Can’t I Just Sell All Of My Stuff??


You guys, I’m full of regret right now. I really really really wish that we didn’t have this house. Don’t get me wrong, I love our home. It’s the mortgage that I hate.

When we bought the house we weren’t even thinking of homesteading. We were just getting into eating organic food, and it kinda morphed into a dream of self-sufficiency. I WISH we could have done things differently. We could have built a smaller, cozier home out of scrap wood, and lived in it debt free.

So, now I’m wondering…

Can’t we just sell all of our possessions, except for a few pairs of clothes, and make enough money to pay off our house? I’m serious! What if we did? Wouldn’t it would be great to shed a house payment?! (My husband thinks I’m crazy, by the way. Only because he knows I’d do it!)

But then, in reality, we probably don’t have enough stuff to sell to make enough money to pay off the house. I’m SO tempted to go through our place and make an inventory and see how close we could get though!

It’s not that we can’t afford our $600  house payment, we’ve been very blessed, I think. It’s just that we could do so much more to become self sufficient if we didn’t owe anybody anything.

And the whole idea of going “off grid” is absolutely tantalizing!! Why do we have to be so stuck in the modern world?

I feel so trapped. I yearn for simpler living.


Kendra
About Kendra 1106 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

33 Comments

  1. I totally agree about getting your house paid off but I about choked when I read that your house payment it only $600 a month! You can’t RENT a studio for that here. Count your blessings. A $600 payment you should have it paid off in no time. 🙂

  2. I just recently found your blog and I have to say I love it! We have recently come to realize that we NEED to get rid of our mortgage payment and other expenses surrounding it. We bought to much house about 5 years ago (back then it was ok) and as time has progressed and our family grows and the economy worsens, we feel more broke everyday. We are thinking of selling our house and buying a small piece of property and building our own small efficient house. We would like ot stay with my mom for a while so that we could put my husbands income towards paying off our other debts and then we would build as we could afford. We want to have a totally self-sufficient life. I have realized in telling people about our idea, how rejected it is. It isn’t the “american way” to be debt free and self sufficient. We are supposed to feed in to the materialistic things and have mountains of debt. I actually know a lady who just told me that after buying a new vehicle, she said “oh well now I have a huge vehicle payment, but oh well, it’s the american way.” Oh how I long to be self sufficient and be able to have my hubby around more instead of breaking his back everyday to make some one else rich.

  3. Oh me too! I am right there with you. Except we are getting ready to buy a house. The house doesn’t bug me as much as the car payments and credit cards.

  4. Hi (I’m new to your blog- I was at MoneySavingMom’s blog in some old archives and saw a link to your beautiful play & home-school room.) I totally get what you mean about living “off the grid” and all! lol I guess it’s possible to still live in USA and do that somewhat so I must resist wanting to live someplace like Ireland or Switzerland! -Erin

  5. I hate debt also. I paid off my credit cards and my mortgage. What I did is pay my regular mortgage check AND put in another check and put in the bottom “for principal only” and it will ONLY go to your principal (what you owe) Put in as much as you can afford but you have to also include that mortgage check.

  6. “I WISH we could have done things differently. We could have built a smaller, cozier home out of scrap wood, and lived in it debt free.”

    Not to be a wet blanket, but with all the building codes (it’s not a short list like just 80 years ago!) and gov’t involvement and such, I think this would be *really* difficult in the USofA. Not to mention being able to get homeowner’s insurance and such. I’m pretty sure nowadays people would call CPS/DHS on someone like my grandmother – her MIL didn’t want to share the 2-story plus attic and cellar farmhouse with her, so Grandma raised her hubby and 4 boys in a modified chicken coop. Was completely normal back in the 40’s/50’s, but now it’s almost seen as horrific. *sigh*

    • Lanna- you are completely right!! We could have lived in the two story workshop my husband built out here completely out of scrap wood, if the government didn’t have to be involved! We would have been SO much better off! But, like you said, you have so many codes and rules and fees and permits. And no doubt someone would look at that and think our kids were being neglected or something. It’s such a shame!!

