Monday, July 22, 2013

The Tides Have Turned

I finally got the answer on my long awaited home loans. The traditional banks won't touch me. (my FICO score is only 639). The mobile home financier wants 10% down or $9500...which I don't have. I believed foolishly in what the mobile salesman was telling me. "Oh, I can get you financed. Zero down too. Your credit is fine. We're easier to get loans from than traditional banks."

Well, he was wrong. He claims not to understand why the numbers came back the way they did. Either way, bottom line is I can't get a trailer or a house. I'll have to rent... IN TOWN. Renting in town means I'll be at least 8 miles from the farm. Once I get my family here from Arizona, how feasible will it be to deal with daily life and then drive to the farm to work the land? I can't keep a reasonable eye on animals from eight miles away. Possibly a garden but it won't be easy.

I'm feeling defeated today. So many things, up to this point, seemed to have gone my way. Blessing after blessing, or so it seemed. I am 9 days away from pulling up a Uhaul trailer in front of my Arizona home to load it up for the trek to Oklahoma. The plan was to move my family onto our old family farm and it was with the blessing of the entire family.

Now, I'm questioning everything. The rental homes in Oklahoma are more expensive than the mortgage payment I am making in Arizona. Which, by the way, is being counted against me on the home loan due to all the "Buy and Ditch" as the loan agent calls it. The people that claimed to have renters for their old homes until they qualified and moved into their new homes...then ditched the old house to foreclosure.  That 2008 trend led the banks, according to my lender, to no longer allow a buyer to subtract or discount the mortgage payment of the old house (even with a rental agreement).

I basically have to qualify for two house payments...which I did...but they want 10% down. It will take my last $2500 to move my family to Oklahoma. The rest of my savings, including silver, went into my education on a gamble that I would make more when I completed the program. I am half way through that program now with three semesters still left to complete.

So I'm disappointed...and angry. Mostly angry. Angry at the banks that have bailed out too big to fail fat cats but won't loan money to me to buy a home for my family. I've been in the same house for 12 years. Guess that's not a good enough track record. I've been away from my family for a little over a month now and it's painful.

I'm ranting...and I'll stop now.



  1. Sorry to hear this disappointing news.

    It won't be long before you see your family again and that will be such a happy reunion. They will give you a big lift.

    Do I understand correctly that you have a house in Arizona? I can't remember if you've mentioned your plans for it - selling it soon? That would help?? Praying for a speedy solution for you all. Jenny

  2. @Jenny Yes, there's a house in AZ. It has a renter waiting to take over payment Sept 1. Like most homes in AZ, we're upside down. We owe $225k and it is worth $180k. I can't sell it. If I short sale it, it will ding my credit for two years. If I foreclose and walk away, it will ding my credit for 7 years.

  3. and to top it all off, there's a dead rat smell in my farm house and I can't find it :-/

  4. Don't let it get you down. Have you thought about buying something used, owner finance? Or what about less conventional but cheaper options, like a yurt? Could you possibly make due with the small farm house long enough to get a renter into your place in AZ, then apply for a loan again?

    It will work out. Finish this sentence: If God brings you to it, ____

  5. Okay...can you add on to the existing farmhouse?
    Perhaps even an old style bunkhouse.....
    Really, the possibilities are endless.

  6. I know that this is depressing news, but it certainly seems like God/Fate has a plan for you and your family. It'll work out and something will work out for you guys. Just keep in your mind that the rental house is temporary.
    If you had the time and people to help you, you could add on to the existing farm house while staying at the rental for the next 6 - 12 months.

    Also, remember that all of the major banks are in reality totally bankrupt and are being propped up by the Fed (that's what quantitative easing is really about). So they are bankrupt and treat you like garbage---I know how it is, I had to short sell my house 2 years ago and my credit was destroyed in the process and I never missed 1 payment !!!

    Cheer up, your wonderful family will soon be with you and look at this as a temporary setback--nothing more.

  7. Don't worry its all in his plan.

  8. Live in the small farm house. Save cash, then build your add-on. Bigger house and still no house note. Just an idea.

  9. How about a used camping trailer or mobile home parked next to the farm house. How big is the farm house, bunk beds, hey togetherness on a temporary basis is doable. If you want inspiration on togetherness check on Mystic Mud's blog, there were 10 of them in a 600 sq ft mobile for about a year, now they have added a second mobile and a new baby on the way. Or pitch a tent, get a yurt, but stay on track with the dream. If you can live on the farm, not pay rent, plant a garden, save some money, you will get to your dream.

  10. It is a blessing. You won't be in debt. You all want to homestead??? Move into the farm house. It will be crowded but with no savings you can't afford Buckingham Palace. Make do!!! It can be an adventure and you, hopefully, will have rental income from AZ. Where does everyone get off thinking they have to have all the amenities on a platter!!! My God you just got a job after being laid off. It could happen again. Reality, what a concept!!!!!

