What to live in while building?

disbetMay 17, 2008

My husband and I are trying to decide to what live in while building a house. We can't sell our current house for another year because of capital gains tax. But, we have 168 acres way out in the country that we would like to build on. We've just about settled on a house plan. We haven't decided yet if we'll stay in our current house or build something out there to live in while we're building. My husband will be doing nearly all the work on the new house, so it will probably take a couple of years to be completed. The property is 35 minutes away from town, and has no buildings on it currently. We've thought about building a pole barn with an apartment/living space and converting it to an office after we get the house built. Also thought about the garage/apartment situation. Also considering a single-wide trailer. A garage or barn has to be built so he can store tools before the house is built Any experiences with any of these?

We are 26 and don't have kids, but plan to within the next couple of years. The main tract of the property, 141 acres was inherited and is ours free and clear. The adjoining 27 acres we just bought (it has a better building site) is mortgaged, but we could get a construction loan to build.

Also, there is no zoning in our county. We will have to put in a septic first.


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We are on 25 acres and living in an older single-wide mobile home while we are building. It's SO convenient....the trailer is 10 feet in front of the new house so the septic tank that we had put in for the house is close enough we could use it for the trailer too. When we get ready to switch over, it's just a matter of capping of the line running from the trailer and tying in to the house. Water is the same way. Everything will be very easy to switch over.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 4:01PM
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I'm probably going to buy a used RV to live in. I'll be living on-site for 6 months to a year. Here in FL, older RV's are a dime a dozen- probably due to the high price of fuel. Since our property is 600 miles away, I'll load up all my tools, and whatever else I can fit in the RV, and make the trip. Once the house is done, I'll sell the RV, hopefully for close to what I paid for it. I wonder if I could tie it in to the house septic system? I'll be on my own (DW will move once the house is done) and I'm not very fussy. I've also considered going the barn route, and I will be building the barn first, but I figured the RV would be a good way to haul a bunch of stuff on my first trip.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 4:58PM
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When we built our last house hubby and I lived in a 12' x 40' construction trailer for 18 months, 12 days, 11 hours and 17 m inutes (it was supposed to be a 9 month timeframe). It was about $200/month to rent it, and we hooked it up to the water, sewer and electric lines. We had it partitioned off into 4 rooms - a 12' x 12' master bedroom (big enough for our Calif. king bed, plus all the furniture we needed), a 12' x 18' living/dining/kitchen area, and a 12'x12' office with a separate door. We were the general contractors on this house, so the office was where we did business. We had a very small bathroom (maybe 5' x 5') with a sink, toilet and teensey shower. We cooked on a 2-burner hotplate in the largest room, which had a couch, folding table and some chairs, plus a standard size fridge and small pantry/cupboard. It was worth the cramped quarters to be right on site while our house was being built, and we built the garage first so we'd have another bathroom and could move the office into the garage.

Worked out really well for us two, and I'd recommend it if asked. The only tough part was when our son came home from college and there was no "home" yet! We rented an even smaller trailer for him to live in, and he used the bathroom in the garage, so it wasn't too inconvenient. We would do it again. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 6:57PM
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We have a single wide mobile which has been a rental for several years...it will be vacant at the end of this month. Once our house is at the drywall stage we will be moving on site and living in the mobile. We will be doing quite a bit of work ourselves at that point so we figure it makes sense to be right on site. It will be cramped, there are 5 of us and it is only 2 bedrooms. DH is trying to think of a way to add the 3rd bedroom, perhaps we could rent one of those construction trailers you mentioned Susi! For us it is also helping with the costs of permits, saving us quite a bit because our home will be a 'replacement dwelling' and the fees are much less.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:50PM
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