Thursday, December 29, 2011

Apartment Update

Received the November report for the Houston apartment complex and it was not good. Occupancy has dropped to 89% with 26 move-outs, 12 of which were without notice. So rent concession costs increased to fill the empty units. Expenses are still going lower, which is a small positive. Some exterior wood replacement needed to be done that cost $31,000 but that was paid directly from the replacement escrow account with our lender, so it did not affect cashflow. The manager's report includes this ominous phrase: "...outstanding aged accounts payable continue to place considerable strain on property operations." Total revenue for November was $175,000 and the balance sheet shows $233,000 of Accounts Payable, so yeah, I can see that would cause a strain.

Truthfully, I am getting tired of this investment. I don't think the investors have gotten a payment in over a year. I know the problem is high unemployment and the soft economy, but it gets pretty old hearing month after month that the place is just limping along. This investment was made with an eye towards capital gains, not monthly income, so I need to keep that in mind. Still, it is somewhat frustrating to know there is little that can be done to turn things around. I guess I am still used to the rehab mindset of being able to improve a property and sell it.

I'm starting to see why my hard money lending partner likes lending so much. Rentals require dealing with tenants and repairs, etc. Investing in apartment complexes does too, although a management company keeps those factors one step removed from the investor. Hard money lending on the other hand, is relatively hassle-free, once you have a set of good, regular borrowers lined up. Lending also lets me spread out my investment over several properties, reducing the risk from any single one. I think once this apartment investment ends, I'll stick to hard money lending. You do lose out on all the nice depreciation deductions and tax-deferral options though.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Total CHRISTMAS Recap!!


Merry Christmas!!
This past week has been CrAzY for me! Work was nuts, trying to get ready for Christmas, get my house cleaned, presents wrapped, etc I know you know the feelin'... so I had to take a little break from my blog :( I had zero time.
Christmas was awesome! So great! Let's do a recap... lots of pics and it's kind of long so brace yourself or just skim through real quick if you're bored ha!
Friday night we went to church for Christmas service...it was awesome.  
Christmas Eve we went to my mom's house for dinner and presents with my mom, dad, & brother...
It was a haul loading all these presents from our house let me tell you!!

(How cute did all my paper match? :) I love wrapping presents!)


My brother and his dog, aka my nephew, Whiskey ha.


Me, Mom & Chris

Dinner was wonderful and then it was present time...


So fun! Everyone likes to make fun of me, but my tradition is, everyone takes a seat and then I pass out all the presents and then we go one by one and open haha but this way everyone can see what everyone gets! Works much better this way ;)
(Which by the way I hit the jackpot, a KitchenAid Mixer which was a total surprice, a LuLu Christmas extravaganza with lots of new work out clothes, a keyboard for my iPad, & more! So thanksful!

I had to give Chris one of his big presents at my mom's house because they got him some "accessories" and I knew it would give it away... so he got to open a goodie :)


Ta-Da! An iPad 2 :) Merry Christmas! lol
He loved it, duh.

Great night! Love my fam!

Christmas day the kids came over and turned our house into a hurricane zone ;)
But hey, that's what Christmas is for!

Santa had things lookin good :)



This is why Christmas is so fun! Look at these faces... that is sheer excitement LOL




They had a blast!

For literally about the last 6 months I have been working on a special surprise for Ella & Ava. Ella mentioned to me a couple different times that she doesn't have a scrapbook, and she really wanted one... so I decided to start saving stuff and pull some together! I got pics from Chris and his mom when they were babies, saved stuff from their school things, got a million pictures (which is nothing out of the norm) and worked really hard on them! I saved them until everything was opened and they were calmed down... then gave them to them and they LOVED them! I was so happy :)


 Ella couldn't believe it! She literally was so surprised!




 They looked over each page and took their time and laughed and couldn't believe and remember some of the things in there... I can't wait to add to them as they do more fun things!

** If you are thinking of scrapbooking, words from the wise, its is maja time consuming, and if you have OCD like me it is even more time consuiming, and it is a tad on the expensive side... you have no clue how paper and pictures and stickers can add up, let me tell you! But the reactions are worth it all! **

Chris and I exchanged a few more presents too...
So thoughtful he is :) ...


New UGGS! Love them, so comfy and cute! Thank you babe ;)


More LuLu workout clothes... I have no excuse now to not be working out more ha, (Dangit!)



