We bought a rental house!

So we did it!  Finally…

If you’ve read this blog since the beginning (thanks, mom!), you’ll remember we’ve been trying to buy a rental house forever.  If you’re just stopping by (everyone else!), you can see our failed attempts here and here.

What you won’t see are the countless amount of houses we’ve looked at, driven by, and put in offers on.  I actually stopped writing about them, because it was getting so depressing.  Eventually, we came to the realization that we just weren’t ready.  So, we took a step back. Waaaaaay back.

Gimme three steps back

1.  We paid off our mortgage last July so that we would could lower our monthly expenses.  This helps us have more room in our budget so if something goes wrong we won’t be in a pinch.  Also it helps us lower our risk by keeping our debt-to-income ratio in check.

2.  I got my real estate liscense so I could learn more about the market.  And, I am able to put in offers and contracts. Shameless plug: need help buying or selling a house? I’m here!

3. Finally, I read.  And read and read and read.  I read that we needed a serious emergency fund.  I read that we needed to find a house that would give at least a 1% monthly return but a 2% return is excellent.  I read that we needed a strong cash on cash return.  Don’t know what I’m talking about? Neither did I!  I’ll do a rental house numbers post sometime soon… In the meantime if your curious this article is excellent reading.

Now’s the time, baby!

The crazy part of this adventure is timing; we just had a baby.  Actually, we put our in our offer just 4 days before our baby arrived.  Doesn’t everyone do that?  Honestly, after sooooo many fails, I didn’t even expect to get a house so I was just sitting on my couch cooking the kid and making offers on foreclosures.

Normal pregnant behavior right? #crazypregnantlady #hideyourhouses

Well, we did get a house.  We closed last week!

Before we rent it out, we’ve got to do some work on it.  I thought I’d show the renovation pics and progress here… If that works for you.

Our ultimate goal?

On my bucket list for this year one of the items is to figure out our next big financial goal.  I plan on going back to work part-time.  I’m sure I will always work, but as we move forward into the next phase I think we would like to get as much flexibility as possible.  So, here it is, our next goal: replace my take-home salary. Luckily, my salary isn’t much to replace :).

There are a lot of factors that could derail this plan: we may hate having rental houses, we may want to buy a bigger house (ours is tiny), this could completely blow up in our face, or we may just start having a ton of babies (not! We’re so exhausted with one!).  Either way, I guess we will start down this road.  When we started our mortgage pay off journey, I never expected to actually finish.  But we did!  So, who knows what will really happen next, but it’s good to have a big, crazy goal again.

Do you have a big, crazy goal?  Are you thinking about starting one?

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I had a 10 Pound Baby… and other thoughts on motherhood

Hi! I  hope you’re having the best summer.  Our summer has been pretty life changing so far.

Three weeks ago, I gave birth to a 10 pound baby.  Honestly, she was only 9 pounds and 13 ounces.  But, when you have a 9 pound 13 ounce baby, I think you can round up.

I spent a few hours last week writing my birth story, but I never finished it.  Here’s a recap: it was dramatic, it included an emergency C-section, 13 hours of labor, 4 days in the NICU, and finally, a beautiful, healthy baby girl

Here’s her 2-week-old picture.  She just figured out the meaning of life.  It’s milk, of course!

2 week vera

Even though I haven’t finished my birth story, here are my 20 initial thoughts about motherhood.

1.  I have a new boss.  She is a tiny lady with a receding hair line who screams at me a lot.  But, when she holds my hand or smiles at me, all is forgiven.

2.  My coworker (husband) is pretty terrific, and we make fun of our boss lady sometimes.

3.  I’m up all night.  It’s like college, except there are no parties, drinks, or fun clothes involved.  Unless you count baby parties– which oddly enough– I do.

4.  Breastfeeding is harrrrrd.  It feels like a tiny person is attacking you.

5.  I’m covered in spit up and milk most of the day.

6.  I tried to leave the house yesterday, and I couldn’t because my baby wouldn’t let me put her in her car seat.

7.  If we do make it out of the house, it takes HOURS to get ready.

8.  You come up with tons of nicknames for your baby.  Currently, we call the baby: Milk Monster, Little Bird, V Baby, Boss Lady, and Baby Bear.

9.  You can’t trust your own thoughts, especially at night.  My husband found me trying to nurse a pillow the first week we were home.

10.  Explosive poop is a very real thing.  Watch out!

11.  Babies are kind of like drugs.  You’re addicted before you know it.

12.  I thought dressing her would be fun, like dressing a doll.  Turns out, it’s like dressing a screaming, angry bear.

13.  She makes weird noises.  Sometimes, she sounds like a dinosaur.

14.  I cry when I look at her.

15.  I cry when I watch my husband holding her.

16.  Even thought I’m 29, it still feels like I’m on an episode of Teen Mom.

17.  I have no idea how my mom raised 3 kids.  I’m pretty sure Baby V is going to be an only child.

18.  I feel like a grizzly bear.  The thought of anything or anyone hurting her makes me want to turn into a wild animal.

19.  I love her.

20.  She’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

I hope I’ve had more thoughts since we brought our baby home, but I can’t remember anything these days.  Any more thoughts on motherhood/fatherhood/baby raising/summer that you’d like to share?!