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Hi Everyone - this is my first time posting in this forum, and really, I'm not sure if this is where this thread is supposed to go. I apologize if it's not.<br><br>
In any case, my husband and I recently sold our house at a loss (due to job transfer). We're so glad to be rid of the mortgage payment, it's ridiculous. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> We're renting a place now, and looking for something a little cheaper once this lease ends.<br><br>
We're hoping to live in the country one day - with some acreage and a garden. I grew up in the country and miss that living. Problem is, we don't want to go into debt again to get that lifestyle.<br><br>
My question is this: have any of you saved your money and THEN bought/built a house? How did you make this happen? Am I just dreaming of a debt free lifestyle (we also have some student loans we're paying off)?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
If any one has done this, please let me know how you did it, and if it was a struggle to stay focused on the overall goal.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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Probably a frugal/finances ?- but I have always thought that it was easier to make more $ than to nickle and dime things. If not- save, save, save or earn more! GL!
 

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I guess it depends what you buy and where you live. We just bought a modest home on 10 acres, and our monthly mortgage payment will be less than our monthly rent has been the last 7 years.<br><br>
Maybe I'm just jaded from having rented so long, but handing a cheque over to the landlord each month sort of felt to me like flushing money down the toilet. Not trying to discourage you from saving and buying outright, just offering my perspective. Even if you take a loss on a house, you may not be out as much in the end as if you had been renting the whole time. I shudder to think of how much our rent has added up over the years.
 

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Definitely read the book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Mortgage Free</span>!<br><br>
We're in the process of building our house, and I refuse to go into debt to do it.
 

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DH and I are planning on Owner-Building our first home, breaking groud *hopefully* next fall. DH is a structural engineer (residential), so he feels really comfortable owner-building. Anyway, I don't know anything about buying your first home outright, but I do know that if you owner-build, alot of times you can end up with a good amount of equity in the home b/c you're not paying a contractor, so it saves like 30%. Then, 2 years, sell that one at market value (so you make money from the equity) and build another. Do that 4 times or so, and by the 4th house, you're basically buying outright a really nice home. Not saying it's easy, but it is possible. That's not exactly what we're planning on doing, but we are planning on owner-building and then when we do decide to build again, will be grateful for the added equity. If you're interested, a good beginner owner-builder book is "The Owner-Builder Book" - real creative right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We had our custom-designed home built for us the year before we got married. It is 3200+ sq. ft. on a large piece of acreage (we started with 5 and have added to it over the years, buying surrounding property. We are over 60 acres now and will be buying more).<br><br>
Dh made really great investments and we were able to pay-off our 20-year mortgage within two years of our marriage. It was a fun day for us (but, not for the bank!) when we walked-in and handed them the check for the balance of our mortagage and signed-off on the paperwork.<br><br>
That was the only time we had any debt, paying that mortgage for two years, and we are happy to have it behind us and live completely debt-free now.<br><br>
But, I agree with the PP that said paying a landlord rent is throwing money away. At least with a mortgage, you are paying towards something.<br><br>
Best of luck!!!
 

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We are planning on building a house ourselves debt-free. Our plan is to sell our current home, where we have some equity. After we sell, we'll pay off the land we purchased last spring and use the rest to build a small house. We plan on taking our time and paying as we go to build the bigger house and the rest of the farm.<br><br>
The way we got here was that we bought a fixer-upper that was cheap for our first house. We lived there for 7 years and regularly did improvements. The market prices rose in that area in the time we lived there, and we were able to make a really nice profit, most of which we put into the downpayment on this house or improvements in this house. Hopefully, we'll get it all back out and start our little dream farm debt-free. I think the trick to living debt-free or with a mortgage you can easily afford is buying something UNDER your pricerange. When we got our first house in 1999, it cost $57,500. Most of our peers were buying in "better" neighborhoods in the $90,000-$110,000 range. We thought they were nuts. We sold our house for $130,000.<br><br>
Even if you can't be debt-free, you can afford where you live and not be stretching yourself every month. Hopefully your income will increase a little over time, but your mortgage will stay the same and keep getting even easier for you to manage. Good luck!
 

