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  #1  
Old 07/12/11, 03:42 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
Barndominium

Well, who would thought. A friend called me the other day and offered to buy my house. It is a blessing really. We built a house way out of our league a few years ago. It was probably one of the largest mistakes I have ever made. pride definately got in the way. Well I have spent the last 2 years working and doing with out to pay off debt so we could afford to stay in the house. We are just about there. Infact we werer just about to refinance the house to a payment that we could afford.
Anyway a friend offered to buy it. he really likes it and has the means. We have basically agreed on price and they are going to give us a final answer tonight.
IF this deal really goes through We plan to buy 28 adjacent acres, and build a barndominium. We will build a 40 by 80 with 30 by 40 being an apartment with 2 bedrooms and 1 large bathroom, as well as a kitchen adn living room. it may have room for a loft as well. We are hoping to do all of this for cash. I think the house sale will afford us the ability to buy the land adn build the barn. Then we will have to save to finish the apartment. I have not done any hard math to figure what the apartment will run. I am guessing about $25K. I am guessing the barn will be around $40 to $45K, but I will know for sure tomorrow on the barn.
I am curious if anyone has done this. What is your layout? What do you like about it? What do you hate about it?
My are is pretty lax on codes. We will build this right adn safe. But there are no rules about construction type or siding type or anything like that. They are fussy about septic systems, adn to soome degree about electrical systems. Anything else pretty much goes.
We are planning on framing with metal or wood studs in the interior. So the walls will be double thick. We are also planning on having th ebarn insulated with the rolls of fiberglass, then after the interior is framed up we will have the wet cellulose sprayed in. I expect the apartment to be very tight and well insulated. It will be all steel construction on the frame adn exterior, so it should last forever and hold up great in storms.
So what do ya think.

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I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so

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  #2  
Old 07/12/11, 04:10 PM
Living the dream.
 
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Location: Morganton, NC
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Sounds cool, but you may have marketabilty issues should you ever want to sell, might want to talk with a few realtors and see how other (if any) similar properties have fared. Potential buyers may have trouble getting a mortgage on it as well. Or if you ever wanted to leverage it up some. Also think pests (esp flies and rats/mice). I would run the costs on a seperated house as well the, cost savings might not be as good as you think?

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  #3  
Old 07/12/11, 04:37 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: north Alabama
Posts: 8,556

When in doubt, look to the past. Even in the northeast, the oldsters wouldn't build a combo building, but used a shed or covered walkway in-between. Part of the reason may have been fire protection, part smells and pests.

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  #4  
Old 07/12/11, 04:44 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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good points. In my area barns seem to hold value reasonably well. I would assume the money on the apartment would be basically lost. But I have to have the barn, and i doubt I could build a house for $25 to 30K that would be worth living in. I will definitely have to get all the numbers. I know buying a repo house would be the best deal. But i really want a farm, and there arent any good deals on farms. But vacant land is still reasonable in spots. THis particular land si very good too. It has a foot of top soil with nearly no rocks. Virtually unheard of in this part of the country. I think I can buy th eland at $2K per acre, and it is 3 minutes to town and less than 10 minutes to my day job (3.1 miles). So kind of perfect there.
Yes i have built 2 houses that needed the perfect buyer to sell. And it seems that so far I have been really blessed to find that buyer. I will not continue to count on that type of success. SO math will play a factor in my final descision.
Buying a wood mizer saw mill and some wooded land and building a post and beam house from scratch like mudburn did would also be very cool. But probably well above my skill level.

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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so


Last edited by trbizwiz; 07/12/11 at 04:47 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07/12/11, 04:46 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I will not be keeping any animals in the barn part of the building. It will be a parking and shop area for wood working and metal working projects and storage of the equipment. I may build a lean to off the back end to raise bottle calves in teh spring, but that would have a shop between teh house and its self. ALso fire is not a concern with a steel building.

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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so

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  #6  
Old 07/12/11, 04:51 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: South of DFW,TX zone 8a
Posts: 3,123

LOts of folks near me are doing that. Not keeping animals in it but using the large area as shop/parking/party space.
Ed

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  #7  
Old 07/12/11, 05:01 PM
Ouch! Pinch you.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,868

LOL. Love the name, "barndominium." My brother calls his travel trailer home a "candominium." He travels so much he rented out his home and uses the "candominium," set up in a permanent park, like an apartment.

