Am I nuts to consider this? Moving cross-country for finances - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please tell me is this rational or am I just nuts to even debate doing this. 

 

I'm currently in Southern Texas, house is mortgaged and we have 24 years left on the note. Due to a radical change in finances we are BARELY making it here - and it's not going to get better. We can try to tough it out, but I'm not holding my breath on being able to last much longer here. I"m a single mom fwiw. So I have two options - 1. Move into low-rent housing here or 2. find something cheaper elsewhere. I work from home fwiw, selling books online that I buy at thrift shops. We also home school and I coupon shop, so without a house note we could feasibly live on maybe $200 a month plus cost of utilities {we qualify for food stamps and medical aid}. 

 

 

I am considering option #2 - moving somewhere else cheaper. Specifically finding somewhere {I've looked at Detroit and a few other large cities that are down on their luck with lots of empty houses} where I can buy a house free and clear for under $10k. Sell off everything we own that we can, donate the rest and get someone going that way to haul us and what we can carry to new house. Slowly rebuy everything we need as I can find it cheap and we have funds from my income. I'd either sell the house here or just let it go back to the mortgage company. If I sold it I might get $5-10k for it, but it's more likely we'd break even. 

 

 

Am I crazy to seriously consider doing this? Has anyone else done this?


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#2 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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I dont think moving is a bad idea however I would chose your new location very carefully.  I would def. check out the potential new house before buying it and the area as well.

I have been considering moving for quite sometime and if I can't get back into my career by the time my lease is up (May) I'm going to have to move.  As much as I hate it  I will be out of options and everything else.


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#3 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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It is probably better for you to sell the house sooner rather than later, if you can't afford it.  Whether or not to move to another state--it depends.  How would it affect your eligibility for aid--will there be a waiting period/residency requirement to meet?

 

Have you considered combining households with someone where you are now?  With another single mom, or with an elderly person who could use some help and companionship from younger people?  It wouldn't be easy, but it gives you a third option.  (I think this, along with working to increase your income, is your best bet for overcoming the economic disadvantages of being a single-parent household.)

 

Increasing income:  Could you sell books or other things online for other people for a fee?  Or even assist with finding items for people online?  Tutor/homeschool another child or two?  Work opposite shifts with another single mom?

 

Personally, I would rather live in a cardboard box than in Detroit.  Those houses are dirt cheap for a reason--are you really going to be able to walk to the good thrift stores there??  Also I am wondering if you understand how much it costs to heat a crappy house that far north in the winter.

 

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#4 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Two words: Avoid Detroit. 


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#5 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaske View Post

It is probably better for you to sell the house sooner rather than later, if you can't afford it.  Whether or not to move to another state--it depends.  How would it affect your eligibility for aid--will there be a waiting period/residency requirement to meet?

 

Have you considered combining households with someone where you are now?  With another single mom, or with an elderly person who could use some help and companionship from younger people?  It wouldn't be easy, but it gives you a third option.  (I think this, along with working to increase your income, is your best bet for overcoming the economic disadvantages of being a single-parent household.)

 

Increasing income:  Could you sell books or other things online for other people for a fee?  Or even assist with finding items for people online?  Tutor/homeschool another child or two?  Work opposite shifts with another single mom?

 

Personally, I would rather live in a cardboard box than in Detroit.  Those houses are dirt cheap for a reason--are you really going to be able to walk to the good thrift stores there??  Also I am wondering if you understand how much it costs to heat a crappy house that far north in the winter.

 


I agree with all this, and came here to say that houses in Detroit cost $10k for a reason.  They have been abandoned, meaning no maintenance for a long time.  They are in abandoned or otherwise very bad neighborhoods.  The cabinets and wiring are long gone.  There might be squatters and/or vermin.  You're not going to get a move-in condition $10,000 house without a lot of work to do, in a neighborhood you would want to raise your kids in.  It gets bitterly cold in the winter, often for several months, and you would have high heating bills, plus have to buy a winter wardrobe for you and your kids.

 

Really, there aren't many places cheaper than South Texas.  Instead of moving to a place where you have no support system, I'd probably focus on figuring out how to make staying work, even if it means moving to a different place locally.  

 


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#6 of 10 Old 10-10-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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Returning to add that I don't think it is entirely crazy to want to move somewhere with a lower cost of living and live off an online business--we are proceeding in that direction ourselves--but that the income side needs to be fully developed first, and the new location very carefully considered.  There's a proverb in the Bible that I keep reminding myself about:  "First sow your fields, then build your house."  You have a very challenging situation, for sure.  

 

This is a blog by a single mother who lives in an RV trailer with her children:  http://www.theboxcarkids.net/wordpress/ 

 

 

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#7 of 10 Old 10-10-2011, 09:30 AM
 
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I don't think Detroit is your answer. As previous posters have already brought up it takes a lot to stay warm there, any house you are going to get for 10k is going to come along with a load of other issues and you are already living in one of the lowest cost of living areas there is. I think you should try to sell your home right away and then move to the low cost housing where you are. At least you'll have the benefit of familiarity.


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#8 of 10 Old 10-10-2011, 05:30 PM
 
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I actually think there  are houses fit to live in Detroit (not pristine, but with working mechanicals) in that price range.  But Detroit has had some really high property taxes. Houses in Detroit have sold for only the equivalent of one or two years of their property taxes! Is a $10K house a deal if the property taxes are $5K and year and you still haven't paid any utilities?

 

 

You would be way better with a cheap house in a true low COL place, low tax state and a mortgage in my opinion.

 

And I'm the odd duck that liked Detroit the times I visited.

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#9 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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There's a big difference between visiting a place and living there.  Detroit has serious social problems that aren't going to be solved in this or even two or three generations.  The crime rate is incredibly high, but they are cutting back on police because they don't have the funds to pay them.  The illiteracy rate would be startling even in a third world country, but they are cutting back on schools because there isn't money to afford it.  Lots of mismanagement and grief.  Kwame, our recent mayor, just got out of prison.  There is lots of corruption.  I think our Head Start program either got shut down or almost shut down for money that just went missing.  It's really sad.

 

I wound up leaving.  It pained me, because you want to help your hometown, but I honestly couldn't imagine raising children there.  My brother, still single, is committed to doing what he can there -- and I admire him for it.  But once he has kids he's leaving too.  I guess what I'm saying is, why committ to a place that's such a disaster?  Unless you have an interest in missionary type work.

 

Best,

Anka


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#10 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 07:25 AM
 
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I would think a big consideration would be whether you are able to find the books that you currently pick up at thrift stores to sell on line. Not every city has such great scores for thrift shopping. If that is your main source of earnings, best do some research in that area.  I would also be inclined to sell my house before moving or going under. Doesn't hurt to list it on your own and see if you get any responses or talk with a real estate agent.  IF you get 5-10 thousand extra, that would be a good chunk of security money for your family and impending move and restarting in new city.

 


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