Monday, July 1, 2019

More Tile Removal

Now that it isn't so rainy (it has been such a wet year that we have had to put some home improvement tasks on hold because we didn't really have a place for little dude to chill), we finally set aside a weekend for home improvement.  AND MORE TILE REMOVAL!

In an effort to not make the house a huge dust blob, we put up plastic...

But we learned if hubs ran any type of fan at all, you know, so he wouldn't be in hot box ... the plastic fell down. But we had our hearts set on 4 1/2 rows of tile in the kitchen area.

It pretty much took several hours, convinced us we should buy more tools, and we spent the next week or two getting the thin set chipped up, but behold, less tile. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

June Mortgage 2019 Update

June marks our 2 year anniversary in our new condo. Since the home improvement projects are still lengthy and on-going, I've been getting a little antsy, just paying our standard mortgage payment every month.

We pretty much have just been tossing a few extra pennies on each mortgage payment to get us to a nice round number... (and we have only managed to reduce our final mortgage payment by a whopping $97.00.

But that all changes next month.

I'm getting a very healthy annual raise this year because I've been working my butt off and instead of inflating our lifestyle, we are going to start accelerating our mortgage repayment plan.

With the first condo, it took me being in the place a little over 3 years before I was able to refinance, eliminate the MIP, and jump on the "20 year" mortgage bandwagon. 

This time around, we aren't going to do a refinance and pay someone to lock us into a higher payment with a likely higher percentage rate. Nope, this time around we are just going to start adding enough money onto our mortgage payment every month to get us to what a 20 year mortgage would look like with our current loan balance. (I love online calculators)

So instead of $764.00 a month, it will be $969.00 a month.... starting next month... which will basically wipe out my raise after tithing and it feels like its the right thing to do with our money, which makes me happy.

  • This change will make our base annual costs around $18,300 a year (before home improvements) when we add in property tax, insurance, and HOA fees.... which is still $8,430 cheaper than renting 

I tossed a few extra dollars onto our June payment to celebrate this welcomed change!

Current Mortgage Balance: $154,200.63
  • June Payment:$808.83
  • Principal paid:$293.85
  • Interest paid: $514.98

Total interest paid on the new loan: $12,582.46

Estimated Value: $330,480.00*

*Until the improvements are finished, we are keeping the value at our property tax level because no one likes an unfinished project.

Getting The Keys

If your just catching along with our house buying and selling story, you'll want to check out the re-cap post on our 1 bedroom condo.

Our starting profit from the sale of our condo was $181,691.35. From there, we purchased a 2 bedroom condo in the same complex. Our very extensive down payment came from the profits we rolled over from the sale of our first place.

Starting Profit$181,691.35
New Purchase
Down Payment-$164,000.00
Wire Transfer Fee ($30 fee waived)$0.00
Admin Fees (Origination Charges)-$899.00
Processing Fees (Origination Charges)-$495.00
Credit Report-$32.50
Flood Cert-$11.00
County taxes-$46.78
endorsement fee-$25.00
Recording grant deed-$9.00
Recording Trust Deed-$57.00
Notary Fee-$175.00
Messenger Fee-$25.00
Archiving Fee-$80.00
e doc fee-$100.00
escrow fee-$798.00
lenders title insurance-$357.00
sub escrow fee-$37.50
Recording Fees-$150.00
Homeowners insurance-$400.00
Prepaid interest-$140.24
HOA Dues-$93.33
Hoa Dues-$350.00
HOA Processing Fee-$50.00
lender credits$6.40
Seller Credits $1,200.00
Escrow Refund from Bank of America$572.85
Refund from Insurance policies$159.91

Money spent to move: $167,834.96.... Remaining Profit from original sale: $14,589.16
We got the keys and the same day we moved in, we also started to remodel. (After the boxes were out of the u-haul, we ripped out our master bedroom closet)

Here's what we have spent so far on the remodel:

Washer/Dryer, fridge, delivery, install & dryer hoses$2,054.87
Stove, microwave, delivery, install, and stove plug + Plug labor$1,055.13
Reverse Osmosis System $233.53
Tv Mount - Living Room$135.00
USPS address change $1.00
Bathroom shower rod, curtain, hooks, tub fixtures$234.47
Windows / Slider door deposit$690.03
Portable wire racks (3)$118.22
3 Ceiling Fans$382.52
Laundry Hose Connector$7.52
Paint Samples, Keys, Impact Driver Accessories. tile samples$60.48
Tools to remove nails from Cement and boards$27.95
Electrical Parts$1,213.23
Electrical Labor$1,850.00
Ikea Bathroom + Toy Chest$1,266.78
Paint Prep supplies and ceiling paint$214.28
Drywall Costs$1,380.00
Heater Repairs$1,146.94
Painting Supplies$340.62
Home Depot Supplies (Bathroom /shower) supplies$77.98
Tub resurface$500.00
Paint, Door Measure$124.72
Home depot Vents and Spray paint$54.07
Window coverings / Curtains/Rods$320.42
Windows / Sliders /Final$6,210.27
paver stones, 2 plants, plastic sheeting$130.25
2017 Tax savings (Federal) -$1,125.00
2017 Tax savings (State)-$768.00
2017 "living in our condo savings" 6 months-$4,715.50
Home depot / CED - odds and ends $38.48
Ceiling Paint $24.49
Wardrobe, kitchen table, bed frame (Deliver $59) $1,215.09
Ikea (hinges, end table, storage cubes) $187.41
fix bathroom shower handle / Coat hook $28.45
Front door and interior doors $2,468.17
New shower + install +Fixtures $7,740.00
Water Shut Off $150.00
City Permits - Shower $170.50
Tools for tile removal $181.78
2018 "living in our condo savings" 12 months-$7,227.33
2018 Tax savings - State -$594.60
3 Celing fans $258.50
Grinder tool$34.41
Air compressor, air hammer/chizzle / oil / tile removal supplies $501.38
Hall curtains and rod $ 50.86
Currently in the hole: $ 3,860.21 

*When we file our taxes for the year, I always factor in what our return would be BEFORE our mortgage expenses drop us into the "itemizing" category. For 2017, we were able to write off over $7,000 and the amounts listed in the chart above are the amount we received back because of our mortgage and property tax deductions... and the sale of our condo and those expenses we could write off. For 2018, we only saved on our state taxes, not having enough deductions to itemize our federal taxes.

**We also track how much cheaper it is to be homeowners vs. renters. Our 2 bedroom housing comps tell us that to rent a 2 bedroom for the first 6 months would cost us $13,156 verses $8,440.50 to be homeowners (That's 6 months of Mortgage, additional principal, Prop Tax, HOA, and Earthquake insurance expenses since our Homeowner insurance was purchased in escrow.) So that's how we get our $4,715.50 "living in our condo savings" for 2017. For 2018, we used the same numbers and the difference was $7,227.33. For 2019, we will use these factors in 2019 Housing Comps.

So, we are currently in the hole $3,860.21.. and still in home improvement land.

However, we have $176,279.37 in equity, if we assume our property tax value is accurate at $330,480.00. If we were to sell our condo today after 6% commission fees and another $4,000 in closings costs, (plus the amount we are in the hole for) we would walk away with $148,590.36 verses the $181,691.35 profit we had before we bought this place.

So we have a ways to go to make this home a worth while investment. For us, having our own room and more space, and being on the bottom unit and closer to the park and play area is worth the $33,100.99 difference for the time being.

Friday, June 21, 2019

DeJa Vu -- It's raining in our kitchen...

At the end of 2018, our Toddler surprised us one night to tell us it was raining in the kitchen... This marked our 2nd incident where our upstairs neighbors decided to do plumbing repairs without properly turning off the boiler. (Incident one was their shower install... incident two was in their kitchen above)...

And unfortunately, this was in addition to the Slab leak and all the water we found under the tile in our little man's room...  So imagine our our surprise to see this happen AGAIN.  Same owner... same renters...

