As part of our goal to declutter our lives we have been working towards paying down our debt faster. We're doing this by paying more than required on our mortgage each month. We also used our tax refund to pay off our van and have been pretending like we still have the van payment and putting that amount into savings for when it's time to buy the car I'm leasing (which is an entirely different story - we will likely never lease again).
An unexpected result of this is we have found ourselves actively looking for a new house. Our goals with this search are:
-find a house with more land (so we can try to accomplish some long-term goals like getting chickens and planting a small orchard, part of which we would hopefully turn a small profit on)
-find a house with less property tax
The thought is that if we can find a house with more land but less property tax, we can continue to make our current mortgage payment and get out of mortgage debt even faster. We also aren't the craziest about the layout of the living space in our house and any sort of re-configuring would be a very expensive undertaking.
We have found several properties that are fixer uppers - including a 4-acre farmhouse in a great school district. We briefly entertained the idea of building but spoke with a builder and quickly realized it would cost more than the value of our current house to do that. Our current train of thought is to look into either a foreclosure that would essentially need to be gutted and remodeled or to find a small (cheap) cape style home and put an addition on it. We don't know for sure that we will end up selling, but a house across the street from us sold late last year for about $10k more than asking price within 2 days of being listed, so if this is an avenue we'd like to explore (especially since we would be purchasing a much less expensive house - so it's not like we'd be competing in the same buying market as we'd be selling in, if that makes sense) we need to do so soon.