F.I.R.E. Checkpoint: First Home Purchase✔️

F.I.R.E. stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. For more information on the FIRE movement… just google it (or follow this link for the best/my favorite description).

For me, financial independence would mean a diversified portfolio that includes my IRA’s, passive income from (5 to 10) rental properties, and a savings account with a substantial emergency fund PLUS at least one years’ worth of living expenses reserved.

Where to start? Well, I’ve been contributing to my IRA (I rolled my 401(k) into an IRA with Vanguard last year – follow this link to read that post), and savings account, so, the next step, given my goals, would be: Rental Property Investment. Call me crazy, but I do not think it is wise to be a rental property investor without ever having owned a property before. Thus, I set out to kill two birds with one stone:

Buy a primary residence that can one day become an investment/rental property.

Side note:

Did you know, nearly HALF of retirees’ ONLY source of income is social security?

I don’t feel comfortable simply trusting social security will support me 30 years from now; therefore, I want to increase the number of ways I make money. If social security runs out of money, I will survive, and hopefully thrive, with passive income from rental properties!

Follow this link to read the article called “Here’s where most Americans are really getting their retirement income” by Lorie Konish of CNBC

Ideally, I was looking for a small, low-maintenance & move-in ready condo that belonged to an association that permitted long-term rental (leases of 1 year or more). Specifically, I did not want an AirBnB because I don’t want my time tied down in turnovers.

I found this condo that was move-in ready, recently painted, and had new carpets, listed for under 100k, and jumped on it. I wrote an offer on December 26th and it was accepted that same day! Once provided the association documents, I confirmed that this condominium complex allows their property owners to rent their units out for a minimum of 1 year…for now. However, when that time comes, I will have to re-confirm this policy, as well as attain all the required state and local licenses. After the inspection and appraisal contingencies were met, there was a final walk-thru of the property, and we set the closing date for Monday, February 3rd.

This past Monday, I was getting ready to head to the closing table and started feeling queasy. Before I left my apartment, I became violently ill. The entire closing, I was shaking like a leaf! I am laughing now, but that day was foggy. I laughed, I cried… It was great and awful, simultaneously.

This whole investment planning endeavor is not for the weak of heart. My body had a visceral reaction to the weight of home ownership. I definitely can better empathize with my buyers, knowing how intimidating a feat this is, even for the strong willed.

In five or so years, I’ll be buying my next residence, and converting my first home into my first investment property. For now? It’s tax time AND I’m moving AND the market is picking up. Bring it on Wisconsin February! 🙂

❤ always, Annie Z.

PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 

This post is for documentary purposes only. This is not financial advice. Before making any investment decisions: consult a financial adviser

How Overall Economic Conditions Affect Our Housing Market


Words from Experts:

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economics at the National Association of Realtors, recently spoke out about the overall economy and its impact on real estate with Keeping Current Matters (watch YouTube video here) at the 2019 Conference for the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Here are a few of his key points:

  1. The National Real Estate Market has improved, as evident by the overall increase in U.S. home sales year-over-year.
  2. Both mortgage and interest rates have continued to decrease, thereby prompting more buyers to apply for mortgages, by up to 10% year over year as of 10/2019.
  3. The housing shortage has caused an increase in home prices, however, that inventory is predicted to increase in 2020.
    1. He suggests, in order to expedite this process, we should urge our local government to reduce hurdles for building permits and zoning applications, and/or offer tax credits for low to mid range new home construction,
  4. The economy overall is in decent shape, with the unemployment rate down. However, the main risk, which could trickle down to the RE market, would be a full blown trade war.
  5. In his opinion, of all the economic sectors, the US housing market is one of the safest ones to invest in.

Goldman Sachs posted the following in regards to our current economy overall, that I feel is really pertinent:

Goldman Sachs Research forecasts steady U.S. GDP growth of 2.3%, driven by easier financial conditions, dissipating trade tensions, and continued strength in consumer spending. As the U.S. economy continues its longest expansion on record, many market participants continue to worry about recession. However, our economists forecast just a 20% chance of a U.S. recession in the next 12 months, compared with the consensus view of 33%.

© 2020 Goldman Sachs: U.S. Economic Outlook 2020: On Firmer Ground

Want a portal into the Multiple Service Listing (MLS), so you can see how our local market fares, for yourself? Send me your email, with “MLS Portal Request” as your subject, and I’ll set up a search for you without any obligation.

Relevant Market Interpretation

I believe in research-based decision making, not scaring people into action. The media loves fear tactics. I have heard repeatedly that the US Economy has been in this bull market “for too long” and a recession is “imminent.” But, technically speaking, there is no limit. I mean, What about Australia!? Australia holds the record for the longest bull market with 28+ YEARS!

In my opinion, financial decisions cause a great amount of stress. Facts, not emotions, should be utilized in such situations. Emotions are unpredictable, whereas facts remain the same, and are more reliable.

All decisions are ultimately YOURS to make. Only you decide who to listen to, and what you base your next move on. Overall, the experts are saying 2020 looks like it could be another good year, for the overall economy and the national housing market. Therefore, I’m optimistic, and I hope others are, as well.

Let me know what you think about the current economy and housing market! I’d love to hear from you! ❤ always, Annie Z.

PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    

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To Do List for 2020


Whether or not you have a New Year’s Resolution, starting a New Year, especially a new decade, is a great time to set up some positive goals for the upcoming years and your life overall. But: what should we be aiming for in 2020 and beyond?

Random Rant: There is no such thing as perfection, and ‘normal‘ is a statistical distribution of data, requiring a mathematical average of numbers unrepresentative of any one source.