  7. Hi there, am new to your blog but am enjoying it. I would love to have a house free and clear as well. My husband thinks that is a total pipe dream.

    I was in the real estate biz for 10 years before becoming a full-time mommy. So I got to play around with amortization calculators a lot. If you look at just how much money you will be paying in interest over the life of the loan, it is a disgusting amount of money.

    But the good news is that any extra money you apply toward the principal of the home is going to greatly reduce the amount of interest that you pay in the long run and will help you get your home paid off quicker. But your payment will remain the same.

    You could do the bi-monthly plan, of course, but I like to keep the option of the monthly in case funds are low.

  8. We aren’t homesteaders. There are people who manage to grow veggies in Las Vegas, but not us. I wish we could live elsewhere with a nice piece of land but we are stuck here for now. However we basically did the same thing Deanna did and paid off our house in five years. Now while many of our neighbors (many of whom had two SUV’s parked in their driveways!!!) have lost their homes to foreclosure we are secure. Our house may have dropped way down in value but at least it is ours. Just make sure you already have a fully funded Emergency Fund before you apply extra to the mortgage.

  9. Kendra,
    We took every extra penny…no joke we even wrapped coins to pay off our mortgage. We did it in 5 years. We asked family members in lu of gifts to give us money. We went on cheap vacations (camping is fun) and cut everything to the bare minimum. Now we can relax a little. I really got my kids involved and they didn’t mind sacrificing a little here and there to make it happen. My husband took on little extra jobs…. bush hogging, clearing land, cutting down fallen trees on people’s property. We put all of that on the mortgage. It was easy to get discouraged that it would never be paid off but like the old saying goes…How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Really now it doesn’t seem like it was that hard.
    Funny about the cow statement…we are on 1 week of being a cow owner. Best thing I ever did!!!! We are loving her and our fresh raw milk. She will pay for herself with a calf every year. Great investment!

  10. Word of caution on the bi-monthly payments – it could bite you:

    http://www.thehappyrock.com/2008/04/05/the-myth-of-the-bi-monthly-mortgage/

    We actually looked into this at our last place, trying to get out from under the mortgage as fast as we could (and this was before the economic recession!), and found out that it was smarter to NOT do the bi-monthly payment, and instead set aside money in a ‘mortgage account’ that would be added to our payment.

    We do this on ALL of our loans… for example, we got rid of a smaller vehicle for $7K, bought one that would seat our (now 7-member)family for $15K, which gave us an $8K loan. The payment was $140/mo, but we paid $280/mo on it – with me writing on the checks AND payment slips that “additional overage be applied to principle ONLY”. Tack on a nice sized extra lump from our income tax return, and we paid off the Uplander in 16 months. We’re doing the same on our camper – The payment is $140, we pay the $280 from the Uplander on it, with the same message written on the monthly payment, and that in itself is enough to make a HUGE dent in the amount of time on it and interest paid. Don’t rely on a bank to figure that out for you – they’ll charge you for the wisdom and ‘plans’. Just a word of advice. Why pay someone to do what you can do for yourself?

    With the economic state of our nation at this point, most people are in the exact same boat as you are (as you can probably already tell from your comments). I have received four e-mails/messages at my site just this week asking if it were wise for the person to try to sell and get out of the debt/location/etc. that they’re in. People are feeling a pinch, and it’s not fun.

    The simple truth is that it’s NOT a good time for that. Five years ago, yes. But at this point, with everyone in the same boat, you’re going to take a BIG loss on what you own, because the value of everything has gone down. With everyone thinking the same thing you are, it’s not a good market out there. It’s a great time to find bargains on Craigslist, but those bargains work in the favor of the buyer, not the seller.

