House/Residence Hunting

Greetings all,

As some of you know, I am a college kid. I’ve managed to avoid the $10k a year room and board fees at my university by residing with my aunt who has a town house about 15 minutes from campus. Living with her has been a treat and has enlightened me in a lot of areas concerning housekeeping and maintenance (I’m talking simple stuff like router upgrades up through AC unit replacement).

Now, you’re like Skye…what does this have to do with me. Sure, we’re getting there.

I’m approaching the end of my initial college run here with 5 years under my belt (no help from calculus). At the end of this run, my aunt intends to move out west to Arizona to be close to her daughter and her family. This is fabulous for her, but critical for me because I get kicked out. Since I don’t want this to be my final dealing with college - I want my Masters of Library Science (MLS) - I need to find either suitable housing near the university offering the degree or if I can do it remote, somewhere at all to at least call my own.

My parents have always been highly supportive of me and have always let me do my own thing and this is one of those things. So now I’m here…about a year out from needing to start seriously looking at how to handle this situation and I want to see what insights anyone had to offer up.

The end goal would be to construct a “cabin” ony parents 30 acre lot that would cater to everything I’d need. Small square foot footprint, but would house everything I’d need…kitchen, bed, bath, workshop, patio/deck. But thats for the future…unless I can somehow find a way to fork up $150k to build it.

Anyway, for context, the current plan is to finish off my degree over the next year, then take a year off and just work. Then go and do my MLS.

The MLS could be done remotely.

At any point in time after graduation, my aunt could pull the trigger and make the move.

My first thoughts on this situation are to obviously get into my career field ASAP after graduation. I make money supervising pharmacy inventories, but probably not enough to do house payments and all (albeit, I could be wrong).

Insight? Ideally I would like to avoid apartments all together. But if it’s necessary, I’d like to be in and out as fast as possible.

Hey Skye,

First, what sort of savings do you have at this point for a down payment, if you don’t mind my asking?
Second, you mention you want to construct a cabin, do you already have experience with construction, or are you planning to have someone else do the actual construction?

Depending on your savings/skill level, I would possibly consider getting a “fixer upper” house in your current area… that would allow you to either stay with your aunt until your house is in a live-able condition (which is up to you to determine how much needs to be done before you want to live in it… I know when my parents did something similar we had no kitchen when we moved in, we made do with a mini fridge and a microwave in the laundry room for quite awhile until the kitchen was finished), but would also give you at least a roof over your head if she does suddenly pull the trigger.

Would also give you a chance to build a good amount of sweat equity, and make it easier to afford your cabin after you turn around and sell the property, and learn any skills that you don’t currently have that you would want before you build your cabin.

Just a couple of thoughts… sorry if it doesn’t all make sense, still to early in the morning lol

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So the gist right now isn’t anything in particular or specific. I’m talking barely anything for a down payment (just recently had to buy a car, which made things interesting) and really just looking to see what I can do in terms of finances - at the very least to keep a roof over my head.

There are a couple plots of property surrounding my parents house that I would absolutely adore getting my hands on, including a “fixer upper” house that I could work on assuming I could scrounge up the efforts to do so. It would also be ideal for me to begin renting out if need be if I could actually flip it around.

At the given moment, I think the most ideal thing to do is to amass the necessary funding. Which means I need to crack down on getting the work hours up and keeping the spending down low - which is rough on low income.

My parents would no doubt let me stay with them if worse comes to worse, but I’d like that to be last resort, because that’d mean I’d most certainly need to either change jobs or start prepping for way longer commute times. But it also means that I’d not need to worry about additional costs while I work up the funding for housing.

Oh wow. $10k a year for a college room? This really showed me how blessed I am to have my own small apartment in a good spot in Dresden for 300 Euro a month including heating, excluding water, power, internet.

Here in Germany, it works like this. The college itself is free (paid by taxes) and students get monthly support from the government. How much depends on the wealth of the student and the student’s parents. A few years after college you have to pay half of the money they gave you back (there are a few cases where you don’t have to pay anything back like getting kids,…) .

Now there are some other conditions which you have to fulfill to get the support. For example, you have to finish a cretin amount of modules after I think studying term 4 (2 years). Also, you only get this support while within the standard studying time. For example, I’m studying CS (bachelor) and the standard studying time is 6 terms. After this time is up they won’t give you any support anymore even if you haven’t finished yet. Because of corona, the last 2 Semesters didn’t count so I will get 8 Semesters support if I need it.

For many people in my degree this really becomes an issue. Only <2% of the CS students manage to finish in the standard time. Those people usually end up working part time while finishing the remaining modules.

The masters degree here is often also offered as part-time. Of course it will take longer but you can get money and gather real world experience while getting a better degree. In case you guys have something like that too this would be an option. If your college doesn’t offer it you might want to check if there is a college that offers a remote part-time master’s degree.

If that’s not possible then I guess what sounds best to me is to work for a while and then start your masters.

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The masters degree here is often also offered as part-time.

I think this is what it could be considered if I managed to get it done remotely. The way I understand my friend did it was that they never moved to the university and did all the classes asynchronously - meaning that the class material and assignments were posted and graded on a schedule, but there was never an assigned meeting time for face-to-face/Zoom/Conference call class meets.

Ideally, this is what I’d want to do, so I could still work where I am. Nonetheless, the plan is to remain at work for as long as possible and to insert an academic “gap” between my under-grad time and masters degree - which should give me some work room in order to generate a bit of income.

The real boggle is what I do with that income. How do I spend it effectively, get a return in the long-run, etc.

Just gonna bump this real fast.

I’ve not come to any major conclusions yet but I think my current running plan is to move back in with the parents…who would more than welcome me back whilst I amass the funding to start work on my cabin.

For context this cabin aint a tiny house, gonna be about a 1000 sqft footprint.

Unless something major happens or anyone can give any insight further for investigation, I believe I’ll run with that for as long as I can.