Too move or not too move...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Conni, May 17, 2005.

  1. Conni

    Conni Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2005
    So how far would you go to be debt free... I know many of you are already there. What did you give up to live on your land. Its something we discuss around here quite a bit. But last night my husb mentioned (*again*) what he thinks is a good plan... The truth is I am scared to do it! LOL I am scared of change I guess. Not sure if its the right thing to do or not. It is fun to talk about it but to actually do it is a different story. Have any of you felt like this before?

    We live in a very nice town on a 2 acre lot. Built a beautiful house here 5 yrs ago in a beautiful subdivision on a cul de sac street. You know how much work you put into a place in 5 yrs, right?! Dh has built a huge deck, gorgeous privacy fence with brick pillars that match the house, planted some beautiful trees, our grass is finally how we want it, landscaping is gorgeous, above ground pool is in, etc.... We are a block from the elem school and we have good schools. Dh is 10 min from his work. We are 5 min from a brand new Wal-Mart... Oh and lets not forget we have cable TV and cable modem .. Shaking my head at the thought of going back to dial up access. lol!!! We are spoiled now!! Let me say that again- we are really spoiled right now!! ;) Ok you get the idea of what I will be giving up to do this.

    Here's the plan and tell me if this sounds crazy...or if there is a better way to do this. We recently bought 91 acres 30 min from here. (20 miles from dh work and i am a full time mom/wife) We could sell our house in town make a huge profit right now (possibly), and then pay off our land and everything else we have. Dh knows of a guy thats wanting to get rid of a double wide mobile home he used on his lake property for awhile... DH wants to buy it and move it to our land and live in it while we are building a house (we would pay for the house as we built it as to hopefully not have a pymt in the end, so you see this could take awhile!!) . This would be a HUGE wake up call as we are use to a large home right now... I am afraid we might kill each other??? Now on the bright side we could go ahead and get our fencing up, work on the outbuildings, and get some livestock for me and the kids to raise... We could live onsite while building- so we wouldnt have to drive back and forth everyday, etc... The schools are small country schools--I might be tempted to home school at this point. I am not sure -- depends on how my kids feel about that. They may really enjoy the small schools?

    This is the 3rd time my dh has mentioned this idea and for some reason I freeze up at the thought of actually doing it... I dont know. One thing that *really* bugs me is the double wide trailer. Its hard to get rid of those mobile homes once you get one. (my ex and I had one and when we bought our first house-- we could NOT get rid of that mobile home. :( We ended up reallly screwed on that deal)

    Ok, so let me have it. What do you think. Do you have better suggestions that I might pass on to my dh??

    I do know that I could get use to less TV and slow internet access will only make me use the comp less which is certainly *not* a bad thing!! I am sure the drive to town we would get use to.

    I did have a flat tire out there the other day in our truck and my son and I were stuck there for quite awhile waiting on someone to come change the tire-- saw a big snake while there and i flipped out. At that point I had to wonder if maybe the country life isnt for me!! lol
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    It sounds like the question is not what you SHOULD do, but what you WANT to do. And, only you can decide what you WANT to do!

    Changing a tire is really easy, by the way.

    I know, I know, that is one of the things that men AUTOMATICALLY do! But, for your own peace of mind I suggest you have some one show you. I learned when I was 16 and it is easy. You don't have to be large, either. I am 5'2".

    The ONLY difficult part is if the nuts are on too tightly for us small people to unscrew. Because of this I put a short piece of pipe in the back. If you slide it over the wrench, it will unscrew everything REALLY easily!

  3. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    You're probably asking the wrong crowd if you want an unbiased answer. lol

    If I were in your situation, I would have been long gone. 91 acres, your dh would still have an easy 20 minute commute. That's a dream life. We bought 17 acres and dh drives well over an hour so we can have our dream. But then, I think of the house you're describing (your current house) and it gives me the creeps. Life in a neighborhood, in a nice cul de sac, blech. I'd be sooo getting out of there.

