Friday, December 25, 2020

The Christmas move-in!

Happy Christmas Day everybody!!

Big milestone this week. We moved into the house!!

So from here forward normal FIRE service is resumed, house payment free and hopefully we can now get back to enjoying a more regular cashflow with one set of property tax, one set of utilities, no rent overhead etc.

We had an idea we wanted to be in for Christmas roughly thereabouts and sometime after the flooring went in and pretty much stuck to that plan. Is the place perfect? Not quite, still has some odds and ends to tie up, some minor damp issues to chip away at but for the most part the work can be better done with us in place. The jobs are also now more like retirement "tinkering" than full-on projects.

Like finishing off quarter rounds, adding new door handles, dimmer switches and light fittings etc.

Besides that I was getting a little tired of the whole leaving the place to head back to the East Cowes apartment. So as of earlier this week I went around cleaning the apartment, met the landlord to give back the keys and had our deposit returned. Yay!!

Feels like a huge weight has been lifted, back to sleeping in our own paid off place in our own bed once more. We haven't done that since September 2019 back in Southport before it got rented out. I still hold the mindset that renting is giving away money so it never feels quite right.

Just when I was gearing up to enjoy an easier ride though the Savannah house throws a little hissy fit. A $700 hissy fit in the form of 2 new air conditioning dampers so majorly reduced rental income for a month and then as December rolled around it needed a couple of new toilet seal rings which saw us lightened of another $180. Oh well, that's rentals for you.

So for the last couple of months we've really been 100% surviving on brokerage dividends and rental from the Southport place in UK British Pounds. Things weren't actually that bad at all though, it seemed to work out ok on just those incomes alone and considering it's Christmas with all the added expenditure I thought it was a good test for us. Good to know that in the event the Savannah house ever sat empty it wouldn't be the end of the world income-wise.

Also recently paid off the HOA dues on Savannah for the next 12 months up front from a percentage of rental income accumulated since October. Now we get on saving a percentage towards next year's property taxes, hurricane insurance and city taxes.

What I love about all this is it's like running a little business of your own, managing the income and having a clear handle on where the inflows and outflows are. FIRE is definitely not about sitting around doing nothing that's for sure, never a dull moment.

The Isle of Wight as I write is currently in Tier 1 (ready to go Tier 3 in a couple of days) per the government tier system which is pretty much as normal an existence as you can get in the UK right now. To be fair though the whole lockdown deal here hasn't really felt like it's affected us thus far due to working on the house or taking the allowed unlimited exercise. The only part we're missing is the traveling to Southern Europe but right now that is not the place to be, it just isn't. Much as we'd love to be in our beloved Seville right now eating tapas and drinking red wine in the warm winter evening.

In Spain lockdown means lockdown, no going out at all with police enforcing the process. Yikes! No thanks.

On the daily exercise front we are back to walking twice a day through Cowes to the waterfront and back, with a run or bike thrown in for good measure for me. Got to be honest I love it here and am very happy to call it my home town once more, today we spent the time watching an NCL cruise ship sail by and reminisced about our winter vacations around the Caribbean out of Miami.

Pic: NCL cruise ship on the Solent (at the end of a rainbow...awww)

So from here it's just about moving along with the as-now neglected rear yard to work towards getting it ready for spring. Plan on building a nice patio with fencing updates and stone pathway additions. The outdoor work is the good stuff though and there's no pressure on those jobs.

I'll get around to adding some more completed house pics when it doesn't look quite so upside-down with Christmas debris...

As a side note, purely from a state of mind, psychological perspective I'm really getting a lot more relaxed again daily too, it's been 6 months back retired and I can definitely say the laid-back feeling is returning slowly. I think I was getting there at the end of the last 2 years of retirement and going back to work did set me back stress-wise but getting back to normal has been pretty quick this time around. I think the state of mind will only improve as time goes on and uncoiling continues. 

Hope everyone has a Happy Christmas and wish you all the best for the New Year!

Love to all,


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