Even if we don’t need it on a given month it’s helpful to talk in front of someone who can point out any problems with our communication. I’ve talked to other husband-and-wife business teams who think it’s a great idea. One couple wears silly hats when they’re talking about business, to differentiate between personal and business issues. I think that’s a pretty cool idea. That and Nerf bats. When we have an argument we can go in the back yard and just beat each other with Nerf bats.
Technically, the real estate venture is my husband’s business. I’ve always had a job. But he can’t do it without me – it’s too big and there are too many moving parts. We found this out the hard way a few years ago over Thanksgiving when three of our lines of credit matured – and our bank’s automated system starting deducting the automatic monthly payments daily from our account! Thankfully it was the operating account and we had just collected all the rents for the month, or there would have been an explosion of bouncing checks before the problem was resolved the following Monday. Since that day I took it upon myself to watch the bank accounts, and take care of accounts payable and receivable. And the taxes.
Oh the taxes!
Someday, hopefully next year, our accounts for the year will be settled nicely and in the hands of our accountant in plenty of time for the March 15th corporate filing deadline. But this year, like every year past, we filed the extension to give us until September 15th. And now it’s August.
Every year I say “Never again!” But here I am, once again, throwing my schedule out the window so I can pull together what I’ve affectionately named “The Spreadsheet From Hell.” All so my accountant can work her magic on it before the extension runs out. This year is especially testy. In years past I took a vacation week off from work to do the taxes, which sucked. This year I’m working part-time at what I call my “B Job.” A lot of small business owners have “B Jobs” to have some kind of steady income to cover their family expenses. Mine just happens to be in my old career as a radio personality. And when you’re a part-time radio personality, you fill in when the full-timers want off. That means I’ve been working an awful lot this summer!
Since I can’t take off work this year, I have to do the taxes around it. I can’t take off time from being Savannah’s mom, either. I am grateful for YMCA summer camp! That means the hours I can work on the taxes are extremely limited. And things like my workouts at the gym , keeping up with the housework, and any kind of social life get sacrificed. That includes my Tuesday date with my husband.
So imagine my reaction when Steve said to me we would not have to forego our Tuesday dates. He is going to spend as many Tuesdays as necessary working on the taxes with me. We’ll bring our laptops and all the bank statements and paperwork over to Sabatini’s new bar and spread out on that leather couch, drink flights of craft beer and work on the Spreadsheet From Hell together. My heart overflows with love for this man!
Steve is perhaps one of the most dynamic, hardest working real estate professionals you’ll ever meet. While I’m spending the next few weeks in Tax Hell, he will carry the brunt of the business, which (this week) includes managing tenants, filling several empty apartments, dispatching maintenance people as-needed, and overseeing our latest house flip.
Flipping another house – we learned from our mistakes the first time!
It’s awesome seeing a vision come to life! We picked the right contractor in MY Contractor, LLC. This house has been fighting them all the way. You never know what you’re getting into until you get under the plaster. But Mike and his crew are taming the beast. A little behind schedule, but no cost overages at this point. That’s enough to keep the investor who is largely funding this project happy. If not totally happy, he at least finds the situation acceptable. And I really like what I’m seeing so far. What a difference from two summers ago, when we flipped our first house in Avoca. All the drama we went through – we fired not one but two contractors! Read all about it by clicking these links:
I like how they completed the exterior siding first. It instantly improves curb appeal and generates interest in our flip among the neighbors and passers-by.
As I was doing my morning yoga in the backyard yesterday morning, in the sticky humidity, I thought about how awesome it was to have central air in the house. Our house was a flip – we bought a hopelessly outdated four bedroom/1 bath and turned it into a modern 3 bedroom/2 bath with an open plan first floor and that glorious luxury of climate control. I lived the first forty years of my life without it, and I was done with that! So I said to Steve, “We should include central air in our flips from now on, it’s what people want.” He said, “That’s going to add $9,000 to every flip!” And that makes it impractical. If all the houses in the neighborhood are selling for $120k, you’re not going to get offers on a house priced at $129k just because you have central air. People are going to love your house, but you’ll still get offers of $120k or less. UNLESS you have a buyer that wants central air so bad she’s willing to pay you to put it in. And that’s the only way our current flip in Avoca is going to have central air. (The flip we did in 2014 sold without it.)
By the way, if you’re interested, our asking price (without central air) is $112k. At that price point, you get a newly renovated 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath home with a new roof, siding, windows, and new gas furnace conversion. Electric and plumbing are all new. The address on Grove St in Avoca is a quiet neighborhood off the main traffic street with off-street parking in a paved driveway and a (soon to be) newly landscaped yard. The location is convenient to both Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, close to I-81, and is in the desirable Pittston Area School District. The earlier you get it under contract, the more customization we can provide inside. And we’d be happy to install central air (or any other upgrades not in our current budget) at cost. You can see the Craigs List link here: http://scranton.craigslist.org/reo/5716524757.html
And you can call Steve directly at (570) 798-7051.
And now back to my taxes. At least I won’t have to worry about paying Uncle Sam for the profit on this flip until next year! And by then I’ll have my act together, right?