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Nonprofit selectors, pages, etc.
So we're in the market for a house...
By Ponderer
February 4, 2024 6:09 pm
Category: Nonprofit

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We're actually going through a nonprofit organization called the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America or NACA. We're already qualified through them but we found the most astoundingly perfect once-in-a-lifetime place that's being offered by a county affordable housing agency. We're going in to have a meeting with the person who runs the county program tomorrow. We have everything we need that they apparently want to enroll us in this program to get this property that the county owns.

And what an exemplary job this government agency did totally remodeling the place. All the jobs they must have supported. It's entirely brand new inside an out. 3bd/2ba house, plus a perfect little Hummy Wand World Headquarters and Production Facility workshop room. Yard-O-Rama+. A really nice neighborhood and location. A few saguaros in the front yard. Priced at 80% of the median for the neighborhood. And there is a down payment assistance grant that we qualify for. The math all works out for us to be able to totally pull this off. And we've got all the documentation we should need.

Anyway, a thought occurred to me today as we were driving back home from being shown this amazing place by our realtor. It was the thought of how lying on any of this documentation we are having to deal with to make our net worth appearance more of what they wanted to see... never even occurred to me. Had we not qualified for this program, I wouldn't have just fudged the numbers to inflate or deflate our net worth as the case may need be. Even though it would only be a totally "victimless crime" and I thought I could get away with it, I would just never do that. How does a person feel okay about doing that? How does a person feel okay about supporting and defending someone who does? As the leader of their country even for fucksake?

Am I in a minority how people are supposed to feel about societal issues and lawful norms? Is the notion of thwarting the law if you can get away with it going to be the way people are supposed to act in society now? Even our leaders?

Well I for one certainly hope not. And if it's all I can do, I am going to vote this November to make sure that it's not.

Comments Start Below

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Comments on "So we're in the market for a house...":

  1. by Curt_Anderson on February 4, 2024 6:40 pm
    First off, I happy for you both and hopeful for your opportunity to own a home. I haven't heard of that program. I wonder if my daughter in Portland or my son in Las Vegas would be eligible.

    Secondly, like you I am not among those who think it's OK to break the law as long as you aren't caught and nobody complains. It's especially bad when a person who was born rich abuses the system.

    Btw, you probably heard that Judge Engoron was expected to issue a verdict in January in the fraud trial. He didn't. Reports are suggesting that Trump's bookkeeper, Weisselberg, might be belatedly testifying against Trump.

  2. by Indy! on February 4, 2024 8:44 pm

    Good lord, Curt. You make excuses for the D criminals every week on this board. 😂

  3. by Indy! on February 4, 2024 8:45 pm

    Congrats, Pondy - hope everything works out for you. 👍

  4. by HatetheSwamp on February 5, 2024 4:40 am

    Anyway, a thought occurred to me today as we were driving back home from being shown this amazing place by our realtor. It was the thought of how lying on any of this documentation we are having to deal with to make our net worth appearance more of what they wanted to see... never even occurred to me.

    You two are extraordinary. As you'd say, "EFFINsaints!"

    Baha bahahahahahahahahahaha baha baha haha heehee hoohoo.

    Ha, ahhhhhhhhhhh!

    Listen, buddy. If you need a chiropractor appointment to get a friggin adjustment after backslappin yourself, send us a note on Messenger. We'll send you a check to help out.

    Baha haha, ahhhhhhhhhhh.

  5. by oldedude on February 5, 2024 5:17 am
    First, congrats on finding a house. 👍 It's a great thing to be able to do, and it sounds like an opportune investment opportunity for you both. Well done!

    When we bought this property, it was a mess because lending companies don't rely on the simple things like they do on a car, or if you buy properties a lot with the same company. Changing the property isn't that big of a hassle, and everyone understands the necessity of factual data to the state/county. The financial institutions are a different story.

    The other thing is that is sounds like you were applying under a state or federal program trying to get folks to buy. Sounds like a good program. Within any program is a set of finite money. So they have to ensure what you're telling them is true.

    That's why I used the example of buying a car. If you or I buy a car, the financial institution is looking for the same documentation as trumpster (or any of the wealthier) buying a house. Our risk is much greater than theirs.

  6. by Ponderer on February 5, 2024 6:18 am

    Thanks, Curt, Indy!, and olde dude!

    Curt, those are pretty big cities that your kids are in. I am sure that NACA could be a tremendous resource for them there. It's definitely worth checking into. It's not a gigantic organization here in Tucson, but it's nation wide. And it doesn't cost anything to apply. Certainly worth a look-see.