Good luck with the sale of your home and your new plans!

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  #8  
Old 07/12/11, 06:01 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719

Thanks. i kinda like garage mahaul. But the wife prefers barndominium. I wish I made either up, but they arent original to me.

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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so

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  #9  
Old 07/12/11, 06:16 PM
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I saw one of those for sale on acreage up in the Sun Valley area not too long ago. Horse set up if I remember right with good sized apartment up above. I wouldn't mind having my miniature goats or my horses living right below me, I'd love it! (And I'm fairly certain I'm not the only insane shepherdess out there to feel the same way...)

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  #10  
Old 07/12/11, 06:35 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: lat 38 23' 25" lon -84 17' 38"
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Speaking just for myself I detest being awoke in the morning by a fly doing a riverdance on the bridge of my nose or traveling from one drool pocket across my lip to the other side.

Some don't mind, would drive me nuts.

You might consider a large pole building if you weren't going to do the animal thing as room mates.

What's that boys name that lives up in Maine or New Hampshire, one of them up east yankee states ---retired navy. Posted pictures of his place and big old barrel stove he heats the place with. Can't think of his name now but he checks in semi regular if I recall correctly.

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  #11  
Old 07/12/11, 06:50 PM
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He said no animals.

One of our neighbors built their house inside an old barn. Looks nice.

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  #12  
Old 07/12/11, 06:55 PM
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Location: South Central Alaska
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I detest putting on 20 layers of clothes and having separate heating solutions/tons of extension cords to get from my house to my barn more than I mind practicing good insect control and sanitary animal husbandry. (Which should be done anyway, right?)

A friend of mine has lived in an apartment above their barn for a while now. That used to be common practice to have your barn manager housed in an apartment that was somehow attached to the barn. I think it's a splendid idea I plan on it, someday.

If you're not even going to keep animals in it, it doesn't even seem like it should count as a "barn" and really is a no-brainer! Lots of people love having garages/shops as big or bigger than the house it's attached to. Perhaps build so the apartment side could have a second level added to it if future buyers might like something a little more proportional.

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  #13  
Old 07/12/11, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbizwiz View Post
I will not be keeping any animals in the barn part of the building. It will be a parking and shop area for wood working and metal working projects and storage of the equipment.
Keep in mind ventilation if you will be parking vehicles in it. you certainly don't want exhaust fumes to be able to get into living areas - thats a recipe for death. Even a couple minutes of exhaust in a living area can be extremely bad.
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  #14  
Old 07/12/11, 07:38 PM
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Location: Central Florida
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check real estate tax laws in your area. In some states, farm buildings are either not taxed or have a much lower rate than homes. But if you have a barn-home, the whole structure might be taxed at the house rate. It might not matter or if it is like Florida, it could make a difference of $1000s every year. My property in Florida with no house, $350/yr in real estate taxes. With a modest middle class home that jumps to over $5K. If I put a bathroom and office in the barn, the barn jumps up to the house rate.

Again, checking your local laws, you might find that you can build your house, get the valuation established, and then build on a connected adjacent structure that qualifies at the farm rate.

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  #15  
Old 07/12/11, 09:42 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
Posts: 13,212

We built our house on a shallow frost free foundation. The garage is downstairs and we live upstairs. The garage part downstairs is really my DH's wood shop and dumping room, plus we have his and her offices. We have in floor heat and were able to do it ourselves. We used styrofoam for the insulation. We put this up too and it is much more doable than fiberglass. We also used the spray newspaper and used spray newspaper for the interior walls for sound deadening. Our home can be assessed as either a one story with a finished walk in garage underneath, or as a finished garage with an "overhang". We have a great view.

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  #16  
Old 07/12/11, 09:56 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Central Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbizwiz View Post
I will not be keeping any animals in the barn part of the building. It will be a parking and shop area for wood working and metal working projects and storage of the equipment. I may build a lean to off the back end to raise bottle calves in teh spring, but that would have a shop between teh house and its self. ALso fire is not a concern with a steel building.
I wouldn't worry too much about resale.

Someone who didn't like the barn with apartment would likely just buy the plave and build a house and use it for guests/kids/inlaws..

