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Bought a House

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

There are several momentous first in life. Many people can agree I think that one of those firsts is buying a house. Apart from cars or student loans, it is one of the biggest forms of debt we take on.

After several months of trying, I have finally taken the plunge and bought a house. It a condominium that is part of a fourplex. I was prepared to buy the house in September but Hurricane Gustav came through and caused lots of damage which had to be repaired before I could close. It involved me actually buying a chimney for the next door neighbor to speed up the process. I hope to get this money back through insurance.

The purchase of a home does not mean the end of my traveling desire. On the contrary, it is the first step in a plan that I hope will eventually allow me to travel longer or at least  find work I enjoy more without having to worry about income so much. Post trip after finding a job, my next order of priority was finding a place to live as I have been living in my parent’s home. I finally found a place not for from where I work (as opposed to my parent’s house which is 43 miles away.) The house is a fixer upper so I got it fairly cheap. I probably have two months of work ahead of me before I can move in.  Currently I am having the roof depopcorned so the place is wreck. I am also going in when I can and am pulling down wallpaper. After these two jobs are done, my next step is renovating the kitchen, painting, and putting in new flooring. I have no idea how long any of this will take so it should be interesting.

How does any of this fit in with long term traveling you might ask? If not quit reading as I am going to tell you anyway.  This condominium is in an area between two hospitals, near two major malls, and 10 story commercial building is going up nearby. The area is also built up so there is not a lot of room for more housing. In short, I believe this to be a prime rental area. After I finishing repairing the place I just bought, I would like to buy one or two more to rent out. My biggest financial concern during my last trip was my inability to put away retirement money. With several properties to rent while traveling (including the one I just bought), I can have money going into an equity “retirement” account. I don’t plan to draw an income from the properties but rather put any extra money into paying them off. If I go traveling again, I will have to hire a property manager to watch over them. 2009 will hopefully see me finishing renovating this property and acquiring another one. I do plan to do two trips next year. In the spring, I want to go to the Grand Canyon and in the fall perhaps go to Peru. Stay tuned to the blog, should any fascinating travails happen while renovating the house, I will certainly write about them.