Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Got moved in.

I have finally moved into my little blue house and couldn't be happier. It has been about a year since I moved out of my old house. If you have read my other posts you will already know that I sold my three bedroom house and closed on it in April 2015. I actually accepted an offer on that house in November of 2014! ( photos at the end)

I have known for years that I wanted a small house that I designed. I can remember taking a drafting class in high school, I was the only girl in class, and drawing my dream home even back then. While the floor plan is now different from that first drawing, the idea is the same.

I made money on the sale of my house and used that as my seed money to get started. The lot that I built on is inherited land, and is not added into my final cost. What really prompted me to sell my three bedroom house was getting out of debt. I had begun following the advice of Dave Ramsey's total money makeover and realized that I had substantial equity in my house. I had bought it for a real bargain five years prior and had redone the kitchen, added a deck and fenced the yard. I had about $6,000 in credit card debt and was almost done paying off my car when I accepted the offer on my house. I paid off my car shortly after and attacked as much of the credit card debt I could. By the time the sale of my house closed I still owed about $3,400. I paid that off with part of the earnings from my house and banked the rest for my new house.

When I say I banked the rest, this is what I did. I'll be honest, I didn't trust myself with that much money. I wanted to put it somewhere away from my everyday banking account so I did. I opened a checking and savings account at a bank that was located in a different town, there was not a branch where I live, and tried to forget about it while I worked on getting quotes and clearing the property. I didn't carry the checkbook or debit card for that account with me until construction started. I started with approx. $43,000.

After the land was cleared, construction began on a pole barn style house. The total amount I paid for this was $24,400. I used a local, small, company who buys their supplies from other small local companies. The only other construction I hired out was the electrical and the hanging, floating and taping of sheet rock. I supplied the supplies so I only paid them for their labor. Family members helped me with all other aspects of this build, my Dad is a champ. We rented equipment when needed and I purchased all materials just as needed. I did not allow myself to buy anything that was not construction related until nearly the end.

I did run out of money, probably in February 2016, but since I was debt free I put my entire paycheck, I am paid once a month, into my construction account for the months of January, February, March and used that to finish. I have spent approx. $48,000 to get to this point. The only things that remain to be done are finishing the porch railing, adding additional stairs from the porch and insulating the crawl space. The first to be done will be the porch rails. The other two can be done at a later date.

What I ended up with is a 24x32 foot house with approx 768 square feet. The porch is approx 392 square feet. The house contains five rooms. An open living/kitchen area, laundry/pantry room, bedroom, walk-in closet and a bathroom. I purchased some items from Home Depot. This includes my kitchen cabinets, counter tops, bathroom vanity, toilet, shower, faucets, light fixtures, ceiling fans, paint, primer, light bulbs, cabinet hardware, door knobs, interior doors, exterior doors, windows. All these items were off the shelf, no special orders.

I purchased sheet rock, insulation, electrical boxes/supplies, trim, screws, staples, plumbing supplies, gutters, mailbox, appliances (gas range, microwave vent, dishwasher, hot water heater and washer/dryer), sofa and probably more, from three hardware stores in the town I live in. I bought my kitchen island, which is a Kobalt workbench, from Lowes when it was on sale. My septic tank was purchased from another local company. The septic pump, closet organizer, braided rug, blue stools and bakers rack were purchased online. All other furniture, rugs and appliances were items that I already owned or were given to me, all were gently used items. My kitchen sink is an old enameled sink with a drain board that was being stored behind my parent's old chicken coop. It has a couple of quarter sized dings, but they were easily painted over with appliance paint.

My air/heat units were purchased from Alpine Home Air. Here is their link: Both were reasonable priced, arrived quickly and work well.

You will notice that my floor is just the sub-floor that has been painted using a good Behr paint with primer.

I hope my journey is an inspiration to others. It is possible to build a nice, small home with a meager budget. I count myself very blessed. I have paid off all my debt and have a mortgage free home.

Below are some interior photos and yes its a mess, but isn't life that way?  I still need to unpack some things and hang some wall decor.