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Thread: Building Your Home w/o A Mortgage

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckinMike View Post
    Start building it and don't look back. But if you are in a high property tax area I would suggest building it with camouflage in mind. A friend of mine lives in a barn/home and he saves thousands every year. Our homes are close to the same square footage but I pay over three times what he pays - we're in the same county and out of the nearest city limits by 3-4 miles.

    TMike
    That's absolutely great! The outside could look like a crappy barn, and the inside could be like a mansion.

    I re-did the exterior of the house I'm selling, and the city came along and valued it higher than I'm selling it for. 8/
    Well, I got Rand started on his campaign (just search around here to see). I advised Thomas Massie before he ran for Congress. I am currently advising 2 liberty campaigns for the state legislature. I ran the war-room and won Minnesota for Ron Paul a few weeks back. There are other things I'm probably forgetting.
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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrancisMarion View Post

    If you are building without a mortgage, then you are building w/o a loan. Forget the inspector, forget the code. The code is a racket and a standard for those that don't know how to build. Do you think vernacular architecture that has lasted generations would pass code? Building codes have killed the beauty in residential architecture.
    Agreed. However, if you ever want to sell your house, the municipality can make you bring it up to code in order to do so - assuming they keep on eye on these thongs, and if not, a buyer may rat you out.

    If you build way out of code, you may have to rebuild the whole house in order to meet code in order to sell.

  4. #33

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    My folks built their own house debt free. We lived in a tipi on the property during the summer building season. Dad did a lot of demo jobs to get materials. I think I spent a couple summers of my young life pulling nails out of boards. We had an outhouse for a couple years and the house is funky, but still in great shape 20 years later. We built in stages. Once the basement was done, we would cook and so forth in there and sleep inside during the winter. From a kid's perspective, building yourself in stages and from scrounged stuff was a blast. We always had fort and tree-house material. Our friends thought we were so lucky to have a tipi and cook so much over open fires. We did this in Alaska, where it wasn't always pleasant outside.
    A friend's family put up a Quonset hut and insulated really well. They lived in it while they built a big house debt free in much the same way as my family. When the big house was done, they had a quaint guest house.

  5. #34

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    I knew a couple in the 90's who bought an acre of land and then parked a motor home on it and lived in it while they spent all their disposible income building the house (which was most of their income). They had 2 young kids (6 and 8ish), 2 German Shepards, cat and hamster. It took them about 2 1/2 yrs (with a combined income of ~ 75k) but they ended up with a 2 level house around 2500 square feet and no mortgage. The home cost around 100k (doing a lot of the work themselves) along with their construction savvy friends) and was worth ~ 150k when it was finished. It would sell for around 250k today.

  6. #35

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    When I was in my 20s and single I started looking for land to settle down on figuring I would be getting married eventually.

    The plan was to pay for the land and then build a garage with a living space upstairs and also set it up as a two or three car garage but close off one of the spaces for a living area as well. I figured the price would come out to about $50k for the garage and land. I had almost that much at the time saved up.

    The plan was to live in the garage and then slowly build up the house from the ground up one step at a time as the money came available.

    Then I got married and all of that went out the window.
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    http://www.budgethomekits.com/plans

    Found this earlier while poking around the net. The largest unit they make is the Texan (of course, right?) 3,000sq/ft $39,000.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkblots View Post
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  8. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by roho76 View Post
    http://www.budgethomekits.com/plans

    Found this earlier while poking around the net. The largest unit they make is the Texan (of course, right?) 3,000sq/ft $39,000.
    That's pretty nifty--wish they had pictures of what the houses look like though.

    This one: MacArthur 1080 sq ft, at $18,790 is affordable enough to buy as an in-law suite and plunk down on your property.