Especially if your not going to keep animals in it.
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  #17  
Old 07/12/11, 10:55 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 467

I recently looked at a property set up like that. The RE agent said "It would give you a comfortable place to live while you were building your dream home." Heck, I would have been perfectly happy using it as a permanent home. The barn/apartment were brand new!

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  #18  
Old 07/13/11, 02:28 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 6,908

I think your construction prices are rather low; a pole shed (in my area, you are building a shed, not a barn - barn=animals, shed=shop & storage...) that size without much of a floor and no insulation will cost about what you budgeted.

Putting in the aprtment will cost much more than $25,000 with flooring, insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc. etc. etc.

Maybe you are a warm area & don't need the snow-load issue and can get by cheaper.

The whole money situation seems odd to me, you got a house you have a hard time affording; but when you get it sold you will have enough over the current mortgage to buy 28 acres (would be $50,000 here...) and put up a $50,000 building and add a $25,000 apt (which I think is going to cost you about double...) and will be all caught up. You must have some house there!

A few downsides of the combined building is insurance - many companies don't like wood & metal tools in with a dwelling. As well as the tax issue others mentioned. And then fumes & sawdust from the wood working, and fumes and sparks and dangers from the metal working - in with the dwelling might give some people pause. Not talking you out of it, just thinking about it.

Love the name you use for it, very neat. And that's mostly what I wanted to say, the other stuff is just chit chat, 'barndominium' makes me smile.

--->Paul

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  #19  
Old 07/13/11, 06:46 AM
aka RamblinRoseRanc :)
 
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I stayed in a horse breeder's apartment in the dead of winter in northern NJ once. It was built over the horse barn (barn was one of those metal affairs) and we were VERY comfortable. The apartment was accessed by a door in the barn aisleway and no smells/sounds made it up there. It was one bedroom with a small kitchen, great room and a bath. Her barns were parallel and had an indoor arena connecting them. The apartment had a balcony that overlooked the arena area. We loved both the idea and the execution of it.

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  #20  
Old 07/13/11, 09:35 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 317

I'm skeptical like Rambler. I think you also need to think about being able to borrow against the property. My hunch is that a Bank might be willing to loan you a lot more if you build a modest sized home, than if you big a big barn with an apartment in it. You might think now that you won't need a loan, but at some point you probably will. It always costs more than you think to build anything. If you estimate it will cost $50,000 to build your barn and apartment, you can count on it costing $75,000. And where are you going to get the extra $25,000? You're going to need to get a loan from the bank to finish your building.

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  #21  
Old 07/13/11, 09:52 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 776

We've done it and love it. We had two pole barns built. One is the horse/animal barn and the other was to be my hubby's shop. That is the one that we build our apartment in. The building is 40 X 50 and 20 feet high (so basically two stories). We build the apartment so it is two stories. Downstairs is the laundry/mudroom and a huge bathroom and very large closet. Upstairs is a beautiful full eat-in kitchen, large living room, a bedroom, and an office. (its just the two of us so we don't need more bedrooms) We did 85% of the work ourselves and saved a ton of money. I am very lucky to have a hubby that is awesome with construction and a licensed electrician. We hired someone to do the dry wall and the septic system. Everything else we did. We did it within codes and with all of the permits we were required to get. Our plan was to use this temporarily until we were ready to build a house, but honestly, I am more then happy to say living in it. The pole barn was around 40K, concrete slab was 10k and we spent about 40k on doing the apartment. We do have tile and hard wood floors, lots of crown molding, stainless steel applicances, and a top notch central heat and air system. We could have used less expensive materials and saved more but we really love the way things turned out.
I say go for it! We have not regretted this at all. Private message me with your email address and I will be happy to send you come pics of our apartment.

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  #22  
Old 07/13/11, 09:59 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinRoseRanc View Post
I stayed in a horse breeder's apartment in the dead of winter in northern NJ once. It was built over the horse barn (barn was one of those metal affairs) and we were VERY comfortable. The apartment was accessed by a door in the barn aisleway and no smells/sounds made it up there. It was one bedroom with a small kitchen, great room and a bath. Her barns were parallel and had an indoor arena connecting them. The apartment had a balcony that overlooked the arena area. We loved both the idea and the execution of it.
I've known of several setups like this, all with horse people. In several cases, the owners had a separate home and they had hired help that lived in the barn/stable apartment but a friend of mine in VA has living quarters over one of her barns and the family is very comfortable there (4 kids).

