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Good and Bad News for the 100K House Project

by Chad Ludeman on June 3, 2008 · 6 comments

in Development,land acquisition,sales

Good News:

We have had title issues on the land for the project that have kept us from settling since January. I got a call yesterday that said the key issues have been resolved and we hope to be able to settle on the land in a matter of weeks. That means we will be able to break ground about 2 months afterwards. The SIPs are an eight week lead time alone so ground breaking will depend on scheduling labor and materials as we intend to get these up fast once the first shovel goes in the ground. If we have to delay ground breaking a couple of weeks in order to ensure a smooth building process without delays, we will do so.

Bad News:

I think the wife and I are going to buy the 100K House. We have been intending to sell and trying to avoid the urge to buy it ourselves, but are failing. We will sell the corner house next door still, but unless someone contacts me in the next week or so and gives a really convincing argument, I think I’m gonna snatch it up. More of similar homes are in the works next though so stay tuned…

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 joshuadf June 3, 2008 at 10:24 pm

That’s not bad news, I’m glad you believe in it.

2 Kersten June 3, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Good news for you, but wasn’t part of the project to see if it were economically viable to build this way? Aren’t you at least partially interested in what the market holds for this project?

3 chad June 4, 2008 at 1:00 am

Good question Kersten. The main point of the project was to see if a home could be built for the target amount of $100K that met our criteria (and others like us) for modern and green design.

Certainly, I as the developer, am very interested in whether this model is viable as a business model. I would argue that we have gone a long way towards proving this although nothing is proof like selling the finished product. There has been a lot of interest here on the blog that points to this being viable and we are also working with a new client to build them a home based on the model.

There are also business reasons for us moving into the home that make sense the closer we get to building it. For one, we will be able to learn from our experience of living through four seasons in the home to build a better home the next time. Secondly, it will allow us to use the home as a sort of model for tours and events whenever we need to. Lastly, it will allow the business to gain an asset with equity in it that will make obtaining business loans easier. Postgreen will need more working capital to get to the next level without bringing investors on…

I will admit, it is not the perfect scenario and obviously not what I intended from the beginning, but I think it is the best decision overall.

4 Rob June 4, 2008 at 12:15 pm

If you are still intending to sell the corner house then I see no reason why this should be considered bad news at all. The corner house at a 20% premium will still give you a fair assessment of the local desire for a project like this.
Also if do in fact buy the house, perhaps you could setup to monitor your energy and water consumption, maybe track daylighting and IAQ. Verification of all of the hard work that everyone has put into this porject. Think of how that would help you sell the next houses! :)

5 Rae June 4, 2008 at 6:28 pm

I think that’s a good point about living through 4 seasons in the house… we certainly learned a lot after spending a Vermont winter in our new construction. We found that we were really happy with our geothermal heat and super-insulated windows, but that even with triple-glazing you could see frost on the inside some mornings! That’s the kind of insight you might not get without living there. Also, since we were working on it and occupying the house at the same time, we were able to modify some plans once we saw how we used the space.

Congrats on finally being able to settle on the land! Why such a long gap before breaking ground? I think we started building 3 days after we closed.

6 chad June 6, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Thanks for the words of encouragement from everyone.

Rae – We will have a delay for a couple of reasons. One, we still need to get building permits from the city since I held off on them due to the lot situation. Also, we need to order the SIPs and there is a minimum of an eight week lead time for them now. I won’t start that process until we settle on the land so that is the main reason for the 2 month estimate. We don’t want to have a foundation sitting on the lots for 6 weeks or so while we wait for the SIPs to arrive…

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