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After a long hiatus...I'm back. Humbled.

September 22nd, 2013 at 07:45 am

Hello Everyone,
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.

27 Responses to “After a long hiatus...I'm back. Humbled.”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Welcome back! I do remember you. Best wishes on making more GOOD decisions.

  2. TashaC. Says:

    Thanks Creditcardfree! Feels good to be back. Feels like a new chapter starting.

  3. looking forward Says:

    Welcome back. I like the pic of your dog too.
    Congratulations on baby!
    Have got to ask - where the heck in Cali did you end up?
    Also curious what type of business did your DH start?

  4. TashaC. Says:

    Ugh...we were in Northern Cali, around Redding. 100 degrees, Every. Day.

  5. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Welcome back- I know several of us have taken hiatus and returned because of the (self induced?) accountability here. Welcome to the boomerang club! Smile

  6. looking forward Says:

    Yeah I can understand why it felt so bad if you were in that area during the summer. Smile There are truly beautiful, not blistering hot areas in no. Cal. Too bad you didn't have a better experience with the business and location.

  7. TashaC. Says:

    Thanks Ray! I remember you and hope your children are doing well.

  8. LuckyRobin Says:

    Yikes, what a mess. Welcome back. It is good for you that you are getting your life back on track.

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    So good to see you again!!! I'm sorry to hear the financial downturns you've had, but am so glad that you've come back to the SA family. Smile Northern CA can be quite daunting, as can Central CA. I remember when I lived in Turlock (near Modesto) there was a summer of 30+days in 100+ degrees. Shudder.

  10. MonkeyMama Says:

    Welcome back Gamecock!!

  11. TashaC. Says:

    Thanks guys! Its good to "see" you guys!

  12. rob62521 Says:

    Welcome back...consider all you been through the school of hard knocks...glad you are back on course.

  13. scottish girl Says:

    Welcome back!! Smile

  14. Ima saver Says:

    Welcome back, Gamecock. I have missed you. Do you remember me? I live in Georgia too. I hope things start going better for you!

  15. TashaC. Says:

    Of course I remember you Ima! I didn't see you in any recent posts and worried you had also stopped posting. The other missing blogger is the Australian girl who was working in a bakery. I forget her name. Is she still around?

  16. TashaC. Says:

    ok, found Whitestripe in the retired blogs section. Found MY blog in the retired blogs section. I've been gone 2 years...feels so much longer! Wondering if I should resurrect that blog...can it even be done? hmm..let me ponder that.

  17. Kiki~DebtFreeme Says:

    So glad you are back!

    As for your old blog, it can be resurrected if you log in and start posting to it again. It will pick right up. I have done it several times.

  18. TashaC. Says:

    I cant remember the password to get into the email that my Gamecock password was sent. I don't think its going to happen. Frown

  19. scfr Says:

    Gamecock - It is good to "see" you - I have wondered what happened to you. I see you have the same sweet dog; good to "see" him too.

    I suggest sending a private message to Jeffrey (the owner of the site) - He may be able to help you resurrect your old blog.

  20. CB in the City Says:

    Wow! What a story! I think so much dramatic activity would put me in a corner sucking my thumb! Glad you are back where you want to be. Keep holding your husband off on that California dream. It's pretty clear you're the sensible one!

  21. baselle Says:

    Good to see you are back. CA is not for everyone ... actually I think CA is for far fewer people than everyone thinks.

    Reads like your best decisions came when it was just you, or just you and DH, deciding on investments well within your knowledge and comfort. As soon as you added family Wink, "friends" Wink, non-real estate, and new state it pulled you in too many directions. Back in your wheelhouse, and that's NOT a bad thing!

  22. TashaC. Says:

    thanks Baselle, you are right.

  23. SicilyYoder Says:

    Welcome back!

  24. wisewoman Says:

    What an adventure and valuable learning experience. If it's too good to be true, it usually is. I remember that saying every time I think I'm going to get rich off of one thing or another Smile
    I love California - the mountains and beaches are so close. The cost of living is dreadfully high. Some areas are better than others. Too bad you were in a bad location.

  25. My English Castle Says:

    Glad to have you back! Glad it's beginning to be more peaceful for you too.

  26. PatientSaver Says:

    Wow, gamecock. Welcome back. Live and learn.

  27. Caoineag Says:

    Welcome back Gamecock! I wandered off for awhile before posting here again as well. Hope life proves calmer for you now.

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