Some of you blog readers have commented to the effect that you are looking forward to following the construction of our new home. Lest you soon think I’ve pulled the ol’ bait and switch, let me give you some back story.
Mr. Backwoods and I are both originally from a very rural area, but we moved away to more urban areas where job opportunities were plentiful after high school. About two years ago some things happened in our lives that made us decide we wanted to make big changes. We decided that my husband would change career fields that we could move closer to home. His job change and a decrease in cost of living would enable me to quit working, go back to school and focus my time on Babe Jr in the years when she needs to be involved in more group activities and will require a lot of my attention, support, and skills as a taxi service. We began preparing and he finally got a job offer last July in our hometown.
During the transition we chucked all of our worldly belongings into a few storage facilities and began depending on the hospitality of family members while we lived out of bags and searched for a place to rent until we were ready for a more permanent establishment. This unfortunately, proved much more difficult than we thought. Rental properties in this area are few and far between, did I mention it’s very rural? Most of our friends that stayed in the area lived with their parents long after graduation. We always thought they were a little nuts, until we realized they probably had no other choice. The only apartments are income based, and even if we qualified, there are long waiting lists. Rental houses are so scarce, that if you happen to find one that will let you actually keep your terrible terrier; the cost is literally about 3 times anything that might be considered reasonable. After months (and months) of staying with the in-laws (even though we love them dearly!) we decided the only short term solution would be to become a cliché.
Rendering not guaranteed to be actual scale.
We opted to purchase a modular home aka double wide trailer. Going the mobile home route actually gives us a lot of flexibility in our options, but allows us to own our own place at the same time. Generations of my father’s family have lived in the same hollow for years. It’s secluded, it’s beautiful, it’s what we always dreamed of, and best of all it was the land was available and free. We can live on our dream property and make sure we will be absolutely happy there. If we immediately built a traditional brick and mortar house, there would be no turning back. You just can’t sell a piece of property that’s been in your family that long and move Lord knows who right in on top of your Dad, Granny and other assorted extended family.
Now our house payment will be equivalent to that of many people’s cars. If everything pans out and we love living there are much as we're sure we will, we can work toward a permanent solution. We already have to drill a well, get a septic tank, have electricity ran, and do all the same prep work as required in traditional construction. Once we decide to get permanent we have several options. You can actually put a modular on a foundation; we could do that and build on if we choose. But the awesome thing about your home being mobile is if you get tired of it, you can sell it and roll that sucker away. Did you know that there are even trade in programs?
I’m hoping to start construction on this wondrous prow front cabin of our dreams in the next few years.
Yes, that is a snowy rooftop in a fall scene; ah the magic of photoshop.
We’ll already be living on the property, and there’s plenty of room for both the trailer and the footprint of a new house. So we could actually order a cabin kit (one company actually has an option that’s almost the exact floor plan I’ve had in my head for years), order just the plans, or have new ones drawn up, shop contractors and begin work ourselves while living right in front.
My ultimate strategy is to get the plans, dive right in and get our hands dirty. We’re pretty handy, and we have a lot of handy friends and family in convenient professions *insert evil smile here.* And since we would have accommodations right there on location, we could take all the time we need to build, search through warehouses and salvages, shop clearances, and learn how to DYI just about everything. The thought of how much money we could save by spending the time and effort looking for deals and DIYing makes me salivate a little.
I figure if the Duggers can construct an enormous plantation home utilizing mostly child labor, we can put together a 1500 sq ft cabin with the help of a few subcontractors, right?