    But, you and your family have to decide what you want. Everyone has their own desires and you can't find out what yours are by asking here.

    My one piece of advice is this. If you think you want to do this, don't wait for the time to be perfect or for the house to be built or whatever. Your kids are growing up fast and if you want this for them, then do it now while they can still grow to appreciate it. I personally think this a great way for kids to grow up and I would do anything to get us there. But that's me. If it's you too, then go for it.

    Oh, and I would sweat the mobile home thing. When you have so much outside, the size of your house matters a lot less than when you live in a neighborhood, where it's all about the size of your house.
  4. Conni

    Conni Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Well, I guess I did sound like a ditz about the tire-- I have actually changed a flat before. However, not on this truck and not in the midle of a grown up pasture which is where I hit the sharp stump and all the air went out within ohhhhh 1/2 a second!!! :) For the life of me I could not figure out how to lower the spare down from underneath the backend. And after seeing the big fat copperhead laying in the pasture on my way to the barn I wasnt about to lay down in the grown up pasture to get under the truck and figure it out!!! I am terrified of copperheads. Had it been a black snake I could have got myself together and braved the ticks and grown up pasture. I know its ridiculous...

    As for what I *want* to do. Well, this is what I want to do I am just scared of the change?? Does that make sense? My youngest child was born in this house he has never lived anywhere else. So I guess that makes me emotionally attached. Plus when we bought our lot it was pasture basically... We have turned it into such a pretty place. I know we can do it again at our new place. But it is so much work, time, money, and well... I dont know. I guess I just needed to get all my worried out on the table. I think we should go for it. I know alot of people we know will think we are crazy! :)

    I should add that there are only about 15 -20 acres of pasture on our place--- the rest of it is steep hillside and tree covered. Its a pretty cool place. When we go out there I dont want to leave it. Very peaceful until dusk when the pack of coyotes on the other ridge start yelping and howlin. ;)
  5. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Sounds like a good case for having both. Work out a plan to keep the city place and somehow develop the country place over a longer time frame. That way if the country place doesn't work out for some reason, you are in the same boat as when you started.

    I would avoid getting into anything like a house trailer if possible. Better to build something using your own labor over a longer time frame. Plus a longer time horizon will let you see if you really are cut out for the country. Would not sell the city place.

    Having both has many advantages.
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Ok, I'm going to land firmly on the side of "stay where you are." I have a friend in the sheep biz who did exactly as your husband describes, minus the mobile home... moved into a cabin with plans to complete the house as means (and time) allowed. That was.. 10 YEARS AGO. TEN. The house has a roof on it, but no windows yet. And we're not talking about a non-motivated couple here. But their children didn't grow up in a house. They grew up in the cabin spending every waking hour of their childhood on the house.

    Let's just say it wasn't as much fun for them as you might imagine.

    And they still don't have a house.

    Now, if this were my life, I'd buy the trailer figuring that it is expendable, and I'd rent the thing to the most reliable tenant I could find. I'd use the income from the rental to improve the property. Put up the barn, fencing, even the house, on the rental income. And, if you've the heart for it... rent the new house if you're not ready to move in.

    But steps away, given gas prices, from work, school, and shopping? In a house you like? Would the kids be expected to change schools, and is that desireable?

    Nope... I'd use the property to produce income and build on that. In a perfect world you'd end up with your house and infrastructure built and largely debt free, PLUS your current house which you could either sell, or again, turn into rental property.

    I've said it before: the dirty little secret of many a successful farmer is rental income which pays the taxes and fixed expenses while sheltering that income under depreciation.
  7. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 18, 2002
    SE Washington
    I was like you when my wife wanted to move. I didn't want to take the risk, but now I'm glad I did. We have 7 acres, a few cows chickens and lots of room. We were going to move back into town since we both commuted 25 miles one way. Then my wife decided to quit working and stay at home while our last two kids are still there, she gives piano lessons and she makes as much as she was bringing home. Finding small acreages here (less than 100 acres) is impossible. We have discussed moving back go MT and buying my Mom's farm (200 acres) and building a house there after the kids move.

