Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Posts Tagged ‘selling our house’

How did I fare in my 2008 goals?

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Though I have written quite a bit about my 2008 goals in this blog, I have not really listed all of them. I suppose like many of us, I am a little shy about revealing all. Anyway, now that 2008 is drawing to a close, it’s time to write about how I fared. 

First, the biggest failure of them all……though maybe all has not been lost 

This refers to my most audacious goal for 2008. It was to bring this blog to a readership level of …mumble, mumble …readers a day.  I have failed and failed spectacularly in this goal. I wonder what I must have been smoking when I wrote this post way back on the 31 December 2007. 

On the other hand, this blog has done wonders in improving my communication with my elder two girls. I write about whatever I want to pass on to my girls and they read it in their own time, when their minds are a lot more receptive. (The younger ones have no interest in the blog unless maybe if the article is something specific about them). 

At least I think I have now found my rhythm for maintaining this blog. The blog’s value in promoting communications with my elder girls makes it something I’ll continue for quite a long while. 

The lesser goals…..

Not too bad, three out of four. I am still not good with Photoshop, though I have played around with the program a couple of times.  

The children’s financial education 

I have also written about educating my children on the two most important pf lessons that I had learnt in my life. One was for my two elder girls to have a peer group with an interest in personal finance. I don’t think I have succeeded in this very much. Though they do read some of the fine pf blogs that I pass on to them, I don’t think the idea has gained the kind of traction I would like yet. 

The second was for them to “pay themselves first”. This is progressing quite well. The elder girls have to save a portion of their income upfront, and the younger ones have to do the same with their allowances. In addition, the younger three have kept their bargain of maintaining an accounting for their expenses.  

Helping my elder children secure jobs they would like I wrote a series of posts on this. I am pleased that this goal was substantially achieved. My eldest girl, however, left the job after a couple of weeks and she is now intending to do her Masters in Psychology. In the meantime she is working as an apprentice with a Counsellor and is also teaching an autistic boy.

Other goals – not specifically declared in this blog   

On health matters, I had privately written down wanting to start a regime of exercising that I should adopt. The results have been very poor. It has been more on/off, on/off.  I had also wanted to learn and practice Chiqong. This has not been done either. 

Financially, we did manage to meet the biggest goal, i.e. to sell our rental house and pay down some of our loans.  The goat farm was launched during the year as planned. I had also wanted to convert the family car to NGV. I did not do so more as a result of procrastination than anything else. Now with the fuel prices down again, it does not look all that attractive a ROI anymore.

Career wise, I had written in my goals list that I would on the 30th of June 08 talk to my boss on flexible hours so that I could spend more time with the family. It did not quite work out that way. I resigned with mutual agreement on the 18 June 08 and now have all the time I need to spend on the family.  

Well, 2008 has not exactly been a roaring success. Still it has been a very significant year in my life to date. My mother passed away during the year. And for the 1st time, I am no longer a rat, running the never ending treadmill we call the rat race. In return I have had quite a number of anxious moments on how I would continue putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our heads.  

I am reviewing (yet again) my thoughts on mind mapping my way to retirement that I wrote about in a 2 parter in May 2008.  For the time being I am following my own advice and God Willing, 2009 should prove better.

I have made my goals for 2009 and will write about some of them soon. 

PS: As I wrote this post my thoughts went back to all the earlier years when I reviewed my enthusiastically made and left unmet goals. I am even more convinced that starting this blog has made a major, major difference in my life, and is helping me in no uncertain way to turbocharge my transformation. I feel a lot more accountable now and God Willing, this will spur me more in 2009.  

We have sold the house

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

This journey, leading to the signing of the S & P last Friday, started shortly after my wife and I studied the first ever family budget that we had done. Not good! 

Then we did a review of the family loans and applied the DTI ratio that I read about in Moolanomy. (The Digerati Life has also written about this. Both are very useful pieces of information for would-be borrowers and others like me, who may never have run a health check on our loans.)  The results of the loan review were, needless to say, not good, and this was the final straw that led to my wife and me deciding to put up the house for sale.  

(We bought this house quite sometime ago. About ten years ago, we shifted and this house has been rented out since then.) 

I have read that some bloggers, like Brooke would prefer to handle the sale themselves. We appointed an agent and are very happy with her efforts. Still, I must mention that there was hardly any interest, until I followed FMF’s sound advice on not making the single biggest mistake of home sellers  

I have now signed the S & P agreement, and the buyer has paid the 10% deposit. There are still a few formalities to be settled before the property actually changes hands, and we receive the rest of the money.  

My wife and I have agreed that the proceeds, after paying the costs of the sale will be used primarily for debt reduction. Our loan profile “before” and “after” our planned debt settlement will be as shown below.  

All figures in %

 Before  After
     
 Overdraft             7.00               -  
 Car Loans           60.00               33.00
 Mortgages           33.00               67.00
     
 Total         100.00             100.00

Some amounts are being set aside now for family expenses expected to arise over the next couple of years. (This was at the reminder of my wife and I think it is lucky that I did not overlook this.) 

At the time of the loan review, we figured our “after sale” DTI (Back ratio) to be 7.40%. The present estimates (after debt reduction and amounts set aside) are at 11.80%, still a fairly respectable rate, I think.  

The sale also marks another milestone of my plan to quit the rat race 

Selling the house was not that simple a decision to make, despite the fact that we had not been living there for almost 10 years. The house is in the capital city (we now live in a slightly more rural setting, about 60 km away from the capital), and there were thoughts about shifting back to the capital someday.  

Even after making the decision to sell, signing the S & P was another toughie. There are emotional ties to the house.

I’ll write more about this tomorrow.  

 

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