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Flipping land?  RSS feed

 
Miranda Stark
Posts: 1
Location: Fraser Valley, BC, Canada
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Currently I live in the city out of my folks' home with a small business and student and business start-up debt. I have had a profound interest in roundwood frame and straw bale houses for a few years now. I have been looking into plots of land in northern BC and have found many I would like to get my hands on, and believe I can, for a reasonably small down payment (a couple thousand for a 1-2 acre 20k plot). What I have been thinking is, I am in no position to relocate, but by continuing to work in the location I am now, paying off my debts and paying for a mortgage, I can, in my spare time and time taken off from running my business, go up north to begin plans for a roundwood/straw bale home with a permaculture design on the surrounding land. What I would then like to do is sell the property again, with a semi-sustainable home on top of it. I'm not interested in making big bucks off of it, but a little reward for my work (that would just go straight into paying off my debts anyways) would be nice. What I'm wondering is, does anyone have any experience doing this? Interested in hearing stories from experience. What I would eventually like to do is pay off all my debts so I can move and find work elsewhere, and with experience build my own sustainable home on some acreage. Thoughts?
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
Posts: 684
Location: Richmond, Utah
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Hi Miranda,
I can tell that you have the best of intentions, but you are headed out into deep waters. If everything goes well and you find the right people to help you, then you will have an amazing product, but if you don't know how to detail these buildings and you hire average builders to do a job they are unfamiliar with, then you are headed for disaster. The bank will hold you responsible for repayment of at least $100,000.
I have been approached by a local investor who has the same idea as you do. He owns a lot of land and he had a dream there were clay houses all over a 70 acre parcel I think that there are a lot of people who would love to buy a turnkey permaculture homestead, so the market is there, but where are the trained workers? I find that there are few natural builders really hitting the mark!
So, I have a plan. A few years ago I made a documentary with an old friend that has been seen by at least 12,000 people, probably more. This got me thinking about how to spread knowledge, not just the ideas and big picture stuff, but the tiny details that make or break a building in the long run.
This plan is way bigger than I can handle alone, so I am calling on those with skills that I do not possess like marketing and business strategies, community development, permaculture infrastructure, etc.
My current plan is to let the investor pay for all building costs and to crowdfund the video costs. Then put out all info for free.
 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 743
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I would be concerned that a potential buyer can get financing on a home that's not the typical stick built home.

That would really limit potential buyers if it had to be a cash transaction.

 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2844
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Hi Miranda,

It sounds to me like you want to be a part-time developer, which is a very lofty, fraught with financial disaster opportunities, goal.
As Bill points out, there are few builders capable of great fit and finish of this type of building, that means you have to be so confident in their abilities that you won't be worried about the home guarantee.
Since you are going to end up being the seller, you are the one that will become liable for any failures of the home, not the builder (except to you, this means should there be a guarantee claim you are the one that has to go after the builder to fix it, not the purchaser).

If you are planning to build this roundwood/ strawbale house yourself, you first need to know the ins and outs of building such a structure. If you don't have the skills then you will need to first acquire them or hire someone with them.
The other part of this idea is the time it takes to actually build such a structure. If you went to the location every weekend, how many hours would you actually be putting into the construction?

I live on my land and work the week days 35 miles from my place, I rarely get more than 10 hours in on actual construction in on a weekend. True I have to take care of animals but that is only about 1 hour per day.
My Saturday starts with getting up at 5am, I get dressed, go feed the hogs, change their water, check their bedding then it is back to the house for breakfast (my wife prepares it while I do the hog chores).
I usually head to start construction around 7 am (when it gets light enough for the work).
I pull out the tools needed, then get everything setup and now it is already 8 am. I stop at around noon for some lunch and get back to work, then about half an hour before darkness I have to put everything up and wash up for supper.
Sunday is a short day since I also have to shower so I'm clean for work on Monday morning. During the work week I am away 12 hours (work is 8 of that the rest travel time from home to back home). Now that it is winter, we leave in the dark and get home in the dark.
It's a grueling schedule, and I don't have business debt or student loan debt to pay off.
I own my land outright as well as everything but one of our two vehicles.

Since you state you already have debt for a small business and student loan debt, and now want to add to that stack purchase of land and building a house, all while not being present at the location full time.
This is a challenge not many would even think of attempting.
So much can go wrong, Perhaps it would be best to work at paying off your current debt load and then saving up for that eventual move.
I like to see people attempt challenges but I also like them to know the cold hard facts of what it takes to succeed at what they want to attempt.
I do not like to see people fail and become discouraged or go broke.
I've seen many start with high ambition only to fall into despair from lack of knowledge on the front end.
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1338
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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Bryant said
This is a challenge not many would even think of attempting.
So much can go wrong, Perhaps it would be best to work at paying off your current debt load and then saving up for that eventual move.
I like to see people attempt challenges but I also like them to know the cold hard facts of what it takes to succeed at what they want to attempt.
I do not like to see people fail and become discouraged or go broke.
I've seen many start with high ambition only to fall into despair from lack of knowledge on the front end.


And I couldn't agree more.

I am currently in the process of paying off my land, commuting from it during the summer to maximize the time I can work on it, and commuting to it only on occasional weekends in the winter when I stay in town (at least this winter... next winter I'm hoping to stay on the land.)

I have similar ideas to you, but I may never get to them.

The reason is that I am still paying off my land, and I have sooooo many projects that I would like to see happen on my land, that I do not know if I will ever have enough time or energy to get the land flipper idea off the ground.

The benefit of not jumping into it, is that I can build my own thing, and invest my efforts in what is permanently going to be mine, and then, when I am super confident in my skills to do this in completion, and I am out of debt then I can consider the possibility of that sort of venture.
 
I am going down to the lab. Do NOT let anyone in. Not even this tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards
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