Our plan has changed since we made the decision to look for a house. I’m not certain how much of this I’ve written about here, so please forgive me if I’m repeating stuff or if some of this detail didn’t show up in earlier posts.
At first we wanted a place with some land so we could have a big garden and room to do the things we wanted. That is, we were looking for our ideal homestead property. While that end goal hasn’t changed, we decided instead to look for a house we would be able to live in for a while, near to where we wanted to have rental properties.
That is what we found, but then we gave serious consideration to how we would be able to fix it from afar, which we realized we really couldn’t do. I wanted to go stay in the house even without electricity and water, but that was vetoed. I guess that’s probably a good thing. So instead we decided to find an apartment in the area.
The obvious benefit of having an apartment in the area is proximity, but there were some negatives too. For one, we would have to pay rent. Of course, for Donna to work we’d need a place with electricity and water, and not a construction zone, so we’d need to do that regardless.
Another benefit we discovered was that we could rent a 3 bedroom apartment for much less (almost half) what we were paying for the 2 bedroom house in NJ. However, to get that rate we had to sign a 13 month lease. Shorter leases, where available, meant higher rent.
We weighed these pros and cons and decided it was worth it to get the apartment. The place we chose we could buy out our lease by paying one additional month after we move out, which seems to be a small price to pay.
So we moved to Georgia, which was interesting. (If you’re interested, you can read about it in these two posts about the reasons we moved ourselves and the fun moving was. :-)) Since moving, we have been trying to decide if we want to go through with moving into the place we purchased, to save on rent as we originally intended, or to rent it out and let that income cover some of our rent.
We are also considering a radical change in which we get a small mortgage and purchase a house closer to the area in Atlanta where most of the jobs seem to be. If we can keep the mortgage payments lower than our current rent, I can see where this could make good sense.
At this point I would very much love to have a crystal ball that could show me the outcome of these decisions. It’s not that I don’t want to take the risk on one or another, nor is it that I don’t trust my judgment. What it comes down to is that, while I can put together a projection of the future based on any of the choices, it’s difficult to tell which one will help us get to our goal most quickly.
I realize that sounds impatient, but I’m very anxious to make this work. I don’t want to move away from the plan unless it is reasonable to expect the change to work better than the original plan, or to have some other benefit that outweighs staying the course. I guess we’ll just have to keep moving forward and when decision time comes hope we go the right way.