes of opening and closing various compartments in an escalating fashion (in hindsight, I should have “tested” a few horns at the onset) inside the showroom to draw attention to myself, a younger salesman that hadn’t been out in the lot chain-smoking earlier finally approached me.

I say “younger” as in he was clearly not a longtime grizzled chain-smoker, err, car salesman. He was probably in his mid 30’s — so, still a good dozen years older than me — but, besides the gel in his curly hair which was still kind of in style at the time, there was nothing “buttery” about him.

“Are you looking for anything in particular?”

“Yep, I’d like to buy the Blue Z3 convertible right out front.”

Not even 30 minutes later, Tyler Westcott (who I really doubt stuck with the auto salesman gig so I’ll throw his name out there) had sold a BMW to me.

I’m pretty sure that none of the other guys in there sold a car that night.

Oh, how I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall after I left the dealership.

1 2021

Well, I made a big mistake this morning… See, over the past few years we’ve had some major work done to the exterior of our 100+ year old house. New roof, new siding, new doors, some repaired brickwork, a new porch, basically — short of an addition — we’ve done it all.

But one thing has been neglected — the detached garage. (insert scary fanfare here)

Though it’s a two car garage and that would indicate that it was built in the 70’s or 80’s, I’d venture to say that it was actually built in the 1940’s based on the knob and tube wiring throughout which I disconnected in the summer of 2007. It was probably a huge status symbol back in the day.

Now? Not so much.

It’s a junky looking thing. An eyesore. A 400 square foot wood framed rectangle built on a slab with cheap, dented, and rusting metal doors, a boarded up window (where the roofers tossed a brick on to my BMW), tons of peeling paint, and crumbling asphalt shingles. As you may have guessed, it’s not nice to look at.

To its credit, it does have really nice copper gutters which, unfortunately, the previous owner painted. Really, it doesn’t have much going for it. The elephant in the, um, yard.

It’s dirty and old. One bay has the BMW in it. The other bay has a couple of lawn mowers, a snowblower, my airplane, the garbage can, and an assortment of other lawn tools. There is no possible way we could fit another car in there.

Right now, we have 3 cars. Once we have children, I’ve a feeling we’ll even have four cars. Ridiculous, I know. Growing up, I remember when we only had one car and it got the job done — now, for some reason, I feel the need to have four… It’s hard to justify. Impossible, really. I digress…

So, obviously, I’d like a larger garage — something that, at the very least, could fit all three of our vehicles, and if possible, all of the lawn equipment as well. We’ve got enough property to expand, and if need be, we could always add one of those pre-made sheds they bring over on a wide-load truck for the lawn equipment. I don’t really like those, but it would certainly free up some space.

So I did the Google and typed in “3 Car Garage“, you know, to get a few ideas. And the ideas were definitely there…

Check this beauty out:

3 Car Garage

This could totally work. I mean, honestly, it would be nicer than my house, but at the same time, it wouldn’t overpower the house either.

I hate that, you know, when you see a raised ranch style home being towered over by its garage. This is unquestionably a large structure, but my house (which isn’t a raised ranch) would still be an entire story taller — and it’s in the same style as my house with the gabled roofline.

Basically, it works. I can picture it already.

Zoning, however could be a problem… I’ve heard horror stories about people trying to build two story garages in town. It’s one of those things were it can only be done if you know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows yet another guy.

Price? Well, obviously that would be a problem as well.

I’ve no idea how much something like this would cost to build, but when I put my mind to something, I usually get it done.

It kind of reminds me of how in high school I joined Columbia House to get 12 CD’s for a penny without even owning a CD player. Just the fact that I had a CD collection made me feel the need to save up and buy a CD player — which I eventually did.

Relating to the present, I’ve got three cars… See where I’m going with this?

The main problem I foresee is sticking to this goal long enough to be able to afford it — either way, something like this can’t possibly be realized for a number of years, if ever…

It’s okay to dream though, right?

0 119

Always on the hunt for an easy way to make passive income, I dipped my foot into the realm of peer-to-peer lending back in February of 2016.

