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Pending Mortgage Pre-Approval but Life in Limbo Continues

May 4th, 2016 at 01:25 pm

So we heard from our credit union and have been tentatively pre-qualified for a mortgage. We just have to get them the last two statements from my savings account to prove we have money for closing, the last two tax returns, and the last two W-2's. We had everything except the 2014 tax return, which DH says is at work.

He is on his way back up to Alaska so hopefully he is right, but work can issue him a copy if not, so either way we should be able to send those documents in soon.

But we can't move forward ourselves until the company DH's work has bid on the contract for makes the announcement on who got it. They've known for almost 2 weeks now, but as per usual, they let their announcement deadlines go whizzing past. It is frustrating beyond belief to continue to have to live in limbo.

I am such a planner, especially financially, so not being able to plan seriously screws with my head and my sense of security. It kind of feels like when I have some OCD stuff going on and something prevents me from going through the rituals to calm it down. Like checking my alarm clock four times at night, but I can't because the power is out. It builds up and makes me a little antsy. Only this is bigger than that sort of thing. It's a low level of anxiety that is almost constant and doesn't want to be shoved back down into its hole. And I don't like it.

Goals Met This Year

December 6th, 2014 at 02:28 pm

I've been thinking a lot about what I've accomplished this year and what I want to accomplish next year. The last couple of years have been pretty big for us in paying down debt and this year was, too.

Milestones hit in 2014:

--Paying off the Mortgage

--Hitting the halfway mark on paying off the loan to Mom

--Paying down the van loan far enough that we owe less on it than it is worth

--Hitting $10K on the Emergency Fund. It wasn't there for long, but it was there, and it will be again by the end of this year so I count that as a win.

We have also made great strides towards becoming self-sufficient, though we still have a long way to go. What happened this year:

--Expanding the farm to four types of livestock as well as building the housing for those animals

--Butchering chickens, turkeys, and ducks for our own consumption (joining the rabbits we have been doing previously), so we almost never have to purchase meat (just the occasional beef and pork)

Joining a Bartering and Sales group within the local farm community, within which I have been able to sell rabbit breeding stock, rabbit livers for dog food, duck eggs, and barter for raw goat's milk cheddar and chevre, natural homemade salves, and beef

Found a processing facility that is WSDA approved AND nearby so if we want to move into meat sales next year, we can

Grew a marginally successful organic garden that netted 80 pounds of potatoes, 20 pounds of tomatoes, 8 quarts of green beans, 2 quarts of yellow beans, excessive amounts of lettuce, kale, and leeks, 15 bunches of green onions, enough parsley (still drying) for a year, 12 heads of broccoli, 5 heads of cauliflower, 1 pound of chard 1 dozen kohlrabi, 10 pounds of cucumbers, 30 pounds of zucchini, 35 pounds of sweet meat squash, 5 gallons of blueberries, 10 quarts of raspberries, 3 gallons of blackberries, enough apples for 80 pints of applesauce and 22 quarts of pie apples, and 10 pounds of Italian plums. This provided nicely for us and our animals.

All in all, the year has been a lot more successful than it has felt at times. I think we can be very happy with what we have accomplished.

I'll Get Used to It

June 8th, 2014 at 09:39 am

I had a moment of blind panic yesterday. I was checking the date for something else and I realized I forgot to pay the mortgage this month. It took me a full 30 seconds to remember that I didn't pay it because I had paid off the mortgage and anyway, I would have had until the 15th before it would have been considered a late fee even if I had. But for those 30 seconds I was a little crazy.

I wonder when that will go away? I guess 16 years of paying something became so automatic it is still hard to get used to not having that hanging over our heads. 2 months of being mortgage free is not long enough to have that fully sink in yet.

We Paid Off Our Mortgage!

May 5th, 2014 at 06:11 pm

Today was the day. We officially have a $0.00 balance on our mortgage. And I still have over $9000 in the Emergency Fund. I am really excited about finally having the house paid off. We bought it 16 years ago, so I think we did a pretty good job in getting it paid off early. Now if it will sell, I will be ecstatic.

