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Please help me to decide what to do.... - Page 2

post #21 of 55

You could also consider renting out the whole house and renting a much smaller house.  If you could get a rental income that would cover your rent and your back and future taxes and give you a bit extra, you would be in much better shape.  And if you do sell, keep in mind that property taxes can vary widely for similar houses.  I have been looking at housing prices in the area I am interested in for quite some time.  For the small houses I am looking at, the listed property taxes have varied by as much as $3000 a year.  It seems to depend on lake or other water access, upgrades to the house, outbuildings,  and more.  It really opened my eyes what to look for for a cheaper monthly payment. 
 

post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmsMom View Post

You could also consider renting out the whole house and renting a much smaller house.  If you could get a rental income that would cover your rent and your back and future taxes and give you a bit extra, you would be in much better shape.  And if you do sell, keep in mind that property taxes can vary widely for similar houses.  I have been looking at housing prices in the area I am interested in for quite some time.  For the small houses I am looking at, the listed property taxes have varied by as much as $3000 a year.  It seems to depend on lake or other water access, upgrades to the house, outbuildings,  and more.  It really opened my eyes what to look for for a cheaper monthly payment. 
 

We did something similar more for ease of commute and having a decent family life and less about financial duress.  It worked well for us, but I would be concerned that the OP would not have money for repairs or to handle a month or two of an empty house. 

post #23 of 55
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately the house is not rentable.  We need so many repairs done and don't have the money. I hate it- it's so embarrassing.  In the past 3 years the state of the house has declined so  much.

 

Our income right now is $1200 a month.  It doesn't even cover all of our bills - car ins is $100, phone/internet/cable is $140, electric every 3 months is about $600, food outside of food stamps is about $200, gas at this time of year about $200/ month and going down...

 

Sorry gtg 4 now...thanks everyone!

post #24 of 55

AT first I thought no, keep the house. But maybe selling it is the way to go. Having debt and no foreseeable way of paying it off is very stressful. I do worry about you finding another place though, that would cost less.  Maybe if you can work with what you already have and reorganize your furniture and rooms, find some free stuff of craigslist or free cycle you can revamp it and see the house in a better light. Can one sell a house when they owe taxes on it? or is this a lien against the house?

 

200 / mth for electric is high. do you use a/c? or other high powered things? is it electric heat or gas (which should be moot in the summer months). as an example, my electric/gas bill is approx 100 / mth in the spring / summer (in ny state). or perhaps your bill is equal billing throughout the year?

 

I know internet is important to keep in touch, find jobs, sometimes even a lifeline, etc, but can you drop the cable and borrow movies from the library instead? phone / cable for approx 75 dollars or less if you can find a deal. or even lesser if you can set up vonage through internet.

 

good news about the gas @ around 3.80!

 

can you do lawn work / gardening for extra cash?

post #25 of 55

I agree with a previous poster who suggested selling the house and buying something smaller with lower utilities.

 

If you could sell your house for 120k, pay of the credit cards and buy a smaller house for 70k that would lower your taxes. It would also hopefully lower your utilities as you are heating and cooling a smaller house. Your utilities seem really high, probably due to a big, poorly insulated house, with an older heating and cooling system. If you could get something even cheaper than 70k and put some money into insulation and a high efficiency heating/cooling system you might be even better off monthly. But I don't know what housing prices look like where you live so don't know how feasible that is.

 

Then let's see -

 

200 food

200 electricity/gas

100 car insurance (wonder if you could lower this?)

140 phone/Internet/cable

200 auto gas/auto maintains

100 set aside for property taxes

car payment?

__________

 

that gets your living expenses down to about 1000 a month.

post #26 of 55

What about the land your house is on? Is there a way to divide it and lease it out for some purpose? Or use it yourself to grow the $200 worth of food that food stamps don't cover?
 

post #27 of 55
At the time of the sale of the house the taxes would be taken from any profit.
I'm concerned that there really won't be much left from the sale of the house if it is in bad condition with limited funds to do a basic spruce up.
post #28 of 55
Thread Starter 

I've thought about what I can do with the land - I've spoken to a few lumber companies but they are not interested in the kinds of trees I have.  I don't think that the portion of land that I would be able to sell would be bought by anyone - the house is in the front of the property with about 4 acres of woods behind it.

 

Growing food is a great idea - my husband planted fruit trees and we've got a couple of more years for them to bear good fruit.  I have no green thumb whatsoever but I would love to have a vegetable garden.  Can you start them this time of year?  

 

I'm really considering giving up the cable, but my mom says that I will have no sanity left whatsoever lol.

 

There are some more bills I've got to list, I'm going to put up more of my budget when I get a chance!

post #29 of 55

You have cable??? Get rid of it. For about $80/year, you can get streaming through Amazon Prime (plus free 2-day shipping on some stuff if you order from there, and it may be a good way to save of food/drugstore/kid items esp if you don't have to pay for shipping....). We did that and I'm so happy without cable. And our bill was $90/month (and we didn't even have the good channels, like HBO). That's close to half your food bill! And if you have cell phones, seriously consider dumping them or your land line. If you need both, use cells only for emergencies and get a pay-as-you-go plan. Virgin Mobile is cheap (like $10 or $15/month) and our phones cost us $10 each.

