Friday, January 31, 2014

Debt Free Here We Come!

Sell everything (All that won't fit in RV is sold, just a dining room table, tv, and bed to store)
Sell house (House is sold and closing was Dec. 6th, 2013)
Buy or rent small piece of land  (Our 7 acre property will be paid off by March 2014 or sooner)
Move into small, low-rent house (We moved into a 700sqft mobile home on 4 acres Jan. 1st, 2014)
Save up every dime of Brian's income for 2-3 years
Pay CASH for whatever house we want
Pray for a new plan (kids say adopt 20 more kids...hope that isn't God inspired)

We made it through over half our goals in 6 months! 6 months must be an important timeline for us ;) When God put it on our hearts to get debt free He wasn't kidding. He certainly pushed us down this path quickly and effeciently. (Click here to see our previous debt-free post from November 2013).
We still have a little debt on our shoulders. We still have our small RV loan to pay off as well as just under $15,000 left to pay off our two properties. Yep, we sold our house and bought two properties, not one like those normal people, but two. I will try to tell the shortened story :)
Property one is a beautifully trashed (it is trashed but has an amazing potential to be beautiful) 7 acre raw property that was about to go to a tax sale. We inquired about it and God worked it out that we could owner finance it at $12,000 with no interest over 6 months. We had planned to park our RV and live there fully debt free but county ordinances forbid that. While we were trying to work all legalities out with the county our house sold and we needed somewhere to move to quick.
We were now stuck. We prayed and prayed and then our pressure washer broke! Our realtor asked us to have the house pressure washed for the final broker visit so we had to hire someone that same day. The person who came out to wash had done fix-it work for us years back. He asked, first, where all the kids came from :) then why we were selling our pretty little house. We explained God's prompting and our debt free journey. Then God moved. "I was going to sell a property of mine for what it is worth, about $40k, but the Lord is leading me to give it to you for what I owe." This sweet man pressure-washing our porch was too kind. I called Brian right away, turns out Brian was praying in his car that very moment for direction. This was that direction. We went to see this 2nd property that afternoon.
Property two is a humble, run-down, single-wide 600sqft mobile home on 4 mostly cleared acres. I remember having my arms crossed and nose up when I first saw this little excuse for a house. No way! There is no way this is what God has for our family! N O  W A Y period. Brian on the other hand didn't snub it's terrible appearance, "How much do you owe on it?" The washer guy seemed pleased, "About $12,000 and it is $200/month owner finance." Me: "We will take it!" It may need work and be small but it sure beats our plan to live in the RV if push came to shove!


So here we are, we have paid quite a bit off both properties and are almost there, goal is to own both properties and be mortgage free by May 2014 (Long term goal is to build our dream house on property one and rent out property two). We officially moved in January 1st and have been working overdrive to make it a home. We have painted every wall, installed wood flooring, patched walls, fixed leaks, rebuilt supports, hauled trash and put up fencing. It is humble, but it is growing on us and is now home. We spend a lot of time outdoors doing anything and everything. Our kids are free to run, play and explore. No streets or neighbors to worry about. We worried about the transition of our kids coming from hard places into our upper class home and now downsizing to a lower class mobile home. But no worries were needed. They wouldn't trade this amount of outside space for another thousand squarefeet of inside space anyday!

One would think that this move was enough change and challenge our family could handle, but God always gives us more than we can handle. Our next adoption story will be posted soon, like before Valentine's Day soon! Click here for a preview post on our 6th adoption, our 7 year old son!

Now some before and after pictures:
Yep, this is home. We put lattice all around the deck and built a small wall to make a covered pen for our dogs at night and when we are gone. We surrounded the home with a rock garden and pots that will bloom in spring. We also built a raised garden bed in front of all the lattice so vine produce can grow in spring. We have a large area seating area with a bon fire pit that can seat 15-20 out front, we call it our living room, then our RV is extra living space and our outside storage shed.

The front yard took some work: The trash pile turned out to be 880lbs of stuff we had to load and haul away! We took down and rebuilt the privacy fence. We also built a small puppy pen, hard to see in the after picture, and we fixed a pig/goat pen in the middle of the yard. We still have 3 more acres behind us!

Now for the inside tour:

We painted the main inside a mint green with white trim and installed cherry wood flooring. Finishing touches like pictures and curtains make it home.

There was no oven when we bought it, but after a quick trip to a local thrift store we found a used $1500 oven for only $99. There was no hook-up for the dish washer so we nixed it, cut the half counter and put our washing machine there. This is our living room, dining room, laundry room and kitchen, or as we call it our utility room.

We built the wall to make a second bedroom, the boy's room. Thankful for an inside area that can comfortably seat 10 for dinner.

Girls' room and 1/2 bath

Boy's room

The master bed and bath are pictures to come :)

Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone


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  2. Shannon -praying for you and hoping to meet you at ATI in April. Wow, you put our work on our house to shame. You have really transformed that place! And I thought WE had work to do. I feel ashamed of myself for thinking so after seeing what you accomplished on short order. :-) As you strive for financial freedom, we strive for adoption. Still praying and working towards it!
    Sheri G

    1. I can't wait to meet you Sheri! It is easy to tackle projects on such a small area, easy to clean too! ;)

  3. Love this!! We are planning to put our house on the market soon to get rid of our final debt, the mortgage and we have discussed using the equity after the sale to purchase land and an inexpensive trailer to live in while we build out of cash flow! LOVE seeing others who are making it work!! And we just brought home two beautiful special needs children from Haiti through the Blessing of adoption. May God continue to Bless you abundantly for your hearts and all you do to glorify His holy name. In Light and Love~

    1. I checked out your blog! Your children are so sweet! Adoption and debt-free living are quite the commitments but so worth it and rewarding!

  4. Owning the two properties and be mortgage free by 2014? This is a great goal! It’s very straightforward, which is good, because you’ll able to focus on your priorities. Stick to it, and I’m sure everything else will fall according to your plan. Also, consulting an expert for advice is a good option, so you'll know all your options in paying off your debt. Hang in there!

    Charlena Leonard @ WeidnerLaw

    1. Thank you! We are love seeing the money we earn stay in the bank! What a neat feeling!!!

  5. Being debt-free is a challenging task. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make it easier to achieve nowadays. Take mortgage, for example; there are new loan programs that can shorten the timeline of your current loan, or lessen its interest rate. You just have to choose which one will suit your needs. That being said, I hope you’re getting closer in achieving your goals. Good luck!

    Chad Nelson @ Iron Point Mortgage

    1. Thank you but after lots of hard work we have two properties with homes and NO mortgages!

  6. One thing that stood out for me about your story is the way that God came through for you with each new acquisition. He gave exceedingly, abundantly more than you could have asked for or would have imagined. Two properties? That's pretty impressive. He has given you more than you think you can handle but it's to help you grow.

    Naomi Cruz @ 4 Pillars

  7. Congrats. It's not an easy road but if you can be disciplined enough to do it others can too.

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