Hey smidlapper, i’ll be you ate and drank too much at thanksgiving this past weekend. i know i did. Worry not, we’re both still here to talk about anticipating events and needs before they become an emergency. Here’s some food for thought on the subject, Chubbs.
You may have read we had our roof replaced and that went fairly smoothly, although the first crew damaged our driveway and dinged up the neighbor’s house a little. Let’s just say not paying in full until completely satisfied with a completed job should be obvious. We have not paid in full as these things have not been addressed.
But back to the subject at hand: If you want to own a big f’ing house then you need to anticipate that shit happens. We had a little roof repair 5 years ago and the contractor told me the roof had about 5 years left. Then something interesting happened when we changed insurance companies. The insurance agent said she wouldn’t shop around our homeowner’s policy due to the condition of the roof she could see from google earth! Imagine our chagrin at us letting it go that long. Well, at that point we maybe could have squeaked another year or two out of the roof but the thought of needing this job on short notice would make your sleep less restful, to say the least, so we bit the bullet and spent the dollars. Sure it was painful to pony up several 10’s of thousands of hard earned jack which could have bought a lot of wine or fun times, but the potential downside was worse. The best and most reliable contractors are booked months in advance for a reason. Let’s say we went for the big delay and for the cover our big ass 1860’s house to leak and then decided we needed it fixed? This might have resulted in water damage and a litany of other poop that would have compounded something that could have and should have been avoided. See how that went? Hooray for us for acting like responsible adults. Trust me when I say it hasn’t always been a guarantee.
We paid off our house about 4 years ago, so how nice for us. One thing about this big life step is that you then own all the equity in your home. When we suspected we needed this major repair I got to thinking we might not want to necessarily want to pony up the home maintenance fund along with the emergency fund and pay that back off, leaving us less liquid if a real emergency did come up like injury or job loss. Enter the Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Now I would never say we should borrow (even at a decent rate) BUT we went and opened the HELOC at least 6 months before we might have possibly needed to use any of that money. It doesn’t cost anything to open the line of credit and allows some flexibility and liquidity but it takes a long ass time to get all that stuff approved. I hope we don’t ever need it but I hope we don’t need the fire department either, for that matter, but it’s in place if we get in a liquidity pinch.
SELLING OUR STUFF AND DOWNSIZING
This is the one that really got me thinking about doing stuff ahead of time. We have no intention of leaving our palatial estate any time soon. This is the best position from which to get the most for your valuable stuff when you’re not under the gun to do it. We’ve been listing our crap near the maximum where we think it will sell and just posting up a ton of items. If they don’t sell? No pressure, just adjust and put them back up there. The pace of it all is very manageable and we’ll slow way down during the holidays when Mrs. Smidlap is more busy selling her art. Like that ballerina in the picture here.
I really think the throwing away is going to more fun than the monetizing. Hell, I can’t wait to get down to just enough stuff to stock a big 2 bedroom apartment. We’ve been looking around the place and saying “I didn’t even know we had that” and other things like “I can’t believe somebody paid me 130 bucks for those sunglasses you got for free in the 80’s.” I like these new hobbies like downsizing that at worst are cost neutral and at best can make you a little while you get on the healthier side of the “shit i possess” ledger.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
It’s easy when you know how.
FREE ACTIVITY OF THE WEEK
Streaming WWOZ 90.7 New Orleans. When I lived there I had this on in my apartment 24/7 for two years straight and when we go to visit our friends have it on the same way. If this music doesn’t put you in a better mood then seek help. http://wwoz.org/listen/player
Feel free to say your best or worst in the comments. I can take it!