Nick, one of our readers left the following comments. “I think the sheer lunacy of the housing situation, what you pay versus what you get, will insure that alternative means of construction will prevail in the end. Even if you don’t have the patience to build yourself, you can buy a steel warehouse building, say 30X40, and play with it to your heart’s content–stone facing on the outside, rice hull insulation indoors, clay walls to cover the rice hulls and steel, earth floor, half height earthbag fencing around the house for utility and beauty–and you’ll still only spend $20,000 versus half a million or more with a 50 year mortgage.
I’m in my mid 40′s and it boggled my mind that I’d have been a slave for my entire life, +5 years just to own a plywood & plasterboard shack that requires constant maintenance to not disintegrate, especially in the humid South. The bankers really do want you to become an adult, and then work for them for your entire life until you die, paying them rent, the pharma groups not far behind, with their belief that everyone of us needs to be on lifelong medications just to line their pockets. Ridiculous.
Another reason for pushing these 50 year mortgages, by the way, is that the robo-signing scandal and real estate fraud that took place during the bubble puts them in serious jeopardy of losing during the foreclosure process, in court, if those people have a good lawyer. By getting fresh signatures on new, proper, documents and invalidating the old fraudulent documents, they gain a much stronger position in any future foreclosure process, and as a final bonus, they also turn some non-recourse mortgages into full recourse mortgages, if state law allows this. ”
Owen: How true. People are waking up to the new reality big time. Take away people’s homes, and make other housing alternatives unaffordable (high rent, excessive building fees), and people are bound to start looking for low cost options. Geez, people can’t even afford a garage now, let alone a decent house. So they start surfing the Internet and see all the cool earthbag and strawbale houses, and other natural building methods using pallets, adobe, earth floors and plaster, ferrocement, pole building, and so on. I look forward to the day when the masses snap out of it and make more sensible choices. The times they are a changin’.
Kelly Hart’s Carriage House plan
This method of adding insulated bags over a manufactured steel vault is a great way to build – very fast and efficient, just bolt together, stack lightweight scoria bags, then plaster. And, it’s easy to get code approval. If you like vaults, this is probably the best way to go.