Author Topic: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.  (Read 5213 times)

supershrpy

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Four years ago I built a brand new home and the payment is only 253 a month at a 15yr mortgage @ 3.5%. I only make around 32-33k a year depending on how much I work.

When I built the home I had a company build only the shell for me and I finished it myself. The shell is foundation, siding, windows, doors, shingles, etc. My house is not very big. It's a one bedroom home with a screened in porch that can be made into a extra bedroom in the future. The screened in porch is covered and on a block foundation. The home is built on a crawlspace with vinyl siding. I was able to get many materials from salvage yards and done much of it myself such as insulation, flooring, trim, installation of doors, and cabinets. I also installed a radiant barrier myself using atticfoil.com. For the things I did not know how to do to I subcontracted it out - electrical, plumbing, HVAC, holding tank for sewer, and drywall.

I found a very good deal on flooring from builddirect.com 12mm laminate for 1.09 a sq foot. Shipping I can't remember, me and my friend went in on it and got sent to his house.

Total sq. footage is 552 but with extra bedroom the living area (10x14 140sq ft) would come to 692. I also have a 6 foot by 14 foot covered front porch. Total land is right over half an acre .52. I got the plans from countryplans.com and modified them a little somewhat.

What I have learned is that you if you build a split heat pump unit is the cheapest. I did not do this however and wish in many ways I did. I have gas heat and it's gas package unit that sits outside of the house - air conditioner or compressor is inside the unit. The inside uses ducts that are ran in the crawlspace. Heating unit is very quiet it is a Trane.

I went into this knowing that the smaller I build the better - less maintenance, heating and cooling, less property tax, and insurance. I chose vinyl siding because it's practically maintenance free. My main goal is to eventually rent my house out in the future. At this point in time I could do so and get a return. However, the bank did not appraise the house what I wanted - which isn't a huge deal considering I will rent. But, to liquify the asset it may be a problem - if housing does not go up in my area. I built in a crappy area - land was cheap so.. but I didn't care. But, I live in the city in my area and very close in to the highway. This was a huge plus for me as that I didn't want to drive way out in the country to get home and to get groceries etc...


What I have learned is that there are 2 things that hold people back from building wealth - pride and lack of perspective. Being prideful blinds people to making the best decisions - they want the nicest car, and biggest home in the nicest area, etc.. And lack of perspective meaning that people have no idea what they will do in the future. If you fail to plan you will plan to fail. Simple as that. Life is like a chess game - choose your moves carefully because the decisions you make in life will ultimately determine the quality of life in which you live. It has taken me a while to get where I am, but right now I am able to save about 58% of my income.

The only debt I have is the house and a plastic shed I bought from home depot - owing about 962 I believe - got in on sale and 0% for 6 months. Will be paid off next check or so.

Any questions just ask..
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 12:25:37 AM by supershrpy »

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 07:32:52 AM »

What I have learned is that there are 2 things that hold people back from building wealth - pride and lack of perspective. Being prideful blinds people to making the best decisions - they want the nicest car, and biggest home in the nicest area, etc.. And lack of perspective meaning that people have no idea what they will do in the future. If you fail to plan you will plan to fail. Simple as that. Life is like a chess game - choose your moves carefully because the decisions you make in life will ultimately determine the quality of life in which you live. It has taken me a while to get where I am, but right now I am able to save about 58% of my income. .

So true. You've made some pretty good moves. A house build is tough no matter how big and how much is outsourced. Sounds like you did a really nice job.

Axecleaver

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 11:30:42 AM »
That is pretty badass. Did you have any challenges with inspections or occupancy permit? How expensive was it for water (drilled well, or municipal?) and electric hookups? Did you do it all alone or did you have help?

supershrpy

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2016, 03:37:59 PM »
Thanks guys!

