Buying This House Is Stressing Me Out

The living room in my first house back in 1984

Back in 2000, my husband and I were struggling to pay our bills, so much so that we were 3 months behind on the house note, and stayed 3 months behind for over a year. We kept telling each other that if we didn’t sell the house, if one of us were to get sick for a day or two and have to miss work, we would lose that house. It was terrifying to think we were one sneeze away from being homeless. We finally decided in August of 2000 to put the house up for sale rather than lose it. We’d rather have the equity out of the house if at all possible, instead of losing what we had worked for 16 years to build up. Surprisingly, it only took 10 days after putting the house on the market until we were sitting at the closing table. It was a whirlwind, and then were homeless for about a day.

My daughters sitting on the front steps of our new house in 1984

We took the money left over after paying off the mortgage and other bills we had, and paid cash for a travel trailer. We have lived in an RV for going on 12 years now. We have enjoyed our life on the road, and still do, but we decided a couple of years ago that it was time for us to buy another house while the market was right. We have looked at houses online for a little over two years, in the West Georgia area, because that is where we are from, and it is where we would like to wind up after our traveling days are over. Because we have been looking online, we pretty much knew what was for sale in this area, where the houses were, and what we could expect to find in our price range.

But I have to tell you, looking for a house at the age of 59 is pretty scary! Even though we KNOW we can pay for it, we still worry that we will get into a situation like we had back in 2000, where I was laid off from my job of twenty years, and we lost more than half of our income. For that reason, we decided what we would feel comfortable paying if the only income we had was social security, and looked for a home to fit that scenario. We figure if we budget the house payment now, while we are still working, for a time when we are on a fixed income, we will be much better off in the long run.

We don’t need a huge house. All the children are grown and gone, and if they come to visit, they can use the RV for a guest room. We decided what we wanted, and only looked at the houses that fit that plan. Our ideal home would be a flat ranch style house, with 2 or more bedrooms, no stairs, on 2-5 acres, in west Georgia, for less than $50,o00. Lots of people laughed when we told them what we were looking for, but I knew from our online search that such a house could be found. The house that we are buying is exactly that: a ranch, 2 bedroom, 1 bath house on 5 fenced acres, in west central Georgia, for $45,000.

It will be ours soon!

Now that we are so close to closing on our dream home, I still get scared. What if one of us gets where we can’t work before our “planned” retirement date? What if one of us gets sick? What if? What if? This is why I am so happy that such a thing as mortgage insurance exists! It makes buying a home so much less scary, and eases my mind so much. Even though we have planned for this and looked forward to it for more than two years, it is still a major purchase and is quite scary!

Our closing date is just around the corner now, and I am looking forward to having a stationary house again. We don’t have any furniture at all, so I am also looking forward to decorating and furnishing the house that will be my last home. Can’t wait to spend time with my children and grandchildren there!

This post is sponsored by Genworth Financial, but all the content is from my life story. For more information about mortgage insurance rates, visit the Genworth Financial website.

About Karen

Karen Eidson is telling the world way too much about her, whether they want to know it or not. She writes about her life of living full time in an RV, eating a gluten free diet, things she does for fun, and things that are important to her. She makes you look at photos of her grandchildren, talk about her husband's survival of oral cancer, and shows you things she has made. You know you want to look.


  1. Michelle A. says:

    That’s a hard thing to go through. We’re WAY behind on our mortgage payment….in fact, I’m sending in paperwork (again) to try for a loan modification (again) and probably get turned down (again.) Dan’s been laid off over 2 of the last 3 years and I make about half of what I did when we bought the house. I’m glad there’s hope that some day we can get through this and come out well on the other side!

    • Fab Grandma says:

      While the route we took is not for everyone, it was the best possible thing for us to do. We got out from under the house we couldn’t afford, and have lived and traveled around working in campgrounds and resorts for 12 years. I hope you can figure out what your journey will be soon.

  2. You made the right decision in 2000 and it gave you an adventure many can only dream of but I’m glad your dreams almost a reality.

  3. It’s cute! I love it! I would love to get rid of all my stuff and get an rv! Just traveling with the husband and the girls is a dream of mine! They homeschool and it would be so educational!

    • Fab Grandma says:

      There are lots of homeschooling families living and traveling in RV’s these days. I tell everyone “YOU have to really like the people you are with, because it is a small space.”

  4. I am so shocked that you can get that house for that price. AMAZING! Here, in RI, you would NEVER be able to. I love that fact it is on many acres. I agree though, buying a house, at any age is very stressful. I would know we have 2 mortgages on 2 different homes because we couldn’t sell our first home.

    • Fab Grandma says:

      you have to know your market, and be willing to spend a little money to fix the place up a bit after moving int, but yes, in Georgia there are some really good deals out there.

  5. I am sort of surprised at the price, too…

    Nice looking house, too. What is that in front of it?

    I, too, live in what will, probably, the last house of my life. I call it the first house for the rest of my life. A house I can live in, not a house that I will die in… LOL (mostly because I don’t plan on dying, I want my own X Files movie)

    • Fab Grandma says:

      Mike, that is a koi pond that the previous owner built. HUD had it covered with so that no one could fall in and drown, which is probably a good idea for an unattended house. We plan to refurbish it and plant flowers and shrubs around it.

  6. I forgot – Congratulations on your new house!

  7. It sounds like you have been wisely cautious in you criteria. Best of luck with closing.

    • Fab Grandma says:

      Thanks, Robin. I am a determined shopper–I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want, and refused to settle for less than that.

  8. Congrats on the new house!

  9. I love the house. So cute and charming. Extra bonus for being on 5 acres.

    Sounds like a long road to get there but that makes it so much more worthwhile.

    • Fab Grandma says:

      Rachel, I wish you could see the inside of it! it really is a charming little house. It says FabGrandma all over it!

  10. Wow! Congrats on the new place – mortgage insurance is extremely comforting during these scary times when everything can feel uncertain. So happy and optimistic for you, though!

  11. The new house looks adorable! Good luck finishing up the process – it’s very stressful.

  12. Oh wow, that is a great deal on the new house, I’d love to have that amount of land, and fenced to boot.

    I am excited for you, and the new house is SO CUTE!

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