Lessons Learned From Our First Months of Real Estate Investing

Lessons Learned From Our First Months of Real Estate Investing

As I mentioned in our last post, we bought our first rental property about two months ago. Based on the calculations that I had done I thought it was going to cashflow (the amount left after paying all of the expenses and the mortgage) around $300 a month. I had been using this excellent spreadsheet from F.I. Nomad to analyze properties. It is a really great tool and helped me narrow my search and filter out properties that wouldn’t be…

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So We Bought a Rental House

So We Bought a Rental House

In 2017, we spent most of the year paying down our debts while also optimizing our finances and lifestyle such that we could start bumping up our savings rate to work towards our plan for financial independence. When 2018 started we began to lay the groundwork for maxing out our retirement accounts and investing the rest in a brokerage account (we dabbled with Betterment, but kept most of our investments in Vanguard). However, when I started running the numbers, I…

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One Year of Solar Power

One Year of Solar Power

In the summer of 2017, we had a 6.3 kWh photovoltaic system installed on the roof of our house. We have had the system for over a year now, so I will use this post to go over the process of getting the system installed, lessons learned and analyze how much money we actually saved on solar in our first year. The Purchase and Install Process We shopped around a bit with other local installers, but at the time, none…

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How We Track Our Energy Use

How We Track Our Energy Use

Whether we are talking about money or energy, a big part of keeping costs low is being able to track them. To accomplish this, I have a spreadsheet that has different tabs for each of the sources of energy inputs and outputs that we track for our primary residence. Grid Usage – Our utility company allows you to track how much energy we used on a daily basis, and is usually updated next day with information from the former. So…

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Downsizing Our House, Upsizing Our Family

Downsizing Our House, Upsizing Our Family

Shortly after discovering that it was possible to retire early, and more importantly discovering that we were about to add a sixth member to our family, we made the confusing decision that we needed to move to a somewhat more expensive, but probably smaller house. Despite not being crunched financially, we were in a hurry to find a new home for our growing family. Looking back now I could say that the house search went quickly because we wanted to…

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Moving On From Our Cheap House

Moving On From Our Cheap House

I have always been good with numbers and I don’t really care for bad financial surprises, so I have always tried to have a handle on whatever bad money news might come down the road by forecasting out our budgets. The following is an actual (but edited for pseudo-anonymity purposes) excerpt from an email that I sent to my wife right before we changed our budget / lifestyle – Current Mortgage Payment is $945 Ideally looking to move Fall 2019…

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Our Frugal Beach Destination

Our Frugal Beach Destination

I have fond memories of all of the beach vacations I have gone on in my life. From our trips to Virginia Beach when I was very little and trips to Ocean City (MD), Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks later on in life. I have enjoyed them all for what they were – vacations, a break from the normal run of the mill. My favorite beach town to go to – by far – is Chincoteague, VA. Chincoteague is…

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How Coffee Led Us to FIRE

How Coffee Led Us to FIRE

In an attempt to shed some light on our personal story, I wanted to post these brief summaries of my past (both individually and together with my wife) as it pertains to finances. This is the third post in the series. When I was growing up, after a certain age, we were allowed to drink “pop” (or “soda” for you non-Western Pennsylvanians). It wasn’t shoved down our throats, but it was available in the house, and I drank a lot…

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Stepping into “Grown Up” Finances

Stepping into “Grown Up” Finances

In an attempt to shed some light on our personal story, I wanted to post these brief summaries of my past (both individually and together with my wife) as it pertains to finances. This is the second post in the series. My wife and I married in 2010 and bought a house in the same year – we managed to cover the down payment and closing costs mostly from a small loan from my parents and utilizing the First-Time Homebuyer…

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My Early Financial Background

My Early Financial Background

In an attempt to shed some light on our personal story, I wanted to post these brief summaries of my past (both individually and together with my wife) as it pertains to finances. This is the first post in the series. I grew up in a more or less middle class home in the 80s and 90s. My father was a pharmacist and my mother was a nurse and later a cardiovascular consultant. When I was very young, there were…

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