Ironically enough, I’d started researching peer-to-peer lending back then in search of a loan to help finance the construction of our garage, which I still haven’t talked about here on PIAC, but instead ended up being a lender rather than a borrower.

So, at the onset, I put in $1000 with Lending Club and funded 40 different loans in $25 increments. I picked roughly half of them myself and used their “auto” process to pick the rest of them.

It took around three weeks for it fully “invest” all of my money — partly because I’d set the “Automated Investing” to only invest in sure thing loans.

Sure thing loans don’t offer the greatest return for the lender but you can be certain to get your money back. As a result, it’s a little tougher to get your foot in the door for those.

Things were great for the first few months, even threw a bit more money at it — stuff like Adsense income and PayPal balances from selling little things on eBay and stuff.

Grand total, I invested $1689.40.

It felt good, making far more in interest than any savings account with 40+ loans in the portfolio, there was movement nearly every day of the week.

My first month, I’d made $1.86. The next month, I made $9.35. Month three brought in $11.21 followed by another $12.24 the following month.

No, not huge money, but quite nice returns (and quickly) on such a small investment.

I was re-investing my interest gains to fund move loans along the way and, yeah, I was like, “Damn, I shoulda jumped on this train years ago!”

And then I had one loan fall into it’s grace period.

Before long, it was 30 days late.

Another loan followed. And another.

Three defaulted.

Another one was charged off.

Yep, the wheels were falling off.

All of my interest that I’d been thinking of as “easy money” was suddenly disappearing due to deadbeat borrowers. And the negative side of things seemed to be picking up steam.

One month I made around $10 in interest…but lost $68 due to loans being charged off.

Yeah, that wasn’t what I had in mind when I jumped in…I was losing money, like, fast.

Before long, I noticed that the loans that weren’t being paid back we predominantly the ones I’d selected manually…and mostly loans with higher rates.

I knew there’d be additional risk in funding a higher rate loan…but not to the degree that an entire year’s worth of experience showed me.

Now, almost two years in, I’m almost back to even.

Almost.

My $1689.40 investment is worth $1692.14.

So those early returns in the first few months that had me all excited have turned out to be $2.74 of “profit” over 21 months.

Yeah, that’s bad.

I’ve made 13-cents per month. You don’t see the peer-to-peer lending sites advertising those kinds of returns!

The reality of it is that it’s actually worse than that as I currently have two loans in my portfolio that are currently over 90 days late.

Pretty sure I’m not seeing another dime on those.

And those two fine folks still owe me back $39.57 in principal alone. So, yeah, I’m not not “really” up $2.74… I’ve actually thrown $36.83 out the window…and the rest of my money is far from a sure thing.

That’s what sucks about peer-to-peer lending.

There are so many borrowers that look good on paper to an inexperienced (and naive) guy like me but, in hindsight, I should have known there was little chance most of them would pay their loans back in full.

The “idea” of nearly doubling your money was a marketing gimmick I fell for.

But there is a bright side to all of this, see, I’m not naive to it anymore.

The past 21 months have taught me how to more wisely select my loans and while the returns aren’t as great, and tons of them pay their balances off early (hey, like I would!), so I’m not making as much as peer-to-peer lending sites want you to think you can make, soon, I won’t be losing money either.

To date, I’ve earned $254.90 in interest. Making roughly $12/month on such a small investment is a pretty solid return. My initial goal was always to re-invest the earnings and get a snowball rolling. That’s still the case.

The flip side is that I’ve also lost $255.82 in unpaid loans.

On those, I lent out $300…and only received back $44.18. That money is gone.

And that makes me angry…but I was also able to isolate what types of loans cause me to lose money…and they’re dead to me.

The New Strategy

They had me fooled for the first year or so but no more.

It’s gotta be a 36 month loan and less than $15k. The purpose of the load also has to be credit card payoff or loan consolidation. Most importantly, they have to have qualified for an interest rate under 12%.

I won’t touch loan requests for medical expenses, major purchases, home improvement, or car loans with a 10 foot pole.

And with the criteria above, I also don’t need to worry about past delinquencies or credit scores at all cause folks with those issues don’t qualify for personal loans at rates under 12% anyway.

