Life Is a Bumpy Ride.

bumpy-ride

Hello all!

Life has been bumpy these last few weeks (months is it now?).  Things have NOT turned out at all close to how I planned them.

Employment.  Yes, I resigned. Now that I’m out, I realize I made the right decision for my sanity and physical health.  And boy, do I looooovvvveee not working (I still keep plenty busy, it’s like I have a full time job taking care of me!) .  But I am not independently wealthy.  My home in CA has not sold (see below) and I don’t have enough savings to support myself for an extended period of time…so my dreams to go back to school are on the back-burner and I need to get job (yes, that heart wrenching wailing in the background is me).  Deep sadness set in… and I got through it.  I put on my big girl pants, assessed what I want to do (no more Customer Success, it’s a thankless, shit job – more on this in a later post).  I figured out what I want to do and the kind of companies I want to work for. Married these two… and voila, found a a job.  I signed an offer of employment this week. It is a bittersweet moment for me.

  • I love the company and what they are doing.
  • Every person I met was wicked smart and incredibly nice.
  • I believe they will be tremendously success at what they do (yes, another startup).
  • I know I can be successful in the role and there is a lot of room for growth.

The not so great part?

  • I have to go back to work (boo), and
  • I have to move back to the Bay Area…

Yes, the cats and I will be moving back to the Bay Area, at least for the first 6 months of 2019.  Not at all sure what this looks like or how it is going to happen… I just know that it has to happen. That I need to make it happen.

 

O.k.. 2nd big unexpected turn.  Retirement.  My House in CA.  It has not sold.  It’s been on the market since Oct. 17, 2018. I received one low ball offer which I declined.  It has been on the market long enough that folks think something is wrong with it.  As of now,  I own and am paying the mortgage on an empty house in California (not a cheap endeavor).

Here is the sad truth.  I knew the market turning in Northern CA back in early Summer.  I could feel it (I study real estate in my spare time). I approached the agent in June 2018. I was ready to go.  But I let my realtor talk me into two things that I regret. I only bring this up as to remind you that you should always trust your instincts.  AT 47, I wonder why I discount my intuition. Most of the time (if not all times), the trouble I experience in life is because I DID NOT trust my gut. Shame on me.

So the two worst pieces of advice that I followed are:

  1. Remove tenants and stage the house.  I had wonderful tenants. The lived cleanly and took very good care of the property.  They wanted to stay in the home while it was up for sale – they agreed to cooperate with the agent and all showings. My agent said that it was not best for a home to be occupied during a sale.  So against my better judgement, I gave the tenants 60 days notice to move out. It pains me to know that I am paying a mortgage and the costs to stage a home just so it  looks like its lived in.  The irony is not lost on me.
  2. Turn town an private offer – “you are better off listing your home”.  The tenants that moved out wanted to purchase the home. They made a healthy offer.  The realtor recommended that I do not accept their offer and that I put the house on the open market as I am more likely to get more $$ if there are competing bids.  Yes, there is truth to his statement, but it is not the norm.  Not sure why he did this, he probably would have made more commission by representing the both of us in this transaction.

I feel like someone who’s profession it is to read and know the market would NOT offer this advice given the market conditions.   If I were to do this again, I would do it my way, and if the realtor didn’t like it, I would find another realtor.

Anywhoo… the house has not sold, I just put it on the rental market.  Please cross your fingers and toes that I get amazing tenants soon.

 

Last but not least, I am living through a home remodel in my home in UtahI am immersed in it.  It started the week before Thanksgiving.  The project is to remodel 2 bathrooms.   The first bathroom, the guest bathroom, was demolished the Friday before Thanksgiving.  It is scheduled to be complete by Friday, Dec. 14th.  That will be exactly 2 weeks late, which means the 2nd bathroom remodel is delayed, not set to start until the guest bathroom is done (I need at least one toilet and shower).  This has a direct and negative impact on my schedule now that I have to move for my job (see above).

I do love the fact that I’m doing the remodel and that I found a contractor I trust, but shit, this is hard.  It is so dirty and messy, it cannot be good to breathe in all the fumes and particles.

