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Housing advice
Old 08-19-2018, 02:32 PM   #1
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Housing advice

So Iím finally debt free after 4 years of staying focused on becoming debt free and now Iím faced with a housing situation.

Iím 33 and work aboard ships for a living and spend about 7 months a year away from home and usually another month traveling for training and meetings. I have no girlfriend(itís extremely difficult to find one that will put up with someone being gone so much)so itís hard to justify a house right now but come next year I need to do something.

So I have several options:

1. So for the last couple of years Iíve lived in my Grandmotherís estate that went to my Aunt and Uncle. They struck a deal with me to let me stay there and keep an eye on the place until they sell it next year rent free so that I could tackle my 100k of student loan debt. Next summer they will be ready to sell the house since they have retired to Arizona. They have offered to sell it to me for 160k which is about 20k under what it could go for on the market. Itís a vey well maintained house with a new roof in the town Iíve lived in most of my life. All of my belongings are there so I wouldnít have any moving fees. Iíd be putting 20% down on it next spring if I were to buy it. I donít want to live in this town for the rest of my life but itís not a bad place by any means and some instant equity sparks a little more interest in buying it.

2. Buy a 35k house for cash in an area where it can be a summer cabin, and down the road possibly work out for future job prospects that would have me home more often.

3. Buy a multi unit investment property and live in one unit.

4. Last option is my parents have offered to let me move in to their summer home and keep an eye on it during the winter when I am off the ship and they are in Arizona. They offered this up as a way for me to continue socking away a bunch of money for a while longer.

Any input into why you would choose one over the other would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:20 PM   #2
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Not that my opinion is helpful, but I'd do #4 and sock away.

Good luck with your solution.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:26 PM   #3
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I'd do #4 as well. The reason is that if you're going to be away from the other place for 7 months at a time there are lots of things that can, and eventually will, go wrong and someone needs to be close by within a reasonable time frame to do something about it. With your parent's house they will be there when you are not, or within a few week's or a month's time.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:28 PM   #4
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So you need a place to keep your stuff and to live at for 4 months a year.

#4 sounds best to me if you get along well with your folks and can tolerate living there.

The problem with 3 might be that you are not there to address the inevitable problems that arise.

A number 5 might be to just rent an apartment with some roommates since you are there so rarely to have a place for your stuff and to go to when not at sea or training.

If you do buy something then I think a condo might fit your lifestyle better since you can lock and leave.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:35 PM   #5
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I would also choose #4. It maximizes your flexibility now and in the future. The money you put away will come in very handy when you eventually go ashore for good.

I hear you about the companionship issue. In my younger days, I was a submariner. It was not easy finding a girl who could put up with not hearing from me for six months. But I did, and we've been married for over 34 years now. Good luck.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:35 PM   #6
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I also agree with #4. Itís a win-win. You and your parents both have needs that this option addresses. It allows you to save a big chunk of money early in your career.

Invest it wisely, pay off debt. And maybe youíll meet someone on the ship. A friendís sister worked on a cruise ship for years. She eventually married the captain and moved to Sweden.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:06 PM   #7
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#4 hands down.
The other 3 have potential issues with you being away for long periods.

#1 is a good deal, but being away for 8-9 months, you'd be paying not just mortgage but some utilities, taxes, upkeep that you'll have to factor in.

Do you have a time in mind for when your lifestyle will change? IE, when you'd be land-based mostly? Or do you envision no real end in sight? At some point (guessing in the next 5-6 years?) if you wanted to get married and start a family, something will have to change, so I'd go #4 as a short term solution.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:16 PM   #8
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Another vote for #4 here. We are landlords and would definitely suggest you stay away from multi families...at least at this stage in your life. Once you are ready to settle down and decide itís time to buy, then do it at that time. With the tax reform, there are no advantages to buying vs renting....certainly none compared to staying at your parents summer home. A win win. Congrats on thinking about your options at your age!
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:01 PM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
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Thanks for all the input everyone.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post

Do you have a time in mind for when your lifestyle will change? IE, when you'd be land-based mostly? Or do you envision no real end in sight? At some point (guessing in the next 5-6 years?) if you wanted to get married and start a family, something will have to change, so I'd go #4 as a short term solution.

