Friday, April 30, 2010

May 2010 Update

I know, I know. I'm doing this monthly update thing a day early -- again. I'm hoping to get crackin' on packing a few things this weekend, and I also have some freelance work to do. I'm easily distracted these days. I was afraid that if I didn't do it now, I'd forget all about it.

I am adding the savings this time even though in four weeks (four weeks!) I go to close on the condo. That's going to drain the coffers. As for the debt, well, it continues to drop, this month by $734.62. Here we go:

The Debt: $3,360.94
The Savings: $15,964.43

Mind you, that savings amount includes a loan from my retirement fund, as well as a gift from my dad. Still, how sweet does that balance look! And how different it will be come June 1. LOL But it's all for the good -- better property debt than credit card debt, yes?

I'm not updating the savings balance on the list of the good balances because this month's balance is artificially inflated. But starting June 1, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled program.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And Still I Fax

I don't know how people do this several times over their lifetimes. Seriously, buying a home is nerve-racking. Well, it is when you're a regular person (that is, not wealthy). I received a call from my mortgage company regarding my financials this afternoon. They need updated copies of my checking and savings statements, retirement savings info, promises of ownership of my firstborn child, my blood type, and my most recent pay stub. (OK, I was only kidding about a couple of those things; I'll let you figure out which ones.) So much for thinking I could just coast until closing.

I also have to get my parents to sign letters regarding their cash gifts and copies of their bank statements. It just never ends. I feel like I should plant a tree to make up for all the paper I've consumed during this process. (You know what? That's a good idea. I will look into that.)

I'm tired. I came home after a long day of work only to work some more to put everything together to fax tomorrow. And then I had to get the package together to mail to my parents with explicit instructions on what to sign, what to attach, how to mail it back ...

But it will all be OK. It's only stressful because I'm not rolling in dough. Yet.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Holding Pattern ... Kinda

Just wanted to check in. Things are kind of in a holding pattern right now as far as the condo purchase is concerned. Most of the hard stuff is done. Granted, I do still have to write one helluva big check at settlement, but thankfully I'll be able to do that without completely wiping out my savings or leaving an arm or leg there with the title company. Still, it will be the biggest check I'll have ever written.

In the meantime, I do have a lot to do. Today I called four moving companies to get quotes. You'd be surprised by how disparate rates can be. The lowest one quoted so far was $95/hour; the highest, $130/hour. For a job that's going to be 5-6 hours, that's almost 200 bucks. I have one more company to call tomorrow, but unless it's a huge price difference, I think I'm going to go with a company I called today that's $100/hour. Why am I not using the $95/hour company? Well, I liked the guy I talked to at the $100/hour company, and the company was referred to me by someone I know and whose opinion I trust.

In other financial news, my landlords have agreed to let me out of my lease a month early. Yay! The husband called me Saturday. I am thrilled. And that extra money will come in very handy.

Last night I was going through some stuff and came across this note I'd jotted down one evening last year when the light bulb clicked on. I titled it "Holy Crap -- Maybe I Can Buy!" It made me laugh to read it.

I still can't believe how amazing this year has been -- how the last 30 days have been. A month ago I hadn't started looking for a place yet. And now? Wow. Just ... wow. I am humbled.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Time to Collect Boxes

I got the condo. The last hurdle was the appraisal, and that went well. I have a friend who lives in a building that recently had a condo for sale. The bank sent up some appraiser from Richmond, where prices are very different. He appraised the place for less than my friend paid for her place 10 years ago -- a good $70,000 less than what it was really worth. The buyer had to back out since there was no way he could make up that amount. I was petrified something like that would happen. But it didn't! Yay!

Thanks to recent gifts from my father, I will be able to get through this process without spending my last red cent of savings. In fact, I'll have enough to finally get new mattresses, which I think I'll buy before I move.

I will continue to pay down the debt with the same amount for the next few months, until it's time to fork over the mortgage and condo fee. But by then the debt should be less than $3,000. So while I might not have the debt knocked out by October 10, it will get paid off. And it'll be a helluva lot easier to pay off $3,000 than $21,000. The trade-off is that I will be in my own home.

Next, I think I will talk to a professional. There's a financial adviser through my employer who offers a complimentary session. I've gone to a few of his seminars at our office, and I like him. I think that with all the changes this year, it's time to call for reinforcements. But that's for later this year.

For now, though, I am thisclose to being a homeowner. The condo docs are coming this week, and I close at the end of May. In 60 days, I could very well be typing blog posts from my balcony. That is, if I'm not too tired from unpacking. :-)