 

Yes, you can start a garden pretty much any time of year. Up there, it's a short growing season, but even if you prep beds now, you could probably plant some fall veggies or at least get everything set up and planned so you can start seeds in the late winter and get them in the ground next spring. Contact your local university extension office for gardening tips on how-to and what's easy to grow there. (I'm in a warmer climate, so I can't help much, but you should be able to start stuff like broccoli and cauliflower now or soon and harvest in the fall.) If you're near wine country, see if you can score some half-barrels from a winery and start container gardening while you get beds planned and prepped.

 

As for your trees, even if a lumber company doesn't want them, what type are they? Would they be good for firewood? You could fell some now, get them dried out and split, and sell firewood this fall/winter. And replant what you harvest, so you can "reforest" your property and make a nice seasonal side business for "extra" cash. (It'll be extra someday!) You could also plant Christmas trees to sell to neighbors (you've got cute kids, right? Use them as sales people!)

post #30 of 55

Green beans are really hardy and easy to grow. I just put some seeds into the ground (composted soil) a week ago and they are already growing - an inch or so. Tomatoes are also easy - if you can purchase a couple of plants and transfer them. Sugar peas, snow peas may be easy and you can blanch these and use in the winter.
 

post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barefoot~Baker View Post

 

 

Growing food is a great idea - my husband planted fruit trees and we've got a couple of more years for them to bear good fruit.  I have no green thumb whatsoever but I would love to have a vegetable garden.  Can you start them this time of year?  

 

I'm really considering giving up the cable, but my mom says that I will have no sanity left whatsoever lol.

 

 

 

We haven't had cable since 2003 and really don't miss it. If there is something I really want to see, I either have a friend or family member tape it for me or I find it online. For movies, we rent them at the library.

You can definitely start growing some things. I know you are on food stamps - check your state laws regarding your stamps, because many states allow you to buy seeds AND fruit/vegetable plants with your food stamps.

post #32 of 55
Thread Starter 

Oh wow thank you!  I will be starting a garden!  I will be getting rid of cable too!  

 

I have some good news...my husband got a job last night biggrinbounce.gif . It's freelance work but he has all the time in the world.  I hope this is the one!

post #33 of 55
Thread Starter 

Oh, forgot - they are Northern Pines but no one wants them for lumber and they are apparently no good for firewood irked.gif

post #34 of 55
Could you move all the kids into one or two bedrooms? Then you could shut off the other bedrooms and not have to heat or cool them. You also need to seriously look at ALL your expenses. If you haven't paid your taxes in three years and are still paying for cable, I'm afraid there's some more wasted money in your budget.
post #35 of 55

Glad you've had some good news.  thumb.gif  I hope it's a bit of relief for you right now.

 

 

 

I've been thinking about your post a bit.  I think I agree most with pp's who think that selling your house might end solving some problems for the short-term only (although if you were able to get very inexpensive housing after the sale ie. a mobile home, perhaps you'd end up coming out of it okay).

 

 

 

Depending on your area, some other ideas that might help your family to bring in a little more cash:

 

Craigslist and deal with selling larger items for others (re-post regularly, be the ones willing to meet up with people or store large items at your home - great especially if you happen to have a truck or other means for doing so more easily.  Even if that isn't the case, a lot of people don't like the hassle of maintaining a listing and regularly reducing their prices there or don't like to use the internet themselves).

Pet care services.

If you have space to grow herbs - it might be easy to grow some more plentifully & dry them (to sell).   Think about decorative oregano bundles and dried herb wreaths & the like.  Herbs are easier to grow than some veggies, and need less care.

Hosting/planning kid's birthday parties (lots of people find this a hassle - with a large yard, you could easily do something outdoors.

 

Little things will add up, and make a difference.   


Edited by mumkimum - 6/16/12 at 4:37pm
post #36 of 55

I have read on these boards that is a family has children that are eligible for free school lunches, then they can get free internet from somewhere.  You could eliminate your cable and your internet that way, throw a few bucks into Netflix and stream quite a lot of decent tv cheap.  If you have cell phones you can't get out of, you could cancel your landline as well or cut it down to only the most basic service. 

