Monthly Archives: January 2014

Decision to Purchase Property

We recently took a vacation to Florida to visit relatives and take our first cruise. We had a great time, and the chance to step away from our day-to-day and bounce ideas off of people provided us with some clarity on what we wanted to do.

However, when we returned, our circumstances had unexpectedly changed. It seems my company had a new vision for the future, which unfortunately didn’t include me. I was very surprised, but in hindsight I should have seen it coming. Rather than view this as a roadblock, we decided to view it as an opportunity.

We decided that it was a great chance to find a property that we can afford to buy in cash while I have some time to fix it up as much as necessary so that we can move in. This will mean we have no mortgage or rent payment to make, freeing up a significant portion of our soon to be reduced monthly income.

I got a severance package, so we want to take as much advantage of that as we can and use the time while I’m still receiving a paycheck to get the house and start renovations. As the date of the last paycheck approaches, I’ll have to start looking for a job. Hopefully the house would be ready by then so I can go to work and we can start saving for our next property, which will be for a rental.

There is so much that is going into this it is overwhelming. We are working to find a location that will work for us. Some of our criteria include low crime rate, good or at least improving local economy, and availability of low priced houses. We are partial to areas in the Southeastern states, but that’s not a necessity.

This has led us to narrow the search down to a few places. We have not yet ruled out some areas of Ohio, though restrictive local laws and cold winters are definitely negatives there, though the apparent good condition of houses in our price range is appealing. The areas we are considering in Tennessee seem much less restrictive, and of course the winters are not as cold. Additionally, the economy in these areas seems to be improving, and we are finding a good number of available houses, though not in as good apparent condition.

We also have our eye on a few cities in Florida, but the economy and availability of houses in our price range do not work in that state’s favor. Another option is Georgia, which has a strong economy in the Atlanta area and a good selection of houses in our range which seem to be somewhere between the houses in Ohio and those in Tennessee in regards to their apparent condition. Both of these states are more restrictive than Tennessee with regards to building codes and permits.

It’s not going to be an easy decision. For one thing, we are making some assumptions about condition based on the available description, pictures and what we can see on Google’s Street View. We’ve decided that we’re going to look for a few properties in one of these areas, and then set up with an agent to go see them. I’ll have to drive to the area and try to see as much as I can in a very limited time, and we’ll try to make a decision based on that. It’s going to be tough since Donna won’t be able to see the house, but we’ll figure it out somehow.

2014 Is Going To Be Our Year

We had a rough year last year. In the last half of 2012, my mother got very sick with cancer. We made the decision to move closer to her to help care for her, which morphed into us moving in with her and then becoming essentially full time care.

At the same time, we were nursing along our 15 year old dog, Dante, who was just about completely deaf, was starting to lose his eyesight, and was having a lot of difficulty with his hips. His health continued to decline along with my mother’s.

And to make matters worse, my mother didn’t like dogs, and his declining health made him a danger to small children, of which my brother had two. This meant he couldn’t have the run of the house, and he didn’t always get the attention he wanted when people were over.

During the year mom died. We knew it was coming, but it was still rough. My father had died some years earlier, which meant I no longer had living parents. I know this is something most people eventually experience, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Within about a month or so of mom’s passing, we had to put Dante down. It was an excruciating experience, and one I don’t wish on anyone. From that point on, the house seemed very empty, even with all the stuff we now had to find a way to dispose of.

As you would expect of any year, there were some pretty good times, some great memories, and a number of other stressful things, but those above seem to have defined the whole year. Neither one of us would give up the time we had with mom, or for that matter with Dante, but I would definitely say the experience was quite stressful.

With that view toward last year, we both agreed that this year was going to be our year. We would put all our energy into making our dreams start to happen. We’re going on vacation soon. We’ll be visiting relatives down in Tampa, FL, and then taking a cruise. We’re taking the train down and back, which I’m looking forward to almost as much as the rest of the trip.

This is a great start to what is sure to be a great year!