But this time they decided plumbing repairs should be done at 10 pm at night... Yup, you read that correctly, 10 pm at night.  Hubs was doing dishes in the kitchen and saw water leaking down...

Naturally I went up there to let them know what was going on, and instead of stopping, they continued to do "repairs." So water leaked into my house for 2 hours straight... yup, we couldn't do to bed until Midnight.

at 10:35 pm the HOA after hours emergency line returned my call, informing me they would dispatch the plumbing company that can turn the boiler off. Ironically, it was the same person I spoke to the last time this happened...

10:56 pm, HOA calls me back to confirm I have an ETA from the plumber with an arrival time. I inform her that I do not have an ETA and have not gotten a call from the pluming company.

When the renters "plumber" AKA the homeowners handyman (who apparently does electrical work too... which is just plain scary.. ) tried to ask me to run my water so they could flush stuff out. I had to refuse because it would damage my unit more since the water wasn't turned off in the building! I pleaded again for them to stop working until the water was shut off, but they refused.

11:20 pm, I got fed up and called the plumbing company directly, and asked for an ETA of arrival since my unit was getting rained on. They tell me I should get a call in 10 minutes from the driver with an ETA.

11:45 pm, water still coming down and no call from the plumber.... but he shows up 5 minutes later and he told me he didn't call because he was already on the way... this was on the stairwell of the neighbors unit, as he didn't even come into mine.

12:06 AM the water stops leaking down... we hear lots of pipe cutting noises... but since the water isn't leaking, and since no one is coming to our unit since the problem is above us, we put box fans up in the kitchen facing the ceiling and go to sleep.

------ Next day ------

Emails with photos to the HOA .... they dispatch the flood remediation company .... the next day they come to the property, and end up cutting a HUGE hole in our ceiling.... remove all the installation.... and tell us the bad news...

We are going to have to close all our doors and windows for the next 3-5 days, and run the dehumidifiers and super jet fans on constant cycle.... because these pull so much power, they have to disconnect a few appliances...

Oh ya, and these things radiate heat so your house is going to be a hot box... but because your kitchen is still "accessible" the HOA won't relocate you during the drying out process... even though you don't have AC in your unit.... and you won't be able to talk or hear anything in this area because they are REALLY loud.

So, we let it go.

We ordered take out, barricaded ourselves in the master bedroom and sealed off the hall way so we could at least open a window in one room for fresh air and lower temps to sleep.. and we dealt with it.

It got up to 93 degrees.... would have been more but we lucked out and its be in the mid 60's and 
raining off and on... and not a typical California June.  

The good news was that the technician told me that because the hole was so huge (they had to cut around a can light so its just floating now), if we didn't turn the fans and heaters off they might be able to come by on Wednesday and check the status and remove the equipment before the weekend. so instead of 5 days, it would be Wed Night, 24 hours on Thursday, and hopefully removal by mid-day on Friday.

I update HOA that i'm booking the inspection for Friday and cross my fingers....

------- Friday -------

They come, and we have a 6% moisture level.... anything under 12% is considered dry, so we were like bone dry!

Now I have to coordinate with the HOA to have the drywall and my can light replaced, and for them to texture the ceiling.

Apparently we will have to pay for it to be painted and they won't paint it this time (apparently last time they decided to be nice and just pay the guy to paint it, but our new rep isn't going to authorize the painting.

When the repair company comes, i'm going to ask them to quote me to paint it if i already have the matching paint and see what he will charge me... and if I can get "the landlord" to reimburse me for the costs... cause I really don't want to sand a ceiling down AGAIN...   I've spent enough time in a drywall dust mask in this unit already...

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Cucamonga Peak

I have a new favorite number... and it's 8859... cause that was how high I was when I finished Cucamonga Peak!

We started on Saturday morning at 6 am at the trail head and made our way up the mountain. I was rocking just under 30 lbs for our overnight adventure with food and water. My training paid off and I enjoyed the hike to the summit. 

