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Need advise on earth ship purchase

 
pollinator
Posts: 4665
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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I found a property for sale in my area that looks really interesting but I really know nothing about earthships. Here is the realtors link.

http://listings.listhub.net/pages/METROLIST/1127775/?channel=secondspace

It sits on 38 acres, home is 2978 sq ft. Says it needs work, not sure what that means as I haven't called to ask yet.
I thought I would go look at it sometime in the next couple of weeks. What should I be looking for? What questions should I be asking ?
Anyone here live in one now or in the past? What did you like or dislike. How much up keep is there? How would that compare with a traditional stick built home?
Thanks for any info !
 
Posts: 155
Location: Cornwall UK
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I would see if you can get hold of Mike Reynolds http://earthship.com/blog/Michael-Reynolds.html and see if he can offer any help.

I would also see if you can get his first two books from the library so you can see what you are letting yourself in for.

I love earthships but you need to know how to run one as they are self contained and deal with their own waste etc.

Good luck
 
pollinator
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Earthships have strong but quirky personalities. I would love to have one, but no way would I build one. They are made to LIVE in--they need constant human interaction to adjust the solar systems and food systems.

If it was built by Reynolds' crew, it should be structurally sound. If it was DIY or other contractor, there are lots of questions to the structural strength of things that are now buried in tons of dirt.

They really should be designed for a certain size family--if the systems were sized for a couple and you have 6 kids, the water and waste management can't keep up. Vice versa, if it was designed for 8 people and you are only a couple, you can't supply the food systems enough nutrient as they were designed.

They are all but impossible to finance--you need to come up with cash outright or at least enough that the land can act as collateral. You can use that to your advantage for price negotiations.

 
Posts: 1
Location: Michigan
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First, I doubt this is an actual earthship which means it isn't so delicate.

Second, I bought an earthshelter home last year that was built in the early 80s. I would say it needed some tlc. Thankfully that just meant some general mintenance as it hasn't been lived in in a while.

I would be most concerned with water leakage. Also ventilation. Our home suffers from high humidity and radon, which would both be helped with better ventilation, which we are working on.
 
Miles Flansburg
pollinator
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Thanks for all of the responses so far. Ya I am not sure if it is an "earthship" or just a berm home or some other. I was worried about financing and resale value too. I guess I have always been drawn to these types of homes but not sure if they would be a good fit for me. I will probably go take a look but it is a big unknown for me, so kind of scary. The land is a big draw for me though.
 
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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you may want to get a hold of Mikey, in Black Forest, (east of Colorado Springs)
They built a earthship and he has a lot of knowledge about how to build/maintain these types of homes.

he has had a hand in building/designing a lot of the earthship type homes in the area. He may know about this one specifically.

You may also be able to have him come and help inspect the potential new home and get his unbiased feedback/suggestions.

when we were debating building one, he was a HUGE help.
we have been to his house, his neighbors earthship, as well as a few other in our area that he has helped with.
http://www.touchtheearthranch.com/rhome.htm


I also have all of the earthship books. if you get serious, i would suggest you at least browse through the books to get an idea of how the house was designed/built.
hope this helps.

kelly
 
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