If all goes well in 4-5 years Iím hoping I can land a gig that is 20 days on 10 days off with three months off in the winter or if I end up outside of the Great Lakes 2 weeks on 2 weeks off. I really donít anticipate a family but hopefully at least Iíll find some companionship to go sailing and camping with me.

Iím going to continue to live a pretty frugal life with my goal to be done working full time by 48 at the latest.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatlksSailor View Post
So Iím finally debt free after 4 years of staying focused on becoming debt free and now Iím faced with a housing situation.

Iím 33 and work aboard ships for a living and spend about 7 months a year away from home and usually another month traveling for training and meetings. I have no girlfriend(itís extremely difficult to find one that will put up with someone being gone so much)so itís hard to justify a house right now but come next year I need to do something.

So I have several options:

1. So for the last couple of years Iíve lived in my Grandmotherís estate that went to my Aunt and Uncle. They struck a deal with me to let me stay there and keep an eye on the place until they sell it next year rent free so that I could tackle my 100k of student loan debt. Next summer they will be ready to sell the house since they have retired to Arizona. They have offered to sell it to me for 160k which is about 20k under what it could go for on the market. Itís a vey well maintained house with a new roof in the town Iíve lived in most of my life. All of my belongings are there so I wouldnít have any moving fees. Iíd be putting 20% down on it next spring if I were to buy it. I donít want to live in this town for the rest of my life but itís not a bad place by any means and some instant equity sparks a little more interest in buying it.

2. Buy a 35k house for cash in an area where it can be a summer cabin, and down the road possibly work out for future job prospects that would have me home more often.

3. Buy a multi unit investment property and live in one unit.

4. Last option is my parents have offered to let me move in to their summer home and keep an eye on it during the winter when I am off the ship and they are in Arizona. They offered this up as a way for me to continue socking away a bunch of money for a while longer.

Any input into why you would choose one over the other would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.
I was also a sailor.

I married at 22 and we bought apartment complexes [Tri-plexes, Four-plex, Five-plex]. We lived in one while my wife managed it, and I went to sea.

At each Duty Station, we bought another property.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:17 PM   #11
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Would you have bought apartment complexes if you were single like the OP (didn't have "free" management on site)?
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:39 PM   #12
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I was out to sea [literally underwater] for 7 months each year during my working career. Without someone to manage our properties for me, I would not have been able to operate apartment complexes. As my investment portfolio. I would have likely been stuck with mutuals and paying income taxes.
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:14 PM   #13
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I DID do #4. When I was 33 even living back home for a few months made a world of a difference to my financial situation...and only hurt my ego lol.

It was a huge help and I am grateful for my folks letting me move back for a bit rent free. NOTE that did not mean free meals lol and I managed to keep my wife (yes, we were married and living in my folks "basement".) But hey, no debts!
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:52 PM   #14
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Given your work lifestyle, there's no question...#4! No reason to pay a mortgage, utilities, insurance, maintenance, and worry about a place you're not staying at full-time. I'd put your extra $ into a well-diversified ETF and enjoy the summer home!
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:53 PM   #15
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Buy the multi unit , rent it out and live in your parents home …..If real estate is the way you want to improve your assets . they sure aren't making any new land
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:15 PM   #16
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As a semi-retired Realtor (23 years) and a 30 year plus landlord, I would still choose #4-stash the cash!
Buying the estate house may seem like a good deal now, but not if the housing market tanks. Plus, the expenses of keeping the house: upkeep, property taxes and utility bills. (Landlords call properties like that alligators!).
Who knows where you will want to live and how much money you will have to invest in a house when you are really ready to settle down in one spot

To paraphrase the old Mexico beer commercial: "Stay flexible, my friend".
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