When life happens, an unexpected injury happens and an income is completely all of a sudden gone, it’s quite a shocker and can be devastating. It’s not about all that happening that matters and what you should be focused on, but what you do if that happens is what matters and what you are willing to do. Are you set up financially and successfully to all of a sudden live on one income? Debt? Savings? Short term and long term disability plans through work? Family to fall back on if needed?
We had a nice house on a .29 acre lot with RV parking, little shops, a large fenced yard, tons of parking, one level and updates throughout that we did to it and we loved it. But after my injury and loss of income, we realized what we had and what we needed and didn’t need. One was a mortgage. We had a ton of equity in our home and didn’t owe a ton on it. We sold our dirt bikes, razor, toy hauler and the house was larger than we needed at 1750 square feet. It was more than we needed at this time in our life and by going to one income, more than we wanted to pay. We never wanted to live house poor, ever. So when the loss of my income and my inability to work full time happened, we made financial decisions that served us. We still wanted to own a home, but we still wanted to still be able to travel, have money to spend and wanted to have a savings. Our priorities in life had changed. Life had changed. The house we owned for 3 years was so full of memories from when we drank, to when my life almost ended. So we decided that putting it up for sale was the best decision for us and our future.
We are incredibly lucky to have found a home exactly where we wanted. I have a friend that lives in these houses so I knew I liked them, it was in school district for my kid to ride the bus now that I no longer could drive and it was .8 miles from the house we sold. The most amazing part of our new house is that it’s in my sons school district. I get to see him everyday now. He gets to ride the bus to get to school, so there are no issues with the fact I no longer drive. It works so great for us and his dad, and we are even closer to his dads house now.
We went to NYC in June and low and behold a house came up for sale and in the price range we needed in order to get out of our mortgage. Our house wasn’t even on the market yet, but it was just meant to be. However we were on a flight to NYC when the house went live for sale. Holy crap! So we called a friend who is a realtor and asked her to go look at it for us. She did. She sent us a walk through video and I totally trusted her feedback and thoughts, she’s not only a realtor, but a designer too and I know she knew my style and I liked her style. So while in NYC, the complete opposite side of the US from where we live we had her put an offer in on the house sight unseen by us. It definitely took up a few hours of our vacation each day but was so worth it.
Our offer beat out 2 others and we got the house! Ours wasn’t even on the market yet. The house we were buying, we planned to live in it for a few years and then turn it into a rental. The owners we bought from wanted to be able to rent it back from us until 8/23, and we closed on 7/3. So perfect, it was our first chance to rent it out and give us time to list our current house and give them time to stay in the house until they moved out of state. It just worked out perfectly. We listed our house and someone I knew from Orange Theory where I worked out ended up buying the house with her partner. We loved our house, so we were glad it went to someone I knew. Bonus of that too is they let us keep our RV there for a monthly charge and that is so amazing for us and convenient. It’s one major thing we lost by selling it was our RV parking.
We got our new house 8/23, which happens to be my birthday. We didn’t close on our current house for another month, so we were able to do a few updates in our new house and move slowly which so helped us as my husband works full time and I’m not 100% with a brain injury. We wanted to make our new home truly a home we liked and that we were excited to go to each day. We didn’t over due it knowing it’s a future rental, but we definitely updated it nicely for us and as a future rental. We updated all the appliances, did new counters, put in new pet proof laminate floors, updated around the fireplace, updated all the interior lights and updated the powder bath. It all made me excited about our new house. I love it, and I’m happy with it and especially happy with how this house will be a future rental income for us and that we were able to downsize and be able to lift a huge financial burden now that we live on one income.
Of course it was sad we had to sell our home that we had worked hard for and put a lot of work into. But it was just a house. Things like no mortgage and my son being able to take the bus since I can’t drive anymore way outweighed giving up the house we loved. Priorities changed, life changed, our life changed. I am so lucky to have such an amazing and understanding husband who gave up so much for me and us. The best thing we have done is sell our house and really live way below our means and on one income. We will continue to live this way forever. Not only can we live on one income, we can save money each paycheck to keep building up our savings and cushion. Life’s short. Anything can happen, and you can’t predict when your life will be severely affected by illness or injury. So for the rest of our life we will always live on one income. We will always stay as debt free as we are now. Things don’t matter. And we still own things and life didn’t end for us, we didn’t lose everything. We gave up a lot of our stuff, our life changed and our priorities changed. And we still have fun. We still have a home. That’s important to us. We haven’t bought a home that is our “forever” home yet anyways, but we have started on our goals, one of which is owning 2-3 rental homes. The house we live in will be our first rental home. Next we will buy a house in Bend to spend time at and be able to rent it out when we aren’t there as a vacation rental. That’s our goal this year. Baby steps.
The biggest benefit of all this house stuff is proving right now to be so worth it during a world wide epidemic and so much unknown. So much has changed SO quickly. We are very lucky that thanks to selling our last home and downsizing, that we really don’t have to stress about the what if’s. My husbands job so far is secure, but some at his company have been affected and laid off. I am off work at least until May, but I don’t work for the money and we don’t rely on an income for me thankfully. So through this epidemic, we financially will be ok because we already went through so much of this unknown, financial loss and had to adapt to it and this crisis now with COVID just confirms we have made the right choices, because you never know what’s gonna happen and things can change at any time!