House Help
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Thread: House Help

  1. #1
    Registered User Shelli_wnj's Avatar
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    Default House Help

    I never realized it before - maybe I was in denial... but we are house-poor. We pay half our income toward house payments. I am not sure the house is in saleable condition, or where we would go if sold. We are almost thru a bankruptcy so we have no credit to rent. Any suggestions welcome!

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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    What are all your monthly bills like? Is there a way to trim in there? If there's no where to go, then it's best to make it work where you are. Times are tight for so many right now, that sometimes it's time to just regroup and rethink where the money is going. You're managing to pay the mortgage, I'd sit tight.

    It totally SUCKS to be house poor. BTDT! (Still there while dh hours get cut), but right now, the market is really low, you risk selling for less than you owe, putting you no further ahead.

    If you're comfortable with it, share your monthly bills, and perhaps a fresh set of eyes can see a way to give a little more breathing room in the budget.

    ((Shelli)), it's rough, right now, but this too shall pass, with a little perseverence and patience.

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    Registered User kittykatstrong's Avatar
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    We also pay almost half of income toward rent. Right now we are working on cutting bills and increasing income.

    Cutting bills:
    -drying clothes outside
    -we have cable but we reduced the channels
    -grocery (started using coupons and watching sales alot closer)
    - we have bartered for a hair cut and babysitting
    - libary (we love it now more then ever)

    Increasing Income:
    -selling things we no longer needed
    -I have done online surveys in the past
    -always saying yes to extra hours at work

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    Check out the new Federal programs for mortgage relief and see if you qualify.

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    We pay almost half our take home income toward our mortgage/taxes/hmi, but that is a choice we have made for me to stay home.

    There are probably areas where you can cut back.
    You have 3 little kids? Do you qualify for WIC? Can you lower your bills at all (get rid of cable, get cheaper internet or get rid of internet, lower cell phone plan/pay as you go)??

    I would stay in my house if I were you--especially since you are going through a bankruptcy.

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    Do you have any trustworthy friends or relatives who need an inexpensive place to stay? Renting out a room could be a big plus. Of course with the little ones you have to make sure that the person is trustworthy....

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    We aren't house poor, by design. I looked for 6 months before I found a house I would live in, that we could afford. It took a lot of looking!

    Anyway, if you weren't coming out of fin. difficulties, I'd have said, see if you can refi, but obviously that's out.

    So, see if you can use this asset you've got can help pay for itself? Can you sell even a little of your garden produce? If so, pay the extra against your mortgage. Sell your extra rocks, lawn, whatever you can that's EXTRA for you to someone else, for a cheap price. Use that $ to add to the mortgage payment. It may not be a lot, but all those little payments can take a chunk o' interest off your loan in the long run.

    Anyway, that's what I'd do. Until we got here and the house was so hard to find and then DH lost his job 6 weeks after we got it, I'd never looked at my house/land with the idea that I could make $ with it. I could do a lot more than I do, but I've sold hollyhocks to the local farm stand and this year I'm going to see if I can sell them clipped herbs for a little extra cash or credit! I've also got wild strawberries and raspberries, but it never seems like there's enough to try and sell. I planted bittersweet, because when we got here the vines were in great demand in the fall. And I have a 5 gallon bucket I'm going to try and fill with hemlock pine cones (they're used in pot pourri.) You get the idea.

    But look at your garden as a source of income, you might be surprised what you find...I sure was!

    Judi

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelli_wnj View Post
    I never realized it before - maybe I was in denial... but we are house-poor. We pay half our income toward house payments. I am not sure the house is in saleable condition, or where we would go if sold. We are almost thru a bankruptcy so we have no credit to rent. Any suggestions welcome!
    This situation will not last forever and you are learning from it obviously. First thing I would like to tell you is to make sure that you take care of yourself and your health...that way you will be the best you can be.

    We are house poor - sort of a way of life here. However, I do take on extra jobs - tutoring, sewing, babysitting - have yard sales - do whatever I can to make extra money.

    Since joining FV I've found that I am much more concious about our money and what we are doing with it. It comes down to it all being a process and life for me is just wjere we are in the process. We are digging ourselves out of debt and are in control. You can be too.

    Take care and keep in touch!!

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    I have the same prob but its worse! I have someone helping me with our house payment right now bc its just out of our reach! We are working on modifying our loan right now to fit our monthly income. Maybe you could try something along those lines?

  11. #10
    Registered User Shelli_wnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommy4ever View Post
    If you're comfortable with it, share your monthly bills, and perhaps a fresh set of eyes can see a way to give a little more breathing room in the budget.

    ((Shelli)), it's rough, right now, but this too shall pass, with a little perseverence and patience.
    I am going to post them in a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by kittykatstrong View Post
    Cutting bills:
    -drying clothes outside
    -we have cable but we reduced the channels
    -grocery (started using coupons and watching sales alot closer)
    - we have bartered for a hair cut and babysitting
    - libary (we love it now more then ever)

    Increasing Income:
    -selling things we no longer needed
    -I have done online surveys in the past
    -always saying yes to extra hours at work
    We have started doing most of this as well - I just stopped using my dryer. My grocery bill is about $50 a week - according to DR it should be $30 - I have to work on that. I cut all of our hair and I always used the library. I LOVE the library :-)

    I want to set up a garage sale - I need to work on that. I have done the surveys, too - but it seems like I took them all - I havent qualified for any in a long time. I dont work, hopefully I will be able to find a job come sept.

