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#1 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We live in a very small, old 2br mobile home (well, three bedroom, but somewhere along the line it was converted to two.) We moved here because it was what was avaliable after the home we'd been renting was lost in an electrical fire. Upside- it's paid off, and has tons of land surrounding it. We've done a lot of work to start bringing it up to par. As I speak, the kitchen floor is half done- we started putting a new hardwood laminate one yesterday. We'll probably finish it today or tomorrow.

Downsides, heating and cooling are H-E-DOUBLEHOCKEYSTICKS. It's still an older mobile home. We need more space. We have one bedroom for my husband and I, and we ripped out a closet to create an alcove for the crib my 20 month old sleeps in. My 6 month old is still cosleeping. I generally avoid having people over, because while I know it will get there eventually- until then, this is not a home that I really like showing off.

Today, we were visiting with my brother who is in town for the weekend, and we went over to a place he owns as a rental. The last tenants moved out and we were thinning some lilacs, checking around inside and so on. My oldest child was with me, and she was wandering through going on and on about how nice it was, and how she wants to live there, and to live in a house like that. My heart was breaking.

It would be $400 a month more out of an already tight budget, but there would be a bedroom for the boys, one for my husband and myself, one for my daughter, and a playroom/family room downstairs. Heating and cooling costs would be lower. I have a job offer pending, but I won't know the details until the beginning of the week.

I miss having a proper home, and my daughter does as well. My husband is ok wherever we are. My boys are both under two, so they really don't care.

Is it worth the financial tradeoff?
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#2 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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I don't think the answer of it being worth the financial tradeoff is one anyone else can give you.

You say you already have a tight budget... everyone's definition of tight is different. To some people, tight is having $50 left over after everything is paid for the month. To others, it's having $500 left over.

I think if you can realistically afford it without the job offer coming through (because pending doesn't mean set-in-stone, sadly) then I'd totally go for it. But if there's no way you can realistically pay your bills and the higher rent on what you're making now I'd wait until you find out if the job pans out.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

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#3 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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Would the heating and cooling cost make up the difference in price of rent?

Heidi
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#4 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
Downsides, heating and cooling are H-E-DOUBLEHOCKEYSTICKS.
Check your state weatherization agency ... they do mobile homes also.

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/weatherization/
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#5 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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No, TBH I don't think it's worth it. You're trading more bedrooms and potentially lower ac costs for a paid off place to live that works in your budget.

I've walked through many houses and said I would love to live in them. I'd like one of those hot tubs with the flat panel TV attached, too.


I would wait until I had been in the new job for 6-9 months. Maybe you could commit to the idea by saving an add'l $400 a month.

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#6 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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I'm afraid I say it's not worth it, too. Obviously you are the only one who can make that decision, but if it were me, I wouldn't do it. I've lived that tight before and it sucks. If your budget is already tight, another $400 will be killer.

I'd work on spending a bit more time/money fixing up the house you live in now so that it's a place you want to live.

My son says things that just break my heart sometime. We had to sell our house last year, and DS still talks about going back to our "regular" house. This is the third house we've lived in within the last year, and he's always saying things that just break my heart. But I know that we are doing the best we can. If we had stayed in our "regular" house we wouldn't have enough money to...anything. We were basically living what you'd be living (nice house, but about $400-700 short each month) and we couldn't afford to do anything. It was very, very uncomfortable.

Your daughter may have liked the house, but I guarantee she'd rather have her parents financially comfortable and not stressed out, though she won't realize it.
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#7 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fabulous feedback. It's sometimes really easy to lose track of want vs. need, especially when you want to make your kids happy.

I'm going to see how the job setup goes, and if it goes through, I'll revisit the idea (the job is for the same company I work for now, but in a much better paying position- so I'd be making 3x my current salary. ) We no longer meet income guidelines for weatherization assistance, but when we did, weatherization performed an audit, and decided that it wouldn't be cost-effective to do anything beyond the water heater blankets and caulking etc we've already done.

I'm also going to sit on it a few days simply to think my way through it a bit.

