Friday, September 16, 2011

Short Sale Approval Delayed...

I got word that the Seller of the condo unit on which I made an offer just got approved under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program. According to this article, HAFA is "[a]imed at borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages and who've been denied a modification via HAMP [Home Affordable Modification program]... The program pays cash to both the borrower and lender to encourage a short sale, a deal in which the bank accepts the proceeds of the home sale as full repayment of the mortgage debt, forgiving any loss." Supposedly, the Seller will be getting $3,000 if this deal goes through.

Assuming that the Seller's agent is telling the truth, she resubmitted the short sale approval paperwork on Tuesday. The Seller's agent also claims that the short sale lender's own negotiator is recommending my offer. I've been told to expect a response in the next 30 - 45 days.

I guess I shouldn't presume that the short sale approval will be forthcoming, but I have to admit, I have. In order to temper my expectations, I've been reading blogs like this one, which is forecasting another significant price correction in the California housing market.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stiffing Bank of Mom and Dad

I previously wrote that my Snowball Plan will come to a screeching halt now that I'm purchasing a condo. In actuality, I've just revised my Snowball Plan, yet again, to include my anticipated new debts: my mortgage and the down payment lent to me by Bank of Mom.

Come 10/31/2011, my debts will look something like this:


Fed'l Sub'd Student Loan

$ 50,558.49

@ 5.125%



$ 274,000.00

@ 3.875%


Down Payment

$ 68,500.00

@ 0.000%



$ 393,058.49

Based upon these estimates, here's my new Snowball Plan ver. 3.0.

I know that the "real" Snowball Plan requires me too pay off my debts in the order of the smallest balance to the largest. I do plan to pay off my smallest debt first, but I'll also be snowflaking $4,000/year to my Bank of Mom debt.

Some would argue that the $4k/year snowflake should be applied to my student loans instead of to Bank of Mom. But I feel that Bank of Mom deserves the not-so-insignificant snowflaking since she was generous enough to lend me the money interest-free. Additionally, my mom's 69. God knows how much longer she'll live. She got a relatively clean bill of health recently so I'm thinking that she'll be good for at least another 10 years. Hence, my goal is to pay off Bank of Mom in 10 years. I guess I should also be prepared to make a balloon payment for the balance in the event my mom's health deteriorates prematurely. The bottom line is, I intend to take my debt to Bank of Mom seriously and will treat it no differently than any other debt to a "real" creditor.

I'm going to switch gears now and I'm going to engage in some catty gossip. My best friend recently confided to me that she and her husband also "borrowed" approximately $20,000 from the husband's parents for their down payment. It's been 8 years and they've paid back $0.00 so far. In the mean time, they've taken vacations, bought a new car and made improvements to their house. My BFF claims she feels guilty for stiffing the in-laws, but not guilty enough to initiate a repayment plan. My BFF further feels that it's her husband's responsibility to make the repayment arrangements since they are his parents.

I'm appalled at my friend's cavalier attitude about how she and her husband are stiffing Bank of Mom and Dad. I guess since her in-laws haven't said a "peep" about being repaid, perhaps the in-laws intended to "gift" the money. Either way, the issue has been swept under the rug and no one is dealing with it.

I'm a bit disappointed with my friend. No matter how you slice it, she and her husband are deadbeats. They're deadbeats because they're stiffing their family members on a significant sum. Even assuming that the in-laws were willing to gift the money, my friend and her husband are deadbeats since they didn't pay taxes on the non-exempt portion of the amount that was gifted to them.

I wonder if the in-laws have forgotten about the "loan"? Or I wonder if it will always stay in the back of their minds that their kid and his wife stiffed them?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

August 2011 Progress Report

My focus on my personal finances took a serious nose-dive after I paid off my private student loans in March. Paying off my private student loans literally free'd-up $900/month in my budget and I started living the "good life." I stopped paying attention to my spending and spent money like it grew on trees. I'm happy to say that with $900/month in discretionary spending, I didn't get myself into any trouble. But I really hadn't saved much and I hadn't significantly paid down my $50k+ federal student loans either.


Starting Debt (6/08)

Last MonthThis MonthDIFFERENCE
Private SL$49,528.99$0.00$0.00$(0.00)
Fed'l SL$55,852.68$50,965.88$50,834.65$(131.23)
Car Loan

In light of the fact that I've decided to buy a condo, my debt snowball will come to a screeching halt. Rather than putting the extra money towards paying down my student loans, I've decided to "invest" it in real estate. Only time will tell whether this is a good financial move on my part or not.





The savings I report here is with respect to my emergency fund only and does not include my future spending earmarks. The increase in the chart above does not represent an actual increase in my savings. I merely shifted money from my unreported earmarks to my EF. I figure I'll need more $ in my EF since my housing budget will likely double in the next couple of months.

In case you were wondering, my unreported earmark fund is down from $10.8k in June to $4,765 currently. This makes me a bit nervous.





My "X"-Fund represents a part of a windfall that I had originally set aside either as an emergency fund or a down-payment for my first home. Either way, it's money that I didn't intend to touch unless it's for an emergency or for reinvestment purposes.

In February 2011, my X-Fund had $28,573.36. I used approximately $26,319 in March to pay off my private student loans. It left me with only about $2,254.58, but I slowly built the balance back up to $5,898.14 by July. In July, I sold a bunch of my company stock, liquidated one of my Roth IRA accounts and shifted some of my earmark money to my X-Fund which explains the sudden $13k+ jump.

I anticipate this fund will be exhausted in October on closing costs and home improvements.





Long story short, I'm pretending to pay myself an additional $55/month for a "hypothetical" return of premium (ROP) term life insurance policy. I'm basically trying to "earn" back the term life insurance premiums through savings and investments.

Considering I saved $55 last month and my gain was only $36.26, I guess I lost money on my investments. But who didn't in August?



August was a brutal month for my 401k, IRAs and other investments. It could've been worse, though. I didn't suffer as big a loss as I could have since I liquidated a bunch of my company stocks and one of my Roth IRA account at the end of July in anticipation of buying my first home.

The breakdown and the history of my net worth can be seen here.

Short Sale Approval Is Supposedly Coming Next Week

I just got word from my agent that the seller submitted her final approval paper work for the short sale along with a recommendation from the short-sale lender's negotiator. The short sale is expected to be approved some time next week with an anticipated closing date of 10/10/11. I requested that the closing date be pushed back to 10/31/11. I haven't heard back from my agent so I'm not sure whether my request will be honored or whether it will jeopardize the deal.

Anyhow, here's my new monthly housing budget, assuming the short sale is approved:
Mortgage (P&I): $1,289 @ 3.88% interest (3 disc pts)
Assoc Fee: $320
Property Tax: $343 (est.)
Payback Mom: $225
Insurance: $45
Total: $2,222

My current housing budget is:
Rent: $1,175
Renters Insurance: $20
Total: $1,195

Difference: $1,027/month+