    Well, I got Rand started on his campaign (just search around here to see). I advised Thomas Massie before he ran for Congress. I am currently advising 2 liberty campaigns for the state legislature. I ran the war-room and won Minnesota for Ron Paul a few weeks back. There are other things I'm probably forgetting.
    Yet I can't afford $200 to go to a seminar--Matt Collins

  9. #38

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    Any opinions of the Earthships?
    "Time is catching up with me." -Ron Paul

  10. #39

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    This family figured it out and discovered what is important. Interesting video to watch.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y15dxUZN3s

  11. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple View Post
    Any opinions of the Earthships?
    they are great if you can get free labor to do the tire pounding, but if you have to pay for labor it gets expensive quick.

    i would rather build a rammed earth home, in the earthship style (passive solar / thermal mass). rammed earth lends itself to being mechanized (tractor bucket to pour into the forms, air tamper to compact).

    as for the design, im not a huge fan on the indoor biocells, id rather just have the green house type grow beds in the front that i control the water to. other then that i think they are a good design, especially as it relates to mortgage free / self reliant homes.

  12. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kluge View Post
    That's pretty nifty--wish they had pictures of what the houses look like though.
    They had pictures on the main page.
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  13. #42

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    Also from their site: "Note that doors and windows are provided by customer".

    From the looks of it, they provide the frame and the siding. This is about the cheapest part of a house even though it appears to be a large part of a house. You can put up one wall with about $100 worth of material.

    The big money comes in the form of the finishing touches. The windows, plumbing, electric, etc.

    You also have to factor in the foundation and getting permits.

    And when you go to sell the house, it is questionable whether you could list it as a modular, a prefabricated home or a construction built home. The price for the former on a resale is usually much lower.
    Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.

  14. #43

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    Polished Concrete is virtually impervious to the weather. If you do polished concrete, you can expect your structure to outlast you by multiple generations. You've seen it at some athletic buildings in the locker rooms, probably. That glass-smooth shiny concrete that is slippery as hell when it gets wet. These days with modern concrete dyes, they can be made to look nice, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kluge View Post
    That's pretty nifty--wish they had pictures of what the houses look like though.

    This one: MacArthur 1080 sq ft, at $18,790 is affordable enough to buy as an in-law suite and plunk down on your property.

    I know, right? I was just amazed at how little you could pick up a 3,000Sq/Ft house.
    Dishonest money makes for dishonest people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkblots View Post
    Dr. Paul is living rent-free in the minds of the neocons, and for a fiscal conservative, free rent is always a good thing
    NOBP ≠ ABO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icymudpuppy View Post
    Polished Concrete is virtually impervious to the weather. If you do polished concrete, you can expect your structure to outlast you by multiple generations. You've seen it at some athletic buildings in the locker rooms, probably. That glass-smooth shiny concrete that is slippery as hell when it gets wet. These days with modern concrete dyes, they can be made to look nice, too.
    This is what I plan on doing (with the floor at least). I would really like to use concrete for the walls. I'm just wondering what the options and cost are for making it look decent as a living structure. Basically I don't want it to look like I live in a basement. I know there are molds that you put inside the forms to give it a styled look but I have to look into it a little more.
    Dishonest money makes for dishonest people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkblots View Post
    Dr. Paul is living rent-free in the minds of the neocons, and for a fiscal conservative, free rent is always a good thing
    NOBP ≠ ABO

  17. #46
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    Passive vs. Active solar architecture.

    http://mhathwar.tripod.com/thesis/so...chitecture.htm




    Shipping container home ideas:

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    Dishonest money makes for dishonest people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkblots View Post
    Dr. Paul is living rent-free in the minds of the neocons, and for a fiscal conservative, free rent is always a good thing
    NOBP ≠ ABO

  18. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by roho76 View Post
    http://www.budgethomekits.com/plans

    Found this earlier while poking around the net. The largest unit they make is the Texan (of course, right?) 3,000sq/ft $39,000.
    But really, that's not all that "budget" when you can buy used mobile homes.

    Buy 3 14X70s for $10,000 each and put them together. There's your 3,000 feet, for $30,000. And you don't have to do all the work and have all the trouble of essentially being your own general contractor putting together one of these kits. No construction know-how necessary.