    If you would be debt free or close to it after the sale of your house I would go for it. If things go bad there's always time to start over.

  8. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    I think it depends on how cheap that doublewide is delivered and set on your property. If your finances allow it you could split your time between the places. That would give you a taste without making the leap all at once. The distances you describe aren't that big.

    Use the doublewide as either a rental (get income flow that allows you to invest in the property beyond your current carrying cost) or as a place to stay while you keep your house. I'm with MorrisonCorner on this one.

    As others have pointed out, it sounds like you aren't sure rural life is what you really want. There are ways to minimize your risks but if you aren't happy with it then you simply aren't.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    One way to look at all your hard work on the house you are in is that the profit on the house pays wages for all the years you worked on it. So you got to enjoy it and now comes the payoff.

    Now on the mobile, figure how much interest/rent you would pay for a place to live during the time you are building if you were not using the mobile. That is the max you should spend on the mobile, including removing it from the property when you no longer need it.
  10. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

    May 28, 2003
    We didn't always live in the country but we sure do love it.
    I stay very busy with yard work, gardening, canning and everything else that goes with living in the sticks. :D

    I'm still terrified of the copperheads, rattlers and cottonmouths. I just watch where I walk.
    One other option you would have with the doublewide. Once the new house is built, you could rent out the trailer for a little extra income. You could move it if you don't want neighbors too close.
    I know the kids may dislike the thought of leaving friends and their School but I bet once you get out there it would change. Get some chickens, cows, goats....ect...the kids would have a blast. When my Grandchildren come to visit they stay so busy playing (all my animals are so tame, it's like a petting zoo) they lose interest in sitting in front of the TV or playing video games. Even most nights, they colored and played games, no TV.

    I always thought kids raised in the country seemed just a little happier and busier. :D Funny thing about living in the country, always seems to be something to do.

    Oh, some of those small country schools are good ones. Go in and check them out.

    I can't get anything but dial up out here. It's not bad. A little slower but not a big deal.
    No cable out here but we have a Dish. My husband loves to watch DIY and HGTV. There are days we don't even turn on the TV.
    During the summer months we go for walks or sit on the porch, sip iced tea and listen to the birds and cows. We also play cards or scrabble quite a bit.

    If it were me, I would have no problem living in a doublewide till we built a house. My Grandfather raised 9 kids in 3 rooms, had one outhouse and they had to walk to the branch to get water.

    The main thing is really asking yourself if you would be happy. You seem to love the home and life you have. Maybe there is a way to keep your home for 1 year and put the doublewide out there for a trial run to see how you like it?
    For us, this is the best life there is but some people just prefer the city. better.
  11. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 25, 2004
    I find myself agreeing with what has already been written.

    When we made our leap last year, DW and I had a similar discussion. DW had dreamed of a log cabin in the woods her entire life and asked "What if we move and I end up hating it?". Yes, it's kind of scary to leave what's familar and jump into something you where you often feel dumber than a rock. My response to DW was to imagine the worst case scenario: we move and she truly hates it. Then we would simply move back to the city and she would know that we went for the brass ring and it just wasn't right for us - which is better than spending the rest of our lives wondering "what if?"

    Turns out we love it. Our kids love it. DW and I were watching our girls last night at the 4-H Horse and Pony meeting completely amazed at how much we've all changed in less than a year.

    Now if I could just learn to back up with the horse trailer..... :haha:
  12. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2004
    I think someone a while ago on this board stated it right - everyone has
    their own level of homesteading. Some want to live off the grid, others
    are more in between.

    I think beyond the leaving your house, you really need to take inconsideration
    these things before even comtemplating it any more:

    Does hubby bring this up because he is not happy doing what he is doing
    for a living, paying big bills for your house with all the goodies?

    Do you want hubby to work another 10-15 years to pay off the mortgage
    just in time to have to keep working to make the $$ for college?

