Buying an existing home or building a new one is an expensive proposition, but if you’re willing to take an unconventional approach, you can build your own home by increments and spread the cost out over a period of years, possibly saving yourself a mortgage.
The first step is finding and purchasing a piece of property. You need to have the property inspected and judged acceptable for sewage or a septic system and availability to water and other utilities, and to make sure the land is zoned for residential use. Make sure you get all the building permits and other documentation you need, and then plan your home.
You might want to look at plans for homes, for sale in bookstores and through a number of magazines, or you might want to design your own home. Think of ways you can build your home in stages, making sure that the home is habitable at an early stage of building. One young couple decided to build a conventional stick-built home, but finished off the basement area first and capped it, then lived in the cellar while building the rest of the house.
There are companies in existence that offer modular homes built largely in a factory and then assembled on-site [ Some of these are created in segments which can either stand alone or be pieced together either all at once or over a period of time. The manufacturers will be able to give you valuable advice on how best to proceed.
Make sure that the most necessary parts of your home are built first. If necessary, you can live essentially in one room that serves as kitchen, living room and bedroom-renters of efficiency apartments do it all the time-but unless you want to live really roughly and use an outhouse (not a pleasant thought!) one of your first priorities should be to build a fully functional bathroom.
Also make sure that, even though you plan to add on to your home in increments, you plan the entire structure of the home up front. You may decide that you will add on a laundry room in two years, for instance; you will want to have the plans for that laundry room now, so that expensive plumbing and electrical work will be done in the most efficient manner possible. This generally means clustering rooms that need a water supply close together to minimize the material needed.
Building your home over a period of years by using your own money or by accessing short-term unsecured personal loans, or a combination of the two, will allow you to own your home outright immediately and save you many thousands of dollars over your lifetime. If you’re willing to be patient and live unconventionally for a while, it’s a great option.