Help me sort this out, would you...?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Valerie in WA's Avatar
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    Default Help me sort this out, would you...?

    I am currently paying $1440 a month toward an old CC and my van loan. Both will paid off by the end of the year (about 18 months early for the van- on a 60 month loan).

    My next priority will be to finish funding the EF. That will take another two months.

    After that, I was planning to save for about 8 months for a kitchen remodel. This house has the original 60 year old kitchen. It is poorly designed and difficult to work in. Our remodel isn't just cosmetic, but will involve moving a wall and adding significant amounts of storage and work space.

    Once the kitchen is funded, my plan was to start making double house payments. We are currently 1.5 yrs into a 20yr refinance. With this plan, we should have the house paid off in about 8 years.

    HOWEVER....here's the part where I need help...I am wanting a couple of other things that will delay the above plan.

    #1 - a fence for the back yard. At least once a week, I have a neighbors' dog or donkey (no joke) in my yard. Daily I have neighbors' cats in my yard. I have a small chicken wire fence around my garden because last year some dumb dog dug up all my seeds. My ducks live in a dog kennel in the yard. Last week, I ran out into the yard in my bathrobe because a Newfoundland was running in circles around the duck pen, terrorizing them. We regularly shovel dog poop out of our yard. ----- The fence will cost about $2500, setting my plan back about two months.

    #2 - I have already budgeted for three new windows this summer (replacing the original 60 year old ones). I would also like to replace our two entry doors, as they are not very secure (nor are they weather resistant). Both are OLD doors, with tons of glass and no deadbolts. ---- The doors and quality locksets will cost less than $1000, setting my plan back another month.

    I am not concerned about setting back the plan a month or three. I am concerned that there's always going to be "just one more thing." And speaking of other things, we need to reside the house at some point ($10,000), and I'd really like a nice front porch ($2,000) instead of this stupid pallet, plus I'd like to terrace that funny bank out front ($1,000).

    Can you help me figure out what I want?

  2. #2
    Registered User Valerie in WA's Avatar
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    And one other FYI, my dh is a general contractor, so all these prices are for materials only - he will do all the work.

  3. #3
    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    Valerie, since you are planning on making double house payments I'm wondering is that what the amount of the van and cc payment added to your current house payment will amount to?

    It is very easy to always "need" one more thing or to do one more thing before you start on the repayment plan...I know, I've lived it.

    What we did, and it took us 3 yrs. was to snowball payments, no deviation whatsoever and paid all the debt off (with the exception of our business property which we're working on paying down now ahead of schedule). We didn't stop....we just considered it "this is money that we were going to have to be paying on this debt anyway" so we just bit the bullet and did it.

    So that brings us to where we are now.... We did decide that we were going to rennovate our house before we paid off the business debt.... . I'm not at all sorry that we did that. We've truly enjoyed our house re-do's and are now refocusing on the business property debt. I can't wait till we're done!

    ~48 yr. old sahw, livin' it up in our empty nest, smack dab in the middle of everywhere.~

    *We're debt freeeeeeeee! (including the house)*



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    It sounds to me like the fence is a major priority. You need to keep other people's critters out of your yard so your animals aren't terrorized. Also, new (more secure) doors sound like a high priority, too.

    The kitchen remodel sounds more like a want than a need. Yes, I understand about poor layout and being old, but it sounds like those other things are more of a necessity than the remodel.

    Unfortunately, yes, other things often do get in the way. That's the lousy part of home ownership. Something often unexpectedly breaks or needs to be repaired. The good thing is that it sounds like you have a very workable plan. If it takes you a little longer to pay off the mortgage, that's really okay. Hopefully, it won't, but if it does, at least you know you'll have the money to take care of whatever else life throws your way.

