stay and build or sell and build

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lizza, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have been going round and round the last year about the best course of action for us.

    Would you stay at a place (16 acres) that you owe a 30yr mortgage on (we are in our early 30's) but is close to town or sell and move to an isolated area where we could pay cash for probably more acreage. Either place we would have to build a house. Where we live now has very strict building codes and building here is going to be very frustrating to deal with our building department. In the end though we would have land/house worth a lot of money. Since we bought a foreclosed on property and have fixed all its building code problems ourselves it would be worth more money then we could ever hope to buy or own again. It is why we could sell it and take all our equity and buy something outright.

    For staying is the fact that we do live close to an area where my husband can make a good living and my children have easy access to classes and sports (we homeschool). A friend also has told me that if we move to an isolated area all my children will leave me. She grew up on 100 rural acres and couldn't wait to leave (she didn't have any siblings though and was very lonely). Staying though hardly means all my children won't leave me anyways someday. We have 3 girls, so far.

    For selling and moving is the fact that my husband wouldn't have to work so much for other people because we wouldn't have the bills that we currently have. We would still have expenses though. The biggest probably being health insurance. He currently has 3 jobs and works an average of 6 days a week. Making it very hard to build our own house. I also like the security feeling of actually owning everything we have, including our land and home. I also would like more land.

    I'm for selling and moving. My husband is for staying where we are. Obviously we both have to agree. It's why we've been talking about it for the last year. I guess we could always sell and don't have to do it now but it seems like the best time, before we start the house. Staying and not building is not an option. Right now we are living in a yurt (pacific yurt).

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  2. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    Hubands get a lot of validation out of their jobs. It is hare to leave. Still, the truth is that all of those "good" things about staying where you are will only be true if Murphy doesn't move into your spare bedroom. My husband also had the education, and great job, and "shouldn't have trouble finding something else if this goes away." Yada Yada Yada...
    2 yrs of unemployment, and a reposessed house later, if I were in your shoes right now, I would get out of debt and stay out. The land isn't really yours. If things go south, it will be taken, trust me, I know. Yes, we had an emergency fund (gone) , yes we had retirement we could cash in (gone). In the end it was just a few months shy of what we needed to stay solvent until the new job came in. Won't go into the gory details again here, but yes, it can happen to anybody, even if you are responsible with money, educated, and don't do a lot of frivolous spending. Happens every day. Cannot begin to tell you the numbers of people I have met recently who are now in the same shoes we were in during that time. Still, somehow, in this country we are willing to believe that debt is our friend. There are very few people who retire on the 30 year plan with a paid for house these days. In fact, only about 5% of thirtysomethings have a plan for retirement at all. The "one job" of your career doesn't exist anymore. Get debt free. Get into a place where even if worse case scenario happens on the job, or elsewhere, your home is not at risk. IMO, anything else is false security. Hey, compromise, and don't move so far if he wants to keep the job, but don't stay in debt if you don't have to.
     

  3. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    It sounds like it's a choice between money and debt or no money and no debt....hmm...It's your choice hopefully you too can work it out...it's tough nothing comes easy...

    On the lighter side...i'm really curious how you like living in a yurt? :)
     
  4. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    about health insurance--we have a 5000$ deductable and catastrophic. It's very much cheaper that regular insurance. We are healthy to begin with, don't have unhealthy habits(besides riding dirtbikes). The one big thing my hubby had was a bad motorcycle crash which ended up being paid for because it was classified as a motor vehicle accident. We did the math and we figured that even if we paid the 5000, we still come out ahead. You could start a medical savings account, even putting away 25-50$ a month would build up pretty quick. Remember, Merck just admitted that its drugs only work in 25% of those that take them, and the side effects afflict far more than help.
     
  5. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    Forgot to say about the "isolation" I suppose that depends on your family relationships. We live pretty far out, and my boys are not getting driver's licences anytime soon(although they drive with supervision on the gravel roads and on our place). My son has a good friend that lives a 1/2 mile away. I love living "far out" , I'd go further and be like Bigfoot ;0)
    My thought is think of where you'dlike to be after your kids are grown and gone, and it's just a few years. Most of the teenage "culture" is trash anyway, "socialization" is a joke. Homeschooling is great, you'd probably find a lot around you(there are a lot around us). If you have a happy family that gets along, you'd probably get along fine. I don't know what your expences are, but if your new plaec was paid off to begin with that is a big expence you wouldn't have to worry about, maybe your hubby could cut one job because of that? Good luck!!!! I would never ever ever go back to civilization if it was all up to me ;0)
     
  6. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you so much for your thoughts.

