Hey everyone, I thought I’d do a quick life update to give you an idea of what’s going on in my world for the past couple of weeks. Hope you enjoy!
Family Trip in Washington D.C.
We went to D.C. last week, and we had a great time. Alison and I like to say that a trip with the kids isn’t “vacation”, it’s a “family trip”.
Taking kids can be very stressful because you have to organize all of your travel, tours, food, other hanging out around the kids’ needs. Things like nap time, meals, and just getting kids ready to go can all take up significant amounts of time. I think we spend like 4-5 hours on all of that stuff daily.
Here’s a quick list of the things we got to see while in D.C.:
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- President JFK’s Grave-site
- Changing of the Guard
I recommend going to Arlington if you’re ever in that area. This is a stunning memorial, and a place for reflection and thankfulness.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
World War II Memorial
Something I’d recommend when visiting the memorials is to go at night. Wow, you haven’t seen the Washington Monument until you’ve seen it at night. I got this tip from Guy on Fire when I was there.
We stayed in an Airbnb house while there, and it cost us $150 per night. It was an English basement of a home outside of downtown D.C. I thought it was nice to have a comfortable place to call home while we were there, and the price was decent.
Staying in such a small space definitely got us thinking about how we could live in a smaller space in South Carolina.
Yea, we have a paid-off house, but that’s a lot of cash to have tied up. What if we could buy a foreclosure for $35,000 and put in $20,000 of rehab? How much extra cash could we free up to use on more investment properties?
The best meal we had while we were there was definitely at a place called “b DC Penn Quarter“. The burgers were SO delicious. I highly recommend checking them out if you get a chance.
I had wings and fried chicken there as well, but I’ve had better. The doughnuts at Astro’s Donuts & Fried Chicken were incredible.
I also got to meet up with a few bloggers in D.C. one evening for beer and wings. That was a treat! Here’s my shout out to Erin, Steve, and GuyonFire. I had a fun time with you guys, and I hope to see you again some day!
Real Estate Investing – Our First Two Duplexes!
While in D.C., our agent (back home in SC) sent over a duplex that was listed for $72,000 and rented for $600 per unit. The whole thing looked extremely clean on the inside with new laminate flooring and bathroom vanity/toilets.
I ran some quick numbers on it, and everything checked out great. I also noticed that the listing said “another duplex available for sale if interested”, and we inquired about that one.
We offered $60K for each (total $120K). They countered a day later at $68K each (total $136K), and we accepted. Contracts were ratified later that evening.
The toughest part about this was not being back home in South Carolina to go see it ourselves. Our agent sent us pictures and a video walk-through which did help us out tremendously. The reason we moved so quickly without seeing it in person is that we’ve missed several deals recently due to waiting so long to get “all of the info” to make us feel comfortable.
So I made a resolution last time we missed a deal that when another came along, we’d just get it under contract and make sure contingencies were in place to allow us to back out if we found something major.
We made our offer contingent on the following things:
- Home inspection, HVAC inspection, termite inspection
- Buyer (me) obtaining financing
- Buyer to walk-through all four units (since two are occupied, and our agent couldn’t get into those at the time)
So now we’re in the inspection period, and we’ve completed the home inspections. Some issues were found so we’re now requesting that those issues be fixed, and we’ll see what the seller has to say.
A couple of other things left to do:
- I need to obtain financing. I’m working with a few different lenders for estimates
- Scheduled termite and HVAC inspections this week
- I’m working on insurance policies for both properties
Here are the details for how this property currently looks on paper:
By far, this is the best property we’ve seen in our search so far. In this case, the seller is moving to Texas and doesn’t want to manage the properties anymore.
The Cash-on-Cash return is one of our main focuses. It’s the amount we expect to make back on our cash investment. You could compare this to the return you’d expect to get back if you invested your cash into a mutual fund or stock. 20% is EXCELLENT!!
To us anyway.
Our goal for CoC return was anything over 10% since we were just starting out, but I think we’ll be increasing that requirement in the future now that we know properties like this exist around our area.
If all works out as planned, we’re looking at $900 – $1,000 per month in cash flow. Remember, my target for quitting my job in 2019 is $3,500 per month.
So, we’re game planning about how we can possibly downsize our current home or find a foreclosure / fixer-upper and sell our current house, then re-deploy that cash back out into more properties. With another $135,000, we could be 100% done with our goal by end of 2018.
Cryptocurrency For Beginners
So I’ve been quietly working on this guide for getting started with cryptocurrency. I haven’t talked much about it except in my net worth posts.
It’s basically ready, and I’ve given it to a few blogger friends for feedback.
I’m hoping that it adds some real value for people looking to get started with cryptocurrency who are not sure where to start. I wish I had something like this guide when I started, that’s for sure.
It’s a one-stop shop for all the information you’d need to get started, and you’ll probably save a bunch of cash by educating yourself before you jump in.
It’ll probably be available for purchase this month so keep an eye out. If you’re interested, go ahead and join the wait-list so you don’t miss out.
Oh – I was on the Fire Drill Podcast talking about Cryptocurrency a few weeks ago, and it just aired. Have a listen:
Patron and YouTube
I set up my Patron page recently, and I’m going to be expanding Debt Free Geek to include video content. Writing posts is enjoyable, and I put a lot of time and effort into them, but writing doesn’t come easy for me. Don’t worry, I’ll continue putting out written content as well, especially for my Net Worth posts and my Flexible/Passive Income posts.
So I’m going to be sharing parts of my life and what I’m going through on my journey to financial independence via YouTube. I assume I’ll share some of that exclusively on my Patron page, and I’m specifically looking to build a community (I want to refer to it as our Guild because I’m an uber dork, and I loved being in a guild when I played online games a lot as a youngster).
Who Should Join The “Debt Free Geeks” Guild?
I’ll be speaking to fellow technologists and geeks who want to grow their careers, get out of debt, build wealth, and enjoy life all at the same time.
Being a member of a guild always brought about neat discussions and learning experiences. I also made some life-long friends during my guild days. So I hope to re-build something like that with <Debt Free Geeks>.
So, if you’re interested in having our tag over your head as you journey through life and dominate career, life, and personal finance, please keep an eye out for that.
In fact, let me know you’re interested by posting in the comments or by contacting me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.