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Old 01-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #15
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this is an a/s forum and community...

so naturally we like streams, use streams and live streams.

and it all forms and with all related issues.

so welcome.

now for a summary of the plan as outlined.

it's a bad idea.

actually it's not a bad idea but it IS an expensive idea.

folks losing jobs, moving, about to have a kiddo, getting divorced, and a variety of other life changing events...

sometimes believe buying an a/s will help with those issues.

it seldom does, almost never does and doesn't as you've laid out the problems.

-upside down on a mortgage and relocating for work.

-then there is selling (major depreciation) a new car and buying a new truck.

-then buying land?

buying stuff seldom solves money problems.

and as UNappealing as it might be...

selling the current house at LOSS might be the best $ move.

IF you already owned a stream (or property) using it for housing might work temporarily.

but buying one (especially new) is just like buying a REALLY REALLY TINY house.

at 50-100k$ and with higher interest rates and shorter terms than a stick house mortgage.

then add buying LAND to that.

again buying stuff doesn't translate to solving short or long term money issue...

besides there are larger, better built (for stationary use) things that can be purchased or rented...

IF ya really really wanna live in a trailer park.

an older stream and older truck would be LESS $ but come with other issues.

and IF u've never rv'd or lived in a trailer, well it's not like grey's anatomy or northern exposure.

i can think of a dozen cheaper/simpler/lower risk approaches to the problems laid out in the o.p.

but it's not our place to solve this and the solutions might have NO value 2 you.

it reads like you've been juggling the parameters and thats good.

keep juggling.

there is a related forum here called 'the early retirement forum' see the link at page bottom.

then take this question over there for a few opinions...

i doubt anyone will suggest buying a SILVER tube as part of a solution.

again welcome and best o'luck.


all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:03 PM   #16
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Slip7, I would have to agree with fulltime in an airstream while still working would be a difficult opinion for for you and your wife...and the pooches....but, if you decide to venture this route...the rv parks in texas normally charge around $400-500 monthy to stay full time....if you buy land ...the most important need would be for your waste water.... a septic tank, electrical, road, and emense cost......I have noticed on Craig's list that some post a rv space on private land...that has the electrical, water, and septic system set-up....good luck in your venture

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Old 01-11-2011, 05:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Slip7 View Post
My major doubt was, "If this idead is so wonderful and simple, why isn't everyone doing it?"
I think that there are more and more people either doing now or getting ready to do it. Most people (us included) were suckered into the lifestyle of the establishment (mortgage, kids, 2 cars, both working, etc) and are now second guessing that decision.

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Old 01-11-2011, 07:31 PM   #18
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Something to consider, the "greenist" house is one that's already built.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:03 AM   #19
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Hi, I was once told that dreams are free. And there is nothing wrong with that. I think you should find cheap housing in the area where you have to work. [buy or rent] Re-locate your wife to be with you and rent out your house that she is living in now. In time, you should be caught up to where the house is worth selling. [might be ten years] And by then, you should be on top of that new car too. Now build your dream house and consider buying slightly used truck and trailer, unless you have the cash to buy them with. Even then, slightly used might still be better.

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Old 01-12-2011, 12:37 AM   #20
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Hi Slip 7,
First thing I saw was that you need house or land and are moving to San Antonio. I presently have a very nice house 4/2/2 about 2000 sq' for sale in a great neighborhood with a good size piece of fully fenced property that I will owner finance with a modest amount down. Might or might not work for you, but both of us being creative thinkers, it might be worth your effort to contact me. I can or some of my freinds could at the least answer some of your questions. San Antonio is a beautiful place to live.
Please feel free to contact me.
Barry 210-912-9375
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:59 AM   #21
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I did what you want to do

EXCEPT I did it 5 years ago before the housing market tanked. The house sold twice within 9 months after I sold it, price went up stupid/crazy amounts each time. Then the market crashed.

