Author Topic: Questions on Housing, Cars  (Read 4759 times)

sam0176

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Questions on Housing, Cars
« on: May 08, 2013, 02:20:52 PM »
Hello, I'm new here and have started to really take in this message of financial independence over the past couple months.  I've got a few questions on my most troublesome issues with my finances, cars & housing.  Some things to note about me: I travel a lot, camping most of the time (I'm an avid rock climber).  I work from the road.  I still want/need a place, however, to come home to.

My relevant/current financial situation is thus:
$13,500 on credit cards @ 6% (will be paid off by August)
$17,250 on 2010 Prius loan @ 2.25%
no savings
Between $3800-$10k monthly take home pay (I am hourly self employed)
Currently paying $550 / month nice room rental, but looking to change that as per my question below.


Questions:

Housing: I own a home in Portland Oregon, which I rent out.  Rent covers all costs of the house, including maintenance, so it's kind of an aside to my own living situation.  I now live in Utah and am trying to decide if I should rent a room (which is what I'm currently doing), or buy a motorhome and live in it (I have a place to park it).

Room Rent Possibility: $325 / month in a shared housing situation.  Not an ideal living situation for me, but it's cheap.  I'm 37 and like my privacy and own space.  It's in a great location, however.

Motorhome Possibility: ~$480 / month (this includes utilities to operate it, a monthly payment on a loan @ 4.25%, rental for the parking space).  This is in a decent location with a decent motorhome (nothing fancy).  I like the privacy and ownership of this idea, but not in love with the hassle.  I do travel a lot, so this also gives me freedom to move to a new city should I choose (although for now I like it here).  Note that while some people think motorhomes are for vacation, I'm perfectly fine living in one- it's a step up from tent camping, which I do about 60 days per year.

My question on the housing: is it better to spend a bit more per month on a motorhome where I'll actually have something to sell when I'm ready/done with this phase of my life, or just flush the money down the toilet in room rental?


The second part of my post has to do with cars.  I've pissed most of my life's earnings to date away on cars (racing, 4x4, camping vans, etc.).  I'm past the allure/fun of cars now- now it's all about practicality and cheapness.  I ride my bike when I'm in town, however with my travel for rock climbing, I put the miles on.  I drive about 30k miles per year.  I currently own a 2010 Prius, with a loan balance of $17250 @ 2.25%.  I bought it expressly because it's the best choice in MPG, and it has plenty of room to cram all my climbing gear.  I'm wondering, however, if it wouldn't be better to sell it and pick up a used Toyota Echo for around $6500 with low miles (<75k).  This does end up costing me an additional $1000 per year in todays fuel costs.  Is it really worth going to a car that, while cheaper, costs so much extra to drive, is older, and doesn't fit my needs as well?  I'd need a loan initially on the Echo, but I could potentially pay the loan off within a year.  The Prius loan, I don't see paying off for another two years minimum.

Thanks for all the great information on the website, and all those that respond to forum posts like this one.  I'm just starting this journey and I'm psyched to see where it leads!

Thanks,
Sam

Done by Forty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Tempe, AZ
    • Done by Forty
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 02:25:54 PM »
Does the $480/month (or some portion of it) include the monthly payment to buy a motorhome?  If so, what's the actual purchase price?

It's likely you could do better with another vehicle -- perhaps a traditional engine that still gets good gas mileage.  Late 90's - 2001 Civic or Corolla might do the trick.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 04:45:26 PM by Done by Forty »

Joet

  • Guest
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 04:38:45 PM »
motorhome sounds a bit ridiculous to me based on your situation. Is it even possible to get laid in one of those things?

sam0176

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 04:58:01 PM »
Done By Forty, the $480 / month on the motorhome does include the payment for a loan on the rig as well as all other costs associated with living in it.  Actual purchase price would be about $19-20k.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 12:26:57 PM by sam0176 »

Done by Forty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Tempe, AZ
    • Done by Forty
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 08:30:48 AM »
It's possible the motorhome has some additional costs we might not be contemplating (opportunity costs on whatever down-payment is required, sales tax on $20k, insurance, etc.).  Some of those also apply to the rental situation (e.g. - insurance, opportunity cost on deposit) but would seemingly be smaller and would still tip the scales in the rental's favor.   I'd definitely go with the housemate situation.  But I'm very pro-housemate.  There are benefits of living with others that balance out the inconveniences.

As for the Prius, I'd downgrade in car to something that's comparably economical but has a much smaller upfront cost.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3375
  • Location: France
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 08:54:56 AM »
I'd 100% go for a class B RV. Or you could buy a camper and decently economical tow vehicle.

You could even go the route of buying a small piece of land and setting up shop there.

I know loans are generally a bad idea, but RVs tend to last, it's ALMOST like buying a house (and many do fulltime). And as you say, you can pick it up and take it with you.

If you're making that much money, spending $500 a month is not an issue, IMHO. Freedom!

I would look for something slightly less expensive than $20k though. And yeah, lose the Prius if you can do so economically, Civics and Corollas are the way to go, manual trans.

Have a look at tosimplify.net - he's gone from a Ford class B to a Chevy I guess, now he's rebuilding a Vanagon to his own spec with a new engine... If I was a free man I'd be living in a van, I'm sure!

