That's cool - we're not the only ones!
Here's our plan so far (which is always subject to change for a better deal):
DH was laid off November of last year...we took his entire 401k as a distribution the first of January. We did it then because the tax implications would be much lower this year with little to no income than they would have been last year with his salary. Although many people frown on taking out your 401k, we felt like it didn't make sense to leave it in there to make money just so we could turn around and *borrow* money for 30 years.
The 401k netted us enough to build a 32 x 38 basement into a hill with a walkout, including excavation. We might be able to save $$ on this still. I have a feeling the first estimate came back high.
DH now wants to have a gambrel roof built on top of the basement with site-built trusses making the inside of the roof completely open (barn-style). When we have money later, we can put a floor in there and it will become living space.
We're keeping our bedrooms in the basement to cut air-conditioning needs in the summer. We'll put in a small kitchen that will become a basement kitchenette down the road, a small bathroom with shower stall and a little living area. The gambrel part will become a big kitchen (both dh & I cook a LOT and this is where we always want to put our money in any house), a larger family room & a second bathroom.
If we can get the basement part with the roof and septic hookup finished by June, along with enough interior to get a certificate of occupancy, we can get that tax rebate next year for 20% of our building costs. I'm beginning to think that's a tall order, but if we could do it, then I'd feel OK to borrow the 20% knowing it would come back to us in a few months.
We have lots of Amish in our area, so electricity actually isn't required for occupancy.
Once we can move in, we could sell our mobile for around $10,000, so we could start making the gambrel part into finished space.
Other small things we're considering...there are currently tax deductions (not as good as the rebates, but still something) for putting in big energy saving systems in new construction. The deductions are for 30% of the cost of purchase AND installation, and they include wind power, solar power, geo-thermal & I think solar water heaters? Anyway, it might work out to incorporate some of these bigger ticket items in our new house and pay little difference from a conventional system when you factor in the tax help.
Also, we have many red cedars on our property, so dh has been cutting them down and letting them begin to cure so we can use these for the siding on the opposite sides of the roof. We also have a huge walnut that fell last year in our woods over a creek. The position it fell into gave itself a natural termite barrier. We're considering having a local sawmill turn that into some hardwood flooring for us. Walnut flooring is a bit excessive, I guess, but it's better than letting it sit there and rot. I'd love to be able to get some kitchen cabinet lumber out of it too.
So I know that's a lot of info and details
, but maybe it will spark something in the brainstorming process.
And thanks for the input on the swimming pool liner. That has now become our backup plan if we can't go on to do the roof yet!