Home buying (in)decision

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

We've had an offer in on a piece of property located about 25 miles from town. Nice land, 10 acres, nearby lakes, some neighbors but still rural farmland.

My problem is that the cost is a more than I can really afford, and the house is a doublewide trailer. While it is less than a year old, I have very reluctantly come to the conclusion that buying a trailer with a 30 year mortgage that will show significant deterioration/depreciation within 15 years is not the brightest idea I've ever had.

Furthermore, after taking a long hard look at myself, I realized that I was trapping myself into planning only for a "worst case" scenario. If we experience a deep recession or depression, along with significant gas price increases, but no major civil unrest, then I will most likely be "trapped" with no way to hunt for a job (my current position is in a very recession sensitive industry) and a mortgage payment that is way more than I can afford if I must look for a job that will probably pay a lot less.

So, bottom line, I'm back to looking for something a little smaller, a little less expensive, with less land. Forget goats and pigs, stick to rabbits and a big garden.

Any advice and/or moral support would be greatly appreciated. I fear I am skating awfully close to the edge here timewise, but at the same time I cannot in good conscience bet my family's future on making preps only for a "10" event.

-- Jon Williamson (jwilliamson003@sprintmail.com), March 31, 1999


As I count myself among the "walking-dead" if TSHTF (live near ground- zero), I envy anyone in a position to move away from cities.

But debt will be bad if TSHTF, and 30 years exceeds the life- expectancy of a trailer. Perhaps an RV would be better.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous99.xxx), March 31, 1999.

We always felt a mobile home was not a good investmant. If the land is good, it might compensate in some way. Would be a lot easier decision if it had a small frame house? These are tough times to have to make a decision. I wish you the best of luck.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), March 31, 1999.

I think that you are right in looking elsewhere. It doesn't have to be worse case for you to lose your job and if you can't make the payments you will have created your own worse case y2k and be out on the street. If you want to move, try renting until you see how things go. There is a true advantage to being a renter and that is being able to pack up and get the hell out without losing your investment/equity. There is a lot to be said for mobility right now. We are well prepared, but now I am putting in the basics into our 30 ft RV. If we had to leave we would take a roof with us. We know a few places where we could bug out to and feel secure. But it would mean leaving everything we own and our herd of miniature donkeys, chickens, etc. If it got that bad, I would shoot my old donkeys rather than let them be at the mercy of a gang. Not very happy thoughts, but thoughts that one cannot help thinking while watching the refugees fleeing Kosovo.

-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), March 31, 1999.

Here is my free advice, remember, you get what you pay for.

1 - Not sure an RV has anything over a mobile home as far as durability goes, of course that covers the map as far as quality range goes. A 20 year old Airstream is probably in better shape than a 2 year old cheapy.

2 - Even if you were certian that Y2K is going to be horrible, I'ld opt to lease the trailer/land and put the difference between the downpayment + payments and the lease payments into gold 1 oz. coins. The idea being, if Y2K comes a cropper, real estate prices will probably collapse and gold will probably increase in relative value. If you feel at that time that the land/trailer is worth whatever is still worthwhile in relation to what else available at that time, the owner might be quite happy to swap the land/trailer for the gold. No guarantees on anything of course, that's life.

3 - What I would recommend if one found some land with good water, soil, and position, is to build a steel barn and put a lined Army surplus tent in it. You'll have to do your own water, sanitation, and electrical system, and perhaps that is beyond your present skill level. If it is so, I would suggest raising your skill level.

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), March 31, 1999.

Personally- I don't like debt. If it's more than you can afford NOW, and your job future isn't certain- doesn't sound good. It's NOT the only place out there. Think of other options.

Are you trying to move permanantly? Just find shelter in case of problems? If trying to move permanently, find an affordable place- and doublewide trailers cost $$ and they end up not being worth anything. It would be best, I think, that if you were trying to find a safe place, you go for a camp of some sort- you know- a deer camp, vacation camp, A-frame whatever. Or- an old trailer you could rehab . Location is important. Keep it affordable- out here you could pick up a small piece of land and a camp for under 25 grand.

You could use the camp for vacations if you kept it and Y2K was not a biggie. Or sell it later. Or, move to it if you needed to. But- it's not good to get something you might end up losing because then you're homeless and homeless people are refugees..

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), March 31, 1999.

Do _not_ buy a house trailer/mobile home with a 30-year mortgage.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), March 31, 1999.

Thanks for the input, everyone. Although we had already made up our minds, the support helps a lot.

So, back to househunting. We really do want to live in the country, or at least more rural than our currently rented house. Add Y2K to that, and at least my own well and septic, a fireplace, and a bit more room for a garden seem like a good idea.

-- Jon Williamson (jwilliamson003@sprintmail.com), March 31, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