  11. I agree with Anon above. Tough choices indeed. I also wouldn't want to be in your shoes renting out a property that far away from me. I have rarely heard that type of arrangement working out to the home owner's benefit in anyway. Not going into debt is kinda the cornerstone idea of Prepping and Homesteading.

  12. Ultimately everything is/has worked out for us against all kinds of odds. He has a plan for us that, upon reflection, is better than we'd hoped for. We even found a natural bonus after we got here... we have a hidden cave 30' deep X 9' wide X 10' tall. And it has a natural spring in the back! His blessings are on the way to you, you just can't see them yet. You and yours are in my prayers.

    1. Thanks Sam. I'm wallowing in the bottom of a large Sonic rootbeer float right now. I know it's His will. But I could do without the simultaneous burned out brake light and stench on a dead mouse carcass in the farm house... which I still can't find...

  13. Just want to tell husband and I are living in Florida in a run down, very old (1983) mobile home on a little over an acre. We are far happier here than anywhere we've lived, and we have had nicer. Why?? Because we have the freedom to do what we want to do and have always dreamed of. We allocate $100. a month for repairs/updating, habitat for humanity stores, thrift stores, craigslist and yard sales are our best friends! It's like an adventure! After 4 yrs it's starting to look really good. Of course our kids are grown now, but they love what we are doing and say they wish it would have happened while they were still home ( we lived in the city). So, instead of looking at it like a rejection, look on it as a blessing. You'll be glad you didn't go into more'll see why later when you look back! Paula aka amishwoman49

  14. Remember how happy you were when this opportunity came up? Read any of your stories before today, they're so full of optimism and excitement. This was so obviously God's plan for you, this is just an opportunity for you to get creative. Not too long ago, we found the perfect place for us to retire, bought it even though our home had not sold, and were a little anxious for a whole month. But I focused on the signs that the Lord was leading us, and had faith that He'd take care of us. He will do the same for you. You have lots of people praying for you.

  15. Hey OJD,

    When me and Hubby were first looking for houses we had our eyes on this great little farm house on an acre and a half. We weren't able to get the financing and someone else bought it. As it turned out our realator was friends with the realor who sold the place and it turned out that it would have cost us twice the ammount that they wanted for the house to fix it. My grandparents raised 6 kids in a 3 bedroom house. My aunts, uncles and mom didn't get a lot of new or fancy stuff, but they were happy and they made due. It will all come together, you'll see, Have another root beer and put it on a bead (rosary that is). Hang tight and Best of Luck.

    EMT Tina

  16. Then there is the time He gave us our "Magic Tarp". By the time we closed on our tiny farm we were just about out of money, and we still needed to get a refrigerator, washer and dryer (that money went to other more urgent and unexpected expenses). We hit and got all three with great deals and the last of our cash.

    First we bought the matching washer and dryer from a lady and loaded those in the back of my ranger pickup (full load). I also brought my 4X8 trailer for the fridge. So off we go to get the fridge. When nearly there we were stuck in the center lane at the end of a freeway, with a tailgater on my six and vehicle on both sides of us when in my lane was a waded up old blue tarp. There was no way I could miss it without causing an accident, so I drove over it. It snagged on the left front tow hook and was dragged a couple hundred yards before I could pull over and get it out from there. I put it in the pickup bed stuffed behind the dryer.

    Then we got to the house selling the fridge, which was on their backyard deck two stories up. The staircase was to narrow for the fridge, so we removed the side by side doors and hauled it down to my trailer. Then we loaded in the doors which filled up the trailer. We hauled down all the plastic and glass shelves, and drawers (crisper, lunch-meat drawer etc) and wondered where we could put them for the 50 mile drive back to our farm without them being blown off the fridge. The guy selling us the fridge said, "Why not use your tarp to hold everything down?" Well duh. So we did.

    On the drive home my non-demonstrative wife started to cry with happiness. "God provided that tarp! It is the exact size we needed (it was) and had holes (brass grommets) exactly where we needed them (it did), and you never drive in the center lane when towing the trailer (true). The next thing I know I'm all choked up too, HE DID provide exactly what we needed, when we needed it!

    OJD, He loves you just like He loves us. You will get what your family needs, maybe not what any of you (or us) think, but what He knows is right for you all.

    PS: A Sonic root beer float sounds like just the right thing to drown one's frustrations in!

    1. Geez Sam, you almost caused me to drop a tear in my float. God is good, you are correct. Pity party's over. I'm already working on my next (upbeat) post. Thanks buddy. Can't wait for Wifey to read these wonderful remarks.

