· I don’t have a pickup truck to haul all the installation construction materials.
Hey, I didn’t own a pickup truck the whole time I was working on my house. I wanted one, but there just wasn’t enough money for one. My brothers owned pickups, but I hardly ever borrowed them because the stores that sell materials will deliver to your site.
I live 16 miles from the store where I bought most of my products. They would usually charge me $15 per delivery. That was a great deal because it usually cost that much for gas to drive and pick up materials. Not only that, but you also don’t have to load and unload all the stuff. The only problem is that you can’t hand select the materials and some stores will try to pawn off all the leftovers that others have picked through.
I was very pleased the whole time with one particular store and I bought almost my entire house there. They even gave me a contractor’s discount of 15%. I didn’t even ask for it. They just wanted me as a customer. The prices were a lot lower at that store than the other. At the other store, they treated me really crappy and I am a nice person so I’m sure it wasn’t my fault. I never darkened their doorway after that.
With a little planning, you can do the same thing I did and it will work out fine. Having a pickup is a definite advantage, but quite often a pickup won’t even hold all the materials you’re buying, so you’ll have to have them delivered anyway.
· I don’t know anything about plumbing or electricity, I don’t want to sleep in a house where I did the work, it might be a deathtrap.
The fear of those things can be very real, yet I sleep well at night because of two things: Inspectors and local codes. Don’t get me wrong; they are a real pain, that’s for certain. Especially when you need them to approve some of your work so you can move on and they end up giving you a list of corrections to do. It’s depressing and very frustrating, so you thank them for stopping by and watch them drive out of sight. Then you give them all the sign language you know, throw your fit, and then start working on the corrections they gave you.
I know that my house is as safe as any house around because the inspectors don’t let you slide. Some codes, in my opinion, are overkill, but with most others, it’s obvious why it came to be a code requirement. I know that I have done everything right because the inspectors took the time to explain it all to me. They could tell my work was that of a first time homebuilder. They were nice while telling me my work was substandard.
The first electrical inspector that came was a jovial chap. He looked at my work and just laughed. He almost hurt my feelings. It wasn’t my fault; I bought a book about house wiring that was slightly out of date. It wasn’t even close. That cost me a lot of time and money I didn’t have.
When we moved into our home, I was completely confident that it was safe. I know the wiring is not going to melt or cause a fire. I know we won’t be poisoned by methane gas or drowned by bad plumbing. I know my house won’t fall down. Meeting code is not difficult if you know everything you need to know before you start putting things together. I don’t remember the exact details of each inspection. All I know is it was a hassle, but I’d do it all again to be able to feel safe like I do.
· I don’t want the stress of doing all the work.
Certain parts of the building process are somewhat stressful. I understand how stress can be debilitating if not deadly. We all handle stress in a different way. I was unemployed most of the time while building my house. I was going to school to get vocational retraining so that was my work. Living on unemployment and trying to pay my bills was difficult. Also watching my half-finished house rotting away because I couldn’t afford windows or doors was really stressful. The rain and snow was warping my floors and I couldn’t do much about it.
It seems that the only stable thing in life anymore is instability. Constant instability is something we can count on. That’s all the more reason why we need to create more equity in our property. If you lose your job and you have no equity in your house, you’re going to have a rocky time. If you lose your job and you have a lot of equity, you’ll have a few more options like selling the house and using the equity to move and buy another home where work is available. Or take out a second mortgage to live on and pay bills while you look for work. Some might say that you can’t get a loan if you’re unemployed, but if your property has high equity, you can get a loan somewhere and it will help you survive through rough times.
The codes and permits will be the most stressful of all. Actually working on the house is very therapeutic. Many, many times, I couldn’t wait to get over to my house and start working so I could make the world go away. The best emotional strength builder you’ll have is creating something beautiful by hard work. Your home will remain a symbol of your good character traits for years. You’ll know it and others will know it too.
· I can buy a Mobile Home for about half the price it takes to build my own house, I can have it right now and I don’t have to work for it.
This seems to be the popular sentiment, given the amount of Mobile Homes everywhere. I know a few Mobile Home dealership owners that brag on the quality of their factory-made homes, but I don’t know even one of them that actually live in the kind of homes they are so proud to sell to the public. They pull down big bucks so they can afford to live in better homes.
Here’s one thing to remember: There’s nothing natural about building a house and then moving it. By the time it arrives at its destination, it has probably had structural frame twists and many of the joints are no longer tight. That becomes evident a few years later if not immediately. I have worked a lot on Campers, RV’s, Horse Trailers, and Mobile Homes, and even the fancier Mobile Homes are just a big Camper Trailer. They are built light so they can be transported easily and built cheap so the dealers can make a buck.
They don’t age well so after making payments for 30 years, you have a not-so-mobile home that needs a lot of work. Not only that, if you build your own home, you‘ll spend much less than you would have spent and you’ll have made a great investment. Frame homes that were built 30 years ago have appreciated by at least 300 percent and others over 1000 percent. Not too bad! Mobile homes don’t have that kind of track record.
My wife and I were at one time considering a Mobile Home. They are fairly easy to buy and even people with low incomes can get one. I suppose many people have no other choice but to live in a Mobile Home. When we were looking at Mobile Homes, we went to a lot of places and the story was always the same.
The homes had a fairly modest price, but after all the hidden costs; the monthly payment was a whole bunch more than the advertised price. We have talked to a lot of people and they always say the same thing. They felt like they had been overcharged in the end, especially after seeing the low quality. The monthly payment was almost as high as a normal house. Many really felt cheated. The price was always higher than they were told, and the quality was always less than they were told.
One more point here is that Mobile homes are equity thieves. That’s right; they are like cars in that respect, only worse. We have all heard that to drive a new car off the lot will cause it to depreciate substantially. Why is that? Because even if you own it for a short time and you decide to sell it, it’s a used car. If it has 1 mile on the odometer, but has had a previous owner that put that 1-mile on it, it’s still a used car. Now, let’s say you had a piece of land with the well and septic system worth $15,000. You worked hard to buy that chunk of land. You decide to buy a new double wide Mobile home. The home costs $60,000 originally but after tax and setup, it is around $75,000. (That is a very real figure) Your property at that point with home and land might possibly be worth $80,000. Suddenly, you owe more on your home than it is actually worth. If you sold everything at that point, you would make enough to pay off your Mobile Home Mortgage and still have $5,000 dollars left over. But wait a minute; didn’t you pay $15,000 for your land in the first place and only got $5,000 for it? Man, you got robbed.
Now you know what Real Estate Agents as well as Mobile Home Dealers already know so well. Also, if you sell your Mobile Home, but choose to keep the land, there will probably be a sizable balance left to pay on the difference of what you paid for the home and what you were able to sell it for. In other words, you’ll be making payments for years for an empty foundation. Many people have made that mistake and are still scratching their heads trying to figure out where their hard-earned money went after they sold their used Mobile Homes. They are equity thieves!