Is it time? Do we ever know when the time is right to make changes?
For about a year we have talked of settling down and travel on a part time basis. Ideally 6 months at our "home", 6 months on the road.
But where? Louisiana? Texas? Alabama? NJ? PA? MD? We have chiidren and grandchildren in 5 states.
When we met and married Leonard moved up to NJ from Louisiana. The deal was we would live and work in NJ until retirement, then move to Louisiana. We have 6 grandchildren and a daughter in Louisiana. Last year we started looking at property in Louisiana. WOW! We were shocked at the cost of land. Well, probably not Louisiana.
We have a daughter, 4 grandchildren and 2 great grand kids in Texas. Well, we know from when we started full timing this would not work. The costs of vehicle insurances are prohibitive. The costs of land where we would want to be also. Several financial reasons it would not be Texas.
NJ, PA, MD
Yes, my sister and brother live in NJ and that will always be home to me. A daughter and grandson live in PA, a daughter and two granddaughters live in MD. But...... it is the northeast. Cold, cold, cold in winter. Cost of homes, heating, property taxes high. And there is that promise I made 28 years ago.
Son and family live in central Alabama. They, too, get cold weather and occasional snow. But it is about 1/2 way between PA/MD/NJ and SW Louisiana. Maybe a good compromise? Housing costs are lower, taxes way low. So.... let's talk Alabama.
Early this year we looked at a manufactured house. Fell in love. Looked around at nearby property. Leonard must have some acreage. Not a lot.... four to eight acres would be good. Mulled it over in our mind.
A few weeks ago I went on Realtor.com to check out what is in the area. Found a house on 21 acres for a reasonable cost. A benefit to looking in this area is that our son and daughter-in-law can check things out for us. Daughter-in-law checked on the property and talked to the realtor. Found out why so cheap. An elderly woman lives in it alone except for a house full of cats. Walking into the house one is knocked over by the stench. Floors and walls would have to be ripped up and replaced. No thanks.
Yesterday I went back on realtor.com and found a property and house on 4 acres at a cost we can surely afford. And we like how the house looks. Perfect size. Son and daughter-in-law took a look/see. Could not get close to peek in windows as the house is occupied. Said it is in a nice area. No trashy properties around. Just was listed yesterday.
I contacted the agency and got two replies by brokers via email. Both said they would call me later. Well, that was early yesterday afternoon. No call. Wondering if I want to deal with them. I will give it a little while and if I don't hear I will make contact with another agency.
In the midst of Len and I talking about this possibly yesterday, we talked about how we would purchase the house. We were thinking cash and said we would need to talk it over with our Financial adviser. Can you believe it? At that moment he called us. It is time for me to get my annual Mandatory Distribution from my 401(k). We told him what we were thinking. He recommends not paying cash as we will be hit with a major tax bill. He explained how much money we have that is not taxable and suggests mortgaging the rest and paying it off over 5 years. Makes sense.
Friends and family. NOTHING is settled. We are just exploring the options. I feel housing costs will be going up. At this time interest rates are extremely low. There is the very real possibility that with a new administration banking regulations will be changed and interest rates increase. So, is this the time? If it is, things will fall into place and we will feel good about it. If not, we continue as we are and still feel good about it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.