Posted in Homesteading, Musing & Stories

Moving – Part 7 – Let’s Make a Deal

Sunset10 Indiana…But FIRST let’s talk to our fourth loan officer. Yes, we’re in it neck deep now! One guy left me hanging when everything should have been finalized. One had too may stipulations on the houses. Another had too may on us. By Thursday I felt like I was at an impasse on both house hunting and loan securing.

Following our realtor’s recommendations now for FHA. Three propertiesButterfly on Sweet Williams on the list this morning in our price range. ALL paycheck houses. So we had to choose our projects wisely.

THE DECISION! an enormous house in a quaint town. Perfectly centered on a long rectangular lot. Compromised on as much yard as we wanted, but gained a basement, garage, and bedrooms. Shade trees line the alley, and the neighbors’ properties seem reasonably kept. Whew!

Yes for Nostalgia: It smelled like my Grandma’s house, immediately comforting and welcoming. It was empty and old, but not neglected. I’m not gonna lie; it was hard to keep my mouth shut while hubby checked out the structure and such. Meanwhile, in my head- I‘ve already bought paint and mopped the floors! “Let him say everything first.” I thought. {Being married 33 years… I know when to lay low and when it’s worth it to pounce.}

To Hubby, the old 2 story reminded him of his childhood home. He loved growing up there. And said so right away! The roof met his standards. And the garage {Man Cave}, of course was the main draw. The electrical boxes were somewhat freaky-deaky but not deal breakers. {Ha! get it breakers? Construction humor}

Well, friends and Confidantes, no guarantees yet, but phase 2 of the process begins.  I’m tickled pink! Gma Auburn {Jen}– Containing her chickens that haven’t hatched yet. 😉

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Posted in Homesteading, Musing & Stories

Moving- Part 6: Affairs Out of Order

AKA: House hunting pre-requirements.  Early On:

  • I found a lower income/low down payment, rural improvement mortgage.
  • Gathered requested tax returns, check stubs etc.
  • Monitored our credit score.
  • Kept our family finances in check. mostly
  • Met with a buyer’s realtor on weekends for showings.
  • Spent months of research, discussions, arguments and tanks of gas…
  • I thought I had all my ducks in a rowboat.

    Mallards Ducks in a row
    Ducks in a row. Indiana.

Preparations in place, I still got blindsided. Upon calling the loan officer to give him the address of the potential property: He tells me there’s a five year old, resolved issue… that is somehow showing as a bad mark on our credit history.  So he can’t proceed. Are you kidding me? I had an attorney look at the paperwork today. Phones calls and emails ensue in the a.m.  😦

Friends and Confidants, it’s just a hiccup; and it’s early in the week. Five days until we make an offer –if the property suits us both on the walk-through.

I can hardly contain my SQUEEE!! –Gma Auburn {Jen} –Making sacrifices to the housing gods that there’s a furnace that works and the roof doesn’t leak.

#homebuying #credithistory

Posted in Homesteading, Musing & Stories

Moving part 5: Foresight and the Sandwich Generation

Do you worry what will happen when your parents can’t care for themselves? Are your grown kids one paycheck away from loosing their place?

Though I tend to fret more than most; I am house hunting with these ‘what ifs” at the back of my mind. I feel I need to have Plan B in place, just in case there’s a scenario…

If hubby gets hurt or sick, can I still swing the house payments and take care of him? {hence the freshly-hatched possibility of a pet friendly B&B in the previous post.}

Working smarter, not harder is beginning to take on new meaning, Friends and Confidants. Am I smart enough, energetic enough, and driven enough to pull this off for the next decade? I don’t know. – Gma Auburn {Jen} Just typing out loud…

#grownchildren #grandchildren #mortgages #sidegig

Posted in Homesteading, Musing & Stories

Moving Part 4: Small Town Possibilities?

Several ‘floating’ criteria come into play around midnight when I’m trolling realtor.com.  Some of which are our current and future side gigs. Hubby is a woodworker so he needs an outbuilding or garage, and I need an office, of course.

Coffee Mug Garden SeedsI’ve being looking across four counties, hoping for enough indoor/outdoor yard space to dog sit & have gardens, and chickens. Within an hour’s commute & under our price limit. There’s nothing that isn’t ‘handyman special,’ too close to Indianapolis (YUK!)… or on back roads with no phone service, that won’t see a snowplow for days.

Alternate plans forward: We are thinking it’s not our time yet, for a county homestead. We have to live with this decision for the next decade. We’d rather wait than compromise; or go too far in debt. 6 months of not quite right. Yikes! 5 months left till our lease is up here, and we ain’t stayin’ — Time for a new strategy.