We took ample breaks because my short legs can only go so far, so fast, but i've seen a lot of improvement in my stamina and strength since I started planning for this back in January. We decided to skip Ontario Peak because it was actually a 6 mile add on, and instead Keith back tracked 1/2 a mile to get more water since we weren't heading to Ontario. 

We had 1st lunch at the saddle and then ventured to the peak. I carried the extra water in exchange for him going to get it from the river/stream. The trail was clear of snow except for 2 small stretches and the views at the top were spectacular.
We planned to hike overnight from the start (that was the whole purpose of the trip, my first overnight hike)... however we found ourselves re-thinking that plan when we heard the weather unfortunately was going sour. The storm in the forecast for mid-day Sunday, moved in Saturday evening. We were prepared for cold temperatures and expected, at worst, a sprinkling of snow on Sunday.... instead rain started soon and we knew the temperatures would drop down into the 20's and it was clear we would get much more snow then we expected. 

We contemplated breaking camp and heading back down to the saddle, but I made the decision that we should stay. It was a hard decision to make, knowing that Keith was anxious to stay, but 5 other tents were with us at the peak and we were set up and dry. Keith was also not in the state to completely get off the mountain that night. The weight of his pack was much heavier than mine and it wasn't carrying well. If we broke camp, we would likely get wet in the coming rain, and our gear would get wet... and then we would have to rely on wet gear to keep us warm for the night at the saddle, and we may have had to hike in the rain, downhill, in the dark....

So we camped... we prayed... told the other campers we were heading down at first light, and tried to get some sleep on the totally not flat camp slot we set up to help block the wind. I'm not going to lie... 
There was some panic when it was still snowing at 3 am and too dark to see really what we were getting into... but then the snow stopped at 4:00 am... and we were able to confirm again that we weren't alone on the peak. Others were camped still. 

To calm down, we told ourselves we could always go down in a group if we wanted to wait longer.
We had 3-5 inches outside of out tent. Knowing by 5:30 it would be light out, we began to slowly break camp... re-packing our bags and gear in dry sacks and adding layers for warmth. We still had our emergency back up gear we didn't need to use in the night for warm, and we waterproofed ourselves the best we could to manage any more snow fall that may happen going down the mountain.
It was clear at 5:30 am, that everyone else was still snoozing in their tents, and we could be ready to go only needing to break down our tent. Early snow is better to cross than late day snow and I didn't want to wait an hour or two for the others to wake up and then strike. I said a prayer to myself and told keith with confidence we were heading down now... and he followed my lead.
The trail was covered in snow... and mostly missing. 

We pulled up the GPS map we downloaded, found our dot and headed off in the direction of the trail. Before leaving I used Snow "texting" to write in the snow "left at 6 am" so the other campers would know we kept our plan. We set our ground rules that we would stick to for safety. I would carve out time markers in the snow when we passed certain sections, so the campers behind us would know where we went and when we passed by when they descended. We would also re-check the trail GPS map, to make sure we were on trail and not on some random patch of dirt and snow every 10-15 minutes, or at a switchback. We both had to agree before making a turn that we thought the trail was the trail and that we confirmed it with the map. The others would likely follow our footsteps, so we didn't want to lead them the wrong way either.

After 30 minutes decent, our fears were behind us. We have experience snow hiking, and we were smart in our preparations. We slept with water and our filter in our sleeping bags so we had supplies that did not freeze overnight... we had dry clean clothes to hike in.... and enough base layers to keep warm... We began to enjoy the trail again and made our decent. (we even scored some trail names).
At the saddle, the wind turned and the snow was not only on the ground, but sleeting in sections. This confirmed my choice in camping on top of the mountain, because we wouldn't have escaped the snow if we broke camp and camped there.
As we descended, we told other hikers attempting to do the trail the current conditions, how many people were ahead of them, and how many people camped at the peak. All were grateful for our steps that would mark the trail, and to know when to turn around if they felt it was sketchy.
First overnight trip is in the bag!