My dream home, in fact, was to build living quarters over the old stone barn at the ranch in MT.
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  #23  
Old 07/13/11, 11:35 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719

I wasnt going to talk about the price of the house I am selling because I dont want to be judged for something I am not. But Yes the sale of the home and the equity I have in it will be enough to buy the land and build the structure. i will just have to save for the dwelling portion in the structure. I have been very humbled over that last few years. i have realized what is truely important. I am in a position to actually be able to afford the old home now or will be shortly, but I am sort of ashamed for having done that in the first place. I believe pride and selfishness are sins. I havent always thought that way. I dont think living in a nice home is a sin , but if it consumes you it may be. getting debt free for me is more about spiritual, and emotional freedom than it is a financial thing. I havent been able to serve my family or my Lord that way I know I should. This move will enable that. I also hope to retire by the time my children are in Highschool. Because I want to be involved in all their activities. Getting debt free now and building up a farm slowly will enable that. Learning how to live on little will help a bunch too.

This is a very fun discussion. I did get word from my buyer that they definitely want to do the deal. they called last night. They will have 3/4ths of the money to me next week. I am insisting upon a lawyer to draw up the paperwork. Because they dont want to close until the end of August when they have the remainder. I am not comfortable taking that much money from a friend with some protection for everyone.

Anyway, I'll be calling the owner of the land I hope to buy today. He has mentioned he woudl take $2k per acre about 18 months ago. I am hoping that deal stands. If so i can pay cash next week. Or half now and half after january 1st if it helps with taxes. i dont want to boost him into a tax bracket and kill him on that end.

I should be getting a preliminary quote on the structure today too. Ill report back everythign I hear. THe quote will be for a 40 by 80- by 14 barn with a 12 ft overhang on the west end and 40 feet of the south end. It will sort of be like a wrap around porch. Ill be using an Acme outdoor boiler (they are made in missouri) to heat the floors and the water. Those run $4500 to $5600 depending on size.

Thanks again for your interest and comments. I truely respect the homestead lifestyle and all those who have done it. I appreciate your comments.




Quote:
Originally Posted by rambler View Post
I think your construction prices are rather low; a pole shed (in my area, you are building a shed, not a barn - barn=animals, shed=shop & storage...) that size without much of a floor and no insulation will cost about what you budgeted.

Putting in the aprtment will cost much more than $25,000 with flooring, insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc. etc. etc.

Maybe you are a warm area & don't need the snow-load issue and can get by cheaper.

The whole money situation seems odd to me, you got a house you have a hard time affording; but when you get it sold you will have enough over the current mortgage to buy 28 acres (would be $50,000 here...) and put up a $50,000 building and add a $25,000 apt (which I think is going to cost you about double...) and will be all caught up. You must have some house there!

A few downsides of the combined building is insurance - many companies don't like wood & metal tools in with a dwelling. As well as the tax issue others mentioned. And then fumes & sawdust from the wood working, and fumes and sparks and dangers from the metal working - in with the dwelling might give some people pause. Not talking you out of it, just thinking about it.

Love the name you use for it, very neat. And that's mostly what I wanted to say, the other stuff is just chit chat, 'barndominium' makes me smile.

--->Paul
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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so

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  #24  
Old 07/13/11, 11:43 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Witterbound View Post
I'm skeptical like Rambler. I think you also need to think about being able to borrow against the property. My hunch is that a Bank might be willing to loan you a lot more if you build a modest sized home, than if you big a big barn with an apartment in it. You might think now that you won't need a loan, but at some point you probably will. It always costs more than you think to build anything. If you estimate it will cost $50,000 to build your barn and apartment, you can count on it costing $75,000. And where are you going to get the extra $25,000? You're going to need to get a loan from the bank to finish your building.

The barn exterior and concrete should be about $45K I think. Ill know today though. The interior apartment will hopefully be in the range of $25K. We are planning on shopping for deals on cabinets and everything. I may be off on the $25k. I havent put a pencile to it yet. But our plans are to get the structure up and use it for storage, and build the apartment for cash as we go. We will rent a place in the interim. It may take 2 months it may take 2 years. It is hard to say. BUt I dont intend to get a loan at this point. I suppose if a loan has a lower payment than rent we may do it any way. But the goal was debt freedom. So we will have make that descison. A friend bought a home in the range of $50K adn his payment is around $400. I doubt I can rent for that here. So it will be a consideration. With no other debt and modest living a $50 K mortgage could be paid off in 2 years.