    • No down payment
    • No closing costs or fees
    • No mortgage insurance
    • 1% below market rate mortgage interest

    The county run organization we are going to today just on this one property is kind of similar. We'll know more about that one after today.

    olde dude, thanks for your kind words. But we aren't even looking at this as an investment. And the way these things are set up, they actually intentionally scare away investors and people looking to just flip a place. They are getting tons of interest on this house. It's currently the cheapest sale price on a full blown house in the entire city of Tucson right now, let alone being fully renovated. By a lot. But once people hear about the restrictions and requirements, they lose interest quickly.

    You have to live in the house for at least 5 years. You don't actually own the land. The county and this agency does, but the land lease is only $30 a month. And if and when you are ready to sell it, the county gets right of first offer and 75% of any equity from the sale goes back to the country to perpetuate this program. You only get 25% of it, regardless of any improvements you make to the place or how much it has increased in value. The buyer is fully responsible for the upkeep and maintenance.

    But it all sounds perfect for us! And we check off every box they are looking for in a buyer.

    We are looking for a home to spend the rest of our lives in. We would love nothing more than to never have to move again after this. We would own the house and can fix it and the yard up however we want and fulfill any home owning dreams we can come up with. But if we get this place, we won't be looking to swap it for anything else I think for The Duration. It's already so much more than we are used to having or could ever have dreamed of having otherwise. Oh my god that kitchen. Neither of us has ever lived with a kitchen like this. We haven't even had room for a microwave for the last 5 years.

  7. by Ponderer on February 5, 2024 6:20 am

    I mean... oh my GOD!

  8. by HatetheSwamp on February 5, 2024 6:24 am

    Fess up.

    You really did lie. Didn't you!!!!!? Baha baha!

  9. by oldedude on February 5, 2024 9:04 am
    olde dude, thanks for your kind words. But we aren't even looking at this as an investment. And the way these things are set up, they actually intentionally scare away investors and people looking to just flip a place.
    My major point on that is that it sure beats dumping money into rent! Still good luck with the sale and hope it's smooth.

  10. by islander on February 5, 2024 9:41 am

    Wow, Ponderer, that place looks beautiful !!

    I hope everything works out well for you and Donna and that there'll be no glitches. You both deserve this and I'm happy for both of you !! 🍻

  11. by Indy! on February 5, 2024 1:18 pm
    Yeah - nice Pondy! 👍

  12. by Ponderer on February 5, 2024 4:01 pm

    Thanks gang.

    The meeting with the county guy this morning went well and we are in the running. But there are apparently four other parties being considered by the lender for that place. The lender won't be able to see our application until Thursday when they are back in town. So fingers crossed. The die is cast.

  13. by HatetheSwamp on February 6, 2024 3:53 am

    I hope you get it po, but I'm sure you lied. As your Liar-in-Chief does... baha.

  14. by Ponderer on February 22, 2024 5:35 pm

    We have been approved for the county program. And this just came in from our agent at the lender...

    Dear Sheri Gwendolyn Evans,

    Congratulations! Your loan application has been conditionally approved.

    Loan approvals typically come with conditions that must be met to receive final approval. I will be in touch shortly to share your Conditional Approval Letter and review any documentation needed to satisfy these conditions.


    So it's a done deal. It's just not a "done" done deal.

    Drove by there again today. I had just discovered a post office less than a mile... easy electric bike riding distance... from that house to mail the Hummy Wands from, and I had one with me to check the establishment out with. It's like a secret one no one knows about... hidden by the desert brush...

    Four minutes to drive from the post office to the house and it feels like you're out in the desert the whole way. I'm taking my electric bike to go do that ride sometime soon whether we get the place or not.

    And a dispensary next to the likely grocery store within walking distance. Hardware store across the street. Any gargantuan chain anything close by but far enough away to yet be convenient.

    Retirement is shaping up if it in fact happens this-a way...

  15. by Indy! on February 22, 2024 7:41 pm

    Just fy, Pondy - you don't have to take your stuff to USPS if you don't want - they'll pick up at your house. Just find out what the postage is and buy it online.

  16. by Ponderer on February 22, 2024 8:38 pm

    I know. But what fun is that?

  17. by Curt_Anderson on February 22, 2024 9:44 pm
    So when do you get the pink flamingoes for the front yard?

  18. by islander on February 23, 2024 4:19 am

    Good news, Pondy! 👍 Sounds like everything is moving along like it should.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that it all goes smoothly and you and Donna get the place you both deserve !! 🤞

  19. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 8:43 am
    The fun is what you do with the time you save. 😉👍

  20. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 1:00 pm

    Well, I just got an email from the lender agent saying that our loan has been approved. They are contacting the county program people to let them know that we're good to go as far as the money and the bank is concerned. Now we are waiting to hear back from the county guy to tell us if this means we are actually getting the house or not. It really appears that we are the only people to get this far into the process. I don't know why they might want to wait, unless another applicant is in contention with us.

