Holy Komoly! My heart shall palpitate a little less these days, haha… What a relief :)

One of the people who checked it out over the weekend fell in love with it, submitted their app right away to our property manager, who then did background checks/pulled credit/etc, and two days later called us up to present everything. Where we promptly said “Dear Lord, YES!” ;) And we’ve even got the full deposit and first month’s rent in hand too – unlike those last jokers. Wow wow WOW.

Here’s the story with them:

  • Single mom with a high rank in the military
  • Has two kids – one little boy who will live at the home with her, and one older girl who’s currently in college (and currently living at home too during the summer break)
  • No dogs, cats, or any pets whatsoever
  • Got transferred to the DC area and looking to move in ASAP
  • And more than qualified to pay rent after an income review

So basically, the best candidate ever since starting this search almost a month ago :) WOOPEE!!! My favorite part is the she’s in the military too because they do NOT joke around with irresponsibility and messed up finances – you’ve got to have your $hit in order especially if you’re advancing through the ranks like she seems to be doing (my dad constantly made us aware of this growing up in the military life as we went through our rebellious stages: “Don’t you do something stupid cuz I’m going to be the one who gets in trouble for it!”). So even more peace of mind that she’ll hopefully not screw anything up while living there… And now it feels kinda freaky too that someone else will be living in our house and sleeping in our bedrooms?? I’m just now thinking of that, haha…

Man. I honestly don’t even know what else to type here because my fingers are literally jittering with excitement. I just CAN’T believe that we’ve finally found someone and they’re already moving in tomorrow and everything!!! That makes my heart and wallet sing so much!!! (Oh, yeah, forgot to mention they move in tomorrow and are ready to rock. Nice and fast, just the way we like it ;))

Really incredible stuff… From down and desperate to high and feeling on top of the world again. Doesn’t get better than that. And amazingly I’m all for being a landlord again, haha… my my my how the tables have turned yet *again* ;) First the house going up in value, and now this. It’s a damn fine day, my dear friends… A damn fine day…

I should probably leave it at that before I go and jinx myself now :) We don’t want a repeat of the last dumb applicant… But you know I had to log on and give y’all the good news before my heart exploded. I feel like a whole new chapter is starting over in the Money household and this is just the beginning of what’s to come. Who knows what else this will spark down the line? A series of rental properties? A home flipping business? (HAH!) A crash and burn of all our money and luck? ;)

Only time will tell, but for now I am one happy pup. And I thank each of you who kept us in our thoughts and prayers throughout this process too. It would have been much harder holding in our patience and stress had we not had a place to dump all our thoughts. SO THANK YOU SO MUCH!

And now I’m off to go on a nice relaxing walk and count our blessings while we still have them :) Here’s to the next step! (As acted out a la American Pie boys… head nods and beers included)

(Photo by Yogendra Joshi)

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  1. Free Money Minute July 24, 2013 at 6:07 AM

    Congratulations! Glad to hear you are counting your blessings and not taking it for granted. Hope it works out for you guys long term!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      Hell no! I’m savoring every last one of these blessings – they don’t come every day!

  2. Kevin July 24, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! Don’t know what else to say. Congrats!

  3. nGneer July 24, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Yay! Congrats! Sounds like you have an awesome renter. I hope it all works out.

  4. Lance @ Money Life and More July 24, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Congrats! When our townhouse was rented we felt so much relief as well! It sounds like you have an awesome tenant and awesome job about the American Pie reference :) Enjoy the income and hopefully it cash flows :)

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      My friends and I literally act it out every time we’re at a bar together ;) The best is when people think we’re being serious, haha…

  5. Michelle July 24, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Congrats! Sounds like a great renter.

  6. Jen July 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    CONGRATS! This is so exciting!! :)

  7. Rob July 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Congratulations! Peace of mind and passive income…there is not much better than that. With any luck she turns out to be as great a renter as you expect and stays for quite a while.

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Thanks man :) Unfortunately we’re not at the income yet part of “passive income” (we’ll be losing money every month) but it’s a damn fine start. Praying we make it out okay at the end of the year to re-asses and see if we shall go another.

  8. Jason Cabler (@DrCabler) July 24, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Glad to see you got what seems to be a good renter. I just bought a rental house a few weeks ago and I’m already having to deal with a renter who lost her job and is behind on the rent. Thankfully that’s getting worked out.

    I just started a new series on my experience if anybody wants to check it out.

    “I Invested in a Rental Property”- http://www.cfinancialfreedom.com/invested-rental-property/

    Good luck J$!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      Very cool! On the buying part that is, not the renter losing her job ;) Did you already buy it with her attached? (ie. was she already living there when you took over?)

  9. Mark Ross July 24, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Congratulations! With their background that you have shared with us, I think they will be great renters and you’ll be having a good time with them. :)

  10. Taynia @ The Fiscal Flamingo July 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Whoop it up! I can hear the sighs of relief. (And I know how it feels, I was a landlord long ago.) Congrats.

