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Old 10-17-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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Hello again

Hi everyone, my name's Laurence and I live in San Diego. I've technically been a member here for quite some time - even moderated for a while - but it's been so long since I've posted, or even lurked, that I'd thought I'd re-introduce myself.

I'm 37 (wow, when did that happen?) and I have 3 daughters, 7, 4, and 10 months. My oldest has special needs (Down Syndrome) but is very high functioning so she hasn't really required anything more than a typical kid for some time. My wife works a little from home and I go to work at mega-corp every day. We crossed over the 200k a year mark since I last posted but in San Diego that's just solid, not spectacular as some of you know. We take advantage of retirement accounts, kids and my wife dialing back work hampered deposits for a while and the recession didn't help, but we are closing in on $300k in 401k and IRA holdings. We carry little debt outside of the mortgage (car payment - 0% financing is irresistible to me) but aside from the emergency living expenses money market we don't have much after tax and are looking to shore that up.

My philosophy for investing was shaped by 4 pillars, I am targeting a retirement setup loosely based on "Buckets of Money" and a paid off mortgage (we pay an extra 700-1400 a month on principle to make sure it's paid off before I'm 50). I'm looking to retire at 55, and I have a non-cola'd, small pension at that point to help minimize the withdrawals from my cash bucket.

My main purpose of returning is to read threads and ask questions of those of you with real estate investment experience. Nords has already been a big help but I'm going to take this really slowly. It's an itch that won't go away and I'll have to learn the hard way by jumping in at some point. I'm seriously looking at buying a condo/loft in downtown San Diego - Gaslamp/East Village/Little Italy are top contenders. My working plan involves making it a vacation rental so that I can use it as well. My wife and I are big fans of dinner and dancing downtown and it just seems like throwing money at hotels might have an alternative. Not looking to make money on the condo at all, just defray the costs a bit, enjoy using it, and have a second place paid for in retirement. Heck, if things really go to pot we could sell my big north county house and just move into there when we retire....

....anyhow, I look forward to meeting the current generation of community members, and to those of you who do remember me it'll be great to chat with you again. My middle daughter's name is Olivia, and that name was influenced by a poll I did here in which it was picked 1st from our top ten. Well she's now four and reading and dancing and controlling the remote and generally driving me crazy with questions. Meanwhile my youngest, Elizabeth ("Ella") took her first steps tonight. Any other young parents out there living the chaos?

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Old 10-17-2011, 10:00 PM   #2
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Welcome back Laurence, glad that things are moving along in your life. Congrats on the new baby, wonderful news. I hope you hang around with us more.
Work is something you do to get enough $ so you don't have to....Me.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:02 PM   #3
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Welcome back Laurence!
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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Good to hear from you again Laurence. Congratulations on daughter number 3. I can't believe how the children have grown.

I just booked tickets for San Diego for my DH to visit my DD and her family for Thanksgiving and DD's birthday. Our only grandchild, Danica is 3 years old and way too far away. DD's spouse is getting out of the Navy in 06/12 after 6 years and they will be putting up their house for sale beginning of 01/13. It is not what you are interested in, but I sure hope that there will be an interested buyer then.

I can't offer any good info on real estate investment, but I am sure others will be along soon.

Again, congrats on the family and it is really good hearing from you again.

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Old 10-17-2011, 10:18 PM   #5
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Hey, good to see all of you! I'll have to dig up a recent photo so you can see how our family has grown....hmmm....this one is 3 months old....
Laurence family.jpg
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:24 PM   #6
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Laurence, welcome back. It's hard to believe that Olivia is 4 years old by now! Time flies.
Happily retired since 2009, at age 61.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:24 PM   #7
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How cute are those three little girls!!

A lot of energy in that photo! I can see why you and Mrs. L. enjoy dining and dancing every once in a while for recharging your batteries--and also why you haven't had a lot of time to be posting here.

Welcome back!
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:57 PM   #8
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Beautiful family! I am sure there are great times in your household! I truly regret not having my 2 children closer in age. I hope that your kids grow up being sisters and best friends!
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:24 PM   #9
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Those are some cutie patooties!
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:29 AM   #10
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Congratulations and welcome back, Laurence.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:54 AM   #11
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Hi Laurence, welcome back, and pleased to make your e-acquaintance.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:35 AM   #12
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Welcome back Laurence. That's a great photo.
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Enough private pension and SS income to cover all needs
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:53 AM   #13
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Welcome Back Good to hear all your good news. Great picture I should post a personal update but do not know where to start and am real busy. It is all goood and I am having more fun than almost any time in my life)
I wish I was half as good as my dog thinks I am!
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:26 AM   #14
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Hi Laurence, don't know much about your situation, but based on the information you provided, sounds like you may be taking on debt that if "uncle Murphy" decided to move in will put you and your family in tough situation.

I'm not a real estate expert, but a man that believes in ZERO debt. If you can't pay cash, you save until you can.

I would suggest you launch your question over to Dave Ramsey, via email or a phone call.

Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:04 AM   #15
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Hi Laurence, nice to see you again.

Your daughters are beautiful; I remember the picture with your oldest daughter as a baby. It's good to hear that you are still on the path to ER.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:16 AM   #16
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Welcome back, Laurence. Nice to see you and the girls are really cute!
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

- George Orwell

Ezekiel 23:20
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:05 PM   #17
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Hi Lawrence,

I have appreciated your past posts and advice.
I think I hear a mix of second home and investment reasons - perhaps a bit jumbled.

Here are some of my thoughts that may (or may not help).

Need to determine how many days a year you are likely to use it... this will affect the $ and the tax treatment. Second home has a v.specific meaning as far as tax. Whereas if it is an investment property, depending upon income - you may not be able to deduct expenses and have to treat as passive losses.

Second home - almost purely a lifestyle decision. Probably cannot get anywhere near supporting itself as far as cashflow (if taking a loan), but could end up being an OK investments based upon capital appreciation.

Investment - need to account for long term replacement costs; condo/home owners association fees; property taxes; vacancies; management fees? ... you can buy a lot of downtown hotel nights for just the property taxes :-)

I like investment property for the long term, but tend to make it want to pay a 30 year fixed mortgage plus property taxes, figuring I am happy to kick in for the any maintenance required and any tenant hassles for the benefit of eventual ownership.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:06 PM   #18
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Hey thanks everyone! I plan on taking this really slowly, I would be shocked if I even made an offer in the next year. Our plan is to finish off the car debt, continue to stock up the money market and just watch and learn. My parents own four additional homes, some they have rented and some they've left vacant, depending on their situation, so I've personally witnessed the effort involved, and admit that my step-dad is a far more energetic person than I am. If I can't make the numbers work within some hard boundaries I've already set I'll be fine walking away from the idea.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:22 PM   #19
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Laurence, I was just thinking about you the other day, as you were the first Young Dreamer I remember reading on this forum way back in the day. I can't tell you how pleased I am to hear your update and news of your growing family.
I remember the cute flyer for a local Fundraising Walk that had a picture of you and your little girl, hard to believe it was that long ago!

I had a real estate friend tell me the other day that he couldn't believe some of the prices things were selling for around here, and it gave me a few minutes pause, which has never happened before. I still doubt we'll jump, just because I don't think we have the temperament for landlording, but I can see where you would get there.

The updated picture is lovely! And they are all adorable children. Congrats on a fine life.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:17 PM   #20
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Welcome back Lawrence ! Those girls are gorgeous and you & Mrs. L look positively radiant !
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