Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas
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Here in Western Arkansas, the cookie cutter houses 3bed/2bath on about 1/4 acre are running about 100K.
But I don't really know for sure - we were extremely blessed when it came for our home purchase here.
We went from renting a 3 bed/2bath no yard in the city for $350/month to buying 2 acres in the country on a dead end road, complete with utilities and mobile home for only $178/month.
Raw land runs about 5K per acre. We attempted a raw land buy at first, but with renting and all city utilities, we couldn't afford to build anything - our total land payment for both the rent house and the raw land was about $500 per month.
So when we lucked out and got this land we currently live on (a friend through a friend through a friend deal) we immediatly snatched it up, although both DH and I were not too happy about living in a mobile home here in tornado alley.
Now here's something that will make your jaw drop. We took the savings of about $300 per month and started saving it to build our own house. We did 90% of it ourselves. Dh is an ex-construction worker and current electrician, so that helped!
We used concrete for the outer walls and the one inner room to be used as storage and a safe room (tornadoes, ya know). Rebar in all the blocks, and poured concrete for more support. Regular wooden roof (Yeah, the roof will probably go during a tornado! However, the safe room has a very secure concrete rebar ceiling). All other inner walls are sheet rocked. Within a year of do it ourselves, we moved in to a very bare home. However, paying as we went, our home is completely paid for and we only have the $178 land payment still. I still have no doors on many rooms and eventually we are going to brick the outside instead of the concrete look. And now for the real jaw dropper - we have only spent $20,000-25,000. It would have been about 3K less, but we had to get a concrete truck out here to pour the concrete for us and there was about a week's worth of lost wages when DH took off to do the roof. Oh yeah, the house itself is one story, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage, eat in kitchen, and approximately 2400 sq. ft.
I'll admit, it has NOT been easy and we are still working on the interior every day. A lot of my walls are still plain sheet rock, and like I said I have no doors on many rooms. The 2nd bath for the kiddos is not in use yet, I have a piece of plywood for a huge doorway in my kitchen where the sliding glass door will eventually go. One bedroom is used for storage and is unfinished as well, since the youngest two are still sharing a room. The back door just had cheaply stacked concrete blocks for steps, as we plan to add a deck there in a few years. Our appliciances are older than dirt (taken out from the mobile home). But it is so worth it to us to not have the outrageous mortgage - and our home owner's insurance is pretty low, as we are very tornado safe.