    I am currently a combination of giddily excited and absolutely terrified. You know that old saying, be careful what you wish for...?

  21. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 1:01 pm

    What is scary about it? High mortgage payments?

  22. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 1:10 pm

    Just got the call from the county guy as I posted that last one.

    Apparently, there may still be an issue with our income being just slightly over their limit by a couple grand a year with Donna's part time minimum wage job. We need to get him her most recent pay stubs to show that based on what she's made since the beginning of the year, we are in the range if you go off of those for an average. He says that he should be able to make the case for us that we qualify. It's just when you average what she made for all of last year with the holiday rush like the bank did, that it puts us over.

    So we're not quite there yet........

  23. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 1:13 pm

    "What is scary about it?" -Indy!

    The move. My back back is a bit worse off than it was when we moved here. I'm afraid of getting this place that I can do so much with, but then being too infirm to do any of it.

  24. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 1:16 pm

    You should look into pilates. Life changer for me and my bad back. Went from being a borderline cripple to almost normal again - something I thought was impossible. But either way - you have Donna. She can do the heavy lifting. 😉

  25. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 1:24 pm

    I'm losing weight right now too and that seems to be helping. I never got any results from physical therapy I had awhile back.

  26. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 1:58 pm

    I've said it before and I'll say it again,

    Retiring with a bad back is like going to Disneyland in an iron lung.

  27. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 1:59 pm

    But I'll check into Pilates. Never really considered it seriously.

  28. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 2:09 pm
    Losing weight is a big help - especially if you're like me and all the new weight goes right to your stomach. Nothing helped my back until I found out about pilates thru a chiropractor (who's pinching and pulling and electroshocking didn't help either). He's probably sorry he told me about it because I haven't gone back to him since. But it's just common sense if you have degenerating discs like me. When you "throw your back out" that's literally what's happening - the discs are (temporarily) slipping out of place.

    Pilates - which are just very simple exercises like lifting your leg and counting off 3 seconds - strengthen the muscles around the disc(s) to help hold them in place. You’re building up core muscles just like lifting weights builds biceps, etc… I do about 10-15 minutes worth in my bed in the morning 3 times a week. It's not even like exercising - more like stretching for 10 minutes or so.

    I always add this when this subject comes up - this was a LIFE CHANGER for me and that’s not hyperbole - right up there with quitting cigarettes when it comes to improving my health situation. I've only thrown my back out a handful of times in the last 5 yrs or so and the repercussions are far milder now when I do - usually less than a day of pain as opposed to the 8 months+ I was basically a cripple (and in a deep depression) that led to eventually finding a solution. I also don’t have to walk around on pins and needles anymore worried that a slight twist or bend might have me in pain for the next week or so. It’s definitely worth looking into - there are therapeutic pilates instructors who specifically work on health issues like back problems.

  29. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 2:17 pm
    Your Disneyland statement is exactly how I felt - I was in my late 50s and wondering what the rest of my life was going to be like if I had to walk around in pain all the time. I saw every doctor (great health insurance at the time) and nobody had any answers except "Maybe surgery, but that often just makes things worse." The chiropractor was not helping either even though he said he would have me back to "normal" in 6-8 weeks. I told him he was crazy - that I just wanted to be able to stand up straight again with minimal pain. I could live with throwing my back out 5 times a year, but not 8 straight months of it. After 6 weeks of no change - he gave me the exercises. First night I knew it was going to help - I had no idea that one day I'd be like this again - almost normal.

  30. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 2:22 pm
    Full disclosure: I also followed his other advice...

    - Lost weight - a constant battle, but I am down significantly
    - No longer carry a wallet in my back pocket - caused my back to curve while sitting
    - Sleep with a pillow between my legs and one under my arm (in the fetal position) - straightens the spine
    - Try to use lumbar support whenever possible while sitting

    The one thing I have not down is the shoe lifts. Just could not get used to them. But I try to buy shoes with better support now.

  31. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 2:23 pm

  32. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 3:02 pm
    The fun is what you do with the time you save. 😉👍

  33. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 3:14 pm

    Thanks so much for all that, Indy!. Your story is directly relatable and inspirational. I'm really gonna look into that.

    So here is the email I just got done sending to our county guy as I have been calling him.


    It appears from what we can tell that you have her most recent pay stubs to date. I guess we are going to have to see if we can get the place through your program with what you have.

