Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh give me a home ... where the mortgage is low....

Quite a few years ago I owned a used homeschool curriculum bookstore which I ran for nearly 10 years. I often had mother's come for curriculum counseling because they were overwhelmed with all of the choices. Should they do unit studies or The Principle Approach or a more traditional textbook? It could drive a mother to distraction. I'd always bring them back to this question, "What has your husband allowed you to spend?" That was our starting point. It was a great 'narrower', as I used to call it, because it helped to narrow their choices.

Many of you know that we sold our home(s) 2 years ago when my husband became disabled. We lived in my aunt's barn studio the first year and then took a job as caregivers in the home of a 91 year old lady this past year so we could be closer to family.  My husband's Medicare will kick in April 1st and as a result we will be able to cut our $1,000 a month medical insurance payment to less than half. This will allow us to buy a small inexpensive home. There is no way we can afford rent  prices which are twice as much as a mortgage these days.

The types and areas of homes we can afford on a disability income are not familiar to us. To be honest, five years ago we would have avoided these areas like the plague. This has been the catalyst for a lot of soul searching and honestly I haven't been pleased with what I've seen. I believe I have taken on society's mindset when it comes to choosing a home more than God's. Sins like 'fear of man' and 'pride' are leading the pack.

Now, back to the point of my first paragraph. God has narrowed our income substantially over the past 5 years.  As a result it has limited us to certain areas where we can buy. They are not areas we would have pursued.. if given the choice... but God has narrowed our choices by our circumstances and funds. .. just as He did with my homeschool families..  He has spoken clearly through His provision.

There is a bigger part of me that gets excited thinking about where God might be moving us. Who will my neighbors be? Will there be some souls that I can point towards Christ? Will there be some that I can minister to or disciple? Will I have opportunities to serve?

 I am confident that He is working out His plan in our lives through the narrowing of our home choices. YAY!

 It will be small. It will be old. It will be perfect!
 

18 comments:

  1. Will you need to move again? California has verrrry expensive real estate still I bet.

    Hugs,
    Carol

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    1. We don't have to move. We are able to stay in our studio and keep my job as far as we know. The real estate market is so low right now that it's a good time to buy. Yes, the market is high here but we hope to find a home under $85,000. Our payments would be less than $400 a month. Lord willing...

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  2. It really is true where I live that renting can be more expensive than a modest home with affordable mortgage, especially at today's low interest rates. However on a disability income here one would not be able to afford $1000 a month for insurance. In fact, $1000 a month is probably what you'd get on a disability income so that has to cover everything for the month. Of course I suppose that workplace disability income would be richer, about 2/3 of one's income. In this country, very, very few people would have work place disability benefits. So altogether I would say that God has really provided for you and he will continue to do so :-)

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    1. My husband's disability is from what he paid into Social Security for over 30 plus years. He made a very good salary so his monthly payment is considered on the higher end for disability. We haven't paid rent for 2 years.. that is why we were able to afford the medical insurance (along with my part time income). Yes, we are truly blessed.

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    2. That's a good news story! I love to hear those.

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  3. I always enjoy catching up on your life, and pray that God will lead you to the "perfect" place.

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  4. Drive, and if possible take a walk through, the neighborhoods at different times of day, get a feel for things, are school children walking home together, do you see people out walking their dogs, are the yards generally tidy, are people sitting on the front porch. Are there churches in the neighborhood, if so, what type of ministries and outreach programs do they provide for the community.
    I think you will find that wherever you end up it will become your mission ground :)

    Blessings to you, and I pray that your housing search is fruitful.

    Bean
    We lived in an inner city neighborhood for twelve years, and had no problems, the neighbors were friendly and the housing affordable. You do not have the worry of children and what school they will attend, so this broadens your choices, we opted for parochial school when we lived in the city.

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    1. Our daughter in love and 2 of our grandchildren would live nearby which would be a big perk! :-)

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  5. I won't go into the details, but during the economic downturn of the last couple years, my husband and I lost EVERYTHING. Our family was virtually penniless and homeless. We lost our home, modest savings, and home equity. More than anything through that ordeal, I realized that God will do what He aims to do. His plans cannot be thwarted, however painful to us. Through His provision, we have landed in a modest home in a neighborhood I never would have chosen before, but we love it. We went from the suburbs to a more urban area. Our family adjusted well. We are safe. We are healthy. We are happy with less.

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    1. Our stories are very similar.. aren't they? I'm thankful to hear that the Lord has provided and all is well. Yes, we don't always 'like' His plan do we? I love Amy Carmichael's saying, In acceptance lieth peace. So true.

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  6. We lost our income too and now live below the poverty line (what they say is the proverty line for 3). We bought a 34 year old mobile home, 875 sq. ft. We love it. Small yet very compact and exactly what we could afford (we paid cash for it). We are content. Can't wait to see what you get. Hugs

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    1. We have looked at mobiles but the space rent is $495 a month. They give rent increases of $10 a month each year following. We decided we cannot afford it with a fixed income.

      My real challenge is large family gatherings. How do you solve that problem?

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    2. I am enjoying reading people's comments. I don't know when your family gathers but my mom and step-father used to get a lot of company as they lived in an ideal climate with a shorter winter. Their guests would arrive with modest tent trailers and set up in the driveway. That's where they would sleep at night. If you have a yard, they could put up tents and use the washroom in your home. It works for a few days and of course it has to be summer.

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  7. Can't wait to see where your next adventure leads...

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  8. Moving again. It will be very interesting to see where He leads you. I know God will provide. It could be interesting, a new experience again. I've thought if I was willing to move I might be better off financially but moving itself is so physically tiring at this point in my life. My dd is being challenged to downsize her stuff, by a friend that lives small and maybe that is the answer. Living small allows you to go where He leads. I'll have to pray about this one. You've got me thinking. Linda

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  9. I'm sure God will guide you to just the right place. And I'm guessing there will be some appreciation of being on your own in a house again ... here the trend for the young especially. is to move into neighborhoods their parents never would have, and slowly over time hope for change. I admire their desire to make a difference.

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  10. This is exciting. Sounds like you already have a place or at least an area in mind. The last place we lived we bought a fixer upper, paid cash and completely renovated it. It went from a convenience to a place we hated to leave but the Lord moved us here to take care of our grandson. I am eager to see where you will go!
    Linda (OFG)

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  11. You are in California. So what I will say has perhaps zero bearing. *smile* In Indiana real estate is still fairly reasonable and a person can buy a plot of land (an acre or two or whatever) to put a "manufactured home" on. We bought our home "second hand"....16x80 and had a 16x30 sunroom built on (thus plenty of room for family gatherings)...Curt built on a nice front porch and a nice back porch. Our total outlay was maybe $40K or a bit more. We have no mortgage. With Curt's smallish pension we could not pay one.

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