Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Bend in the River
Well, folks, we've come to a rather large change of plans in our journey. Recently, we met with a realtor. As you know, the real estate market isn't exactly the greatest. It's not the best time to sell a house. But, we gotta do what we gotta do!
Part of the problem is that the market is flooded with bank-owned houses or owners doing a short sale (selling for sometimes even less than what they owe the bank just to avoid foreclosure). It's a terrible state of things for many. We are glad to at least not be in either of those situations. But, we need the equity from our house to bankroll building our new home, barns, buy livestock, etc. You get the picture. The other part of this problem is that due to so many of said houses being sold at low prices, if we want to sell our house, we have to ask for a lower than-we-wanted prices, too. Which, in turn, means a smaller nest egg to start with. Thus, our plan has slightly altered.
Because the county requires engineer stamped plans in order to build a strawbale house, it increases our costs by 50%. Yes, those fees were literally going to be half the cost of building our entire strawbale home! So, more research and brainstorming was in order. We finally settled upon building a traditionally framed small cabin- 16' x 16' (affectionately called a 'LaMar cabin'). Our architect advised us to insulate it as well as possible; she said she'd probably make the same choice if she were in our boots. The design is still passive solar.
There are a couple benefits to this change, believe it or not. The cabin will be easier and quicker to build, plus we'll have more flexibility in when we actually move. Plus, in the future if we do build a strawbale, we can use the cabin for guests... or a ranch store... or storage... or office... or... There it is, the silver lining I always try to look for!
So, right now what we're busy with, other than our usual routines in life, are getting a few improvements finished on our city house, then list it for sale, while organizing clutter, and reducing the amount of stuff we have for a yard sale. We've also reduced monthly expenses by disconnecting from satellite television and cell phones, going to twice per month garbage collection, and consuming less in general. You read that right, we no longer have cell phones! It's actually quite liberating!
Know anyone who wants to buy a nice, older, home? :)