December Financial Update

Here’s one for the “I don’t want to be a landlord” category. At 9:30 pm on the night before Thanksgiving, our tenant EMAILED us that their basement flooded. This basement has been a terror from the start; every few months an issue (a water issue, at that) rears its head. While I appreciate that she wrote a very nice email and included pictures, email isn’t the best way to communicate this to your landlords. She also acknowledged that there was a holiday, and that they turned the water off to everything in the basement, so this could wait until Friday. After a quick panic of “what the heck am I supposed to do about this at 9:30 pm the night before a holiday,” I let it go. I couldn’t do anything about it until Friday morning – the same as if I was living in the house and needed to contact a plumber. I texted my plumber at 7 am on Friday. He responded at 8 am that he’s sick. I called a big company (I don’t prefer big companies), and they were able to get me an appointment for Saturday morning between 8 and 10. After I confirmed that, Mr. ODA sent a text to someone who did some major plumbing reconstruction work for us, and he said he could be there in an hour. So before noon, we had the issue taken care of! $250.

Mr. ODA wanted to take our cash balance and throw it at the mortgage that we are planning to pay off with our cash-out-refinance that’s scheduled for mid-December. The thought was, why pay interest on the current mortgage balance while we have money sitting in our account not earning anything for us. I went a little higher on the amount I “allowed” because we always seem to come into some sort of money throughout the month that increases the balance from my projection. Well, I didn’t factor in a very expensive Black Friday for us. It was 16 separate purchases, but it wasn’t too bad… we didn’t hit 4 digits. Lucky for us, Black Friday fell the first day of a new credit card cycle, so we have until January to make this payment.

On top of Black Friday purchasing, we bought things for our basement finishing project: 3 cabinets, a sink, and a minifridge/beverage cooler. That was about $1000 worth. We have the basement cabinets in place now, and we’re waiting to be told the countertop has arrived so we can get this all installed and finish the baseboards. We have a flooring appointment today to get the final big piece out of the way. We still have to do the window casings and moldings around that, too.

I’ve paid 2 tax bills on houses that aren’t escrowed, a large medical bill (plus several smaller ones), and our car insurance payments. December is a big month for bill paying. It helped that we have dividends from some of our accounts go into our checking accounts instead of being reinvested, so that was about $5k more of income than we planned.

At the beginning of last week, we closed on 3 refinances. I’ll go into details on a separate post, but these refinances are why this financial update is a little later than usual. I wanted the cash influx, the loan payoffs, and then the credit cards to be more tame before updating the financial status.

We have 12 rental properties and our personal residence. We’re carrying 8 mortgages (well, two are in our partner’s name) now that we paid off two houses. It’s nice that we have 5 houses owned outright now; although that does mean that I need to be on top of paying the taxes and insurance on them now. With that said, since we took a substantial amount of cash out in the refinances, our loans on investment properties have increased this month. Our investment properties have continued to increase in value, especially once we learned of the appraisals on the 3 refinances. Our investment and retirement accounts have taken a hit since last month. So while our overall net worth has increased, there were some big changes in the line items themselves.

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