Lilly in bloomWe’ve been revisiting the possibilities of  ‘small town life.’ Some pros… So many 2 story old Victorian style/Farm Houses listed as 4 bed/2 bath– just off the main street. Luscious dark woodwork within; begging to be loved up with Murphy’s oil soap. 😉 Cupboards and closets for miles. Neighborhoods with shade trees and bisecting sidewalks. I don’t dislike sidewalks.  Or neighbors for that matter. I could plant a both English and veggie gardens while he builds fences.

More than double the house in square foot, but smaller lot than we wanted {although bigger than we have now!}. Some traffic noise, but away from the city scurry. Closer to weekend attractions and small colleges. Solid and well built. City utilities & wifi/phone connectivity are a plus.

Alternate Side Gigs: Pet friendly air B&B? Maybe rent out an extra room & bath! A corner lot will be handy for hubby to display and sell his woodwork projects, too. Other ticks on the ‘plus’ side – Basement! Friendly community chatter page. Covered porches for rainy days, potted plants and corralling Border Collies. 😉 20-25 min to family and groceries & 40 min to work is reasonable. So are the house prices {even though a few updates are needed}. We’ll be viewing at least one mammoth place this Saturday. I’m excited for the possibilities!

 

I try not to complain in length or detail, but Friends and Confidantes, we are sick of this trailer park! There’s a racetrack across the street and moderate traffic from 7am till 7 pm in front of our place. There’s also two side roads that run within 6 feet on either side of the trailer into the park. I chose it because it had a covered porch and huge tree. It was meant to be temporary. –“3 years tops” is closing in fast – Gma Auburn {Jen}

#midwestliving #bordercollie #househunting #indianapolis #farwestside #hoosierstate #hiking #retirementplans

Posted in Musing & Stories

Moving! Pt 3- Hypothetical Homesteading

How can we plan for retirement with very little savings; and get our homestead sooner?

SO HERE’S THE GRAND PLAN {HA! as if those ever worked out…}

Also! “How we saved the Down Payment in two years”

  • Vibrant Rose
    Almost time to plant!

    $75k Budget for HOMESTEAD over 18-24 months.

  1. Spring 2019
  2. $5-6k- Used truck
  3. $27-33k- Raw Land- (+/- 2 acres)
  4. July/August
  5. $8k- Used Travel Trailer
  6. MOVE onto land
  7. $500/mo. Savings!!
  8. Autumn ’19
  9. $2-3k- DIY Shed, Generator, Wood stove, Livestock/Garden prep.
  10. Spring/Summer 2020
  11. $10k- Well/septic/block foundation/electric hook up/permits etc.
  12. Autumn 2020
  13. $12-18k- Used Single wide MH 3bd/2bth {actually bigger than what I have now!}

After extensive research: we nixed the notion of a Pre-fab cabin, yurt

viewfromthetruck falltrees-jsm

or modular kit as a year-round residence. A tiny house under 400sf would suck long term. We lived 2 yrs on the truck… just ask me anything about teeeeny living... O.o

Prefab Kit builds over 600sf: Adding any electrical, plumbing, etc. is pricey. Though we’re still considering a tiny ‘something’ as a guest room or AirBnB, but not for a couple years.

Manufactured Homes: Why yes! I have spent weeks researching every tidbit. Craigslist. LandWatch. AutoTrader and RVTrader. Finally, we found one used MH dealer Homenation.com (by state). ALSO Factory Direct.

 

A pot of turkey hash feeds a big family.

Land Loans {and/or rolled into a  ‘Land/Home’ next year}: Most require 20% down payment. Pre-Approved is not the same as Pre-Qualified. 

  • HOW WE SAVED THE MONEY:
  • Baseline figures: 20% x $33,000=$6,600.
  • Down payment:
    • [1 year: $132.00 x 50 weeks]
    • [2 years: $66.00 x 100 weeks]
  • OUR 2 year method: $50 weekly; [Feb. 2017-2019]
    • then added: bonuses, overtime, tax returns.
  • Top money saving tips:
    • Write out a budget. Say “no more stuff.” Repeat often.
    • Secondhand only, DIY or do without.
    • Plan less trips to the store. Plan meals around sales.
    • Get a side gig. Use your skills.
      • Upwork, Thumbtack or Taskrabbit
      • Or find free courses to learn new skills.
      • [I walk dogs and Mturk in between writing & merch]

OUR #1 prerequisite for all of this — It all must be paid for in 8 years. Hubby retires in 10. Thus why we’re doing this in increments, and saving additional money by holding over this winter [and budgeted for] a travel trailer.

Other considerations: Grid-tied for health reasons. Yet enough land to sustain a simple, back-to-basics lifestyle. Close to our jobs. Close to daughter’s family AND close to my Dad. Must have trees and a good stretch between neighbors. 😀

Frugal now; peace of mind later, Friends and Confidantes – Grandma Auburn

#homesteading #retirement #budget #truckerswife