Cost wise, I’m on budget on materials and labor…

  1. The contractor and I agreed to a fixed labor amount for the totality of each project, so the longer the project goes, the more it eats into his profits.  My guess is that the delay in the first bathroom can be made up on the 2nd bathroom..  He now has intimate knowledge of how the house was constructed and what to expect. FYI – the delay is NOT due to me – all items, parts, pieces, and the like are available to him.  Any timing delays have been due to lack of detail on his part. As of now he has NOT asked me for more $$.
  2. Cost of items are on target with my expectations.  I am a bargain shopper and have been cost conscious.  It helps that I know exactly what I want, so finding it on sale is easy, especially during the holidays.  🙂  BTW, Amazon is AMAZING.  I found some of the best deals on Amazon – prices were competitive, but shipping (2 day prime, hell yes!) was what sealed the deal.  When I say items, I mean tubs, toilets, shower sets, etc… construction stuff.  It’s insane what you can find on Amazon and the prices are very very competitive.

FYI – I spent a LOT of time trying to shop locally to little avail.  Its too bad as I do not want a world where we don’t have local options…

 

All of these elements is not what I expected or envisioned for myself.  But this is how the cards are folding for me.  I have made decisions – the best decisions I can based on my options at this point – so now it’s a matter of moving forward.

Ever forward.

I have so much more to share, but this is a lot to absorb in one post.  For those of you that I owe a response to, I’m sorry for my delayed response.  I have been super busy and a bit overwhelmed and stressed with everything going on.

Last but certainly not least, please keep your comments and words of encouragement coming. Hearing from you makes a difference to me -makes me feel connected, tethered, to others…    so thank you for those that have reached out. I greatly appreciate it!!

xoxo.

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2015 In Summary.

2015 was NOT a good year for me.  This only means that in 2016 there is no where to go but up. For a summary of my goals and results, take a look at 2015 Year In Review.

The two biggest downers –

1- I lost my job. I put all my energy into work and it resulted in absolutely nothing. Actually, it’s more than nothing – I gave up everything to make work work.  I had one date all year, on Dec. 28th no less.  I wanted more than anything to succeed professionally.  Not this year.

2- On the personal side, AbFab’s husband lost his legs.

 

I am so done with 2015.  I am all about 2016 – and 2016 is all about me.  I will focus on doing what is absolutely best for me.  Outside of me, I will be spending time with AbFab and family…  I am on polishing up my 2016 New Years resolutions and will share them when they are complete. Some good stuff around exercise and stress management, but there will be a few surprises around real estate. I am excited about what I can do this year – I hope it is worth the wait for you.

 

Strange Addictions.

breaking-bad-meme-11This post is going to be about a lot of things, but the common theme is addiction…

As one junkie to another, I’ve moved on from Breaking Bad to Prison Break.  Both give me the same crazy I-need-more adrenaline rush.  On Saturday night, I think we watched 6 episodes of Prison Break in a row, no, maybe 8.  Why the switch?  Because I only had one more episode of Breaking Bad to watch. I just watched it tonight.

Re: Breaking Bad, just finishing up the last episode, I’m sad that it’s over.  I know tomorrow, and the very near future, I will get the shakes.  Just minutes after watching it, I’m missing it… my feelings all askew around what is next.  I really just want another hit episode.  Please dear god, let the idea of “the last episode” be a bad dream, let me wake up with another episode, just one more, on my recorder.

