How I Made $102k in Real Estate and Am Poorer For It

Welcome to Seattle.  You Should Buy a House.

In Y2K I arrived in Seattle for a new job and immediately set out to buy a house.  I have no idea why; I was just following the rules society had laid out.

I had just received an offer on my Chicago area house for 178k.  Houses close to work started at $550k.  I was experiencing major sticker shock.

Price forced me to widen my search to nearby commuter communities, where I found a great looking house in a nice neighborhood.  It had easy highway access, a nice view from the upstairs office, and was barely in my price range at $292,500.  Nearby was a newly constructed office park that would attract potential future buyers, and an elementary school in a good school district was a 5 minute walk up the hill

With a 20% down payment of $58,500, I had just purchased the biggest house I could afford, the smallest house in a good neighborhood.  Remaining in my bank account was a lonely $20.


Renters For Life

Photo credit, turkeychik -

Photo credit, turkeychik

“Beep you, you beeping beep!! I’ll kick your beepity beep!!!”

Hmmm, who is that? I don’t recognize her voice

“I ain’t lying, I can’t have you be talking to my Momma like that”

That’s Carl. Good for him standing up for his mother.

A few weeks earlier Carl had introduced himself by handing me a burger across the hedge separating our houses. He and his buddies were cooking out in the back yard and tossing back a few cold ones on a fine summer day, celebrating his release from prison. He had just moved in with his Momma while he got his life back on track

“Beep you Carl! You can’t have her treat me like this!”

That must be Carl’s new girlfriend. Classy

*BAM!!!* A door slammed, followed by the sound of crying and a car racing off. Then silence.  This would become a regular occurrence.


Accidental Income: Blogging

Top Story on Forbes (and Yahoo, MSN, & More)

Top Story on Forbes (and Yahoo, MSN, & More)

Other interesting content: See our step-by-step guide to starting a blog.

Life has been busy as of late.  Newborn babies are exhausting little creatures, and sometimes we aren’t sure if it is day or night.  To parents who survive these early days while holding down a job, we salute you.

But each day is a little brighter.  GCCjr sometimes sleeps 3 hours before screaming bloody murder, a big improvement over the usual 2.  He’s also figured out that his left hand is really tasty, which has improved his self soothing skills.  And I’ve learned to change a diaper without getting peed on.

All of this to say we are beginning to feel less like one of the Walking Dead, and a little more like our old selves.  Sometimes we even have a brief moment of clarity during which we actually accomplish something!  I took advantage of one of these moments recently to process all of our income & expenses for the 1st Half of 2015 (Yeah, I know how to party! Woot!)

Imagine my surprise when… *GASP*…  this little blog accidentally made some serious bank!

Instead of continuing the income trend of previous years…

Blog Income
2012 – $0
2013 – $0
2014 – $1,987

We got: