From Desperation to Celebration! (Getting From Unemployment to Buying and Selling Our First Home!)

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SOLDToday I have a post on a bit more of a personal level than usual.

The Story

About 7 years ago, there was a brief period where I was unemployed (I had been working 2 jobs and lost them both within a week of each other- long story).  My wife and I had been renting a house at the time and found out that it was being sold and we would no longer be able to live there.  In the course of a couple of weeks, our family’s income disappeared as did our home.  If we didn’t figure something out, we were literally going to be homeless within 90 days.  We had previously been looking for a house (back when I had been employed) as we knew there was a possibility that the house we were renting would go up for sale sometime in the future.  We had actually gotten a buy-sell agreement on a foreclosure several months prior, but lost it 4 days before close due to finalization of the foreclosure process!  (don’t ask me why this happened, I can’t figure it out to this day!) So here we were with no income, and no house.

The original house we were going to buy ended up coming back on the market (through HUD) for $14,000 less than what we were originally going to pay! (again, this made absolutely no financial sense for the bank- it’s as mystery).  We had no money of course, but needed a home.  My parents ended up reaching out to us and offering to put it on their home equity line of credit short-term until I got “back on my feet” and could get a mortgage of our own (and remember this was around the time of the housing crash in the U.S, so getting a loan was no small matter!)  We moved in and started making payment to my parents

Let me be honest.  This story is embarrassing.  I almost wasn’t going to post it.  Who wants to talk about when they were homeless, jobless and had to go to mommy and daddy for money as a married man with a family?!  So why do I share this?  Let’s fast-forward a bit:

My “business” was in “hobby stage” at the time.  I was buying and selling a few movies on Ebay and trying to figure things out.  Soon after losing my employment, I got a pizza delivery job (desperately hoping this one would be short-term!) and started working as hard as I could on the business- obtaining every piece of information I could find and taking action as often as possible!  It paid off and the income started to build!  We made steady payments to my parents and in 2 years I was able to get a mortgage myself (most banks require at least 2 years of tax returns for self-employment income.)  In about 3 years I was able to quit my job and in about 5 years, we were able to pay off the house!

Last Summer my wife and I bought and moved into a new house that we LOVE! (the old house was not bad either, but the new house is exactly what we want! – it was also more than twice the cost.)  Since our first house was paid off, we decided to buy first and take some time to get the first house ready for the market.  Yesterday, my wife and I (finally) sold our first house!  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am!

Our Big Pay Day

Yesterday we were given a check for the full amount of the house (less all commissions and fees of course!)  I feel so incredibly fortunate!  I went to the bank today and put the entire check toward the principal of our current house.  If things continue to go well, we’ll have the new place payed off in less than 2 more months!  I’m thrilled!

The “Take-away”

I have numerous friends who are “upside down” in their mortgages (they owe more than the house is worth) and/or are deep in debt and/or have several other financial setbacks.  This leads not only to financial disappointment, but can also be difficult to deal with emotionally- even leading to despair.  This post is not in any way to “rub salt into those wounds” for anyone struggling with these things!  This post is my way of saying “I get it” , “I’ve been there” and also that there is hope!  I’ve spent the majority of my adult life being poor.  Did you ever have to go to mom and dad as a grown man or woman and ask for money?  No?  You’re better off than I was.  Have you ever been jobless and and the verge of being homeless?  No?  Consider yourself fortunate.  Ever find yourself in an “after-school-type job” during the “career stage” of your life?  No?  You’re already on a better path than I was!

The point is, don’t give up and also consider yourself fortunately if you’re already further along than I was when I started!  You’re likely to get to where you want to be even quicker than I did!  I can tell you that the methods I talk about on this blog WORK.  There are also plenty of other models that work.  The point is to find something that works for you and make it happen!

One final note I should be clear about- because I’m still feeling awkward about sharing all of this.  My parents are very against lending money to family (giving is good, lending creates a weird dynamic) or allowing their married children to be dependent on them in any way.  Whether you agree or disagree with this philosophy, this was how I was raised and I want to be very clear and say that I would NEVER recommend tying yourself to family members as an adult in the way that I did.  Thankfully, in my situation it worked out great with no scars and no hard feelings (we discussed the ramifications with my parents on the front-end, we had a plan, and we always made our payments in full and on time until we could get our own mortgage.)  I actually discourage friends from doing this kind of thing when it comes up, but the truth is, we had very few options at the time (we wouldn’t have even been able to get an apartment in our situation at the time!)  The story is what it is, so I told it how it happened, but I did not want to leave the impression that I would recommend it to others!

If you’re in a tough spot, please don’t give up!  Learn as much as you can!  Write me if you’d like and I’ll be happy to help!  Read the blog, read the free ebook- keep going.  Find something that works!  I’m so happy to be where I am today which is worlds away from where I was… and technically I’m still “unemployed”

13 thoughts on “From Desperation to Celebration! (Getting From Unemployment to Buying and Selling Our First Home!)

  1. Daniel, wanted to send you a word of encouragement. I’ve read your free ebook “Build Your Slice of the Pie” and most of your blog posts.

    Thank you for the time you take to kindly answer questions and write very helpful ebooks. I’m looking forward to your updated and expanded ebook. Your clear and detailed answers on the posts are very helpful and your writing style is easy to read. Keep up the great work, you’re helping a lot of people like me who are trying to build a business and make an income online. Thanks

    1. Hey Rob,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write this! I really appreciate the kind words! This is the stuff that makes keeping up this blog worth it. I’m so glad you’re finding it valuable. Thanks again!

