Author Topic: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)  (Read 3371 times)

Croz36

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« on: August 08, 2017, 10:10:33 PM »
Hello Everyone,

For those of you willing to offer some advice to a beggar/new mustachian, I'd like to pose a question about the possibility of relocating my young family.

My wife and I are new to the mustachian method of managing our finances. for a few years now, we've been fairly laissez faire with our money because life has been pretty kind to us. While we're still not in dire straits, we feel the walls closing in on us and are very thankful to have found this resource and corrected our mindset before things got bad. A little about us:

We live in western washington, about an hour north of Seattle. I work from home for a tech company in the city and my wife is a stay at home mom with our 2 children under the age of 4. We are both 27 and graduated from college 4 years ago with about $25k in student loan debt. We moved into our current home a little over a year ago and really enjoy our time here, but we've really pushed ourselves to our present limit financially.

Salary - $58k, roughly $3400 - $3600 a month take home

Mortgage - $305k at $1791 a month
Student Loans - About $16k at $222 a month
Medical Debt - about $700 at $50 a month
Credit Card - $1500 at $101 a month with 0% interest
Internet - $80 a month
Phones - $133 a month
Car Insurance - $45 a month
Utilities - hard to say with bi/tri monthly billing cycles. safe to assume around $200 a month
Food - $600 per month

Assets
$5,595 cash
around $10k in a 401(k), not maxing the employer match after a policy restructure. planning on taking care of that soon.

We also have a 1993 f150 (free) and a 2000 explorer (paid $1,000 cash).

So, while we have enough to pay our bills, buy our food and have lots of fun on our 4.5 acre homestead, the savings rate is pretty mediocre.

The Question

Working from home is a huge perk. I've been working at my company for 4 years, received pretty decent raises and a promotion, and really enjoy the whole situation overall. However, money stress is definitely present in our lives. We're pretty much one month away from financial doom if anything ever happened to my job. With a savings rate of $200-$400 a month, I don't feel as though I can save fast enough to bulletproof our lives from such an instance.

In the year since we bought our house, values around our area have skyrocketed. Our loan amount is $305k, and there is nothing in the county on acreage being listed for less than $385k. During our time here, we have cleared a bunch of forest and tripled the usable acreage by converting the previous forest to pasture. We've also planted an orchard, a berry patch, and a flower farm. We painted the inside of the house, fixed drainage issues, fixed the grey water system, remodeled the laundry room, etc. etc. We have a realtor friend coming over to take a look at give us a rough estimate for what we could sell for. My expectation from looking at comps is $385k-$400k.

Where would we go? Back to our college town of Ellensburg. We lived there for 7 years between school and the purchase of our first house while I worked from home. The cost of living is significantly less expensive and we adore the town. There are pros and cons to each option:

Staying at our current place - We live in one of the most desirable places in the country on our dream homestead. We got our place for a steal compared to other places in our area, even though it's still tough for us to afford. If my job went away, there are a couple of decent sized cities within a half hour drive that I could try to get a job at. My wife is a certified teacher and could easily get a job in our county, but right now she'd be working for less than minimum wage if we put the kids in daycare. Hardly worth it. If we stay, we would need to save every penny, pay off debt and pray nothing goes wrong with my job. Most risk management jobs like mine are in downtown Seattle and I refuse to drive in traffic for 4 hours a day to work in the city.

Moving to Ellensburg - If we sell our house and move to Ellensburg, it's a virtual guarantee that we could sell within a couple weeks, pay off all of our debt immediately, put a down payment on a house and be left with tens of thousands in the bank. My wife is planning on getting a teaching job when the kids are able to go to school, so we would immediately begin saving 100% of her income on top of the increased savings rate we'd automatically realize. Sounds like a no brainer, right? The problem is that Ellensburg is a small town with only one decent sized city near by (40 mins away). If my job were to go away, there are very few opportunities in my field. It's likely that I would need to change fields completely or start my own business (an eventual goal). However, living in Eburg would mean that our whole lives could easily be supported by my wife's teacher salary while I figure out what to do from there. Either way, our savings rate would be pretty good.


