Monday, July 7, 2014

Cleaning up the past.

For the past few years I've been working pretty intently on paying off the debt (student loans, credit cards) that I've accumulated over the past 15 (-ish) years.

The student loans are all paid off. The credit card debt is mostly paid off. After this month I should have about $3,000 left to pay, which I'll whittle down over the next few months.

Once all of that is done, I'll have just my auto loan for my truck and the next focus is to get money in the bank for a down payment on a house. I have a little bit in there, but not enough to be a worthwhile down payment.

It feels kind of crazy, though, to spend so long paying everything down/off and then take out another even bigger loan... so I've been debating the pros and cons of home ownership versus renting again. It would be good to have the freedom to do what I want to the place that I'm living and be paying into something that I'll have equity in. It'll be nice to find a place with a garage and a yard to hang out in. On the negative side, though, I'll have to worry about the big things that can (and do) fail in houses and have the money saved up to repair and replace things as needed. I'll be a grown-up worrying about taxes and things like that.

In an effort to help offset the costs of home ownership I've been trying to talk myself into looking at multi-family properties that I could rent out part of in order to pay the mortgage, but I just can't get excited about the responsibility of being a landlord on top of being a new home owner while still working a full time job, also.

Part of me wants the stability and income of having someone else help offset my costs, but the rest of me doesn't want to deal with the potential hassles. So far the second part of me is winning.

The next problem is that if we do buy rather than rent, do we look in the area that we were planning to or do we go back to where we were? It's 45 minutes to an hour away from the more mainstream areas where we used to live and where the jobs, culture and other stuff we like is, but it's much less expensive and less populated (both good things for us). We can get a much nicer house on more property for less money, but it'll be harder to sell and it won't really appreciate in value much. We'll probably get our money back out when we're ready to sell. The biggest downside is putting 120 miles a day on my truck... or whatever I'd end up getting to replace it that gets better gas mileage if we do decide to buy something near where we are now.

While I'm working on figuring out that part of the puzzle, I've recently started the effort of decluttering again. I've started to list up some old bike parts and some computer cables and adapters on eBay. I have some golf clubs and other miscellaneous stuff on craigslist, also. So, hopefully, by the time I figure out where I'm going I'll have less stuff to move. ;)

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