    I know that you are doing everything you can for us. We are so grateful for your help in all this. And if it works out, I look forward to a great partnership with your program and that property for years to come. It is truly a once in the rest of our lifetime opportunity for us. The kind of place we had never dared dream was within the scope of possibility for us. And we will never regret going for it. I don't think I could have lived with myself if we hadn't. And we are mentally and emotionally prepared for however this all works out for us.

    But I gotta tell you. The utterly cruel irony of Donna's part time, minimum wage job being what kills this for us, because it makes us just a little bit too wealthy, will be kinda difficult to get over for a while. We have lived in the American Donut Hole of income for so long now... not poor enough for this, but not making enough for that... This would just be another chapter from our lives of it. And we thought that maybe

    Anyway, we don't want to set any precedents or get special treatment. I know you will make our case as best you can and we await the fair verdict. And at least I can rest easier in the knowledge that whoever gets that amazing place if we don't was in greater need than we are.


    Sheri Evans

  34. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 5:42 pm

    Got my fingers crossed for you two! Owning a place makes such a difference financially - hope it works out. 👍

  35. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 6:03 pm

    Thanks, Indy!.

  36. by Curt_Anderson on February 23, 2024 6:10 pm
    Glad to hear you lost weight. 👍 That's good for many other aspects of your health, as you must know. I was diagnosed with Afib a few years ago. The cardiologist said that as long as stay thin and in shape, he wouldn't recommend any surgery. That's been a powerful incentive for me to get my running/walking miles in every week.

    I've carried my wallet in my front pocket since my first trip to Mexico fifty years ago. It was lucky I did too. I stepped off a bus and I felt a small hand fishing though my empty back pocket. The kid was probably 9 or 10 years old.

    Despite having fractured my fourth lumbar when I fell off a ladder a few years ago, I don't suffer from back pain. However my wife has back problems. She has had good results with the McKenzie Exercises for Back Pain (Google that term). They might not be that different from Pilates.

    You live in a university town. Can you hire a couple kids to help with your move? I did a lot of weekend house moving when I was in college.

  37. by Indy! on February 23, 2024 8:00 pm

    I don't carry a wallet anymore, Curt. The only cash I carry is a $20 bill in my iPhone case and I carry two credit cards (biz & personal) and my driver's license in one of these...

  38. by Ponderer on February 23, 2024 10:04 pm

    Curt, we may end up doing something like that. We made a young friend here recently who might know some guys.

    If we even end up moving after all.

    Rather emotional roller coaster week it's been.

  39. by HatetheSwamp on February 24, 2024 5:02 am


    I went to PT for back pain for months and now do those exercises 40+ minutes every day.

    I went to a pain management doctor. He ordered a SPECT scan, which I'd not heard of. It's a more sophisticated CAT scan. It found that I have a serious issue at L5 S1... and arthritis from my neck to the base of my spine. I manage it as best I can.

    My doctor suggested ablation which I've not done yet. He prescribed the generic version of Mobic which helps some,... but KILLS my stomach.

    I also bought a TENS unit, which was fairly inexpensive. I got electric stimulation at PT. It helps some... sometimes.

  40. by Ponderer on February 24, 2024 7:47 am

    I had ablation treatments. They seemed to work a bit. They did something. But I don't know how much of that was from placebo effect though. That was almost three grand we could sure use right about now.

    Curt, those exercises look really interesting. A little different from the PT I've had before. Thanks!

    As far as the house goes, our county guy is going to do his best to qualify us for the program and we probably won't hear much back until sometime next week.

  41. by Indy! on February 24, 2024 11:03 am

    The McKenzie exercises are basically pilates. Some are exactly what I do - some are slight variations on the same idea.

  42. by Indy! on February 24, 2024 11:06 am

    Pain killers only relieve pain (or as I like to say - get you high). They don't actually help the problem - they just temporarily make you forget about it. Also very easy to get addicted to if you're not careful. That would have been my last resort if I didn't find out about the back exercises.

  43. by HatetheSwamp on February 24, 2024 11:51 am

    Some pain killers are anti-inflammatory. Temporary nonetheless.

  44. by oldedude on March 15, 2024 2:20 pm
    Po & Donna,
    They started putting in "low income housing" in our area (a couple of hundred units) The units look a lot like yours. I'm wondering if they have the same "rules" around them. I was a little worried at first, but honestly, people don't make hardly anything here unless you work for an international company. So I can see this might be a really good thing for a lot of these couples to get in to.

    Haven't heard much, hope everything is going well with it.