I was a sneaky little elf and made a big production about the only jacket he asked for in his size was gone, and was there anything else he might like, etc etc and he TOTALLY fell for it and then opened it and was super surprised!!! :) Love Christmas tricks!

Chris really stepped it up with my stocking this year bless his heart... he did SUCH a good job!


An Apple TV box! I was so excited! I still can't figure out how to get it to work with my phone though :( So will be making a trip to the Apple store tomorrow I think! And the e-tip gloves that work with iPhones.. they are my new favorite thing! The North Face brand works so good! I love not having to take my gloves off! And word searches and Paula Dean mags, great. A nail gift card... will come in handy since I am there every Friday! ;)

Speaking of stockings... Frankie was so excited he just couldn't stand it...



So Spoiled! Love him!

My cousins came over Christmas night and we ate and opened more presents and celebrated Jesus's birthday with a cake :)







I wanted the kids to all know the real reason we were celebrating... so we baked a cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and had a little mini celebreation :) They loved it and I hope they all remember it. I am officially making that a tradition from this year forward :) Don't know why I didn't think of it before this year!!??

Remember the Fleece Tie Blankets I was working on??
They were very much enjoyed... :)



This was at midnight on Christmas night... still going crazy and playing with toys!

Then yesterday we continued this Christmas extravaganza and went to Chris's parents house... more yummy food and presents galore!

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year!
So blessed with all of our family, friends, and the good things we were able to share and receive.

I still have to do Christmas with sweet Godson, Connor, this week too! ;)

I hope everyone had a great time with your families, and got to experience the joy and peace only HIS love can offer! <3

Back to work for me tomorrow... lots to get done this week for a busy Friday!!

I will leave you with this... Just Dance 3 for Wii has been the 100% cause for my abs being sore from laughing so hard this week! It is seriously hard stuff!
**Please note Jake in this video... HYSTERICAL... poor thing, we need to teach him some moves! Lol**
(Don't forget to pause my playlist at the bottom before you watch!)


post signature

Friday, December 23, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different

I wasn't going to write about this, but since it's the holiday season, I figured now would be a good time.

About a year ago, I came across Kiva.org, a microlending site. It's similar to Prosper.com in that it works by people lending money to other people. The difference is the other people are in third world countries and are taking small loans to help improve their situation by opening or expanding a business. Kiva charges no fees and 100% of the money you lend goes to the borrower. Like Prosper, you can search lists of people looking for loans and select the ones you want to lend to. But, and here's the reason I originally wasn't going to write about this, the lender (you or I) gets no interest. There is no return on investment for the lender other than the satisfaction of helping someone in another country improve their lot in life.

Kiva works by teaming with field partners in various countries who are the ones who actually fund the loans and collect payments. More information can be found here. The borrower does pay interest on the loan, but that is kept by the field partner.

As with Prosper, there are risks - namely that your loan won't be repaid. Additional risks involve currency exchange rates, political unrest, and all the other risks that come with investing in another country. But Kiva lets you start lending with as little as $25, which is what I've started with. If my loan defaults, I'm only out twenty five bucks. I can handle that. I've made one loan so far to a woman in San Salvador to expand her business of selling cosmetics and small household appliances. The loan was for 20 months and is 55% repaid. My sister-in-law has been lending through them for a couple of years and has made 3 or 4 loans so far.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, please check out Kiva.org. Have a happy holiday season!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Christmas Wishlist

Well with a week left until Christmas... I have finally pulled together my wishlist :)
If for no other reason than just to lust over all these fun/cute things... but also maybe so Chris can finally have ideas without telling me I haven't told him anything LOL
I have been going back to Barre Amped this week and am ready to get back in the swing of things... too much stress and being fat is one less thing to stress about ha! So I am getting my butt back in shape! BUT, I do need some new Lulu to help with that of course ;)


LOVING these Wunder Under Pants that Gather! So cute!



The tanks are my favorite, this one is so cute! I like that it's not super tight! And also this long sleeve shirt would be nice for the winter too!


I think I've wanted these for about two years now lol for some reason have never gotten them, but I looked at them again recently and realized I need them! They are so cozy and comfy!

Ok now don't judge.
But I want both of these books...


I was completely mildy obsessed with the Casey Anothony case. It still sickens me that she walked free. I know I probably shouldn't read it, but I just can't help it. I still want to. And of course I am reading Kris Jenner's book... who isn't obsessed with the Kardashians? That's a no brainer!


