Almost anybody can benefit from this web site with the exception of those individuals who have more money than time. I have seen wealthy people build their own houses before, but it’s more out of a sense of accomplishment than to save money. Those who will truly benefit are people that are usually in the lower and middle class income brackets.
The problem with our modern day financial structure is that it limits our ability to dream realistically. We can all fantasize about fancy cars and the castle we want to live in when our ship comes in, but in the back of our minds we know that our ship has sunk and has taken down with it all of our hopes and dreams. So, we realign our perspectives according to what reality and the rest of the world tells us about our potential. When in truth what most of us need is a small boost in the right direction to get us thinking in a positive manner and then, watch us take off!
I’m a man of very few talents. I haven’t found anything that I’m real good at yet. The world beats us down everyday and reminds us of our failures.
Some days I come home from work feeling like a worthless slug. But that feeling never stays around very long and the world quickly loses power over me.
When I walk across my front deck and into my beautiful home that I made with my own hands, I’m reminded of my potential and how much any person can accomplish with the correct mindset. My beautiful wife and children meet me at the door with smiles and kisses and that right there reminds me once again, that a person doesn’t have to make all the right choices in life, just a few good, important ones.
Building your own house is a good choice and a very important one at that. The financial benefits alone are very much worth the effort. We spent around $60,000 for our house. It appraised for $140,000. Those are the numbers I use in all the examples because they are numbers I know very well.
The land, the well, and the septic system are included in that $60,000. It’s much easier to make a monthly mortgage payment on a $60,000 loan, than on a $140,000 loan.
That is what makes this all possible. Someone on low income normally has no chance of getting a 2000+ square foot, frame-built home. They usually have to opt forsomething smaller or something that is such low quality that it probably won’t even outlast its mortgage. That’s sad and it didn’t used to be that way. A hard working individual with low income used to be able to buy a home. Not anymore, those days are gone and so we have to make a new plan to succeed.
Have you ever noticed groups of wonderful people that donate their labor to build houses for families that can’t afford to make high mortgage payments? One of the most popular is “The Habitat for Humanity”. For many of these kinds of groups the labor is donated so that once the house is finished the cost of materials is the only thing left to pay for. The mortgage is substantially less and one that a low-income family can afford.
Let’s turn the focus back on those people who are just getting by, yet have fairly good jobs. Usually they live from paycheck to paycheck, but aren’t getting anywhere in terms of saving money and improving their lifestyle.
Here’s a true story about a person I know. I had been living in my new home for about 3 months. I was telling my friend how much my house cost to build. He said he wished he could find the money to build a new house. I told him about the plan my wife and I made to be able to free up extra money the whole time we was building our home. He told me that he and his family lived in a fairly nice singlewide mobile home. He had a pickup and a car. His car was paid off, but his pickup was new and very nice. His pickup payments were $600 a month.
I saw this as an opportunity to help him with my expert advice. I laid the whole plan out for him. If he would sell his truck and buy a beatermobile pickup that was dependable enough to get him to work but cheap enough to have a low monthly payment or perhaps no payment at all, he could save enough money every month to start buying materials immediately to build his house. Plus, he would have a perfect truck for hauling building materials.
I figured that after two years his house would be far enough along and would have such a considerable amount of equity that loan brokers would be falling over themselves to give this guy a construction loan, regardless of his credit rating, which wasn’t very good.After a few months, his project would be completed and he could consolidate all his bills into a Home Mortgage Loan with low interest. Plus, he could sell his Mobile Home and take the equity (if there was any).
Well, that was a good plan and it would have worked for him and he would have only had to borrow such a small amount to actually finish his home. It would have been because of the monthly equity he was putting into the house itself. It made a lot more sense than throwing it away on something that would be worthless by the time its mortgage was paid off like his shiny truck. But, I didn’t consider the human factors of pride and reputation in my calculations and estimates. He shot my idea down with no hesitation at all. I asked him, “Would you sacrifice the next two years of pride if you knew that you could live comfortably for the rest of your life?” He said, “I’ll find another way so I can always have my nice trucks and a place to live.”
I remembered thinking, “This guy, like so many others, doesn’t get it.” I left it at that and never talked to him about it again. But, you know, it’s been over five years since that conversation took place. He still drives the same truck, and lives in the same single-wide. Both have lost their luster, both have been refinanced, and neither are worth what they still owe against them and the struggle goes on.
I don’t think that’s funny, it’s sad because his story is the same one I see everywhere.
I don’t want anyone to suppose that building your own house is going to solve all your problems. It won’t, I mean, it hasn’t solved all my problems. But, it sure has given me more positive options to help face an unfair world. It sure seems as if this world wants to stomp on our hopes and dash our dreams before we even have a chance to get them started. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome after you decide that you’re going to build your own house is people telling you not to do it. When you see all the hoops that the inspectors make you jump through, you just might bag the whole idea. It’s that discouraging. But if you can see the big picture, you won’t have any trouble sticking with the plan.
Inspectors will tell you all sorts of discouraging things because they are used to doing inspections for contractors. Contractors know what the inspectors are looking for. They might tell you that you have to complete your project in a specified amount of time, but the truth is you can keep filing for extensions. Inspectors have both the contractor and the owner right where they want them, because inspectors can halt the funding if the home is being financed, and I have heard that they can even stop the building progress of a home that’s paid for, although I have never actually seen that happen. All these things can be overwhelming to a first-time home builder. Just remember that inspectors care that the job is done right and they will help you get it right. I’ve never met a mean inspector yet.
Not only are inspectors discouraging, but also friends and family might try to talk you out of it because it goes against the norm. A hundred years ago, the norm was to build your own house. Only the rich could afford a carpenter-built home.
With the discovery of electricity, homes have changed and so hundreds of rules have been put in place to protect us from ourselves. We are ignorant of these rules and that’s why building a house all by ourselves goes against the norms of society.
Typically, those individuals that go against the norms of society are either extreme oddballs or modern day heroes. What we become is up to us.