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbowgc View Post
    Check out the new Federal programs for mortgage relief and see if you qualify.
    We don't. I tried, but apparently we are already at the lowest interest rate they can give, and we can't refi because of the bankruptcy.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmd5294 View Post
    There are probably areas where you can cut back. You have 3 little kids? Do you qualify for WIC? Can you lower your bills at all (get rid of cable, get cheaper internet or get rid of internet, lower cell phone plan/pay as you go)??
    We are on WIC for the 2 youngest. I am about to give up internet, cable is at its lowest (contracted) and I can't lower the cell b/c hubby (who is not on board) uses most of the minutes!

    Quote Originally Posted by kita View Post
    Do you have any trustworthy friends or relatives who need an inexpensive place to stay? Renting out a room could be a big plus. Of course with the little ones you have to make sure that the person is trustworthy....
    This is something I had thought of. We have a whole downstairs in need of repairs that we could rent out. I need to find someone willing to help me here, I am not capable of making the repairs, maybe I could give a month or two rent-free in exchange for the repairs being done? What would be acceptable rent for a living room, 2 bedrooms and a full bath? There is no kitchen down there, but room for a fridge, table, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judi Dial View Post
    So, see if you can use this asset you've got can help pay for itself? Can you sell even a little of your garden produce? If so, pay the extra against your mortgage. Sell your extra rocks, lawn, whatever you can that's EXTRA for you to someone else, for a cheap price. Use that $ to add to the mortgage payment. It may not be a lot, but all those little payments can take a chunk o' interest off your loan in the long run.
    Judi
    LOL - me, garden?? ROFL! I should post a pic of my "garden". We live in the woods. I have a 12 gal rubbermaid tote on our porch with plants (hopefully) growing in it. I pray for a few tomatoes, peppers and some herbs this year. That is if the raccoon doesn't get them first!

    How would you market selling rocks and so forth?

    Quote Originally Posted by mauimagic View Post
    This situation will not last forever and you are learning from it obviously. First thing I would like to tell you is to make sure that you take care of yourself and your health...that way you will be the best you can be.

    Take care and keep in touch!!
    Thank you for the encouragement! I try really hard not to get down - I even joined a home group at my church for some extra "grown-up" time and spirituality.

    Quote Originally Posted by kellieetter View Post
    I have the same prob but its worse! I have someone helping me with our house payment right now bc its just out of our reach! We are working on modifying our loan right now to fit our monthly income. Maybe you could try something along those lines?
    {{hugs}} I wish we could. I pray it works for you!

    I will post again in a little while with my expenses. Thank you all for posting, and for all your ideas. Some of them might really work!!!

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kita
    Do you have any trustworthy friends or relatives who need an inexpensive place to stay? Renting out a room could be a big plus. Of course with the little ones you have to make sure that the person is trustworthy....

    This is something I had thought of. We have a whole downstairs in need of repairs that we could rent out. I need to find someone willing to help me here, I am not capable of making the repairs, maybe I could give a month or two rent-free in exchange for the repairs being done? What would be acceptable rent for a living room, 2 bedrooms and a full bath? There is no kitchen down there, but room for a fridge, table, etc.



    I wouldn't have any idea for Eastern PA. I live in NJ and I think that the lack of a kitchen would be a real drawback. But college students might be interested. Here I would say $400 PER ROOM, and it isn't $500 because of the lack of a kitchen.

    Something you might try is setting up a mini-kitchen (gearing mostly for college students) with a microwave, refrigerator, and allowing crockpots and electric skillets. (make sure you have right to deny any unsafe appliance and state where they can be used. ie...on THIS counter with THIS non-flammable surface.)

    Or you might allow "weekend full kitchen priviliges" so that when you are home they can cook a few meals in your kitchen while you are home.

    Check out Craig's list for rent amounts.

    Good Luck....

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    Re selling rocks...see if your local landscape or horitculture supply company might want them. MInd you here I wouldn't even try. NH is called "the granite state" for a reason!

    Judi

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    Registered User rowdy35's Avatar
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    i think another first step is to identify your debt totals. i use an excel spreadsheet and religiously track my outstanding debt and my monthly payments. If you can pay stuff off slowly, you are still paying stuff off. I was able to pay off $20K in debt last year on an $80K income.

    My husband will buy a car and fix it up and resell it. Not sure if your spouse could do that.

    since you are a mom maybe you can take in some other children for child care? obviously it would be hard to work outside the home with three little ones.

    identify your debt & come up with a solution to repay. you can do it !

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    Lots of positive words, ideas and support on this topic. Great idea to rent out your downstairs. Instead of offering it free rent to someone who will do the repairs, I would offer it for reduced rent so you'll at least have something coming in.

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