When we talked to Mike and Mary Ott in late December, they were trying to unload a mobile home in a lake setting about an hour outside Madison, Wisconsin.
They had wanted to eliminate a long drive to work for Mary Ott, a teacher, over snowy roads that often went unplowed. So they bought a nice four-bedroom house in town.
The mobile house has sat empty; winter is not the prime selling season in Wisconsin. "We are currently waiting for the four to five feet of snow to melt off so we can start showing again," reports Mike Ott.
The couple hopes to get some added interest because they switched to a new listing agent. That, plus the fresh start that comes with spring in the North has given them a new flush of optimism.They were lucky the new house only cost them $128,000, $22,000 less then they budgeted. It also helps that the costs of maintaining the old place are not that onerous; rent for their lot space is only $135 a month and that comes with garbage pick-up, water and sewage.
Even so, with the extra mortgage, utilities and insurance expenses, it still puts the squeeze on their budget.
"Thank God for the Christmas money," says Mike.