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I'm all about living debt free. Of course I have a very good reason because we have been renting for so many years and are pretty much shut out of the mortgage option due to unaffordable housing prices around here.<br><br>
I guess the piece of advice I wanted to offer was that you really have to determine what you can afford and how bad you want to live debt free. We are going to be buying a yurt and setting it on my MIL's land and paying her modest rent to stay there. We aren't plugging into the grid so we won't have utility bills. However, we will be making a lot of sacrifices too like living in a small house, only owning a few electrical items, and so forth. My dream would be to own my own acreage but at least we own the yurt outright. If we want to or need to move we can take it down and set it up someplace else.<br><br>
Some people aren't willing to change their lifestyle, live in a smaller space, or choose something unconventional, which makes living debt free unattainable. If you have a lot of disposable income I guess you don't have to make any of those choices but I'm assuming you don't since we are having this discussion.<br><br>
My synopsis is can you live debt free? Sure. Can you do it and maintain the standard of living you have now? Maybe, if you save money for a long time as someone else mentioned but you might be able to do it sooner if you figure out ways of reducing your current consumption and standards of living. Many will say that my yurt isn't a wise "investment" because I probably couldn't sell it for what I paid but monetary investments aren't of huge interest to me. Giving my children a life where we have the freedom to go travel and do things as a family because I'm not chained to a mortgage payment every month is a very special investment for me. In the end it's all about what you really want. Once you figure that out you can find ways to make it all work out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Many will say that my yurt isn't a wise "investment" because I probably couldn't sell it for what I paid but monetary investments aren't of huge interest to me. Giving my children a life where we have the freedom to go travel and do things as a family because I'm not chained to a mortgage payment every month is a very special investment for me.</td>
</tr></table></div>
I love this! I hadn't thought of our choices that way before but it's a lovely way to prioritize.<br><br>
We purchased our 15 acres in a rural area for a low price, but we are staying in the suburbs until we pay off our student loans & save some money to start building. When we're ready, we plan to build the minimum square footage required by the area planning board -- 950 square feet. We'll try to get approval for the basement & attic space to count as living space toward our total since it's usually cheaper to build up than to build out. We will use only the cash in our savings & equity from this home & not get a loan for this.<br><br>
As money permits, we will add on to the house little by little until we either feel we have enough space or it's time to retire & we don't want to spend any more money! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I think it's completely possible, if you're willing to make sacrifices as the pp said.<br><br>
I probably wouldn't rent the whole time. I would look into some other options, like (1) purchasing a very small home at half of what you'd be approved for or less so that your mortgage would actually be less than any rent you'd pay plus you'd be building equity. Or (2) purchasing a 2-family or more & renting out additional unit(s). Or (3) considering a fixer-upper if you have any handyman skills. Or (4) purchasing the land without a loan as soon as you can save the money and living in a mobile home or other inexpensive option (like a yurt?) until you have the cash to build. Or (5) if you have relatives you could live with for next to free, take advantage for a year or two to build savings quickly.<br><br>
Just remember that if you do buy land before you're ready to build a traditional home & you have ideas of temporary, build-up, mortgage-free options, you'll want to choose your land based on what the area planning board that oversees that area will allow. Zoning laws can even vary widely from county to county, so any land you're considering, be sure to see what the restrictions are before you put in an offer.<br><br>
-Julie
 

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We're hoping to start building in a yr or 2. I would like to do it debt free but I don't see that being possible for us unless we wait years to do it. We're getting ready to sell some land we own and we'll use this money as a down payment. We're going to save as much money as we can in the meantime to go towards the house also. We're doing owner builder to save us money. Actually we're lucky enough to know people to do pretty much the whole house.<br><br>
We're doing what we can to make the house cheaper. Concrete stained floors, all the painting ourselves, etc. BIL will probably be the one building. He's doing our estimate and blueprints right now. We can't wait years to save the money b/c the very old trailer we live in now is deterioting fast. I'm just hoping it'll hold out the next yr or 2. We've already remodeled almost the whole thing and don't want to sink anymore money into it. We're just going to save what we can while building and put it into a 15yr loan so at least we won't be tied down to a mortgage for the next 3 decades. If we had a better place to stay we would probably wait it out but why start paying rent when you can start paying on your house?
 
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