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"It's All About Me..."

March 16th, 2008 at 03:44 pm

Thank you all for the warm welcome. Iím so happy to be a part of this family. Today, Fern posted a request for an SA get together. I think that sounds like a hoot! Weíd have to do it frugally Ė I think we should all stay at Imaís house! LOL!

Hereís a little bit more about me Ė and, as the baby, ďitís all about me,Ē right?? I have no credit card debt, drive an 18 y/o car (a Nissan 300ZX which I LOVE), have no debt except for a honking huge mortgage. And, the mortgage kinda freaks me out.

I bought my first home, a condo, three years ago. Yes, I bought in the peak of the market. One day, Iíll take photos of the condo to show you what $530k buys you in coastal Northern California. But for now, Iíll describe it to you. It isnít much, folks. Itís a two bedroom, two bath, 1100 sf place built in 1980. The complex has 25 units, no pool, no visitor parking, no nuthiní. Itís in the ďbadĒ part of town to boot. Although, I donít consider the neighborhood bad at all, itís just the unincorporated section of town, and has a lot of old homes mixed in with a bunch of condos. Itís actually quite unique and I like it. Itís one mile from the beach, so itís not close, but not too far either. A ďshort walk to the beach Ė for a LabradorĒ is how Iíd describe it. 

Anyway, I only had 5% to put down ($26,500) and have paid an additional $10k over the last 3 years. I got into a 5/1 interest only ARM at 5%. I have two more years left on the ARM, so I am constantly wondering what the heck to do. Should I refi now? I actually donít think Iíll qualify as I understand banks want you to have 20% equity and since the value has dropped since I bought (my neighbor just sold her condo for $499k after being on the market for 9 months) I have about 1%!! Crap!

I think I should sit tight and keep paying extra on the principle for a while. I have two more years and the 5% rate is really quite good. But, I do worry. Worry. Worry.

After finding you all and reading your blogs, I started an online MM savings account. I chose GMAC. I now have $3,000 in that account. My goal for that account is to save up 6 months of EF. I figure that would need to be $25,000 at a minimum.

I contribute 10% to my companyís 401(k) and had reached the $100k milestone a few months back. Then the market tanked and it went below $100k and then I quit looking at it. I donít want to know.

I also contribute 10% to an employee stock purchase program. It comes due every six months and I use that money to pay my property taxes twice a year. Want to know another fun fact? My property taxes are $6,600 a year. Oh, joy!

Okay, I think thatís much of my financial picture. Iíll share more about my frugality in another post.

Happy Sunday, everyone!
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2 Responses to “"It's All About Me..."”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    Welcome!

    Of course, I am not sure where you are exactly (though I can guess!), but I am from San Jose. We bought a condo in 1999 because rents were insane and the $500k starter homes scared the crap out of us. (Today they are $700k starter homes, of course). We figured we could ride our equity up, and though condos appreciated faster than homes most of the time we owned the condo, it felt like an impossible cause.

    So we moved. We kept the same mortgage but bought our dream home instead, in Sacramento. Which cost like 1/2 as much as your condo.

    Anyway, I understand where you are coming from. More to say I have kind of been there in figuring out how to live in expensive land. We just never figured it out. !! Buying a home for so much money is very scary. Hope you figure it out.

    Oh yeah, and we often talk about if we would move back if we came into some cash. One look at the property taxes? No way! Otherwise we could have maybe made the move back with our home equity. Just couldn't figure out the insane property taxes on top of all that... So I hear you on that!

  2. Ima saver Says:

    I live in the mountains of north Georgia and 500K would buy you quite a house here. My home is valued at 5-6 hundred thousand. It is 3200 square feet, with 2- 2 car garages, one with an eff. apt. above. We are on 2 acres with 400 plus feet on the creek.
    I think you should save as much money as you can before you refi the house. It is wonderful to be mortgage free. I use to pay extra on my house with every payment til I finally saved enough to pay it off. That feels great.

    BTW, you all can have the SA get together at my house for sure!!

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