While it doesn't solve the problem of land costs, building costs can be dramatically reduced by literally building your house yourself. It is possible!
I've met the author of this excellent book on building your own house and read it myself.
This book on tiny houses is also very well done.
It's clearly possible, if you're handy and willing to do a lot of physical labor.
More alternatives to mortgage debt
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All the better if you are a friendly person, you can get your friends to help. That is if you have friends that do construction for a living buddy of mine has been building his own house for the better part of two years+ now. All the drywall is hung now,,,waiting of the finisher. Its exciting to see it finally come together
Here are quite a few house ideas that are definitely "outside the box thinking"!
I recommend kit homes if you want to build yourself but don't have skills, knowledge, time and construction abilities plus man-power resources.
You can get a modest sized usable home for built no more than $60,000 max... You can find cheap land ($10,000-$30,000) somewhere rural with building approved permits along with the utilities.
You can have a fully paid brand-new home within 1-3 years depending on home much you spend for the kit and land along with your budget.
It can even only cost $15,000 - $20,000 to build something for only one person sitting on cheap land.
A Realtor® will never mention something like cheap kit-homes & buying cheap usable land to avoid their financial ass-rape.
But then again...
Most Americans are too stupid to even consider at least a cheap good quality kit home built in a cheap decent rural area that is just as good if not many times better than the overpriced piece of 50 year old DUMP in some yuppie suburb that will never be paid off in their lifetime with a shit load of problems due to age and neglect.
I wanted to build one but I could not sell it to the wife. This is pretty much disaster proof and efficient.
It is simple to build:
1) Build a tension ring
2) Put the form on the ring
3) Inflate the form
4) Spray the foam in
5) Hang the rebar
6) Spray in the shotcrete
7) Finish the home how you like
Well we're married with kids now but if I had it to do over again I'd have bought and lived in a motorhome (depending on the state).
In California you pay vehicle taxes based on value so some folks with expensive RVs can pay big dollars in registration fees. However in TX our RV registration fees are reasonable (as is Oregon where we also lived, you pay by the foot length of the RV there regardless of age, value, or weight). In TX our property taxes are quite expensive so by using a movable vehicle to live in you get assessed only on unimproved land. When I was single I could totally have lived in an RV, and some retired couples do so full time.
Depends on needs and wants but certainly agree if you have the time and skills you can save A LOT of money by doing it yourself. Hasn't this always been true? Buy a $20 book on plumbing or a $20 book on electrical and save yourself hundreds or thousands doing it yourself. I even considered that the first few "oopsies" of wasted materials were certainly cheaper than calling in an electrician or plumber. Many homes and many repairs later I'm perfectly comfortable splitting our two tank hot water heater setup so my son's bathroom can only draw off the first tank leaving the second/both tanks available for our master bath. No more pissed off wife when the teen drained both hot water tanks!
Currently running electrical, cold and hot water from the attic out through eves to a buried trench to supply a new outdoor kitchen. We hired out the concrete pour, pergola, and basic kitchen construction because the guy was cheap. I'm doing the parts that would require specialized licensed people. I also overbuild things like putting each water and the electrical in individual conduits so I could snake new lines if ever needed due to a freeze or future cut line problem.
We're considering having the general contractor who was cheap but good build us a detached garage (slab, framing, roofing at least). I'd probably still do the plumbing and electrical to save on that. Nothing prevents a homeowner from doing their own work on their own home, license or not. Hire out what you can find cheaply or just don't want to do and dive and do what parts you want. If that garage gets built it'll probably be me who installs a solar PV system and SHW because the closest commercial installers are 3 hours away.
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