 

An electrical saving tip that has helped me is if your kitchen has one of those light fixtures that has multiple bulbs, buy a cheap lamp at a yard sale, stick in a compact flourescent and use that light as much as possibl

e; you could be saving quite a bit of electricity by using one bulb instead of 4 or 5 and many kitchen tasks are fine for that.  I have another light in my living room that turns on two bulbs at once when I usually just need one and I keep one slight unscrewed unless I actually need the extra light.  Ditching the cable box saves electricity, too, as does switching off the power to the tv and dvd player when not in use.  You can also forgo the dryer and hang clothes on a cheap drying rack (or just tie up a line somewhere).  These types of things probably won't be forever, just until you get back on your feet.  I have been there, though, and I still use all of these tips because I figure why throw the money away? 
 

post #37 of 55

Wanted to add that since things are looking up with your dh having a new job, maybe you know someone who could give you the money for the down payment on the back taxes and just concentrate on saving every single penny and paying those back taxes.  I used add the pennies I found in the street to my payments when I had some debt left. 
 

post #38 of 55

I'm so glad your DH got a job! Yay!

 

I would NOT sell the house. My guess is that you could not even rent a place for under $600 a month, and if it's anywhere like where I live, the place would be a utility-sucking hellhole anyway. Not to mention paying deposits for turning on utilities (which are higher for renters than homeowners) I really REALLY don't think it's a good idea. I'd do anything and everything to get those back taxes paid off ASAP though. It would be terrible to lose your home for a lack of a few thousand dollars.

 

I still thinking renting a room is a good way to go. Do you have a college in your area? I'd try to rent to a young single girl if I was in your position.

 

Definitely cut cable. I haven't had cable in three years and I don't miss it a bit. I have Netflix and I watch all the TV I want for $8 a month. You might also research Roku, which is about $50 for initial setup for the cheap version, and you can watch Netflix (per month charge) plus I think they have a huge selection of streaming on it's own. In this day and age, I would NOT pay for cable/satellite.

 

Close off every room in your house that you can. Cover the windows with blankets/towels to try to make them more efficient. If you MUST run A/C, don't run it so cold.

 

For winter, could you get a cheap woodstove and burn wood to heat the house? In my area, I see stoves being given away all the time on Craigslist. The expensive part is usually the piping, but it would probably pay for itself in a matter of one winter. The wood on your property might not be good to sell as firewood, but it might be sufficient to heat your own home with.

 

If you have that much land, I'd definitely grow some food/raise some chickens. And even if you don't grow food, you can buy it when it's cheap in the summer and can/freeze it for winter. Last year I made enough jelly to last us the entire year with four quarts of strawberries and a bag or two of sugar. We use a LOT of jelly for PB&J sandwiches.

 

Good luck to you!!!!

post #39 of 55
Thread Starter 

I don't even know where to begin right now....things are just terrible here but I do have good and bad news.  One thing that I have not mentioned, but will now, to add more drama to my story eyesroll.gif is that my husband is the main problem.  To make a long story short, he is, as my family calls him, a con artist.  This is so difficult...he will do anything to avoid work.  He is extremely mentally unstable but he is a sponger/taker/freeloader/.  We've been married 1 year, together for 2.  The job that he recently got?  Not producing.  When my husband has money, which is from his disability and student loans, I have to cross my fingers in hopes that he will do the right thing with it, but he usually doesn't.

 

I've asked the title question with a view to taking care of everything myself.  It's my house - I had it before I met him.

 

I want him to leave - yesterday he was pressuring me and hounding me to give the house to him so that he could get a mortgage because I can't.  He will NOT do the right thing with it.  Yesterday he tried to get a car loan to buy a $67K vehicle. He's really.....crazy and concerned for his own comfort & luxury.

 

OMG.  I can't believe I just told you all that, but it does apply to the situation, so there it is.  I don't know when he's leaving or where he's going but it can't be soon enough for me.  I just hope he doesn't try to take 1/2 my house.  Honestly I don't even care about a divorce, I just want him leave. He's verbally, emotionally, & mentally abusive.

 

Well there's a lot more I could say but I'll leave it at that.  The good thing (I think) is, that when he leaves I can go to social services and then with his income gone I should qualify for daycare so that I can get a job and some more assistance.  Unfortunately they will put a lien on my house, but what can I do?

post #40 of 55

If you owned the house before you got married, and did not put his name on either the mortgage or anything else regarding the house, you might be safe.  See if you can get a free consultation with a divorce attorney.  This man is going to bankrupt you.  The debts he accrues during your marriage, you are on the hook for half of them.  File for divorce, take your lumps and you may well be in a better place in a year or two. At least it shouldn't be worse.   If you don't, I am afraid things are only going to get worse, possibly far worse.  My sister was divorcing and didn't want to pay money to get it, but the man was manipulative, verbally abusive, financially irresponsible and an alcoholic.  I must have told her to file for the divorce twenty times and pointed out that if he hurt someone in a drunk driving accident or something, her finances would be on the hook as well.  She delayed a bit and it did cost her some more debt.  But she did finally get free, sold the house in a short sale and is in recovery mode.  Don't say you don't care about the divorce.  If you don't care about your legal and financial health (not to mention mental health) who will?  And what about your kids future?  Be brave, be strong.  You can do this.  Do not wait for him to leave.  File divorce papers yourself.  Take control of your own life and your own future.  You will never, ever regret it. 
 

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