Finally able to exhale! This past Monday (2/22/16) we sold our home in Alvin (Still Waters). Things could not have worked out better for us.
The obvious struggle with starting an adventure like this is how to fund it. How do you come up with 20% to secure a mortgage on a piece of land, and still have enough for startup capital? I think this is what keeps most people from taking the leap. For us, it was a combination of wise investments, living frugally, and God’s good fortune.
The wise investments were not in the stock market, but in buying things below market value, fixing them up, and making do – and in many cases – selling at a profit. Perhaps this is the same thing as living frugally. I don’t know. It is said that your home is the biggest investment most people will ever make – but that doesn’t mean you will always profit from it. Please allow me a stroll down the rabbit trail…
It all started back in 1999. I was getting out of the army and we were buying our first house. It was an old 1950s return from WWII starter home. It was what we could afford. I worked hard, pored lots of love into it, and sold it at a profit. Then we moved up – to Dallas (2002). It was ugly, but it was what we could afford. I worked hard, pored lots of love into it, and sold it at a profit. Then we moved out – to Alvin (2006). It was old & ugly. I worked hard, pored love into it, and earlier this week – sold it at a profit. That is how you build wealth. It takes time, hard work, and lots of love. And as for living frugally – live within your means. Save money. Borrow strategically. Don’t fall for the hype on TV. You don’t deserve to pamper yourself – you deserve nothing. Joy is a state of being that is independent of your circumstances.
Thus we find ourselves on the main trail once again… In mid-2015, when we came to the conclusion we wanted to move back to central Texas, I knew I’d have to make the most out of my investments in order to fund the purchase. One of the things I liked best about Still Waters is that it had lots of road frontage, both front and back (my thought at the time was that one of the kids could build on the back acres). This allowed me to subdivide the property and sell the back few acres in order to secure a large chunk of the down payment we sold 2.5 acres in November 2015. The money from that sale, coupled with my savings, gave us the 20% we needed. It also put the remaining property in more affordable range for most buyers. It’s much harder to sell a $350,000 home than it is a $275,000 home – it significantly increases the buying population. And most people are just as happy with less than 5 acres.
And the final ingredient – God’s good fortune. I was able to sell the combined property at a gross profit of around $124,000. Since I built a workshop and did many other improvements, I’m estimating I netted about $75,000. Not only that, but God blessed us with the perfect scenario. We sold the house fast (at full asking price) and the buyers agreed to rent it to us until June. This allows me to get my equity out of the house now, so I can build our new home with cash. God is good. In the event our new home at AOR is not complete by June, we will live with Molly’s mom & dad in Taylor.
Since we sold the house, there is now no turning back.