 Like many of you, I'm trying to bullet proof our lives. To maximize options and save as much money as possible. Ellensburg wins on all fronts except the nearly complete lack of back up white collar jobs and small market for entrepreneurial endeavors. Our current location, while difficult to save and keeping us on the financial edge, has a fairly large job market and an insatiable market for eventual entrepreneurial stuff.

So, what to do? Stay where we are and try to gain momentum while we wait for my wife to get a job and save 100% of her income? or sell out, move, and get a crazy financial head start at the risk of no career step ups (outside of the company I'm in) in a town we love?

Thanks for any advice, and sorry for typing up "a tale of two cities" in my first post.

Cheers.

 

Duke03

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 11:25:29 PM »
I'm not knocking you by any means and under stand you live in a HCOL area, but that mortgage with your income would keep me up all night.  Seriously I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.  Good news is you woke up and see the light.  You can't continue to live like that any more.  With a stay at home wife and two kids you are one minor hiccup away from financial disaster.  The good thing is you have several options.  Sounds like your current place is a nice set up and I'd hate to sell it.  If I was you I'd look at any and all ways I could double my income and not have razor thin margins each month after the bills are paid.

Snow

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 88
  • Location: Norway
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 01:34:28 AM »
Minus the debt, the place you are living in sounds like my dream come true. It sounds like you find it amazing as well, so I would try to look into other ways of maximizing income in order to increase emergency funds and mortgage/credit card/medical debt payments.

You say you have increased the productivity of the homestead by quite a lot. Does either of you have an interest in making/preserving anything and selling it at farmers markets or the like, provided there is enough surplus to supply yourself first? It could be a nice side-hustle for you and/or your wife, if she has the energy and the interest for it.

Your phone bill seems quite high. Although I am not American, based on other posters, would it be feasible to look into other providers? It seems others have been able to pull their bill down to $20 per month per person, which would more than halve your current bill.

Since you work from home and your wife stays at home, do you have a need for two vehicles?

Alternatively, I think it is only yourself and your missus that can make the decision about whether or not to sell your "dream homestead" and move to a LCOL or not. You could make it work, but it'll take a fair amount of hard work.

RobFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 275
  • Age: 34
  • Location: UK
  • Projected FIRE May 2020
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 02:01:48 AM »
Looking at the bigger picture, it sounds like what you're saying is that with your wife not working your finances are tight, which I agree with. Once your youngest child is a bit older your wife would be able to start working again, with being a teacher fitting well to school/kindergarten hours.

So I suppose the question is once your wife is working, is your current place & setup where you want to be?

If yes, then I would not go through the expense and hassle of moving. So staying where you are I think you need to build up more of a cash reserve and find a way to lower some costs a bit. If you save that $200 to $400 a month, you will have three months' living expenses in cash within a few months, which would surely be enough time for you to find some reasonable form of work should there be an issue with your current job.

Looking at costs, the $133 a month for (presumably two) mobile phones sounds high, on these forums I have seen Google Fi/Cricket mentioned for costs more like $20 a month per person - sounds like $50+ a month potential saving there. The food costs of $600 a month sound high to me, perhaps food is something where you have particular requirements and won't compromise? My partner and I spend the equivalent of $200 a month on food, you have two children to add to that but presumably they eat less than adults, so I would think there is potential for savings there, I'll be conservative and say $100 a month - if nothing else do you buy in bulk/use costco etc? Having two cars doesn't sound necessary at the moment, though your monthly spending doesn't show them costing much - have you not considered annual costs or are they really so cheap to run?

In about a year you'll be clear of the medical and credit card payments so will have $150 extra a month in savings.

So while it's $200 to $400 a month in savings now, I think you could increase that by $150 from food & phone savings, in another year it will be $150 more from the cleared debts, so would be $500 to $700 at that point, starting to look decent. Then in a couple more years when your wife starts to work you could save 100% of her income, clearly in a good position at that point.

