200 Projects – Buying a House and Why Hasn’t Anyone Written a Project Post for a While?

by Chris McGinty

Back in September of 2020, Nathan and I took a weekend to brainstorm some project ideas. You can find the previous blog posts here. There are a few things that happened that slowed down the number of blog posts that I intended to write and the number that I actually did. You won’t see laziness on this list, but if you want to read between the lines then you do you! Oh yes! You just do you… *snaps back into calm blogger mode*

The first is very simply that while one of the projects I thought of was to use this brainstorming session as a reason to start writing more blog posts, I didn’t quite get there. This is partially true. If you want to point out that that means it’s also partially untrue, then you just do you… *calm* I did still write a lot of blog posts. Some I wrote in Word files where they could have easily been copy/pasted to the blog, but the amount of time I had to sit down and post was limited as I was working too many hours. While I was working a lot, I was dictating some blog posts ideas, but these were doomed for a while because if I didn’t have time to post blogs that were basically done, I certainly didn’t have time to edit dictated ideas. My project list was dictated, by the way.

The second reason is that Nathan never really saw this as a blog topic because he wanted to have a full discussion where we each read every one of our ideas and decided which we wanted to pursue. We only actually devoted one phone call to this and then didn’t quite get back to it. I never really meant that posting our ideas to the blog would replace the discussions, but I wasn’t going to his house during the “lockdown” times and we didn’t always have the time to talk on the phone. He wanted me to post my list to our private forum, but it was a speech to text mess that needed to be cleaned up. I probably should have just done it anyway and if he had any questions about what “we should bought outs indy flippant for the prophet” meant he could ask.

The third reason is that I didn’t even start posting the project ideas as blog posts until November 2020. By this point, Nathan had already started implementing some of his project ideas. It’s amazing what a To Do List will do. Then by December 2020, Nathan had a plan for his one big goal of 2021, and that led to a complete focus shift in what we were doing. It probably didn’t seem quite as important to discuss the project ideas when we had some big projects going already.

The fourth reason was my job at Domino’s, which I couldn’t seem to get down to part time on a consistent basis. You would think it would be enough to say, “Hey, I don’t want to work 40 hours a week anymore, much less more than 40 hours a week,” and for that to be enough. It wasn’t. I was eventually fired, which I’m sure helped them with their scheduling problems, and I’ve been delivering for Uber Eats. The flexibility of Uber Eats coupled with a low cost of living has given me a certain amount of freedom to do whatever whenever. I just need to work some to avoid going broke, but I’m otherwise free. This is one of the big reasons that I’ve started posting to the blog as much as I am. I now have time to get to all the blog posts that were waiting on me, and to write new ideas as I have them.

What does “Amusing video of Bridget Musing in Shopping Card” mean?

This leads us to the fifth reason and the second topic of this post, which is that I’ve written the post for the fourth project idea twice, and I wasn’t happy with either post. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say about it.

When Nathan and I had our one phone call where we discussed our project ideas, we couldn’t have gotten very far because one of his ideas was to buy a house together to either flip or to rent, and I said, “Yeah, I have that one on my list too.” I think it was bedtime for his children and we were supposed to talk more later. We just forgot to talk about projects when we got together, because we were to busy talking about why I bought hair extensions.

Here’s the basic problem with this project. I’m pretty sure that at some point in the future of whatever direction our pursuits take us that one or both of us will buy a house separate or together. Nathan has been a homeowner for just over or just short of two decades at this point (I’m not sure when he bought his first house). This project isn’t just about buying a house. It’s about buying a house to generate profit or income. There is a bubble waiting to burst, but while that bubble is growing it’s a bad time to get into certain types of investments. Contrary to what most economists are saying, hair extensions are a good investment. I guess. I probably won’t do that again. Moving on.

I went to look at a house in Fort Worth that was in a lower end neighbourhood that was on the market for $55,000. It was literally uninhabitable. It was also snatched up almost immediately. Maybe five or six years ago, I saw a house that was actually in better shape (though it was probably a drug house) in a slightly better area that sold for $5,000. Maybe it was a fluke. Nathan has some anecdotal evidence that there are some ok investment properties out there, but as of yet he hasn’t found one that he could safely invest in.

In a weird way, I think that Nathan’s project should be to pay off his current house, before we ever try to get into this project. He wisely isn’t comfortable getting into debt for an investment property, and I’m not seeing any cash properties in my amateur methods of looking for houses, so the fact that we don’t have any cash is strangely a secondary concern.

I do have one thought which isn’t advice; because I think Nathan is pretty happy in the house he’s currently living in. I think he’s also good with the area he currently lives in, and I don’t think this would work if he moved to another house in that area. He apparently bought this house at a good price, which may have created a certain amount of built in equity along with any equity he’s built up in the time he’s been in the house. If he were to find another house around the same size that was both under priced on the current market and going for less than he bought his current house at, he would be significantly closer to paying off his house while making a lateral move. This might not be as easy as it sounds, because his current house was a good deal and it’s really nice. This is just me thinking out loud in text.

What I think Nathan should do is maybe a little more extreme, although he may already be doing it. It’s something we talked about when he was in his last house. I think that he should be putting $1,400 a month into some sort of investment. This can be a Roth IRA or a 401K. This can be mutual funds. This can be product for resell. It could also be put toward paying off his house quicker.

If $1,400 seems super specific, it’s because I think it may have an odd significance that you shouldn’t even remotely take seriously just because I said it seems to have significance. I’m probably seeing something that isn’t really there. It’s just short of $325 a week to get to the same place. I wrote a blog post about $1,400 a month into investment if you want to read it, but for now the short version is this. It’s reasonably attainable by most people without being easy to do, and if done consistently for a prolonged amount of time it can change the financial math of your life.

Anyway, as far a 200 Projects, Nathan and I are currently doing resell with things that cost a lot less per unit than a house does. I think reselling was probably a project that was on both of our lists as well, and is probably the better thing for us to focus on at the moment. There are people out there who want Happy Meal toys, and we’re going to make sure they get them.

Chris McGinty is a blogger who is currently doing him, so you just do you, ok!? Ok!? Chris McGinty is a blogger who is just going to calm down now.

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