I knew all of this going in…I just didn’t heed my own advice.

The last 45 loans I’ve funded (dating back to March of this year) all followed my “new” criteria (36 month term, under $15k, sub-12% rate, and not for something stupid).

Guess what? Every single one of them is current and making me money.

So, once the junk loans I funded originally have run their course — another year or so, I presume — my defaults will be few and far between.

You know, like I’d expected all along.

Bottom line, you can earn some nice returns on a small investment using peer-to-peer lending. Just don’t get lured into thinking you can pull in 15% returns…or you’ll get burned.

So while I’m not exactly thrilled with my ride so far, I’m not pulling my money out either.

There is money to be made.

0 134

Well, being that it’s been two years since I last posted an update, I know I’m not taken aback by the HUGE sways in the chart over there.

I mean, a lot has happened over the past two years…and my finances certainly show that.

Let’s start at the top… My checking account balance is dreadfully low. I’m still on one of those plans where if my balance drops below $1500, I get charged a $14 maintenance fee.

With so many “free checking” options out there, I should probably inquire about switching the type of account I’m on as it’s been a monthly trend for me to drop below that threshhold — though I must admit, I’m not ususally *this* low.

That said, my spending has changed drastically since November of 2015. DRASTICALLY. I’ll share that news soon.

Regarding savings, yep, you’re seeing that correctly. My stash in savings dropped 6-figures…but it was money well spent. Remember that garage I fantasized about for years? Well, we built it. And it cost a lot.

The “Lending Club” line is new. Much like my experiments with stocks and i-bonds in the past, I dipped my toe into the peer-to-peer lending pool to see if it there was any easy money to be made.

The answer to that question is…no. But I will say, after 18 months or so in the game, I’ve figured out what not to do…so my tiny earnings will no longer disappear due to loans offered to deadbeats.

As for stocks, yes, somehow the $9 I had in my ShareBuilder account two years ago is still worth just $9. Actually, it’s $8.92. I rounded up.

And my 401k is on the up-and-up. I’m sure President Trump is who I should give the most credit to, huh? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Ever.

Oh, the credit cards. For someone that’s dug themselves out of $30k in credit card debt, fully documented on this site, not once…but twice, I’m sure it’s hard to fathom that I currently find myself nearly $40k in credit card debt alone today.

Well, that garage we built was expensive…and we didn’t finance any of it (besides the second mortgage we took ouy years in advance) so I was using the plastic exclusively for a long time.

The good news is that the garage is 98% complete and 98% paid for. The fact that I’m only $40-thousand in the hole as a result makes me feel pretty okay. I’m in pay down mode now. You’ll see. Stick around for the ride.

You’ll notice a couple of lines for auto loans. Well, those are new too.

See, my trusty Scion xA (that I paid off in 2008) left me stranded a few hundred miles from home a few weeks back and I had to buy a new (to me) car in a hurry.

Then, this past week, the Swagger Wagon my wife drives (that we paid off in 2015) was hit by an uninsured driver. Wonderful.

Still waiting to see if it’s going to be repaired…our insurance company is taking their sweet ass time but I think the writing is on the wall — we’re going to “add” two auto loans within the span of one month.

And the mortgage balances are what they are.

Truthfully, I thought a two year gap would show more progress but the fact that I’m sending minimum payments in — wisely, I might add — is likely to blame.

Once that credit card debt is gone, Mortgage 2 will be the primary target. It’s currently my largest monthly bill coming in at $573.48…and I hate it.

1 337

Wow, this place fell apart, huh? So, seems like the site was “hijacked” a few months ago, redirected to all kinds of unusual foreign sites and subsequently de-listed from Google so…there probably isn’t anybody reading this post but that’s okay. I’m writing it anyway.

So, first things first, I’ve eliminated the issue where someone was nefariously stealing my traffic and reputation. A few years ago, I’d be all bent out of shape over something like this — we were pulling in nearly 8000 visits per day for a while there — but now that I’m old, eh, I can let it slide. I’ll take the 35 visits per day — 34 of which are probably me — for now.

