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December 2013 Net Worth Update

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As we get set to close on Rental Property #5 in January 2014, I had to shuffle some money around this month to create the illusion of a “cash strong” position. You never know how much money the underwriter is looking for exactly, so I thought it would be safe to aim for $60,000 at closing.

I still have a ways to go, but don’t worry, when there’s a will there’s a way! Here’s how things stacked up at conclusion of December:


Net Worth

According to Mint, my net worth is currently $569,022.97. This represents an increase of 4.84% from last month ($542,725.46). I’m still using Zillow’s Zestimate to determine the value of my properties.


I currently have $48,329.27 in cash sitting in my primary checking account. As mentioned above, I’m getting set to close on Rental Property #5, so it’s imperative I build up this stash as much as possible. Since this is my fifth rental, the lender now expects that I have 30% available for the downpayment, which is 5% more than what I’m used to paying. Further, I need about $6000 in additional funds to cover closing costs (even if the seller will end up reimbursing me most of it).

Originally, I did not anticipate needing this much in funds, so getting to the $60,000 mark by the middle of next month will be a challenge. I’m about $12,000 short at the moment, but do have some tricks up my sleeve to help bridge the gap. For starters, I have some ESPP stock coming down the pipeline in early January. In addition, I’m ahead on all my mortgages, so I can transfer most of the rental income collected next month towards the downpayment. Further, I still have another two paychecks I can count on for more funds… and lastly, I should be collecting a few thousand dollars acquired through a side hustle gig earlier this month (real estate related). Yep, I’m cutting it close! But this should be doable…

After closing, I’m taking a “long” break from buying any more properties. I need to rebuild my cash reserves. 🙂


I owe the following loans:

Rental Property #1: $228,627.41
Rental Property #2: $228,499.05
Rental Property #3: $117,182.90

Total: $574,309.36


I currently own no individual stocks. My only investments are in 401k and Roth IRA.

401k: $102,645.46
Roth IRA: $52,055.12
Brokerage: $4.65
Other Brokerage: $0.02

Total: $154,705.25

I sold the last remaining $25,000 I had in my “safe haven” index fund earlier this month. These funds have been transferred to my checking account and will be used to fund Rental Property #5. I left less than $5.00 in the account so my broker will stop e-mailing me, asking me to “please fund your account.”


According to Zillow, here are the values of each property:

Rental Property #1: $454,165.00
Rental Property #2: $364,485.00
Rental Property #3: $154,345.00
Rental Property #4: $77,953.00

Debt: $45,000
Rental Property #4: $64,337.38

Total: $941,610.62

Most of the rental properties are holding steady in value, but Rental Property #1 keeps on increasing in value, up another $17,000 or so this month ($436,874.00). I haven’t been keeping up with nearby comps, so I’m not sure how accurate these numbers really are.


The total value of all assets now checks in at $1,253,982.52, an increase of 1.88% from last month ($1,230,829.85). I also owe $684,959.55. Not too much to report this month, except that I’m getting ready to close on another property. Once closing is complete, I’m going to take some time off from buying any more properties… at least until I can replenish the cash flow reserves. Even though my short-term goal is still to get to $1 million in debt, I also do realize how important it is to have lots of cash on hand! So, no more living on the edge after Rental Property #5 closes… At least for awhile.

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Retire Before DadNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 9:41 am

    You are hardcore man, I love these posts. It does sound like taking a breather will do you well after #5. Happy New Year.

    • MartinNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 12:25 pm

      RBD, no he is crazy. As soon as he closes #5 he will go for #6. Believe me, I know him. But that’s what impresses me a lot and what makes me admire him. Hope he will do well. He is hardcore… 🙂

      • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 1:10 pm


        Read my lips (text)… NO MORE NEW PROPERTIES!!!…. After #5 that is… For at least a few good months… 😉

        Oh boy, I’m carving out quite the reputation… Hope I don’t become an example of what NOT to do on a journey to early FI!

        In all honestly, it’s about time I started rebuilding the cash reserves… Even I know when enough is enough.


        • Retire Before DadNo Gravatar January 5, 2014, 5:11 pm

          I say hardcore with high praise and admiration.

          • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:50 pm

            Retire Before Dad,

            Thanks! Appreciate the support!

      • theFIREstarterNo Gravatar January 5, 2014, 12:01 pm

        Ha ha, I wouldn’t bet against it Martin!

        FI the only rep you are getting is of a total badass! Go man go!

        • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:50 pm


          Thanks! I’m doing my best to GOOOOOOOO GO GO!

  • writing2realityNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 10:07 am

    Dang, RBD is right. Hardcore and kickin’ ass. Love the snapshot and the rapid accumulation of wealth given some wise leveraging. While it stinks to plow all that equity into a property, it will only serve to insulate you over time should there be any value challenges and you need to dump a property or two.

    Keep up the good work and Happy New Year!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:51 pm


      Thanks! Leverage is my key to making it wealthy, hopefully everything pans out.

      This comment is coming in a little late, but Happy Belated New Year!!!

  • AJNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 10:47 am

    Good stuff man. Bet you aren’t too upset about low cashflow on rental #1 with appreciation doing nicely. So how about opening a HELOC on #1 to have some extra capital to tap if needed?

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:52 pm


      Yeah, the rapid appreciation more than makes up for the low cash flow. I have a lot of options now that the housing bust has recovered. A good problem to have…

      I’ve tried the HELOC, but honestly, it isn’t worth the hassle. Would be much easier to just sell the property and do a 1031 instead.

      Take care!

  • MartinNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 12:26 pm

    Looks like it’s time to calculate my net worth. I was avoiding it to avoid the truth…

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:52 pm


      LOL! I’m sure it’s much higher than you think…

  • JC @ Passive-Income-PursuitNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 1:21 pm

    $1.2 M in assets is awesome. We’re still working on our first rental property but hopefully in another week or two we can put an offer in. I hate being out of town for work as it makes it extremely difficult to try and see properties. RP#1 sure is having some awesome appreciation, although given the area that shouldn’t be too surprising. Keep up the good work! My guess is that the “long break” lasts until early March.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:53 pm


      That’s exciting! Please keep me updated on how the offers go.

      Yeah, appreciation in the Bay Area has been insane these last two years… the way the equity markets are moving so far this year, it looks like 2014 will be another good year for stocks/RE


  • Fast WeeklyNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Hardcore is right, but he’s kicking ass. They say fortune favors the bold……and this seems true of you my friend. Good work putting yourself out there

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:54 pm


      Appreciate the support! Doing my best to keep the momentum going.

      All the best!

  • Brent @ All About IntrestNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 2:52 pm

    Talk about full throttle real estate investing. I love the pace you’re on of leveraging every cent into the real estate market. I really hope this pays off for you. My goal is to add a rental #3 this year. I don’t have the balls yet to go out of state. There’s no reward without taking some risk though. Keep it up!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:54 pm


      Thanks! Good luck with Rental #3 this year. I love your overall strategy of mixing in dividend stocks and rental properties. You are definitely more balanced and diversified than me. I hope to get back into dividend stocks sooner than later.

      Take care!

  • LeighNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 5:38 pm

    Haha, your shuffling money around for closing reminds me of when I realized I had more money than I thought I did and I could buy *a* place 🙂

    How long is a “long” break? 😛 Two months??

    I am with the other commenters – I’m not sure I could stomach the level of leverage you’re taking with how little cash reserves you have! Then again, I’m much more fiscally conservative than you!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:55 pm


      LOL! Longer than two months, I assure you 😉

      Yeah, I’m not the most conservative guy you’ll find out there… I’ll gladly admit that much.

      Take care!

  • The First Million is the HardestNo Gravatar January 3, 2014, 5:40 pm

    haha, you don’t see too many people saying they’re looking to reach $1mm in debt! 🙂 Great job so far, good luck with #5!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:55 pm


      Haha, I’m just trying to think outside the box 😉


  • IntegratorNo Gravatar January 5, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Wow FIF….. That’s impressive stuff. We should be closing on a new home soon. That will give rise to rental property 1 once we moved in and we eventually rent out our current place. 5 of them I just can’t imagine. I love the big thinking though!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:56 pm


      Thanks! Good luck with the new home! Exciting times for you, indeed.

      All the best!

  • Brick By Brick Investing | MarvinNo Gravatar January 6, 2014, 1:08 pm

    This is freaking awesome! I love it, one of these days I’m going to need to make the jump into real estate. I believe you will grow your fortune much faster in real estate than in stocks.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:57 pm


      Yeah, when the bubble burst, it impacted both stocks and real estate. If you leveraged wisely, you would have been able to snatch up a lot of real estate bargains. From that sense, using leverage, it would have been much easier to build up rapid wealth.

      All the best!

  • TraderNo Gravatar January 8, 2014, 12:04 pm

    Great achievments!
    FI is around the corner for you.
    Keep going!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:57 pm


      Thanks! Appreciate the encouragement 🙂

      Take care!

  • EvanNo Gravatar January 10, 2014, 11:48 am

    “Once closing is complete, I’m going to take some time off from buying any more properties… at least until I can replenish the cash flow reserves”
    – Ever think about when you’ll deleverage? Pay off those debts and live off the income flow?

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:58 pm


      No plans to deleverage any time soon. The cash flow with leverage is sufficient to live off of… well, at least it will be by the time I check out, I hope.

      All the best!

  • Liam GobleNo Gravatar January 12, 2014, 5:19 pm

    FI Fighter, why is the lender requiring you to put the 30% down? As I have accumulated more RE, my lender has been allowing me lower down payments. Have you shopped your business around? Probably worth while.

    I apologize if it’s in a post somewhere, but how did you get started with REI out of state? That would make for a good post…How to hire a PM, how to evaluate the property from afar, how to evaluate the market from afar…

    Thanks. Liam

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 9:59 pm


      30% is required by this lender, and I think all Fannie Mae properties (guidelines) after you clear 4 rental properties. Starting with #5, you need 30% down.

      I guess if you went with a portfolio lender, you could get away with less, but I’m keeping things simple for now and sticking to conventional financing.

      I got started with out of state REI when the local deals dried up. Made some visits out to the Midwest and decided to just go all in!

      Thanks for the ideas for some future articles!


  • JimNo Gravatar January 15, 2014, 1:02 pm

    Fi Fighter, you appear to be in great shape financially for a 30 year old. Keep it up, and continue to teach and inspire as many folks as you can. 5 rentals is awesome!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 10:00 pm


      Thanks! Appreciate the kind words and support 🙂

  • Woman with a PlanNo Gravatar January 17, 2014, 7:59 pm

    I also use Zillow to determine my property’s (hoping to make that properties’ soon) net worth. We bought our first rental almost 5 years ago, so I don’t know how accurate the Zestimate feature is anymore. Do you think it is fairly reliable based on your recent purchases? I’ve heard that it overestimates values.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 10:01 pm

      Woman with a Plan,

      Yeah, Zillow is kind of hit or miss with their estimates. Using Mint, it’s kind of convenient to use Zillow, so I’ve just been sticking with it for now.

      For my Bay Area properties, I think they overvalue them slightly. For out of state, they tend to devalue, from what I can tell.


  • ResmanNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 1:19 am

    Can I use this image in an article I am writing about risk ?
    It will be posted on :

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar January 26, 2014, 10:01 pm


      Sure, feel free to borrow that image.

      Looking forward to your post!


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