    We have a 30yr mortgage right now and have no way to pay it off before that point, unless of course we sell it! Like someone said this place really isn't ours because we owe so much for it.

    I'm really the one pushing for selling and moving. I would live FAR out personally but have a more social husband :) that feels like we live plenty far out as it is. My parents were hippies and we lived way way back in the woods (about an hour to an actual paved road when you counted in the hike out) until I was around 6 (no electricity, no running water, no indoor plumbing, ect)

    I like the yurt ok but definetly want a house! We have three girls: 12, 9, and 1 yrs old in this one room and it is tight! It is a 30ft pacific yurt. It is a bit hard to keep warm when it gets down into the teens but right now we live in a pretty mild climate (western oregon) so it works out. The nice thing about the yurt is that if we actually do decide to sell and move we can take it with us and will have instant housing at a new location.

    I guess hubby and I will have to go round and round some more ;). Like a poster that said happend to her I do worry about a time when/if things go south and we can't keep the place anyways. Oh, the security of actually owning everything!!!
     
  7. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could you sell half your property (I know you would like more) and pay off the other half and be able to stay where you are? You could still do a lot with what is left to ensure your privacy etc. My grandson's parents died and he didn't want to stay out here in the country and commute to college and work. In fact when the gas got so high it was cheaper and more convenient to rent a small apartment (which he did) and I doubt he will move back to his house here. I would say move or stay in the place YOU want to live. Rita in TN
     
  8. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Heres one thing to consider. How much are your property taxes, and do you expect them to increase much? You just can't forget about you anual rent payment to uncle sam. :grump:
     
  9. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    lets think about this for a second for a second.

    He's working 3 jobs to make ends meet
    no time to build
    unreasonable codes if you do decide to build
    city closing in.


    [sarcasm] Well It'd be a tough choice but I think I'd sell [/sarcasm]

    no way I'd work 3 jobs no matter how much I liked the place. Not to mention there is no job sucurity with places that would pay so crappy as to have to have that many jobs.

    You kids will grow up and leave anyway.

    Insurance is a scam. What other business can you think of where you pay a premium. Then when you use it you have to pay a deductable (or in the case of car insurance you also pay a rate increase, even if the accident wasn't your fault).

    No thanks, I'd rather die than see a doc.

    Sounds like the only thing you need to consider is convincing him he's killing himself for nothing. In all honesty I can't imagine he likes it there if he's havin g to work that much, when does he have time to enjoy it?


    Its much better to be poor in the country than in the city. You can certainly make it.. many others have.
     
  10. brendanolen_CA

    brendanolen_CA Active Member

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    Have your husband (or you can do it) search for the jobs he does in other areas. You never know where they could be popping up. Perhaps you would be able to find a place that is much more rural than your current property but still close enough so he could work.

    That's what we are doing: moving where the job is. My husband can transfer within the company, but finding a location that is still rural has taken time. When you find some places that may work, contact the Chamber of Commerce and have them send you information. Then you can see if there are enough activities to make all of you happy.

    Would your husband be willing to commute? Would you be willing to have closer neighbors? How about weather (if you are considering another state)?

    Doing the research ahead of time, so he can see the different areas and locations before moving, may help with your decision. He may find an area that he would love, or you may find you may be happier where you are at. As long as both of you are willing to concede on some issues, this could be an enjoyable process instead of a struggle.
     
  11. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea where you live so there's only so much one can suggest. You say you're in an area where your husband can make a good living yet you say he works 3 jobs. You say you bought a foreclosed property and fixed all of it's building code problems yet you say you don't have a house on the property. I don't know what you do on 16 acres that you feel you need more land for. You say you would have to borrow to build a house on your current property and you would have to borrow to build on the larger property you want where it would be harder to make a living.
    I would either sell what you have and buy a smaller place with a house you could pay cash for or with a small mortgage or build on your place as an investment possibly subdividing it and taking the money and paying cash for a house and land.
     
