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Speaking of homes...I have a dilema on hand

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
and I need a keen unobjective eye (Throbing brain?) to help me with this.

We (my wife and I) have freinds in a sweet SW Wisconsin(Cardinal, you probably know this town) town that are trying to get us to move there. We'd both love to move to the area, but the job situation for both of us is meager to day the least. But the education aspect for our child is exactly what we want to have.

Well, these freinds of ours, she works for the local hospital, and they're expanding their facility. Thing is, there's a home in the way that the hospital owns. It went up for auction, and our friends won it. For $2500. Its a 4 square home, built in 1923 that is in pretty good shape, probably 2200sq ft, nice porch, original woodwork. No major projects need to be undertaken to make it livable. Other than moving it that is. The cost of moving it comes to roughly $50,000. Cost to buy land is quite reasonable, we can get 5 acres in the country on a organic farmstead for for roughly $35,000.

My house in Minn, I can sell for easily $135k, maybe more. We owe roughly $90k on it yet, leaving us with $40-45k to spend. More than enough to get into this house.

Employment in the area for Lisa would be at the hospital. 20-24 hours a week gets her full health coverage(family included, I think). For me...its slim pickin's, especailly in the technical fields I've been trained in. GIS work is there, but all the jobs are taken already. Planning type work could probably be done on a part time basis with the city itself. I doubt there's enough work for full time. There is room for a bike shop in town(one is just starting, and my wife talked to the owner, and he welcomes a partner), and I've ALWAYS dreamt of suffering through owning my own bike shop. If I go the bike shop route though, I toss out the window the last two years of effort in grad school, and that doesn't rest easy on me.

What would YOU do? A great chance at a cheap house, in a great place, among dear freinds, and good education for the kid, or follow a career path that one has been training (not mention paying) for the last two years?

TIA folks!
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
As cheesy as it might sound, my advise is for you to follow your bliss. :-D If you and your wife really want to live in that house in that particular town and fulfill your dream of owning a bike shop, then I say you should go for it. You have your education, so if worse came to worse and the bike shop was to not do well, then you would have the ability to re-enter the GIS/planner job market. To often we end up following life instead of creating it the way we want to live it, so it's best to seize these opportunities when we get the chance.

That is, if you really want to... ;-)
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,887
Points
56
I also agree with Biscuit.

You have your education, but you also have a dream that could be acted on. Which is more important - Having a nice house in a nice place with good friends and being your own boss (sort of), or going to work for someone else (as good as that may be and working a schedule determined by another)?

I say go for it!
 
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el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
Know that no one ever got rich running a bike shop. Once you understand that, enjoy working at your bike shop. Come back to Cycburbia and post the shop's location, hours and website so we can support you with internet orders and plan our trips around the planner's bike store! Good luck. I wish you success and happiness!
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
If its what you guys want to do, don't let the career in planning hold you back. Maybe a bike shop isn't lucrative but neither is planning really. Look at all our bitching about our jobs on this site - I wouldn't be quick to throw away this opportunity for a better opportunity at planning jobs. The good news is if a planning job does open up, you'll be one of the few qualified locals.

I am confused about the situation though. Does the house not come with land and has to be transported somewhere?
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Seabishop said:
I am confused about the situation though. Does the house not come with land and has to be transported somewhere?
The hospital is expanding on to the land. They auctioned the house only.

I say take the dream route. You could still do planning/GIS on the side by contract or part time to make ends meet.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
ludes98 said:
You could still do planning/GIS on the side by contract or part time to make ends meet.
And remember, failing that, you can always sell your plasma a couple of times a month. ;-)
 
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Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
ludes98 said:
The hospital is expanding on to the land. They auctioned the house only.
You mean I'm actually supposed to carefully read the threads before I offer advice on life-changing decisions? ;)
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Seabishop said:
You mean I'm actually supposed to carefully read the threads before I offer advice on life-changing decisions? ;)
I suppose. ;-)

