April kept us busy with case studies and tenant turnover. Also some big updates this month.
First, the numbers. Side income in April was only $1,519, down -52% year over year. Ouch.
Let’s see what kept us busy this month.
1. Oh, baby!
If you followed my income reports last year, you know that for quite a few months last year I was busy tackling other projects, so progress on HYW slowed to a crawl.
I’ve been writing about one of those projects extensively: our 4-plex house hack.
But now, at long last, I can share what the other projects from last year were….
Here’s our most important one, ta da!
Yep, Mrs. HYW and I became proud new parents of a bouncing baby girl!
This was, by far, our biggest “project” last year. Lots of sleepless nights, lots of poop, but also lots of joy.
She’s our little sleeping beauty….
I’m sure this will now give me lots of excuses to blog about kids + personal finance / tax strategies in the future. 🙂
My other major project last year was passing two bar exams, for Hawai’i and California. Why would I take the bar exam after being so many years out of law school (not practicing)?
My main motivation was the Hawai’i bar. Mrs. HYW and I foresee moving to Hawai’i in the future.
If you’ve spent time there (and I don’t mean Waikiki), you’d understand why. The aloha is real. It’s magnetic. It’s a GREAT place to raise your ʻohana. And now that Mrs. HYW and I actually have our own ʻohana….
Only thing is, I work in Bay Area tech, and Honolulu doesn’t exactly have a robust tech industry. What it does have is: professional services, real estate, military, hospitality.
I figured it’d be a good idea to get licensed now, way before we move, and before our kiddo arrived, because spare time will only get scarcer going forward.
There are a number of good law firms in Honolulu and I’d have no qualms about practicing law there to build a life in the Aloha State.
Plus, much of Hawai’ian legal practice focuses on real estate, because real estate is so central to the Hawai’ian economy (and tourism industry). And if you follow HYW, you know real estate is right up my alley!
But then, why also seek admission to the California bar?
Short answer is, when you prep for one bar exam, you basically prep for all of them. We’re still living in California right now, so figured I might as well do it. Otherwise, it’d never happen. California is more like a “bonus” since I already went through the trouble of prepping for Hawai’i.
Fun fact: my California bar exam was the last 3-day exam ever to be held in the state’s history. It’s since been converted to a 2-day exam, same as other states. My California exam also had the lowest pass rate in the state’s history, less than 35%.
Although I’m cleared for admission in California, since my bar exam passage is good for five whole years, there’s no rush to swear in (and start paying hefty annual bar fees). I’ll save that for later. 🙂
3. Tenant turnover
One of my tenants from a different rental property moved out end April. I got various cleaners in the next day to deep-clean floor to ceiling. Now working on getting it re-rented. The property location is phenomenal, and there’s a good amount of interest already. Hope it gets filled quickly!
4. New case study
Also released another case study this month on home remodeling tips for saving serious money and getting the most from your contractors. The post covers:
- How we prioritized which remodeling work to do first on our 4-plex
- Our battle-tested tips for getting the most from contractors
- The best hacks we used to save money
Check it out to see the key lessons we learned while working with remodeling contractors.
5. Growing traffic
Spent a good chunk of time starting to organize HYW on Pinterest this month. With new tools recently released for publishers, it’s time we start building traffic from this channel. We’re going all in.
1. New case studies, wrapping up house hacking series
I have one final case study coming out next month for the house hacking series. It’s about how to find great tenants for your rental property.
Also, still have a case study on strategies for the new tax bill pending on my backlog, but that’s a little farther behind.
What I’ll likely write about next is life insurance. It’s something I’ve been researching a lot lately, given the new kiddo in our life.
There are decent explainer articles online already that help explain the different types of life insurance. But there are also important insights most of these articles don’t cover that I think are important for doing any serious analysis to determine what type of and how much life insurance to buy. Look out for a new case study soon covering these topics.
2. Grow traffic