Google finds good content and I still think the site is overflowing with good content, good advice, some great typos, and some pretty silly remarks that are timeless. We’ll be listed again soon, I’m sure.

Now, I know that this place kinda transitioned from a Finance blog — which were all the rage a decade ago when I started — to more of a Mommy blog (even though I’m a dude) but that’s what happens when you have kids. In my case, three of them.

For real, they take over your life. Even financially.

So, just to get everyone back up to speed, I feel like I should re-introduce myself.

My wife and I live in central Connecticut and have three kids, born in 2009, 2011, and 2015. If you’re interested, I’m pretty sure I documented their arrivals pretty thoroughly in the archives of the website.

Since the start, my finances have been the main topic covered — specifically paying down debt while also building wealth.

Through the years, I’ve come to realize that I’m really, really, really good at paying down debt but not so great at growing savings.

Living debt free is so much more appealing than being rich. They seem like they’d be connected…but they’re more different than you’d think.

I suspect the reason behind it — my preference of “being” in debt — is that it’s easier to set, and work towards, a goal of “not owing anybody anything” than it is to just have the most commas and zeros in your accounts.

For that reason, as of right now, I find myself deeper in debt than I think I was way back in 2007 and 2008. I’ll give everyone an update on where my finances are with a long overdue Net Worth report shortly.

Another topic I covered quite frequently were home renovations. My house is over 125 years old and, subsequently, has required some, ahem, updating. Costly updating.

For years and years (and YEARS!), I went on and on about the 3-car garage I imagined on my property. Well, guess what?

During my hiatus, we built that garage! Hooray!

It’s not done yet — still needs interior painting, a new driveway, and a bathroom to be finished — and it hasn’t come without it’s own set of drama…but it exists.

Pictures and updates on that are also in the pipeline.

In more recent news, and related to my finances, my trusty 2005 Scion xA died on me a few weeks back. Mustered 142k miles out of it before I was forced to abandon it, err, sell it to CarMax three states away from home.

I’ll have to share that story here as well which, as it was happening, caused me great anxiety but now it all seems pretty funny.

My spending habits have also changed, I think, since I last reported. Sure, I still spend stupid amounts of money on that dumb hockey jersey hobby but NOTHING like I used to.

That spending has been replaced by spending money on hockey tuition for my kids. Good investment? Terrible investment? Is it even an investment? I have a lot to say about that, as well.

And on the front of always trying to add little bits of passive income here and there, I’ve started using those peer-to-peer lending websites — Lending Club, specifically. No, not to borrow for myself, but to lend to others.

It’s been an learning experience, now nearly two years into the process. I can see the value in it but I went about it all wrong at the start so I’m just barely breaking even.

For real, would it kill people to pay back their loans?

I’m far to naive in thinking “most” people pay their debts back. So, yeah, I’ve gotta cover that too.

I guess I’ll leave it at that, for now.

Oh, and if you read this, please leave a comment just to let me know you’re out there!

0 6404

Back during the summer, I posted some things about potentially purchasing a $750k house as kind of a ‘toungue in cheek’ type of deal.

But the more I thought about it…the more it started to, well, make sense.

Say, for instance we nixed the plan to build our extravagant 3-car garage and instead put that money towards a down payment on a much larger (and nicer) house that already had a three car garage and more bathrooms and an updated kitchen?

And then I started perusing real estate listings…

Before long, we were doing drive-bys. And we even nearly attended an open house a couple of weekends ago.

Things were starting to “get real”, as in, we should probably tell our architect that our renovation and addition plans had changed drastically… we’re moving instead.

It all made sense.

Bigger house, better neighborhood, better schools, and a house that wasn’t still in need of major, not to mention expensive, updates. We could get everything we were looking for elsewhere…at a price we could afford.

The timing all seemed right.

So my wife and I finally found 7 minutes to actually discuss something that adults should probably talk about every now and then, you know, without one of the kids interrupting…and we made our decision.

We’re gonna stay put.

While we’re probably in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase the type of house we’ve only dreamed about, financially, it just feels too risky.

