Jessica Deratany: My Story

Realtor in Tucson, AZ working for Tierra Antigua Realty

Personal coach, focusing on goal setting, real estate, and wellness.

Real Estate Investor in Reserve, New Mexico and Tucson, Arizona.


Phone: (520) 402-9496



I recently have been stumbling on people’s highlight reels, they are great, they really give you a good feel of a person.  I love them.  However, like social media, they tend to just focus on the good, and life is messy.  So I have chosen to do a timeline instead.  Ready for my gory details?


My Story:

Age 16 – Graduated High School!  I graduated early when I realized if I just took a few summer school classes and pushed a little harder I could make it happen.  Hmmm.  I am only now realizing as I write this I am doing this again with retirement!

I’m in the middle!

Age 17- Went to college, made several web pages and for the year 2000 I was cutting edge. A tutorial for a game I was playing at the time.  I even made one with pictures of all my friends and what we were doing.   Cue: If I could turn back time.

Age 18- Dropped out of college, to follow a boyfriend to California. Of course,  I did not admit to that at the time.  Plunged myself into a science career.

Age 19- Decided to attend ITT for Multimedia and design.  Bought a Prius before they became popular new off the rack, with all bells and whistles, sure a 5-year loan sounds fantastic, only $500 a month! GAP insurance, GPS? Sure!  I was a salesperson’s wet dream!  Climbed a rank in the science ladder, assistant to technician!

Age 20- Read my first financial book, A Smart Woman’s Guide To Finishing Rich by David Bach.  Left California and an unmotivated boyfriend behind.  Moved back to Tucson, Arizona to a new shiny job at the University of Arizona.

Age 21- Sold Prius at height of craze, managed to get out of one of my worst financial mistakes pain-free.  Published in my first science article.  Then I got involved in a horrible relationship.  Big mistakes ahead!

Age 22 -23- Published in second science methods paper, life started to go full tilt crazy right around here.  Bad mistakes begot bad mistakes.  I decided my course correction was to rack up a bunch of credit card debt and run away.

So I did, I bought a bunch of junk, brought a friend whom I paid for her share of the whole journey, and decided to never come back.  I started up a travel blog, complete with little bite-sized videos.  Got a Youtube award back in the day for a nature video.  I did this all on Myspace.  Cue it up again: If I could turn back time!

Then, of course, as abusive relationships go, I decided to go back.  Life is a blur here, I got out of the relationship finally, but made many other bad mistakes. My mother passed away from alcoholism.   I tried to go back to work but floundered.  This is a time in my life where I was deeply depressed, and at my lowest point, I checked myself into a hospital because I was suicidal.  That was a turning point for me, I began a lot of intensive therapy.  Related: Depressed, Anxiety? Six solutions to kick it to the curb!

Age 24-This was my getting my groove back year.  After completing EMDR, I started heading upwards again.   I hiked,  paid off debt, volunteered in Africa, and did a lot of traveling by myself.  I also read a lot of self-help books.

On top of the leaning tower of Pisa

Age 25- I meet my now husband in the beginning of this year, March to be exact.  Sometimes when it is just right you know.  We were in different states and we moved together after a month, by August we were traveling around the world together.   However, unlike my last travels, we did it smart and worked our way to circumnavigating the world over the course of about a year.  Our first Christmas was in Paris. I blogged on Facebook. Cue: Do I need to say it? Related: 9 Tricks to Make Travel Cheap!

Age 26- Our first Valentines was on a beach in Cambodia. We completed our journey this year and started a new one very quickly. I was pregnant! But, wait, it was 2009.  We came back when there were no jobs to be had. We get married. Related: Why and How You Should Have a Big, Cheap Wedding.

Here is my husband taking the plunge!

Age 27- We slowly start to make a financial life, ending up in Reserve, NM near my husband’s family.  We caretake a rental in exchange for a place to stay. Part-time work leads to full-time work.

Age 28- We buy our first rental property with savings and a private loan, we get a steal at 40k which was later appraised at 100k.  It is a major fixer.

Age 29- We do a lot of work on this property and we have a second little boy.  We also get a little caught up in the 2012 doomsday scare, which I hate to admit, but it spurred an adventure in homesteading.  We started up a regular little farm, with goats, chickens, sheep, and rabbits.  I realized many of my childhood dreams to be a veterinarian with this endeavor.  From goat dehorning to assisting in the birth of a lamb.

This photo was taken by one of our helpers we hosted. One of the baby goats born in our backyard.

Age 30- The farming thing teaches us a lot, but most of our attempts to turn it profitable fall flat.  I made goat milk soap and sold fresh eggs and milk.  We always barely broke even, we were not thinking big enough.  This year we also buy a second rental property, the one we used to caretake.

Age 31- This is a troubled year.  We lost my husband’s father who was also our real estate mentor, he was an amazing man and an early retiree.  He had a very quick decline, aged only 65, he had brain cancer, glioblastoma.  We miss him dearly.

My wonderful father in law Dale and my middle son. I am thankful he was a part of my life.

Age 32- We have a third little boy.  We move back to Tucson, AZ again with the goal to get one more rental property in a market better than the one we were in.  I start this blog at the end of this year.

Age 33- We buy our third rental property using an FHA loan, so folks it doesn’t have to be your only property just your only FHA with intent to occupy!  The front unit which we plan to move into is a major fixer.  The blog is forgotten as we delve into major renovations for a year.  Related:  House Hacking: Lets You Get Your Housing For Free

Age 34- Oh hey this is how old I am now! And this year is almost done.  We finished the majority of work on the house, with only one bathroom remaining.  I have delved back into the blog heavily and am enjoying it quite a lot!

The whole family on a recent hike.

Check Out: Our Story: The Road to Being a Worldschooling Family of Five! to see where we are headed.

P.S. I’m a big nerd, I have been playing video games my whole life all the way down to text-based MOOs, UO, than WoW.  Throughout my life, I have been a regular D&D player, game master, and even a LARPer.

Jessica Deratany is Real Estate Agent Tucson, AZ Realtor for Tierra Antigua RealtyJessica Deratany


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