  12. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My husband really doesn't seem to mind working so much. I've never met a harder worker. That's one thing that upsets me. If he even puts 1/2 of his energies into our "homestead" then we could make anything work. Plus he's only 34 and he really his hurting his body working so much for everybody else (he's a contractor).

    I've already looked into subdividing the property and the way it's zoned now it isn't an option. It's zoned for one house for 10 acres (we have 16). We could probably fight our county to change it but they weren't friendly about the idea. Someone my husband met fought our county and it took him 5yrs to get his place re-zoned.

    I'm very worried about the property taxes. Right now we pay plenty and if we actually put a house on it they will go through the roof.

    Thank you all again for your thoughts! Although you've probably spurned me even more to fight for my side ;)

    As a side note, how do I go about finding out about the diffrent county codes? I would never ever move to a county that is as strict as mine (they are absolutely horrible!). My husband refuses to leave Oregon so I would need to search for locations in Oregon.
     
  13. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <<I have no idea where you live so there's only so much one can suggest. You say you're in an area where your husband can make a good living yet you say he works 3 jobs. You say you bought a foreclosed property and fixed all of it's building code problems yet you say you don't have a house on the property. I don't know what you do on 16 acres that you feel you need more land for. You say you would have to borrow to build a house on your current property and you would have to borrow to build on the larger property you want where it would be harder to make a living.
    I would either sell what you have and buy a smaller place with a house you could pay cash for or with a small mortgage or build on your place as an investment possibly subdividing it and taking the money and paying cash for a house and land.>>

    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be so confusing. My husband has three jobs because he wants them. He works for his father as a contractor. He's trying to start his own contracting company on the side and he also services two pools weekly.

    The property had an illegal house on it. We ended up having to convert the house back into a 4000sq ft barn (it was converted without permits). Working with the county was a joke to keep the house. We put a really horrible mobile home on the property to comply with having a legal residence so we can live here, in our yurt.

    I would hope that we wouldn't have to borrow to build somewhere else. If I made such a move I would like to at least stay with the same amount of land. I suppose I don't have a good reason for that, just do ;)
     
  14. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    You own 16 acres with a 30 year mortgage that you can sell and walk away with enough money to buy more land and build a house free and clear? What's under this land an oil well or a gold mine?
     
  15. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    Looking at this from an investment standpoint perhaps your best decision is to sell and roll. You are obviously uncomfortable with this investment and it sounds as though you have legitimate concern about future costs in holding it.

    May I suggest you consider this 16-acre property an excellent tool to get what you really want. Pat yourselves for making a wise investment, making what should be a nice profit and move on to the next that isn't such a strain for you. Once you are in escrow, look around for your next deal. Are you falling into the thinking that you're going to miss out on future profits on the 16-acres? So find another investment that will also appreciate in value as you improve/hold it. The 16-acres isn't the only property in the state that you'll ever make money on. (I'm being a bit sarcastic -- as a former realtor I've seen this way of thinking before. Trust me, you'll be happier with an investment that is more in your comfort zone and your cash flow zone. You've already shown you know how to spot a money-making opportunity - so go find your next one.)

    Since it is not your primary residence, it will be considered investment real estate. You will most likely owe capital gains (unless you do a 1031 exchange.) So calculate that as part of the cost of doing business and then go buy what you really want.

    If this is your residence, then you have two years to locate your next home purchase and another two years before you must begin building (or it could be classified as investment property and your previous sale could be subject to capital gains tax.)

    Who says you have to immediately move to your isolated location? Could you start with this being a country/summer home at first (even if your primary residence is rented in town for a little while or is a tiny place outside of town)?

    Compare school systems, opportunities for developing your children's talents (ie music instruction, sports, academic competition teams - whatever your children excel at and what you want to expose them to). Where does that fall in your priorities? Does your husband have licensing considerations if the move is out of state? And is there an area that is perhaps more of a win-win situation for your family? Can you duplicate your dream a little closer to a metropolitan area with a reasonable commute? I'm just tossing out questions to put on your checklist as you research an area. You know what specifics need to be added and how to weight the priorities for your family.

