Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Introduction

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Two Kids = One House

I've been working towards buying a second, vacation home for some time now. I really like the Russian River area a lot, especially the part just West of Guerneville. I'd love to find a little place with lots of trees and lots of privacy, near the water but out of the flood zone.

A place we could take the kids for a week or a weekend, that we could rent out to help pay the mortgage, and where -- eventually -- we could retire. Well, this weekend, I found a place that would be nearly perfect.

The location is great, lots of privacy, trees, some history, and even an extra cottage. It's a small two-bedroom, one-bath place with tons of windows, a deck, and a patio with a big stone barbeque. It would be a fantastic rental property and would give us everything we want in a vacation home. The price -- a little over $300k -- is a little more than I had hoped to pay but not excessively so.

So Rachel and I sat down to take a long, honest look at our finances to see if we could make it work. Turns out, we can't. We both make a decent salary, our mortgage payment is fairly low (for the area, especially) and we have no other outstanding debt, but our ongoing expenses simply don't allow for an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per month outlay for the mortgage and other expenses.

Looking over the list of expenses we have -- mortgage, home and auto insurance, telephone and other utilities, etcetera -- I noticed something startling. If you take what we pay for childcare, the tuition for Jared's school, the cost of Jared and Sara's swim lessons, and add a couple hundred a month for food, we end up with just about the same amount as the mortgage would be on $300k.

So, basically, two kids = one house.

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