We have been crazy busy these last two weeks. The last five days were spent building the turkey coop. We got enough done to move them in tomorrow, which is when DH leaves for Alaska. We will do the run when he comes back in two weeks. The turkeys aren't allowed to go outside for 3 more weeks so that will work out.

Here is a vid of the turkey coop being built if you are interested:

[url]http://youtu.be/vbXeeVb3yP4[/url]

The ducks are getting very big and are now 7 weeks old. The turkeys will be 4 weeks old on the 7nth and the chicks will be 6 weeks old on the 8th. They are all growing very fast, too. I'll try to get some photos or vids rendered to put on here in the next couple of days.

Lola died today. Her kits are just 4 weeks old. It's a little early to wean for my comfort, but kits can be weaned at this age, and we have no choice. I am not going to breed from the genetic line anymore. There is a flaw somewhere and it is clearly not recessive in this generation. I don't care what they say about line-breeding being perfectly safe. I'm not doing it period, and I won't buy anymore stock that has been line-bred either.

Andromeda kindled today, but no idea how many are in her litter yet. I wasn't entirely sure she was done giving birth and didn't want to bother her.

Phoebe is due today or tomorrow, but no sign of kits yet.

It has been a day of mixed emotions. So far the good has outweighed the bad. The house is paid for and that frees up a ton of room in the budget and I can't stay sad on a day like that, but I can't be entirely happy either.

Muscial Ducks, Turkeys, Chicks, and the Mortgage

April 28th, 2014 at 08:53 pm

[url]http://youtu.be/Xzjq0UY2Uy4[/url]

The ducklings are very happy with their new space. I was glad to get them moved in yesterday and boy were they glad to go.

We got the turkey poults and chicks moved into the garage brooder today and they were happy with their new space, too. We modified the brooder to put a perch about 8 inches off the floor. They love it. I think the turkeys are mad though because we have a screen over the top of the brooder and they can't fly out like they were doing out of the bathtub. 2.5 weeks old and they can fly really well. They don't even have all their feather yet, but they have their wing feathers and that's enough.

DH and I worked on fencing. Right now we are just keeping the ducklings locked in their house for a couple days until they realize it is home now, and hopefully we will get the new fencing finished tomorrow and can let them out in their little yard. I say little, but it'll be at least 128 square feet.

This week it feels like we are handing our paycheck directly to the home improvement store. We're not, we're actually taking it from savings, where we put it earlier in the year, but it is still the same feeling. It is worth it though for all the animals. It is fun to raise them, but they sure are work.

Mom's meat chickens got moved into their new coop tonight. It was quite the process and they weren't sure they liked it at first, at least until they found the food and water. I'm sure they'll be happy for the space as they get used to it, though.

I am still debating paying off the mortgage. I just really want it over with. It hit today and the new balance is $4860.40. I had estimated it at $4882.62, so was off by $22.22 in my favor.

If I wiped out all of my funds except the Property Tax Fund, the Dues Fund, and the College Fund, I would have $4293.93 to put on the mortgage. That would leave me with $566.47 to pay it off. I could justify taking that much money out of the Emergency Fund to pay it off. And I could pay it back to the EF within a couple of months. I need to talk to DH about this tonight and see where he stands. I am so ready to be done with this.

This and That

April 9th, 2014 at 11:51 am

I added $9.68 to the coin jar. DH cleaned out his wallet last night before heading back to Alaska and that was all the ones and change that he had, plus 3 quarters from my purse that were knocking around.

After all the building we have done so far this spring, we have decided to put the green house on hold. With the duck house yet to be built and a turkey house next on the agenda, then fixing all the rabbit tractors with new roofs and building a large outdoor hutch with two big grow out cages for the rabbits that we can put in deep shade during the heart of the summer's heat, I just can't see it getting done.

