My main goal* was to build an investment and cash portfolio of $1,120,000* in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal in 2016, my 1500 Days are over, and I’ve left my job. In the interest of openness, I’ll continue to share my numbers.
So It Begins…
Mindy and I built the core of our nest egg with live-in flips. Here is how it worked:
- We’d buy an old, outdated home and move in. Note: Finding the right deal is the hardest part.
- We’d fix it up.
- After two or more years, we’d sell the home for profit and pay zero capital gains.
Here is the last home we fixed up:
Flipping was a great way to make money, but with kids and a large pile of money, I swore that our most recent fixer would be our last. But, the siren call of the flip was too strong to ignore.
A home came on the market that Mindy and I couldn’t resist. The price was fantastic and while structurally sound, much of it hadn’t been updated in decades.
So It Begins (Again)
So, here I sit in the office of the new place. We haven’t lived in the home for even a month, but we’re making big plans. As I type this, supplies sit in the garage waiting to be installed:
And we’re already installing new lighting and painting a room:
I wouldn’t be doing any of this if I didn’t really enjoy the work. I love the challenge of taking an old, unloved space and making it beautiful and functional.
If you’re interested in joining me for the journey, check out our YouTube channel.
So, we’ll spend the next two to three years fixing up this place, but at a leisurely pace. I’ll take summers and weekends off, only swinging a hammer when the girls are in school.
If everything goes according to plan, we’ll spend somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000 on the remodel. At that time, we’ll have around $450,000 into the home.
I don’t like making predictions as to what we’d be able to sell the completed home for because:
- I have no idea what the economy will be like when we sell. Neither does anyone else. This is the risk of a long-term flip.
- I have no idea when we’ll sell. Ideally, we’ll stay in this home until the girls are done with school (~9 more years).
However, the same model home in great condition sold this year for $600,000. If I was forced to pick a number out of the air for a sale in 3 years, my goal would be to get between $600,000 and $700,000.
October Spending: $6,450.79
Excluding our mortgage of $1,238.49, here were our three biggest expenses:
Travel ($1,409.23): We attended a wedding in Las Vegas. We got a good deal on the hotel, but the airfare was pricey.
Household crap ($1,397.19): We moved and turned our previous home into a rental. Deferred maintenance resulted in many shopping trips and much money spent. And then there was our new home. Deferred maintenance resulted in many shopping trips and much money spent. Note: I’m not including remodeling items like paint and light fixtures in this tally. If you’re keeping score, I spent $1,685.78 at Home Depot. I’ll eventually write about these costs separately.
Restaurants ($605.11): We blew some big money on food in Las Vegas. The cotton candy, ice cream burrito below was a highlight. For the girls.
We’ve blown $53,275.81 so far in 2019. Yikes. I used to think that I was frugal, but maybe I’m actually FatFIRE?
Most Fun Expense ($36)
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has a stellar exhibit on the science of PIXAR. Since the studio has made some of the best movies in the past couple of decades and I’m a computer nerd, this exhibit made me very happy.
October Performance Update
October was a great month for money. Our investment portfolio (stocks, rental home, coworking space, and other real estate deals) started the month at $1,895,730 and ended at $1,960,626 for a gain of $64,896. Add in our primary residence and our net worth now sits at $2,325,626. Life is good:
2019 (as of 10/31/2019)
- Days elapsed: 304
- September gains: $64,896
- 2019 gains: $411,846 (including 401(k) and HSA contributions of $50,091****) Note that the $411K number is large because of our move into a much cheaper house. Because I now rent the old, more expensive home, I account for it as an investment.
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 2494
- Gains since 1/1/2013: $1,374,583
- Investment portfolio and cash value: $1,960,626
- Net worth (everything!): $2,325,626
Real Estate Income: $16,160.95
The trailer park pays out quarterly and October was time to get paid, so this was a good month for real estate income:
- Trailer park: $12,867.44
- Syndication deals: $1,500
- Coworking space: $1,000
- Mortgage notes: $500
- Private loan: $293.51
In 2019, we’ve earned $59,130.96 from our real estate investments. I like that our mostly passive income from real estate investing is outpacing our spending ($53,275.81). I’d love for real estate to cover all spending while I sit on my stock portfolio forever.
Double, Double Comma Club
Attentive readers may have noted that our investment portfolio is closing in on $2,000,000:
Compound interest is amazing. Consider the following:
- The journey to $1,000,000 took 16 years. I started working at the very end of 1998 and joined the Double Comma Club in November of 2014.
- The next million has taken 5 years. If I hadn’t quit my high-paying software job, I would have been there already.
I worked much harder for the first 16 years than for the last 5. Money can do amazing things when you let it work for you. And never forget that it’s much better to let money work for you than to work for money.
*My goal wasn’t to have $1,120,000 at the end of 1500 days, but at any time before the day count was up. Why? It all goes back to the 4% Rule. Remember that our little friend, Mr. 4%, is nothing more than the most conservative safe withdrawal rate. Since my investment portfolio now sits at $1,550,000, I can spend about $62,000 in my first year of retirement.
**My original goal was $1,000,000 and no debt, I later raised the goal by $120,000 to $1,120,000 because I will have debt in the form of a mortgage and I firmly believe in not paying it off (LOOK at the MONEY I’m MAKING!). My compromise was to have enough money put away to cover the mortgage at the time of retirement.
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****My 401(k) contributions include my own, Mrs. 1500’s, and the contributions from my corporation. Self-employment with a solo 401(k) is a very powerful savings tool. I should have done this years ago.
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