Investment Property

I’ve been thinking a lot about home buying. Not that I’m ready to do so, but I definitely think that in 2 years I’ll be in the right place to do it. One thing I really want is a home that allows me to rent out part of the property so that I can make money on it.

Mr Hive keeps talking about how if I get a roommate that will accomplish what I want. Which, while technically true, is not what I want. I don’t want to share my house with someone. I want my own space. I want to rent out a separate part of my house such that the individual does not have access to my part of the house and (except for repairs or pest management) I don’t have access to their part of the house.

In the old city I lived in, it was popular to have detached garages with carriage houses on top. Something like this:

I think these are great. And it seemed that every other house in my old city had something like this going on. It is perfect for a mother in law, a sibling (wouldn’t things have been different if my sister was living there?), to rent out to a tenant, or even for a college kid to live in so they get to stay “at home” but still have their own privacy.

However, in Kansas City I haven’t seen ANYTHING like this. Most garages are attached, and the main house is built over the garage. So I’m not sure that something like this will be an option for me.

What does Kansas City have though? Basements.

One of my coworkers has two college students living in his basement apartment. So I know that in at least some parts of the city this is a legal option.

Of course since I know that this is something that I want to do in a future home I’ll have to factor in the price of converting a basement to a rental property. It will likely add an additional $50-60,000 in repairs depending on the state of the basement when I move in.

I would want the basement to have an outside entrance for private entry, large windows for the living space/sunlight, and at least 500 sq ft that I can convert into a 1 bedroom apartment.

From my calculations, the basic mortgage on a $200,000 house with 20% down (30 years, 7% fixed) would be around $1,064/month. To add the renovations would add $50,000 to the loan, with the same down and the same mortgage terms I’d be looking at $1397/month. So I’d need to rent the apartment for at least $400/month to break even on the investment.

Considering a 1 bedroom in the area I’m looking at goes for around $700/month – this seems completely reasonable.

Have you ever considered having an investment property on your property like the examples above? Or are you like Mr. Hive and prefer just to get a roommate to make a little extra income?

The Bed

Warning: Not my real bed.

One of the things I’ve needed to get for a while was a bed so that my sister had something to sleep on.

The way I see it I had a few options:

1. Buy her a cheap ass bed and save me some $$$. Casting my sister into eternal suffering each night

2. Buy myself a new bed and she can inherit my 9 year old queen bed.

Can you guess which one I chose? Yup, option #2.

Yesterday BF and I went bed shopping (together, awwww…). The first store I was in I was tempted with this delicious non-spring based bed. OMG. I felt like I was laying in heaven. It was so comfortable. The right amount of firm and soft, support, ect. This bed was quality. BF and I just laid on it and even snuggled (in the store, we’re gross like that) with complete bliss. The downside? $1900. For a bed. That’s a lot of dough. I managed to talk the salesmen into 2 years 0% interest, a free bed frame, free delivery, AND a free mattress protector. Calculate it all out and I’m paying ~$80/month for two years. Yikes, that’s a lot.

We then went to the other store near my apartment. Here we found another bed. Not as wonderful and dreamy as the first, but we both agreed it was about 80-85% as comfortable as the bed at the other store. The upside? It was on sale. Regular price $1695. Sale price? $995. The bonus? $50 off coupon good only for another two days. I managed to talk the salesman into a free mattress pad, free bed frame and (you guessed it) free delivery. Because of the price point (less than $1,000) I was only able to get interest free financing for 12 months. So I’d be paying (when you include tax) $90/month for one year to pay it off.

Which did I chose? Dream bed #1 or more practical bed #2?

As much as I wanted the first bed, it was twice the price as the second, and BF and I both agreed that it wasn’t twice the comfort.

So I signed the dotted line on bed #2.

On the flip side, BF mentioned that it we ever do move in together we might consider splurging together on a bed like the first one. That made me grin. Of course, he knows good and well that I don’t plan on moving in with anyone until I’m engaged, but it was still a sweet thought.

