Introduction

The house, 2 cars in the garage, a spouse, and kids playing in the yard. It’s the traditional American Dream. I never thought I would have it. I never thought I would own a home. Even while I was in escrow I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. If you had asked me just the day before I started even thinking about looking at homes if I thought I was going to be buying a home I would have told you that I hoped, but that it was a long way off at best. I was working as the CFO for a guy who owned a bunch of real estate and he convinced me that with what he was paying me I could most definitely get in the game and that now was the time. He was right, and I am glad he pushed me, but I also have to be honest and say that looking back I am pretty sure his primary motive for convincing me of this was based more on his own vanity – that HIS CFO had to be a homeowner.

So I started looking with a fair amount of skepticism and the first house I looked at and put in a bid on fell through. I was actually relieved. The more I thought about taking on the mortgage the more nervous it made me. The way I reacted told me I should just wait.

I was anal about keeping my budget (still am) so I knew what I could afford. I had my income and expenses projected month by month for 2 years out. Even with this knowledge I was nervous about taking on a mortgage. Unexpected things always come up. If I am late here or there with rent, no big deal, but a mortgage MUST be paid on time every month. Besides my landlord was my client so I definitely had no issues there with rent.

One night late I was awakened from a deep sleep that I had just fallen into. The neighbor my wife (then girlfriend) and I shared a wall with was at it again. He was a Hollywood DJ who called himself DJ Tic Toc. He was back from his night out along with some friends and blasting his music. This was happening on a regular basis and we had already called the cops on him a few times. I was sure this was karma because 10 years before I was the same kind of punkass kid!

After banging on the wall a few times in hopes of knocking over his equipment I went to the computer to calm down. Remembering that I had seen real estate listings on Ebay I decided to check that out. That night I found my home.

My nerves about taking on the obligation of a mortgage didn’t calm until I had actually made my first payment. Then I knew I had done it. I could now say that I owned a home. I didn’t care that it was the top of the market, that I wasn’t getting any bargain. It was November 2007 and all of the prices were so inflated. My employer had assured me that in 6 months from the time of purchase I would be able to re-finance the house and get extra cash out. He was playing that game along with the rest of the country, especially the under 40 crowd. I was conservative. I made sure I bought a home priced based on a monthly payment I could afford extrapolated to 30 years based on the interest rate I received from Countrywide Home Loans. I am so glad I did it this way because I would have lost my home like so many others have if I had taken a “neg-am”, balloon payment or interest only loan. If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry. These loan options don’t exist anymore. They were simply a way to get people into homes they really couldn’t afford. When the market topped out and values stopped rising enough to enable people to re-finance all of these deals came crashing down and people were forced out of their homes. When I saw this happening I told my wife I would write a book who’s purpose was to show people how to plan and maintain their real estate investment(s) so that this would never happen to them. That is the main purpose of this book.

About Nerd

My first experience as an accounting consultant was in real estate. You can read the whole story in "About The Author." That was in 2003 - 2004. Based on that experience I have had this "interactive book in a blog" developing in my mind for 7 years. So for me this is, As Victor Hugo said, "an idea who's time has come." Please feel free to post your comments and participate. This is a private community open only to those who have registered and paid for their membership.