The Friday gathering – Only 13 more days

The trees here in the South are just now starting the change. Thus begins my favorite time of the year! It’s also T-minus 12 days and counting until we close on our mountain house. I’m sure you guys will be glad when we finally get moved so you don’t have to hear about it anymore! Everything is going on schedule, the inspection was completed this week and only a few minor issues were found. The seller’s have confirmed they will fix everything identified during the inspection before we close. The appraisal came back yesterday and the house appraised for $22,500 more than we’re paying for it. That means we’re walking in day 1 with $22,500 in equity plus the amount we put down, which at this point should be about 10% or so. We had hoped to do more, but are keeping some reserves since our current house still hasn’t sold. I faxed off all of our bank statements to the underwriters yesterday. The mortgage company has everything they need at this point and will completing the final paperwork.

A good home inspection is worth the money

I spent the evening reading through the inspection that was done on our new home in the mountains. The inspector that performed the inspection did a very thorough job and put together a report that included tons of pictures (included in this article).

What surprised me was that our mortgage company didn’t require an inspection, only an appraisal. I went ahead and ordered the inspection anyway. In the current housing market, the last thing I wanted to do is move into a home that might potentially have serious problems I wasn’t aware of.

Psst! Hey Chicken Little, the economic sky isn't falling

I’m not one to rant and I’ll try real hard to avoid that in this article, but I just have to get this out of my system a bit. At work, I seem to be surrounded by economic Chicken Littles. After hearing their stories of despair and financial hopelessness, I walked away and started writing…

401k is losing money – crash and burn

Hanging on by a hare?

I don’t check my 401k balance often at all. I prefer not to stress about it and just let it grow. I’m investing for for the long haul and know that overtime my money will grow at a 10-15% increase. I do check it though. Mostly to see if I need to adjust my funds distribution a little based on individual mutual fund performance. I logged in last week to see how things were going, especially with the stock market tanking like it has recently. While I wasn’t shocked, I was very surprised…

Saving money when moving

Counting today, we move in 17 days. While I am incredibly excited, I am also a nervous wreck. Moving stresses me out. Ignoring all of the psychological reasons and sheer amount of work, moving is expensive. I received our first quote the other day from a major moving company, $4000.00. Yikes! Way more than I anticipated. We have two other “local” moving companies coming out this week to provide offers. I’m hoping they will be far less expensive.

Real Estate Investing 101

This is a guest article by HIB who blogs at Happiness is Better about personal finance, real estate investing, early retirement, and being happy. If you enjoy this article, make sure you head over and subscribe to his blog.

Real estate investing is a relatively simple business. It requires a lot of hard work – unlike how it is portrayed on television. Just like anything else, once you have a system in place everything gets a lot easier. The same can be said for any business venture or project whether it’s a blog or a McDonald’s franchise. It’s all about having a system. What follows are some tips and strategies to help you get started. Real estate investing 101 if you will.

The Friday gathering – Updates and cell phones

I’ve received a number of emails from readers asking about the status of our move. First let me say thanks. I am always overwhelmed at how much you guys care about my life and what’s going on. I also have a number of reader’s who’ve said they are praying for my family and me so that everything goes smoothly.

Ask me anything #6

Each week I give the readers of Gather Little by Little a chance to ask me anything. The only real rule is that I can decline to answer. I’ll do my best to answer as many questions as I can though. Have a question you would like answered? Just drop me a line or leave a comment!

Eric writes:

Do you appreciate what you have?

My teenage son came home the other day. He told his Mom and me that he needed some precooked pasta, zip lock bags, bread and some butter. “Huh? What do you need that for? Are you going to cook dinner??” we asked snickering a little. He calmly replied, “Yes for the homeless shelter downtown on Wednesday night.” We stopped snickering.

He told us that he volunteered with some other students from his school to prepare dinner at our local homeless shelter. We weren’t surprised, he always has been one to help others and wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. He’s a natural leader and it shows in everything he does. I thought I’d share his story and the 3 lessons that him, my wife and I learned through his volunteer effort.

Government Bail out fails – That's a good thing

Yesterday was most likely one of those days that will go down in economic history. US lawmakers rejected the proposed Government bail out yesterday. As a result, the Dow suffered the biggest single day point drop in history. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 777.68, surpassing the 684.81 loss on Sept. 17, 2001, which was the first trading day after September 11th.