Occasionally I have an idea to make a radical change in the course set out for my family. If you’re a long time reader, you’ve been witness to some of these ideas. Lately I’ve been looking at Tumbleweed Houses (www.tumbleweedhouses.com). These tiny, adorable, well-built homes are very attractive. I’ve always been attracted to simpler lifestyles, and these homes fit the bill, ranging in size from about 300 square feet to about 1000 square feet. The smaller houses can be built on trailers and therefore moved wherever you decide to live. The bigger houses are dollhouse-cute homes that have darling porches, up to 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths.
I even ran through the build cost scenario to find out how much it would cost to pay someone else to build a 3-bedroom home, using the handy dandy calculator on the site. The total was $142K USD. Hmmmmm. Vacant land in our city is hard to come by, since we live in a city. More likely we would have to find a tear-down home, then pay to have it torn down and removed, and THEN build a new house on it. I do believe the total would be about the same as buying a lot with a house on it already. Or at least, the cost would be high enough to not be worth what I’m sure would be many headaches to get a new home built here. I know others here who have bought land here and built new. The local politicians, by-laws, permits, and regulations, complete with fees every step of the way, would serve to drive me to throw up my hands and wonder how the heck I ever thought this was a good idea. So I’m going to save myself some hassle and forget about pursuing this.
1 year ago we decided to sell our family home and move to a cheaper place, pocketing the difference. We didn’t end up finding a buyer in time to meet the closing for the new place, and we backed out of the purchase. The house we were set to buy did eventually sell for the same price as we were offering to pay, so at least we weren’t held liable for a difference in price. The upshot of this experience has been that we were fools to ever consider moving from our beloved neighbourhood; we love it here. No matter how much the property taxes, or the difficulty of finding parking spaces, or any other annoyance, overall we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. The feeling of happiness and security here makes the cost of living in this neighbourhood worthwhile. If we needed to go through that horrible process to figure that out, then so be it. At least I can find a positive result from a stressful time in our past.