I have been cheating on Breaking Bad though… since I knew it was almost over, I fell for Prison Break (yes I was cheating on BB).  So, while waiting impatiently for the final Breaking Bad episode, I found Prison Break.  Not an evening has gone by without me watching 3-6 episodes.. yes, you read correctly.  Last Saturday alone I watched 6+ episodes, in a row…  All I can say is I love the pause functionality on Netflix, it allows me to go to the bathroom and grab food to nourish myself… otherwise, I’d be as emaciated as a drug user…

I have realized that I do have an addictive personality.  Not only am I addicted to TV Dramas, I now recognize I am also  addicted to real estate.  I have forever, since I became an adult (I call it enlightened, which happened when I was in college while watching Shawshank Redemption), felt that “safety” and “security” meant owning real estate. You see, as a kid, we traveled a lot.. we moved to a new place every few years.  I thought this was normal until I met my EX, who low and behold, grew up in the same house since he was 2 years old.  Blew my mind…   I thought to myself, “what would life be like if I had lived in one place all my life?”.  What I saw looked good.. it felt safe, secure. A place to call home.   A place I could decorate, make it my own space…Delighted by the idea,  I purchased a few properties in Utah in the early 2000’s as a single gal.  When I got married, I swapped those properties for a luxury condo in 2008 (stupid me), which I thought I would rent and use (VRBO is awesome).  Didn’t work out so it’s now a full-time rental.  In addition to this condo, I purchased a house for my niece AbFab, her husband, and her kids to live…  She is now divorced and living somewhere else; the home is now being rented out.

In addition to these rental properties, I purchased a house where I live, in Northern CA, which I remodeled, I absolutely love, but I do not live in. I cannot afford to live in my own home. Why?  PMI.  $700/mo in Private Mortgage Insurance.  Without the insurance, payment is a stretch but I can do it.  With the PMI, its out of my reach.  To live in my own home I would need a roommate.  I have to rent it out to pay the mortgage.  So where do I live?  I currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment a few miles from my house.

When I am completely honest with myself, I realize that I can’t afford to own these properties – I “own” them for “safety” and “security”.  What I realized was that they are actually a noose around my neck.. that I’m not getting anything out of it, that instead of feeling “safe” and “secure”, I’m stressed, tied down, and handcuffed if you will to these properties.  I just realized this a few months ago. I’m still wrapping my head around it…  I’m drawn, addicted if you will, to owning property.  But what I realize is that it isn’t good for me (unless subsidizing other people’s lifestyles makes you a good person).    I have begun proceedings to sell the Utah condo.  I’m pricing it just right so that it will sell by the end of the year.  I just want out.  Next up will be the property I purchased for AbFab and her kids… At the end of the day, I am no longer interested in subsidizing someone else’s living situation.  I feel like my addition is subsiding….  but we shall see. Once the properties are gone, will I get an itch, the shakes, to “get something of my own” again in Utah???

One other addiction that I really miss, that was good for me to?   Grey Goose and her funny stories.  Where is she? Does anyone know?  Is she safe, just working hard? Found a man who has swept her off her feet and giving her some good bicycle rides?  I keep going to her blog – http://myguidetobadinternetdating.wordpress.com/ – for updates, thinking my email alerts aren’t working, but no… nothing new.  Come back Grey Goose, I love and miss you!

O.k. this is it for me tonight. I’m exhausted.  I have other pieces I want to write about the wedding, precious gifts, the miracle of the human spirit, etc.. but I’ve run out of time.

Housing Update – Purchase In My Future?

So upon very sound advice from CLicious, I went to see the lawyer.

He reminded me over and over again what an idiot I am for investing in a property without a written agreement.  Once we got beyond that, he helped me figure out what my options are.

He said that I should NOT move forward with the open house/sale of the property until the owner and I have a written agreement in place – he saw 2 reasonable options – a Purchase or a Settlement Agreement.  Whichever I chose, it needs to happen before anything else happens.

So I called the owner, said I wanted to talk, and I met with him last night.  We spoke openly and honestly about what we both need/want from this…  we agreed on a sale/purchase price.  if I can qualify for a loan, I could be the new owner of a very nice home on a large lot in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Since it’s the weekend I’ll need to get in touch with the lawyer, draw up a purchase agreement, and find a broker first thing on Tuesday.

On the work front, I have a huge demo to deliver on Monday so I’m working this weekend.  I cannot wait for this project to be done.  I’ve spent most evenings and weekends working since January of this year. I’m tired and completely burned out … I need to take some time away to adjust my perspective… or find a new job.

I’ll update you later this week on my progress on the home and work front.