I've lived fulltime in my AS ever since, but I keep many of my professional clothes at work. And the local women's shelter gets all of my gently used clothing and "what was I thinking" purchases. I've got an unheard of deal on my campground (Condo, I have to move off every 28 days and they close for 2 months in winter - but total cost for 10 months is $1500. Costs about $2000 for the winter and weeks I have to go elsewhere. I can usually do some business traveling when I have to move off of the Condo.) If ANYONE ever wants to buy a campground lot/campground condo or time share... you'll ALWAYS buy for pennies on the dollar if you look on ebay, craigslist or classifieds. )

The world has changed since the real estate market crashed, and 2Air makes some good points. Here are a few more. I'm not a realtor, but lots of my clients are. If you're upside down $40K - decide FINANCIALLY not emotionally. You expect (hope) that the prices will stabilize and recover over the next two years, but that is a gamble. Your current mortgage PITI has a couple of critical numbers. Subtract your principal reduction from the total payment. The remainder (interest, taxes, insurance) is NEVER going to be recaptured. If you have a $1000 per month mortgage and $700 is interest, taxes and insurance - every year you hang onto the property you're paying $8400 for carrying charges. (Yeah, yeah, you get an effen tax deduction of a percentage of the interest but it's NOT that much!) So if your house does not increase in value MORE than $8400 each year, you'll never recoup any part of the expense. OTOH you do have to live somewhere and rent is down the drain too. Talk to a trusted realtor - or interview 3 or 4 NOW.

Lets say you just struggle on and pay the mortgage for two more years - $16,800 ITI - and the house is STILL worth 40K less than you're into it. You will then eat $40K + the $16,800 you "invested" on a hope.

A refinance that lowers your interest rate can lower your payment $200 - $300 per month. You COULD turn around and continue to pay the higher amount and apply it to principal lowering the gap that you're upside down. If not, at least you're reducing what you pay in interest by $2400 - $3600 per year.

Short sale - hateful, but consider the money going into interest taxes and insurance. If you get out from under even if you have to file for reorganization, then you could buy a new house for a lot less than you would have paid 3-5 years ago. If you've just filed for reorganization, you can't do it again for 10(?) years - so creditors will lend you money.

2Air is absolutely right that you can't spend your way out of a financial hole. If you are going to "Go Galt" then start by selling your STUFF and reducing your lifestyle (assuming you're not already living on pinto beans and rice, and keeping the thermostat at 55 degrees while wearing three sweaters.)

Keep thinking... there is never too much of THAT.

Happy Trails. Paula

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:22 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Beaker63 View Post
Something to consider, the "greenist" house is one that's already built.
Yup. San Antonio has some nice neighborhoods (Alamo Heights, Olmos Park) with plenty of candidates for renovation (including badly done, recently "updated"). I went to college there a little over thirty years ago and the subsequent urban sprawl made living out on the edge of town far too expensive in terms of time, transportation costs and quality. Air pollution and heat -- smog -- make large Texas cities/metro areas, even on the perimeter, a challenge.

In Dallas we chose an in-town neighborhood (similar to above) to buy and renovate houses. Quality of construction pre-1960 tends to be higher, and there is no end to being able to make a "green home" . . . especially with mature shade trees already present. All the city amenities at hand made time/distances short work, and the increase in property taxes is more than offset by reduced transportation costs.

We also lived for more than 7-mos in our '34 Silver Streak, thru summer, in Texas (north & south) several years ago. Unending days of 100F heat (even at midnite) can take a toll. I liked it fine, my wife not so much. I used the back of our topper-covered longbed pickup, and a remote storage unit, for the items needed. For some, this is not convenient.

Frankly, a used square white box (conventional RV) would be cheaper, roomier, and (if carefully chosen) better insulated to serve as a jobsite trailer. And no concerns about condition . . just sell as is at the end.

My parents retired to Kerrville more than twenty years ago and traveled full time half-years. SA is close enough for some things (airport, hospital, shopping), but Kerrville is a FAR nicer climate year-round without the smog and heat. SA may be a "big" city, but it in no way is comparable with Dallas or Houston for cultural amenities and other opportunities.

Take your time.

An all-alumimum aerodynamic trailer is great to have (and A/S is only one brand among used trailers).

Good luck

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2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:04 AM   #23
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What is your feeling about using metal buildings for homes? The company that built our steel building also does homes? One more thing what do you feel about pex pipe radiant floor heating?

