School

Paying off debt is fun. It’s hard but it’s actually fun watching those numbers go down. It’s been a couple months since the last update so wanted to give a quick update on thing. I had mentioned a few things such as paying off debt, wanting to get in to real estate and rentals and all that jazz. So I decided to get started right away on a couple of things with the biggest one being debt payoff and this is a small update on those.

The tiny house is still going, my platform is done and I’ve started on the ceiling. I was going to need to some help and still will on a few spots but I’ve been able to knock out some of the insulation and putting up ceiling supports for where I’ll be installing my tin. Still have a ways to go on that but it’s slowly coming along. Once I get everything done that I cant reach, I’ll be starting on the rest of the floors and getting the kitchen laid out. The plan is to do my own storage and cabinets, or at least trying, and I’ll be able to do that before the plumbing goes in and then move stuff where it needs to go once that is done.

I found a company that purchases delinquent land from the state after they’ve been seized for not paying taxes. I was able to get a half acre in Highland, AR about a mile from the school. It’s a wooded lot but utilities are already in the area so will just have to have the service lines ran a few yards. It was only $1200 so I decided to jump on it.I don’t plan on doing anything with it right away and after talking with an attorney, I have a couple options to be sure I own it outright. The company I’m purchasing it from has a limited warranty so technically the last person who owned that the State of Arkansas took it from after non-payment could come back and take it from me.

Given the location, price and the fact it had already went to auction a couple years ago and was only recently transferred from the State of Arkansas to the company I’m purchasing it from, it felt like a risk worth taking. So once the deed is transferred to me, I can try to mail details to the last owner on the land to issue a quit claim deed basically saying they have no interest in this property and waive all rights to it to make it mine. If I don’t get a response then I can wait a year and file an action to quiet title. This will involve getting the lawyer to submit the request and then the court handles it to waive the past owners rights and make it mine. It’s also within a mile of two lakes and no neighbors around so it’s basically country living with city conveniences.

As for the debt, I don’t think I had mentioned how much debt I had accrued because of stupid decisions. I started to focus 100% on my finances to meet my financial and real estate goals so in June update, I was $12,797.00 in just Credit Card debt. Like I said, stupid, stupid, stupid decisions. Since June and as of today – August 26th, I’ve paid this down to $9,754.00. I still have a bit to go and want to have it all gone by March 2018 but may push it back to May 2018  Last year, I had taken advantage of the Workforce Improvement Grant which paid ~$750.00 for each semester. The college informed me that this year that the Department of Education was not funding this so for three classes, I’m paying $1,300 out of pocket. This doesn’t include books but those weren’t too bad since I rented through Chegg.

It’s currently 1am here so going to wrap this up. I’ve been considering making my finances more public, showing what I spend each month on things to make me more transparent with having to keep things updated and trying to decrease spending every month. Right now, every little bit is going towards debt so I stopped my $1000 a month minimum savings and putting that towards it right away. I found some information on credit card churning and I have a couple cards that offer rewards so once I get my debt down to ~$4000 or so, I may look at using those cards to pay my bills every month, rack up rewards, pay the cards off every month and then use the rewards on things like gifts or something, I don’t know. I don’t plan on doing anything until debt is paid down so that’ll be a couple months away.

I’m including a couple links below of a few other blogs I’ve located in the last month or so that have lit the fire under me even more to focus on FI/RE so maybe they’ll help others too. I use EveryDollar to track expenses and then Mint to track net worth and assets.

The Retirement Manifesto – http://www.theretirementmanifesto.com/
Fiery Millennials – http://www.fierymillennials.com/
Root of Good – http://rootofgood.com/

Thanks for following along,
-Seth

 

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Alright guys, so things are slowly making more and more progress to get this little place livable. Despite the attempts of a gang of wasps moving into the house and some of their spider buddies trying to take over a section of the building, I think I have it all sealed up. After the electricians done their stuff, the hole where they bring in the service entrance had a small gap that I think the spiders squeezed through. Then the box for my outside light had a hole allowing the wasps in so I had to take care of those area. I used some silicone around the wire entrance and also done the windows since there was little gaps between the window frame and the wood so those are all sealed up and so far I’ve not encountered any other spiders or wasps trying to call my little house theirs.

