• "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding metals, finance, politics, government and many other topics"

Land - The Right Time To Buy?

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
8,261
Reaction score
13,438
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
I put this in "investments" because I'm trying to come out ahead. Not to flip; and not because I want two kids in a backyard, either.

Because I'm trying to find a safe spot to park...my wealth as well as my derriere.

We all need a place to live. THAT COSTS.

As I'm having driven home. My $600 apartment (2014) is now $850 and rising.

It's safe and vermin free, but objectively, it's not worth that much. Not on an ongoing basis, on a lease.

I'm shopping for a house, out of the way of the Zoom Boom mania. This has been a target, first because so many other California expats moved here in years earlier, and sent word back. Then because the big university here, a "party" school, has drawn so many surfer-dood types. Or their female equivalents.

Now, crime is up 200 percent, police are partly defunded, gang graffiti are all over, and all signs point to MOAR.

Balance that against the state's overall reasonableness. Our lockdown was "soft." Restaurants set up outdoor areas; most non-entertainment venues were open; nobody arrested anyone for standing outdoors with no face-diaper on.

And now, few people are being threatened with their jobs for not getting The Jab. Frankly, the bug didn't make big inroads here.

So...I want to stay in the state, but not in this county.

But the Zoom-Boom price-explosion has hit everywhere. I'm looking at a little town in Lincoln County that I knew 25 years ago when working on the Burlington Northern line...as a contract employee. But...little town; only traffic is through, on US 2, going to Glacier or Kalispell.

That was then. Now, I'm finding, prices are being bid way, way up. A 1952 property...solid but unspectacular...on a corner lot just off downtown...with the house literally three feet from the public sidewalk in front. Has a nice backyard, but, still...that kind of exposure to the street, doesn't do it.

The house is "grey." Nothing horribly bad but nothing outstandingly good. Went on the market over the weekend, and already there's 7 offers on it. Asking is $110k.

I'm finding my signature is worth more than I knew. My credit-union loan officer has me pre-approved for a conventional loan up to $140k...with 30 percent down. I could raise that, but by selling stacks.

Maybe with less down. With this house, maybe FHA or VA financing. I had a VA home-loan 22 years ago - paid off a long time back. Don't know if the program is one-and-done or not.

But, my question to the investors, misers, preppers and others: Is THIS, meaning right now, a better time to buy? Before a Jab is required to get a home loan? WHILE there is still all that free government cheese, where I can get a 4-percent mortgage while inflation is running at 12 percent?

Or is it likely to be better to wait for the Zoom-Boom to fade away (with economic collapse) and the Jabb testees die off, and the dollar collapse. Or, I might be required to provide Proof-Of-Jab to renew this lease in May.

Living in an RV (I have a small trailer) sounds very romantic. Where are you going to get mail, bills, sent, and where will you have your DL renewal sent to? For that matter, who knows - I may have to have the Majik Juice in order to renew the DL. Which, if I'm living in a vehicle...presents a problem.

Anyway...I can go forward on this or not. There's a second house I looked at...needs a good cleaning up. Or a good burning down, more likely. Owner wants $95k for it. Land is worth, at today's rates, about $25k at best. House is a mess with post foundations that have shifted.

And it doesn't have central heat. The tenant who's in there now, a retired handyman (career military guy) heats with wood. Wood prices here are off the scale, too...he said wood is selling at $145 a face-cord. He just cuts his own; and goes through a cord every 25 days in the winter. Man...when I heated with wood, I was buying at $60 a face-cord, and thought I was getting ripped off.

This second house, a dump, is eligible for no programs. I can borrow against the land but the difference I'd have to make up out of pocket.

It's in a great area on the edge of the village, though - right near a county park that used to be a lot busier than it is.

But I keep on wondering if I'm better to wait until buyers disappear and gold is up above $3k an ounce. Or if I will have once again missed my chance.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Survivor
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
65,058
Reaction score
141,765
Location
Rocky Mountains
I'm finding my signature is worth more than I knew. My credit-union loan officer has me pre-approved for a conventional loan up to $140k...with 30 percent down. I could raise that, but by selling stacks.
Be careful you don't end up 'Property Poor'... so much mortgage you can't afford a pizza....

and avoid foundation problems like the Covid1984
 

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
8,261
Reaction score
13,438
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
Be careful you don't end up 'Property Poor'... so much mortgage you can't afford a pizza....
Working out the monthly payments, I'd be paying about $200-$300 less than I am now.

Of course, that doesn't figure in maintenance costs. And my utilities here are dirt cheap - $20 electric bill and $50 service charge for heating.
 

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
8,261
Reaction score
13,438
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
Foundation problems.

Yeah, that's my reaction, too.

But...I never thought I'd be in a world where a $100k home is a fixer-upper...not even in Calinsanity, but in Lincoln County, Montana.
 

Someone_else

Platinum Bling
Platinum Bling
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
4,149
Reaction score
6,642
I have been to Alzada. It is pretty bleak. Land and shack might be low price in an area like that.