Our current location is close to major highways — not so close that we can see or hear them or anything but it doesn’t take us an eternity to get to them either.

We’re close to “stuff” like grocery stores, Targets, Walmarts (ugh), banks, restaurants, you name it.

During my time in Canada, I can’t tell you how much it sucked to have to drive 45 minutes just to get to a mediocre shopping mall full of dollar stores. And I never lived “in the sticks”, either…

Where we are now, we can pick one of five malls that are all within 45 minutes, like good malls too, with stores with names I can’t even pronounce. That’s really convenient.

My wife really likes our neighborhood and the schools too.

We differ in opinion on those.

While our long established tree-lined street is great now, I’ve seen it decline consistently over the past dozen years or so.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still nice, just not as “tree-lined” as suddenly everyone is paranoid that a tree is going to fall on them. Or something.

Maybe they just hate trees?

Can you tell we have one annoying tree-hating overly paranoid neighbor that likes to report EVERYTHING to the city?

Further, many of our “other” neighbors are elderly. Again, that’s great in my opinion, but as time passes, “new” folks will be moving in. Based on the price point of their homes, well, I’m not sure the “new” neighbors will be of the same ilk…

Now I’m sure that when my neighbors saw me move in as a 25-year old, and the first thing I loaded into the house was my HUGE stereo system (currently covered in dust), they thought the same thing,

“There goes the neighborhood,” but more recently two of the more modest homes in the area were sold and turned into legit crack houses.

Really, like you’d see on the news.

They went from little houses with an old man living in them to houses with broken windows and different cars coming and going at all hours of the day and some scary dude sitting on the porch staring you down… within a week.

No joke, one even had some sort of late night fight club in the street on a regular basis. Thankfully an arson charge and a couple of foreclosures took care of it but for a good five years, that area of the neighborhood went down hill really fast.

For the following five years, the houses were boarded up. Yeah, eye sore. Big time.

Both have since been purchased by development companies, totally gutted and renovated, and currently sit on the market… and have been for quite some time.

I pray they don’t lower the price to the point that more scum move in…but that’s what I fear for my neighborhood in the years to come when the current owners pass. These century-plus old homes will be considered entry-level.

As for the schools, well, my oldest in the only one currently in the school system and he’s killing it, obviously. I switched schools at his age and survived so I wouldn’t have a problem switching him now.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a SINGLE home in his current school district, on the market or not, that will suit our family’s needs so if we were to move, he’d be in a different school (and likely a different town).

Of all of those issues, though, it’s really the location and the conveniences that it offers that really weigh the most.

They always say, “location, location, location…” Well, we have that.

And then there’s the financial aspect…

This part of the discussion took up at least 6 of the seven uninterrupted minutes we had.

As I’ve said before, probably to the point of boasting, we can afford a bigger home without issue. Maybe not a $750k one but we could very easily swing something with a $400k price tag. Easily.

Once the two young children are out of full time day care, well, that would be an additional $2000 per month to use at our discretion. No small sum.

But here’s the thing that convinced us to stay put and move on with our original “build a garage” plan…

It’s been OVER a decade since we’ve had a sleepless night worrying about money.

I can’t remember the last time I had a bill that I was unsure how or where the money would come from to pay it.

If our car were to die tomorrow, we could go out and but a new one, same day. If both cars died at the same time, we could buy two.

Duncan’s hockey tuition of $2500 out of the blue, no problem. Sure, it sucked making that payment but we could do it. And it didn’t mean we had to not pay something else.

Just last month, we decided we needed a new mattress. Five minutes and $800 later, we had one on it’s way. It’s awesome, by the way.

I’m not so far removed or so wealthy to not know that most people would have to save up for things like this.

I might sound like I am but, truthfully, I know I’m in a *very* cushy place to be able say those things.

And a lot of that is due to the fact that the house we live in isn’t beyond our means. It’s not far below our means. In fact, it’s probably just about right.

So, yeah, I don’t know if we’d be the “true” definition of house-poor if we moved to a larger home but just taking in our current situation — even if the opportunity to make it so much better is right there for the taking — I’m not sure I want to disrupt the path we’re on.

We’re in a pretty good place.