The last couple weeks have been spent doing insulation, working with the electrical company to work on getting their pole, transformer and light installed, as well as getting phone line ran up to the building. The insulation is completed in the walls and set to where I can still take out the ones in the bathroom and kitchen spot for when it’s plumbed. I still have to do the ceiling though which is the next step, just have to convince a couple people to come help me put it up because my big butt isn’t getting up on a ladder. I thought about buying a scaffold but then I realized it’d be a long time before I probably used it again so decided not to. All the framing in the house is 2×4 so either R-13 or R-15 will fit in it. I used R-13 in the walls and I’ve read for the zone I’m in that R-30 or above should be used in the ceiling but that would require me to fur out the walls 8 or so inches to get it to fit. I’m thinking given how little the building is that if I get a regular kind of AC and heater that it probably wouldn’t get too hot or too cold if I did go ahead with just R-13 or even R-15 in the ceiling.

The phone company also came up this week and he installed a line and box into the house. Another company should be coming out in a couple weeks to run the wire from my box on the tiny house to the phone box. Then when I’m ready to switch my service up to the tiny house, I’ll just call the guy to come out and he’ll transfer my existing service line into my parents house to the line running to my new tiny house. I’ve been in contact with the electric company and since I don’t have a water source yet it looks like I’ll have to go the contract route so they sent me everything today and the contract period is for three years at a minimum price of $20.44 a month which isn’t bad. I’m still figuring out what to do for a water source. I’ll be going to turn in the contracts to the office sometime this week and then they’ll come out within 10 days to hook up service as long as weather is good and the ground isn’t too soft As I explain in this weeks video, I do still plan on getting city water but just to make it where I can get up to the house and start living in it for awhile and not have to come use my parents water all the time, I’d like to get either storage tanks or run a pipe from their existing well up to the house. The well is about 225 ft though so I’m not sure what it’d cost to get that ran. I’ll have to do some more digging and see if it’d be cheaper than a water storage tank and a water hose 🙂

I started calling around to a couple local septic installers to start getting quotes for a septic tank to be installed. I’m going to get that done first before I get the building plumbed out so I can be sure if where all the pipes need to run and if I maybe need to do a 180 on my bathroom layout plans. I’ve already purchased my shower pan and toilet so I can start laying it down and get ready to start building the bathroom walls up. I had received a quote from a company in Batesville to do the PEX plumbing and with materials and labor they quoted $1700. The guy who done my gravel earlier this year is a Master Plumber so I’m going to reach out to him and have my come do some more gravel and give me a quote once the septic location is decided and started.

I’ve started thinking more of the interior space and I had originally thought of doing a sho-shugi ban kind of thing with plywood but after more consideration and looking into people who had used plywood, I opted not to. So I’m thinking of using a wainscotting for my walls, maybe doing two colors: white and gray of some sort. Then for my ceiling and maybe the entire bathroom, using corrugated tin. We’ll see how all that goes because I think I’ve changed my mind a few times.

The plans/goals for this next week is:
1. Install outside light
2. Confirm septic location/bathroom layout
3. Install bathroom fan/lights
4. Maybe get electrical ran to the house
5. Maybe  start on bathroom walls.

I have two more weeks of this semester, then I have a month off and then a Biology class the Summer I semester so I hear it’s going to be a bit hectic. I may not get a ton done during that time but then I’ll free from July thru mid-August. I really want to be in the house before then though. Build a tiny house was goal #1 for 2017 and we’re already through Q1 so I have to step it up. Granted, I didn’t get the building until the end of February, but still.

Thanks again for reading. Feel free to share the link and YouTube video if you want to, things aren’t that interesting but I figure once I’m all done, it’ll be nice to look back and see just how much I had no clue what I was doing.

