Building a house debt free
Why we don’t want to buy a house and what we plan on doing about it.
Okay. You might want to grab some wine or a snack, because this is going to be a long one.
If you are here, you have probably noticed that I don’t want to buy a house. And you might be thinking, wtf? Well, I’m here to explain my point of view to you.
Our current situation.
Right now, my family is at the point of our life where it’s time to buy a house. Some people might even say that we have been renting too long and that we should have purchased one already, that we are wasting our money. Most people dream of having a happy family, and a beautiful house. I do share that dream, but my definition of a beautiful house is different than most.
let me start by saying
that I am not
a normal person
And by normal, I mean that I don’t relate to what society says I should be. I know its crazy to think that society has an impact on our lives, but it does. It really does. For decades, maybe even a hundred years, Americans have been working toward the same thing basically. Go to school, go to college, get a job, work until we are 65, retire, live our golden years, and then it’s over.
And really, it isn’t such a bad idea. Most people I know have followed this path. And most of them seem happy with their lives. They have finished college, are working a job they like, have purchased a home and a car, have had children, and continue to go to work. But most of them have some type of debt. Maybe it’s student loan debt, maybe it’s their mortgage, maybe it’s a brand new car. In my opinion, debt is not cool. And it’s not what I want for myself.
The thought of living my life in a set routine like that honestly makes me cringe. We all know those people, some of us are those people. The ones who have worked the same job for years and years, the same routine every single day. Not much time for vacation, maybe a week or 2 out of the year, not much time for maternity leave or sick leave. Not much time getting home after work to enjoy yourself before you have to wake up and do it all over again the next day. Having Saturday and Sunday off, and using that time to catch up on all the housework and errands you couldn’t do during the week. And its all because you must keep a roof over your head and keep the bills paid.
Well I hate EVERYTHING about this. It just isn’t my thing.
So here’s my working story. I had my daughter at a young age, so I became a nanny to make money without having to spend money sending my kids to daycare. This was awesome, I’ve made some incredible friends along the way, and I made decent money doing it. But after being a nanny for almost 7 years, I became tired of the routine. I had a 45-minute commute to work every day. Nannies don’t get health insurance. I worked 5 days per week and even 6 days when my youngest was little. When I got home from work I was beyond exhausted. I have never eaten so much pizza and burgers in my life. I just didn’t have the time or energy after work to come home and cook a full meal. By the time we were eating dinner it was like 7:30, which is late for us.
Then, everything changed when I became a stay at home mom. I suddenly had time to do whatever I wanted. Even if it was nothing. I homeschool my kids, so we are able to go and do whatever we wanted during the day. Park, pool, swimming, restaurants, shopping, museums, you name it. They became happier too because of the freedom they have.
It was then that I started feeling bad for my husband. He has been working the same job for 5 years now. He works 10 hour days and has an hour long commute one way every day. He is away from home for 12 hours a day. When he gets home he isn’t as tired as he used to be, because his body has become used to this routine. He makes good money, has great benefits, and somewhat acceptable vacation time. But it’s still not enough. He misses so much when he is working all day. The girls and I have SO much fun and often they say to me ‘I wish dad was here’. He’s rotting away at work and it SUCKS.
I also started listening to Dave Ramsay on youtube, and after listening to his advice for a couple weeks, he opened my mind to a world of possibilities that I didn’t even really consider before because I am just so conditioned to expect to get loans for my housing and cars. He has tons of great advice for everyone who is serious about being debt free and creating a better life.
So how does this relate to buying a house?
Right. The house. I suppose I went of on a mini tangent there. Ok so right now we are renting a house in a somewhat decent location. The price of our rent is acceptable compared to what everyone else pays. We have an awesome landlord who just lets us live here month to month. We have no contract in place, he likes us a lot. He doesn’t raise the rent, and if anything ever needs fixing he’s on it right away. I really don’t understand how we found such an amazing place. However, we have been here for 5 years and my husband and I always talk about how much we need to move. But we just don’t want to buy a house.
There are several issues that
we are running into
when it comes to house hunting,
but the biggest one is money.
When you purchase a home, you have to have a ton of money down, and then you sign on to a 30 year mortgage. THIRTY. YEARS. The thought of paying for something for 30 years literally makes me want to cry. I was dying when I had to pay for my car for only 3 years. When I paid my car off I just felt so good. We barely had any bills. We were able to get different auto insurance that was $100 cheaper, and it was just incredible.
A mortgage is DEBT. Period. It is debt until you pay it off. You are a slave to your lender for 30 years. Additionally, you have to pay INTEREST on your loan which is absolute dead money. And I HATE dead money.
If you haven’t read my blog posts in my money series, you wouldn’t know that my main goal in life is financial freedom. I want us to be debt free. I don’t want us to be in debt for 30 years. I don’t want us to be in debt at all. I want my husband to work less, and I want him to retire early. We would love to put our energy into volunteering and helping people less fortunate than us. Anything but being a slave for 30 years my goodness.