I know the best choice financially is to stay where we are, and I'm really trying to keep that in mind, but if we can swing it with a $500/month + cushion after all the bills are paid I may revisit it.
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#8 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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Well, you might want to see if the landlord might offer a lower rent. Couldn't hurt to inquire. And if the rent went down $150 to $200, it might just break even with your heating/cooling expenses and/or the things you are still planning to fix up in the trailer...
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#9 of 14 Old 04-04-2010, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know the landlord would lower the rent, but it's so low that I don't want to, really. He'll also happily exchange rent for work to be done (fresh coat of exterior paint etc...)
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#10 of 14 Old 04-04-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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ever thought about building a natural building house on your land for cheap, cob, straw bale, earthbag, earthship, papercrete, etc.?. That's what we are planning when we buy land. Google and look at some of the beautiful, not expensive houses people have done on their own ( the consultant, contractor built houses are beautiful and expensive) Read Mortgage Free for ideas too. Your dd could help build the house and help create the beauty of it. We may be living in a mh for a while when we build or maybe a yurt.

I would not give up a paid for place to go rent somewhere unless you were moving to a new area or doing something different.
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#11 of 14 Old 04-06-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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Do you actually own any of the land the mobile home is on?

If you did move what would you do with it?

Is the new place closer to your work?

Resistance is futile Matey
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#12 of 14 Old 04-06-2010, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
Do you actually own any of the land the mobile home is on?

If you did move what would you do with it?

Is the new place closer to your work?
Yes, it is on about 5 acres, and we own all of it. Taxes are about $500/year. If we move, we will retain the property. As there are no monthly payments, and the insurance is very low, we're not too concerned about this. The property is used jointly with my parents as a family garden plot, so we'd most likely keep the MH here, and vacant for use when people visit, as well as as a place to come inside to get out of the sun and have a cold drink on occasion.

The ultimate goal will be to rehab and renovate the stickbuilt house (it was gutted at some point in time) on this property but that's at least 5-10 years off financially. At that point, the MH will be removed from the property as well, and a garage will be put in its place.

The other location is only a few blocks away, so location isn't such an issue.

Oddly enough, the more reasons coming up not to take the rental, the more I come up with justifying that choice. I think my feeling is that the quality of life change would be worth the added expense- provided we have the income to cover it without leaving ourselves up a creek. I desperately want my kids to have a safe, clean, bright place to grow up, with a safe kid-friendly yard to play in. We've made great progress here, but the reality is that if there had been any other options at that point in time, we would not have moved in here. There weren't, and we've done a lot to improve it, but it is not going to feel like home to me, and I feel like I need to decide what value I place on that.

The property here is great, and we are absolutely wanting to do it for the long-haul, but I'm so stressed, and cramped living in a construction site while the kids are small... adding to that that in order to stay in this place we need to build a new roof (it leaks when it rains or melts,) insulate everything, put in all new windows, and there's no way we can sell the MH for anywhere near the amount we'd have to invest... I feel like we're throwing money at a money pit. You know- the money to put windows in here could go to windows in the home we want to have renovated as a forever home- same with roofing, etc and so on...

I feel like emotionally I know what I want to do, but logically it's far from clear.
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#13 of 14 Old 04-06-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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Maybe you could make a deal with your brother - exchange work for rent for a period of time and you could sock that money away to start renovations on the stick home. Meanwhile, sell the mobile and take the cash you save over a year, plus the mobile proceeds and throw it all at the stick built to get it livable. You will still be living in a construction zone (the stick built on your property) after a year, but you will not be throwing your money away.
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#14 of 14 Old 04-06-2010, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe you could make a deal with your brother - exchange work for rent for a period of time and you could sock that money away to start renovations on the stick home. Meanwhile, sell the mobile and take the cash you save over a year, plus the mobile proceeds and throw it all at the stick built to get it livable. You will still be living in a construction zone (the stick built on your property) after a year, but you will not be throwing your money away.

Definitely something to consider! That could work out pretty well, actually...
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