Paid Off The Home Mortgage…..Now What?

This is a guest post from Joe at Joe is on his way to be an asset millionaire by age 41.

I remember the day that we paid off the mortgage like it was yesterday. My wife and I sat down and wrote the check to the mortgage company. It was the biggest check that either of us had ever written by far. It was for $167K. We had been saving and investing for this day for about 7 years and it was sweet. This was the end of our debt free journey. We had saved and worked hard to pay off, not only the mortgage, but also student loans, cars and credit card debt. We got there faster than I thought we would, but I did not know where our journey would take us.

After our little triumph, I knew we needed another focus to keep us headed in the right direction. We decided to focus on our three boys and their college education. They are young and we had 10 years before the oldest would hit college age. We now had the “mortgage” money to put towards college, as well as our accelerated “house payoff” fund. Again, we focused and put our efforts into this quest. I am proud to say that we have enough to send all three boys to school for their bachelors degrees. We had done this with good investments, saving and other activities that brought in extra money.

We were not done, no, we had to focus on something else. It was time for us to focus on building wealth, real wealth. This is our latest quest. We are in the process of building up a nice portfolio of assets. We are diversifying our money generating activities by saving, of course, but also by investing and creating multiple streams of income. We are not there yet, but we are on our way. We have a goal to hit the $1 million asset mark by the time I turn 41. That’s a little over a year from now. Our goal, is to have $3 million in assets by my 50th birthday and to be able to not work at a JOB. I would like to be in a position to have my own company by then and create a great place to work and help others achieve wealth.

All this has been possible because we have focused. It has taken us about 10 years to get to this point. I know that some say that we have achieved a lot in these past 10 years and others have said that 10 years is a long time to achieve where we are at. The truth is that it has been right for us. We have done it at a metered pace. We still take vacations to nice places and go out but we live within our means. I am blessed with a good job and have made great investment decisions. We are living proof that most people can achieve what they want with their money if they keep focusing on their goals. Keep at it and you can get where you want to be in shorter time than you think.

Joe Edward is in pursuit of creating wealth for financial independence. Joe believes the right focus on five key areas are a way to financial independence:
-Maximize Career
-Save, Save, Save
-Debt Free Living
-Invest, Invest, Invest
-Create Multiple Streams of Income
Joe is well on his way to be an asset millionaire by the time he turns 41. He started to help others achieve their own paths to financial independence. Follow him on Twitter: @smartmoneyjoe


How Much do Replacement Windows Cost?

We’re looking at doing some home improvements to our house: some new windows, a new stove, and just some general painting and repair.  This year we need to work on the exterior of the house since we’ve focused on remodeling the interior of the house over the past four years.  We decided that the best way to go about making all these repairs was to do one thing at a time.  That’s totally not how I like to roll, but it definitely makes more sense for my sanity.  It seems like anytime I get an idea about a new project there I am, full force into the demolition of the project and then I realize I’m way in over my head.

Some things are better left to the professionals.  I was curious to find out how much replacement windows would cost, so I requested a few companies to come out and give us a free quote on replacement windows.  Our house is unique in the fact that the front part of the house was built probably in the 1940s and the back of the house is an addition that was probably built in the 1970s.  For whatever reason, the windows in the back of the house are definitely newer than 1970, but the front part of the house three of the four windows are what I assume to be the original windows to the house.  They need to be replaced because they leak pretty badly.

We also have a couple windows up in our attic that we decided to replace because one is leaking and running down and dripping through one of the door frames.  Yeah, it’s not good.  I looked online at one of the local home improvement stores for a replacement window and we could buy one ourselves for less than $100 I think.  Then I realized that I don’t know how to replace windows myself, and that it probably would be a better idea to let a professional install windows.  I don’t need the darn thing falling out.  It’s causing me enough headache as it is.

The first company came out yesterday to give us a quote for five replacement windows.  The front three windows that aren’t very big (I think they are less than 30 inches each) would cost us $825.00 total to replace.  That includes the cost of $600 for the windows themselves, $195 for the exterior trim (?), and then a disposal fee of $30.  To replace the two little windows that are in the attic (mind you, they are about two feet by two feet) would cost us $808.  I about died.  The smaller windows cost us almost as much as three larger windows!  With the smaller windows, they would cost $658 for the windows, $130 for the exterior trin, and then $20 for the disposal fee.  Good grief!

I think that we are going to look into purchasing the attic windows our selves and then trying to find someone that knows how to replace windows, like maybe a handyman.  That way we’ll save some money and be able to better afford the other windows.  Looks like I better start saving now!

Have you ever priced replacement windows?


How Much Value do new Appliances add?

As I mentioned before, we need to replace our stove. The stove we currently have is ancient, and works half the time. The burners are going out and sometimes I’ll put a pot of water on for tea and realize half an hour later that the kettle hasn’t started whistling. It’s annoying. Mr. Money is a chef, and wants to replace it with a gas range with a convection oven. There are a couple problems with this: one, convection ovens are expensive!; and two, we currently have an electric stove so we’d have to run a gas line to the stove and add a hood vent.

I asked a heating and cooling specialist today about how much it would cost to do both of those things. He said that it would probably be $600 maximum. However, he would have to look at it to give me a more accurate quote. I told Mr. Money that, and he didn’t seem like it was a big deal. He was expecting it to cost more money than that. I told him he’d have to also consider the cost of the actual stove too. The prices for a new gas range are anywhere from about $799-$1699. As far as I’m concerned we have a couple options when it comes to replacing our stove.

We can replace the existing electric stove with a new electric stove. I don’t know how long we’ll actually live in this house, so I don’t feel like dropping a ton of money on new appliances. However, I do think that our house would sell faster if we had all matching appliances in the kitchen.

We can replace the existing stove with a new gas stove. Of course, we’d have to pay to have the gas line installed as well as the hood vent, but Mr. Money thinks we’ll get the money back when we sell the house. I am skeptical. I can’t see where we would, but I could be totally wrong.

Do new appliances really add that much value? My personal opinion is that they probably would help the house sell faster, but we may not necessarily be able to recoup the money that we spend to replace them. I don’t know if I want to shell out a bunch of money on a brand new gas range.

Part of me wishes that when we bought the appliances, we had just gone with plain white or black instead of stainless steel. I think we’ve spent too much money on the appliances, but I can’t go back and change it so I might as well live with it. 😉 Also, it was harder to learn how to clean stainless steel but it seems as though I’ve got that figured out now. I am hoping that when the time comes, our stainless steel isn’t inundated with fingerprints!

Do you think you can recoup the money from new appliances when you sell a house? What would you do?

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