  17. I have had to move from state to state for my husband to work, uprooting the kids and putting out big cash to move. We became experts at having garage sales, sacrificing "STUFF!!!", tightening out belts, eating cheaply at home, no not even a tasty Sonic "anything". At one time we had three houses on the market, my husband had moved to the next state (to pay two mortgages), we had renters in two houses (one didn't pay and trashed the place), and like you, we just wanted to be together.

    Money is saved one penny at a time. You want this for your family and you all want to be together. YOU CAN DO THIS! My husband has worked all over the world and if he were talking to you right now he could describe the farm house to you as a luxurious mansion with amenities that much of the world lacks. You are blessed to have a place to stay for free. Take advantage of it. Your girls are not going to die if they see a spider. Be honest with them about how time and money are spent, don't continue to create a fantasy childhood that is far removed from a homesteading childhood. Living space will be crowded, but you have the great outdoors.

    The sequence of events coming together for your benefit created a time and money crunch, that's all. You need a couple months of close togetherness where your renter covers your mortgage, freeing up cash for the down on the new home you want. Be open and honest with your ladies and make a savings chart to hang on the refrigerator to show everyone how close you are to achieving the goal.

    God is in charge. He opened all those doors to make this happen but He knows what is best about buying the house right now, in a hurry and apparently it isn't a good idea. Trust and Obey.


  18. OJD,

    I agree with others above.

    Move your family into that small farmhouse for 10 months to save up the $10.000 needed for a down payment.

    Suffer now, live well later......

    it wont be easy, but 20 years from now your kids will be talking about how everyone was stuffed into that farm house with fond memories. I also think this will be a lesson for your kids to appreciate what the have.

    I think a little suffering is good for soul. I learned that in boot camp.

    stuff everyone in that farm house. Build up a few temporary walls to make a few bedrooms somehow. Store all your stuff in the barn to make room for your family.

    You can darn well bet it will be anything but easy.

    I will be blunt OJD'

    Stop felling sorry for yourself. I don't want to hear it. You have no room to complain. You got a wonderful family with six healthy happy kids and a wife that adores you. Your a rich man with a bright future OJD'

    I would give anything to be like you.

    Fix that old farm house up and create the adventure of a lifetime and learning experience for your kids on how life used to be in America when families like yours lived in "dugouts" and sod houses on the prarie over a hundred years ago. Those people were real survivors.

    Your family can be real survivors too.

    Tex Texan

  19. OJ -
    In the spirit of friendship:
    Don't be a moron. Make your dream come true. For crying out loud suck it up and move into the farmhouse and stop acting like a spoil brat. It's a roof over your head. Your wife & kids will get over it. Is your entire generation so soft and spoiled?
    Honestly, if you are crying in your beer over this tiny setback what the hell are you going to do when REAL trouble and hardships comes?

  20. Well, I was going to say what Granny Miller said but only much softer. Like this:

    At this point you've bought into this plan, In for a penny, in for a pound.

    Fix up the farmhouse, and count it as a blessing. With your family living in that, you are not getting into another mortgage, or rent obligation.

    Lots of "experts" are saying to dump as much debt as possible going into this possible collapse that's in our future.

    You'll already be set in your bugout location....which I might add is basically what you wanted to begin with.

  21. I have five boys--we would so be living in the old farmhouse to save money. Imagine how much faster you can meet your goals if you do this. Also have you tried smaller banks for financing? Have you heard of the USDA loans? I learned about these a couple of weeks ago. Tricia

  22. OJD
    Around here it is not uncommon for people to have unconnected farms all over the county. Of course most of them are used for raising cattle you still need to stop by on a daily basis. On the home...Patience...once you are there a while I'm sure you will get some local news on homes, maybe a used mobile to move on the place. When I first moved here I spent time in the morning at the local coffee spot where all the old farmers go. Commonly called the "liars club" Nothing serious, just recreational lying. Also when introducing yourself it's best to include "I'm on the old Smith place" or whatever. The locals around here know my place more as the old Collins place than mine. It's just country. You'll learn. Best to remove the expression "back home we.." where you are is home and learn how they do it. All in all you and the family are in for a glorious lifestyle. For all the hard work and hardships I've never wanted to go back. You'll do just fine. Idaho Bill

  23. I lived in a townhouse in VA Beach that had mice. Occasionally one would die inside the walls. Had a closet that was smell ground zero. Just took the stuff out till the smell went away. Maybe your mouse is in the wall? For what its worth, I would live in the farmhouse and add on to it when I could pay cash to do so.