**Related: I’ve decided to become a millionaire
I started looking into this whole debt free situation online and I wasn’t surprised to find there are lots of people like me who want to live a free life. Some wanted to travel, some wanted to live off the land in peace. But they all had one thing in common. They didn’t purchase a traditional home. And the few that did, they worked extremely hard and sacrificed a LOT to pay off their home early. Even when they did, they still paid a substantial amount of money in interest, which isn’t my scene at all. Seriously the word interest kills my soul a little bit every time I hear it.
So what are the options for living in a house that you are happy with but also not having a mortgage?
Well upon doing lots of research, I have found a few different options, and as of this current moment, my husband and I have managed to agree on the one that we like the most. It’s totally not the norm, but I like it that way.
Option 1. Pay for your house in cash.
Well this absolutely isn’t happening for us. I would never purchase a traditional home with cash, although some people with high paying jobs who live frugally for 5 years or so are able to save up enough cash to purchase a house outright. That is an awesome plan and I like it much better than getting a loan, but I don’t think it is the right plan for our family.
Option 2: Purchasing a home and paying it off in 5-8 years.
I watch a couple on youtube who I highly recommend called His and Her money. Recently, they paid off their home and they managed to do it in 5 years. They share their tips and tricks for such an accomplishment. They also shared that they spent $25k on interest in just the 5 years that they were paying. Do you know what I could do with $25k? I could literally travel the entire world! I could buy a brand-new car. I could help so many people who are less fortunate than me. Even though I am so happy that they paid off their house, I just don’t want to go that route.
Okay here is where we start to get more out of the box thinking. I am a huge fan of tiny homes. So if you haven’t heard of this trend, tiny homes are exactly what they are. Tiny little houses that barely cost anything to live in, but have all the amenities that you need. Everything is just tiny. Some people have really small ones 400 square feet or so, and some people have more spacious tiny homes, like 800 square feet. These are perfect for people who live a minimalist lifestyle, which I am slowly moving toward one myself.
Some of them are made from shipping containers that have been transformed, and some of them are built by hand. Either way, the average tiny home is only $20k-$75k. This is significantly lower than the price of an average home anywhere in the country. With a tiny home, you also must purchase your own land. Even though I love the idea of a tiny home, I don’t think it is the right fit for our family. I need a little space to breathe and be comfortable. Maybe if it was just my husband and I we could manage it. But with the kids, I think they need a little bit of space.
**Related: Moving towards a minimalist lifestyle
For the past couple of weeks, my husband has been telling me about natural homes. Cob homes. Homes that are built using only materials from the earth. Clay, straw, wood, and stone. They were brought to the big screen in Lord of the Rings. The hobbit houses in the movie are made of Cob.
Adorable hobbit style house
Every day he would come home from work and start telling me about it while I was busy cooking or cleaning and not able to give him my full attention. Basically, I wasn’t listening to him at all. He mentioned things like…building our house ourselves, not having a mortgage, using solar energy, and growing lots of our own food. He also mentioned having electricity, having the newest appliances, and being able to design it however we like. Still, I wasn’t listening. Until the other day.
I had felt bad for not giving his ideas any attention, so I started looking up these Cob houses online. And omg I fell in love immediately!
I have always wanted a private cottage kind of house tucked away in the woods that blends in with the land. I am a big fan of ivy growing on houses, and I also love moss. I love green grass and land with lots of trees and flowers. All of the houses I saw really fit into what I wanted in a house.
The best part is that Cob houses are not only extremely strong and durable, but they cost next to nothing to build! This is because all of your building materials come from the land. The major expenses of the building process would be to have the foundation laid and a well put in as well as electricity on the property.
What I also failed to realize, is that all of those stunning white homes in Mykonos, Greece, are made of Natural Materials like clay, stone, hay, etc. I am aboslutely in LOVE. And I would love to make this a reality for us.
I also found companies that make pre fab homes like this called Green Magic Homes. They have all the parts you need to make a killer house that is eco friendly and extremely non traditional. It is also very inexpensive. I LOVE these floor plans. They have some with awesome square footage. 3 bedrooms! Which would be perfect for us.
But of course there could be issues with this. Unfortunately the laws are sort of set up against people who want to live a more non traditional lifestyle. Which is SUPER annoying. What if I won’t want to do what everyone else is doing an purchase a traditional dry wall house. Why do they make it harder for people to do things a different way?
Fortunately there are people who have faced these issues before and share their techniques for creating a natural home that is up to code. We just have to figure all of that out.
We are very new in this process. In fact, we just decided recently that this is what we want to explore for our future. Not sure if it is going to work or not. But I’m praying that it does. My long time goal is for my husband to work less so we can travel more. I want to see more of the country, and the world. I want to be able to look back on my life when I’m older and be completely satisfied. And I want my kids to life a life of adventure with no limits. It may seem like a lot, but to me it isnt. I’m not really sure what will come of this adventure, but I will be sure to keep you all updated if things work in our favor.
We have found a natural home architect and consultant right here in Washington DC. Her name is Sigi Koko and she has built many natural homes right in this area!
She helps design the perfect space to utilize as much natural resources as possible while making sure the house is up to code standards. It gives me so much hope that we can actually make this happen!
Are you on a debt free journey of your own? Please tell me all about it! I love hearing about people’s debt free stories!