Author Topic: Possible new home construction + renting + babymaking = ??  (Read 2902 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Well I've been a MMM reader for probably 6 or so months now, trying to make changes in some ways (and of course, stubbornly hanging on in a couple other areas). I've never posted because none of what my husband and I are doing had warranted it, but here we go.

Life Overview:
We are both 25. Make about $72k take home. My husband makes the large majority of that-I work at a non profit, which is fine. My college degree was Sociology (if only I could re-do that decision :-) ). Husband works with computers, has a lot of room for growth. We recently refinanced and currently owe about 150k on a house worth about 180. Between the private school I went to and my husband going back to school to finish his degree while working FT, we have about 59k in student loans. At the rate we're currently paying, we'll have them  (and my car, shhhhh) paid off in under three years.

Part 1:
I'm on board with the MMM ideas for the most part. I know I drive a better car than I need, but that purchase was made when my dad died (age 52, another reason to live healthier!!) and my mom was left alone 600 miles from where my husband and I, as well as my only sibling's family, live. We needed to be able to go up there on a moment's notice and I don't regret that one bit. Anyways, I am gardening to grow a bunch of our own food, trying to walk to the grocery stores, etc., not eating out nearly as much, and we have a better game plan for paying our debt down as for the last 3 months. In other words, I'm really starting to feel like we're making progress.
The hubby, on the other hand, is indifferent to a lot of what's going on. He's happy to help with some of the gardening stuff because I like it and we can afford extra payments for loans, so we're working on that. But he has some other hobbies. He likes tinkering with old cars. Which is fine, but we never have the right tools, so there are frequent expenses. Also, he currently has 2 cars and a truck (no debt on any, of course). And two trailers. And we live in the suburbs, so we're starting to look like a used car lot. Supposedly one of the cars is being sold to his brother, but time will tell. I KNOW he loves his cars, and he loves to work on the house (we have a basement bathroom remodel that has been ongoing for almost 2 years). Some of these things we were "forced" into. The truck was purchased very cheaply, the engine replaced, for probably half of what it is worth now. We bought the truck after a tree fell on our house 2 months after we moved in--we did most of the repair work ourselves because the tree cracked our foundation and the insurance company claimed that was impossible and wouldn't pay for any of that part of the repair work. So the hubby bought a chain saw, a truck & trailer, and got to work. Anyways, sorry for the rabbit trails... He isn't nearly as interested as I am in being debt free and living well below our means. He likes very nice things (The two little cars, while they are both as old or older than us, are both BMWs). His dream house would include a 2 car attached garage with a 4 car garage for working on cars, etc, elsewhere on the property.

SO. Current issue. We know some family friends that live in a fantastic neighborhood, on the outer edge of the suburb limits (Kansas City area for those who are curious). We're in the heart of the 'burbs now. We have been keeping our eye out for property to build on some day, or this interesting fixer upper house out in this gated neighborhood that is much closer to where my mom, brother's family, and husband's sister's family all live. The fixer upper isn't looking like a good plan (shady owner, plus mold/roof problems, plus been empty for 10 years). The distance to my work is about the same, just a few miles further for the hubs. We just found out that a lot in this neighborhood became county property last month and goes up for auction at the end of this month. It is a pretty big lot, gorgeous trees and a small small pond. Perfect to add a much bigger garden and even add an orchard/berry patch. IF we got this place, we'd have to sit on it for a little bit to accumulate the money to actually build there. We'd do a fair amount of the work ourselves, and we have family members in construction who could assist us with parts. So it'd be cheaper than just hiring a full out contractor (we also have a very close family friend who is a general contractor and would give us his contacts. We've run this idea by him before.) Husband eventually wants to move on to a bigger lot and keep our place now as a rental. So this could work. I'm unsure if A-buying property is a good idea, even if it is cheaper because it was foreclosed on, B-If we bought it, should we keep our house and keep renting it out or should we just sell?
The other side of this is more personal........ We are 25. He wants to be done having kids by the time we're 30. We want 2, MAYBE 3, some day. I don't feel quite ready for that now, but will we ever? IF we bought property and were going to take some time to build our own place, as well as trying to pay off some other debt, what kind of stress would we be getting ourselves into? We could pay most stuff off and start having kids in a year or two, but if we went the home building route, I'm guessing that would slow our early payment plan some, let alone the kiddo thing. How stupid would it be to be building a house while pregnant? Would the chaos be overwhelming? What if we had the kiddo before the house was finished? For proximity purposes, my mom would let us live there while we built, but a new baby in the mix of all that? And the potential of me wanting to stay home with my baby, therefore losing my (only 27k annually, pretax) income?

