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Old 08-19-2014, 11:42 PM   #1
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Some advice for the younger members

This thread is for the younger members... The ones with time to follow it if they choose. Here's some advice from a old man. One with lots of time under his keel.

We all have choices in life, where we live where we work, what we do with our free time thousands of choices, and decisions to be made about our lives.

Well 19 years ago my wife and I made a choice. It was a hard one, that had plenty of ramifications for our future. Time has proven that this one choice we made, was probably one of the best choices we made over an entire lifetime of choices.

19 years ago my wife and I bought our home. We were a fairly young couple back then with a small child. Pretty typical we think. We looked at homes in town. Nice homes, in subdivisions where our son could play. In areas that would be a easy drive to our jobs.

We also looked out of town. Two hours back then from town. We looked at and bought a house on a lake. The house was nothing special back then. Actually because we had a very modest budget it was a 1970's fixer upper. Lakefront homes have always commanded a premium, and we could have bought a very nice home in town for what we paid for our funky old house.

What the house offered was a west facing lake frontage. 175' of nice sloping frontage and an acre and a half of mostly woods. It has sound bones, but again it was nothing special.

Well, fast forward 19 years later, and we realize we've spent a lifetime looking out over the lake. The ducks raise their young in front of our house. We can hear the Loons and the Sandhill cranes. Last night we saw a creature swimming. Was it a muskrat, or a young beaver? Possibly the river otter was teaching her young how to forage?

So, my advice for the young people is to make the sacrifice. Do whatever it takes to live on the water somewhere.

This I promise you. It will be a decision you will not regret. You too will probably look back decades later and realize that it was one of the best decisions of your lifetime.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:48 AM   #2
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Kevin, your story rings true with us also. My wife and I have been married almost 6 years. When we were in the early stages of our relationship but getting more serious we started talking about buying a house together. She had a house as did I, but neither of us wanted to live in the other's house for a variety of reasons.

We looked for several months and kept rejecting them for one reason or another. One day we walked into the home we later bought and both of us fell in love with it....and bought it after a few weeks of negotiations. I sold my house right away and bought this one. She sold her house a few months later.

We live on the Columbia River in a free flowing stretch. From the house we get to watch eagles, river otters, red fox, walkers, joggers, bike riders, people on horseback and all sorts of other interesting things pass by.

This past weekend we were sitting on the back porch (east facing, so no afternoon sun) enjoying a calm day with zero wind, 85* temps and blue skies. It's almost like having our own little piece of heaven right here in our own back yard.

We've never, even for an instant, regretted stepping up and buying a home on the river. Your advice to young people is sound. It's unfortunate that most river front, or even river view property has gotten too expensive for young people to enjoy.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:53 AM   #3
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Everybody has different needs..

I need a big shop to store/work on all my man toys.. so I need property.

I like big territorial views.. If it wasn't overcast I would be staring at the Olympic Mountains.

Having not bought waterfront I get more elbow room,a big shop, a better home,... and most of all a collection of boats, motorcycles, cars !.. with one big boat on the water all the time. And the Admiral still has funds to travel.

It is all what works for you.

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Old 08-20-2014, 10:14 AM   #4
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Kevin, your story rings true with us also. My wife and I have been married almost 6 years. When we were in the early stages of our relationship but getting more serious we started talking about buying a house together. She had a house as did I, but neither of us wanted to live in the other's house for a variety of reasons.

We looked for several months and kept rejecting them for one reason or another. One day we walked into the home we later bought and both of us fell in love with it....and bought it after a few weeks of negotiations. I sold my house right away and bought this one. She sold her house a few months later.

We live on the Columbia River in a free flowing stretch. From the house we get to watch eagles, river otters, red fox, walkers, joggers, bike riders, people on horseback and all sorts of other interesting things pass by.

This past weekend we were sitting on the back porch (east facing, so no afternoon sun) enjoying a calm day with zero wind, 85* temps and blue skies. It's almost like having our own little piece of heaven right here in our own back yard.

We've never, even for an instant, regretted stepping up and buying a home on the river. Your advice to young people is sound. It's unfortunate that most river front, or even river view property has gotten too expensive for young people to enjoy.
You understand what others cannot understand.

When our time near the water is measured in days we get these little snapshots of what its like. Just little snapshots.