  11. Relieved July 24, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    I’m celebrating with you. Just leased to some very promising new residents after dealing with a string of losers. Honestly, was so discouraged before this almost gave up. Turns out apparently we were not asking for enough. This time required first, last plus security and ran background checks which will actually save money and grief in the long run and totally weeded out the riffraff from the get-go. This time I know what I am getting. Also accepted mellow old dog for an extra monthly fee on the condition he be crated when no one is home, just as mine is.

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Good for you!! We’ll celebrate together :)

  12. No Waste July 24, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    I’m so happy…and nervous for you.

    Too many bad stories have clouded my judgment when it comes to renters.

    I am very, very curious to hear how this goes…hopefully so well that they end buying the place from you in a few years after prices increase.

    Too much to ask?

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Well, I feel like there’s GOTTA be a ton of great stories with renters too since so many people do it :) It’s just they never go out of their way to share those types of stories! Haha… But yeah, I’ll most def. be keeping y’all in the loop. Whether you like it or not ;) I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say over the next 12 months…

  13. Done by Forty July 24, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    That’s a wonderful feeling — congratulations on finding a great tenant! May the family stay long term, may the property remain undamaged, may the road rise up to meet you…

    Seriously, congrats! :)

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Debt Blag July 24, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    That’s terrific. I still remember my first new renters and how nervous I was with them. Best of luck and congratulations! :)

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      How long has it been now since you’ve been a landlord? It does get easier right??? :)

  15. jestjack July 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    What great news…I’m happy for you! ….HOWEVER…please ask your real estate professional about the pitfalls of renting to military. As I recall if this person is relocated for whatever reason…”re-org”….base re-alignment…duty overseeas… your lease becomes nul and void and as long as they provide documentation …can not be held accountable. Hate to be a “debbie downer” but just thought you ought to know. It does seem like the rental market has improved …showed a unit to some “stellar applicants” last night. On the other hand took a call this morning on a $1500 unit and was asked if I would take $1200 if they cut the grass…”Maybe if it was on fire”…

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      You are most definitely right, my friend – if they get a call to move elsewhere there’s nothing we can do about it :( But I figure since they JUST got moved over here, they should be holding tight for at *least* a year. If not two. But you really just don’t know… We felt like it was worth taking the chance on. (Good catch btw – I totally forgot to blog about that part!)

  16. Jake @ Common Cents Wealth July 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Congrats on finding a great renter! The woman sounds like a perfect person to rent out your home. She’ll probably take great care of it and be responsible when paying the rent on time. Sounds like the best of both worlds there. Hopefully it all works out!

  17. Rick July 24, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Have a rental story regarding military to share. We rent our condo “exclusively” (within the law of course!) to folks in the military. Our last gem decided to skip out after having several pets (not allowed in the lease) and a live-in sublet (again, not allowed). Because of his stellar military record and employment, keeping the deposit and garnishing wages to repair all the damages was easy squeezey, down and easy. Yup it’s a fact, you CAN track these folks down to make it right.

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Good to know!! Though very sorry to hear you had to go through all that, jeez… Praying we’ll avoid any nastiness like that. And hopefully you too in future! :)

  18. Retire By 40 July 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Congrat! Your renter is such a great fit.

  19. Joel July 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Praise God, Congrats! Psyched for you guys and knew things would work out! Patience is key and it’s def a good lesson learned early on. They sound like solid tenants and looks like an abundant road ahead!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Thanks! We’re very VERY excited about it!

  20. Leona@allmydollarsandcents.com July 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Congrats! I can’t wait until I have my first rental property.

  21. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen July 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Alls well that ends well! I think I wrote that correctly! Congratulations! Sounds like you got an awesome renter!

  22. Kristie July 24, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Woo-hoo! Congrats! Imagine the great sleep you’ll get now. I’m sharing in your joy, as I, too, found a great couple that will actually be moving into my property any minute now. In exchange for an early move-in date (my idea), the couple has ordered/installed a new garage door opener, the gentleman–a self-proclaimed Craigslist addict–bought a beautiful trash compactor for a steal and installed it where my old ugly one used to be, and he’s having his gardener clean up the yard and do some sprinkler work. Since I am managing the property myself, his willingness to barter with me, saved me a 10 hour drive roundtrip (gas and food money!), and the headache of having to coordinate all of the repairs. I wasn’t expecting a renter until August 1 anyway, so it’s a win-win for both of us.

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      NICE!!! That’s the one thing we were missing from our other original applicants – the handyman’ness of them :) You’re very fortunate to have someone who knows how to do all that and more importantly, WANTS to! Haha… Hooray for us!

  23. Relieved July 24, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Rick – and all: Has anyone had any success with garnishing Social Security benefits? Instead of using income provided by our tax payments to pay living expenses for her and her daughter (both receiving benefits), my latest departed deadbeat has not one but two giant screen TV’s plus every entertainment package known to man. She also took her daughter to Disney World after they had already been on the dime of one of the wish foundations. She left a big balance owed to the electric company too, which thankfully will not come back on me. This just happened so I haven’t called anyone in social services yet but I’m thinking about it and could certainly give them an earful. Former tenant doesn’t seem to be too disabled except when it comes to meeting her obligations and her daughter is the picture of health and happiness.

