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Beginner's Guide To Constructing A Starter Home

Lauren WhiteSeptember 10, 2018

You’ve had it with rising rent prices. You’re done throwing away your money, but you don’t have a lot to invest and if you buy an old home, you won’t have a lot of savings for repairs.

Take a deep breath because the once-scary thought of building your own starter home is more tangible than ever. There is a blueprint for every lifestyle and budget, and yours is waiting for you to take the leap. Whether you want to go modular, small, or even tiny, there’s an affordable option to help you transition, save, and grow.

Tiny Houses

To get you out of your parents’ place.

Tiny houses are typically around 100-300 square feet and are being built for an average of $23,000. Handy homeowners have managed to build tiny homes for as little as $3,000-$4,000.

While there are some people who can make this small space work for their family, even a single person should do some intense soul-searching before making this choice. This minimalist lifestyle is not for everyone, but it might just be perfect for you. The low cost means you may be able to skip out on a mortgage altogether, and the low square footage means low or nonexistent utility bills depending on the features you prefer.

You can either build the house yourself or hire professionals in the industry. There are lots of companies that specialize in tiny home construction to answer to the quickly growing demand. Think about the essentials you couldn’t live without, how you can make use of your outside space and ways you can create multi-use areas and surfaces.

Small Homes

To start your lives together.

Small houses are usually classified as 750-1,250 square feet, while average size houses are over 2,000 square feet. Considering that the average cost to build a small home is $150 per square foot, you’re looking at a $100,000-$200,000 build. Of course, this isn’t too much less than buying a ready-made home, but there are benefits to building your own which could make it worth it.

- Constructing to your specific needs. Maybe you don’t want a foyer, but you would love a mud room off the back door. Maybe you want to combine the kitchen and dining room concepts. When you build for yourself, you can cut out useless space and optimize for your needs.

- Allowing a worry-free period. Everything will be shiny and new in your starter home. You won’t have to worry about rusted plumbing or old electrical connections–at least not for a long while. After putting up a substantial investment on your mortgage, it will be a relief not to have unexpected repair costs.

Lego Houses

For ever-changing circumstances.

Not quite sure what life changes to expect in the next five years? Modular homes have come a long way. You can have a prefabricated house pieced together on your property, then add to it as your family and spatial needs grow. These can be built for as little as $25,000. Grander designs can reach up to $100,000.

Many of these are built to be eco-conscious. You can select energy-saving features like solar panels, LED lighting, and passive heating. They come in a great variety of styles, so you can have your rustic cabin retreat or a modern, industrial masterpiece. If you’re interested in building your own home, the Open Building Institute is leading innovation on starter modular homes with their Eco-Building Toolkit. With this, building your ideal home can be as easy as dragging-and-dropping on your computer screen.

As you begin the process of selecting the right starter home for you or your family, innovations like these are on the horizon and can help you find what works best for you. Modular, lego-style homes are a raging trend, and so are tiny homes. But maybe a small, traditional home will be best for both you and your resale value five or ten years down the road.

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    Lauren White

    The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.