  2. Daniel, I am ready to hit this one family dollar store after work. They are closing their doors permanently today. Yesterday I grabbed all their DVDs and CDs at 80% discount. I am wonder what is left today when I get there.
    Now, I have a question about a statement you made earlier; using FBA to fullfill ebay orders, how those that works?

    1. Hi Ed,
      Sounds like you hit a gold mine! That’s fantastic!

      For fulfilling Ebay orders through FBA, it’s very easy (much easier than I originally thought). List on Ebay as you normally would (but list an item you have in FBA inventory. When the item sells, go into seller central, go to “manage FBA inventory” , find the item you want to ship, check the box next to it and choose “create fulfillment order” from the dropdown menu. From there, you simply fill in the name and address. Amazon will tell you the fees before you confirm, then click “done” and they will send it out to your customer usually within 24 hours (it will go out within 24 hours- you can choose the actual shipping speed- note that standard shipping is not 7-14 days as they claim- it’s more like 3-4 days. I almost always choose this option and have never had a complaint. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Daniel,

    I am back from Greece now, nice break, lovely friendly people, Great apartment, with a fantastic swimming pool!

    What a great story, thanks for sharing it. I can understand how you felt along your journey.

    I have been building my business on eBay and Amazon over the past 6 years. I started with no real resources (a old wallet put on eBay) since I have built a £250,000 a year turnover and have been able support my family for the past 6 years.

    Its been scary and at times I felt like I may lose everything I have taken some risks I have also made plenty of mistakes along the way.

    But I tell you “It sure beats doing a job you hate” Its creative, exciting and you are in control of your destiny!

    So guys-Please keep going it will come to YOU and pay off

    My Top Tips

    1. Learn as much as you can, Copy people that have been successful, It cuts out all costly mistakes
    If you going to make a lovely meal, then simply find the best chef and copy his recipe!!-Its the same with your business!

    2. Start small and slowly build up your inventory and business

    3, Focus on PROFIT not Sales, Really know your numbers inside out

    4, Do sell things that you are confident with and you understand.

    5. Never give up, learn from your mistakes and be confident & positive remember Jeff Bezos started with nothing in his Garage now Amazon sales are $78 billion…………

    All the very best Neal

    Daniel I’ll have a really good read of your blog and come back to you with my plans for the coming year

    We can share some ideas and I can hopefully learn a few tricks of the trade from you

    Cheers Neal

    1. Hi Neal,
      Welcome back! Glad you enjoyed the trip. Your advice is solid. Particularly #5 (never give up!) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have been in a similar situation having been forced out of work 11 years ago with depression. I could not make my house payments and had to sell. I got into a lot of credit card debt. Thankfully today I am debt free, but still have to rent a house. But I am much happier.

    I currently prepare and sell physical products, but would love to move back to Spain in a few years which is why I am trying to build a more “hands-off” business.

    I have really enjoyed reading through your blog and e-book and now have a lot of inspiration to move forwards and have already taken the initial steps. I have not been receiving any newsletters though?

    Keep this wonderful blog going Daniel.

  5. Great story Daniel! I am so glad you shared this on your blog. Love the nuggets of information/inspiration sprinkled throughout the post. Nothing can create a wedge in relationships with family and friends like a “loan”. Even when things are going well every conversation includes the topic of the loan. Thanksgiving dinner taste much different when you are “in debt” to a family member or friend. My Grandmother, who paid cash for everything, would always say “give the money as a gift and don’t expect anything in return. If you need it back don’t give, your relationship is too important”. Thanks again Daniel for the wealth of knowledge in your post!

    1. Hi Scott,
      I agree wholeheartedly! We were in a bit of a desperate situation and I’m incredibly thankful that no hard feelings arose from it. We also go out of the situation as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t wish the situation on anyone else, nor would I recommend loaning or borrowing from family, but I’m thankful for the supportive family I’ve got nonetheless!

  6. Daniel, congratulations and live a good live.

    I wan to start an ebay business, drop ship, something like that. Do you have a book or business plan for sell or anything else available? Thanks in advance.

    ED

    1. Hi Ed!
      I’ve got the free ebook “Build Your Slice of the Pie” (available for signing up to my newsletter on the main page). It doesn’t touch on dropshipping much or extensively on Ebay because I don’t dropship (I have done this with a couple of products, but it’s not my main business) and the guide focuses more on Amazon than Ebay. However, I would start there. The principals are similar for both Amazon and Ebay and you can use FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) to send out Ebay orders! (this is what I do). Take a look around the blog, read the ebook and learn what you can through forums, experienced people and trial and error. I hope this is helpful!

  7. Great story of inspiration Daniel. Thanks for sharing I know it will really inspire others in the same or even worse situation than you were in at the time.
    I myself have experienced many ups and downs in my life, most having to deal with “wasting my time on this internet thing” (others words not mine) from people in your life that care about you but just don’t get it. It literally cost me a marriage but I have had some success and many failures but keep on believing.
    Stories like this from people who have made it work only inspire me to try harder.
    So thanks for this inspiration to try harder and I will succeed.

    Steve G.

    1. Hi Steve,
      Thanks for the kind words! Yes, something I don’t talk about often (but should) is how the business affects my personal and family life. I’ve learned a lot about this over the years. I work hard to separate business and personal and set clear boundaries for myself, but this wasn’t always the case… it can be tricky- particularly if family members or even friends are not on board with what you’re doing. I’ve been incredibly fortunate with the amount of support I’ve received from family and friends. The business can have both positive and negative effects on a family. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve experienced the latter, but my hope is that you will also begin to experience some of the former! Good luck!

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