Have you ever though, “Dang…I really could use a little more responsibility in my life.” or “Gosh…I’d really like to have more things to spend money on and subsequently deplete my savings account!”?
And I don’t remember having either one of those conscious thoughts, but somehow that’s where we are. Voluntarily, no less. As in, of our own accord. Like, on purpose.
We have entered the world of real estate investing.
Apparently when you turn 40, all of your friends start talking about investing and real estate and equity and appreciation and cash out refinancing and long term rentals and short term rentals and vacation property and the BRRRR method and multifamily and single family and renovation and cash on cash and LLCs. And eventually you think…’well, that sounds kind of cool’ and the next thing you know, you’re stuck in a basement priming and painting cabinets during your precious free time…which was in short supply to begin with…because you yourself stepped into the most bananas real estate market EVER and bought yourself an investment property. PSHEW.
We decided to buy a house that didn’t need much work, because when Chip and Jojo Gaines ask “Do you have what it takes to take on a fixer upper?” the answer to that question is a quick and shameless “nope.” At the time we bought this house, we possessed zero actual renovation skills. I figured I could just walk through houses, wearing Birkenstocks and drinking coffee, saying things like “We’d take this wall out” and “I would gut this kitchen” and “Let’s add some can lights over here” and “Do you think this is a load-bearing wall?” and “Good God, is this bathroom made out of particle board?”
Somehow, our non-fixer upper, that I will maintain was never a fixer upper, has required us to spend quantities of money that I assume people only spend on an actual fixer uppers. Spending money on this house is coming very easily to me. Entirely too easily. And what makes it even easier is the phrase “we’ll just write it off.” Good lord… We’ve written off every square inch of Home Depot.
Eventually, we will rent this house to actual people (fingers crossed) and I feel a deep responsibility to make sure it is as nice as possible for these actual people. Like, when I’m responsible for other people’s kids, I’m on my best parenting behavior and try to do a really good job, but when I’m with my own kids, I’m like…”meh.” That’s why right now we have a slew of things that need to be addressed at our own home, but we’re like…”yeah…it can wait.” One of our children has been banned from her shower for the last three weeks because I’m pretty sure it’s leaking through the ceiling.
Despite a brisk and continuous financial hemorrhage, we are learning a lot and maybe, possibly…having some fun. I have discovered that Danny is ridiculously handy and has figured out how to do a lot of things I would just pay someone to do…and write it off (duh). I suppose it helps when you’re 6’2″ and have really big muscles. He has a proclivity for demo and is constantly looking for things to tear down and smash up (the red wall in the first picture no longer exists). One day I thought that I would take on some demo, so I grabbed a hammer (like you do) and zeroed in on the kitchen counter. I took one swing which resulted in a tiny shard of tile flying precariously close to my eyeball. I told Danny “Yeah, you’re probably going to need some goggles for this job,” sat the hammer down and walked away. There are some things that I’m good at, but they usually involve me pointing at things saying:
“Paint that green.”
“A little higher.”
“Is that a dead mouse?”
“Do you think a kid would get stuck in there?”
And my personal favorite, as I’m pointing at my car…
“I’m going to Homegoods.”
I’m also good at bringing Danny coffee, offering words of encouragement and losing my collective $&!t when I hear things like “jack up the concrete” “asbestos” and “well, that will need to be a special order.”
To be continued…assuming we have enough money to pay our internet bill.