Barn/Loft Apartment as first building?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We are in contact with a company that builds barns/pole buildings etc and recieved a quote for building a 32'X40' Gambrel Barn with a full length loft for around $25,000 on our land.

    This would be turned into an 'apartment' upstairs to give us somewhere to stay while up on the land(MUCH better than a hotel :D ) and later on after a house is built could be guest quarters or somewhere for parents to live if needed.

    Would this be a good choice for our first building on the land?

    What other buildings might we look at?

    We have also thought of buying a small home in a nearby town to stay in as houses are VERY cheap(to us anyway) and it would be useful to us and could be sold/rented later on....

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    oz.
     
  2. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    might be ok but $25k could sure tie up moving for awhile. How far is it to the land?

    Camping is always good if it's to far to commute.

    Are you planning on building your own home eventally? If so I believe I'd put the money on that.
    Heck I could build 3-4 homes (granted were talking small) for that much $$.
     

  3. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well the land is about three to four hours away and as I work nights to be up there for the entire weekend would require us leaving Friday night after work and getting up there around 2AM.

    Camping is an option BUT we would like to have something up there all the time so we can just up and go when we feel like it.

    Yes we are going to build a house up there and even have picked out a plan from a local Architect firm that a friend works for.

    Around here,$25,000 would buy you ANYTHING....it is quite sad really as younger people starting out are REALLY in a bind when it comes to housing....

    Our thinking with the barn is it will also be useful as storage of anything we don't want to haul back and forth(within reason of course)

    Thanks for the reply-and are you interested in building a house in Western NC????
     
  4. Mandy

    Mandy Well-Known Member

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    Oz,
    Just some things to look into. We were going to do something similar to that before we started to build our house, but found there to be to many building code issues with our town. For example, we could build a garage/barn w/ apt. but once we built the house they have to be connected, and share septic system. Even though we have 16 ac. and have plenty of room for both w/ 2 systems. Do you have the ability to build you barn yourself? You might save some money that way.
    LOL Your barn is bigger than my house will be. :haha:
    Mandy
     
  5. dave98

    dave98 Member

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    My dad had a 36/48 barn built when we were kids and we built 12/36 of it for living quarters. Worked great so we could stay up at the land for the weekend....
     
  6. Steve in Ohio

    Steve in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    We did The same thing but I hired the framing and roofing out and finished the rest of the work myself.Our barn is 48x24x16 ft tall with a 12ft. full length shed addition on the back.The living quarters is 20x 24 with 2 bedrooms upstairs and a full bath and kitchen/living room down.We lived out there for 2yrs while restoring our house.This living area is well insulated and very cheap to heat.
    My FIL lives in it now so everyone still has privacy but still within 60ft. of the house.And I have a hired farm hand,works out pretty good.......................If the sun ever comes out here again I'll try to get some photo's if you would like to see it.
     
  7. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    I can sure understand all those points.

    Me build for someone else? LOL
    We are just starting out too. I'll be happy to get something up that won't collapse around our ears.

    I do wish you well on your endever. It can be a hard haul but It'll be worth it. :)
     
  8. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    how secure will things be if stored 3-4 hours away? seems some things grow legs. you could buy an awful nice trailer or fifth wheel bubble type camper trailer thing for that. Why build a storage barn now? I'd wait til I had a place to live first. But that's me.
     
  9. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Gives up a place to store tools, equipment and building materials while you build the house.
     
  10. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    My garage was up several years before the house. We called it the "barn", but it ended up being a studio/laudry room/garage. We stayed in it while the house was being built...and now have a place to rent out should the need arise.

    A camper would depreciate, but the barn will increase your property value. Ours is a SteelMaster 30x20 building and weathered the 3 hurricanes here without a hitch.

    I had to laugh when we brought my daughter's 9 yr old friend home with us after church one evening. The barn is a separate building but its front is designed and painted to match our farmhouse. As we pulled up to it, the little visitor said "Oh, is that your house?" To which my daughter grandly replied, "No, that is the guest house, we live in the 2 story house over there". (but she had actually lived in the barn longer than in the new house at that point!).
     
  11. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Consider a used single wide for living quarters and a shipping container for storage. If you know where you will put the house, you can put in the septic and water now for the trailer and then hook the house up to them. Used single wides, still liveable, go quite cheap.

    On parent's quarters, remember it would be on the second floor and the stairs may be a REAL problem for them.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  12. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    OZ I believe that for $25,000 I would put in well and septic and buy a nice Travel Trailer. Like Ken Scharabok said a Shipping Container OR a 8' x 53' transfer truck trailer would make a great storage building. You could live in the TT for now and it'd be available later for your Parents to use. (or guest)

    I have a good friend in Louisiana that did something like this. He still uses the camper about as much as he does the house he built. As for campers depreciating Yep but price Hi-Lo's and you'll see they weather quite well.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  13. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    I highly recommend that you stay on your land if at all possible. You risk someone coming and stealing your stuff and it makes it so much easier to build on your land if you are there.

    32 x 40 is big. A 20 or 24 x 36 would be plenty large enough for what you are wanting to do.

