Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Adventures in First-Time Homebuying Special Edition: We Moved In!

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

(I hope it’s not too apparent that these “Special Editions” are a lame time-crunched replacement for actual content. Hopefully this will be the last one…)

The move to our new home is now complete! Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational house:

oops, wrong button

Oops, that better be covered under the home warranty…

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Adventures in First-Time Homebuying Special Edition: We Closed!

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

spent a lot of these today

Lender closing fee: $619.00

Hazard insurance premium: $418.00

Six months of county property taxes in escrow: $1,128.69

Becoming a homeowner for the first time: Pricey

There are some things in life even MasterCard can’t buy. For those things, a gigantic mortgage loan will do quite nicely.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Personal Update: Your Existence Has Been Suspended

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

putting a pause on net worth updates

Normally I’d start this monthly personal update with a line about my net worth increase over the last 31 days, and you’d all stare in awe saying, “Wow, that Nick fella sure is smart with his monies.” And then I’d make a passing reference to my yacht made out of gold and our mansion in Martha’s Vineyard, and a jolly good time would be had by all.

But for the next couple of months I’ll be suspending my public net worth updates. The reason for this is simple: my net worth will be taking some strange but temporary twists and turns due to our upcoming house purchase. For example, we’ve written a couple of large earnest deposit checks in the last week that really aren’t “expenses” but they would show as a significant hit to my net worth. Rather than try to omit certain transactions, I figure it’ll just be easier to pick up with the net worth updates after all the house business is settled.

Other than house dealings, this has been a pretty uneventful month for us financially. While the summer weather has caused a small jump in our utility bills, our grocery spending has dropped as we attempt to clean out the cupboards in anticipation of our move. Tomorrow night’s dinner: spaghetti with Frosted Flakes and turkey gravy. Mmmm, yummy.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Adventures in First-Time Homebuying Special Edition: Offer Accepted!

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

we bought this house, or another one like it

Please excuse the light posting for the last day or two. As you may know, we’ve been looking to purchase our first home around the area where we currently rent. While we were in no hurry to buy, we found our “perfect home” at the right price this weekend, made an offer, and had it accepted today. It looks like we’ll have a closing a little over a month from now, so I’ll be continuing with the Adventures in First-Time Homebuying series in the coming weeks. My apologies if this site gets a little real estate-heavy for the near future, but I figured it’s best to talk about this stuff as we do it.

So look forward to a highly detailed, step-by-step, you’re-along-for-the-ride look at our home-buying process from step one. And if you’re purchasing now and can’t wait for a good chronicle of the journey to homeownership, then I highly recommend you check out the Homebuying Blueprint for a very thorough discussion of buying a home from start to finish.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Personal Update: Our Money Tree Has Sprouted!

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: , ,

happy independence day

Happy Independence Week, everyone! It sure seems like everyone where I work decided to make their July 4th celebration a week-long one because I’m about the only dummy working this week. But that’s okay because it gives me a chance to catch up on important tasks like running up and down the halls in my underwear and making prank calls to the security desk from other people’s phones.

Our financial situation is as cheerful as ever; our net worth grew a respectable 4.4% in June. That gain comes despite a nice (i.e. not entirely inexpensive) three-day vacation to Ocean City at the beginning of the month, but not having a car payment anymore helped offset the cost. With no big expenses on the horizon for July, I’m hoping for a 5% gain this month.

Speaking of big expenses, we’ve decided to move our house hunt into high gear before interest rates climb too high. While housing might be cheaper in the next six or twelve months, I think those soaring rates will more than offset any discount we’d see by waiting. I’ll be looking into getting us a mortgage pre-approval in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully we can find a property and make an offer before things get too busy.

And speaking of getting busy, I’ll be doing just that starting in September as I begin an advanced leadership program at work. In addition to lots of assignment rotations over the next three years, I’ll also be working on getting my Master’s degree in either Computer Science or Information Something or Other I Forget the Exact Name But It Was Long and Sounded Cool. Of course, every penny of the program and degree will be paid for by my employer, so the only expense on my part will be in gobs and gobs of time spent studying in addition to working. The next three years should be fun, and by fun I mean groin-grabbingly painful.