Moving two hours north to country/rural area temporarily to save $50k+ for a couple years

[quote=“Honkinggoose, post:18, topic:1905”]
I suggest thinking a lot harder to find an easier way to make 25K / yr. [/quote]Such as?

[quote]Unless you’ve lived in the country before,[/quote]I have, she hasn’t[quote] Date night? Ha! Think of a 3 month date season, otherwise known as shoveling the driveway. [/quote]I’ve lived in Central NY most of my life (only recently moved to Southern NY) and I know what lake effect is. The winter two hours north is not much different than the winter where we currently live. It’s not as drastic as you make it seem.

[quote]Expect your house to be less well insulated than your condo, and HVAC costs to be higher. If there is a wood stove to assist with heating, you’ve just found another 3 month date season, otherwise known as wood chopping, splitting, and stacking. It’s good exercise, though.[/quote]There is a wood stove. I grew up with fireplaces, and was always the one to stack the six cords of wood we’d buy, which to your point is great exercise.

[quote]If your home based business / employment is dependent on reliable, high speed internet, good luck. [/quote]I’ve been told by numerous people who live in that area that the internet is great, without many service dropouts. We’re on cable internet now, so I am doubting it’ll be much different. But this is certainly a factor.

[quote]Even though your yard will be tiny, you will still need (to purchase): a lawn mower, weed eater, axe, rake, shovel, snow shovel, etc.[/quote]You’re assuming we don’t already own some of those. The lawn mower that’s there stays with the house, so no need to purchase. But you forgot something–great exercise opportunity, once again! I grew up mowing the lawn for my parents, and it doesn’t bother me (especially with a small yard), but it isn’t something I’ve had to do for about ten years now. Looks like I’ll have a beach bod before I know it with all of this activity…huh?

[quote]You’ll need an extra set of rims and tires, unless you already have a winter set.[/quote]I don’t, but that’s just untrue. Your inner internet keyboard warrior is coming out, I see (this is just a friendly jab, not fightin’ words). There’s no reason to cite this. No one NEEDS an extra set of wheels/tires. Especially if we’re home most of the time. There is absolutely no way to justify this unless you commute every day. Again, the winter just two hours north doesn’t go from barely anything down here to blizzards 24/7 up there. Stop being dramatic.

[quote]You’ll probably need heavier outerwear and boots.[/quote]Because it magically turns into antacrtica just two hours north? We have winter attire. We live in NYS.

[quote]Your alcohol bill will go up. [/quote]Perhaps. But even if it goes up, at least those calories will be counteracted with all of the above activity.

I think you should reread your reply. Not because I disagree with some of your points, but because you’re assuming a lot. One common theme throughout your post is you’re acting like we’re proposing moving to the mountains, off grid, in Montana, coming from Manhattan. It’s not as stark of a difference.

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You think it sounds negative but they are quite realistic for me especially the “hidden” costs of living in the middle of nowhere. My FIL (RIP) moved with his gf to the middle of nowhere in TX and he would tell us he’s 500 miles to everywhere {sarcasm}. Whenever we came to see him, there was nowhere to go except for a WM Supercenter that just opened near them. The main street there reminded me of stores in the 50s.

DH tells me he felt his dad got depressed living there which ended his life sooner than expected. I’d just like to think he’s in a much better place now.


So a friend of mine brought this up last night. And my counter point was, you can’t just simply compare “NYC area” to “rural.” You have to really understand the current situation first. We’ve been in this condo for just about 2.5 years. We have not taken advantage of the local community/town at ALL. Not once. I went to a HOA meeting at the library and that was the only time I’ve been in there. However, we’ve also never had a 1-year-old in the dead of winter, where the library becomes a great place to go. We do take her to the local parks a fair amount, and take the dog/child for walks in the neighborhood. But that can be done anywhere.

And on top of that, we’ve lived in this area (within 20 minutes of NYC proper) since 2010. We barely have ever taken advantage of the proximity to NYC. I personally hate the city, and my wife commuted to it daily via train for almost a decade.

Point is: it’s not as black and white as it seems. Just because someone lives closer to a major metro area, doesn’t mean they take advantage of that proximity at all. This brings up the question of: why live there in the first place then? Well, as mentioned, my wife worked in Manhattan when we met, and I worked near where we ended up getting an apartment, so it seemed like a good fit. Not to mention, her dad+step mother are in Brooklyn, so we needed some sort of decent proximity to them at the time. Since then, we’ve become our own family and don’t really need the proximity to them as much as we need a lower cost of living (IMO). I have become very conservative since my daughter was born, or even before, and I view this possible move up north for a couple of years as a way to solidify my conservative perspective with an extra chunk of change in the bank.

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I disagree wholeheartedly. Did you not read the first and last lines of the post? Here, I’ll paste them in for you:

Just because your FIL had a rough time, doesn’t mean everyone will. And, why did your FIL move to “the middle of nowhere” in the first place? We are doing it with a set plan in place. Granted, that plan could change, but that’s life. No matter where we are, we can lose an income, have health issues, etc. I’d rather lose a job with a $900/month nut than a $2900/month one. Wouldn’t you?

We pretty much do that anyway, now. We get out when we want, which is nice for both of us, but we’re at home most of the time. If we see family or friends, it’s typically the three of us (me, wife, kid) and sometimes the dog. I’m not a huge family guy, don’t get me wrong, but with me being ‘at work’ all day, they’re pretty much left to themselves for 4-5 hours in the morning and 4-5 hours after lunch.

