Author Topic: Quick housing decision needed! Help!  (Read 2948 times)

5inatrailer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« on: February 02, 2014, 07:43:44 AM »
Hello all, here's the story:

We live on a beautiful acreage 20 min from the nearest town.  We have 3 kids ( 6,4,2) too young to take the bus right now (picks them up at 715am!).  Our acreage is a 1500 sq ft mobile home that I've completely gutted over the last 4 years- it's small but comfortable.  We are planning to build...maybe this year (more on that later)  We are growing out of it.  A new build would be about 375-400k
I work 60km north, my wife works 25km south (all hwy driving).  I am FT, my wife is casual and works around our schedule ( works awesome for childcare).

A house came up in the town our kids go to school in (20km north) It's beautiful. Totally reno'd 2 story with 3 bdrms etc. It would save me 20 min each way when I work, save 2 hr per day of driving to school.   The house is $550,000 (fack!)  We'd like to keep the acreage - rent it out until we decide we build in retirement or in 5 years when the kids are old enough to be on the bus.  It would be cash flow positive if we rented.

My worries are the new house is at our max of what we could afford, I've had 2 properties before (flipped and flopped a house) which really stressed me out.  This new house is great, but the financial exposure really makes me anxious ( anyone else read Garth Turner?? CDN RE is risky!) and we do like the quiet lifestyle in the country.  Our family is very close-knit, and apart from the driving, we love it out here.

What am I missing? The new house is the ONLY one I would really consider (backs on a nature reserve, central, established neighborhood etc.), We want to keep the acreage (it would take too long to sell anyway),   Our house isn't on fire, there is no pressure to move, our place now is mortgaged for 150k- easily paid off in 7 years.

The acreage build would include a private bsmt suite so is less risky, plus we can sell the mobile or move it on another site and rent it out....it seems less financially risky to build...

Anyway, would appreciate your thoughts.  Will be checking MMM all day so any advice/ insight would be appreciated.

5inatrailer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 08:25:03 AM »
The drive is costly (10$/day?) but I offset the cost with a deductible business expense (I have an awesome side business... no, not drugs)

It's more the life sucking time drain that annoys me so much. Get home at 9:30, do some stuff, lunch, go back in at 2:30. Then home, then dinner etc.  And the kids have few activities now- will be nutso in the future.

We're looking at the house as a 5 yr plan.  So far, our life has been lived in 5 yr terms (single for 5, marriage for 5, infant kids for 5) etc.

It just seems like so much financial risk.  I would never buy 500K of 1 stock in an isolated marketplace...

Thanks for the reply..This will probably be a brainstorming session than getting the "right" answer.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6673
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 08:40:12 AM »
I would come down on the side of being closer with less travel, because commuting is a stressful time suck.

But that's a hefty price tag.  I suppose I would think about renting instead, especially if you plan on building on your current land.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5035
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 09:31:59 AM »
Why not rent for awhile until you can sort this out?  No need to max out your loan and hope prices don't go down.  If prices drop, then consider buying.  You may re-evaluate the trade-offs between the convenience of in town living vs. being out in the country anyway.

5inatrailer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 09:50:32 AM »
Good ideas all: we've floated this idea for some time but the rental market here is slim, and we're kinda picky- even with the mindset that it's all temporary- I don't think we could rent something we had to settle for (1st world problems...I know).

This may all be moot as we AREN'T selling the acreage and the bank may say no to carrying both.  If I think it's risky, they should too.
If the acreage is vacant for a month, that's 1500$ we have to fund out of pocket.

The best decision is just to make one:)




Evie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 12:59:12 PM »
Do you think you would actually be able to rent the mobile home for enough to cover the carrying costs? Is there anywhere you can look to see what price you think you could get? 

One option would be to make an offer on the house, but see if the owners would be willing to rent back to you for an extra month or two so you would have time to find a renter (I assume finding a rural renter would take longer). 

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4835
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 04:32:05 PM »
If you have to count on having a renter in the mobile home, I would not do it at all. It's hard to rent in rural areas, harder still with a mobile home, and harder than that to rent for a decent amount of money or any length of time.

Plus, most potential renters are likely to have the same problem that you have with distance to work.

5inatrailer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help! Update
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2014, 08:48:12 AM »
Update!
Well, here's what I did;

After listening to you all, I posted an ad on kijiji (our CL) for our mobile home to rent at a price that would be cash flow positive.  12 hours later, I had 20 phone calls/emails... so renting not a problem.

Once the financial worry was out of the way, it came to decision time. Interestingly enough (mustachianly enough) it came down to quality of life choices.  We decided to stay and build in the spring, include a rental in the new basement, and move the trailer to another piece of land in the fall and rent it out.

Buidd starts in may, $150/ sq ft story and a half.  Will re post once things get moving.

Thanks all.

Milspecstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Quick housing decision needed! Help!
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2014, 08:58:31 AM »
Trailers don't move well once they go past the 15yr mark or so.  If you gutted it perhaps the structural is good enough, though.