Thoughts of the Future


With spring I’ve been filled with thoughts of the future. What do I do next? Where do I go? Do I stay here forever or what?

I honestly figure I’m stuck in this area at least until Katie turns 18. If I move I’ll be forced back into that damned drive again and I really don’t want that. I don’t know what I’ll do after she turns 18 but that’s 6 years away, so what now?

I’ve been mulling this over for a while. If I were to stay in this house for 6 more years I will spend $18,000 in rent alone. I can buy a house for that.

homeIn fact, here’s one in the county that is a foreclosure selling for less than 10 grand. The perfect size for a single mother on a shoestring.

Of course, right now I don’t have 10 grand but that’s okay. It gives me something to think about.

There have always been small places out in the county that sell for very little. Mostly they have older fixtures and need cosmetic work. I don’t mind older fixtures in the slightest and can do basic carpentry so that wouldn’t be an issue. A little house like this could be fixed up and either be a permanent home for me – or an investment that could help pay for the next step in my life.

It sure would be a lot better than paying rent for years and years.

I figure if I can come up with $15,000-$20,000 I can buy a little place for cash money and have enough left over for the move and a few repairs or modifications. It would sure be better than paying out $3,000 a year for something I don’t own and never will.

So my next goal is two-pronged. Any investment I make here (appliance, furniture, etc.) will be done with an eye for using it in a future home which will be chosen on the basis of price and small size, with price being the primary consideration.

Any extra money will be saved up toward the goal of home ownership.

With this in mind I will have to keep my van because house prices are much higher in town than they are out in the county. I don’t want a house payment for the rest of my life, so country living it is. The pup will be bigger by then to help provide protection if needed and I can invest in a pistol if I feel the need. I grew up shooting weapons and pulled a brief stint in the Army so I know how to use and maintain one.

I’ll miss living in town but I won’t miss paying rent in the slightest. In fact, I think I would enjoy being able to fix things up with an eye to permanency. There is something about planting an apple tree or a blueberry bush, knowing that when it bears fruit I will be the one to enjoy it and a magic to the thought of owning my own home again – this time with land included.

I don’t know how I’m going to pull this off but somehow it feels right.

Any ideas?

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

14 thoughts on “Thoughts of the Future

  1. Marcy Drummonds

    Annie, this sounds perfect! It makes so much sense. Have you read Possum Living? Also, One Acre and Security? There are some low cost ideas in both books that might appeal to you as extra sources of income, with your own land, and being out of town limits. Best, best, best of luck on this new journey!!

    1. Annie Post author

      Dear Marcy,
      I have a copy of “Possum Living” but I’ve not heard of “One Acre and security.” Who is it by, it sounds like a book I would love! If you know of any other books that can help, please send the info my way!

  2. Heidi

    You can do it!! Home ownership is a fantastic goal and, I think, in the long run a very frugal choice. Imagine life with no rent or house payment…I’m working towards the same thing right now. I live in California so housing prices aren’t nearly that reasonable. I’ll probably have to relocate. I’ve found decent sized, 2 bedroom houses out of state for $4,500. What?! I’m paying $1,500 per month for rent!

    Maybe you could watch a kid after school to bring in extra money. One that is old enough that you just need to provide basic supervision, a snack, and homework help but not one-on-one care. Find a lead for a kid that goes to your dd school (is she still in elementary school?) or a school that is close enough that the child could walk to your place.

    Write another book and dedicate all of the proceeds from the sales of that book to your “I’m buying a house for cash” fund. Set up a separate account (ING is great for that), do the math on your royalty checks to figure how much that book sold and deposit all of its proceeds directly to that account. Keep it separate from the money you use for your monthly expenses.

    You can see if your county has a Dept. of Aging. They hire people to go into homes and provide basic care for the elderly. Some need a lot of help and some only need a little. It could be anything from cooking and washing laundry to helping them run errands. The harder cases would need bathing and bathroom care but you could just not take those jobs. You would be able to do it during the day while Katie is at school a few days a week…

    I’m using a credit card that gives cash rewards to generate a little extra money each month. I only use it to buy things I would have already purchased…groceries, gas etc. I pay the bill in full on the 1st and 15th so I never incur interest fees. My expenses are high so I use my card a lot. I make $50 about every 6 weeks.