I don’t want to be perfect OR ‘normal,’ do you?2020 feels different…

This new decade has me full of hope and hungry for positive change. I’ve made a list of actionable items that could benefit not only me, but also anyone that takes the time to read this! Here are 10 things to do this year to improve your life and the lives of those you love:

To Do List for 2020

  1. Write Thank You Cards – often!
  2. Complete Tim Ferriss’ 5-Minute Journal every morning
  3. Schedule Personal Tasks on a Paper Calendar, in Pencil. “If you erase, you must replace!!” Plans change, but things still need to get done! (from The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan)
  4. Set Up Seasonal Home Maintenance Task Auto Reminders at the Beginning of Each New Season – i.e., Spring cleaning, Summer pest proofing, Fall gutter cleaning, Winter frozen pipe prevention, etc. (here’s a good list to start with)
  5. Drink More Water
  6. Increase Your Savings Rate by 1% Every Month – by my FAVORITE podcast and blog, Afford Anything. Check out the latest episode/post called 26 Easy Moves to Improve Your Finances in 2020!
  7. Pick an Accountability Partner! Tell someone ELSE your goals for the next 1, 5 and 20 years, and ask him/her/them to check in with you – and offer to return the favor!
  8. Toss Possessions that No Longer Serve You! Thank you Marie Kondos for writing the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, helping me start this process!
  9. Go OUTSIDE and Enjoy Mother Earth at Least 30 Min Every Day!
  10. Take Responsibility for the Care of Other Living Things – be it a succulent or a dog, being the sole caretaker of another living organism, will help you focus on what’s most important: Life Itself.

HELPFUL TIP: Use the FULL year – 2020 – when dating checks or official documents. If you *don’t*, someone could fraudulently add whatever 2 numbers to the end of ’20’, backdating your document! i.e., 1/7/20 could be changed to 1/7/2010 and really make life messy!

Tip Curtesy of Mamma Z aka Patti Zurla, Office Manager and Assistant Managing Broker of Keefe Real Estate

What do you think?

Anything you’d add or elaborate on?

I want to know! Email me at azambito@keeferealestate.com

Hopefully you find this helpful, as we embark upon the next decade of this crazy ride we call life. At the end of the day, you only have yourself to answer to. Here’s to you and yours! Go after your dreams, fearlessly. Remember, no one said life would be easy…but I BELIEVE IN YOU!

❤ always, Annie Z.

PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com

Sources used:

Simply Psychology: What is a Normal Distribution in Statistics?

Tim Ferriss 5 Morning Rituals that Help Me Win the Day – Page 3 of 5

Discover Your One Thing Now, derived from The One Thing, by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

A Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist for Every Homeowner by Nationwide

26 Easy Moves to Improve Your Finances in 2020 by Paula Pant/Afford Anything

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondos

F.I.R.E Checkpoint: 401(k) to Roth IRA ✔️


This post is for documentary purposes only. This is not financial advice. Before making any investment decisions: consult an actual adult.

I’ve been debating weather or not to post about the F. I. R. E. movement for a while now. To save time, I’ll just tell you to google it (or: here’s the best description/my personal favorite) first before continuing….

The first step towards F.I.R.E. for me was to map things out. 15 years from now, I want a relatively liquid portfolio. Therefore, I prioritized the following actions in order to set myself up best for that outcome:

  1. open a business checking account
  2. open a personal checking and personal saving accounts
  3. roll my 401(k)’s into a Vanguard Roth IRA

I now have a business checking account at Chase and a hybrid high-interest personal checking account with Radius Bank.

No affiliate links were used in the making of this blog post! Again please read disclaimer, if you missed it here it is again:

This post is for documentary purposes only. This is not financial advice. Before making any investment decisions: consult an actual adult.

The last actionable item took the longest. I had two 401(k)’s from former employers, that I was not able contribute to… my money was stuck out there in the ether, like sitting ducks …far out on freezing cold water, just wadding up and down back and forth… What can I say, it made me all antsy…

I printed out the last statements for these two 401(k)’s, from former employers, that I cannot contribute to, and intended to “roll my 401(k)’s into a Roth IRA.” I put quotes around that because I didn’t know what that entailed. …and it still feels like I’m quoting someone else, much smarter than me. At one point I thought, “maybe I’ll roll ’em up into a paper airplane and fly into a Roth IRA account…”

Not true. Don’t try that. I looked it up. It turns out, you need to open an account with a Roth-IRA-providing brokerage, into which 401(k) monies can then be transformed …or “rolled.” After briefly researching brokerages, I decided: Vanguard.

(here’s one reason why…)

I called Vanguard, and their customer service was incredibly helpful!!!! Mr. Rodriguez said something to the effect that I have to open an account first, almost like an empty shell, and then call the 401(k) providers and have them send you a “rollover check – with your new brokerage account number on it ,” and then, upon receipt, forward the checks to the new brokerage, thereby filling the empty shell with the funds from the old accounts. Makes sense!

Snail mail is slow, but eventually the checks arrived, and I forwarded them off to Vanguard.

At this point, my money is currently being “rolled into” or transformed from 401(k)’s into my initial Roth IRA investment. Warning: there were fees! I’m not sure whether that’s always the case or not, but my peace of mind was well worth it!

To top it all off, I called my folks house, and somehow got an “I’m proud of you,” out of ‘Ol Man Zambo, for the first time in recorded history!! Haha! You’re a day late, and a dollar short, dad, but I appreciate it, nonetheless 😉 … and I even took a screenshot in case you forget:

❤ always,

the youngest and best Zambito! According to the Patriarch! At 5:27 PM! Wednesday! November 20th, 2019! Muahaha

-Annie Z. 🙂

PHONE  262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 

This post is for documentary purposes only. This is not financial advice. Before making any investment decisions: consult an actual adult.