Our 7 year stupid tax

Yesterday hubby announced a big sale on our Geneva Bible Pages.  He told you that we had accidentally double ordered and were trying to move inventory quickly.

That’s true, but it’s only part of the story.

That double order was placed back near the beginning of the year.  We’ve planned on having a big sale to move the pages for months, but the timing is a whole different story.  We’re trying to come up with lots of cash very quickly.  Now that we think we know the ending of this story, it seems like a good time to tell what led up to this.

Seven years ago we lived in Ohio.  We had 6 young children and lived far from family.  Our church had dissolved in a very ugly dispute between the elders and we were drifting.  We wanted desperately to be near family, preferably in San Antonio, but job leads simply weren’t working out.  We owned a nice little house in a nice little town, but aspired to something more.  Since God didn’t seem to want us to move at the time, we decided to begin building a dynasty of rental homes.  [cue mad-scientist-about-to-take-over-the-world laughter].  We rented out our house and bought a triplex, moving into the 1st story and renting out the 2 small upstairs apartments.

triplex

It seemed like a great idea at the time, and we were ecstatic.  We bought the house at 30% less than the recently appraised value.  The triplex was old, but beautiful and gloriously huge, with 5 bathrooms in all and a wrap-around brick porch.  We had very little trouble keeping the upstairs apartments rented and they covered the payment, enabling us to live rent-free.  We dreamed of creating a 4th apartment in the basement since there was even a bathroom down there, and maybe renting out the detached garage for extra income.

Then God brought us to San Antonio.  It was swift and unmistakable.  We put both houses on the market and left town.

We were able to sell the first house with relatively little trouble, but the triplex was harder.  We paid a friend to manage it for us.  At first we managed to keep it fully occupied, but over the years the economy in that little town began to suffer, and people left.  After a couple of years the house stood empty, and still we made payments.  We hired old friends to mow the lawn when we received threatening letters from the city.  Things were tight for us, but God enabled us to make ends meet even while making house payments both in Texas and Ohio.

We have been in Texas making payments on a house in Ohio for the past 6 years.  This is what Dave Ramsey calls “stupid tax.”  Here’s a friendly tip: Don’t buy what you can’t afford.  If you have to borrow money, just wait.  If you want to go into business, pick one you can start without debt.  Real estate was a bad choice for us on many levels.  We have seen the error of our ways and repented.

For the last 2 years, the triplex has been on the market for less than half of what we paid with very few showings and no offers.  We finally found a buyer at even less than that, and have spent the last 2 months praying for and working toward a short sale – one in which the bank agrees to allow us to sell the house for less than we owe and forgives a portion of the deficit.

There was great rejoicing when we finally learned last week that our request for a short sale was approved!  The bank has agreed to forgive 60% of the deficit if we can come up with the other 40% at closing.

And so…

We are scrambling for cash.  We have some emergency savings.  We have some other savings.  Our children are happy to lend their savings to the cause.  We have a bit of money in Paypal.   We are expecting a litter of registered pups in a couple of months.  We have learned that we can borrow if we must, but we really want to get out of debt rather than taking on new debts.

And we are running a big sale and cash/prize giveaway on our Geneva Bible Pages.

That’s why.  We think our 400 year old Bible pages are pretty incredible, but even if you don’t order from us, would you please consider blogging our sale and/or giveaway?

Comments

  1. Slopper,
    Nearly all the major factories in and around our small town closed, so a large portion of the population left to find work elsewhere.
    I think it was one of the first areas in the country to be hit by the current decline in the economy.

  2. Slopper says:

    Wow – why the big drop in value of the place?

  3. Wow. We have more in common than I even knew. We just sold our rental property that we formerly lived in by a short sale last month. It feels so good to be out from under that burden! I will pray that yours goes as smoothly as it possibly can!

  4. I appreciate your honesty. I often read your blog and would have never imagined that you had made poor choices like the rest of us have at some point in our life.

    I wish you the best of luck and I pray you are able to get rid of it!

  5. I pray you can get rid of your “stupid tax.” (Dave Ramsey is great!) We are moving away from Ohio to GA this weekend! (Hubby just got a job after being out of work since Feb!) Our home is on the market and even though everyone says we are wasting money to “rent,” we will do so until our home sells. No stupid tax here! LOL

  6. Thanks hun

Trackbacks

  1. […] this Saturday?  Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, here in San Antonio.  And aside from our 7 year stupid tax, I feel like we paid the stupid tax 2 more times just getting our tickets to this […]

  2. […] this time of year will not go toward Christmas spending, but toward paying off the remainder of our 7 year stupid tax.  We were incredibly thankful that the bank approved our short sale for less than half of what we […]

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