    You also have to remember that selling your home will cost you in fees, title transfers, etc., and buying/buildings something else will cost you in permits, materials, inspections, etc. You’re inviting the government to your property in the form of zoning, inspectors, etc. to come out and be a part of your business. And further, we discovered (upon leaving our old place) that whatever you think will be cheaper/better? Isn’t. It’s just not. Whatever you think it will cost, tack on at least $50K, because no matter what corners you cut, something will come up you weren’t anticipating or go wrong. Not to mention the regulations that inhibit… it’s a bigger headache, not less.

    I’m blogging your comment section, so I’ll stop without going further. Besides, I’m not sure you’re actually ready to go to the next step until you firm up your decisions at this one. 😉

  11. anna,

    You are very right about not trusting the banks. Our mortgage was initially through Fifth Third bank (one of the biggest banks in the country) mainly because they had the best rate. Boy was that a nasty experience. They had a bi-weekly plan that cost $250 to set up. They will screw you with fees any chance they can!

    Kendra,
    You may not have to go through your bank. Most mortgages have an early payoff clause and will accept payment at any time. You just might want to make sure your mortgage will allow bi-weekly payments before sending them a check every 2 weeks. They might apply it all to interest if you don’t specify.

    • JasonH and anna-

      Okay, so I asked my bank lady about this yesterday, and she said they charge a fee to set up bi-weekly payments. But she also told me that if I pay a little extra each month, or make one extra payment at the end of the year, the interest savings would be the same. I’m not sure that makes sense, but I think I’ll just continue paying extra each month.

  12. I’d say you could sell it but federal law probably would make you certify everything as lead free or face prosecution! 🙂

    Seriously, I know no mortgage is tempting but for now, just toss every extra dollar to the principle and work towards being totally debt free.

    How wonderful you were gifted family land!!

  13. Hiya Kendra!
    I’ve been meaning to say hi for ages, but I’ve only recently set up a blog of my own, so now I’m not anonymous! =) I love reading your blog and hearing about your homesteading adventures.
    We live in suburbia at the moment but are establishing a vege garden and fruit trees in our backyard bit by bit (in New Zealand) but would LOVE to be self-sufficient one day.
    As for your idea of selling everything to pay off a chunk of mortgage – I’ve thought about that too!!! Our stuff isn’t great though, so I don’t think we’d get a whole lot for it…
    Christina

    • Sarah-

      OHHHH!! 🙂 Actually, my husband and I were playing around last night with the idea of listing our home (since it is a moveable modular), along with our furniture on Craigslist… just to see, lol. I don’t think anybody would buy such a thing, but wouldn’t it be great if we could be rid of the mortgage, and have a little extra cash to start over with?? You guys think I’m crazy, but you should see the storage building my husband built out of scrap lumber. It’s two stories high, with windows and doors, and a wood stove installed! Seriously, we could live in it.

      With the house gone… we’d have room for a cow!!! lol

  14. I am with you all the way,I live in a rented house on land and I would love to have my own land and house with no payments, and completely off grid.

  15. I feel like I’m at this same place 90% of the time, so I can totally sympathize with you. I hate having a mortgage over our heads too, and being “servant” to the lender…I could go on and on. I look around our house too, thinking of all that we could sell. Sometimes I even want to sell my couches and just sit on the floor! 😉

    Keep taking small steps Kendra. I think you are doing well and I admire your journey towards self-sufficiency. May God continue to bless you!

  16. So with ya..i feel that way about our truck. Three years ago we were 5 payments from paying our truck off! Then our truck blew up!Not in the way you think.We were in a crash and our truck caught on fire and blew up! We ended up with just enough money from the ins to pay the truck off. I wish in some ways now we did not have a car loan now !..I hate money simply times were better.Some times i wish i lived in the old west!

  17. Kendra! You and I are on the same page. When I first moved to Mississippi I had planned on selling my old house in VA and buying a new one here. Well that didn’t work out. So my daughter and I are stuck in this apartment paying almost as much as you on your land! I am eying a couple of acres and an R.V. to live off grid as well. So far I have gotten family approval to help us build a house there to save on labor costs.