[quote=“jaytrader, post:24, topic:1905”]
And, why did your FIL move to “the middle of nowhere” in the first place?
[/quote]please read it again, he moved in with his gf and that’s up to him, not for anyone else to decide.

The reply wasn’t even meant for you, it was for @Honkinggoose which reminded me of my FIL.

It looks to me like you just want validation on your plans, might as well go ahead with all you want to do.

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Understood and agreed. However, as I mentioned, I don’t want to blow our whole wad on the downpayment of the $500k house and be left with $0.

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This brings up a great point. The two year timeline is actually conservative. If you do the math based on our child’s age relative to starting school, we actually have about 4-5 years. NYS requires kids to start kindergarten by age 6. Obviously, the sooner the better, for her sake (long term). However, if an income was lost or some such thing, we have a buffer. The two year timeline is just the minimum break even, IMO (totally subjective). If we end up staying for three years, we save another “$24k” and she’s only 4, instead of 3.

Personally, I started when I was 4. I graduated high school at the age of 17. For some reason, I like that method because it allowed me to move on to the professional world at a younger age. However, we’re open to different possibilities.

I do apologize, as I should have given context around the magic 2-year number.


I don’t want validation at all. I have noticed that you’ve been a bit condescending across the forum as of late. Perhaps you should step back and realize you don’t know everything. I mean that as purely constructive criticism.

Snarky comments like “you just want validation” don’t belong here. Let’s all start off on a new, good foot. Don’t bring that FWF condescension here.

I am not looking for validation, nor rationalization. If I have a valid counterpoint, I feel it needs to be said. If the counterpoint has holes, fine, point them out. Don’t just resort to saying I want validation like so many did over at FWF. Just because someone has an idea, and a couple people say it’s a bad idea, and the person comes back with a reply, doesn’t mean they want validation. I am trying to be as objective as possible here.

Put it this way: if there wasn’t the potential to save a gross $24k extra per year, this whole scenario wouldn’t even be on the table.

Perhaps you should read it again.

How could anyone possibly tell that the reason was to be with his girlfriend from that statement? You said he moved WITH his girlfriend. That was why I asked the question of “why did he move?” Don’t be so defensive.

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Just rent the house from the Aunt, and reap more-or-less the same savings.

2 years isn’t enough time to really build equity on a property, anyway, and it gives you better flexibility down the line while “helping” the Aunt right now by giving her some income from the property.


Personally I think you’re making a mistake with buying so rural, for two reasons.

First the wife. Happy wife = Happy Life.
Being in the middle of nowhere will matter to her, maybe not a first but without friends living by, it can get depressing.

Lack of appreciation for the “in-family” home your talking about buying.
Seen it several times where the appreciation rate of your forever home exceeds the money you’re able to save. For instance you save up $200k over two years but the house you want is now $250-300k more. What could suck more than all that effort (and sacrifice) for nothing?

Good luck on what you decide to do.
Maybe want to do a dry run . . . go live at the Aunt’s house for the next two months, tell her you’re there to see how your family adjusts and to her her fix it up for selling it.


I actually did think of this, and almost made a Plan D in my OP. But, I decided against it. The reason is because owning this as a seasonal rental is probably not a bad thing. At a $10,200 mortgage (PITI) exposure per year, I think AirBnB would be a very valid possibility with regard to offsetting that cost. Of course, there is maintenance, but that’s anywhere.

If we were just going to rent a place, I think I’d rather go just an hour or so north and get something a bit bigger/better for a bit more money. We actually have considered this and looked a few rentals over the last few months. However, they were with the idea that we’d rent out our condo.

I think the incentive here is that we would own the house after we were done with it, from a living perspective, and use it as a seasonal rental. But, you make a good indirect point…perhaps we wouldn’t want to own it. The aunt hasn’t really tried to do a seasonal rental (or a “summer house” when not being AirBnBed), and I don’t want to put that idea into her head. She has rented to friends, but that’s about it. I think there is serious potential for winter rentals. What happens when the winter is warm? Welp, that’s a risk that we’d be taking I suppose.

Good point though, and good idea.

ETA: ah ha! I remember why this wasn’t a Plan D. The aunt has no interest in renting it. She wants to buy a vacation condo elsewhere, so she wants to sell outright.


Yeah, if the Aunt is insisting on selling, the that scraps that option.

I guess my other suggestion would be to plan for more than 2 years, just for the sake of additional savings while the kid isn’t school-aged.

It sounds more like you could comfortably be in that situation for up to 4 years before you have to move again, giving you an additional $50k of padding.

Yes, exactly. However, I don’t want to get that $100k number in my head. I’d rather be conservative. In all of my calculations and budget projections thus far, I’ve taken the annual $24k of savings and lopped off 20% of it to get a better, more conservative number. The gross $24k sounds great, but I am really operating on $24 * .8 from a numbers perspective. It’s still attractive at that $38k (over two years) in addition to our current saving plan.


I’ve seen and known too many people who make decisions based on what their parents want them to do, or what they perceive their parents need them to do, even though they are themselves adults, to the detriment of themselves and their spouses/children. BTDT and have a friend going through it now. Kudos to you for putting your family first.


Being the wife in our household, I can definitely agree with the first statement. :grin:

I’m an introvert. It’s stressful for me to be around people too often. If @jaytrader’s wife is a social butterfly, then yes, she might hate it. If she is more like me, or something of an ambivert, then not so much.

I like being close to the grocery store, so country living wouldn’t suit me.


In this situation, the grocery store is about 4 miles away, down one road, along with all of Main St restaurants and shops.


If this works out you’re going to have to host the first FD get together out in the country.


No sweat. I’ll do it where Woodstock was. The house isn’t far from there.