Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are in the very early planning stages here. (The dreaming and saving part!) DH and I are dreaming of someday building a strawbale house. We want to live in the country and have a couple acres of land. Cheaper land around here costs $10,000-15,000/acre (unless you buy ALOT of land, then it's cheaper per acre).<br><br><b>I was wondering if it would work to buy land, and build a small house, then after a couple of years, build our dream house (nothing terribly huge) and then rent out our little house. Make sense?</b><br><br>
Small house about the size of this <a href="http://www.conestogalogcabins.com/pages/products/14-7x27/14-7x27.html" target="_blank">one</a> that we could make ourselves. We both have family who are in construction.<br><br>
Pros:<br>
-we could get out of the city (we both grew up in the country and miss it!)<br>
-have the benefit of land sooner: chickens, garden etc<br>
-save money and build as we go instead of a large mortgage<br>
-having an "extra" house means that over the years we could rent it out for money, let guests stay in it, let parents/family stay in it (say like if my parents get really old, we could take care of them)<br><br>
Cons:<br>
-might still cost a lot getting started<br>
-still need to drill well, sewer, hook up phone/electricity<br>
-have to wait longer for our "real" house<br><br>
Also, how close would the 2 buildings have to be to share a sewer system and well? Assuming that it's ok.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br><br>
Looking forward to some answers.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/thanks.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thanks">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,776 Posts
Ooooh I say Do It! Those cabins are sweet. How many are in your family? A tiny space isn't so bad for just two or three people, but if you have six kids and six dogs or whatever it might not be such a good idea. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
One suggestion: remember when building your little house not to put it in the best building site where you'll want your dream house eventually! I've heard of people doing this and kicking themselves for it later.<br><br>
We just bought a tiny house on a big lot in town and plan to do the same thing. However, our tiny house is 700 square feet, not exactly a little cabin. And it's already built. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Good Luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,952 Posts
We had planned on doing this, and then using the small house for Dh's office, he really needs a seperate work space. As soon as we broke ground, my dad talked us into a different plan, he was our contracter. We ended up adding on some to the tiny house to make it livable for a growing family for several years, but not the full size we wanted it to be someday. We built the house so it would be very easy to add on to when we had the $, and we could do so with minimal remodeling of the existing house. It basicially can just be extended in the back witout affecting the rest of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
My grandparents did similar, they built a garage for their motorhome (while living in the motorhome in our driveway) & included a 1 bedroom "apartment" in that building, then lived in the apartment while building the house.<br><br>
But, I'd look at your rental market & make sure there's a market for renting such a small single family home too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
We thought about doing this, then decided to stay in our house in town about 30 minutes away and wait to build our dream house. This was about 4 years ago and we are really growing out of our current house now, but are in the beginning stages of planning our dream house so I think we're on track. We would have had to do the same thing - drill a well and do a septic system PLUS invest in some solar and/or wind power and we figured all that expense was not worth it. We will do all that when we build our real house and move out there permanently.<br><br>
We are planning an extra room in our house to accomodate guests. My husband talks about another little cabin sometime down the road, but again the electricity/water/sewer issues keep me from thinking it's feasible. I don't see my parents wanting to stay in a no-electricity no-bathroom cabin when they could just stay in our guest room.<br><br>
But that's just us! Where we live currently is a small town and not "city" at all. Our house is livable and we have 5 animals and 2 home-based businesses so our minimum living space is pretty big - we couldn't live in a small cabin and stay sane.<br><br>
Keep us posted on what you decide!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think that DH and I could totally live in a smaller cabin for a couple years, as long as we had a larger yard to escape too! Right now we live in an apartment block, facing another ugly apartment block. I feel like those chickens in big chicken barns that are packed into cages, one on top of the other. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I think that a small cabin in the country would be easy enough to rent out later. I would love to rent a place like that right now! Picture it, a cute little cabin, picket fenced yard with room for a garden out back. Beautiful.<br><br>
