I am humbly returning after 4-5 years away from this website. I was never in better control or in a better frame of mind than when I was regularly blogging here.
For the veterans of this site, this is Gamecock returning. New identity, fresh start. I am sorry I disapeared unexpectedly so long ago- I got caught up in large decisions and big purchases. I don't think I wanted to go through the daily "is this the right thing to do?" that a blog will produce during time intensive renovations and large purchases. Especially since I was uncertain to begin with.
To catch everyone up- buying a 1900 rowhouse, gutting it and building it from the studs up was a GOOD DECISION. This house is AMAZING and has appreciated instantly. This house has given us a good amount of equity.
After this project was completed, we made another GOOD decision to buy a rental duplex. It was a foreclosure in pretty good shape and has brought in a substantial amount of income every month.
After that duplex, we made another GOOD decision to buy a single family house (SFH) as a rental. It has turned out to be a GOLDMINE.
You see why I thought I didnt need this website or blog?
After that, I snowballed a few BAD decisions to get me where I am today.
A week or so after buying the GOLDMINE SFH, my FIL asked if he could have the property so he could get into the rental business. He said he would pay me exactly what I put into it (it was undergoing $45k/2 months time in renovations to finish it out). I said okay and thought I would reinvest the money in another. Well, FIL paid me in small and large chunks at various times over the last year and it was difficult to track and difficult to save. He still owes me about 1/3rd of the money- but the 2/3rd he gave me has been spent. Not re-invested, but SPENT. poof. gone. I finally told him this summer to pay me the remaining amount IN FULL when he has it. What did he do- put small chunks in a bank account with my name in it so I can access it. I think at this rate he will have paid in full in another 12 months.
After that terrible decision, I allowed husband to talk me into taking a large chunk from his payments and invest in a business across the country with our good friends. To give me credit, it took him a YEAR to talk me into this. But sigh. I took most of our liquid cash and put a down payment on a business in California. Our friend was going to be the brains, we were going to be the money. Everyone was going to make TONS of money.
Except our friend was less brains than we expected. Costly mistakes ensued that slowed down profit timelines by WEEKS and exploded the budget.
Except the initial budget was totally inadequate. The realistic budget was 4 times as much as we expected, and we spent EVERYTHING to keep afloat, and racked up $50k in credit card debt to get us through to the first payday.
Except that we were so SURE we were going to make TONS of money that we bought new furniture for our place in California and splurged on high end items, putting them on store charge cards. Then we had to pay thousands of dollars to bring those items back to our fully furnished home in GA and craigslist stuff for a fraction of what we paid.
Except that I trusted husband to run the business and I checked out from the beginning. I had no interest in the industry and I was promised that I didn't have to work and I took advantage of that promise. So I just wrote checks and trusted everything was okay.And I was promised a horse. I never got my horse and I'm bitter that I was manipulated by the promise of a horse.
Except that we got in a GIGANTIC fight with our business partner/friend and promptly everything fell apart. We no longer speak to our good friends that we moved across the country with which to partner up.
Except that I HATED California. I found nothing to like and I was unhappy/homesick/bored every single day. And I was pregnant too. And there are WOLF SPIDERS in CA. They are the size of an actual baby wolf and like to crawl up my drain pipes and hang out in sinks and bathtubs. The internet tells me they are non venomous so I learned to see them and ask them to not be there the next time I entered the room. Usually they would stick around just to add stress to my day. I'm not going to discuss the rattlesnake population that caused husband to buy rattlesnake protectant boots that he never used because we never saw a rattlesnake. But we saw some small wildfires and heard about decimating wildfires nearby. California is NO JOKE.
Except that we sold our interest in the business to someone for exactly the price that we had borrowed and took a verbal promise from this investor that we would get paid the rest of our investment to break even in certain sums over the next 10 months. We have received 1 payment so far 4 weeks later than agreed on and for less than half the amount agreed. Our former business partner negotiated to get himself paid back IN FULL PLUS $16k out of the deal.He negotiated this on the side unbeknown to us and we found out when our first payment was delayed because the guy paid the ex partner so much already.
But as of 3 weeks ago we are back in Georgia and back in our HOME! There is value in quality of life, and my life has dramatically brightened since coming home.
So that is where I stand today. $30k in credit card debt. $5k in the bank. A roof that leaked while we were gone causing $10k in damage. A baby coming in 5 weeks. And a husband that LOVED California and is convinced that if we just move to a different area, we can run the business successfully and make TONS of money. He muses about this on a semi-regular basis and if he really pursues it I might divorce him. True- infuriating-story.
Neither of us are working right now. This is the first time we will be DEPENDENT on the rental income rather than using it as a supplement. So this will be interesting.
But you know what? In California we spent 5 months FLOATING bills. We were making partial payments on everything from electricity to credit cards just to get through until payday. Guess what? In Georgia we can pay our bills IN FULL. It feels SO GOOD to not avoid the mailbox, to not feel dread as I open the bills. It feels SO GOOD to mail off payments in full now.
ok, so that's my story. Looking forward to coming back to this blog and returning to the GOOD decisions that this website instilled in me and taught.
After a long hiatus...I'm back. Humbled.