    If you have access to a free doublewide, i would do it in a second. Home isn't
    about how big or fancy a house is.

    I only ask these questions because we currently live in a suburb (we do hate it), we have sold our house, bought land in another state, he got a job there and we are building a house that is within our budget. Hubby knows he has
    to do his type of carerr for a while and will then join me in whatever business i start (a bakery probably).

    I guess my point is is that life is too short, to me it doesn't make sense to work
    your life away and paying for something when you could arrange it so that you could live within your means. A fancy house can be nice, but at what cost?
    Kids won't notice the difference if you are excited they will be. Many people
    live happily in doublewides, apartments, small cabins.

    Also, you could either rent out doublewide later or have it for guests.

    If the real problem is that you don't want to wait for your house for many years,
    maybe hubby would settle for a small mortgage to have it done.

    I would bet your hubby is between 40-45 and thinks it's a useless money-go-round that he is on!
  13. Conni

    Conni Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2005
    I couldnt get back on here yesterday. Good to see the board back up and running today. :)

    Thanks again for all the opinions!! I should probably mention, I was raised on a farm most of my life. So I know I could handle it and get use to it once out there. I will never get use to copperheads tho. It is nice not to see them in town!! It has been years since I have lived out on a farm. I do think I could probably get use to it again. But I do want to be realistic and discuss the move thoroughly and make sure I have thought about *everything* very clearly.

    My parents moved me around alot when I was a kid. (changed schools *alot*) So, I am now anal about moving my kids. However, after talking with them about possibly moving-- all 3 boys are in favor of moving to the country!!! I am so pleased. I talked to them all seperately so they couldnt feed off of each other. All 3 of them on their own said they thought it was a good idea. So that is a relief.

    Selling this house... well, I will just have to get over the emotionally attached / sentimental part of that. I am trying to look at it as a good business decision. Now is a good time to sell around here. And if we get out of it what we think we can... well, then we can pay off everything we have, like I said. That seems like a *great* financial decision to me.

    I am thinking *if* we went with the double wide, we could rent it out when we are done with it (after we got the new house finished). Or maybe we could sell it and get some money back out of it. (i doubt it- but its a thought lol) If we went ahead and moved there I could already be growing food and raising livestock while we build the house. That seems like a good thing.

    The only thing for me to do now is talk with dh about it some more and see what happens. :) I also need to work on my fear of snakes too. And really large spiders, and bees, and wasps, and coyotes, and ticks... ROFL!!! I am joking (sort of). ;)

    Thanks again everyone! I'll keep you posted !
  14. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    I agree that it does sound like a good business decision and a good life decision.
    Being mortgage-free is a huge accomplishment and would free you of so much hassle and commitment.

    I'm glad your kids are excited too. I think that's another good reason to do it sooner rather than later. The older the kids get, the less likely they will be happy about moving, even though they may be happier in the end, once they were out there. Strike while the iron is hot!

    As for the double-wide, you'll adjust and it will only be for a short time. Just keep your eye on the new finished house.

    As for the snakes, spiders, ticks, etc.... Get some guineas!
  15. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    north central Pennsylvania
    In my 39 years of marriage all I can say is ..I wish I had listened to my husband a bit more. Now that sometimes isn't true with all marriages so... Your husbands idea sounds like the end of a dream many of us homesteaders now want. All the ideas given to you have been good. Listen and think and with each other about them. But...perhaps the stress is going to be less on your husband and you know...If you don't like it after a couple of can always move back into "town" and say you gave it your best shot. There is no shame in doing that. The more gadgets and toys we have..the less time it seems we have to spend time with the family. When I look at my life now and what I don't use and have..I don't miss them at all. Family looks at us as nuts..right off the tree..but you know..I would like to live with even less. Perhaps because the last few days haven't been too good for me either. My favorite goat just died..hate my job..feel tired...and hubby is about ready to drop from his many hours a week job..and we aren't getting any younger. Years will fly by and you might have wished you had at least...tried this idea. My go for it !!! Love every single minute of inconvience it brings..changes for the good and bad and learn an awful lot and grow with that. Love you husband for wanting to provide his family with a debt free live style without asking you to work or leave your children all day. Change is often good...why not give it a try !! Let us know..OK !!??
  16. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2002
    Not sure where you live, but I truly believe that this economy is going to get ugly and being somewhere away from a town and being out of debt will be a true blessing. As far as the double wide. Dh and I lived in a small travel trailer for 2.5 years while building our house and the house isn't even done------although we are living in it. All the sacrifice was worth it. Put the DW someplace where you can sell it and a little piece of property 2-3 acres and carry the note for additional income when you are done.

