I would LOVE to flip houses, but it's not something my husband would support right now. Our marriage would probably not survive with major renovations happening in a house he lived in. He didn't deal well with the last kitchen installation I did (the kitchen was always operational, and I pulled in some nice cabinets for cheap off Craigslist, but they were in the hallway for a couple of months which really bugged him). Given what we can buy here, there's no way to just live in "the rest of the house" or even close off a room. Current prices mean less sq footage than we are renting, and all our rooms well-used every day.
The question I've been pondering is whether a house here would even be in reach if I went back to work full time. The answer appears to be "yes"--if it were a tech job. Apparently "no" for a teaching job now that I look at the salaries. But the kids would not be happy if I were working full time, and there is a good chance I may want to homeschool one of my kids in a couple of years. I've done enough programming contract work to know that there are headaches with going solo (not enough that I might not try it again, but non-paying customers and programming competition from Russia and India are both real issues that have to be dealt with).
I guess I'm at a life's junction trying to figure out which direction to go.... I was recently encouraged to apply for a teaching job at a nearby school. I don't have a teaching certificate, but sounds like it could be arranged to be a 'student teacher'...... I might enjoy teaching, but I have no desire to take education classes. Given the salary, it is not something I'd continue after the kids were out of the house.
A friend also told me what she'd been offered recently for a full-time tech job. The amount is quite attractive allowing a peninsula house, a summer vacation trip (if you can get the time off), and a nice retirement fund.. My kids will be home this summer which I will very much enjoy, though, so I'd be giving that up in the future if I took a full-time job, and it'd put us in a real bind if I decided to homeschool, and we'd bought a house assuming a second salary. It'd be a pretty serious problem, in fact, and would create serious marital stress. That is "the Two-Income trap" as outlined by Elizabeth Warren, and I totally get it.
My third option is that I have access to a machine/woodworking shop close by and a fair amount of exotic hardwood in the garage and could start a small manufacturing business selling through etsy, local art shows, maybe Amazon, but I have doubts as to the profitability (or maybe I should say I doubt it will pay nearly as well as a Tech job, but it probably would compare with a teaching job in the first year or two). The hours would be mine to make, and non-paying customers are not an issue (though missing packages might be). I wouldn't know until I'd actually designed and made a couple of products and tried to sell them. It might only take a couple of months, but I don't think I can do it until next Fall. I thought I was going to do it this year, but didn't. I am not at all confident in my ability to manage people, though, if the business grew. I'm not a manager type, and I loathe such a job. On the other hand, if the business did grow and succeed, I could see it bringing in a salary that combined with the added flexibility of choosing my hours, would be competitive with a Tech job. But of course, that would take some number of years to achieve.
I also have a great idea for a business for my kids which we will definitely pursue this summer--to as you said--get them working. That is the one thing I'm confident in. We figured out a product that they're passionate about, that is lightweight and would ship easily, that can be reliably lasercut, has a great profit margin, and takes up very little space. Even their first choice for business name had the URL available for them in the .com realm (no squatting!!!). That is by far the one endeavor I am fully confident in provided they stay motivated.
If I were to run my own business and needed to homeschool one of my kids, the two could be done together, as he could do stuff for his own business after finishing his schoolwork, and maybe come up with new products. Even a woodworking business would mesh well later with flipping houses. If I were to teach or to take on a tech job, I'd have to stop though, to homeschool, and then working a tech job could only really be about building up savings, not getting a house. If I were to teach next year, it'd be more of a temporary thing (I don't really see doing it long-term), but would delay starting a business or getting a Tech job (which given the market right now, delaying might be a mistake), but it would mean being able to get the kids, bring them home, make dinner, help with the homework, etc. without stressing the family at all.
Sorry to spew my midlife crisis all over this forum, but it's on my mind right now. Thoughts?