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Thoughts on Unemployment... - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

About Thoughts on Unemployment...

Previous Entry Thoughts on Unemployment... Mar. 4th, 2010 @ 01:04 pm Next Entry
****I am posting this from my co-worker's computer. I wrote it on my non-internet connected one....so....there ya go. :grin:***

This post comes about because my co-workers’ cousin just lost her job. Her husband has been on disability for years, so hers was effectively the only income. Her *first* response to the job loss? To declare “I’m gonna sell my house, buy a lot, and move to the country!”

OK...:cracks fingers: Let’s look at this logically, shall we? I know, from co-worker, that cousin’s house is about ½ paid for. Let’s assume that, knowing that it is a modest house (especially in *that* area), it cost originally $100,000. So...she owes $50,000 (ignore the interest right now,
OK - it’s not material for this discussion.) Let’s see how this plays out....

1. You gotta actually *buy* the lot. I don’t know how much land is going for where she’s looking (about 90 miles SE of her current home), but let’s assume a minimum of $5,000. That’s for a totally *unimproved* lot (and I’m thinking I’m way low. Still...run with it). OK, but you can’t just drop a home on it...you need to do some stuff first:

a. Septic System - MINIMUM $10,000.
b. Driveway - mine was $2,500, 6 years ago. Prices have gone up...but let’s just use this number, since I know that’s what I paid.
c. Water Meter - :heh: Sticker-shock time - I had to pay $2,500 for the HOOK-UP fee. Can’t see it being any cheaper now....
d. Electric - where she’s moving is the same Co-op...it’s a $250 deposit (or was 6 years ago.)

So far, we’re at $15,250 for the improvements, PLUS the cost of the lot. Call it $21,000, so far, just for the spot to plop a tent on.

2. You gotta have some sort of housing. *Some* places don’t allow mobile/manufactured homes...for this exercise, let’s assume this lot does (it’s cheaper). So......

6 years ago, I was looking at mobile homes. Granted, I was looking at new double-wides, but the *cheapest* I found was $80,000. (Yes - for a dinky MOBILE home. :shudder:) The few single-wides I looked at were running about $60,000 New (because of Himself’s asthma, used was out of the question unless the seller would guarantee me there was no water damage)......figure used
ones to run about half of new. So, call it $30,000 MINIMUM for a used mobile home. If you’re lucky. (To do this right, I should go look at current prices, but I am without ‘net access right now. This’ll do, though)

So.....we’re at $51,000 right now. They owe $50,000 on their current house. This.....doesn’t make sense to me. :shakes head:

Let’s not even go into the fact that they LEASE their car (they don’t own one...just lease it. Stupid!). That bill won’t go away, unless they pay the penalty to break the lease.....they still have to buy a car. Call it $5,000 for a decent used one - again, I have NO idea what they could get for
that price, but it sounds like a decent amount. (You could go cheaper, of course....but I’m assuming that they’d want a newer used car, and $5,000 sounds reasonable for that. I could be WAY off, though. And, since the husband is disabled, a bicycle/motorcycle wouldn’t be practical.)

So.....we’re already up on cost (plus the added debt load, but hey - who counts that, right?). Now you gotta factor in cost of living. Yes, the area she’s thinking of is cheaper to live in than where they are.....But. Groceries are actually a bit more expensive, once you factor in gas. (Farther to drive to the store, you see. And there’s only 2 stores there, just like where I live. NO variety at all, and very few “odd” items...like Ricotta cheese. That’s “unique”. :sigh:) Clothing....Wal-Mart or drive to a big town. Phone.....ah, phone service! If it’s like where I live, there’s 1 choice - take it or leave it. I pay about $90/month for phone/DSL.....which I think is high, but I have no choice. Cell phone service is spotty out here - the company I am with is the ONLY one that I’ve ever gotten a signal in my house from. So........

Now, I’m NOT saying moving is a horrible idea. IF she wants to do it so she can try and help supplement her diet with a garden/chickens/etc, then..OK, I can see it - but it still doesn’t make financial sense. The ONLY money they will have coming in is Disability and her Social Security (both of which are NOT going to be around forever...I’m watching for those to be taken away
soon-ish.) (And, again - MOST communities around here allow up to 3 hens, and you can garden in containers. So, moving for a garden/chickens is NOT a smart idea!)

