Top Ramen Chronicles – In Search of Good (Cheap!) Bread

Like everyone else out there, the LaVanway clan is trimming our belts. With 3 1/2 teen-aged boys, I go through a lot of groceries, so cutting back on my food bill is a great way to stretch my budget. Cutting back on the grocery bill doesn't have to mean doing without though. Here's my discovery for great bread at ridiculously low prices! Whether you are saving up for a down payment, saving for a rainy day, or just flat out underwater, we can all use a little extra "bread"! … [Read more...]

5 FAQs About Trustee Sales in Arizona

Unfortunately, many homeowners are receiving Notices of Trustee Sale on their homes, but with little information, they may be overwhelmed with questions. Here are the answers to 5 frequently asked questions about Trustee Sales in Arizona. * What is a Trustee Sale? * How do I know if my home is up for a Trustee Sale? * What do I do if I receive a Notice of Trustee Sale? * What are my options? *What happens after the Trustee Sale? … [Read more...]

Come to My Garage Sale!

Next weekend, I am going to have a garage sale.  My kids love garage sales, but I don't do them a lot.  I have never had one since we moved into this house three years ago.  I thought about it a while back - my garage seems to be getting cluttered with "stuff" and I would like to reclaim the space. But...this garage sale is not about space. Like so many people out there, I am battling right now with a dire financial situation.  It really sucks, that's just a fact.  I have felt so low I would have to reach up to touch the ground.  But I refuse to give up.  I have reached out to other people who are going through the same thing and  I am so … [Read more...]

A Time for Heroes and Champions

Yesterday was an extraordinary for me - a very bad day that taught me some very good things. I was devastated to learn that the short sale I have worked on since January - Chase Bank is a tough group to deal with - is being cancelled by the Buyer.  I am not sure which was harder to take - the fact that all that work seems to have gone to waste, or the fact that I will not receive the commission that was going to carry me through the next month.  Probably the latter...with the challenges facing each and every transaction, 25-35% of deals are falling out.  I have had more than my share lately, and the bank account is looking pretty empty.  So … [Read more...]

The Pride Thing

Pride is a powerful thing. It has been my motivation in tough times, but I now realize it  has also been my worst enemy.   Many events and achievements in my life have brought me great pride. Certainly my kids make me enormously proud. The fact that I am the first person in my family to graduate from college is a source of pride. I am proud that I can drive a stick shift - a skill I mastered by driving a 1960 Volkswagon Beetle through the hills of Palos Verdes - a car that surely is run by hamster power.  Yes, I am proud that I mastered that challenge.  I am proud that I can make bread, that I earned an 'A' grade in Partial Differential … [Read more...]

The Food Thing

OK, just to warn anyone who might be reading this blog, there are going to be a lot of postings...a LOT! Why, because I am a single mom with neither a hubby nor a shrink to consult with.  My therapy is this blog.  And on a day like this, I need two sessions. I am usually a pretty upbeat person, but some days, here lately, I cry a lot. And I hate it.  It is non-productive.  It really is.  Boo hoo, my problems are so bad. Well, after you sniff into a couple of Kleenex for 30 minutes, guess what? Your problems are still there. So, instead, I am going to write about one of the successes I have had in battling my economic crisis.  An area in … [Read more...]

My Do-It-Yourself Loan Modification – Yeah, They Work!

A few months ago, with my reserve funds depleted and a tough real estate market ahead, my financial situation was becoming dire.  With tough times ahead, I took a hard look at my financial situation and started to prioritize.  Sounds logical doesn't it? Actually, there have been a lot of tears and much lost sleep as I waded through my options.  But I eventually decided that my first step was to trim my budget as far as it would go, and the biggest ticket item is the house.   I bought my house when I got divorced.  It is less than a mile from where we used to live so the boys have all the same friends and go to the same schools.  It is about … [Read more...]

If You Think It Can’t Happen To You…

I have really enjoyed blogging about real estate, but over the last few months, my personal economic crisis has weighed heavy on my mind. Clearly, it is a problem facing more and more households every day. So, it seems like a natural topic to add to my blog. The toughest part about blogging about such a personal topic is there is a certain amount of shame - a feeling of failure - that comes with money problems. Our society is so materialistic, that when your kid shows up at school with ratty shoes and last year's backpack, you feel ashamed. And there are those out there who might judge the situation and feel that they are above that sort … [Read more...]