Building on a Shoestring
We are getting ready to move home. The plan had been to build in another year and a half, but we are looking at going ahead and moving a year early. I had been looking at what we wanted to do for a while, pricing houses and looking at options. To retire, we want to be debt free. We already have all our cars paid off and are doing well in that way. We do have one younger son, and two in college, but other than that we are doing pretty well.
The tough spot being 1. downsizing – it’s amazing what we have collected and 2. selling our current home. But our plan is to build with the equity in our current home. I’ve looked at stick built, manufactured, modular, and buying in other locations…. Buying a home was eliminated pretty quickly with our time frame because there isn’t anything available that meets what we want in a school district that we want right now. – Part of the issue of retiring with a child still in elementary school. Modular seem to rank higher than manufactured and have more options, so they are a little higher on the list. In my price range many of the builders pretty much turned up their noses at me. I did find one that is willing to build for the price that we want to spend. So we must choose from one stick built builder and a modular home.
The stick built design in the price range we want is about 6 to 700 sq feet smaller than the modular we are looking at in the same price range and isn’t as turn key. Turn key being we can walk in and it’s done. That being said, as the stick built is being completed, we would have more options to make changes… but those would most likely come at a cost. The builder would be willing to work with us. We could do some work ourselves to save money, but we also would have to do some work ourselves – and it’s not that easy for us to just run up and finish something quickly…
To budget everything, I’ve also tried to get in touch with contractors that do well and septic systems. What I’ve found so far, is that most don’t like to return phone calls. I’m not sure if it’s because of me being and individual calling or if it’s because they just have too much work to do, but I gave up on one well company after leaving many messages. Another septic company, I left several messages, including one explaining I would be in town that weekend. They only returned a call after I called back the next week to leave a message that it was too late. I gave them a second chance and they didn’t show up or call for that either. I’ve finally cut ties with that contractor under the assumption that if they can’t handle returning calls or showing up when they say they will – or even at least keeping people up to date they aren’t going to service their products. The bonus of one of the modular builders is that they will act as general contractor for no cost and handle getting septic and well completed.
Even with my plan of building on a small budget though, I do want to keep from skimping on a few things. We don’t want to cut corners on things like our septic tank and then have toilets or sinks that back up constantly and need visits to be cleaned out.
Living out in the country though will be a ‘new’ experience, despite growing up there. I moved to the city to go to college, over 30 years ago and haven’t lived at home since. – That was more than half my life ago… living on the farm again will bring back silence (if you count crickets all night and dogs barking as they chase raccoons as silence), neighbors not being next door, mice everywhere (that’s a constant battle), possums in the trash, coyotes in the yard, and even deer walking past randomly.
Right now we are watching the weather to decide if we can visit, and plan out the next step….
It’s time for a new adventure!