It *might* lower her monthly payments....but honestly, not by much. Not without paying cash for the lot and improvements - if all she had to finance was the mobile home, then yes - that *would* make sense (again ignoring the fact that the housing market SUCKS right now, and NO ONE is really in a position to buy. She might get lucky and get someone to assume her note - IF
it’s an assumable mortgage. If not....she’ll have *2* house payments. Unless she lets her current house go into foreclosure.....which is NOT a good idea. I think that would include the risk of the bank putting a lien on the new home......:sigh: I don’t know that for a fact, though.....but it’s
something to consider.)(And - she doesn’t HAVE the cash for any of this, so she’ll be going into debt from the get-go.)

Here’s the thing - in a Depression, it’s NOT the time to go into more debt. IF she could sell her house for enough that the current mortgage is paid off AND she could afford to pay cash for the new lot/improvements/house, then yes - it’s a good idea. If not - and in this market, I’m betting on NOT - then no, this is NOT a good idea.

And, for the record, yes, I DO believe in miracles. Yah can do ANYTHING - He can make it possible for her to move without assuming more debt. However....I also believe that I should plan for the worst. IF I get a miracle, fantastic! If not, well - I’m not worse off, because I prepared.
Current Location: office
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
spin a yarn
Date:March 4th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Maybe they could become WWOOF-ers (http://www.wwoof.org/)
Or couch surfers (http://www.couchsurfing.org/)
I empathize. We have a house on five acres.
We also have a steel out building that is half garage and half apartment for my dad who is disabled. And people think that since we have space they can just come hang out here (And leave the bathroom heater on ALL day long!!!) just because we are on a dirt road doesn't mean we have no bills - my electric bill (with a wind generator mind you!) was over $250 this month. I feel like people assume that because I am taking precautions to have food and water and medical supplies, that I am being nice enough to pack them some too. ummm...not exactly. And they think that since my husband has a job and is responsible enough to pay bills that we must be rich - no we are frugal. cheap. stingy. whatever.
(Guess who is gonna be having a talk with her unemployed potential future brother in law soon?)
People just have to find a cheaper way to live. We are gonna be stuck with hoards of shocked, crazy, desperate, hungry, homeless people real freaking quick.
If you don't mind me taking up a little more space here (this one is for Anna too!
Mark 13: 12-20 (from the CJB)
Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death; and everyone will hate you because of me. But whoever holds out till the end will be delivered. "Now when you see the abomination that causes devastation standing where it ought not to be" (let the reader understand the allusion), "that will be the time for those in Y'hudah to escape to the hills. If someone is on the roof, he must not go down and enter his house to take any of his belongings; if someone is in the field, he must not turn back to get his coat. What a terrible time it will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that it may not happen in winter. For there will be worse trouble at that time than there has ever been from the very beginning, when God created the universe, until now; and there will be nothing like it again. Indeed, if God had not limited the duration of the trouble, no one would survive; but for the sake of the elect, those whom he has chosen, he has limited it."

And now they are offering a big ol' cash reward for people to turn in folks they know who are cheating on their taxes...

Okay enough from me...I have missed you the past couple of days. :o)
Date:March 4th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)


Yeah... not smart. My mobile home was $35,000 five years ago... that's not including tax, title transfer, or moving the home. The basement was $20K, the barn was $10K, the well, driveway, septic, inspections... need I go on? We ended up spending $140K on this place. Three acres. We owed $65K on our old place, but it was a two-hour round trip to work for Brian, our propane costs were AS-TRO-nomical (FIVE TIMES what they are,here), and we don't owe a bank - Brian's grandpa holds the mortgage, and is lienient on payments, if trouble hits. And there's a possibility that when he passes (he's 85 with diabetes) that he'll give us the place as inheritance. So in our case, it was a win-win to move. It took us nearly two years to sell our old house, though (and that was before the Oct 08 crash!)... the *only* way we were able to do it was because Grandpa let us live in the new house with NO PAYMENTS DUE until the old house sold. Otherwise we never could've done it. It's NOT as easy as you think.
(spin a yarn)
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