That is okay though. We are planning on a straw bale garden, so it will be an easy set-up. We can put low tunnels over them to keep the birds out of the ones they would love to eat.

There have still been no serious buyers on the house. There are people that want it but don't have any money ready to buy it. I am hoping that now that it is spring and we are heading into summer that there will be someone who actually has money who wants it. It is such a nice house. If it weren't for the location I'm sure it would be long sold.

If it doesn't sell by summer, I think we are going to try to rent it. I know of one person who has said they would rent it for $1000 a month and pay all the utilities. That was the guy who painted the house in exchange for our old car. That way I could at least start paying the handyman back. He did the work based on being paid when it sold and being allowed to use it for his portfolio book, though all materials were paid for at the time. We just owe him on the labor.

If the house ever sells, we are planning on paying off the van with part of the proceeds. That will give us a smaller down payment, but it will free up a lot of money each month.

The mortgage hit and the remaining balance is 5362.82, so after May's payment it will be under $5K. I am so tempted to just pay it off using half the Emergency Fund. I could then use the money I've been putting on the mortgage to get the Emergency Fund back up to $10K. It would be a risk. Everything is these days, but to own the house free and clear means that at least in an Emergency situation no one could take that away from us, evening if it means moving back to the boonies.

I have been thinking about getting a used fridge and washing machine to put in the house, too. I am wondering if that might not be a small issue with some of the people looking to buy. They might want to have it ready to just walk in and live, not have to buy a few big appliances themselves. If they are only looking at the listing and seeing it doesn't have that, it might be enough to keep them from coming out and falling in love with the house. At the very least I think it needs a fridge. I see fridges on Craigslist for $100 quite often and washers from $50 to $150. It would be a small investment to possibly make a big difference.

Payday Report

March 28th, 2014 at 11:23 pm

$323.41 AMEX
_500.00 Mortgage
_100.00 Emergency Fund
__19.00 HoA Dues Fund
__75.65 Internet
__72.00 Water/Sewer Holding Tank
_225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Plan
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_113.22 Propane Fund
_100.00 Laptop Holding Tank
_100.00 College Fund
_100.00 Vacation Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Aquaponics Fund
_100.00 January Money Fund
_334.60 Dentist
_104.02 Medical
_168.00 Storage
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__41.88 Life Insurance Me
__69.89 Car Insurance
__47.17 House Insurance
__41.16 Security System (Old House)
----------
$2356.89 Total Money Out

I will be having a car payment coming out of this paycheck, but it isn't due until the 19th so the money is being set aside. I will list it when I pay it.

$5,836.07!

February 25th, 2014 at 11:57 am

This is way more exciting than watching the credit card go down was. And that was exciting. The mortgage hit and the grand total left to pay it off is $5,836.07. It is so close I can taste it. I mean, in an ideal world the house would sell before it is completely paid for, but part of me really wants to pay it off on our own. Not that I'd say no to a good offer if I got it, though!

Doing Some Math and A Tax Question

February 16th, 2014 at 11:55 am

So this morning I figured out that if I pay $680 a month on the mortgage it will be paid off this year. If I pay $2000 out of our income tax refund and pay $690 a month it will be paid off in October. This is assuming I make a payment March 1 as I don't expect to see the tax refund before the end of March.

We could actually pay off the entire mortgage with our tax refund and still have some left over. (Don't judge the big tax refund. We are getting it because of our HSA being maxed out this year.) Except I want to put $2000 into the college/tuition fund as well as pay $2000 on the mortgage. And put a substantial chunk of it into the Aquaponics Fund.

Does anyone know if a portion of high school tuition is deductible like college tuition is? I know we won't be able to deduct it until next year, but it would be good to know now. My daughter will be enrolling in an online high school to finish her senior year and we'll be paying between $690 and $1445 depending on how many credits transfer. I think 17 will transfer but they won't know until they get her transcript.

Also, can you deduct tuition or college expenses for more than one person or is it a set amount per year regardless of how many people in your family are going?