  24. We have all had to live with the "dead mice" smell. It goes away before you know it.... I really feel I can't give you advice on your living situation, but.....if it were me, I would live in the farm house and add on as I could. Have your kids read the "Little House" books. I have done this for myself in order to teach me that small living can be good and FUN! The kids will spend more time outdoors, which is GOOD! It will work out, you are on the right path. Please don't give up. A lot of us are starting out in this adventure together. You might post an address or P.O. box and maybe Santa would come early. Just saying.....Mesquite

  25. Also, I don't feel you are acting badly. It's very disappointing when you have a plan solid in your head and it changes. You have been under a lot of stress with money issues. We all feel that, too. Post a P O box please.....Tall Texan, may I ask which part of Texas you are located? I'm here, too. Mesquite

  26. Anon in previous commment

    Im in South Texas

    Tex Texan

  27. Tall am I . SA area by any chance? Mesquite

  28. Anon

    Im further near south, like near the gulf. In fact I can see the Luguna Madre from my roof top.

    Tex Texan


    If you ever bring the clan to Padre Island. I can teach you how to surf.

    Tex Texan

  29. OJD,

    Don't be discouraged. God has a plan. And, in my opinion, he has just spared you making a big mistake.

    Mobile homes, especially ones which will not be legally affixed to land, are personal property akin to automobiles. And just like an automobile, the moment it leaves the dealership, it's value drops by 1/3 or more. Not a good investment at all. Especially for someone wanting to start a farm.

    Rather than buy a spanking new mobile, look around for a used one. For the price of your required down payment, you should be able to find a bunch of nice used mobile homes.

    If you are a little more adventurous, I bet you can find quite a few "free if you haul off" older homes as well. These might take some elbow grease, but free is hard to beat!

    Don't be afraid. You have a place to get the kids out of the rain for now with the farm house. You and wifey need to take a deep breath, spend some time in prayer, and a good solution will appear.

    Cactus Dave from Arizona

  30. OJD,

    Here is an example of what I was talking about not too far from you. It's not perfect, but it'll work for not too much cash:

    Good Luck!

    Cactus Dave from Arizona

  31. I know its easy for me to tell u what u should do but I see alot of people feel like me; move to farm,,,put the girls ( maybe just the Alpha Team) is the barn for the summer. Like camping out but better, u can put up a plywood floor and walls very cheap and then take the money you were going to put into rent and buy and remodel a trailer home or camper or RV for the winter. Maybe start an addition on the farm house with the mobile as plan B if you run out of time before cold weather.
    With a little planning you can build a nice house later (a Dave Ramsey kinda approach) put the rent money in the " build a house fund every month " .
    As a 56 year old that has raised 4 kids I think they will look back on this as the Grand Adventure, also my other life experience tells me that you will never get to the farm if you go with the rent a house in town plan. I will be praying that you make the best decision for your family not the easy one.

  32. In 1968-69 while my dad was in Nam for his second tour, Mom, my three brothers and myself lived in my grandparents "little house". It was about 20 x 30 and had a bathtub, toil and cookstove behind a curtain and the rest was just dressers and beds with a narrow aisle between everything. Our things, what there was of it, was stored in boxes in grandpa's shop. ALL of us had a blast, but then we only slept and ate indoors (we had a triple layer bunkbed, my oldest brother had a narrow twin, and mom had a double), literally jumping out of bed and heading out to the barn, the chicken coop, the lake to fish or ice skate in the winter. We had to be "caught" in order to keep us indoors. It was like being a camp for a year!
    The farmhouse would work for an amount of time needed to save up money to get your ladies a new modular home if that is the route you want to go. Just my opinion.

  33. Well, that would be toilet, not "toil".

  34. I have always believed that God gives us what we need, not what we want.

    I am new to your blog, and I don't know the size of your farmhouse, but if it is mortgage free, with a roof, safe with running water, and electric than I don't know why this is a problem [and now after reading your most current post I can see. . .it isn't going to be.]

    I am glad you realized this is a good thing. Your wife and children love you and being with you more than they like pretty things. Trust me on this.

    I raised five too. The only difference is I am almost 5 years older than you, but only one girl at home.

    YOU CAN DO THIS. Move into the farmhouse. Family is more important than a new mobile home.

    Wait 'till you see what we have a contract on. And we're getting ready to retire in less than 7 years. {Pooldad, my husband is older].

    But it is all we could ever hope for.

    Possessions mean nothing. The love of your family and having them close is the world.

  35. **I meant to say "We only have one girl left at home. The rest have grown up, gone to college, bought homes, joined the military....blah, blah." hee

    Okay, more P.S. to my comments.

  36. one more possibility: in many states you dont need a permit to build or remodel a "barn". many of them have living space, some almost palatial. consider that option.

  37. I second the idea of going to the local coffee shop, if your work schedule allows. In my experience in small towns, most things happen informally, by word of mouth. The retired coffee drinkers may have other ideas that u may not be aware of, as a newcomer.

    With construction being slow, could u hire a carpenter to build an addition to the current cabin? U could use the saved $$ for not paying rent to pay him.


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