    I think the key for you is patience. That was my problem for a while, I wanted to do everything right then soon as a learned a better way of doing things.

    I agree with the previous ladies just pay up on your mortgage. Try to double it when you can. The first 15 years of a 30 year mortgage is more than 80 percent interest. Or when ever you pay extra on your mortgage specify to the bank that you want to pay on the principle that will eat away at the interest costs. Be consistent if you can…it will come down quickly.

    I would still consider selling everything you don’t really need or items that do not have some sort of family value. Open an online knick-knack store lots of people visit your blog that might make you some money(if you have the time). Just keep praying for an open door. Keep delighting in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (when you stop worrying about it).

    Trust me…I know =0)

  18. Why not sell hba/grocery items that you can get for free? I’m sure others who don’t have time to coupon would appreciate savings on their every day items. Or you can always sell your house and go smaller.

  19. That is the motivation you need to pay off your mortgage early. keep that mentality and do everything you can to pay it off early. I am sure you will and then you will have no debt AND the nice house.

  20. Get with your bank and see if you can setup a bi-weekly payment plan to pay half your monthly mortgage every two weeks. That way at the end of the year you will have made 26 payments of $300, or $7800 total, or 1 extra payment a year.

    You will pay the mortgage off faster and pay less interest in the long run.

    My mortgage company didn’t have this option, but some do. Its worth looking into.

  21. The 6 of us live in a two bedroom townhouse with no backyard to help us pay off debt and it is EXTREEMLY, EXTREEMLY hard (especially with homeschooling and being home all day). Seriously. Thankfully, now after being here over two years, it looks like God might be opening a door for another place for us to rent that is 3 bedrooms on an acre-an ACRE!!! I’m praying!!
    Pray with me!
    tarena
    ps…I have the dream of never having debt too/a mortgage, but I’m trying to give that dream over to God and let Him show us how He wants us to use our money.

  22. I am in the same boat with you. I have been paying extra toward our mortgage because I want it gone. I mean sure we have paid off an extra $3K this year, but to think about not having that at all would be awesome. I know our stuff isn’t worth enough to pay off the house though. We might make $10K on our stuff and that’s if family bought some out of pity. At auction, maybe $2K unless we sold our only vehicle too.

  23. I agree it would be awesome to not have the house payment. We are struggling right now to make ours, but so far, we’ve made it somehow. I’m like you, I kinda wish, in hindsight, that we would have gotten a cheap old trailer and have been mortgage free. I do love our big house, though.

  24. oh now, you dont really want to live in a crappy little shack when you have such a nice place. besides that, for 600.00 a month I dont know what else you could get thats as nice as what youve got. Ive grown to really appreciate our 545.00 a month, I know I couldent buy another house now for the same house payment. time goes by quicker than you think. we’ve been here 18 years, and some day you’ll stand back and see time has flew by too. I dont worry about paying a house payment, Im just glad every month when I can make my payment. times are so hard now for most everyone. ( except the crooks ripping everyone else off)

  25. We want our house PAID off as soon as possible, too!! I HATE debt! However, we couldn’t rent for what we pay for our mortgage and I do like having a roof over our head. The kind of debt that really makes me frustrated is the kind we have paid off. Choosing to be thankful for our home, our three acres and our barn knowing that for what we pay in mortgage we would have a crappy little house in town goes a long way to helping me deal with the years it will take to pay off our house. Staying out of other debt is my focus!!! Don’t get me wrong, I understand where you are coming from…. but life is life… we have families and we need a place to live. Sure beats paying $600 per month in consumer debt!! If you could really sell everything and live EXTREMELY simple and pay off your mortgage than GO FOR IT!!!!! We couldn’t sell enough to pay off the house….. but maybe enough to replace my husband’s truck.

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