Authored by A.Zych
Like most Americans today struggling with the current economy many of us have come to the realization that we must simplify our life and for many this means walking away from your house. In fact according to MSN poll in relation to the question of simply walking away when your home value is less then what is owed out of 74,011 votes over 61% polled said yes they would walk away. (http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/09/9614305-as-home-prices-fall-more-borrowers-walk-away?lite) Many critics argued it is morally wrong to walk away because you are obligated to pay you signed on the dotted line to assume such mortgages. In contrast some proponents say it is because of the predatory lending practices that many Americans are in a dire financial situation. I say it is an individual set of circumstances in which one may consider to walk away especially when it concerns your family’s quality of life.
In the past several months Mitch and I soon realized that our home situation would never work even with a 2nd home modification hence, the 1st home modification we received last year had not provided the much needed relief. Family life suffering with the inability to spend quality time with each other because staying in our 2 mortgage home meant that we would need more income by working several jobs. Who’s to say that with the economy we most likely not be able to get a job or like in my case I received a job at Target over 45 minutes away and by the time I drove to and from to work for several weeks straight the gas ate most of my check so it was a complete wash.
Mitch and I had many debates he being a man of pride he was not easily persuaded to see my side but he overcame his doubts he too realized that we could not live the rat race like many others do and survive as a family with the stresses of living a maxed out life. Together we came upon the same decision we no longer wanted to keep up with the Joneses instead we wanted to get back to the basics just as our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and those before them lived.
First, we discussed renting a house closer to his work which happens to be about 40 minutes away but soon realized several cons: the cost of rent was about the same if not more as our first and second-mortgage combine that we already have. Secondly, I would need to seek employment elsewhere leaving a job that I absolutely loved (working with special needs student) with a decent pension and future. Finally uprooting our daughter from the country life which she totally loves as well as her friends seemed to be very unfair.
So back to square one and a few weeks past we received a pre-foreclosure letter and several consults with lawyers and research online maybe we should try an unconventional way to live…so here is what we came up with a little to no mortgage home as our long term goal to accommodate our current income without giving up our current employment. But how were we going to achieve this?
A several step plan of living in tight quarters either in a friend’s house in their basement or perhaps we could save the money during the foreclosure redemption time which happens to be 6 months and then add a chapter 7 can give you an extra 3 to 4 months we could maybe save enough money to buy a chunk of land.
What about housing you ask? Well thanks to the inspirational, American Family Now, (http://americanfamilynow.org/) this family of 6 currently living in a 31’ travel trailer on their family land in Maine. Yes you heard me correctly, this determined family is doing what most people may think is the unthinkable and surviving just like the settlers did in the Good Ole Days!
With final goal in mind taking more than five years the wait will be worthwhile so that we can live a debt free life as well as a basic life of only having what we really need: food, shelter, water, etc while earning both respect and admiration of others most importantly the love of each other that is worth the ultimate sacrifice.
In the weeks to come I will make sure that I post the steps we are taking before we make our first setp towards out long time goal of living simple.