After further reflection, flush the dream down the toilet. Joking. ;-) You never know, perhaps you start in the bike biz and a good planning opportunity comes along. Who says you can't change your business relationship to part time, silent partner, or sell out? Things change, but so can you.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
Call me the dream shatterer if you will.....but I wouldn't take the house. Not without any plans for how I'd be supporting the family.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
NHPlanner said:
Call me the dream shatterer if you will.....but I wouldn't take the house. Not without any plans for how I'd be supporting the family.
Yeah, me too. But I guess we are the boring practical types.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
nerudite said:
Yeah, me too. But I guess we are the boring practical types.
Probably a very apt description of me. ;-)
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
NHPlanner said:
Call me the dream shatterer if you will.....but I wouldn't take the house. Not without any plans for how I'd be supporting the family.
Thanks all of you for the advice. I knew that this'd be the place for it. This is one of the key areas that I'm worried about. The wife has said that I CAN be a stay home dad...for a short time...while she works full time. This has been kind of an agree ment twenn the two of us for a while. There may be opportuniites for side work, and with my education, I DO have a leg up, that's for sure. I'll be sure to let y'all know what happens!
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
Having once been boring and practical and now tottering on the verge of poverty, I have to say: go for the house and bike shop if that is sincerely what you BOTH want. Others have noted this, but I will reinforce: you can always change. It will probably be expensive if you do, but risk is always a good thing if your heart is in it.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I would be careful. I have had experience moving houses. It is much trickier than most people think. Try getting a one-story house down a street, much less a two-story house. Trees and overhead wires will get in the way. Even if they can be cut or temporarily removed, that will cost you thousands. The new foundation, septic and well might easily run you $40-50,000, on top of the cost of jacking up and movinf the house, and then the repair work on anything broken, along with plaster, siding, etc. By the time we moved a bungalow a quarter mile a couple years ago, we had almost as much money into the project as it would have cost to buy something.

On the job front, are you prepared to finance starting a business? Most retail businesses do not start making a profit until a couple of years after opening. That is the reason so many fail.

If you did move to the region, you might be able to find work in planning. A location between Madison and Milwaukee would give you access to both job markets, although you might have a long-ish commute. If you decide to come here sent me an e-mail and I'll see if I can get you some leads.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
I take classes online, get support (from groups like this one) online. Shop online.

My point: You aren't necessarily limited to the local job market for income. The internet age means that you have options never before dreamt of.

I also would suggest that you do a smidgeon of research: if the house has historical significance, you might qualify for some kind of grants or some such to help cover the expense of the labor of love involved in moving it, etc.

Land might be gotten cheaper through researching properties in arears on their taxes.

I am unwilling to tell you yay or nay on whether to take it. But if you look into some of those points a bit more, it might tweak how bright the picture looks. Or not. And I think it would put you into a better position to make a decision with some confidence level.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Cardinal said:
I would be careful.
Yeah, I here you Mike. The winning bidders of the house have already had esitmates done for the move. I should add, our freinds that already live there are desperately trying to get us to move there, doing almost all the foot work. They REALLY like it there.

Home move~$15-20k​
Xcel/Electric~$4k​
Cable~$3-5k​
Vernon Electric~$0​
Phone~$0​
Stop lights~State​
Roof~removal~$2-3k​
Roof~New~$10k​
Water Damage~?​
Foundation~new~$15k​
Site cleanup~? probably free be me​
Driveway~3k​
Well~$8k​
Septic~$5k​

Which could be as much as $73k or as little as $65k, and these estimates are still on the high side.

Location is in Vernon County, SE of La Crosse close to the Kickapoo River/Reserve.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Vernon County is beautiful, but remote. I looked at buying about 60-80 acres up there to build a rural retreat on. (Remember, I already live in the country, so if this is more rural than where I am, it is really rural. There are many Amish in the region.)You can get some nice, hilly land, with hardwood forests and rock outcrops, and maybe an artesian spring for about $2-3000 an acre. Job opportunities will be very scarce.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
A short update for those interested:

I found this ad today,

FREE BIKE SHOP

I've got a neat former grain mill built in 1907 in Wonewoc, WI, 75 miles NW of Madison, that I'm willing to offer rent-free for 2 years to an individual willing to occupy it with a bike related business. The building fronts on Hwy 33 (the main street) and backs up onto the 400 bike trail (which connects to the Omaha, Elroy-Sparta, LaCrosse River & Great River trails). Nice part of the world, great service/rental potential, low overhead for two years in order to help you succeed
Needless to say, I've put an email out to the seller/renter to examine to opportunities. If things work out/look right, I may not become a planner anytime soon! I've got a partner that wants to go into a a busines together, he wants to rent canoes, me bikes. Both of us want coffee to take us through the cold season.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,483
Points
41
martini said:
Needless to say, I've put an email out to the seller/renter to examine to opportunities. If things work out/look right, I may not become a planner anytime soon! I've got a partner that wants to go into a a busines together, he wants to rent canoes, me bikes. Both of us want coffee to take us through the cold season.
martini -- RUN do not WALK -- to the nearest lottery dealer and buy one (1) ticket because you have all the stars lined up right now.

