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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I want, What I need is more money

I'm going to take a break from the politics and such to concentrate on something else for a change.  My girl and I are thinking about buying a motorhome or other such nonsense.

I should explain, we both have family that still live in Northwestern Pennsylvania and it's important for Susan to go home at least once or twice a year for a week or two.  Sadly neither her mother's home or her daughter home is really ideal.  They both live in small places, basically just one bedroom homes and that means Sue is stuck sleeping on the floor or the couch in the living room when she visits.  Not exactly the ideal situation.  As such we have been throwing the idea around of either buying/building a "tiny home" for her to stay in while visiting them...or getting an RV.

The "tiny home" or RV could be rented out during the 6 to 9 months that Sue would not be going home (basically Sept through March) to a college kid.  Sue's family owns the property on which it sits and their are 3 nearby colleges at least.  Tying it into the water and sewer system would not be an issue either.  That also means that she can stay longer than a week or two, an idea that appeals to her.

You can pick up a "Tiny home" or even a good RV for under 20K.  That means charging about a $500 dollar rent.  If you rent the place for 8 to 9 months out of the year, that is more than enough money to pay the expenses and make a small but reasonable profit.  Once the property is paid off in full your golden and a positive cash flow is never a bad thing.

While I'm not sure I could live in a area of 500 or less square feet, which I understand is the definition of a tiny home, I like the concept of simply "simplifying" your life.  My first apartment after college was a 500 square foot place outside of Charlotte, NC.  I didn't own much at the time but I quickly found myself needing to leave the place when the walls started to suffocate me.  "Tiny" living I know is not for everyone.

In nearby Orlando there is a tiny home community that sometimes does open houses, I'm hoping to be able to attend one soon for ideas and an idea on pricing.   Going with a pre built kit home means I don't have to hire someone to do the work or be (hopefully) to concerned it was done wrong.

Option two - and this is the one Sue likes.

An RV.  Pictured above is what's referred to as a Class C RV.

I have to be honest I like the idea to a certain extent.  The idea of being able to take off and go somewhere with her for a weekend or a week appeals to me.  Frankly, if and when I retire, I would love to simply go and see Canada, Mexico and the US at my leisure.  While both of us believe that camping should be done from the confines of a motel room, this is about as close as we're going to get to "roughing it."  Something like a Class C would allow us to dip our toes into the RV waters.

However, unlike the tiny home, I'm not sure how something like that would work for us.   A new motorhome is simply out of the budget.  Plus frankly how would we be able to rent that out?   A better option may be a travel trailer.

Here we see a classic and iconic Airsteam.  The good news is that they can be winterized or some are even designed to be lived in for all four seasons.  A bit of work could be done to block the cold air from getting inside of the trailer and you have a small, but hopefully comfortable, home for a college kid.

The only problem is that we would need to have a different type of vehicle to either move it or tow it from place to place.  Something we can't do right now.  I'm about 3 years away from being financially solvent and am not happy about adding another debt...but like the man said, "you don't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs."   I'm trying to build towards my future.

Personally, if we do this I'm thinking a travel trailer is the best way to go.   Sue and I are spitballing ideas right now, looking at options and trying to find something that is going to meet all of our needs.  Frankly I'm not sure which way we will go.

Rentals have there drawbacks of course but in the end they are a solid investment and will make us some additional cash in the future.  I'm going to be 65 before I know it and although I'm not bad off, I'm not where I want to be.   Having that additional cash flow is only a good thing.

Of course I might just say "fudge it" if I could afford a place like this.  I would sell the homes in Florida in a heartbeat and live on the road full time.

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