House Update

Our landlord came over today to show us the property lines and chit chat about a purchase price. It turns out that the lot on which our house sits is quite a bit wider than we thought. In fact, because of where we have been cutting our grass and an oddly placed ditch, a good chunk of what appears to be our neighbor’s yard will actually be ours. The property behind our house extends 980 feet up a sloping hill covered in hardwoods. In total, we will be purchasing 2.3 acres along with our tiny house. In numbers, this doesn’t seem like a great deal of land. When standing in the middle of it, surrounded by hundreds of hundred-year-old trees, its seems like a whole lot to be owner of at the insignificant age of twenty-two. We also discussed with our landlord potential hiccups in the appraisal and inspection process (the house was built in 1940), the location of the septic tank, fence lines, the condition of the roof, and the possibility of building a home further back on the property in the future. This is the perfect place for us, do doubt.

Being that we have already lived here over two years and are family friends with the owner, the financial aspect of our conversation was a little awkward. He eventually spit out a price and we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was almost identical to what we wanted, but didn’t necessarily expect, to pay for the place. As it stands, we will be paying $45,000 for our home. Now, we must wait for the invisible beings who control mortgages, appraisals, and interest rates and hold our breath that everything will go smoothly and quickly.

Although I am hesitant and nervous to be saddled with a mortgage, the amount we are paying for our home will be less than what most people pay for their SUVs. Our mortgage payment will be approximately the same amount as our current rent payment. Lord willing, we will be mortgage-free before we are 30.

I cannot wait to chronicle our tiny house’s transformation, both inside and out, and all the projects that are sure to accompany being stewards of 2.3 beautiful acres of space. We are blessed beyond measure.

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Oh, the places we’ll go!

I’ve been travel hacking since December. We now have 144,669 frequent flier miles at our disposal, all of which were obtained without taking a single flight. Mileage valuation is tricky, almost uncomprehendable. Long story short, we will soon be flying to Europe or Asia for free.

Debt

“At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release. Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall relsease; Save when there shall be no poop among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.” Deuteronomy 15:1-6

How pertinent a verse. In my opinion, this verse, Old Testament as is it, represents the Biblical view of debt. It is impossible to take literally in our society; however, this passage from Deuteronomy represents the attitude that should surround issues of debt. Being in debt or being a debtor is not a condition that should be entered into without consideration of the well-being of both parties. One should enter into debt out of necessity. One should become a debtor because of a desire to help the needy, not with intentions to turn the hardships of others into a business.

Little House

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder

First Quarter of 2012

Let’s see. We are now $18,000 in debt , I recently broke down after receiving a not-so-considerate letter from the U.S. Department of Education regarding my student loans, and I foresee us purchasing a house by the end of summer.

My car broke. Again. I mean my old car. I have a brand new one now. Note: Avoid car dealerships at all costs. Never again. This thing better last FOREVER. Luckily, we were able to squeeze this car payment into Cody’s monthly income, leaving mine for savings and extra expenses. That’s how I want things to be.

About that letter. It caused me to throw things off my front porch, loudly state that I am anti-education (more on that later), and curse the U.S. Department of Education’s call center (not that they didn’t deserve it). Now, I knew that I would have to eventually repay my TEACH grant if I chose not to teach. I was okay with that proposition and knew the exact amount that I would be responsible for. Then I receive a friendly letter from the U.S. Dept. of Ed. that includes a worst case scenario total that was not labeled as such. Apparently, the $6,500 that I was awarded for my graduate studies will turn into $16,500, although the friendly call center representative was not able to explain how or why. I can’t even go there yet.

I have finally come to the realization that the $375.00 that we spend each month on rent would serve a better purpose if it was being put towards something we would actually own in the future. Now that we both have stable jobs, I am more at peace with the prospect of a small mortgage. I mean $50,000 tops. I want it paid off within four to five years. We have $8,500 in the bank for a down-payment on something. So, we recently asked our landlord if he would consider selling our current home to us. He hasn’t got back with us yet. I’m a nervous wreck. I do not cope well without predictable outcomes. More on this later.