Happy Earth Day 2017, everyone!
I figured today was as good a day as any to drop you all a line and update you on what the TH43 crew has been up to over the previous months. In a word: nothing. lol
As I mentioned back in December, we've been trying to get land (or a home with land) purchased in Washington state for many months now, and it seems like one roadblock after another after another has been tossed in our path. A couple problems we faced included improper listing of traditional financing options by the listing agent/Realtors, and my personal favorite, not actually talking to the homeowners before spouting off owner financing options to our Realtor, causing him to waste his time and ours (again and again) with contracts that the owners don't end up agreeing to. Incidentally, it was the same guy for two different properties in this case, and I was already wary seeing his name on the 2nd property anyway. All I can say is I'm glad he's not my agent! We also lost a great place in a bidding war (foreclosures are tricky like that), and another finally fell through on our end when we tried a "lot" loan and, for once, our credit scores fell just short of their higher-than-typical standards.
Buying across state lines has proven to be a massive undertaking, one complicated by my desire to buy while we're still here in Texas and I have two steady sources of income vs. rushing out there with just any old job to eliminate the "second home" status we're being forced to use since I'm not a current WA resident or employee/employee transfer. Call me crazy, but it seems more logical, at least in my mind, to lend to someone with a 4/6yr job history vs. a brand new job regardless of what state they're buying in/from. But hey... who said life or real estate transactions were ever logical?! While I still look at properties regularly, I've concluded I'm not willing to spend close to $300k on a mobile home with acreage simply because we can get traditional or even FHA financing on it, and I adamantly refuse to spend $2k+ per month just to rent in our target areas and have nothing but the "resident" box checked on our loan application to show for it. Besides... we're going to have some crazy scheduling needs once both the kiddo and the husband are in school 5 days a week in opposite directions. For us, it makes significantly more sense to purchase now so we have a place to go after I find the BEST job(s) possible to meet both our financial and scheduling/logistical needs. Apparently that's asking entirely too much. Silly me.
We've also discovered we can either have a decent sized 20-30% down payment OR we can pay off some more bills to bolster our scores, but we can't do both. I cannot work more than 7 days in a week (I know, I've tried! Ha!), and having the husband work over the summer actually set us back $5k for the year AND caused us to owe taxes for the first time in three years (i.e. having him start working again, which adds a whole host of other unnecessary complications to our lives, isn't worth it). Clearly we cannot milk any more blood from this turnip, and so we find ourselves at another crossroads in our journey to Washington state. Blessedly we still have one more year before, as far as I'm concerned anyway, we MUST be there to get the kiddo in school (in Waldorf, teachers stay with their classes from first grade through the end of their primary education, and 2018 is that first year for R.A.D), but that means we have to decide what to do for the coming 12-ish months.
One option is to go back to Colorado, specifically back to Riverview RV Park where they now have a dedicated tiny house section, but have me take a job closer to Loveland. The travel costs to/from my current employer's locations there are the primary factor that caused us to leave Colorado in the first place. The only way to make CO work again would be to hire on closer to Loveland, which is totally possible. We both admit we loved Northern Colorado a great deal, and the kiddo misses that awesome park to play in. It's certainly high on the list of possibilities. The tiny house just needs a few modifications based on our cold-weather experience in 2015-2016 to be ready for another bout of NoCo winter, but it wouldn't take long to be shipshape and ready to roll.
Alternatively, and something we'd really planned to do for 2016 or 2017 anyway, is for me to hire on with a travel nurse agency and take 12wk positions across the country so we can actually travel with our tiny house on wheels. Our "rent" would be covered by the stipends offered when you don't use the included housing provided for in contract nursing, but the added complexity of finding places for the tiny house near places I can actually work is a bit of a deterrent, I admit. We'd even contemplated selling the tiny in favor of an Airstream just to lessen the travel complications for such a scenario, but we just can't bring ourselves to part with our house we've poured so much blood, sweat, tears, and love into simply for a 1yr-ish jaunt around the country. Besides... we're still planning to live in it once we finally do get to Washington. Duh! lol
Other ideas include sucking it up and staying put in Dallas (whether or not we'd still be in my dad's house remains to be seen), pulling a 180 and buying a condo just off the San Antonio Riverwalk in a booming area of town (another place I can transfer with my current employers, both of whom have multiple locations there, and a way to satisfy the urge to live in a walkable city at least once in my life AND keep us closer to family for the time being), or angling to have a full-time "travel nurse" position created for me with one of my two employers to help them open their new facilities across the country. That last one has appeal because, after 6 years of me hoping and wishing, they are FINALLY going to be opening locations in Washington state in a couple more years. It's not the target area we want, but hey... I love that company and have always said I'd follow them state-to-state if its somewhere we wanted to be. Once we figure our plans for the year, we can kick back a bit while we figure out our next move for Washington. Yeah right... like it's gonna be all relaxing and easy breezy... ha! :-P
We've got lots to think about and decisions galore to make, but like every other batch of plans we make and then break along the way, the end game hasn't changed. Washington state is still the goal, and unless something drastic happens, which with us is ALWAYS a possibility, we'll make that dream a reality come Hades or high water. <3