Another thing, I'm not sure we could get a mortgage loan for building a strawbale home. The CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) is currently doing tests on whether it's sound or not. Maybe in a couple years it will be ok, I don't know. But if we saved money first, then built, it wouldn't be a problem.<br><br>
Hmmmm. It's something to think about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,099 Posts
Many people around here build a shop with an apartment in it. Then they build their house<br><br>
After the house is built and they move in and have a guest house <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I wouldn't want to rent because part of living in the country for me is having no neighbors nearby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
DH and I were thinking about doing this by living in a renovated single-wide while saving up to build. I'm just afraid of how long it will take us to actually finish a house if we know we have a perfectly good place to live in the meantime...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,231 Posts
We are doing this, currently in our 26ft RV but building the 'bunkhouse' which is about 520 sq feet, then will be building our log cabin slowly as soon as this is finished. I think its a great plan personally and well worth it. DH's motivation is he can't stand up in the shower! This will be my office/guest house when we are done, storage and living in the meantime, plus the RV which is actually very comfortable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,777 Posts
A few months before I was born, my parents bought 50 acres with a small, old house (not a cabin) and planned to live there until Dad built the dream house. We moved in when I was 10, after a threat of moving out all together from my mom if we didn't get out of the small, old house soon (they had 3 kids by then). The new house wasn't finished, and for a while the floors in the living room were slabs of plywood draped across the joists. They have flooring down in most places now, but still have the "temporary" stairs. They moved in 17 years ago. Not saying it will necessarily happen to you.... I think a lot of the problem was that Dad was running a business at the same time, and he was bartering for labour/salvaging/scrounging for materials. And trying to figure out how to do most of it on his own. I'm not trying to rain on your parade; I would like for us to build a house someday, and I would be willing to live in a tent over the summer if we figured we could get a kitchen & somewhere to sleep up quickly. But I would try not to make my parents' mistakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,485 Posts
How about buying property w/ a small old house on it already, adn then building? We have been saving our entire marriage, and we are planning to start our dream house in 2008! By the time we move in , we will hav elived in the old house almost 10 years, but we have saved so much money, we won't owe a ton on the new house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
We considered this, although we found a great 900 sf log cabin (owner built from a kit 6 years ago) and are living in it now, on 25 acres, with plans to add onto the cabin.<br><br>
Check out <a href="http://www.firstdaycottage.com" target="_blank">www.firstdaycottage.com</a> - you can definitely get building loans for them. Also <a href="http://www.northeasternlog.com" target="_blank">www.northeasternlog.com</a> - this is where our cabin came from, and it was $24k US for the shell and it's 900 sf.<br><br>
Mortgage Free! by Rob Roy talks about this idea of the "temporary shelter" while you build the big house. His idea is that you live in the temp shelter for a couple of years while building. All from cash. Using cordwood, which is inexpensive to build with (but labor intensive).<br><br>
The houses would have to be pretty close together to share septic and well.<br><br>
When we looked at costs, we found that for a $40k, 1400 sf First Day cottage, we'd be looking at $80k in additional costs - that is doing all the labor ourselves except plumbing and pouring the foundation. In general they do say to triple the cost of a kit to figure how much it would cost total to build. In US dollars, where we are, a septic system is $5-15k, a well is $8-10k, and a foundation for a small-ish house depends, but is at least $5k for a slab. It can be much more depending on how much excavating they need to do. Then figure putting in a driveway (even just gravel, or even just dirt!, costs a good bit) and all the site prep (removing trees, leveling ground, etc). There are a lot of costs even with a tiny cabin.<br><br>
I also don't want to rain on your parade, but we found that the costs are really much greater than we originally thought. We do have a mortgage on our cabin, but it's easier for us to pay down the mortgage with my dh's income (he is a teacher) while we homestead part-time, than to try to "do it all" - this is just what we have found works for us, after years of dreaming and saving!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
