Bucket list item #1. Build a new home.
It's been on my list for a long time now, and I'm finally one step closer. Building a new home is a bit like eating an elephant. It's a seemingly impossible task, from finding where you want to live, understanding the ins and outs of the various different financing options, finding an architect, designing building and on and on and on. While it seems overwhelming, especially if finances are limited, where there is a will there is a way. The path I'm leveraging is all about baby steps.
First, I knew I wanted to live in East Austin, so the next big issue is where I can actually afford to build. High home prices in Austin make finding affordable lots nearly impossible. On top of that financing a lot is quite a bit more difficult than financing a home, you typically need 20% - 30% down. My solution was to buy a house. More specifically the cheapest, must undesirable house I could find. An that's exactly what I did.
Of course that's just the first step. Now comes the part where I squirrel away as much money as I can, work with an architect to design my dream home, and patiently wait. Part of that money saving means living in that horrible home I just bought. The home above is what I'm starting out with. A 50's duplex that has lots of little rooms stuffed into a 900 sq/ft space.
The plan is to spend the least amount of money and make the space as livable as possible before it eventually gets torn down for my dream home. It's a champagne on a beer budget kind of project. The kind that of project that requires a lot of creativity, a lot of sweat equity and a whole lot of vision. Luckily I've got those areas covered.
The biggest thing the house needs is open space. 900 sq/ft is plenty of room, but to not feel cramped the floor plan needs to change a bit. I'll be tearing down a few walls and adding a sliding glass door so there is access to the back yard. Between that and lots and lots of white paint, and a creative flooring plan, I'm pretty confident it's going to be an interesting fun place to live while I plan out my future home.