Sorry to steal this thread.

Brian & Adrienne
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:16 PM   #24
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Sell it now!
All of that aside. Go full-time, in two or three Airstreams. Start with one, ready to go, 27'ish and your current truck. Do not buy new, buy after they are done depreciating and after someone has restored it right. Find a great deal on a lot that will "allow" it. Get sewer/septic, water, electricity, and possibly access. Beautify the property and build a courtyard that could also become a back porch, build some nice, "easily moved", pergolas. Park the Airstreams under them and grow some plants. If you don't find joy in owning your own historical trailer park, you could build a truly long lasting efficient home, or sell the lot. It would be an experience.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:39 PM   #25
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You might want to check out a very interesting blog that a couple who moved to Texas from Chicago are doing as they get ready to go full time.

One young couple's Airstream International CCD travel trailer RV adventure | Weaselmouth

interesting blog posts
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:57 PM   #26
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My best deals in life have been the bad deals I got out of. Every bad deal in my life was a good deal when I got into it. I've never been screwed by an enemy. Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. Nothing follows a stupid decision like a bigger, stupider decision.

My favorite is by Charlie Munger: Don't do anything where making a mistake would get ya killed.
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:28 AM   #27
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Sorry you have got yourself into a difficult box. Fortunately you are not alone. We had to file Ch. 7 about 10 years ago due to some bad real estate investment decisions that I made. We made it through that and are fine now.

I am not saying this is the route to go. What I am saying is to take a look at all your options. I personally like the idea of the land with the steel building and the AS, but I also think that To Air makes some valid points as does Paula.

Regardless of how you get there, downsizing makes a lot of sense. We have 4 br and 3 baths, but with the kids gone, we live in the kitchen and our bedroom and use one bathroom. It is nice to have the extra room when the kids are home for the holidays, but a travel trailer could serve a similar function.

Consider walking away from your Chicago home. Not a nice thought, but if you are 40K under water, I think you need to consider this. Your credit will take a huge hit, but it will recover in time. Good credit is worth a lot but not 40K.

Consider selling your home at whatever price that is necessary to move it. This way you will be selling and buying in the same market. If you wait for the market to return, what have you gained because now you need to buy in a strong market.

I really think you should sell or give your home back to the bank, buy land with owner financing (not many banks are financing land now) buy or rent a small home and buy an AS that you can tow with your Tacoma and be in control of your life. Don't wait.

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Old 01-20-2011, 11:15 AM   #28
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It's been a few days since I've had the chance to respond. Thanks to all who are brutally honest in their opinions. I'd rather have the reality check than receive unrealistic encouragement.

I've been researching the apartment route alongside the AS. I'm getting mixed signals on what a 05 Tacoma can/can't pull. I really was hoping it could pull a 27 or 28' but I don't think that's possible. I'm working out a budget for how much on a used trailer I can afford and how that factors in with a used T/V.

Looking at apartments is taking me back 10yrs and it makes me feel strange. They look like the inevitable sentence for those who can't think outside the box. I look at those spaces and feel like I've already done that phase in my life. If I throw up my hands in defeat and bow to common logic I know it would be a good choice but not necessarily the "right" choice. Now that I'm a lil older, I don't want to feel like where I dwell doesn't belong to me; like it's just a place to put stuff while I'm waiting for my life to take off. Instead, I now want to experience where I live rather than occupy it. I want to look back and talk about that time I lived in an AS and what it was like instead of the time I had to move back into an apartment while things fell back into place. There is an alternative out there. I just need to find it. It's not going to be the most logical or the thing that most people would do but it's going to be one that works for me.

I'm going to rent out my current house and perhaps eat a little of the overhead until I can get it sold. Selling at a loss is probably invevitable so it's just a matter of mitigating how hard I'll take that hit. I just need to get out from under it as soon as possible. We are also researching older homes that need remodeling instead of building new. My wife is a designer and has convinced me that we don't necessarily have to build right away. Instead, pairing an AS as a supplement to a fixer-upper sounds like more of an adventure than renting. If the market recovers, we could look at selling that house and moving on.

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