Anyway, I’ll need to redo my budget for the next year to include a $90 bed payment every month and avoid the 29% interest that starts if I DON’T get it paid off in 12 months. Dang… that’s some good incentive there. 😉

P.S. When I applied for financing I was approved for $2,800. Dang… $2,800 on a bed? That would be the nicest bed in the entire world! And at that price point I would have no interest for 3 years… and still only $80/month. Lemme tell ya… that is kinda tempting, but I’ve already made my decision. I slept on bed  #2 last night and it was fantastically comfortable!

To Garage or Not to Garage

That is the question…

My apartment complex has a few different car housing options.

One is just open parking. Cost: Free. Benefits: Cheap. Cons: Icy windshields. No promise of close parking. My car takes forever to defrost as it is not made for cold weather.

Second is a carport. Cost: $20/month. Benefits: Inexpensive, no snowy windshields. Cons: None available near my apartment. I’d have to walk three buildings down just to get a carport spot – not very convenient at all. This option is out, unfortunately.

The third is a garage. Cost: $60/month. Benefits: No icy windows to scrap or snow to brush off.  Guaranteed parking close to my apartment. Cons: Only one left. $60/month is a lot of money.

I have the option of renting this garage on a month to month basis. So I could rent it *just* for the winter months. But $60/month is a lot to swallow. I’m already paying $789/month for my apartment. Adding another $60 on top of that just scares the crap out of me in terms of my budget. But the good part is that if that extra $60/month is tight the first month I can cancel the second and deal with the snow/ice.

I’m thinking Nov-March I’ll probably want a place to keep my car out of the snow/ice overnight. But 5 months x $60/month is $300 that could definitely be put to some good uses (like debt!)

I can’t seem to figure out what I want to do. I really, really want the garage. But really don’t want to have to pay for it! I did do the previous 3 winters without a garage. I survived. But I also didn’t have set times I *needed* to be at work in those 3 years. Now I have 8am and 9am classes, so I’ll HAVE to be at work by those times. Having the garage would definitely save me time in the morning.

What to do… what to do… better think fast though… as there is only one left!

What do you think I should do?


My apartment here has been leased starting August 20th. WHAT A RELIEF! My lease didn’t end until Aug 2011, so I needed someone to take it over for the last year. The complex has shown it to probably 15 different people in the last month and the girl yesterday wanted it!!!!

So my lease here ends Aug 13th. Her lease starts Aug 20th. I just have to pay half a month in August and then the lease change fee of $250. Not too bad!

I’m just so relieved that I don’t have to worry about paying double rent once I moved (which I could only do if I never eat and pay no bills lol). It was a lingering concern in my mind and glad I won’t have to do it!

Rawr – Quote Fail (on my part)

So here is how it went down.

On June 4th I visited this apartment complex and got a quote for the apartment I wanted. It was $758/month + $35/month pet rent. Total of $793/month. Which was only slightly higher than the other place I was looking at. Since this had a garage and all sorts of other awesomeness about it I decided to go with it.

So I called the leasing place and they only had an apartment for me for Sept 5th. Mildly inconvenient, but I’ve worked through the issues associated with rehousing my pets and myself for 3 weeks. I sent them my deposits and money for a credit check. Got approved.

Today I called and asked if any new apartments had become available (there is a possibility that something could become available sooner up until Friday of this week). Nothing. Then I asked what apartment number this Sept. 5th apartment was so that I could look at where it was located on the site map (BTW, GREAT LOCATION, I’ll have a private driveway to my garage AND only one attached neighbor!).

The leasing manager told me she would send me a quote for that apartment. WELL, when I got the NEW quote (after I sent in my deposit) the rent (not including pet rent) was $791/month. I emailed back and asked why the change since no one had mentioned to me a different rent up until this point. And they essentially said that the quote I originally received had expired on June 6th, and since I didn’t give them the deposit check before that I couldn’t lock in that quote. Which makes sense, but I’m more angry that they never told me in the intervening 3 weeks that the price had gone up!