  45. by Ponderer on March 15, 2024 6:31 pm

    Hey thanks for asking, od. We're doing okay. Still got our fingers crossed.

    The program we're going through for this house is really great, but it isn't too widespread in the county, at least yet. But boy is it gonna be terrific for us if this happens. There's a newly refurbished place, 3 bed 2 bath right around the block, pretty much like the one we're hoping to get that's on the regular market for $115,000 more than we're paying for ours.

    We're getting our county guy the last of the documentation he needs a week from today and we should know fairly soon one way or the other pretty soon after that. He really seems to want us to get it and he's been going over and above to make our case a winning one.

    I've been spending a bit of time at the place the last couple weeks. Took a folding chair there and just sat in the backyard for awhile, positively affirming. I was even pulling some weeds the other day. I feel like this place has been calling to us for a very long while.

  46. by oldedude on March 15, 2024 7:15 pm
    I've had one place like that in my life. You walked in and it was "home." That's all you had to say. Again, good luck with this. And I know this is a royal pain. Be patient and good luck. A mea culpa here. I have seen a lot of "low income housing" that was nothing more than giving a place for every gang member to hang out. That's what I meant when I was not "hopeful" about having low income housing near me. Fortunately, it does turn out to have nice places (comparable to your picture), so I'm much less worried hopefully, there will be couples like y'all there.

    Let us know, k?!

  47. by Ponderer on March 16, 2024 9:50 am

    Yeah, I know and understand the stigma that low income housing has. But this is just one house in a really nice middle to upper class neighborhood. If a program like the one we are going through had federal support and worked out for people like us to actually be able to buy the place and lower income people could be spread around more and not concentrated just in one place like they always are. And it would be more efficient.

    I don't know if you recall, but right after Obama was elected, Donna and I tried to get a place through a federal program he launched that was actually quite similar to this one. We were going for a house that was $350,000 and the government grant would have covered all but $175,000 of it. Coincidentally, the same amount we are paying for this essentially $290,000 house. It was only bad luck that kept us from getting it. We were a week away from getting the keys but the sellers pulled out at the last minute. As it has turned out, we're actually glad we didn't get stuck there in that place with Donna's worthless bum of a son who we had to include in our household to qualify, leeching off us for the rest of our lives. But I am pretty sure that Obama's program for low income first time home buyers was extremely successful for a many thousands of first time home buyers who could have never done it otherwise.

    If the government could purchase properties and then sell them to low income buyers like us for half what they bought them for, their cost would probably eventually work out to less than what building or even converting huge low budget complexes would cost per tenant, plust they end up with the lion's share of the equity when a tenant eventually sells the place. And people take a LOT more care of a place that they actually have a stake in and they wouldn't get so run down and decrepit like "The Projects" do.

    Our county guy told us that the big problem for this program we are in right now is the interest rates. They are making the loans too difficult for low income people to get.

    How's this for a catch-22:

    The loan company based its acceptance of our loan on our entire income last year and the year before, including our SS checks and Donna's job. Based on that, our loan agent told us that we qualified for the loan, but only just barely.

    The county program bases our income on what our monthly Social Security checks are and the last two pay stubs of Donna's minimum wage part time job, which they use to figure average income apparently. A few weeks ago when I wrote that email to our county guy (post #33 above) we had just been giving him Donna's latest pay stubs. He had kept telling us that based on those, we actually made a little too much to qualify for the program! He kept telling us, every time we saw him, that if Donna gave him two pay stubs showing Donna only working 7 hours a week instead of the 14 or so hours a week she usually does, we would qualify. The last time we met with him, he told us that again and we looked at each other and it finally sank in to us what he was talking about. We said, okay then... that's what we will get you!

    So Donna just today will have completed two pay periods having taken some long deserved time off and she averaged only five or six hours each week. Her supervisor couldn't have been more happy to help us out. We'll get that second pay stub this coming Friday and we'll be taking both pay stubs into him then.

    We're really hoping he can give us a verdict one way or the other pretty soon after that, because our lease is up on this apartment at the end of this month. It's gonna be a wow finish.

    There has been a TON of interest in this property. But he told us that they aren't even used to having more than one party going for one of their places at a time. This place is that incredible of a deal. There are at least four other parties in the running for it, but they haven't yet completed the entire process and he doesn't seem to think very much of the only other one that seems to have come close to qualifying for it besides us so far. He didn't go into detail, but he seemed to act like they had some rather negative issues against them.