    I have a family member who raised a lot of money baking fresh bread. She baked a huge batch, took the loaves around for people to see and smell and sold all those loaves, then took orders for weekly deliveries from then on out. She was able to pay for a trip to Europe with her proceeds.

    1. Annie Post author

      Dear Heidi,
      Thosa for the ideas! I’ve put out some feelers with my old boss at a restaurant where I used to work to maybe take in some part-time hours and I can also take in computer work if I want. I’m debating on getting some cards at VistaPrint for that purpose. I can also sit with the elderly and work if needed so that is also an option.

      I already have an online savings account as well as a Microplace account to invest in – my only concern is that I’m legally limited in the amount of assets I can own. I’ve heard that one can stay in the lines of the law by owning certain collections like gold coins but I haven’t researched it yet.

  3. Socal

    I cannot even imagine being able to find a home for under 20k. That would be such a dream for me…and make so much sense to switch from being a renter to an owner. You have to blog about this, I really cannot even imagine such a thing to ever exist! As it is, your rent for 6 years…gosh…that’s wonderful also!

    1. Annie Post author

      Dear Social,
      You can do anything you set your mind to if you are willing to work and accept challenges. My last home (the lot was rented) costed me $100 and some furniture in trade, so I know I can do this. Anyone can. Maybe it is because I grew up watching my parents do this but to me it isn’t hard to find them if you know where to look.

      When I was a kid my father located a nice 2-bedroom house in the counrty (we had an acre or so of land with a detached garage) for $18,000 on land contract. Of course property values have climbed since then but even at that it was considered a steal for what we got. Heck, once we bought several acres in the mountains for $7,000. As I said, you just have to be patient and know where to look. 🙂

    1. Annie Post author

      Dear Megyn,
      I’ve had several friends who have purchased homes and land for less than $20k. It is simply a matter of knowing where (and how) to look. They don’t get as much advertising so you have to scout around, read discount papers (we call them “shoppers” here) and do a lot of networking. This is one reason why I have never purchased a new car – to me, $20 is the price of a house and I can’t personally see tossing away that much money on something that is going to lose a significant portion of its value before the ink is dry on the title. To me it makes more sense to use that money to purchase a home that you can rent out for additional money instead.

  4. diana

    Annie, may I suggest you look around to see if someone might be offering a ‘lease to purchase’? They’re not terribly common, but they do exist and they give you an option to make monthly payments (just like rent) which apply to the purchase of the home, so you don’t have to seek a loan or try to figure out how to come up with a big lump payment. Since you’re handy with repairs, it might even be that something is available that needs some minor work that you could ‘cash in on’ so to speak. Just be sure to get a trustworthy lawyer to prepare your paperwork and represent YOU. Well worth it. Just a thought. Good luck in whatever you decide!

    1. Annie Post author

      Dear Diana,
      I didn’t mention it in the post but that is also an option in this area. I have to save up a down payment first so it is time to count the pennies!

  5. Karen

    Hi Annie,
    I hope all this works out for you sooner than you can even imagine! I’m just thinking though that you do need to be very careful how much assets you accumulate for as long as you need to stay on gov’t assistance. It’s unfortunate that they limit you so much, but as long as your daughter needs the insurance you might not be able to save too much.

    1. Annie Post author

      Dear Karen,
      The assets are a concern of mine as well. I know there is a limit on how much I can own so I have to figure out how to best handle this. There has to be a way!

  6. Bryin

    Annie- The gov can not tell what assets you have in cash, not in the bank. There is some risk but if you need gov assistance it is the only way. Do not buy gold, the price can fluctuate a great deal, which means you could lose a bunch of money. I suggest if you save cash put it in a safety deposit box at a bank or credit union. They will tell you that you can’t put cash in it but no one can look inside but you so they never know what is inside.

    1. Annie Post author

      That is a very good point Bryin. It is also one of the options I am considering. I don’t want to be dishonest but I want to keep medical coverage on Katie at the least. I had thought it was all taken care of but it was not – and the cost is prohibitive even for a healthy child.

      There have been predictions that gold will steadily rise *but* some have also said that gold coins and such may be outlawed for some reason. I’ve not done the research but it is enough to make me nervous.

      Thanks for your input! Please share your opinions any time!


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