NB: I might be biased ;)

Done by Forty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Tempe, AZ
    • Done by Forty
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 09:33:06 AM »
Agreed on the tosimplify blog and lifestyle.  It seems like a great way to live and in some ways we are splitting hairs over two very small monthly costs for living expenses.  Both are reasonably small, so personal preference dictates a lot of it.

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 01:27:50 PM »
motorhome sounds a bit ridiculous to me based on your situation. Is it even possible to get laid in one of those things?

Men with a lot to offer often don't need fancy digs to get laid.  Sometimes you post such trollish comments.

I have a travel trailer I spend summers in, but there is quite a bit of upkeep compared to renting a room and mine is less upkeep than a motorhome.  I don't know that you would honestly save that much over room rentals.  But having your own space might be worth it.

I get laid plenty in my travel trailer and so do my neighbours...It's one of the most fun topics of conversation in the campground. 

chatsc

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 01:49:49 PM »
motorhome sounds a bit ridiculous to me based on your situation. Is it even possible to get laid in one of those things?

Men with a lot to offer often don't need fancy digs to get laid.  Sometimes you post such trollish comments.

I have a travel trailer I spend summers in, but there is quite a bit of upkeep compared to renting a room and mine is less upkeep than a motorhome.  I don't know that you would honestly save that much over room rentals.  But having your own space might be worth it.

I get laid plenty in my travel trailer and so do my neighbours...It's one of the most fun topics of conversation in the campground.

haha, that isnt trollish.  it is funny.  (and kinda true..)

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 02:00:11 PM »
motorhome sounds a bit ridiculous to me based on your situation. Is it even possible to get laid in one of those things?

Men with a lot to offer often don't need fancy digs to get laid.  Sometimes you post such trollish comments.

I have a travel trailer I spend summers in, but there is quite a bit of upkeep compared to renting a room and mine is less upkeep than a motorhome.  I don't know that you would honestly save that much over room rentals.  But having your own space might be worth it.

I get laid plenty in my travel trailer and so do my neighbours...It's one of the most fun topics of conversation in the campground.

haha, that isnt trollish.  it is funny.  (and kinda true..)

Have you checked out his very first posts on this forum?  Sometimes he contributes like a non-troll, and then every once in a while...

Besides, calling the motorhome idea "ridiculous" is rather mainstream and anti-mustachian.  If it were merely the second comment (and I hadn't wondered the same thing about other comments he's made), I would agree it would be humorous. 

chatsc

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 02:27:54 PM »
No, I have not seen many of his posts.  I remember one of his asking for opinions on his crazy lavish lifestyle, but nothing other than that.

I have a hatred of trailers.  My one financial mis-step in my young(ish) life was to buy a tent trailer and a piece of land in hopes of building a cottage.  The plan did not work out very well because trailers are the worst (and I really should have researched that more before purchasing it) and I naively underestimated how much work and money it was to build a cottage.  It will haunt me until the trailer and the land are both sold and never to be seen again.   

I know it is "anti-mustachian" but I can't get behind the OP's plan.  I think keeping the room rental is a much better plan than living in a trailer park.  I live in an area that is freezing 5-6 months of the year though, so the idea of it sounds too far off the deep end to me, like punishing yourself for past financial mistakes.

sam0176

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2013, 03:17:37 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. 

The motorhome, to me, is an upgrade from a rented room.  I'll see if I can find something a bit cheaper than my original $20k price point.  It's certainly a bit more hassle and a bit more cost, but to me it's worth the extra $$ to have my own space.  It's the cheapest way I can think of having my own space without living in a dumpy studio apartment.  It also puts me in a good position for building my own home in the future- something to live in while I build.

I'll also look into getting out from under the Prius and buying something that I can pay off quickly.  One concern I do have is maintenance on older cars.  I've had my fair share over the years, and they've always nickel and dimed me to death with maintenance (even just in parts, since I do all my own maintenance).  Brakes, tires, hoses, timing belts, etc.  The Prius has brand new tires and low miles with virtually no maintenance needed for the foreseeable future.

PS: The motorhome wouldn't be in a trailer park - I've been able to find folks with large, nice lots in the city near where I want to live that have RV spaces and are willing to rent that space for cheap ($250/month).

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Questions on Housing, Cars
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 04:03:45 PM »
No, I have not seen many of his posts.  I remember one of his asking for opinions on his crazy lavish lifestyle, but nothing other than that.

I have a hatred of trailers.  My one financial mis-step in my young(ish) life was to buy a tent trailer and a piece of land in hopes of building a cottage.  The plan did not work out very well because trailers are the worst (and I really should have researched that more before purchasing it) and I naively underestimated how much work and money it was to build a cottage.  It will haunt me until the trailer and the land are both sold and never to be seen again.   

I know it is "anti-mustachian" but I can't get behind the OP's plan.  I think keeping the room rental is a much better plan than living in a trailer park.  I live in an area that is freezing 5-6 months of the year though, so the idea of it sounds too far off the deep end to me, like punishing yourself for past financial mistakes.

I don't think I'd like to attempt living in a  tent trailer either, but find my travel trailer quite comfortable. It has heat and air conditioning if I want and a full kitchen and bathroom with a shower, two small bedrooms, and I can stand up straight in it. I couldn't live their year round (since I live in Canada after all and it's on the east coast), but it is very pleasant in the summer and Sam is in a warm place. 

Perhaps he can let us know if getting laid is a problem if he goes with this idea.  I doubt it will be (and it might sift out some potentially high maintenance mates).  ;)