    So we are in this weird catch-22 where we barely make enough to qualify for the loan, but make too much to qualify for the program, without acting on his suggestion. We seem to be right smack in the middle of a very tiny doughnut hole that I doubt anyone else going for the place also occupies or is likely to occupy. Plus he really seems to want us to get the place and is totally pulling for us. A couple weeks ago his supervisor got on him for not disqualifying us for making too much until he told her what he had in mind and she approved what he is doing for us.

    I have the feeling that if it wasn't for us, they'd be stuck with that place until interest rates come way down. So it's a win/win for us and the county program!

    So it seems like it's a done deal, but it's not a done done deal. Keep your fingers crossed for us!


  48. by oldedude on March 16, 2024 10:20 am
    Done and done!🤞

  49. by Indy! on March 16, 2024 11:51 am

    Good luck, Pondy.

    Sidebar question... at what age did you and Donna apply for SSI? Assuming you're both getting it now. Just curious because I'm eligible now and on the fence about whether I should start early or wait a couple years for a better ROI. And since you've been on it - are there any drawbacks or regrets on your end? Like limited income potential or something?

  50. by Ponderer on March 16, 2024 3:18 pm

    Indy!, we both took it as soon as we each turned 62. As early as possible. Timing wise for us, it was a sort of must-do. But we've had no qualms about having done it. When I turned 62 a couple years after Donna did, it allowed me to retire from the part time sign shop gig and help us to save up pretty quick for our move to Arizona. Which we will never come close to ever regretting. We both have decent career incomes to allow us to each get a good amount.

    If you can really use it as soon as you hit 62, I would say use it. Absolutely. I don't know how we would have made it to this point had I waited until my upcoming 65th later this year.

    Oh wait. That's right. Full retirement for me was 66 years and 10 months. It was an easy decision for us to say fuckthatshit.

  51. by Ponderer on March 16, 2024 3:21 pm

    If you take it early, until you hit 65, they will take one dollar off of your monthly SS check for every dollar over $2,000 you make that month. It never affected me because my income from PT my last year at the sign shop never crested that amount.

  52. by Ponderer on March 16, 2024 3:23 pm

    Check that. They take $1 away from your SS for every $2 over $2,000 you make in a month.

  53. by Ponderer on March 16, 2024 3:54 pm
    Donna here...

    Actually I took early SS after Sheri lost her job when the owner of the sign shop sold the business. I was almost 63 then. If you work while collecting SS, they take $1 off your SS benefit for every $2 you make over a certain threshold which back then was between $18K and $19K. The threshold goes up a little every year in response to inflation. That rule stays in effect until you reach official retirement age which for me was 66 years and 4 months. After that you can work as much as you want without a SS penalty.

    I did a mathematical analysis comparing how much I'd receive over the course of time if I took early SS vs how much I'd receive if I waited until official retirement age, and the aggregate amounts converged right around age 77, which is about the average life expectancy. That means if you live past 77, the aggregate amount you receive will start to be more than if you took early SS.

    So if you think you're going to live past 77 (and how would most people ever know that?) I would advise avoiding taking early SS as much as you can because the penalty is fairly substantial. They probably already sent you info about how much you'd receive monthly if you were to take it early.

    I hope that helps.

  54. by Indy! on March 18, 2024 11:57 am

    Thanks for the info - very enlightening. I didn't realize the penalty for making too much ends at 65. Also have never heard about the 77 years penalty either - both my parents are in their 80s now. One time I added it up and the two points converged around 75. My problem is I didn't contribute the way most people do because of owning my business and taking a lot of the cash as profit instead of salary. It put more money in my pocket when I made it at the expense of my eventual SSI payoff.

  55. by Ponderer on March 18, 2024 12:45 pm
    I took the first of the two pay stubs they need to our county guy this morning. I wanted to let him know we're still on track and that we'll have the last pay stub they need and bring it to him this Friday. I asked him that I know he can't say for sure yet but how confident does he feel that we're going to get it? He said he was already getting a lot of things set up and ready for us and that all they need is that final document. So I asked him if this confidence warrants us getting a realtor set up and he said yes, definitely.

    So from there I drove to a drive through Mexican place near the house that I've been wanting to try and got a breakfast burrito. I took it to the house and got my folding chair out of the trunk and sat in the backyard of the place to eat it.

    As I was sitting there eating away, th back door of the place opened and a realtor and the young couple she was showing the place to came out and I'm just sitting there eating a burrito.


    Hello, they said as they came out and started looking at the backyard (Man I am going to have to get on those weeds pronto once we're in there). Who knows what they thought I was doing there. Once I finished, and I was going back to my car out front, they were still there talking in Spanish about the place. I knew exactly what she was talking to them about without even speaking Spanish myself.

    "Good luck, folks!", I said as I was passing by them and they thanked me.