So anyway, now the total rent per month will be $826/month. I still have the option to take back my deposit and forfeit the $35 credit check fee. But I like love the apartment. And since I negotiated a $2,000/year higher salary I guess this will be okay in the long run. Just more pissed at myself for not insisting on a new quote before sending in the checks. Lesson learned.

Now I’ll have to revise my budget for Kansas… yet again….

Productive Day

So here is what went down today:

  1. Finally got my contract. Called the VP and negotiated $1500 in relocation and $2000 more in salary. He agreed, my new contract will be mailed on Friday. I simply said I would sign the contract at $2000 more and he said “Okay, I’ll send that to you then.”
  2. Decided on Apartment #3. Called the leasing company and asked if could reserve the apartment that is available for Sept 5th and if anything else opens up sooner than switch to the other apartment. They agreed. I filled out the lease and wrote the checks. Mailing them tomorrow.
  3. Talked to Okturn Delmoniq’s sister about staying with her. She agreed! However, she isn’t allowed to have pets. So I’ll be leaving the pup in boarding. A friend of mine loves my cats so I’ll see if he’ll take them for 3 weeks. The plan is to go get them after I’m in my apartment. A little inconvenient, but minor in the grand scheme of things. If worse comes to worse, I may have to board the cats. They would hate that.
  4. Packed box #2. I’m so excited to start the moving process.
  5. Talked to my dad about the family reunion in July. Doesn’t look like he’s going to come. So I emailed my uncles to see when they were arriving so I could try to fly in at similar times and hitch rides with them.

I’m just SO GLAD that things are finally coming together. I’ll be figuring out a moving budget tonight and will get that posted for ya’ll shortly. =)

Woke Up Early

I have a meeting today at 8:30am. I intended to get up at 7am. Somehow I was up at 6am and out the door at ten till 7. I’m still not quite sure how this happened.

But the upside is I’m at work early and no one is here and I have a chance to just sit and reflect – ON APARTMENTS.

I called the apartment complex of apartment #3. The apartment they did have available in a timely manner has been rented, the only other one they have won’t be available until September 5th. Since I was planning on moving August 14th or sooner, this would really be a pain in the bootay. There is a possibility that another apartment might open up – but it isn’t a certainty in the least.

I looked at some temporary housing situations, but all the extended stay hotels I could find online were $1000 for the time period I wanted. I emailed Okturn Delmoniq‘s sister to see if I could stay with her, but honestly even if she said yes I’m not sure that imposing myself and three animals upon her would be a good idea – also it would be a terrible commute for 3 weeks (she lives 45 miles away).

So I have decided that I’m probably going to rent apartment #1. I’ll save up money each month that is the difference in rent between the two apartments for moving expenses if I decide I want to move. I’ll be saving $42/month by not going to that apartment (and even more since the Starbucks won’t be on my commute lol). If I don’t like the place I’m living I can move out in a year and use the money I saved on rent to pay for it. If I do like my cheaper place than I can stay there and put my savings towards debt or a future house fund.

If however, the other complex I like gets back to me today or tomorrow to tell me that someone has finally given them their 60 day notice (which they were anticipating Friday) then I’ll only be put out for about a week or a week and a half at most. That is something that I can most definitely deal with, especially if they can get me in before my teaching would start (August 31st).

The quote for apartment #1 (and #2) expires tomorrow at the end of the day. I need to just have an apartment, I can’t continue waffling, so I’ll pick at apartment by tomorrow. For sure…. I hope….

I’m So Fickle

Pretty much as soon as I posted that last post I realized that my options were more than I was thinking. So I’m just going to let you guys help me decide. I know what I’m leaning towards, but I’m curious what the general population thinks

Apartment #1

The apartment has a 670 sq ft floor plan. It is on the 3rd (top) floor with trey ceilings. Includes a washer and drier in the apartment. There is no covered or assigned parking. No dining room in the floor plan. The complex is 4.5 miles from campus. When I was there, there were students also looking at apartments, so it is likely that there will some students around. The rent is $756/month including pet rent.