So I think I would be inclined to have a critical look at some of the current expenses, then stay put and hold tight for a bit, building up cash reserve as you can.

2Cent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 02:35:21 AM »
If this place is so great for entrepreneurs,  maybe you or your wife could start a side business. at your current saving rate even 300 a month extra would double your saving rate.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Location: US
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 04:16:40 AM »
One question -- when the kids go to school, will your wife be able to find work near your current location (without a long commute)?

If the answer to that is yes -- if it were me I would stay put, since it sounds as though this is where you would like to be long term.  Could you get to FIRE faster by moving to LCOL?  Yes.  But happiness and loving where you live also matter a lot.   

I would focus hard on increasing your income and reducing expenses.   Can your wife watch one or two more kids during the day for extra income?  Can you look at promotion/advancement opportunities at your current company?  Can either of you start a side hustle?  With additional income you can build up a healthy emergency fund which will help you sleep better at night.  Then if worst comes to worst (you lose your job in the next couple of years before your wife goes back to work) you'll have savings to see you through until you can sell your place.   

Good luck! 

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6840
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 04:55:19 AM »
Presumably if your wife is willing to go back to work eventually in EB, she could also do so in current location. So really the main issue is getting through the current crunch period of only one income.

Your phone and food costs are too high. I'm in Seattle and we average 5~600/ month on groceries, including household items. If you aren't cloth diapering yet look into it. Buy a few sets a month used to break into it. You will eventually save a ton. As your kids get older consider doing childcare for another family ~ or even a summer day camp. The mini farm is a great setting for it.
Wherever you go, there you are

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2561
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 05:02:10 AM »
If your house is so attractive, can't you rent out a room? Either permanently or through airBnB? Or perhaps rent out some of your land to a farmer? Caravan storage on your land?

For the other option, moving to that other town, limiting yourself to only 1 job option is not bulletproofing your life. Even though, if you can live of the teacher income, you could of course which careers completely.

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 686
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 05:42:01 AM »
Any possible way you could turn the orchard, berries, and flowers into income?  Would people who are in the city/surrounding areas make a weekend trip to purchase these items if you ran a small fruit/flower stand?  My parents bought berries every summer for years from a local orchard.  Fruit could be used to make pies, also.

I do not think it is worth relocating if you are happy.  Your debt, besides the mortgage, overall, is relatively, small.  You don't have much left on the medical, and the credit card debt will be done in a little over a year.  Possibly refinance your mortgage to a smaller payment and wrap the student loans, credit cards, and medical debt into that??

meatface

  • Guest
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 06:18:50 AM »
I would try to make it work where you currently are but only because it's your dream home. If things go south in the next few years, then cash out of the house, move to Ellensburg, and both of you can take a stab at new careers. It will be fun either way.

Gumption

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
  • Location: HCOL
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 09:10:04 AM »
I would honestly ask yourself, "Do I honestly think I will lose my job in the next few years?"
I am guessing the answer is, "No."

You are at a pretty darn stressful time in life. Probably at your highest debt point and lowest income point.
Throw a few little kiddos in there, a spouse who's not working and a long uncertain future, and yes, you are going to be freaking out and wanting to go back to a "safer" place in time.

This was my exact situation 10-12 years ago.

I would stay put. If you really like where you are, then consider yourself very lucky.

Since you are at home, have you considered trying to pick up a few hours here and there freelancing for smaller companies? Businesses who don't need the expense of a full time employee but periodically need your type of skillset? I'd imagine you could bill out at least $50/hr for your services and get this done while sitting around during the day waiting for your next task at your regular job.

You will make it. Just keep your clients satisfied and try and diversify your clients while working from home.
If you cant do that, then just keep on saving...time is on your side.
But, yeah, there is no getting around being super stressed now...we all have to go through it.

Cyanne

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 09:23:11 AM »
Would your wife be willing to do some tutoring? This can be done evenings/weekends and you could watch the kids. There has also been a thread about teaching English online through VIP kids. It pays around $20 per hour if I remember correctly.

