I was surfing Facebook as I do often, and I came across this article regarding being “House Poor”.
It’s interesting to read particularly because it’s not something that you read about often in the media, just on blogs. This couple had several setbacks as they were building their dream home, and now worry about losing it.
“Edgerton estimates she and Camus spend 43 per cent of their combined income paying down their $418,000 mortgage and covering other fixed housing expenses. Once they pay the rest of the bills and buy groceries, “there is nothing left,” she explains. She describes their existence as living “hand to mouth.””
This is how so many people live. This is how I have always lived, and how my family lives now. Your fixed housing expenses should not exceed 35% of your income, and I don’t know too many that meet that 35%, they all exceed it. Recently, because my wife and I are expecting our son within the next six weeks, my wife wants a stick built home for the stability and security. Her and I are of two different minds when it comes to stability and security. We don’t have a large enough RV to live in right now as a family so the extra space certainly makes sense, but we’re over doubling our living costs. That’s the part that’s hardest for me. An extra $1000 a month going into renting a stickbuilt rather than savings. If something happens and I end up out of work again, we run the risk of being evicted and having no where to go.
Luckily, the idea of getting into an RV isn’t off the table, it’s just delayed (again). I still want to try and save to get that bunkhouse fifth wheel that we saw back in August of 2014. Brand new, it had a price tag of $59,995 brand new, with just under $500/mth in payments. Now that it’s “last years model” with the 2016’s coming out, who knows, maybe a good deal is to be found.
We just need to collect a good down payment on something like that, which is a heck of a lot less than a down payment on a house. If we can manage to save even $400/mth out of our wages, we could have 25k in three years. If I ever get any bonuses with my work, we’d be putting that into savings as well, and I can currently get a maximum of $25,000 in bonuses every year.
Working hard towards those bonuses, but man it’s hard when the work is slow here currently. It’s starting to pick up, but it’s still slow, and I still have so much to learn.