      1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        Sorry to hear man, that sounds like a nightmare :( Thanks for popping in there, Rick.

  24. Drew July 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Congrats, but on the whole would you recommend rentals?

    I just cant get over the 9%PP fee for selling at the end. Plus its 9% on the gain (and dont forget taxes if you don’t live in it for two years).

    Obviously I’m talking about 3% closing and 6% (might be higher or lower depending on where), but if you have a $500k property for 28 years and it appreciates 2% a year, its a 870k property, and the fees are $78.3k to sell! And the taxes on are the depreciated amount (MORE TAXES). You will probably get hit for roughly $200k in taxes! Saying that’s true, $870k – $200k – $78.3 = $591.7 after-tax (in 28 years).

    I feel like I’m forgetting something, oh wait I am. You put that shiny 100k downpayment that could of at least earned 5% a year in the market. 1.05^28 — 292k in pre-tax lost opportunity costs. Let’s call it a solid $200k lost in opportunity.

    So now you have $391.7k (not adjusted for inflation), using 2% that 391.7k is actually about $225k in 28 years. Almost three decades of managing / thinking / updating / renovating / worrying / risking yourself to a down market / risk from tenants trashing the place — for $225k?

    Now I’m sure someone would sit here and give me the numbers for why cashflow is king, but I can tell you first hand that people DRASTICALLY over-estimate their actual income from rentals and under-estimate their expenses (new siding, HVAC, heating, windows, roof) and their time commitments to the rentals.

    Now the tax benefit is roughly 4.5k for 27.5 years, so that’s a $125k.

    So $275k + $125k (won’t even discount it for time-value) + MAYBE small cash flows.

    I’m not sure I see the appeal. Just so much stress / risk for maybe 400-500k in three decades of carrying a 500k asset.

    If you took that 100k and put into the market and got more like 7%, you’de have $664k pre-tax. Ball-park-ish 500k after-tax.

    I guess it comes down to, do I think I can get 7% over the 28-years or do I think housing is a more stable route.

    Don’t argue diversity of portfolio, there is plenty of ways to diversify in real estate without owning.

    1. J. Money July 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      I think you’ve put in way more time in this than most people already :) Which is great. No, I wouldn’t recommend it to the majority of people out there, but to some (with the right personality and skills) they’d def. kill it. Shoot, thousands every day are killin’ it in the rental game! The only reason we’re doing it right now is to a) learn and experience it and b) we aren’t in a position to sell yet. We’ll see how time changes our path here, but for the next 12 months at least we’re sitting still and learning. And doing so in our new home that we’re now in miles away :)

  25. Pauline July 24, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    congrats! military staff tends to move around quite a bit, but every 2-3 years so I guess you’re good for now!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      That’s all I need!

  26. Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) July 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    That is so much awesomeness! A high ranking military mom — she will definitely not mess around with your stuff! Love it!

  27. Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa July 24, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    This situation definitely sounds ideal! It looks like your previous negative experience may end up working out for the best.

  28. Relieved July 25, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Drew: DON’T DO IT. Your thinking is correct. The stress level is high and expenses will likely exceed your estimates. They only go in one direction: UP – and guess what? Market rents do not go up proportionately. Also factor in tenants who don’t pay and the laws that protect them, written by state legislators who are the attorneys representing them! Also don’t forget you won’t have 100% occupancy all the time. I would never, ever do it again, and when the market recovers may yet bail. Not to be negative and don’t you all start beating up on me now, but Drew asked and I am giving him my honest opinion and the wisdom I have gained over the last 7 years. It is very difficult to make money this way.

    1. Drew July 25, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      @Relieved – You’re my hero

    2. J. Money July 28, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      I don’t think you’re being negative, you’re being real :) And that’s exactly why I love blogging cuz we get to hear all different sides of the story with situations! So thanks to all of you who are stopping by and sharing – it helps out our little ecosystem here.

  29. Relieved July 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Rick: Thanks for the info on no SSA garnishments. Read some of the other rules for beneficiaries and think I will report the little scam artist anyway so she can share some of the pain she has caused myself and others. Since she’s getting a free ride on our tax dollars I feel like she has scammed me TWICE! I also see a collection agency in her near future – they report to all 3 credit bureaus.

  30. EJ July 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Congratulations that is awesome news. Thank goodness for great tenants hey! We had a couple of beauties in our old rental. had permission for one dog and then we found out they had three plus 8 puppies that they were just letting fend for themselves in 40 degree heat and no water! We “encouraged” them to leave pretty quickly. The agent had done a really bad job so I fired her and took over myself with much better success.

    1. J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Oh WOW – that’s freaky! Good for you though. We care the most for our own properties/businesses, ya know?