I am loving the Apple TV, I am dying to see if it's as cool as it seems! You can link your iPhone, iPad, etc to the Apple TV which will then stream through to your big TV! Really wanting to test this out!


Speaking of iPhone... I am loving this little printer for your phone! Print out your pictures right after you take them! Ahhhhh NEED THIS!! Want this so bad!!


Still haven't seen this movie! I know, I've been under a rock! Want this DVD so I can be a part of the rest of the world haha


LOVE Miranda! This new CD is awesome from what I have previewed! Chris thinks I am last person left in the world who buys CD's still. But I like to listen to them in the car without using my phone! Plus I kind of still like having CD's ... kind of like people who still like to physically write in a planner every day instead of only using their phone calendar ha!

And then of course just for fun...



I am loving this! It would look so cute in my office :)
Does anyone know if they really work??

I think that's all I can think of!
I truly really do love giving more than receiving... I like to watch other people open their presents and enjoy getting things... I like shopping for other people and really trying to think of things they would love or want! I get more out of giving to someone than I do opening something for me!

I am bad about just buying something that I like when I see it, and I honestly really don't NEED one single thing this Christmas... being with family and friends cooking and celebrating is enough for me! These other things are fun though ;) I must admit!

PS. Ladies, you know Lulu will make me work out harder.. I've tried explaining this to Chris... I don't think he understands ha,  a little help would be lovely! Thanks. LOL 


post signature

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Videos for your Tuesday

HELLO FRIENDS!

I recently saw both of these videos and loved them both soooo much that I wanted to share!
The first one they actually showed part of at church several weeks ago and then I saw it again and showed Chris, we cracked up! ... it's great... take a look...
(Don't forget to pause the playlist at the bottom!)

hahahahah that is great. love it.
Second, I have seen some awesome videos of proposals... but Emily (assistant/bff) sent me this one and it is so cute! I cried, laughed, and then watched it again lol it's great.

Ok how creative was he?? Oh my! That took a lot of planning... Love it!

Tonight I am making the crockpot ribs again... we loved them last time... the recipe was so easy!


Ingredients are:
1.5 tbsp sweet paprika (3tbsp)
1 tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed (2 tbsp)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
S&P to taste (about 1 tsp each is what I used)
2 lbs pork (baby) back ribs (6 lbs) - leave the membrane on the ribs to help hold them together
1 cup barbecue sauce (3 cups)
Vegetable oil spray.
 
Click HERE for the full recipe!
 
I also am doing a little Pinterest surprise for Chris for 12 days of Christmas! :)
I will have to tell after I have already done today's in case he stumbles upon this little bloggy before I get to do it!
 
Happy Tuesday!

post signature

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pinteresting Monday!


I have been finding some great ideas on Pinterest this past weekend!
Lots of good ones for Christmas :)


I love this printable! Would be so cute in a frame!


Strawberrys, Angelfood Cake and Chocolate! So easy and yummy!


Love this.... and I have about 3 trifle bowls haha so this I will for sure try to make!


Chris and I, and I think practically everyone in our families lol, are obsessed with sweet potatoes ... This is a sweet potato mix with marshmellows on top (best part!) all in an orange for more flavor! YUM!!


I LOVE these Santa pancakes :) So fun!


I would love to make these.... maybe next year haha this year I have zero time, but they are cute!


Chris and I are wanting to go somewhere warm after Christmas :) I am going to start looking at places this week... but I am OBSESSSSSED with this bathing suit! Feels weird buying a bathing suit in December, but this one may be too cute for me to pass up ;) 


This braid is so chic, love it.... may need Emily's help with this hahaha you know you are the true Pinterest Hair Girl :) XO


How cute are those Toms?


Love the exterior of this home... the front porch is amazing! Wish they would have done a big, beautiful double door though haha but who am I to judge? ;)


The brick wall going to the basement is so pretty... it gives it a "homey" feel I think and is inviting... love that!

Now for my favorite sayings of the week :)



Dont hold grudges! Never a good thing! Let it go so YOU can be free!

hahaha that is funny!


Love this! Very true!

Follow my boards on Pinterest HERE :)

Hope everyone had a great Monday!

(Chris is making dinner tonight... Chili... we will see who's is better? ;)

post signature