House – Part 3

March 20, 2018

It’s officially 2 weeks and 1 day since I signed the closing paperwork, and ten days since I actually moved in. I started a new job a day before closing, and it’s been quite an adjustment from the last month and a half of lazing about with no real urgency in anything. There’s a phrase I read or heard a little while back that I think encapsulates it perfectly – “sprinting the marathon”. Seems to capture the feeling exactly.

For the next month or so I’m busting my butt to make my supervisor happy, as well as his boss happy, and so far I think I’m doing an adequate job. There’s still room for improvement as I get accustomed to the role, my supervisor, and the company culture. It doesn’t hurt that my best friend also works there and is closing in on his 25th anniversary.

I imagine there will be some growing pains, both at work and at home, but for the first time since I started on this rollercoaster ride I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of things.

 

March 29, 2018

The first mortgage payment goes out in the mail tomorrow morning, and that, more than anything else, makes my ownership of the home official in my mind. So much has been done in the last 3 weeks that the weekends just pass in a blur. The kitchen is almost complete – I just need to install the double oven to finish that up. The network was a mess to try and set up initially – I was an idiot and put all the virtual machine disks on my FreeNAS box, but in order to access those disks I needed to have my firewall running…which inconveniently was a VM on the FreeNAS box that I couldn’t access. I finally had to resort to creating a temporary firewall with DNS and DHCP, then migrate everything over to the old firewall once I could access the disks. I’ve got a plan to address that in the near future, but it will take some money, and right now that’s a little in short supply.

The cost to get just the bare essentials to outfit a house is insane – I went from having zero debt (I’m not joking about that either – I literally had no debt) to just over $13,000 (now $12,300 after my one payment posts). $5600 went on my Lowe’s card for some of the appliances and hardware – water softener, a couple shelving units, the double oven, and refrigerator. Best Buy’s card got hit with $900 for the washer and dryer. My furniture account got dinged with $635 for some minor furniture needs. The real damage, however, was to my regular credit card. $700 for the gas cooktop, add in another $600 for an unexpected mechanical repair for my truck, $500 for Two Men and a Truck to move my furniture out of my apartment (and that was worth it, honestly), then the usual odds-n-sods for the month totaling another $1000 or so.

Then I decided it was time to do my taxes. Damn did that hurt. First there was the penalty for using my IRA as the down payment on the house, but I sort of anticipated that was coming and had 20% of the cash value withheld to cover my tax obligation. But where it really hurt was the cryptocurrency trades. The IRS is making a big push this year to get people to pay, and the stick they’re threatening to use is a big one – 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. No thanks. I filled out my form 8949 (all 17 pages of it detailing each and every trade I made last year), plus the profits I walked away with. That was a couple thousand dollars I owed in taxes, and since I’ve exhausted all my ready source of cash I had to pull out the credit card. The fee to pay with the card made more sense than trying to do an installment payment plan, even after adding in interest I’ll pay to the credit card company. The fees and interest from the IRS would have added another 20% to what I owed. No thanks.

So now all this brings me to the point where I’ve got a few things left to do, but they’re going to be expensive – I need a deck on the back of the house, and I’ll need to install a fence for the dog once we have a backyard. On top of that, I still need to work on my storage system, my network, and my virtualization hardware, all of which is several thousand more dollars. My only saving grace is that the Best Buy account is 18 months no interest, and the Lowe’s account is 36 months at 3.99% interest. The furniture account is 12 months no interest, so really I only have to worry about paying off about $5500 worth of debt, and the plan there is to drop about $1600 in payments a month for the next three months. Doesn’t do anything for about the deck, so it’s possible I’ll be charging another $2500-3000 for it in the near future as well. Annoying, but at least I’ve got a job I’m enjoying that pays well. Once this mad rush to the finish line is over I can start to relax a little. At least, until I come up with the money to buy the equipment for my basement gym…