If you decide to get a used truck, make sure it has a warranty of at least a few days so you can take it to a shop to get it checked. ALWAYS get your used car checked. The used car shops make sure that the car works RIGHT NOW. That doesn't mean there isn't a problem that will kill it in a month. It's worth the cost to get it checked. Good luck.
hmm.. what a conundrum. well i say combine them both! get a truck that you can join a trailer..hehe. for real this has worked for quite a number of people, and plus, if you love to travel, you dont have to keep packing coz you are always ready! look at [link].... seriously, i think we r onto something!!
old truck and camper don't sign your soul away. Buying things we never actually OWN is something that gets a lot of people in trouble. That's why my family had to leave the last house we lived in. Times change and you can't count on some installment plan to stay the same in a recently shaky economy. And a lot of times, a house or car is crap by the time it is actually paid off. (but I'm definitely no expert)This is just from observing
I'd say get a used truck and go ahead and do the house, or find a rental close to where you are working.
For your decision you've got a lot of factors here:
First off, you are really far from where you are working. If you want to keep working there, you should move closer. This may mean it's better to get an apartment or rental close by if you're not going to work there forever.
If you get a truck, you'll need insurance (which might be expensive, depends on your age and history) and you'll have to pay gas and repairs. So you'll have to pay back the loan PLUS all of that.
You can figure up gas pretty easily, and I'm betting it's going to be well over $300 a month. Just figure out how much gas costs, how much the tank holds, and how far you have to drive. With a truck, you might be getting something like 10 miles a gallon. Which means it may actually cost you over a hundred dollars to get to work. So you have to be able to absorb THAT cost as well.
Aaaand you also need to know how much it's ACTUALLY going to cost you. When you take out a loan, you are paying interest, which can in some cases actually be MORE than the amount of the loan.
So figure in insurance and gas before you calculate whether you can afford a truck or not.
Also- as others have said, the car starts to lose worth the second you drive it. You're not going to be able to sell it for what you paid for it. You can't make significant improvements on a truck and then sell it later.
With the house- if you ARE going to get one, you should try to do it somewhere near where you will be working so you cut down on your price for gas.
You have to look at other things for your house, too, such as:
Actual worth of the house in practical terms- how many rooms do you have? How much property?
Where I am right now, I can get a house built from maybe 1900-1960, 3-4 bedrooms with property attached, convenient to town, for less than 100k.
Move 20 miles closer to the city, and that price goes way up.
Repairs- most older houses have some issues that need to be dealt with. If you can do it yourself, then you need to calculate time and materials. If not, then you have to calculate cost of repairs.
It's not a great deal if you immediately have to replace the roof, or if you find out after buying it that the wiring was done badly and all has to be redone or that the bathroom is crawling with black mold under the tiles.
Make SURE you get it inspected by someone YOU choose, and they tell you EVERYTHING that is wrong with the house and get everything in writing. We had to sue an inspector once after they passed a house we purchased, then it turned out that it was actually very, very unsafe (exposed wires, black mold, fire hazards everywhere, parts of the foundation going bad). We managed to get enough money to correct the problems but it would have been better and easier in the long run to just have gotten a different house.
Bills- older houses also tend to be inefficient. Many have little or no insulation and doors and windows that don't fit properly. You may be spending $300 a month to keep it above freezing in the winter. Same goes for air conditioning.
Property tax, etc- depending on where you are, this can be really low or REALLY high. Taxes out here are maybe $200 a year. Taxes for a similar place, even without the property, in the city nearby are more like $2000.
As mentioned, a house is a better choice. It will appreciate in value and you will build equity, which will help you buy another house if you ever choose to move. You also get to do anything and everything you want with your own house, unlike a rental.