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Thanks, caverdude, for adding to this pleasant discussion. I particularly enjoyed your quote, “Upper end of poor…” ; it’s very descriptive.
This is just tossing a thought out there: are SO many folks who want to downsize and get out of debt simply looking in the wrong place? Here, in Berrien County, Michigan, places are begging for help and there are a gazillion tiny, tiny houses on land. Only right against Lake Michigan are the 10,000 sq. ft. mansions; if you go 1/2 a mile from the lake, you can find any “cracker box” (as my Gran called them) to pleasantly live in. Wide open space is EVERYWHERE, more stars than anyone can count, and if you want to see wild turkeys, fox and deer in your back yard, all you have to do is look out your window.
I am wondering if too many people are all looking in the same places for jobs and land and that’s why it’s so hard to locate something? Seems like most folks want Texas, the Virginias, Arizona or Florida. If someone wanted to move into either a 20 year old trailer on a couple acres of land or one of the tiny 3-season cottages up here, they could easily and happily live debt free with even minimum wages. Because Berrien County is so rural and agricultural, there are tons of seasonal jobs that pay very well in the orchard, vineyard and landscaping trades; make your money in the warm months and sit back and relax in the Winter! That’s exactly what my husband and I do: we own a landscaping company, work like slaves from April through mid-December and then sit back and get fat from mid-December til April. We pay $20-$25/hour to our guys and most firms I know start people out at $15.00. If you save your money and buy prudently, you can save enough for all Winter long. Even making beds at the local casinos pays $12-$15/hour, which is $2,400 a month or $28,800.00 per year. I can’t tell you the amount of businesses that have gone OUT of business because they can’t find people to work for them! So, I’d say to those that want to follow their dreams: “Put up with some snow! And come up to Michigan/Indiana/rural Illinois/Minnesota/Wisconsin and follow your dream.”