The Last Big Obstacle

“I don’t really think in terms of obstacles. My biggest obstacle is always myself.”
-Steve Earle

It would be safe to say that home ownership has treated me about as well as a chubby baby treats a diaper.

The first home we bought was a condo in a beautiful gated subdivision.  Little did I know that condos come with condo associations.  As the association continued to increase our monthly dues they also increased the difficulty we were going to have selling the place.

It took us 8 months to offload that condo on someone else.  In the meantime we made the rookie mistake of buying a new house before our first one was sold.  Paying two mortgages is about as much fun as sticking your head into a wood chipper.

Life revelations never come to you as you sit comfortably in an air conditioned room.  The hit you as you approach heat stroke levels while pushing a cheap Kmart lawn mower around the yard on a hot August day.

After I finished my yard work, I doused my head with the water hose in an attempt to stay out of the emergency room when I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion that the modern day home mortgage system imprisons overextending, keeping up with Joneses fools like myself.

I had created a life where I worked to support the house and all the insurances, property taxes, fees and bills that are directly associated with home ownership.  I was working 50 hours a week so I could come home on weekends and scope dog shit, cut grass and paint walls.

Only 26 more years of mortgage payments to go and I can truly own this lifestyle.  I couldn’t help but think that there had to be a better way.

I asked my co-worker that proudly goes by the nickname Big Country, “What have you been up to?”

Big Country spits out a little tobacco juice and wipes the residue from his lip with his sleeve, “Awww not much, building a barn-a-minium on some land up there in Kentwood.”

I rarely knew what Big Country was talking about after his first sentence, “What’s that?”

He continues with a little chuckle, “Yeah, that’s what they call metal prefab buildings that people are building and living in.  You know, part barn part condominium.”

He continued, “After I finish dressing out the interior it will take me about 5 years to pay it all off.”

That’s when I realized that Big Country was the smartest person I know.  That really doesn’t say much for the rest of my friends.  One day I was discussing with Big Country ways to improve the fuel efficiency on my truck when he recommended that I kick out the windshield and tie a team of six horses to the front bumper.  He figured I could get a 100 miles per bag of oats. Good mileage by his standards.

Big Counrty wasn’t always the most helpful person.

He was right about one thing though.  The secret is to eliminate all bills.  With no monthly bills, life becomes very inexpensive and that is what living on a boat delivers on a silver platter.

It eliminates the house mortgage and all the fees associated with it.  It eliminates the car notes and car insurance.  Say goodbye to the power, water, cable and high speed internet bill.  Garbage pick-up service, don’t need that any more either.

We don’t have a large boat so our tradeoff will be space.  Sure life is cheap but there isn’t much elbow room onboard a 32′ sailboat and only time will tell how our little family will adapt to the tight quarters.

We now have a signed 2 year lease in hand.  We are moving out of our home after Christmas and the new tenants are moving in on January 15th.  The house was our last major obstacle before our sailing voyage, and for now, that problem has been resolved.

Family and friends are coming by to pick up the last few remaining items we have.  Every room has a strange new sound to them as the lack of furniture has cleared the way for echo’s to bounce off the walls.

The house that we have lived in for the last 4 years is becoming less of a home by the day.

Comments are closed.