Financial Planning ACKK!!

I learned a hard lesson this weekend. My 5 day love affair with the house in Eagle Rock has come to an abrupt end. I found out from my neighbor’s realtor *because the rude listing agent never called me back UNprofessional!!* that several offers were submitted and one of the offers, which is unknown, was accepted. The agent had clients who offered $650k so we know it was more than that. Whew! I never had a chance. Whoever got the place still got a rad bargain. The serious lesson I am learning, *besides to stop with the one night stands with houses I’m not prepared to buy* is real estate is all about being ready to make an offer, obviously but most importantly, timing! The timing must be right and I know my time is nowhere near right. I need to be realistic and stick to my resolutions. Pay off my credit cards! Continue increasing our savings accounts, make repairs and renovations to this house to get ready for selling *hoping by 2013* and stop compromising my goals. I know I want to live in Atwater Village, so I need to focus on that area *as little that is available there*

I am counting down until our tax appointment with our amazing CPA and my *Jewish Aunt*, Gail. I’m going to ask her to refer us to a good financial advisor because I am feeling pretty limited on how to allocate our savings. I read Money magazine, watch every Suze Orman show *I have 3 of her books* and read financial blogs but I feel like I need someone to manage our money in order to reach our short term and long term goals. I also need to clearly redefine my goals because I tend to overwhelm Antz *and myself* with my ever growing list of things I’d like to do. Olivia’s school is my #1 priority, then there’s a new house, emergency fund, retirement, renovating this house, college savings and travel. That’s a 7 course meal of a portfolio! I’m too busy thinking about the future, I’m not even thinking about our everyday expenses. I continue to torture myself by finding these incredible houses even though I won’t be ready to buy until Summer/Fall of 2013.
I get so caught up in the catch-22 of the housing market. If it improves in 2 years great, we will sell at a profit but won’t be able to afford to buy in my ideal neighborhood. If the market continues to decline, Boo, we may not sell or may have to short sale *if we qualify, and after months of dealing with my mortgage company, they are pretty evil* but we may get a sweet deal in our ideal neighborhood. It reminds me of how the cable or cell phone companies treat customers. I am constantly seeing these amazing new customer incentives but not much for existing customers except an increase in rates *in the past 4 years my AT&T, ADT and Directv bills have increased* yet they send me weekly mail saying if I was a new customer I would get 3 months free, low introductory rates, yadda…yadda…yadda! Same with homeowners, I feel like a survivor in this market, we bought at the height of the bubble February 2006, pretty much had the worst mortgage ever *ridic high interest rate {close to double digits}, 6 month ARM, interest-only and paid close to 40% more than our house is currently worth* even though we were pleased as punch to get the loan, get the house and had the world’s record of awesome escrow *$15k cash credit* I am now considered a homeowner vet, I successfully modified our loan to a non-greedy interest rate, and negotiated our property taxes to a lower rate *it’s only fair since our house is valued at $5 bucks* What reward or incentives come our way? No hefty $6000 first time buyers credit. No, yummy historically low interest rate. Now, I get it, we shouldn’t have jumped off the cliff with no parachute along with every other cuu-rrazy American buying up houses 5 years ago like they were ipods

would we have qualified for a loan today? Maybe not. We definitely wouldn’t have the now mandatory 10% down payment *nor would we have been able to save it with today’s bank stupid savings rates* It almost feels like because we didn’t foreclose or missed a payment, we are the suckers. I don’t see a way out. We can stay here, not my favorite option, but would we ever recuperate our purchase value? Even if we did completely renovate and repair our foundation issues, that would only make us the most expensive house on the block *thanks to a bit of online snooping/I mean research, most of my neighbors have lived here 20+ years and purchased under $100k. Now it’s becoming clear to me why our sellers were so quick to accept our full price offer and graciously gave us the $15k credit.

Young, naive kids! He should be giving a thumbs down.

I can “what if” all day but the bottom line is, I want to move on. I am determined, persist *almost to an annoying degree* and realistic? with my plan. I am hoping to get our agent *who has gone missing* over here to assess our house and pretty much validate my repair/get the house seller ready plan. I also want to meet with a financial advisor that can help me invest our money more aggressively without become Bernie Madoff. I want to find a steal in AV with all my Must Haves all in time to cook Thanksgiving dinner #6 by 2013. Dream the impossible dream, right?

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