The permits I had to do was the electrical and plumbing - no cost for plumbing inspection. A guy from city came in looked around and said plumbing was good. And, I did have to get the house plans approved (no cost there). A building permit was required and I really don't remember the cost. It has been a while. 350 I think?? The water hookup was already on site (water meter) - from city water (a house was once on property but been bulldozed), but I did have to pay to get it "turned on" it wasn't too much can't remember under 200 bucks I think. I paid 500 to have the water line run from the meter to underneath the house for water hookup. And did have to pay for the permit in electrical to get it turned on. I can't remember the price but I think maybe 175ish?? I am connected to city sewer but the line does not run down my street. So I ended up having to get a "holding tank" like a septic tank with a sewage pump inside the tank - then the pump - pumps the sewage up the hill into the sewer connection. This was around 2,700 I think I may have paid a little more for the labor but been so long ago. Gas hookup was 300. They ran the line directly to my house next to the crawlspace where I needed it (gas meter). Cost to hook it up to my tankless gas hot water heater was like 175 and also hooked up to the gas package unit. If I had went with the split heat pump unit would have saved a lot (the type I am referring to are ductless and they are units attached to the wall with a outside compressor type thing). Ductwork was 1,400 and gas package unit was like 3,500 I think. The problem with split heat pump is that it would only be effective down to like 40 or so - would need emergency heat like electrical or gas after that - which would require a heating unit in home like a gas fireplace (unvented most efficient) or vented gas unit on wall. I was afraid of the small size of home with unvented gas unit - carbon monoxide. Electrical heat is worst when it comes to efficiency. But, heat pump is most efficient which is electric but works different from straight electric heat. Kinda wish I would have went with a gas package unit that has heat pump and then gas as the back up heat. It gets pretty cold here. I live in East TN. 

City taxes was 152 this year and county taxes 269.

Electrical was most expensive around 4k I believe... The plumbing was 1,850. The cost of those was everything hooking up to appliances, fans, bathtub, dishwasher etc. If I had more knowledge I would have tried to attempt this myself. At the time I worked 4 days a week nightshift. Now I work only weekends 2 days a week. Two 16 hour shifts. I am thinking about going to electrical school to learn the trade and that way if I get another house or build etc I would have the knowledge behind me. Would also like to learn plumbing. In my extra lot I have I thought about doing the same over but with more knowledge and trades of electrical, plumbing, and drywall. Currently my work schedule would allow me to learn new trades. Drywall I subbed out too. Finishing and everything for drywall was 1,800.

I was able to finish the house in under 2 years but I refinanced last June. The company that built my home - shell - had their financing through a bank in Arizona. The payment was just 203 a month for 2 years. This allowed me 2 years to complete it. About 1,800 a year in interest I paid. Was around 35k for the shell. 

There was no mention of occupancy permits. My town is pretty lax with that kind of stuff. 

CATman

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 09:53:50 PM »
That's pretty darn amazing. I've thought about doing something like this for myself, but I had no idea how to go about it. I feel way more confident investing time in research now that I know someone's done it.

As far as the heat, have you considered a small wood burning stove or marine stove? They are fairly common in tiny homes and should have no problem heating a place your size.

Axecleaver

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2016, 10:54:57 PM »
A small wood stove would be a great addition to that place. You can often find wood for free if you're willing to go get it - take a tree down in someone's yard or clear out some trees that people don't want. Cut, split and let it age for a year and you're good to go. Need a truck or a cart to transport, though. I've also heard about people using rocket stoves with waste oil for small houses. You can get plans for these, free fuel is plentiful, and they're remarkably efficient. On the other hand, they do take up valuable real estate inside, and it doesn't sound like you have a ton of free space as it is.

Drywall is pretty easy to do, the taping is where the art is. $1800 is probably money well spent, it's pretty frustrating retaping if your standards are high. Electricians have to do journeyman work for a period of time (two years?) before they're able to be licensed, I think, so check into that to see if you're willing to put that much time into it. But once you're licensed, you can find work almost anywhere. Everybody is always looking for good electricians and plumbers.