We're considering this too. We are talking about either putting up a yurt as our temp home while we build with cordwood or hay bales or building a garage with an apartment on top of it. We'd like to rent out the first building. THey yurt could even be rented as a yoga studio or retreat. OR- buils the garage/ apt which would double as a rental and workshop. We're still toying with the idea. We have the 5 acres in Utah- now we have to pay it off and figure out the next step! Happy to see people here thinking the same things! Not that that is a surprise!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
We're planning to do something like this. We want to buy around 10 acres, live on it in a tent from spring to fall, during which we'll put up a winterized one-room cabin (with one or possibly two lofts). Then we'll live in the cabin while we get the "main" house built. There are many possible later uses for the cabin.<br><br>
Our current home needs work before we put it on the market. So we'll do that in the next couple of years and bid our time until our kids are slightly older and more independent. I can't imagine doing it right now (kids are 2-1/2, 4, 6-1/2, and 8) but in 2-3 years I think it would work.<br><br>
I think around here we'll be required to have septic, and we're planning to start with grid power if possible to simplify things (later we'd love to be off-grid, but...)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,035 Posts
We're living on our 7 acres in an old mobile home. We paid $3K for it and spent about another $1K for fixing some of the flooring, replacing carpet and the bathtub.<br><br>
I'd be leary of planning on having someone else live on my land later on. Would you want that? And if you planned on selling it to someone else then you've got that whole pesky shared well thing going. It may also cause troubles w/who pays for what if the well goes to pot, yk? If you're renting it out I guess that's different. But again, do you want someone next door?<br><br>
We bought our mobile home figuring we'd be in it 3-4 years max. So far it's been a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
We've been living in our temporary doublewide for a year now, while we have been building our home <a href="http://pic2.picturetrail.com/VOL983/3632184/12948858/205731717.jpg" target="_blank">http://pic2.picturetrail.com/VOL983/.../205731717.jpg</a> It is starting to get crazy with 3 adults and 4 kids. We are really needing some space, but hopefully we will be able to move in January sometime. It can be done!<br><br>
We have already set up renters for the temp house. Folks I've known for a long time and they will be 1/4 mile from the new house, so far enough to not be on top of us, but close enough to keep an eye on the joint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
THAT is a cool website! I didn't read it all, but I wonder if they use or have an option for green materials, ie: no pressure treated, chemical laden wood. I'll check it out some more. Thanks for posting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,093 Posts
We're going to be doing this. There is a tiny cottage on the property that we'll be staying in while we save money to build a straw bale home. We are also toying with the idea of lifting the house up and building a lower floor underneath. The house is on a hill, so the lower floor would become the main floor, but be built underground and poke out of the side of the hill, if that makes sense. The only problem with this plan is that it'll leave us homeless while we renovate! Plus, I've drawn a floor plan that I've fallen in love with, and would be disappointed if I couldn't create it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
The only thing that makes me nervous about living in the cottage is the lack of plumbing. We'll have to add that, and run a line out for electricity (it's currently running off of a battery system.) We found a link for a Canadian organization that gives out forgivable loans to improve homes that lack the basic needs, so hopefully we'll be approved for that.<br><br>
Also, there is also NO extra space for a washer/dryer. Yikes! No clue how we'll deal with that. Problem number two is going to be storing our stuff. The cottage is furnished, which is great because our king sized bed is larger than the "master bedroom." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> And the kids will have to share a room. We'll be going from a three story, four bedroom house in the city, to a teensy tiny 400square foot cottage out in the middle of nowhere. We'll have a lot of stuff to downgrade and sell.<br><br>
On the plus side, the small space will give us lots of incentive to save/build, as we sloooowly go crazy from being in such an enclosed space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
We're rethinking doing this again. Our latest idea is to rent while we build an earth burmed "studio"- one bedroon, small kitchen, living room, bathroom. and live in that while we build the dream house. Then the studio can become a guest house/ rental/ studio!!<br>
We'll see.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top