    I figure that if it's theirs, it's theirs.

    But as of this morning, I've gone from being pretty sure that it's ours to being pretty positive that it's ours. So it's ours.

    With the recent rains we've had, most of this backyard is about a foot thick with weeds since this was taken...

  56. by Ponderer on March 18, 2024 12:48 pm

    By the way, I just checked the Zillow listing for the place. It's gotten over 26,000 views.

  57. by Indy! on March 18, 2024 1:38 pm

    What is the concrete thing with the two poles?

  58. by Ponderer on March 18, 2024 6:48 pm

    Indy!, it was a gnarly barbecue pit. A concrete slab with a rectangular pit in the middle inside those two poles. Those poles are where a spit had been mounted.

    As I don't believe that we will be barbecuing any sides of beef or whole hogs anytime soon, my plan is to cut off the poles at the concrete, dig out the pit a bit more and do a two foot high cement/rock wall around the perimeter of the 9' x 7' slab. Then I'll cement the entire inner space and make a killer fish pond with a fountain and a filter and the whole shebang. Eventually an elevated stream fed by a little waterfall will spill into it. But we'll see how far I get with just the pond phase first.

  59. by Ponderer on March 18, 2024 6:50 pm

    I might even work the two pipes into the fountain somehow.

  60. by Indy! on March 18, 2024 8:02 pm

    The guy across the street from my brother used to roast the whole hog in a hole he dug in the ground - a luau type situation. Best pork you ever had.

  61. by Ponderer on March 18, 2024 8:24 pm

    I can imagine the family gatherings that this place has seen.

  62. by Curt_Anderson on March 18, 2024 8:50 pm
    If you digging out that pit and planning to build a fishpond then you are homeowners now. I must have missed the official announcement. Congratulations!

  63. by Ponderer on March 19, 2024 5:48 pm

    Nope, Curt. Not quite yet. Still in the home dreaming phase. I won't actually feel confident in saying that we are homeowners until I'm turning the key in the door knob.

    We should know a lot more on Friday. And our realtor, who we sorta hooked up with during the NACA phase of this adventure and I just figured we' stay with, is showing us the place again tomorrow. We ran through it so fast the first time, we were so yeah RIGHT! about the idea that it could ever be ours. So I'm needing measurements stat.

    Curt, I already have enough projects in mind for that place to last me the rest of my life. It's like a blank canvas I can't wait to sink my brushes into. And once I have measurements, some of those dreams will be to scale.

    So Friday should be a nexus. I'm hoping to know a lot more also after our realtor speaks with our county guy.

  64. by Curt_Anderson on March 19, 2024 5:54 pm

  65. by Indy! on March 19, 2024 7:45 pm

    Good luck, Pondy.

  66. by Ponderer on March 22, 2024 8:24 pm

    Meeting with our county guy went really well this morning. We gave him all the final documents they needed and he did some figuring and he's pretty sure his supervisor will be giving us the final OK on Monday.

    After the meeting we had a fantastic breakfast and then went and sat on the backyard patio for awhile. It's just like nothing either of us have ever lived in. The quiet, except for the birds, was glorious. We are going to be spending a lot of time on that covered patio.

    We went there a couple nights ago to see what the sky viewing potential of that back yard is like at night. 360-degrees and incredible. The light pollution of the area is at an almost imperceptibly low level. On a really clear night, it's going to be breathtaking.

    If it happens, of course. When the key turns the doorknob and all that.

  67. by Curt_Anderson on March 22, 2024 8:50 pm
    This is sounding very hopeful. I've spent a few months in Phoenix 50 years ago, but never made it to Tucson. However I've always heard good things about Tucson. Your decision to leave Long Beach is looking better and better.

  68. by Ponderer on March 22, 2024 11:24 pm

    I always liked living in Long Beach.

    But I actually love living in Tucson. We both constantly marvel at how much we love living here.

    And this house will just

    We'll see. We'll see...

  69. by HatetheSwamp on March 23, 2024 5:48 am

    The difference between a purple state and the People's Republic of California.

  70. by Ponderer on March 25, 2024 5:01 pm

    We just finished signing the documents to get escrow started. Escrow will close on April 30, 2024.

  71. by Ponderer on March 25, 2024 5:02 pm

    Curt, Indy!, Islander, olde dude, Hate...

    You are all invited to the house warming party.

