Not so fast!
Our preconditions for this journey aren’t the best moneywise, but we have to give it a try nevertheless, because we have no other choice and times will certainly not get better in upcoming years. We have no nest egg to pay out of for what we plan and we haven’t certain incomes to pay any kind of loan. So contract debts are out of the game.
Both of us has to deal with several disadvantages each. Silke’s declining health made it impossible for her to work further as a state-qualified nurse and Christian’s health issues made him no longer fit to work as a journeyman joiner. Both professions are not regularly known as making it’s executants wealthy at all, but as a couple it could provide a decent average lifestyle. But this opportunity is gone for both of us. We don’t want to whine too much about that and let this inconvenience prevent us from pursuing our happiness. If we are able to shape and organize our workflow without external interference and pressure, we do unexpected well nonetheless and we both are very confident about achieving our goals. Not as fast, but we are not in that kind of a hurry.
We also expect to better our health by changing the unhealthy enviroment we still live in. That’s probably the biggest part of our plan!
Filling the warchest.
Christian has inherited half of a row house. Christian’s parents bought the whole row house back in 1975. In 2001 Christian’s Mom sold the lower half. Such a partition lowers the resell price notably. The overall costs we ought to invest in renovations would be pretty high, but the outcome wouldn’t meet or needs and desires by far. Because it will just be a condo without real potential for development. No garden and no space for working and crafting, no space to breath. Every bigger remodeling has to be approved not only by the building inspectorate and the neighbors left and right, but by the owner of the other half of the house. Lots to negotiate and to convince other people, who not always have the needed comprehension. So we decided to sell the condo and make what ever we get for it the financial basis for what we plan.
Not the land of opportunities.
Germany is the very wrong country to start a homestead from scratch. Land cost are outrageous high and the building regulations are very harsh and not ment to support aspiring people but to discourage them right from the start. There is an overall lack of the actual pioneering spirit. The delicate plant of pioneering spirit vanished with all them who took their chances and left Germany for good in the last centuries and what little was left over withered over time. Two World Wars and the partition of Germany weren’t very supportive either. Unfortunately we are way too rooted to our homeland and way too poor to emigrate easily to the still best country in the world, the real and proverbial Land of Opportunities. So we have to deal with all the disadvantages Germany has to offer.
“Cobbler stick to your trade.”
There is a deep distrust within German society toward people who would step out of line. At least outsiders could have the potential to disturb an otherwise well greased gearbox. No matter how liberal the German society has become or even is only perceived as such, to vary from mainstream makes you a pariah and ominous somehow.
You become obscure in the perception of governments, administrators and politicians alike and even more if you try to step up from blue-collar to middle-class or beyond.
Owning property was for the longest time a sign of the wealthy in Germany. So the “unwritten rules” are still effective, that owning land and a house should be restricted to the wealthy (and those who inherit them) or those who are deemed credit-worthy enough by bankers. To gain creditworthiness you have to have securities or at least been seen as an easy and most likely safe opportunity for bankers to make a sure profit. If you have nothing you most likely will gain nothing. Having ideas, being able handed and skilful are not seen as securities at all. You better know your place in society and learn to stick with it, otherwise you are labeled suspective very fast.
Where there’s a will there’s a way.
So much negativity in the paragraphs above. Let’s lighten up a little bit, shall we? Sometimes there are indeed some exceptions from those rules, less frequently than preferable, but they occur from time to time even in Germany and those exceptions sometimes find their niche and somehow thrive. And it isn’t only dark in Good Old Germany, there are some bright spots and we are on our way to find one of those. And even if we do not find the brightest spot, we will do what’s possible to brighten it up our way, with what we are able to.
Finding a good spot will be one of the harder parts, purchasing it for a decent and for us affordable price will be another. Getting the building permits therefor will be as hard, but after that it should hopefully will become a little easier.