I will probably use this thread to document the experience. So Ill keep a running tab of what it cost me. Maybe it will be a guide for others with a similar goal. I will try to keep tabs on my time invested too. I have done similar things with past projects on other forums and folks found it helpful. Though I am getting a head of my self a little. I havent even got a deal on the land as of yet. That could ruin the whole thing if he has had a change in heart. I have strict criteria for land. It needs to be farmable, it needs to be within 10 minutes of my off farm job, adn it needs to be affordable. THose 3 things dont really go together all that well.
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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so


Last edited by trbizwiz; 07/13/11 at 11:57 AM.
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  #25  
Old 07/13/11, 01:38 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 6,908

Thanks for the updates & continued conversation.

I don't mean anything by my comments on your existing house, and don't need to know anything about that. I'd say if you can sell it and come out with any equity ahead at this time, never mind that much equity, you are doing very well for yourself and managing your lifestyle very well - you shouldn't be beating yourself up for you have not failed at all. Guess that was where I meant to go, rather than the way I said things.

Your building costs for the raw shed sound pretty close.

I'd think the living quarters portion will be almost double by the time you get there. One can build minimully and piecemeal, but you need a floor, you need insulation, you need plumbing & wiring, you need some walls and some furnature - there are basic costs there that you can't really avoid, and gluing the basics together into a home will bring that up some. If you rent for 2 years to do the building, that cost really is part of your house cost, if you think about it - something to consider as you weigh the cost vs time options.

I can't remember if you have a well or septic available; those would be additional costs above yet in my mind. In my location that would be yet another $20,000 or so, but one can get by cheaper in other locations.

I see a few such combined buildings around, and seems like a fun project & nifty living if that is what one wants. Building 'different' than the cookie cutter options opens up a few cans of worms as some of us talk about, but not to put you off of your plans if that is what you like & want.

Good luck with the planning.

--->Paul

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  #26  
Old 07/13/11, 01:53 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719

Thanks. I wasn't offended. Sorry if I came off that way. I enjoy the critical thinking process. And sharing that process with others can be more effective. I am starting to think $50 may be more in line. My last well was $4500 for 300 feet my septic was $3500.

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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so

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  #27  
Old 07/13/11, 02:44 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: No. Cent. AR
Posts: 1,713

Something to really keep in mind is the human body's natural aging process! Hauling groceries up stairs can eventually get to be "hurtful" even just getting yourself up stairs with old or arthritic knees can be nigh impossible, and trying to get out fast in case of fire or an illness requiring an ambulance/gurney needs to be considered. You will not always be as young as you are now and as physically fit. Hauling garbage bags down, not to mention firewood UP. Not for the likes of me at all. YMMV.

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  #28  
Old 07/13/11, 03:58 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719

The main living area will be 30 by 40 of the 40 by 80 footprint. There will be a loft, but it will be a non essential area.

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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so

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  #29  
Old 07/13/11, 05:15 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719

I just spoke with the assessor in my county. They asses the living square footage as a house and the barn footage as a barn. So I wont be assessed as a house with 3200 sq ft. If I were dishonest I could get ti assessed as a barn and then build the apartment. But My soul is worth more than a few hundered a year.

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Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so

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  #30  
Old 07/13/11, 05:40 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SW Missouri/Eastern Kansas
Posts: 116

Go for it. I don't see why you couldn't build an apartment for $25,000. The roof, sides, and floor will be dine. All you will be doing is building partition walls as they will not have to be load bearing. You are doing in floor radiant heating, stamp and stain the concrete and you have your finished floor. Be reasonable with your finishings and don't go all out with cherry cabinets and granite everywhere. Keep in mind that you could always finish it out enough to be livable and keep the money you would have paid out in rent and then you can pay as you go to finish it. You also mentioned the land has to be within a certain distance from your job but you plan on being retired when the kids hit high school. If the land your wanting is no longer available I wouldn't restrict my search based on how far out it is. If it doesn't happen it wasn't meant to be. You may happen across something even better somewhere else.

You can do it.

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