-Seth

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Hey everybody, it’s been awhile since I made a post and a few changes have taken place to the tiny house. I have a couple pictures I’ll try to put in the post but I also decided to start a YouTube channel as well and have a couple videos up on there right now so you can check it out too. I’m kind of mulling over getting a few animals so the name of my channel is The Hall Hobby Farm.

The spring semester for school is about to wrap up, classes end May 5th and it’s been tough trying to balance 4 classes, work, certification studying, and trying to get the house started. I had talked about maybe dropping a class on my last update but with only a month left to go, I think I’ll be okay. I plan on taking a couple classes for the Summer I semester, maybe Biology and Intro to Sociology. Then I’ll take a break for the Summer II classes and start back up in the fall. There is a Criminal Justice Workshop on April 14th to meet with local professionals and do some networking and see what kind of stuff may be beneficial for me to start looking at. I know the local CASA group is looking for volunteers and I’d really like to do that to get a little bit of volunteer experience and see how the process works since crimes against children has been one area that I’ve thought of going into. So hopefully with this workshop coming up, it’ll give me a little more insight on different options that I may not be aware of in the Criminal Justice field.

Alright, so as for what’s been done to the house. I decided to start with the floor under where I am putting the platform for my bed and office so that part is completed. I still have to complete the rest of the flooring and have just been putting rigid foam insulation on top of the Advantech subfloor, then spacing six 2x4s across the floor and cutting the foam to fit between it. I used R3 and R5 insulation for the floor and then put 11/32 plywood on top of it. Since that floor space will be used for storage and won’t really be seen, I didn’t worry about using the sanded plywood. For the rest of the floor, I’ll probably up it to 15/23 plywood and then for the platform area will be 23/32.I’m still deciding what kind of actual flooring to use and right now torn between just burning the plywood and going on it with an epoxy kind of coating or getting actual hardwood flooring so we’ll see. The electrical work is all done on the building so just have to get the power company out to set their pole and then run it to my meter loop. I still have to go back through and connect my outlets and switches. They installed three light receptacles, one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen, and one for a porch light. I decided to go with a 4 bulb fluorescent  light for the living/kitchen/office/bedroom space. I have to get that hung and wired up which shouldn’t be too bad.

The next projects include plumbing which I still have no water up to the building yet. I was thinking of hooking up city water but I’m going to hold off on that so thinking of going ahead and running to a well on my parents place or look at large water storage containers and hauling some in or pumping some up to the tank for a bit until I can get connected to the well. In addition to plumbing, I need to build a small storage shed on the end where my water is planned to come in. I found a video from Ana White when she built a similar thing on her tiny house and will be designing my “shed” in a similar fashion to house my tools, chainsaw, brush cutter, and water heat. I discussed plumbing with a local plumber and since my wall framing is 2×4, he suggested I fur out the wall with another 2×4 for when it freezes. I’m thinking if I build the shed with 2×8 or 2×10 and insulate it + the interior wall where my pipe will be then it should be alright. If it comes to it, I’ll look at putting some type of heating in that shed area to make absolutely sure but I think it should be alright and prevent any freezing.

I got home after dark so was unable to get any pictures on here. Feel free to check out the YouTube link above or click here for The Hall Hobby Farm as I’ll be posting videos here and there as things progress as well.

-Seth

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Hey everyone,

The shell was able to be delivered on time Thursday morning and it took the guy about 45 minutes to set it up. Luckily since we got the gravel down, he said it made it a ton easier for him and he didn’t have any problems. I was originally unsure how much space I’d be able to have underneath it but one side was 8″ inches off so the other end is about 2 feet so I’ll be able to access the underside of it and get what I need done to that portion.

I had wanted to start on some steps this weekend but any free time that I’ve been able to devote to the space where I put the house has mostly been raking, cutting and trying to get the ground walk-able without stepping on a tree stob. In the next couple weeks, I’m hoping to have that portion done and start on a couple projects for the house. I’ll be meeting with an engineer from the electric company on Monday to go over the best way they can run electric to where the house is so after that I’ll get my meter in place and get electric up there to get started on doing the inside.