supershrpy

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2016, 10:53:31 PM »
Yes I have thought about a wood stove. But, I have heard, not researched that some insurance companies don't like wood burning stoves. Apart from that I may have had to get it inspected and all that. The way my house is built is that I would have to have a chimney and when the company built the shell they didn't cut a hole in roof or anything for it. Nevertheless, if I put a wood stove in I would have to put a chimney in and now it would be much more difficult considering there is already insulation and stuff in the ceiling along with the radiant barrier. I didn't put a place in the ceiling to get to the attic b/c I used energy efficient trusses. They are shaped in such a way that it is almost impossible to move around up there even if I did have access. I have researched rocket mass heaters and the problem with them is that there can be smoke that comes back into the house. You have to constantly heat them for hours for them to warm up. If I put one in I would have to cut a hole in the side of my house in the front pretty much because of the way the house is designed and by doing that a pipe would be seen that would be odd looking. I could perhaps put it in my bedroom but there isn't much room there. According the videos I have watched it looks like if you want to do it right you need to put a long section of snaking pipe around and make a couch or something. Although I could perhaps but a regular wood burning stove in my bedroom if the pipe could go through the wall. Again this wouldn't be as efficient and the pipe I am sure would be very hot and worried about the heat going through the wall.

About the electrician work, I need to check to make sure as to how long it would take. In my area they are pretty lax about things so I could learn the trade and still work I am sure. But, it is always best to make sure before investing time and energy.

HoppySwede

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 06:07:14 PM »
This is one of my favorite posts in the entire forum. Do you have any photos you'd share? I have been legitimately thinking about pulling the trigger on developing a 1 acre site in my current neighborhood once I sell my house (2 year lived-in slow flip).

supershrpy

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 07:41:39 PM »
This is one of my favorite posts in the entire forum. Do you have any photos you'd share? I have been legitimately thinking about pulling the trigger on developing a 1 acre site in my current neighborhood once I sell my house (2 year lived-in slow flip).

Thanks man!! Yes I have a few.. I wish I had taken more while they were building it.. I also have a video on youtube as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPMChplr19o - shell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpnUYVcUXtQ - partly finished video..

And some pics:




CATman

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 10:20:27 PM »
I love your home! I wish more people saw the joys of smaller living and being more self reliant. The world would be a much happier and sustainable place. I would love to find a small plot near a beach someday and build a small home just like this for my post FIRE days. When I'm not out traveling the world that is.

supershrpy

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 11:37:24 AM »
Thanks!! What attracted me most to a small home is lower house payment, lower utility bills, and easier to maintain etc..

If I had to do this all over again, (hindsight is always 20/20) I would have went to a lawyer and divided the land out into 2 separate lots (2 lots really but deeded out as one lot when purchased). The reason for this is that I could have still built my house, but would have still owned the other lot free and clear. In order for me to build the shell of the house I had to put down the land as collateral. Now, that the house and land is all tied up together the other lot is part of the deed. If I had the other lot free and clear I could have done the same thing on the other lot perhaps with a separate payment. So, words of wisdom to anyone that wants to try to do something like this - if you have extra land get it deeded out separately first!!

I can still build on the other lot but I would have to do it with cash most likely considering my house didn't appraise for what I wanted it to. Of course I never went in to build to sell but rather rent in the future. But, that's also something to think about. Banks will try to rape you on the appraisal - building in the area I did hurt me in that :-/

Stairway to Stache

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 11:48:22 AM »
Love the home, congratulations!

couponvan

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2016, 04:26:17 AM »
Super cute! I wanted a smaller home, but ended up with a foreclosure that cost less than a car and three lots. I dream of building a small home and renting the foreclosure out. The minimum square footage for our area is 720 sq ft. Stupid rule.

big_slacker

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2016, 02:43:04 PM »
Wow man, that looks awesome! That's a great accomplishment building it yourself and fitting it to your overall plan.

You know, homes used to be smaller but like seemingly everything else it becomes less about how big does it need to be and more about how big can I get it. I grew up with 6 people in a roughly 1k sq ft house. My wife and I used to live together in a 600 sq ft apartment and it also was plenty big for the two of use. 500 seems like it's plenty for a single person especially with the porch to chill out on if weather isn't extreme.

Cassie

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Re: Built a brand new home. 253 a month after 4 years 15yr mortgage.
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2016, 04:23:26 PM »
It is very cute!