Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another

After being out of work for almost 5 months, a couple weeks ago, I was able to get a job on a 4 month contract. I've another company that is interested in me for a full time position as well, but that is taking a bit longer to play out. As you might imagine, when I was not working, expenses had to be cut back and plans put off until later. I was living the classic case of "deferred maintenance" that many real estate investors know about from looking for properties to purchase form owners in similar situations - if it is still working, don't put any money into it.

So once I got a job, I went on a buying spree - both my car and my wife's car needed new tires, routine maintenance and other repairs to the tune of about $1,000 each, our dishwasher and oven got repaired, and some other general stuff was done. I was just thinking I was about caught up when... my computer died. Even worse, it died right after I bought something to fix a different problem it had.

Saturday night, I noticed my computer's event log was showing lots of disk drive-related errors. I knew the drive was going to fail soon, so on Sunday, I went out a bought a new drive. When I got home, I put the drive aside and planned to install it that evening. Two hours later, I went to check my email and the machine locked up hard. I cycled power and, in the middle of booting, everything went dead - the screen went black, the drives stopped spinning, and the only light on the machine was a blinking orange LED in the power button. It would not turn on again. After much investigation, I noticed a couple of blown capacitors on the motherboard. Crap. Dead motherboard. Well, at least I hadn't spent any time replacing the hard drive yet.

Thankfully, I have some income coming in now to pay for a new computer, in addition to the other repairs I had to pay for. And, even more thankfully, I had made a full backup of my computer about 10 hours before it failed.

Anyway, so after being unemployed for months, I was just starting to get back into the swing of things and was thinking about putting together another blog post, and now this happens. It'll be about 1-2 weeks before the new computer arrives.

One the positive side, I received another payment from one of the four flipping LLCs in California. I also received a quarterly payment from the Houston apartment investment, which, as I mentioned last month, should be increasing in the future. The same day I received those checks, I also received my huge federal income tax refund. Unfortunately, it was so huge because I had a huge loss on the sale of Rental #1. Well, the tax refund gave me back about one-third of my loss and, really, it came at an opportune time. I would like to post updated ROI numbers for these investments, but, unfortunately, all the data was on my computer.


Another Investor said...

Congratulations on the contract job. With any luck, you will be offered the permanent job two weeks before the end of the contract job!

Life insurance canada said...

Nice, congrats!
Try to use your time efficiently, improve your skills, read some good books and manuals and - be positive!
Btw. why did you buy a whole new PC (it was desktop I suppose...?), you could have exchanged just the motherboard, it's no big deal...
I wrote short article about saving money in everyday life, check it, some things may be helpful. On the other hand, if there is a good opportunity to spend money, do it, only the brave ones are winners!
Take care

Shaun said...

My old computer was a Dell XPS. They have a unique motherboard size, so most generic motherboards won't fit into the case. A replacement motherboard from Dell was $750. That was close to the cost of a new PC, so I went that route instead.

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