May 2014 Net Worth Update (+$17,335)




Highlights for May

  • We signed my wife up for our 3rd new credit card promotion opportunity this year. We hope to earn $600 in gift cards after spending $5k over the next 3 months. We are not spending extra, but focusing our spending on these new cards to earn the bonuses and doing some round trip transactions via Amazon payments.
  • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions. For those interested, our May Zillow property estimates are: $209,220; $135,078; $305,223; and $227,363 (total: $876,884 vs $751,255 on balance sheet).
  • I turned over rental #3 this month. I spent about $1,500+ in maintenance and repairs. I was able to get a lease with a new tenant started on June 1st and raised the rent 10%. I had rented the house slightly below market to the previous tenant so this increase gets me back to market rent rates. It is a lot of work to turn over a rental and I worry about the year I have to turn all 3 of our rentals with my hectic schedule. I don't have the time I did before kids to manage these rental activities.
  • We spent about $500 in May to make some changes to our garage so there would be a larger parking space for our minivan. I used some Home Depot gift cards that we earned through credit card bonuses to defray the cost of the supplies for the project.
  • My wife and I rented a small mountain cabin for 1 week near the Smoky Mountains for about $550 in Early June. We are looking forward to a much needed vacation and "disconnect". We haven't done any traveling since we got back from our China assignment. Although the Smoky Mountains won't be the same as going to Thailand, Vietnam, or Dali, it will be a welcome change from our busy schedule.

Related in Net Worth:

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Comments (7)


How are the credit card promotions working for you? Are you planning to terminate the cards once you reap the main rewards? I'm interested to hear your strategy on that one.

are you still acquiring new rentals or is it too expensive now?

TWD - yes I typically cancel them unless I find them useful. I'm currently keeping the Capital One Venture Card since it offers the highest % reward, but I will cancel before the annual fee is due.

Danny - Im not on the hunt for additional rentals currently. I don't have time to manage more rental properties so not actively looking. If I stumbled into something w/ the right price I might pounce.

How much/how often do you add to the taxable account? I also assume you max your 401k and the Roth IRAs for both your wife and you.

Kevin,
Correct. I haven't added regular amounts to my taxable brokerage account recently from monthly cash flow.

Have you considered a property management firm for your rentals? They'll cut into your profits, but should make managing the turnover much much easier.

We're likely a few years away from our first rental property but researching it anyway, and several of the people I've talked with swear by them. Keeping what you earn is good, but having the free time to do what matters most to you (family, earning, etc.) is worth it. After all, you can't find your new deal if you're still captive to your old one.

Jack, I have used a property manager before, but I really see them as an option of last resort. They make rental property an unattractive investment as they take a sizable amount of income (~10% of income), and in my experience I get better results if I handle vs the property mgmt firm.

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,574,185

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