Just kidding.

Humor me for a moment, and let's turn the equation 90 degrees. You want an affordable place in an area where the old-timers still hang out. But consider that moving to a small town is more than just buying a house and living there. It is getting involved with the community. This angle might make it easier to do that.

Look for job wanted ads in small towns, especially jobs that are not physical. Consider everything. Even a low pay is more than nothing. But moving there for the job is just the storyline. Getting any job in a town will get you introduced and accepted faster than just moving into a house down the road. The employers will try to help you find you the best deal on the home you need.
 

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
8,261
Reaction score
13,438
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
I have been to Alzada. It is pretty bleak. Land and shack might be low price in an area like that.

Just kidding.

Humor me for a moment, and let's turn the equation 90 degrees. You want an affordable place in an area where the old-timers still hang out. But consider that moving to a small town is more than just buying a house and living there. It is getting involved with the community. This angle might make it easier to do that.

Look for job wanted ads in small towns, especially jobs that are not physical. Consider everything. Even a low pay is more than nothing. But moving there for the job is just the storyline. Getting any job in a town will get you introduced and accepted faster than just moving into a house down the road. The employers will try to help you find you the best deal on the home you need.
It's a good thought, except that my Railroad Retirement is an early retirement, lacked to what's called Craft Disability. Meaning, I cannot perform my customary craft duties. I was a locomotive engineer, sometimes a conductor, for a few years a switchman.

An injured back, arthritis in the hip and knee, sciatica, and spinal surgery on the neck...along with diabetes...all adds to a medical disqualifier.

BUT. If I take work before customary retirement age, 66 for my generation of railroaders...it comes out of my monthly stipend, dollar-for-dollar. AND if it's over $900, I am demonstratably not occupationally-disabled, and lose my pension until age 66.

But wait, there's more!

If I did that, and I could, easily (selling RVs or doing radio voiceover work, is not physically taxing) then, I have just cut "current connection" with the railroad industry. Because my last employer before Age 66 Retirement was NOT a railroad.

So, without "current connection" (as the law defines it) I get NUFFIN. I get antiSocial inSecurity.

Since most of my life and my highest-paid work was on the railroad, my pension would go from $30k a year to about $10k SS payments.

NOT gonna happen.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Survivor
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
65,058
Reaction score
141,765
Location
Rocky Mountains
BUT. If I take work before customary retirement age, 66 for my generation of railroaders...it comes out of my monthly stipend, dollar-for-dollar. AND if it's over $900, I am demonstratably not occupationally-disabled, and lose my pension until age 66.
Don't do that!

I had the same 'opportunity'. I waited until 66 to 'take work'. Not really working, but I have the ability to keep SS and do handyman jobs as needed. Fortunately, I don't 'need' to work. Wife has 3 years to retirement. A good job now and 75% of her current salary for retirement, but as I told her, it's not going to amount to a hill of beans in 20 years. Thirty years ago $20 would buy a weeks worth of groceries and today $200 won't even come close to that, what do you think will happen in another 20 years?
 

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
8,261
Reaction score
13,438
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
Eventually I expect they'll change the rules and kick me off the pension, anyway.

Which will mean without demonstrable income, I can do nothing financially. Not even borrow against property I have clear title to; and I know this, because in 2008 I was out of a job, with $200k in stawks and $150k worth of owned home...and couldn't get financing for a roof repair. Which helped me anyway, because the stawk I sold didn't get marked down in the future crash.

Man, I don't know. One part of me wants to just be a vagrant, own nothing, since TPTB make it so onerous. On the other hand, being shiftless after age 30, isn't fun. I know because I have done it, before that age and after.
 

Jarrod32

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
488
Reaction score
1,141
Location
South Central Nebraska
Just a couple notes. You indicated your payment would be less than what you are paying now...if that is true, then you would probably be ahead of the game. And you can lock in your house payment amount. That rent payment will probably be more in a couple years. Just make sure when you are calculating your house payment that you are including the escrowed taxes and insurance along with P&I to get a good payment comparison.

You indicated you could come up with a down payment by selling some of your stack. You are trading one real asset (metals) for another real asset (real estate/property) so that would not be an unreasonable trade off.

There may be some that will disagree, but I can tell you that there is nothing like owning your own house and property. Once you make and are comfortable with a decision to buy a house, I would advise to be patient in finding the right place for you, but when you find it you know that you need to be ready to act.

You asked if this was the better time to buy. My thoughts/opinions on the matter are that inflation is on the horizon and interest rates will be higher in the future. And the Zoom-boom, as you refer to it, is not going to end anytime soon. Might we see a decline in the value of real estate in the future? Quite probable...as interest rates rise property values may decline. Don't let that scare you...if you can get locked in at a lower interest rate, and have a large down payment and some equity, you will be fine long term. Especially if you intend to continue living in the property. If you have no intention of selling the property, then it doesn't really matter if the value goes down, does it? The only thing that matters is the payment amount...and you can lock that in.