Friday, August 4, 2006


My priorities this week have been 1) to work on getting the vacant house ready to show, 2) get my basement apartment ready to move into, and 3) set in motion a cash-out refi on one of my rental properties to stay financially afloat while I focus on the job search.  I got those things accomplished while getting bombarded from every angle by recruiters.  I have also heard every get rich quick scheme imaginable.  I also learned that getting a good interest rate on a mortgage while unemployed, or self-employed, is difficult.  The problem is this, a lot of my rental income went directly into my wallet and never saw a bank account.  So, now that the mortgage companies are saying, if you were really self employed for over a year, show us the bank deposits.  I have faxed twelve months of bank statements to multiple underwriters, identifying which were rent deposits and which deposits were from my day job.  If you say you're self-employed, you can't count the money from your day job as income for the purpose of loan underwriting unless you're still working there.  Fine.  I'm poor and desperate and I'm in your crosshairs, despite my flawless mortgage payment history.  Stick me with a crappy interest rate, give me some cash, and watch me refinance to a better rate at my first opportunity.

I also filed for a Nevada S-Corporation.  I got two new job titles out of the deal.  Owner.  President.  I like.  The legal fees to file articles of incorporation and the amout of bookkeeping chores for a corporation are only slightly obnoxious.  But, from now on the rental thing is going to be a business, and be run like a business instead of a hobby, for all the tax benefits possible.  I will lease office space, a portion of my house, to my company.  I will lease my vehicle to my company when I drive it on company business.  This year, I have to squeeze every dollar I can out of what I have.  That includes leveraging every tax benefit I can muster.  Signing a lease as an officer of a company where you are both the Lessee and the Lessor, feels like writing a letter to yourself. . . or much like writing your own paycheck.  :-)  I had an accounting job at a freight broker where I literally wrote my payroll check once a week for three months, and it was gratifying.  Everything will be setup once I deed my investment properties to my company, and the tenants sign new leases from Alpha Chief Leasing, Inc.  Then if someone slips on an icy stair because of a leaky gutter and ruptures their spleen to death, my company can go down, and I can walk away undevastated.

I applied for federal student loans.  The interest rates are amazing.  3 point something?  And I can keep the excess?  No payment til I finish?  Hehe.  I guess if a job doesn't happen in the next week or so, I'll just be a full time student.  Whatever it takes to make my mortgage, car, and insurance payments.  I told the Feds to ship the results of the loan app to all the local schools which have Masters programs which I am interested in.  I hope that when they smell the money, they'll come looking for me.  ITT Tech, University of Phoenix, and Colorado Tech already have.  The ITT Tech campus is literally a quarter mile from my house, while the University of Phoenix and Colorado Tech campuses are each about 20 minutes away.

I completely skipped out on First Friday today, but my basement is clean for once.  It has fresh paint and carpet as of today, except for one room.  And the only 1970's style paneling left in my house is in the stairwell.  There's a sizeable pile in my driveway right now.  The front room is being converted into an eat-in kitchen, and I ran out of money.  So, I'll have to wait for my refi to complete it.  Cabinets ain't cheap.  They're not even affordable.  My new roommate, Nic, is flexible.  I'm glad of that.  I simply didn't have time this week to hang the bead board wainscoting and trim boards in the kitchen to be.  The shower is also a work in progress, but she can use the upstairs one while I complete repair downstairs over the next few days.  I need a break after huffing asbestos dust while taking up a layer of asbestos tile down there.  No lie.  There's a dumpster in a neighborhood apartment complex which will soon receive a visit by a man dumping asbestos tiles quietly in the night.

Out of the blue, Karen from Time Warner called today to say that the job for which I attended a two hour technical screening by two people, three levels of interviews, and a mock sales presentation in front of the decision makers a MONTH ago. . . is "on hold".  Ikinda figured that someone would have been hired for that position, but apparently nobody has been, or will be any time soon.  That's okay.  I have hot job leads locally from Embarq, F5 Networks, and Standard and Poors.  I would enjoy doing any of those jobs, and would be proud to work for any of those companies.

I have an opportunity to take on a CM IT Solutions franchise.  The territory including Liberty, Independence, Blue Springs, and Lees Summit is not taken, and the company has customer leads here, but they're feeding them to a franchise in Shawnee.  Grrr.  I think I could run one of those.  That may be the ticket.  I am in the running to be selected for that franchise.  I have to go to Austin for the interview/application process, and hopefully the training.

I actually showed my vacant house to a potential tenant today.  It felt like a test run.  When you're showing a place for the first time, you can identify the flaws and the selling points just by watching their eyes.  They'll zero in on the slightest water stain, even if you never saw it.  I had no idea there was chartreuse carpet on the stairs going down into the garage.  Until I fixed the house up, that wasn't the worst thing. . . by a long shot.  She said, "That bathroom wall *is* a butt ugly color."  And without taking a breath, "That vanity is cute."  I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "You should have seen the color in the master bedroom before I painted it."  Or, "You should have seen the vinyl flooring that was here before."  I hope she rents it, her credit rawks.  Not even a slow-pay.

Next week's priorities, tax paperwork!, getting a tenant in my vacant house!, and preparing to host the folks as houseguests for a few days.  Oh, and find a job!  Jetta repair is on hold.  It's off my insurance now, so I don't want the liability.  It's better off parked, and I have more important things on my plate.  Driving the Jeep around is tough at the pump, but cheaper on the car insurance front, and I'm in miser mode.

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