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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The 'Semi-Dream' of a House With No Mortgage-- Progress So Far..

Well I am hoping to have an offer written and submitted and earnest money put down on the 1 acre of land and mobile home I mentioned. We are beginning to develop ideas for how we would like to proceed to build a 'real' home on the land. Our thought is to live in the singlewide temporarily-as long as it takes- and design and build a home for ourselves on the land. I've checked with the zoning folks and this can be done we just need to submit a plan to them first. South Carolina is not as picky as some places can be, but there will still be costs involved and some codes and such like to meet.

Our first step is to build a garage as we need something to store all Hubby's tools and equipment in. There is a 'shed' on the land that apparently was the beginning of a house that a former tenant tried to build on the land. We are going to try to make use of that already built portion to add on to--adding first a garage--then other rooms.

The owner has quite a few older mobiles on land, generally on 1 acre plots, and he sometimes offers some for sale with financing. It is an investment for him, he can make some interest, and it gives folks with little money a chance to buy a place--but they must make the payments. Apparently this one has been sold before and it didn't end up well. The former tenant/rent-to-owner began a project but didn't finish it, never had permits, didn't do his homework-- a shed he built is over the property line--but we are getting an easement to keep that. He also built a pond with a deck on a power company easement and the deck had to be removed. Nothing seemed to work for this guy and in the end he apparently must have trashed the mobile and left-not sure if that was out of anger or what--but it did seem possible when we saw it last spring before it was fixed up, big holes kicked in walls isn't usually an accident. In any case we can probably use the building he left--it is possibly going to be part of our future house. I'll dismantle what is left of his pond and use all the rocks to line flower beds--so that's great.

To avoid that same fate of jumping into something without enough funds and without doing our homework-- we are paying up front for most of it. We have a large enough down payment that we were able to negotiate a much lower price and we are financing only a small amount so that we will retain enough cash to build our garage and do some other things and keep some money on hand for unexpected problems.

Our monthly payments will be about 1/4 what we pay for rent now, including taxes and insurance. We are hoping that we can make double payments most of the time and cut much of the time and interest off of the small mortgage. The amount we will finance is $20,000--it will be like having a car payment--which is fine as we already own our cars--junky as they are--and Hubby keeps them running himself. If need be we can pay it off-- but we may not for a while.

I think we'll both celebrate when we do pay it off but we realize that in this case a small amount of credit will be better for us. So its the Dream--but its a modified Dream-its our Semi-Dream. I think if worst came to worst and we lost our jobs or something in the coming economic troubles, we could come up with enough to make that small payment quite easily. Still--I'll like it better when its paid. I guess I could say its a 'semi-Dream' of a house with no mortgage--if I must have a mortgage at least I can get one that is really small and get it cleared as soon as possible. We will have far more equity in the land than we will debt and that is a good ratio.

There is a little hitch in the process here, Hubby is out of town. He won't be home until Wednsday night and we don't have our offer submitted in writing yet. Someone else has made a full price offer--but with a much smaller down payment and the owner prefers to work with us--but I need to have an offer written and ready for Hubby to sign --I'm not sure how to go about this--I guess I could fax it to him, or maybe it will wait until Thursday or maybe I can submit it alone. That's my little project today--to get this going, and then I need to go to work. Perhaps I can do it myself--but I don't know. I'm going to contact an attorney and get some advice this morning.

I know the owner is anxious to see our money-- and know we are firm on this. We had talked to him about this same property back in the spring but the condition of the mobile at the time was pretty rough and we decided that since our #3 son wasn't enthused about the project we would not do it--he has always been Hubby's right hand man, but there comes a time when a young man needs to get out on his own and he has gone to live in Wisconsin where we raised him. However--it turns out #2 son, is very interested in helping us with things and that the owner had a handyman come in and re-do the inside of the mobile--so we are paying a little bit more than we would have then--but saving money and time because we won't have to fix up the temporary home we can just move in. This could be a good time for Hubby and #2 son to spend time together. He lives with us so he can go to school. He has been out on his own and decided to come home so he could get a better start by working his way through school while living with us free. He has nearly finished a semester in school now and is planning to work a semester. He will also be free to help his dad build a garage and help us do all the moving related things.

This is where things lie this morning--hopefully by evening much more will be completed toward the Semi-Dream.

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