Saturday, March 9, 2013

We Already Have More Than We Need... If We Change Some Things Up a Bit.

We are still in the dream-phase of this adventure. It's been a little frustrating the past month, to be honest. We want to get our house on the market and get it sold, but are we sure that we are ready to move forward? Not quite.



Ryan's job just posted a Sergeant's position that he wants. He's not up for studying and preparing while starting the selling process again. This little blip should be over by the end of the month, so we're pausing at least that part of it for just a little bit.

I called our bank to talk to them about the details regarding getting a loan for property and eventually get a construction loan to build. She was very honest and told me that I should call a different bank. Hey, not what I wanted to hear, but at the same time I appreciate the honesty. She gave me the name of a bank to call. My plan is to call on Monday. It's so intimidating because I just want to be told that it will work exactly like I want it to.

Ryan has emailed a friend of his that is a lawyer to talk over the legality of living in a "camper" on our property for a couple years. The township states that there are minimum requirements for the size, plumbing, etc for a dwelling... but I don't think we'll be a dwelling since we'll be on wheels. I think that is the whole point of the Tiny House Movement. There are rules about storing a camper and rules about dwellings... but what about using a camper?

We checked with the realtor about a piece of property that lines up with what we want. It was a 3-parcel piece totaling about 20 acres (our goal is at least 5, but hopefully closer to 10... 20 would be AMAZING). It turns out that the 69k they had it posted for was just for one parcel of 5 acres. No thanks. We think we can do better. It's okay.

Talking through finances with Ryan and my good friend, Spreadsheet, we've realized that if we take this leap--this ginormous, insane, fantastic LEAP--that we will, in fact, be okay. I have told approximately four friends about this...as well as my other friend, Internet... about this. One said DO IT. One said, "that is my nightmare." One said, "I think you should think about it. I see a lot going wrong with this plan." And the last one said, "I don't know why you are doing this. If your dream is to build a house, why waste your money on a temporary tiny house? Just save for the house you want."

This last one sent me into a slight mental recession (right, they use that term for a "not quite depression, right?") Then we pulled out the numbers. There is no way, unless we refinanced I guess, that we would be able to afford a down payment for a new construction home in the next twenty years. That is the short and the long of it. It just is impossible. Unless I get a job. And that is so against our values at this point in life. We have three small children (4,3, and 2). It's not a question of bringing in more money, it's a question of using the money we have wisely. We already have more than we need... if we change some things up a bit.

If we can live in our tiny home, on our current salary, for 2.75 years... we will have:

  • Paid cash for our tiny home.
  • Paid cash for the 20% downpayment on a chunk of property that we are assuming to be around $70k.
  • Paid cash for a new truck for Ryan (since his is becoming a deadweight).
  • Paid cash for a 20% downpayment on a construction loan for our "forever" home.
  • Have $20k in our savings account to spare (not counting our CURRENT savings, or his retirement accounts... this is over and above our normal lifestyle of savings.)
  • If we somehow managed to stay in this Tiny House for  6 years we'd have 100k in savings. Whaaa?!?!? That is inSANE. 
Let's dream big? Why not?!

Obviously if he gets the promotion, then that will all be bumped up sooner. If he doesn't get the promotion, no worries; he LOVES his job as it is and there are a few more spots coming up in the next couple years.

If we sold our house by June 1, we'd:
  • Move in with my parents.
  • We'd have the cash to start the Tiny House in June.
  • Finish the tiny home by December (when Ryan's written agreement to the temporary exemption of the residency requirement for his employer) so that the kids and I could move out of Mom & Dad's and give the relationship a break. We'd still need it to be parked at their house for me and the kids. They have already agreed to us living with them. We have not mentioned the Tiny House to them yet--not until we have some of the kinks worked out some more. Parent's sometimes can be the harshest critics... but only because they love so much. 
  • Ryan would find a small room to rent to fulfill his residency requirement (and get some sleep during the day on the nights he works).
  • Have the CASH to put down on property after tax season next spring. 
  • We'd move out to our property and keep saving to dig a well, using temporary generator/barrel water system.
  • Dig a well, and be good to go for the next 2 years while we saved, saved, saved!

So many if's and unknowns. I'm realizing that it's part of the reason this is so exciting. I remember telling Ryan a few years ago--after we were pregnant with Asher and sure that it'd be the last pregnancy--that I felt like instead of seeing so many doors open to me in the "hallway of life" (for lack of a better term) that it seemed like most of the doors were SHUT HARD behind me and I had a handful of unexciting ones ahead of me. I think it was my brains way of saying that I was putting myself into the rut that everyone gets into; marriage, kids, mortgage, work, pay bills, work, pay bills... I needed something to CHANGE. Something to be unexpected again. I'm okay with living differently than most of America. I thrive on that. I want to live the way we want; as comfortably as we can. I want to get away from the weaknesses of our culture (materialism, selfishness, etc etc etc) and LIVE. I want to take my family and be thankful for what we have, and show that gratitude with how we treat each other, our things, and other people. I feel excited again about our life. It's just a bit hard to actually step off the train and start walking our own path.

Thankful to be a Christian, and to understand that God has a perfect timing in all of this. There is a lot of stress that I am tempted to pull right over the top of myself. In reality, living debt free--I believe--is something that God wants for us. Leaving behind an inheritance for our children--I believe--is also biblical. This is moving us in that direction, into the direction of obedience. If we are obeying and we are asking in faith then I believe that God is going to line it all up for us, or He is going to change our mind about what we want as he shows us a BETTER way to be obedient.

So many "what ifs" and unknowns. So much [good] crazy coming back into my life. [Good] Crazy = Adventure.

I love my family. I love my husband who loves to dream outside of the box with me. He is my soul mate. 

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