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It has been an encouraging week.  Dan and I finally got to see some fruit of our labor for the past few years worth of work, toil, and sacrifice--I had my first paycheck.  For a girl who never got paid over $7.50 an hour working her butt off as a nurse aide, it was an exciting day to see the fruition of six years of college education and countless hours with her nose stuck in a book.

Now that life is a little more settled and there are definite jobs for both of us here, and now that we've been in the area a little bit, we're discussing what are our long-term goals for house, land, etc.  If we wanted to buy a little starter home, there are certainly plenty to choose from and with interest rates as low as 3.9% it is certainly a buyers market.

However, we're trying to not be short-sighted.  In the long-term, Dan and I have plans of building a house and owning a minimum of 10 acres--we want a lifestyle where our kids learn the value of hard-work and practical life skills and where they can be a part of growing their own food.  We have a good idea of where we need to live for ease of commuting.  Buying our less-than-ideal home that we will nearly certainly be trying to sell in about 5 years (or even a little less) is going to be a daunting--and possibly futile--task, considering this economy.   I just don't think we'd get whatever investment we made in the home with equity.  Furthermore, we're both concerned that we'll just settle with the suburban rat-race once pets and kids and the Joneses start knocking on our door.

Hence our alternate idea....we have looking around and believe that we could easily afford the payments on a plot of land in addition to my student loan payments (our only current debt).  That would allow us to lock in at these lower rates.  If we instead took about 3 months to save up for our down payment and look for a property, then an additional 9 months to save our initial building nest egg (as opposed to wailing on the student loans), we could build our phase one of home building--a 4 bay garage with a second story apartment.  Two bays would be for cars and two bays would become a workshop for Dan--something that he's desperately needing with his own side jobs that he's been doing.

In one year, we could accomplish some headway on student loans and our land, and we would have a free-and-clear owned apartment/workshop built on it.  The apartment would be large enough to last us for about 5 years or a bit longer and even a couple of kids (aspiring grandmothers need not worry).  We wouldn't be trying to get rid of a structure and plot of land--it would become part of our home.  Long-term ideas for the apartment are to use it as a guest house, and also open it up to visiting missionaries and speakers at our church (which is sizeable).  Furthermore, being ON-SITE for building as opposed to having to drive out to our land will make building the main house much easier and much more secure.  Building sites are often theft-prone because you can guarantee that from about 4pm until about 8am, there won't be anyone there. 

Our next five years or so (rather than driving out to the land or trying to sell our starter home) would be spent accordingly:
--Year One and Two: Student Loans paid off
--Year 3-5: Nest egg for main house saved up
--Year 6: Start building the main house.

The goal is to never owe a dime on our home.  So long as we have about two years' worth of savings (along with a frugal lifestyle), Dan is pretty sure that he will never out-pace my earnings.   By our early to mid 30's we could easily have only 20% of the value of our home (and land) as our only form of debt.

Our wonderful land-lady is a realtor and suggested that we chat with the loan officer at her office to discuss even the feasibility of our plans....we'll keep you posted!


  1. That sounds perfect, Paige! I'm so excited to see how things progress for you all. :) <3 I miss you!

  2. When we bought our property here, we bought a used camper trailer and lived in it after we sold our house in town. It was really nice being there when I was building the house, kept travel down and kept everything from being stolen as well. I think you have a good plan and good luck.


  3. Pagie,
    I am so proud of you!!! Keep us posted on your hunt for land. Remember we aren't that far from you...perhaps we will make a trip to say "hi" soon.
    love ya,


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