Croz36

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 10:38:04 AM »
Thanks for the responses everyone!

The hard part is that we actually like the town of Ellensburg much more than where we currently are, but we likely won't find a property as nice as ours anywhere over there. Community love and LCOL vs. Awesome property and scraping by.

I totally agree that food and phone costs are too high at this point. We're trying to figure out how to stretch our food as far as possible and have started shopping at Costco. I think it'll just take some calibrating to minimize the grocery bill.

For the phones, it's tough to figure where to go. Cell service is deplorable where we are. Even with AT&T, we had to get a signal booster to get any service at our house. we were thinking of trying republic wireless since they can tether to Verizon towers. I guess with the lack of a contract with republic, we might as well try!

We do need 2 vehicles. The f150 gets driven only a couple of times per year for transporting compost, gravel, construction stuff for the house (which we've put the brakes on until we're more financially secure), etc. I fill it up once, maybe twice a year. The explorer gets few miles put on it. We had a Honda Civic until April, when we realized we could barely fit our family in it, let alone any cargo whatsoever. That's when we got the $1,000 Explorer that we fill up once a month.

As for side hustles, we really appreciate the advice here! My wife actually ran a fairly successful flower enterprise this year despite the flower farm not producing well in it's first year. She arranged bouquets and sold them at farmers markets. She even has a couple of retailers that purchase wholesale from her and sell the bouquets in their shops. All in all, it produced about $500. She's hoping to improve the flower farm output for next year and expand her business.

Unfortunately, the orchard and berry patch won't produce enough to make money on for a few more years. The plants and trees were planted within the last year and have some time before they mature. We do, however, have a flock of rare Icelanding chickens that produce a ton of eggs on very little food. they're very efficient foragers and require few inputs. Between eggs and chicks, we could supplement our income a decent amount.

I have considered picking up some part time weekend work at the butcher down the road. I've always wanted to learn how to process livestock and think that it could be a viable business model down the road. similar to the Farmstead Meatsmith on Vashon Island. While this would be time away from my young kids, weekend mornings aren't too eventful for us anyway.

renting out a room wouldn't be viable. we only have a 2 bedroom house. Our 2 kids share a room and my wife and I would prefer not to get cozy with a stranger in our room. Just a personal preference, not knocking it :)

One thing that crossed my mind is that my salary, while decent, is pretty much covering our living situation and not much more. Once she starts working, my wife's income would put roughly $35k into savings each year. If we were to move, her $35k salary would have the same power as mine in covering our living situation but not much more, while my salary would go into savings every year. If my job ever went away, I could easily figure something out to put $35k away per year, thereby being in the exact situation we would be in here once my wife started working. It essentially becomes the same situation with different scenery. Does that make sense, or does it sound like the ramblings of a mad man?

Again, thanks so much to all of your for the input. We're at a loss of which way to swerve at this life altering junction we find ourselves at.

Gumption - Thanks in particular for the perspective for this stage of life. The pressure is incredible and it's good to know that most go through it at some point. I've been feeling like I done fucked up by getting us into this position. Granted, we could have made better decisions to be sure, but it sounds like hanging on is a viable option. I'm not scared of work, and even with FIRE, I hope to die with a metaphoric/actual hammer in my hands. So, perhaps that mentality will help in getting through.







talltexan

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1343
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 09:54:46 AM »
There will also be costs associated with your wife working. Driving and Childcare. Outsourcing home tasks that she is able to complete now. I wouldn't expect to be able to bank 100% of her after tax earnings.

retireatbirth

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 252
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2017, 06:30:32 PM »
What is your educational background? I would look into supplementing that with something in high demand. You're in tech so there are plenty of options.

I had $0 at 29 due to bad decisions and turned it around so you're fine. Just think about long term earning power because you are still very young. I would encourage you to have a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. Envision the possibilities.

sequoia

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 494
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 12:42:29 AM »
Just thinking out-loud here, not even sure if possible, do you utilize all of the 4.5 acre. If not, can you sell part of your land?