When we are on the water every day we get a different perspective. Its hard to quantify in words that people that have never experienced waterfront life can understand, but you and I and all the rest of the people that live on the water understand it. I'll guarantee one thing, liveaboards understand. Thats why they are liveaboards.

It doesn't have to be any more expensive than town life either. It is just choices. We could have bought a much nicer home in town. We chose to buy the home we did and fix it up. We spent the same amount of money either way. I could not afford our house today if I was a young person, but there are homes around the lake that will eventually go up for sale as their owners age. Some of these homes will be very expensive. Some will not. Some will be fixer uppers.

19 years ago our home was a fixer upper. Now most would call it a lakefront estate. Allot of sweat went into this house, and the yard, and it shows. The same subdivisions we originally looked at in town have went from trendy to tired during that time. Same money spent, but different outcomes.

19 years ago it was a 2 hour drive to town to go to work. 8 miles of dirt road. An hour to the grocery store. Now town has grown to us. My road is paved, and town is much closer.

Yes, GFC you understand. If you had it to do all over again, I bet you'd move onto the water earlier.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:44 PM   #5
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I couldn't agree more. We bought a house on the Great Lakes 20 years ago. Raised our children with all kinds of boat toys and created wonderful memories for them. Last year we sold it and moved into a condo that overlooks the same lake with a marina attached so we can now dock our boat behind the condo. The next stage of our life is to do more extensive cruising. In the end life is about creating memories.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:53 PM   #6
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I couldn't agree more. We bought a house on the Great Lakes 20 years ago. Raised our children with all kinds of boat toys and created wonderful memories for them. Last year we sold it and moved into a condo that overlooks the same lake with a marina attached so we can now dock our boat behind the condo. The next stage of our life is to do more extensive cruising. In the end life is about creating memories.
We probably did it about the same way. We started out with a canoe. Then jet skis, then as time went on a pontoon boat.

We are now on our second set of pwc's having worn out the first set. Our son is long moved out on his own, but his childhood memories all revolve around the lake.

During the life stage that others we knew were "trading up" in their homes, we sunk money in our old place instead. Garage, shop, decks, and of course never ending remodeling. The woods are long gone, replaced with lawn and landscaping.

You start to think about work differently as well. I had a job that was ending, and my company offered me a promotion if I would relocate. I politely turned it down choosing our lifestyle over my career.

People that have never lived on the water wouldnt understand that. My manager sure didn't. Some things are more important than the logo on your paycheck.

I think we've had a better life than if we lived in town. Hopefully some young person reads this and thinks just a little about how their life could be.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
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It's funny how you have no issues putting all the money you can muster into that special lake house. After all you will always get it back in the end. So you tell yourself. (But you really don't care)

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Old 08-20-2014, 10:44 PM   #8
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Some advice for the younger members

My home is not an asset I can sell. At least not mentally. It is a place that I can spend my summers and my winters if I choose rent free.

As we've matured we've watched friends buy bigger homes along the way. We chose a different path.

That is the point of this thread.

Tonight we kayaked a couple if miles. Last night we cruised in the pontoon boat.

We could have chosen a suburb where life would have been much different.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:06 PM   #9
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As we've matured we've watched friends buy bigger homes along the way. We chose a different path.

Living well below ones means is always prudent advice. Purchased a 2014 Toyota the other day for my wife and our new neighbor muttered "it must be nice" somewhat sarcastically. "It is" was my reply. After almost 25 years of marriage my wife is enjoying her first ever brand new car.

Small house 10 minutes from work makes for a pleasant life too. I did the 2 hour each way commute the first ten years of marriage and gladly traded that for an extra 3 1/2 hours per day with my family.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
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I'm not sure any advice will work for everyone but I'll try:

If you are young, be frugal and put something away for your later years. Don't run up credit card dept, especially for things you don't really need. Do you really need a new car every year or two? I would guess not. Do you really need $200 per month worth of phone service? Again, I think not. You can spend $10,000 on a vacation or you can spend a couple hundred.

Find a career with a future, work hard at it, and save for the future. Buying a home is usually a good investment but not always. It's certainly better than renting. Don't buy a large lavish house, buy what you need now and in the future.

With luck and good health there will come a point in your life when you can retire and afford the good things in life.
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