Church of FI- Real Estate obsession and August 2017 expense reports

I have long been obsessed with real estate. After buying my first house in 2005, we pretty much tore up and replaced every floor, refinished every door, and painted every wall. After that, we remodeled the bathroom and the kitchen to our taste (which is unfortunately only our taste). Seriously, no one else would like it, think mint green and doo-doo brown.

I loved it. They say that after a couple has been through a remodel, they get divorced, but we both enjoyed the process. We loved going to Home Depot and/or Lowes to find materials for the next part of each project. We spent weekends gluing down floorboards. I spent nights researching paint colors, baseboard choices and layouts.

In 2007, I came into a small inheritance of about $55,000. We immediately added on about 400 square feet. I designed the plans and hired a contractor who did the majority of the work and we did most of the finishing work ourselves.

Nearing the end of construction


Despite my intention to stay here for a long time, it was home sweet home for about a year and a half, and then we moved to another state 1500 miles away….


…Where we bought another house! We only lived there about 2 years and during that time, finished a 900 square foot basement.


…..Then we moved 1000 miles to our current residence in Colorado where we bought a home in good, move in condition and haven’t done a damn thing since besides decrease its value through complete and total neglect.

Note: Not exactly true. Due to market conditions the value of our house has increased by around $150,000 in the last five years. But it is true that the house is in worse condition today than when we moved into it.


Instead of maintaining our current home, I have been obsessed with leveraging the property in pursuit of other projects.

My main focus for most of the spring was adding an ADU to my property. The goal was to rent out the main house for a ludicrous sum of money (high demand for rental properties in this mountain town) and move my family into a new 700 square foot structure on the property.

After talking with a contractor, we decided that this project would cost more than we were willing to spend (~$250 per square foot!). Plus, the wait time was 2 years or more.

I want this, but I want it now!


So then, I got the bright idea to decrease the costs by building an apartment to an existing garage. My hope was to build the majority of this project ourselves and keeping the cost below $100k. I couldn’t get a contractor to even call me back on this project.

Mr. TJL’s workshop is in the garage and he desires 220 electrical service. Since we will eventually do this anyway, why not build an apartment too?

Pretty awesome floor plan, am I right?

Then, I got the itch to invest in a VRBO property in our town’s commercial district. We viewed three properties and I worked the numbers. At the moment, property values are very high and although we could probably eke out a profit the quantity of work involved feels like I am adding another full-time job onto my already full-time job. Eventually, our realtor stopped calling us to view listings.


Turns out, I like the research and planning process of real estate more than the actual follow through. Spending the money and adding a significant debt load is just a bit intimidating to me now that we are so close to our FI goal.

Instead, I should concentrate on optimizing our current assets and try to keep our expenses low. Of course, this has not stopped me from perusing or Zillow every day. I even spent significant time on the tax assessor’s site yesterday.

Yep, I really know how to PARTY!!!!

Speaking of expenses, fewer blogs are publishing their monthly expenses, but I did find one new report this month. I like to compare my spending to these reports and try to improve where I can. Here is the lowdown on July’s expenses (published in August).


Expense Reports

The Jolly Ledger

Root of Good

Northern Expenditure

Bayalis is the Answer

Retire by 40


Mr. Tako Escapes

Financially Alert

Dividends Down Under (Savings Update)

Frugal Momster

Fiery Millennials

Trail to FI (New*)


All Church of FI posts are archived under Featured Links

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