My vote would be to stay - you are happy with where you are now, and just figure out to bring more income. I think if you sell your property, you will regret it.

If something happen to your job, worse case scenario is to sell the house. From your description, sounds like you should not have a problem selling it quickly.

sisca

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 03:08:39 AM »
You are in a tough spot, but not unusual for a young couple. What you have got going for you is a great understanding of the problem and also the possible solutions.

What will/can be improved quickly?
Medical debt - in 14 months that will go away.
Credit card- in 15 months that will go away
Phones - save 50 a month now?

That is 201 in reduced expences over the next 15 months. Throw that money at the student loans, and it will be gone in 5 years.

After that is gone, there will be an additional $423 available for savings, bringing the total to $823. Throw in what your wife will be making on top of that and any raises you might get as well and you are looking at a savings rate well north of 60 %++ in a few years. Thats not bad.

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2054
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2017, 03:16:05 AM »
What about a side hustle for your wife that's in her field? She could tutor (in person and online--tutor.com is usually hiring) or find some other job that allows her to work but not have the expense of childcare.

Also, if the F150 is sitting 360 days a year, while you are paying insurance and losing the opportunity cost of the equity, would it not make sense to sell it and rent when needed?

Gumption

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
  • Location: HCOL
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2017, 08:22:28 AM »
My wife was a teacher. It was stressful financially at times, but she stayed home with both our kids.

Having a "side-gig" teaching while raising two kids seems like a terrible plan. Teaching and side-gig are two works that don't go together.

That is too much to ask of anyone. Teaching is brutal and soul sucking. Being home all day with little ones can be the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen most days. Combining the two? insane.

As others have alluded to, the costs of childcare offset the costs of her going back to a degree where its just not that great. On a side note, its really key for her to be able to get out and interact with adults. Hopefully she can get that time.

PoutineLover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 652
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2017, 09:17:54 AM »
Some people here do online teaching with VIPkid for extra cash, as a teacher your wife could do that. It's 20-25 an hour I believe and since it's in china the hours are not typical working hours in north america, so you could watch the kids while she does that. Couple hundred extra a month would take some of the pressure off.
My Journal: It's all gravy
Tangerine Referral Code (we each get $50!): 49886083S1


Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1868
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2017, 10:17:51 AM »
You feel tight because you are tight.  Your mortgage alone is half of your take-home pay, and the total debt payments are almost 2/3 of that figure.  I am amazed you have any money left over at the end of the month.

Also, what is the CC debt for?  Was that from upgrading the farm?  Or is it from "oops, it's the end of the month and we're short again"?  It's a different situation if you took on a one-time expense vs. if you are always falling back on credit.

TBH, I don't think you can afford the current house solely on your salary -- I know you love it, but those debt loads are not sustainable.  So either you need to bring in more income (you get a new job/significant raise, your find ways to monetize the farm, one or both of you adds a side hustle, etc.), or you need to sell, pay off the debts, and start over again at a much lower price point. 

Sorry.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

runewell

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 419
  • Age: 46
  • actuary
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2017, 10:51:29 AM »
Regarding working from home, do you need to be within an hour's drive of Seattle?  What are your geographical constraints?

That being said I would be tempted to move to a lower CoL area with lots of jobs but keep the one you have if I could.  I would not get over-fixated on the place I live.  Based on what little information I would want to sell but not move to a place with limited jobs.  No mortgage is worth losing sleep over, and having lots of $$ left over at the end of the month is a good feeling.  Besides, kids aren't cheap.

Imma

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • Location: Europe
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2017, 11:16:27 AM »
I'm not American, so I'm not 100% sure how this works in the US, but is it possible to refinance the homestead to a lower interest %?

We are in the process of refinancing our own home to a lower interest % which makes the monthly payments lower even when you keep the same term. As your property has increased in value and your mortgage is lower than when you bought it, the risk for your mortgage lender is lower so it might be possible to get a lower interest percentage. In our case we have to pay a small fine to refinance, but that fine was definitely worth it.