Apartment #2

This apartment is the same floor plan as apartment #1 and in the same apartment complex. However, it is a ground floor apartment and includes a nice little backyard area for the dog. It is iron fencing, so I couldn’t keep him out there during the day, but he could go out without me having to put a leash on him. They would mow the yard area for me. The rent is $788/month including pet rent.

Apartment #3

This apartment is 7 miles from campus, so the commute is a bit longer, but would also most likely be student free living. The style of this complex is townhome, so there would be no one below or above me. There would be a garage on the bottom floor with the washer and drier in the garage area and the top floor would be my apartment. It is 750 sq ft (not including the garage sq ft) and includes a dining room area. The grounds of the complex include a lake that I could walk my dog around and they’re putting in a dog park for the residents this summer. Rent here including pet rent would be $793/month.

So there are my options. I like them all. I have my leanings but I don’t want to try to influence yours!

This is my first time making a poll on here! Hope it works! =D

Apartment Stuff

I finally decided on the apartment that I wanted. It is a third floor apartment, slightly smaller than I’m in now (the floorplan eliminates the dining room, which is fine I don’t need that), and $40 more per month than I’m paying now. However, there is a gym on site, so I’ll eliminate that monthly and yearly fee ($20/month and $70/year for a locker). Sure it isn’t a net savings, but the apartment is SUPER nice compared to the crap hole I’m in now. So I consider this a bonus for only a net of $20 more per month.

The apartment won’t be ready for me until the 14th, my start date is the 16th, so it will be a quick move. Also, this helps me feel more settled about my end date here (I’m going to have it be August 6th, I’m pretty sure).

I got quotes from ABF to move me. They moved me from San Diego to my current location and I couldn’t say enough good things about them.

Currently I’m looking at $1200 for two relo-cubes – OR – $1600 for a truck AND movers. I must say, the idea of having people move me sounds AWESOME. Especially since I’m moving from a third floor apartment to a third floor apartment. Also, since I would have to fly people out to help me load and unload, I think that $400 more is a pretty good price (much less than two round trip plane tickets for 2 friends to help).

I feel so much better now that I know SOME stuff and can start planning. I was getting very anxious not knowing what was going on!!

Apartment Sale

One of the things that I’ve wanted to do is have a garage sale. However this is a little hard when you don’t really have a garage. Or a yard.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to have an apartment sale to get rid of some of my stuff.

I’ll put everything I want to keep in my bedroom, shut the door. And everything I don’t want in my living room. Then people will come and buy my stuff and I’ll be a millionaire! Right?

My goal is to get rid of about 50% of my belongings. I would like to do this before I move (whenever this will be).

I want to get rid of my couch, TV, TV stand, china hutch, coffee table, some fans, most of my DVDs, some musical instruments, dining table and chairs, craft supplies, ect, ect, ect. I feel like I have enough stuff to warrant having my own sale.

What I’m thinking of doing is picking a weekend in late June to do one, then again in August (when the students come back to town) and then if I still have stuff left a last one in September. Then anything I don’t get rid of that I don’t want will be donated to charity.

The reason for multiple sales is that I can imagine that A) some stuff won’t get sold the first time around and B) that I’ll probably find more stuff I don’t want after a second or third pass through.

I moved to my apartment in the Midwest in two moving pods.

When I leave I want to use just one. Since I’ve acquired some furniture since I got here this will be quite an undertaking. I think I can do it. I may also have to get rid of more clothes. I don’t know why, but getting rid of clothes and books are two things that pain me a lot.

I’m also going to get a hard drive and put my three file drawers of paperwork on to the hard drive and then back them up onto a DVD. But I’ll need to get a better scanner than the one I have. I think the community college has a printer that you can use to scan things to file, so I may try to use that, since it will make it go MUCH faster. I’m going to get rid of the scanner I currently have (hopefully) in one of my apartments sales. The apartments I’m looking at in Kansas all have 24-hr business centers and my work will have printing. So I won’t need a personal printer anymore. NICE!