 

 

 

 

 

As for everything else, things are great. I’ve still not been tempted to use Facebook, the bet I had with my mom that she couldn’t go with Facebook ended and she made it so I’ll be buying her a new door and having someone install it for her. Of course, the whole purpose of me betting her was because I was hoping she’ make better use of the time but my sister-in-law introduced her to Pinterest……so my plan didn’t go so well.

School is still chugging along, math is starting to kick my butt but I’m still making headway so not all is lost. There are some changes at work happening so one of my certifications I had planned on completing in 2017 with be for the MCSE: Office 365 and I started Linux Essentials from LPI to try and start digging into more forensics/security kind of stuff. I’m ready to have my own space again so I can get all my lab equipment set back up and start playing around some more on it.

I’m also fixing to start planning a trip to Colorado since we’re almost 2 full months in to the year now and I’ve not done much of anything except work and study. I plan on trying to take a couple classes this summer but I’d like to start planning for a little break at the end of this semester and take a trip  up there.

-Seth

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This post is for both last week and this week because nothing much has changed since Week 3. I did meet with the company I’m buying it from and got the ball rolling so expected delivery is February 23rd. I still have to get the gravel situation sorted out and I’m trying not to rush it but the 23rd is 3 weeks away and I want to be sure everything is scheduled, poured and leveled out before delivery so I don’t have to postpone. So I may start looking around to see if there are any others in the area who could do it sooner just so I can get it finished and out of the way.

In typical Seth fashion, I’ve been second guessing the floor plan/ layout. I know I still want the 10×20 I ordered but part of me thinks maybe I’m not making the most of my space and maybe a loft bedroom wouldn’t be too bad. I don’t know, I’m still playing around with it and once I get the building will be able to feel it out more for what works best.

Other than that, nothing much is going on. I’m still trying to balance work and school, haven’t put much effort yet into any of the certifications I had wanted to try, I may have to wait until summer since Math and World Lit are kind of the devil and those are taking up most of my time right now. I’ve thought about dropping one class, maybe doing four was a bad idea but as long as I don’t get behind or start slacking and grade dropping then I can deal with work, school, sleep as my schedule for another 3 months. We’ll see.

-Seth

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Well week 2 hasn’t been very exciting and not a lot happening. I did begin doing some clearing where I plan to put the house and I think Sunday (15th), we may start doing some bush hogging depending on the weather. I got a few weird looks from people driving by because not many people have ever seen a big bearded guy running a chainsaw with a pair of pink ear protectors, but dang I looked good.  I’m super sore, bending over and running a chainsaw is definitely not something I do very often. Hopefully, if we can get bush hogging out of the way, it’ll be easier to do a little cleanup, take out a few stumps and then order a truckload or two of gravel to put down so the blocks for the house don’t sink in too bad over time.

After a month long break, school started back and I was excited to go but already I’m feeling kind of bleh about it. I have an on-campus class this semester on Mondays and Wednesdays and work is letting me come in ~3 hours early which is great but I’m tired of getting up that early. Plus, the class is math so it’s not even a good class. I will say that things are starting to come back and it’s getting easier. I’ve always sucked at math and while I wouldn’t say it’s fun now, going through problems and the knowledge coming back, getting things right and a couple “Eureka!” moments have been alright. I’m also taking World Lit, American History, and Intro to Corrections which are coming along. I’m currently reading The Epic of Gilgamesh for World Lit which I’m actually enjoying. I used to love to read, anything and everything but over the years just kind of stopped. I had read technical and certification books, news articles here and there but nothing like an actual book or work like this in a loooong time. It’s kind of made me realize how much I enjoyed reading before so may add reading a little sub-goal for school.

Other than that, nothing much has happened in the last week. It’s been filled with work, school, homework, more work, sleep. I need to take a vacation and go camping or something. I did buy a new sleeping bag….so that’s pretty exciting. Now I just need to go use it.

Quote – “Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man.

While I’m not on a journey to find immortality, I know myself and I’m sure many others need to slow down and be reminded the good things we have in our lives and enjoy them and be more thankful.

Laura, I think you might be the avocado.

-Seth

 

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