Even though your home sounds fantastic, your mortgage is way too high compared to your income. You can maybe cut some costs here and there but it won't be a huge difference. You need to increase your income somehow or lower your mortgage. Even when you're done paying those small debts, your mortgage remains very high. I think the farm daycare is a brilliant idea, especially as your wife is a qualified teacher. You don't have to start a big daycare business, even two kids will bring in some much needed extra income. In the future, hopefully your farm will generate some income, but that will be a long term project.

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2054
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2017, 11:39:27 PM »
My wife was a teacher. It was stressful financially at times, but she stayed home with both our kids.

Having a "side-gig" teaching while raising two kids seems like a terrible plan. Teaching and side-gig are two works that don't go together.

That is too much to ask of anyone. Teaching is brutal and soul sucking. Being home all day with little ones can be the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen most days. Combining the two? insane.

As others have alluded to, the costs of childcare offset the costs of her going back to a degree where its just not that great. On a side note, its really key for her to be able to get out and interact with adults. Hopefully she can get that time.

She's a teacher, but not currently working as a teacher. 

Croz36

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2017, 12:01:12 PM »
Thanks again to all of you for your input, and apologies for my delay in response.

To answer a few questions:

The 0% interest credit card was used to buy a riding mower. By purchasing the mower with the Lowe's credit card, we were able to have the 0% financing for a year. Come hell or high water, that'll be paid off soon. For awhile, I was using a push mower to mow our property. 2 hours for a couple days a week would get the job done, but I can get it all done in about 45 mins on the riding mower with a wider deck.

We've only been in our house for a year, and we got in at a really low interest rate. Refinancing wouldn't do much for us at this point.

My education background is in Occupational safety and health management with a specialization in risk management. They're good jobs and are growing in demand. Something should pop up in my area within a year that would give me a much higher income.

For geographical limitations, I need to be within a reasonable driving distance of an office. We have offices in lower cost of living areas, but I was told that I would take a pay cut for moving to a LCOL area.


Last week, we had the realtor that sold us our house come over to give us an update of it's estimated market value. Right now, the place is still in progress, but we were given an estimate of about $370k if we made no more improvements. Our total loan amount is $305. Estimates proceeds with tax and commissions and fees taken out is about $30k. Enough to pay off all debt and pocket about $15k cash.

That said, we've decided to stay and fight to make it. a few of the things we're currently working on:

Last year, I was told that I can expect a promotion/raise this year. I'm cautiously optimistic and realize it may not happen, but it would increase our monthly cash flow by around $400.

I'm looking into picking up some weekend hours working as a butcher. There is a full service butcher 9 mins down the road that travels to local farms to harvest and process livestock. It wouldn't pay a ton, but it's a dignified profession that would also allow me to build a lifelong skill.

My employer has been laying off various departments with the end of the FY coming up. I haven't been laid off, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility. I've seen the heads rolling and have decided to start applying to some safety/risk jobs around my area. I've got some contacts locally that might pay off (though it could take up to a year unless something opens in the mean time). Either way, I'm keeping multiple lines in the water for new, higher paying employment.

We will soon monetize our chicken flock. We keep rare Icelandic chickens that cost far more than the average chicken. Next spring, our flock will more than double in size from our breeding program and we will sell chicks/fertilized eggs for a premium. There is an evident market for them here in the PNW.

As soon as it makes sense financially, my wife will begin subbing at local schools to get her foot in the door for an eventual job. There is a wonderful school 2 mins down the road that has a preference for hiring local teachers from our small community. Once we get that kind of income rolling in, things will ease up. Especially if some new employment comes up for me.


In the worst case scenario, we try our hardest to stay, but we are forced to sell our house, pay off all our debts, pocket $15k and pick a spot on the map to carve out a living with our university degrees. I would, however, feel bad if I didn't fight like hell to keep our home. Better to have fought and failed than run away without trying. Besides, the longer we hold out, the more our house is worth. Barring a housing bubble burst.