    And if you do have construction know-how, then instead just buy the trailers that need work for $5,000 or less.

    This is not as romantic as the other ideas on this thread, I know, but it's far more practical.
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  19. #48

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    This stuff is so interesting and definitely a pet project I'd like to pursue at some point.

    A good buddy from NOLA with no construction experience bought, gutted, and rebuilt a shotgun by himself after Katrina. Really left an impression on me.

    Are there any good forums dedicated to this kind of thing? I've done a bit of Googling but haven't found any that active.

  20. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuckfeynes View Post
    Are there any good forums dedicated to this kind of thing? I've done a bit of Googling but haven't found any that active.
    http://countryplans.com/smf/index.ph...0&action=forum

  21. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by roho76 View Post
    This is what I plan on doing (with the floor at least). I would really like to use concrete for the walls. I'm just wondering what the options and cost are for making it look decent as a living structure. Basically I don't want it to look like I live in a basement. I know there are molds that you put inside the forms to give it a styled look but I have to look into it a little more.
    My floor in my bedroom is polished concrete. The former owner was a contractor so he did it himself.

    Basically the floor is just the poured concrete on the foundation. He then painted the floor a dark brown and then cut large grooves with some sort of saw to make it look like the floor was just a bunch of 3' tiles.

    It looks pretty good but my wife complains constantly (for good reason) about keeping the floor clean. I have 3 dogs and she has to first use a vacuum to pick up the big stuff then go over it again to get the dog hair, then mop it. Then from there she still has not figured out how to get the shine to come back right other than buying lacquer and redoing the floors every once in a while. The best way that the shine could be done would be with one of those buffers you see at the grocery store. We do not have one of those. It literally takes her about 3 hours to do the 600 sqft floor.
    Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.

  22. #51

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    Actually, in another part of our ground floor I plan on pulling up the vinyl fake wood and doing this:

    Last edited by Elwar; 05-09-2012 at 10:23 AM.
    Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.

  23. #52
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    Bump.

    I am going to start designing my new energy efficient home. The wife basically forced me to. I'm trying to do everything without a mortgage. Piece by piece.
    Dishonest money makes for dishonest people.

    Andrew Napolitano, John Stossel. FOX News Liberty Infiltrators.


    Quote Originally Posted by Inkblots View Post
    Dr. Paul is living rent-free in the minds of the neocons, and for a fiscal conservative, free rent is always a good thing
    NOBP ≠ ABO

  24. #53

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    Lacquer absolutely does not belong on concrete!..

    To get a serviceable shine that's fairly easy to maintain use plain old paste wax for furniture/floors.

    If you ever put lacquer or polyurethane on concrete you'll loath the day you need to strip it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elwar View Post
    My floor in my bedroom is polished concrete. The former owner was a contractor so he did it himself.

    Basically the floor is just the poured concrete on the foundation. He then painted the floor a dark brown and then cut large grooves with some sort of saw to make it look like the floor was just a bunch of 3' tiles.

    It looks pretty good but my wife complains constantly (for good reason) about keeping the floor clean. I have 3 dogs and she has to first use a vacuum to pick up the big stuff then go over it again to get the dog hair, then mop it. Then from there she still has not figured out how to get the shine to come back right other than buying lacquer and redoing the floors every once in a while. The best way that the shine could be done would be with one of those buffers you see at the grocery store. We do not have one of those. It literally takes her about 3 hours to do the 600 sqft floor.

  25. #54

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    Something to consider... there is often little or no property tax implication for "temporary structures" with wood foundations like pole barns.
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  26. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by presence View Post
    Something to consider... there is often little or no property tax implication for "temporary structures" with wood foundations like pole barns.
    Interesting.
    Well, I got Rand started on his campaign (just search around here to see). I advised Thomas Massie before he ran for Congress. I am currently advising 2 liberty campaigns for the state legislature. I ran the war-room and won Minnesota for Ron Paul a few weeks back. There are other things I'm probably forgetting.
    Yet I can't afford $200 to go to a seminar--Matt Collins

  27. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by roho76 View Post
    Bump.