Really, it's like serendipity (sp?). Good luck to you and go for it! ;-)
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
That rent-free deal sounds great! The 400 trail is usually pretty busy in the summer as it connects with the very popular Elroy Sparta trail. I would assume that in the winter, business will be scarce...maybe cross country ski rentals and sales would be a nice niche for the slow months. It is somewhat close to the Dells, so you would have a nice target audience for advertizing.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
If you decide to do this, send me an e-mail. I'll try to get you connected to some folks in the Departments of Tourism and Commerce who might be able to help.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
UPDATE! on martini's life for those who've followed:

Well, we will be moving to Viroqua come August. The wife accepted a job w/the local hospital, and I've got two solid leads on jobs. One is for a local non-profit working with the comprehensive planning for the Kickapoo Valley region, and the other is working for a local Bicycle clothing manufacturer(Borah Clothing). Both would be part time, with Borah being about 30 hours. So, I won't be 'using' my degree as much as I'd hoped, but at least it'll get some use. I may be looking to La Crosse for something too, see what it has to offer. I looked into that bike shop deal I posted about, and while it seemed like a sweet deal, it was just too far away from where we wanted to be. It took an hour to drive there. We also won't be taking that cheeeeep house. Too much of a hassle to move, and just too freakin' big. It's like 2400 sq feet.Too much for me to take care of.

And the baby is almost here! Its now one day over due, and Lisa and I are getting really impatient.

Anyhoos. Carry on. Thanks for the thoughts and reading.
 

Glasshouse

Cyburbian
Messages
120
Points
6
martini said:
and I need a keen unobjective eye (Throbing brain?) to help me with this.

We (my wife and I) have freinds in a sweet SW Wisconsin(Cardinal, you probably know this town) town that are trying to get us to move there. We'd both love to move to the area, but the job situation for both of us is meager to day the least. But the education aspect for our child is exactly what we want to have.

Well, these freinds of ours, she works for the local hospital, and they're expanding their facility. Thing is, there's a home in the way that the hospital owns. It went up for auction, and our friends won it. For $2500. Its a 4 square home, built in 1923 that is in pretty good shape, probably 2200sq ft, nice porch, original woodwork. No major projects need to be undertaken to make it livable. Other than moving it that is. The cost of moving it comes to roughly $50,000. Cost to buy land is quite reasonable, we can get 5 acres in the country on a organic farmstead for for roughly $35,000.

My house in Minn, I can sell for easily $135k, maybe more. We owe roughly $90k on it yet, leaving us with $40-45k to spend. More than enough to get into this house.

Employment in the area for Lisa would be at the hospital. 20-24 hours a week gets her full health coverage(family included, I think). For me...its slim pickin's, especailly in the technical fields I've been trained in. GIS work is there, but all the jobs are taken already. Planning type work could probably be done on a part time basis with the city itself. I doubt there's enough work for full time. There is room for a bike shop in town(one is just starting, and my wife talked to the owner, and he welcomes a partner), and I've ALWAYS dreamt of suffering through owning my own bike shop. If I go the bike shop route though, I toss out the window the last two years of effort in grad school, and that doesn't rest easy on me.

What would YOU do? A great chance at a cheap house, in a great place, among dear freinds, and good education for the kid, or follow a career path that one has been training (not mention paying) for the last two years?

TIA folks!

Hello Martini,

Here is some info I think may help you:

The old 4 square is a pretty solid structure, but is what we call a balloon frame system and can cause fire to rapidly spread.

Unless already replaced, the structure has Galv. steel plumbing with Iron cast soil drains. The Galv. steel feeds cause a lot of lime build up and are $$$ to repair.
The Iron cast soil drains are easy to repair but leak often.

Unless already replaced the home has a liquid radiant heat system (radiators). The older boilers are huge and difficult to find parts for but they make replacment boilers that are pretty cool, and not nearly as big. also the radiators last forever and replacment seals and pipe are easy to come by.

Unless already replaced the home has lath and plaster walls. For this reason don't let a single leak get out of hand or you'll be looking at some major repair, messy too. Better check the roof.

Most all the 4 squares I've seen have a duel conductant 60anp service entry with a fuse panel. I'd think about changing this. Not only is it inadequate but it also isn't engery conserving. Check the old wiring also. The old cloth insulation holds up well but chafes easily.

Hope any of this can help you out.

Bob
 
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