    I didn't notice where you are. This sounds like a California real estate scenerio - if you step out of the race you cannot afford to go back. Weigh that carefully, if that is the case, if you are looking to an area with little price escalation.

    Sorry this ended up so long. I've always found that if I was uncomfortable with an investment, I was better off paying attention to that discomfort by liquidating the first and finding something else that not only looked good on paper but I felt better about.

    BW
     
  16. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Beeman: no, not a gold mine or an oil field. we just bought low and land prices skyrocketed and our land is now worth much more. just like becky said, if we leave we can't ever buy here again because the land is now way way out of our price range. that is why we would have to move somewhere isolated or far out of town because the land prices would be cheaper.

    BeckyW: thank you so much for all your thought out help. I'm not really worried about future money the property would be worth. my main concern is that we have an oppurtunity to get out, if we want, and should we do that? I am the worrier of the two of us where money is concerned and I like the idea of the freedom that I feel like selling would get us. my husbands concern is the fact that if we sold and left we probably couldn't ever move back into the area.

    Thanks again everybody. You've all given me lots of things to think about!
     
  17. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    HI, I'm in Oregon, too(Yamhill County) Our land is on forest deferal, so taxes are very cheap. That's great you can take your yurt(I love yurts), you have a great house to set up without having to build right away. Our neighbors out here in the sticks have some very "creative" houses. There are ways to get around building codes, especially when you live a few miles up a four wheel drive road ;0). One old guy was living in a Home Depot shed, used propane and bought water in town and probably had rainbarrels. He supported himself by cutting firewood. You don't need a permit for a "shed". There are also a few funky dome homes up here, as well as a few people (uh, single hairy guys;0) living in small pole barns. Another lady has a converted barn-shed that's like 10 x12 with a loft that she shares with her two daughters and grandson. I guess I don't think the situation would be that difficult since you can sell and have cash to buy raw land(the hard part) and a yurt to boot. What would be your reason for ever moving "back"? On the news tonight they were talking about how the real estate market is slowing down...I'd get my money when I could. But I understand about your husband dragging his feet, do you think he would enjoy being out?
     
  18. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    the sooner you stop worrying about money and become as self sufficient as possible.. the better off you'll be.

    I quit caring about money when I realized there's very little to make and they want you to give up a vast majority of you life to get just a little.

    Not worth it..

    Sell and buy something that will make you happy. Then you can "make" your own work
     
  19. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    I'm in a similar situation and I'm moving. The money from selling my house will buy me a nice property with no mortgage to worry about. I just about need a building permit to change a lightbulb where I live now. I like working on my house and everything is above building code requirements. I just don't like having someone looking over my shoulder and wasting my time with a bunch of questions.

    Instead of spending money to have someone else do the work, I put my money into buying materials with the longest rated lifespan. That way I won't have to worry about having to replace something like a roof when I'm 80.

    :cowboy:
     
  20. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hello Again wyld thang :)

    My brother in law is from Yamhill. His Dad was the mayor once. I just read something about how you guys are becoming one the biggest wine countries in the state. I hadn't realized that. We have a lot of vineyards down here in Lane County too. After all I've been through with this property I'm scared to ever do anything without a permit.

    Our family is all here and that would probably be the reason to ever move back. I'm sure my husband would very much enjoy himself, he's that kind of guy, but he's also the kind of guy to dig a rut and stay in it.

    The real estate market I think is definetly slowing down and certainly won't keep going up like it has these last few years. There is 120acres across the highway from me that is for sale for 1.6 million. It's been for sale for a few months, I'm really curious if they will get that kind of money.

    Like I said in an earlier post my parents were hippies and people lived in all sorts of diffrent houses. I lived in an A frame that was so slanted my sister and I would roll marbles down through the living room. We also lived in a dome. My mom just told me the other day that our loft in the dome didn't even have a railing, just the ladder up to it, geez mom ya could have put in a rail to keep us safe. I guess we were ok though. One of my memories from being little was having to be checked for ticks every night. That and my mom letting us pee in a cut off milk jug when it was too rainy or dark to use the outhouse. Anyways, I've gone off topic, but all the homes you describe bring back my childhood ;)

    To pcdreams: I guess it's not money that I worry so much about is debt. I've heard that a mortgage is "good" debt but I don't see how any debt is "good"