  5. #5
    Registered User Dave'sGirl's Avatar
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    Valerie, I would really think hard about whether paying off the house is REALLY a priority to you. Forget all the other things, just think about that. Mortgage interest is tax deductable. NOT a reason to keep a mortgage just for the sake of keeping bills down, but if these things are really important to you, you'll end up doing them and possible going into debt to do them. Is your interest rate a good one? If it is, keep the mortgage 10 years, instead of 8. There is noone setting that goal but you. If you paid it off in 10 years instead of 20 that's great...10 years instead of 8 what is the big deal?
    I hope this made sense to you. Only you know how much this stuff bugs you. Oh, and BTW, Ther will ALAYS be something else. ALWAYS.

  6. #6
    Registered User Nada.Leona's Avatar
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    I agree with what has already been said. The fence and the windows are good investments -- the fence will keep your neighborhood donkey out of the back yard (a donkey?! Seriously?!) and the windows will keep the heat in come next winter, keeping your bills down. As for the kitchen remodelling, it is a wonderful idea, but is it something that needs to be done right away? Start putting change away for that, you'd be surprised how quickly it all adds up! And as for the rest of it, your best bet is to sit down with your hubby and have a good conversation as to what you both feel is the major priority. Hope this helps some!

  7. #7
    Registered User frugalfarmwife's Avatar
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    First you can temporarily fence with electric fencing and teach those dogs and the donk but quick that it's not FUN to sneak into your yard! BTW, I'd have SERIOUS words with the owner of the dog that's harassing your ducks, I will NOT tolerate anything harassing my animals, they're my family and my livlihood!

    As for the rest, you've gotten good advice.

    Oh, and if you want, lol, catch the donk and send it my way, I can use a good dog stomper around here, donks are great herd protectors.

    kj

  8. #8
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    frugalfarmwife has a great suggestion there, re the eletric fence. My sister used it for the pigs, and if they keep them in, just a thin little wire, it would probably work wonders for the intruders and the budget. I'm with her.

    About the whole situation though, heres my take, it's a bit spendy and different. Because I've had to up and move a lot without a lot of prior warning, I've taken to viewing house maintenance and repair as a top priority.

    Why? well should you have to suddenly sell, you often don't have a lot of time or money or energy to do the fixits. And if you don't, then you are pouring money down the drain, totally wasted.

    You don't "get it back" like the home reno ads always like to tell you, but what you do is maintain the worth of your property which is your main investment.

    But don't overdo the maintenance and repair. If windows need doing, or a fence, do them, without guilt, just save the cosmetics for later.

  9. #9
    Registered User Valerie in WA's Avatar
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    Oh, THANK YOU! This was helpful! I knew y'all would come thru.

    Valerie, since you are planning on making double house payments I'm wondering is that what the amount of the van and cc payment added to your current house payment will amount to?
    The current amount paid to the van & cc totals $1440. The house payment is $1102 for P & I only, and amounts to $1368 with taxes and insurance.

    There is noone setting that goal but you.
    That's a really good point! We originally bought the house in 99 on a 30 yr loan. Jan 1, 2005, we started paying on our re-fi'd 20 year loan. If we stay on schedule, and DONT make any extra payments, we'll be paid off in about 25.5 years total. Hurrying that up is my choice. Furthermore, our property value has nearly doubled in the 7 years we've lived here, so our mortgage amount and payment are relatively small.

    The fence and the windows are good investments -- the fence will keep your neighborhood donkey out of the back yard (a donkey?! Seriously?!) and the windows will keep the heat in come next winter, keeping your bills down. As for the kitchen remodelling, it is a wonderful idea, but is it something that needs to be done right away?
    This kitchen is usable, it's just a PITA; for example, the fridge is in the dining room. The fence is more of a priority because the garden and the ducks provide cheap organic food for us.

