November Payoff Update! And Downsizing?

We made pretty good progress this month. We were able to add an additional $5k to the HELOC payoff. It’s been fixed with a payoff schedule of 5 years at $938/month so it moves down pretty quickly on it’s own. In less than a year, we will have it paid off and an extra $938/month going into the next mortgage. So satisfying.

I don’t expect to have an extra $5k every month to throw at it, though. This month included a real estate commission (Don’t worry. I first put 20% of it into my SEP and then put 50% of the remaining 80% in savings for my quarterlies.) and money earned from my salon. But most excitingly (is that a word?),  our new duplexes first month of full rents came in! Woot! The money machine is working! But considering that we also had to pay almost $4k in property taxes on ONE of our rental houses this month (the rest get paid out of escrow), I think we did pretty well.

Because we’ve owned that house in Portland longer than any other property in our portfolio, it’s balance can actually be seen to move down a bit in the chart just by paying the monthly minimum. It’ll lose it’s place in the debt snowball in only a couple months. But I’m not bothering to change my chart yet because our plan is to sell it soon. The tenant’s lease is up in August so we’ll let them switch to month to month until January. Then we’ll kick them out, fix it up and sell it just in time for the peak selling months. We have a ton of equity in it and it’s in a very desirable part of town but it’s a 4 bedroom, which is not ideal for a rental. Then we will 1031 exchange that into something that makes a bit more sense for our goals, like a multi family. I’ve participated as a realtor in 1031 exchanges but never as the seller and buyer so I’m excited to get that experience under my belt. It’ll probably be a blog post. Or two.

New Topic.

I made a terrible mistake. I took Mr. Bona FIde Money to The Tiny House Expo in Portland last weekend. He’s already been very frustrated at the maintenance expenses we’ve had to dump into our larger than necessary home this year. The list includes major foundation repair, rebuild of rotting front porch/deck, painting exterior, bathroom remodel (necessary because we had to tear out a wall to access non functioning shower hardware), and two large trees removed. That all adds up to about $18k. Ugh. Luckily, because of our financial savvy, we were able to pay all this in cash as issues arose but, dude. I can think of WAY more fun ways to spend $18k. My house exterior looks pretty kick ass though. We went with a super dark navy body and shiny black for trim and garage doors with a bright, mustard yellow for house numbers and front door. We went from “ew, gross” to  “OOooo, bold.”

Before
After
After Again

But I’m getting distracted. My mistake was taking my home-disgruntled husband to see how beautiful and affordable tiny homes can be. His mind was blown. He’s a man obsessed. He is now an expert on local tiny home zoning laws and building codes and the various tax hacks for RV registration vs. ADU status. He also has memorized the entire local inventory of real estate for homes under 1500 sq ft. If he finds something agreeable in our school district, he’s gonna push hard for the big downsize. We wouldn’t actually go TINY with two kids, that would be MAYBE when we are empty nesters. But he’s very inspired to downsize and enjoy all the expense minimizing, lifestyle streamlining, lack of home-maintenance-time-sucking that a much smaller home would bring. Our current home is only 2200 sq ft but it’s by far, the largest home either of us have ever lived in (without a million roommates). I grew up in 900 sq ft with a family of 4 so I know it’s totally doable. But-but- I almost finally have my house the way I want it! Waaaa!

He’s not wrong, though. Sigh. We’ve decided we’re just going to keep our eyes peeled for potential smaller homes that would work for our needs and see what happens. No promises.

The tiny homes that impressed us the most were built by local companies. One was Tru Form Tiny and the other was Covo. Really pretty and clever and the style was beautiful. Check them out and see if you find inspiration!