By all means, tell me if this sounds like the ramblings of a mad man. I'd love to hear your thoughts on our strategy and take any recommendations that you can provide. After all, I'm making all this shit up as I go.

Thanks,

Croz

« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 03:38:09 PM by Croz36 »

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2054
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2017, 10:14:22 PM »
Will the chickens actually make a profit?  Like, you've done the math and factored in all associated expenses, and there will be a meaningful profit based on a reasonable estimate of number of sales and sale price? 

narrative

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
  • Location: Longmont, CO
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2017, 08:37:23 PM »
Random rambling here, but could you get a couple beehives? Run a small apiary and sell honey and beeswax? With the flower business you would have the benefit of more pollinators and more pollen for the bees.

Or could you rent land space to a local beekeeper for an apiary?

We were on 8 acres in the midwest until we recently moved to CO for my husband's job. I had one hive that was from a swarm that showed up in our backyard. We are in a new area now (CO) and the COL here won't allow us to have 8 acres, or even 1 for that matter. I would leap at the chance to keep bees again. Maybe someone in your area would do the same and pay a small rent for space? If you have room near your flowers, someone with a local honey business might be a good match.

If you are keeping chickens for eggs could you look into keeping and selling meat chickens? They are short lived (14 weeks or less depending on breed). Maybe do 1 batch per summer. Have people come process their own (learn, and then teach them!) and a grow a community around it.

Do you have marketable homesteading skills? Could you teach those things to others? Canning classes? Chicken care classes? Any sort of value added skill that makes your land work for you. :)

My ProjectFi Referral Link (Gives you a $20 credit after 30 days) - https://g.co/fi/r/FMN2DU

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Location: US
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2017, 05:22:50 AM »

That said, we've decided to stay and fight to make it.

By all means, tell me if this sounds like the ramblings of a mad man. I'd love to hear your thoughts on our strategy and take any recommendations that you can provide. After all, I'm making all this shit up as I go.


This sounds like a good plan, Croz.  I especially love your side gig as a butcher.  You are right that that profession is a very honorable one, and in demand in rural areas.

You are far from mad.  You've identified what's important to you and have a plan for how to get there.
Many of us went through tight spots when we were young.  Cheering for you!

talltexan

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1343
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2017, 07:09:07 AM »
That mortgage number must include taxes/insurance, right?

Are you paying PMI? getting an appraisal for $370,000 when your balance is $305,000 might be a cash flow improvement if you can ditch the PMI.

jezebel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2017, 09:20:29 AM »
Have your wife started subbing now.  It can take years for a position to open in a decent suburban district and you'll have some extra income right away.     

I haven't heard any reason why she can't sub 1-3 days a week while you shift the bulk of your work to the afternoon and evenings hours on the days that she is working.  Schedule meetings around her school hours and look for neighborhood babysitter to help you out once in a while.

That said, if you'd be happier in town, I'd sell the house and go.  What's a dream house if you'd be happier somewhere else?

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1654
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Kauai & Denver
Re: Mustachian Approach to Relocation? (long)
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2017, 11:14:00 AM »
Have your wife started subbing now.  It can take years for a position to open in a decent suburban district and you'll have some extra income right away.     

I haven't heard any reason why she can't sub 1-3 days a week while you shift the bulk of your work to the afternoon and evenings hours on the days that she is working.  Schedule meetings around her school hours and look for neighborhood babysitter to help you out once in a while.

That said, if you'd be happier in town, I'd sell the house and go.  What's a dream house if you'd be happier somewhere else?

We have a 3 month old and my wife is available to sub 3 days a week. If we average 2 days/week, it's an extra 10K/year or 7K/year after taxes.

I don't think your cost of living is that high in comparison to job opportunities. An hour away from Seattle seems pretty great. If you in tech and can work from home, wouldn't you be able to negotiate that with other companies in Seattle? Maybe do the drive one day a week?

I would stay and try to figure out short-term solutions to increasing your income or reducing your expenses. If you have acreage to grow food, your food costs should be lower.