And a garage addition that will nearly double the size of our home (putting it in range of the home we’ve been looking at) won’t mess that up.

0 6084

September 2015 Net WorthWhat a month!

Now, usually, I’d be pretty upset about falling nearly $10k in the span of 31 days but not today.

I haven’t really set financial goals since, hmmmmm, probably 2008 (which has probably been a HUGE mistake) but back in April of this year, I set a goal of paying off my remaining $11k balance on an auto loan by summer’s end.

On August 7th, I did just that.

So, while my credit card balances are a little out of control and the savings balance is below the $150k I think I’ll need to fully finance the garage project, my auto loan is gone.

That opens up a lot of cash to pay down the loans and bloat the savings in a hurry.

And, on the bright side, had it not been for the market woes at the tail end of the month, I’d have actually had an increase this month.

Pretty good feeling considering that I kinda felt I’d stretched myself a little thin…

0 8519

Lawn ChairYouth sports are funny. On the sidelines, as parents, in our cheap folding chairs, we’re all pretty much equal.

Sure, there’s some judging going on based on the vehicles we drive up in but, for the most part, even a relatively new Nissan runs around $40k.

A hefty price tag for, well, a less than luxurious ride.

It’s once the Facebook connections start to take hold and the inconsequential birthday invitations start coming in that you get a glimpse that some of these folks are, well, “living the life”.

You know, tennis court in the back yard, kitchen that could easily seat 30 people, and multiple staircases…to their 3rd floor library.

In fact, lately, while it’s hardly true, it still feels like we’re the only ones who lack these things…

A classic “not” keeping up with the Jones’ type of deal.

One kid, whose parents I went to high school with, lives in a $6 million dollar home. I can’t even imagine.

Anyway, while driving around aimlessly last week with the kids killing time until swimming lessons started, I stumbled into a neighborhood of homes that, when I’m not dreaming of living in a 5000 square foot Victorian home from the 1800’s full of secret passages, was full of McMansion style houses that I picture myself in when I’m in my 40’s and raising my kids.

Newsflash… that’s just a year away. Ack!

Yeah, I could live here.So I scoped out a couple of them on local real estate sites to get a glimpse of what the interiors look like and, yep, as expected, they’re all really nice. Duh.

Price tags hover around $650k.

No, not 6 million dollar homes but, really, who needs a full blown movie theatre or bowling lanes in their house? Not me.

Again, I can’t imagine.

A $650k mortagage, excluding taxes and insurance (like my current mortgage) would run around $3200 per month.

Yeah, I can’t swing that.

But… if I were to sell my current house for $200k (maybe a stretch, maybe not) and come out with $130k (subtracting out the outstanding mortgages) and apply that as a downpayment, well, the monthly mortgage payment would then drop to under $2500.

Considering I’ve been paying that amount on a CAR PAYMENT — alongside two mortgage payments — with relative ease, well, now things are becoming a little bit clearer…

Financially, we could totally afford to move to a new home that’s double (or even triple) the size of our current one.

In fact, once we’re done paying daycare bills, gasp, even a $3200 per month mortgage payment would be totally do-able.

Am I really convincing myself that I should/could trade up from my first home (that I paid $141k for) all the way up to a $750k+ home?

Yeah, kinda.

I mean, I wouldn’t need to build that 3-car garage anymore cause, well, the new house would already have a 4-car one.

And even though we already have enough room in our house for each kid to have their own room…if we moved, they could each have their own bathroom (and staircase too)!

All kidding aside, though…

It’s the brief moments of weakness like this that I feel I do need to “keep up”.

Thankfully, reality always sets in (along with my own incredibly high-end personal “vision” of myself) pretty quickly, and I’m happy with where I am.

I know I could have a $750k house if I wanted to…

Perhaps it’s not the wisest financial move (not investing in real estate in a upward fashion) but I can’t say I’ve had a sleepless night over money for over a decade now.

It’s pretty comforting knowing that I “could” pay off my mortgage pretty much anytime I’d like.

Moreso than the comfort a $750k house could give me.

Most of the time, anyway!

Can You Dig It?

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