  72. by HatetheSwamp on March 25, 2024 5:07 pm



  73. by Curt_Anderson on March 25, 2024 5:13 pm
    🍻 🥂 🍻 🥂 🍻 🥂 🍻 🥂

  74. by oldedude on March 25, 2024 8:03 pm
    I knew it was supposed to happen. In my heart. So it did. I'm truly happy for you. I know this is a little sedate, but it's honest. Be blessed in your own "place." I'm really happy for you. I've only seen that once with myself as a place. the second time with my "reason." It sounds like you've found both. Godspeed to both of you.... Be well!

  75. by Curt_Anderson on March 25, 2024 11:05 pm
    I suppose for a month or so you will have to pay rent for your current place AND cover your monthly mortgage. Even though you are obliged to give 30 days notice, the landlord is supposed to make a good faith effort to rent it sooner. So if you vacate the place in clean condition, the landlord should rent it ASAP, so maybe you won't have to pay for the entire month. You should be able to get your deposit back sooner. That's the rental law in Oregon. You might check Arizona laws.

    We are landlords and we accommodate tenants who want to leave earlier than the required 30 days notice. Hopefully, you have good relationship with your landlord.

  76. by islander on March 26, 2024 6:18 am

    FANTASTIC !!! Congratulations to you both. 🥂

    I can still remember the excitement and euphoria that my wife and I felt when we were approved by FmHA, the old Farmers Home Administration !! We never could have afforded it (or gotten a mortgage) without them.

    Along with our own meager savings we had to beg and borrow the balance to make the $600 we needed for the down payment and our mortgage was $125 a month for 11 months of the year. December was exempt from requiring a payment since that was the month that the FmHA did all their year end book work !!

    The money for the December mortgage was our "Christmas" money! It enabled us to pay Santa for the kid's and family Christmas presents !!

    Again Congratulations Ponderer! I'm very happy for you and Donna !!! 👍👍👍

  77. by Indy! on March 26, 2024 12:29 pm

    Great news, Pondy! Glad to hear you and Donna found your forever home. It will make such a huge difference in everything you do from here on out. Better days ahead - ENJOY THEM!

  78. by Ponderer on March 26, 2024 3:37 pm

    Thanks so much, Gang! Everyone. This is still all so unreal. It feels like the gates were blown open and it's phone messages and emails flying back and forth, documents to sign... we're kind of in a daze right now. There were so many people after this property. And for us to get it... We were saying this morning that we feel like that one sperm that made it to the egg first.

    We can't get the keys any sooner to move into the place until Escrow closes on 4/30, and our lease is up on this place Sunday. I spoke with our property manager today and what it looks like we will do is by not signing a new lease, we will automatically go to a month to month lease (and an extra $200 charge). Then around the fifth or sixth of April, we give our written 30 day notice. They can prorate the extra week we'll have to shuffle stuff back and forth in what I am calling "The 8-Mile Move". A tad easier than our last 700+ mile move was to be sure. And at least this way we won't have to do everything all in one day. OH! And our first mortgage payment won't be due until a month after we move in! So there won't really be any financial overlap.

    And that invite was serious, btw. I'll let you all know when the date is set. Y'all are the weirdest bunch of friends I've ever had.

  79. by HatetheSwamp on March 26, 2024 3:43 pm


    Enjoy the adventure! And, the 8-mile move.

  80. by HatetheSwamp on March 26, 2024 3:43 pm


    Enjoy the adventure! And, the 8-mile move.

  81. by Ponderer on March 26, 2024 5:59 pm


  82. by Ponderer on March 26, 2024 5:59 pm


  83. by Ponderer on April 10, 2024 7:39 am

    Everything is on track for the April 30th . The house inspection went really well. The inspector was actually a little surprised that a 1980's house was in this good of shape with no major problems. We gave our 30-day notice to the apartment manager on Friday, so we will have a five day overlap to get the move done in after the 30th. We have some movers set up for all the big stuff in the middle of those five days. Packing has actually begun.

    We should be sleeping in the place three weeks from Tuesday.

    It still doesn't even seem real yet. This must be what people who win the lottery feel like at first.

  84. by HatetheSwamp on April 10, 2024 7:43 am


  85. by Indy! on April 10, 2024 12:24 pm

    Glad you're happy, Pondy. 👍

  86. by oldedude on April 11, 2024 12:52 am
    po and donna-
    Like I've said before. There are no coincidences. I'm keeping you in my thoughts about the house🤞. I may not post often on this thread, but just know those thoughts are always there. So regardless of your desire to BBQ a half a beef or lamb (or not), I'm still hoping this whole thing just slides in smoothly. Don't hurt your back!

  87. by Ponderer on April 11, 2024 6:45 pm

    Thanks so much od. And Indy! and everyone!

  88. by Indy! on April 11, 2024 9:18 pm

    Good to hear a story with a happy ending. 🙂

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