Moving Forward

Things are moving forward on several fronts.

The property that I had the mortgage on for Hard Money Loan #6 has been sold. Escrow closed last week. I'll be getting my final interest payment from that this week. I've elected to let my partner hold on to my principle for reinvestment in another loan. He thinks he can find another suitable investment in two to three weeks.

The Houston apartment complex had another good month in April. Occupancy remained at 95%, well above the Houston market average of 88%. Cashflow for the month was just shy of $22,000. There were no significant expenses. No word yet on the increased investor returns that management mentioned would be coming.

I've moved forward with my plan to eliminate my landline phone service at home. As I mentioned last month, I tried using and had some problems with them. I continued using them to send the occasional fax and their service has not gotten any better. I can count at least three times where I received confirmation from them that a fax was sent but the recipient never got it. After reviewing the companies that several commenters mentioned, I opted to go with Callwave. I had made a list of the various reasons why I rejected the other companies, but I seem to have misplaced that, so here's what I recall: Callwave was one of the few companies that allowed me to port my existing fax number. This eliminates the need for me to make new business cards. Callwave also does not require me to use any special software to send or receive faxes, as some of the other companies did. I also spoke the Callwave's technical support on the phone and, although it was obvious they were outsourcing their support to India, the people I spoke with were knowledgable and helpful and answered my questions. And finally, Callwave's pricing was competitive. I put in the request to port my existing number late last week and the process should be complete sometime this week.

One thing I forgot to include in my analysis was my satelite television receivers. I have two and each has to be connected to a phone line or I get charged $5 a month per receiver. The connection is so the machines can communicate with Dish TV and tell them if I have ordered any pay per view and, I'm sure, to send other information. Luckily, the machines are also network enabled and if they can connect to the internet, you don't need a phone line hooked up and can avoid the $5 fee. I purchased two wireless bridges to add these machines to my wireless network, so that problem is solved. I also found a legal size scanner at Costco for $60. This is cheaper than the $300 I found earlier and the savings more than pays for the two bridges I had to buy. My alarm system has been switched to using radio instead of a phone line, so as soon as my fax number gets ported over, I'm clear to cancel the landline.

I've got my new computer more or less set up now, so things are returning to normal there. It's surprising how lost I felt when I didn't have a computer. All my appointments were in there. Luckily, my iPhone was synced to it, so I still had all my calendar and contact info, but I was still feeling adrift without the computer.

And in 13 days, I take my annual trip to Las Vegas. Hopefully, it will be as profitable as last time!


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