While this isn’t my usual fare, this recent article on CNBC struck a chord with me, and not necessarily in a good way.
Not a bad way either, but… odd?
This article details the troubles of a family that had a $4,200 per month mortgage on their home in California. Couple that with a paragraph about $110,000 in student loans, and you’ve got yourself a clickbait ready, shareable personal finance article.
Here is the weird part. The article, as all of these articles do, leaves out a lot of the details that likely make this a one-off article that isn’t shareable, or doable by pretty much anyone. For example, there was a months-long road trip that has now lasted over a year. That’s cool. Where does son Aiden (8) go to school?
There’s also the part about how it “helps” that neither parent had traditional 9 to 5 jobs. You mean, it’s absolutely essential that they don’t have 9 to 5 jobs, or at least that they can be full-time remote.
Lastly, while living in an RV cut their living expenses from that $4,200 mortgage, the RV that they make this lifestyle work in was apparently gifted after the initial purchase of what must have been a VERY modest $14,000 RV (go ahead, search what kind of RV you can get for $14,000). Unless the family gets gifted a another RV down the line, one wonders how well the standard RV holds up to the wear and tear of a family of three living in it full time. The repairs, and maintenance will not only add up, but unlike the house, that RV’s value drops every year, and with every mile driven. Hopefully, the family has another way to build wealth for Aiden, a concern in paragraph one that disappears as the story goes on.
While it’s true you don’t want to be house poor, if you have the ability to move into a traveling the country RV, then you have a lot of options for reducing your housing costs. I often marvel at the near mansions available for what would be a $1,000 per month mortgage in small towns across the country. Of course, unlike some of the details left out in this article, I still have kids going to schools they love, a wife involved in this particular community, and if I’m not too proud to say it, I kind of like a lot of what the Denver area has to offer.
So, I guess we’ll continue on with our $2,400 mortgage, building equity and strong roots. Maybe later, we’ll buy an RV and use it for vacations, but probably not living in. I think we’d all rather use the equity we’re building for a beach house or something.
Happy Saturday, all.