    Also, bear in mind that this price is for only the shell. You then have to do the finish out. Insulation, wall board, flooring, plumbing, electrical, heat, a/c, cabinets etc. The big question is if you end up with $50,000 tied up in this building, will you still have money for a house? Can you afford to have $25K to $30K tied up in an upstairs apartment for guests?
     
  14. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    When I did the math on my last barn it was chaeper to out than up. Standard 24' truses are cheap if I rember right it was about 1/2.


    mikell
     
  15. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Observation from the Great White North: If you've the temperament for it and are reasonably handy, rental property is almost always an asset not to be lightly dismissed. There isn't a sucessful farmer (which I define as someone making their living largely off their landholdings) who doesn't own at least one, and usually two or three, rental units. So buying a place in town with an eye to turning it into a rental unit in the future seems prudent to me. Building "whatever" which might be more expensive now but can easily be turned into a rental unit seems prudent. Sometimes going for the cheapest solution isn't necessarily the best investment.
     
  16. Snugglebunny

    Snugglebunny Well-Known Member

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    My parents bought a condemned house over 20 years ago for next to nothing. My dad fixed the whole thing up himself, with help from his brother, his dad and my Mom's dad (whom are all very handy, some of them were professional carpenters). This house was fortunate to have an old carriage-house attatched onto it (the house is over 100 yrs old), which was fixed up first to give us a place to live while the main house was being fixed up.

    When I was growing up it was rented out to an elderly family friend for many, many years, then to several other tennents, and now it's rented to my brother and his wife who are having some money troubles. After they leave, it will go to my other brother who has developed a serious mental illness and cannot live alone.

    My parents confided that renting the apartment consistently paid their mortgage, and they rarely had trouble finding tennants - most of the time they found tennants through word-of-mouth, without even needing to put an ad in the paper. Now that they are getting older, and my mother is beginning to have health problems, it is comforting to them to know that they will always have the income from the rental should my Dad's job fall through or my Mom have to stop working, especially since their mortgage has now been paid off, the apartment is nothing but income.

    I personally think it is one of the wisest investments, especially if you live in an area with a housing shortage where you know there is a good demand for it.
     
  17. pandbscott5925

    pandbscott5925 Member

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    my wife and i just did the same thing. we bought 16 acres of land and oput the in town house up for sale. it sold quickly, to quickly. we had thirty days to be out of it. we went to the bank and talked with them about options. we were planning on buying a fifth wheel and building this coming spring. the bank officer asked if we planned on building other buildings besides our house in the future. we did, he reccommended us building one of those buildings and living in it till spring. we built a 28x40 stick framed buildinginsulated and drywalled. we didnt finish the drywall but it has been real cozy none the less. we owned the land out right but it took every cent we had. we borrowed 25,000 built the building put in a septic and had a well drilled. we also had to have a driveway which amounted to large rock bill. 23 triaxle loads of rock. but we did all that for the amount borrowed. the building has a small bathroom and a kitchen area. but the best part is, the equity in the property doubled what i borrowed, with a travel trailer, it would just depreciate in value. if you go that route you add nothing to the property that is perminate. which ever a barn are a garage , i would say to build equity rather than buy something temporary.
     
  18. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Now days, security is a growing concern. This is the biggest negative to building a barn on your property and living 3 hours away. Any comforts, equipment or supplies could be at risk. While new security systems are pretty amazing and could alert you if the property was being robbed or vandalized, the question is whether you could get someone local to respond quickly enough to prevent loss or damage. It would seem that one major reason for building such a structure, (in addition to having a place to stay) would be to store building materials and construction equipment. These are precisely the things a robber would want.

    An advantage not mentioned to buying in town is having neighbors nearby. Such a property could provide more secure storage for the construction needs to build your future house. In addition, having electric, water and septic would be more comfortable than camping in the barn.

    From your statements, it seems that homes in town are less than the $25K. Buying a house in town would leave some money for septic and well. No one can steal those.
     
  19. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We DO worry about security on the land-it might be unfounded but we envision coming back and finding everything gone ....

    We cannot have a trailer on the land as there a few restrictions,we have looked at campers but again it would depreciate and would be housing and little more.

    Our land is quite isolated and there is only one way in down a rough driveway-someone would REALLY want to go there.

    Also there is at this time only two houses built in the area and both are towards the front of the development.
    interestingly enough,these two houses are up for sale at quite a price-$160,000 and up....makes us feel we could easily get money back from our investment IF we chose to sell.

    A home in town would most likely be about $45,000 for something that cold be resold or rented easily.

    I realise that the apartment upstairs would be a problem-it was bad enough for me at the guesthouse we stayed in this past week as I have bad kness....

    Thanks for all the responses as it is helpful to see what others think.
     
  20. AuntKitty

    AuntKitty Well-Known Member

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    Just where in Western NC do you think you can buy a liveable house for $45k? And if anyone anywhere around you is building now, the thieves already know you are there. When my parents built their cabin in WNC, one of the workers came back once they had moved stuff in and stole everything including the central air conditioning unit. Really isolated property gives them a chance to steal at their leisure. We hear reports all the time about vacation cabins and any really isolated buildings getting broken into. Just something to think about.