    I am going to start designing my new energy efficient home. The wife basically forced me to. I'm trying to do everything without a mortgage. Piece by piece.
    how off grid / energy efficient are you trying to get?

    may i suggest a passive solar, bermed earth home. i have seen a version of this built using rammed earth as the main walls. they had a solar hot water heater and ~2200 watts of solar panels, and were net zero. [wood stove for heat, propane for cooking/backup heating]

    depends on your location and heating/cooling needs.

  28. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by presence View Post
    Something to consider... there is often little or no property tax implication for "temporary structures" with wood foundations like pole barns.
    It has always been suggested to me to pull the permit for a pole barn with dirt floors so it doesn't add to the square footage and therefore being taxable then after having it inspected pour cement then pull the permit for the concrete right before you sell, if you ever do. I'm sure most places you could argue that you're never going to sell it so the city doesn't need to make future tenants safe through building codes. I'm sure after you die the people who purchase the property must tear it down before they can occupy (???) but who knows. You also probably find a few city inspectors who'll go the full distance and take you to court and blah blah blah wasting tax payer money, ect. But they have the guns, right?
    Dishonest money makes for dishonest people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkblots View Post
    Dr. Paul is living rent-free in the minds of the neocons, and for a fiscal conservative, free rent is always a good thing
    NOBP ≠ ABO

  29. #58

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    This is Very common in Europe. Many families build their own homes. A cousin may know drywall. Another may know electrical. Another may do plumbing. They all help each other build each others home. 3 yrs usually. w/o relatives, 5 yrs seems reasonable
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  30. #59

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    Heard negative reviews regard earth. Though earth covered concrete domes seemed so far so good.
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  31. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly. View Post
    how off grid / energy efficient are you trying to get?

    may i suggest a passive solar, bermed earth home. i have seen a version of this built using rammed earth as the main walls. they had a solar hot water heater and ~2200 watts of solar panels, and were net zero. [wood stove for heat, propane for cooking/backup heating]

    depends on your location and heating/cooling needs.
    I'm assessing this right now. I just finished filling my house with LED lights and I'm monitoring electricity usage as we speak. I know the average home requires tons of energy consumption so I'm trying to gauge whether it's realistic. The draw from an oven, refrigerator, washer, dryer is enough to make it damn near a deal breaker financially but I also account for the safety from outside threats as well. Power outages are no more (if done right). I'm hoping that the savings from building it myself will offset the costs of the system and if I can get the draw from the house down then it might be reasonably priced. Solar water heating will also be used.

    As far as the style/materials/efficiency standpoint, The house is going to be basically a trapezoid box made from ICF concrete walls (This will be the most expensive part of the house), concrete floor with radiant heating, and a sloping ceiling made out of insulated roof panels that starts high in the front and maybe 10' in the rear of the house, I scored a bunch of 15' foot beams from the Louisville Paper Company building in downtown Louisville, KY while I was down there the other day for $50/each. I plan on using earth up against the back of the house for the thermal mass and I will develop a grey water collection system from the sloping roof for watering the garden.


    I was standing outside looking at my air conditioner run the other day and I was puzzled that the A/C unit was on the south side of the house that received the most sun all day long in the summer. Why wouldn't they put it on the north side of the home where it would be in the shade therefore for more efficient? I still don't have an answer (unless I want to start going down the energy company/building association conspiracy road).What I would like to do is make a home that can be built by anyone that is open source and available for free. Kind of like the low energy libertarian modular home model that is free and open to the public and anybody can build it.

    In my opinion I don't know why it needs to be any more expensive than these $200,000 cookie cutter boxes we living in today.


    EDIT: I'm also reading everything I can get my hands on that deals with passive homes. If anybody has any links to info I would much appreciate it.
    Last edited by roho76; 07-04-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkblots View Post
    Dr. Paul is living rent-free in the minds of the neocons, and for a fiscal conservative, free rent is always a good thing
    NOBP ≠ ABO

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