A Guest Commentary by Dean Henderson
A big part of living like no one lives now is to reject sedentary living early and often. Being nomadic gives you a chance to see different parts of this amazing world while inculcating a healthy diligence towards the unnecessary and corrosive accumulation of “stuff”.
Historically, humans have not lived sedentary lives. Indigenous peoples were all either nomadic or semi-nomadic. Sedentary living emerged with the rise of modern agriculture.
Many an anthropological scholar has wrestled with the question as to why humans abandoned their relatively easy lives as hunters and gatherers and settled into lives as sedentary agriculturalists. Many scholars of the Sumerian clay tablets – the oldest written language known to man – are now arguing that this sudden transition to agricultural existence may have been forced upon humans by the Illuminati predecessor – and possibly blood relative – Annunaki space visitors from the distressed planet of Nubira. Interesting stuff!
A huge component of the matrix programmers’ master plan for keeping you a wage/debt slave is via shopping and material possessions. If you live in a big house, there’s lots of room to put all manner of needless possessions in it. God forbid your colossal house look empty.
How many people do you know who are living in a huge McMansion they hate, mired in debt, who refuse to entertain the option of moving on based on the burgeoning number of plastic storage bins appearing in their crammed garage?
Stuff keeps you staked to the ground like a tethered goat. The more you get, the less money you save, the more debt you grow, the more tied you are to a “job”.
The lack of mobility this creates cripples countless humans to a life of boredom and sameness. More importantly, it denies them the economic opportunities that arise with increased mobility. The biggest of these opportunities is in the arena of housing.
The first rule is to live in a small house. The one I live in now feels spacious and measures at 750 square feet. There’s less to clean, you have to pay for less energy, and it fosters the notion of simple living and brings a sense of humility to your existence.
As the Lakota proverb goes, “We are not much, but we are a whole lot more than nothing”.
Whether you rent or are buying your place on time, housing payments consume the majority of most people’s income.
The second rule is that the quicker you can own your house free and clear, the quicker your life will take a huge change for the better.
Everyone not born to money must rent for awhile to gather a down payment on property. Look for places that pay utilities as they can be better deals, especially with recent surges in electricity and other utility costs. With the recent downturn in the economy monthly hotels are sprouting up across the US.
These can be great deals because all bills are paid and the place is furnished, allowing you to sell furniture and other possessions before you move in, and to be more mobile on the way out when you will need to be mobile to find that place to buy.
If you’re single, better yet are flophouses or rooms in someone else’s house where you share a kitchen and bath. Rent is cheap, they too are often furnished and the bills are usually paid. I stayed in a series of these places before I was married.
You meet some very interesting people at these places too. One place I stayed at in Brookings, SD while attending college was full of Arabic-speaking agricultural engineering students from throughout the Middle East.
After we banked that $26,000 from our first “back-to-the-land” attempt, things were never the same. We bought and fixed up a few more properties, making money every time we sold.
In each case, we spent hardly any money fixing the places up. Instead, we used lots of elbow grease or “sweat equity”, as the bankers call it. Except there was no need to build “equity”, as after that first place, we always bought our houses with cash.
The first place was another trailer in a park where everyone owned their own lot. We spent $20,000 and sold it for $21,000. Yet we put hardly a dime into it and saved paying rent or a house note for those two years.
In 2001 as our dogs aged we knew we had to get back to the country to give them a peaceful place to pass on. Using the internet we found a place back in the Ozarks. It was a nice smaller 2 BR house on 20 Acres near Peace Valley, MO with an asking price of $59,900.
After we finally sold our house we loaded our $500 81’ Chevy Van and headed south. The day we arrived we discovered the place was going up for auction the next day. We were the only bidders and got the place for $49,900 cash.
In 2005 I saw the housing bust looming. So we had the prerequisite yard sales – which yielded $3000 in road cash – and put the place up for sale. Our boys had both passed peacefully and were able to live out there lives in a quiet country setting.
Yes, it was a bit difficult to leave our boys buried there and move on, but my understanding is that they came right along with us anyway.
Through lots of hard work – with no boss but ourselves – we had turned that place into a parked out garden paradise. We sold it for $117,500. After commissions for realtors and closing costs were paid we pocketed $60,000.
With that grubstake banked, we were one giant step closer to living our dream.
Because we lived there longer than two years owner-occupied, we were again exempt from owing any capital gains tax. This two-year time period is key to making money when buying, improving and selling real estate because this exemption is significant.
It also discourages “flipping”, which I believe to be immoral. When investing in housing, one should earn their money through honest hard work and improvements, not through laziness and sheer speculation. Otherwise, you’re simply reinforcing the matrix paradigm.
Traveling light, we again hit the road, this time vagabonding through Panama, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.
When we returned to the Ozarks we knew the housing bust had only just begun, so rather than trading up, as many people look to do, we were looking to trade down.
We found a small older 1 BR house on 3 acres just two miles from Greer Spring and the National Scenic Eleven Point River and near the town of Alton, MO. Asking price was $49,900 completely furnished. We offered $40,000 and the seller refused. We let it sit awhile. Two weeks later we offered him $41,500 and he accepted.
We dug our gardens, planted fruit and net trees, landscaped with perennials, put in a new lagoon with the help of a backhoe and fixed the house some – mainly cosmetics.
When buying a house look for the proverbial diamond in the rough. The perfect example is a house that needs a paint job or sits on an overgrown lot or has junk strewn all over the yard, but IS STRUCTURALLY SOLID!
Remember that houses which have sat on the market a long time are the ones where the buyer will often be more willing to come down significantly on the price.
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