    Always remember that the fear of loss is greater than the hope for gain and that is why lots of people never take a chance and never experience some of life's greatest adventures.
  17. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

    Oct 14, 2004
    From someone who is doing what you want to do.......FORGET the trailer. Get a modular home, they even come half built. We got ours as an unfinished cape and are doing the basement and the upstairs. You get used to the lack of room, it just motivates you to finish the upstairs.
    Trailers have no value, the kind of people who would rent it you don't really want around much.

    With a wal-mart 5 minutes from you, I would be already gone!
  18. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    I guess I just must be wierd, I think you are crazy to NOT do it.

    I owned a double wide/ modular once. it was no different than a house so far as living in it (except mine was brand new and I was used to living in old houses and apartments). they don't appreciate like a house does, of course.

    will your area allow double wides/modulars? mine only allows them on foundations. they don't allow trailers except in parks or for elderly parents. they will also allow them for up to 3 years while you are building a house.

    how much is the double wide? will it cost you more than renting a place while you build?

    how big is it? are there enough bedrooms? if you live in a huge house it might take awhile to get used to the smaller house but you'll appreciate the smaller utilities! just because it is a double wide doesn't necessarily mean it is small, my sils parents live in a three bedroom that is around 1800 sq ft.

    think about how much your mortgage is. you have to earn that mortgage PLUS the taxes paid on the income (if your mortgage is $1000 you probably have to make 1300 or more to have 1000 left is what I mean). just imagine what you could do with that mortgage money each month in terms of building your new dream home. wow, would love to be in your shoes! 90 acres and debt free, wow.

    the smaller schools wouldn't bother me at all, in fact just the opposite (but then my dream is to live in podunk!).
  19. Conni

    Conni Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Mel, my parents live in a double wide now. They hate it-- but it has been a good thing for them!!! It sits on 18 acres. I think they will eventually build a house and rent it out for some extra income. So we are familiar with what they are like. Plus like I said, my ex and I had a mobile home too at one point. That wasnt a good thing- buts that is another post altogether! lol

    Anyway, we dont know how much this guy is asking for it. He wanted the lake property it is sitting on right now-- he told my husb last weekend that he plans to *doze* the trailer and build a nice lake cabin. Ok... so I am thinking he can just give it to us!!! LOL Yeah right...I told dh to ask him some more questions about it. Maybe we'll go look at it in the next week or two. I wouldnt pay much for it I can tell you that!

    My dh is 47 btw. Someone above was guessing his age at 40-45. You were right on! :)

    As far as us renting the double wide later on... well I have a mentally disabled bil that it might come in handy for at some point if his roommate kicks him out something. ;) And my inlaws (heaven help me!!) all seem to be in LIMBO. So at some point they may need to live in it. We could always use it as a guest house too I suppose. Or when our kids get older/marry (oldest will graduate in 5 yrs!!) maybe they need to use it while they are starting out in life...

    My mind has just ran 90 miles an hour this week. ugh... I do think I am over the initial fear of moving. Like I said my kids are all about it!! So that was a big relief for me. I need to quit being so hard on myself. lol

    Thank you so much for all the replies!! It helped alot to hear all your thoughts and ideas!
  20. OldFarmGal

    OldFarmGal Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    You have to both want it, or you'll end up hating each other.