    First you can temporarily fence with electric fencing and teach those dogs and the donk but quick that it's not FUN to sneak into your yard! BTW, I'd have SERIOUS words with the owner of the dog that's harassing your ducks, I will NOT tolerate anything harassing my animals, they're my family and my livlihood!
    I don't know if electric fence is allowed in the suburbs. Would it be safe for my children? We have had serious words with many dog owners in our neighborhood, to no avail. We now have Animal Control's phone number programmed in our cell phones, and the on-line complaint form linked in our Favorites. I've seen advice on a homesteading forum to "SSS" (shoot, shovel & shutup). It's either that or a fence and, personally, I'd rather the fence.

    I've taken to viewing house maintenance and repair as a top priority. Why? well should you have to suddenly sell, you often don't have a lot of time or money or energy to do the fixits.
    This, also, is a very good point.

    So here's what I'll do...continue to pay off the cc & van by the end of this year. Get the fence, new windows and doors sometime during this warm/dry season.

    Fund the EF the rest of the way as soon as the van & CC are paid off.

    Plan on saving enough to do the kitchen OR the siding, porch and terracing next summer. I don't need to make that decision right now.

    I do need a fence right now.

    Thanks again for helping me sort all this out. I really appreciate it.

  10. #10
    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    Valerie~ Sounds like were on the same confusing wave lenghth today! Anyways as far as fencing goes We fenced a bigger chunk for my goats ducks and dogs with fencing from menards. It is about 30$ for every 5o ft of 6 ft fence. Its metal fencing and comes in green or silver.It took a day and is working very well to contain even my huge dog.

  11. #11
    Registered User frugalfarmwife's Avatar
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    The electric fence wouldn't hurt your children seriously, it'd give them a zap and they'd go out of their way to not touch it again! I hit our fence every few months and it wakes me up, lol, especially since I usually back into it It won't cause any damage though.

    And a donkey in the burbs? Wow, thats unusual, usually zoning won't allow them.

    Yes, SSS it a farm method, I've threatened but not had to do it yet. I've had several friend around the country though that have lost goats, sheep and miniature horses to dogs. ANY DOG is a danger when it starts chasing and they're even worse when they pack up, then they're down right deadly.

    A very close friend of mine just put all four of her own dogs down because they ganged up and savagely injured one of her horses.

    kj

  12. #12
    Registered User Valerie in WA's Avatar
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    And a donkey in the burbs? Wow, thats unusual, usually zoning won't allow them.
    We're in an unicorporated part of the county that is rapidly growing. Several HUGE developments are springing up within a mile of here. Our street, though, is old houses and no covenants. We have one of the small lots at a 1/2 acre. The 'horse people' actually have two horses, a donkey and a mule. Come to think of it, maybe it's the mule that's always out. Anyhow, they are on only two acres, which is completely inadequate for four large animals. The other three are mean to this one, so the owner lets him out to graze the neighborhood. No kidding. I talked to him about it last year, and he stopped. This year, when he started again, I let the nice Officer talk to him about it.

    Another neighbor has two llamas, some chickens, and a pot-belly pig. She runs a dog grooming and kennel business from her home. Recently, one of her dogs got out and attacked the llamas. They were okay, but frightened, and screamed for over an hour. That is quite a sound! It sounds almost like metal grinding, except not quite enough, so you realize it's a living thing.

    We have the ducks and a big garden.

    One other family has a large garden.

    And lots of people have dogs. Only two of them have fences. And of those two, they don't always use their fences.

    The last time I caught a dog in my yard I was probably mad enough to SSS. Lucky for him, I happened to be naked when I saw him out the window. Had only time to grab a robe. Lucky for his owners, I couldn't figure out where he came from. I chased him off and I went back out dressed, he had disappeared.

  13. #13
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    Valerie my sister has small kids (one was a baby when she was using the electric wire) and they all bump into it regularly with no harm. Like fr.frmwf above, it's usually an absent minded thing.

    You don't have to run current all the time either. After the animals know about it, just turn it on when they start testing it.

    she doesn't have the pigs right now, so the fence is down, but it's a great contraption. Won't harm kids or livestock.

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