I feel like this question/explanation is all kind of messy.... So if you have questions, please ask away. I will clarify where I can. Any general thoughts or experiences to consider would be helpful. I'm trying to focus on a logical path, here, but I know I'm being clouded by a fair bit of emotions, with the baby makin' issue involved.

Thanks for any insight.

P.S. sheesh, sorry I wrote a book on here!


  • Bristles
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    • Gary Borton
Re: Possible new home construction + renting + babymaking = ??
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 12:34:17 PM »
You're not going to like my reply, but I'm going to be honest.

The obvious things to point out are you bought a house that you already want to leave, your hubby went back to school, you aren't sure when you want your kids, and you want a do over on your chosen degree.  None of these things are bad individually, but it shows a lot of mind changing.

You are 25, I don't think you are ready to be on your second house (not a rule, but a rule of thumb).

Relieve yourself of debt, and then readdress the question.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Possible new home construction + renting + babymaking = ??
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 12:56:39 PM »
I don't not like your reply... It's kind of what I was expecting.

I don't really even want to leave our house, necessarily. He wants it and I think a bigger garden would be fun, but that's about it. Husband had to finish his degree for a promotion that increased our income by more than $20k annually. He hadn't finished school when we got married. Mind changing wasn't involved, at least in that case. When he started college originally, long before we met (he was 17 and moved across the state for school-not wise on many levels, but it is done), he switched his major a bunch of times and then finally took the time to figure out what he wanted. That's when we met and got married, then he finished. I finished the degree I cared about but had a pretty bad job situation right out of that. I wasn't wise enough, at the time, to pick a degree based on high paying job prospects. I just wanted to help people. Now my job is fine-low stress, mildly entertaining, but not a lot of extra earning potential.

My priority has been the debt--I'm just working on trying to either help my husband see that these other things aren't good options for us or figure out how to make some of what he wants work in a way that is most beneficial for us.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Possible new home construction + renting + babymaking = ??
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 01:00:06 PM »
I second that.

I can seriously relate to much of what you wrote: desire to have a little land, love of tinkering on cars, desire for a many-car-garage, desire to build my own house, etc, etc, etc.  I've done much of that... but not in my 20s.  It's not that there's anything wrong with doing it in your 20s (if you have the resources), but I was in my 40s before I had put aside enough to pull that all together.  Even then, I had to cut things along the way.  (The 3 car garage was one of the first things on the cutting room floor.)

You have LOTS of time to work it out.  Dollars put in savings in your 20s are the most awesome, hardworking dollars around. 


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Possible new home construction + renting + babymaking = ??
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 06:10:19 AM »
I would recommend paying off the student loan debt and then taking stock.  Imagine what you could afford house-wise if your student loans and current mortgage were paid off.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Possible new home construction + renting + babymaking = ??
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 08:26:32 AM »
Is there any particular reason to be done having kids at 30? That seems like an arbitrary age. Would you be staying home with them, particularly if you have 2 - 3, or putting them in daycare and going back to work? If the latter, I would research full time daycare costs for an infant and add that to your budget. In our area, it's $1200 a month. Can your budget take that kind of hit? You could try building a house, but don't plan on it. You don't know how pregnancy will affect your body. You could be fine, but on the other hand you could end up with HG and so sick that you can't even keep water down and have to be hooked up to an IV. I think you and your spouse need to have a heart to heart and figure out what you really want. You'll both have to compromise probably.