Why We Decided to Build a House
Cost - A 1-bedroom condo in the locations we love in San Diego cost anywhere from $170-$250k. A 2-bedroom condo in the same locations can cost way past $300k. Most of these homes are condo conversions, meaning the insides are old and the outsides are new, which is something I am not too comfortable with. Building our own house would mean we would get brand new everything for LESS than half the price of a 1-bedroom condo, our budget is under $100k. We will even get to customize the space to our needs and we won’t have to pay HOA fees, which range from $300-$400/mo here. We would be sharing utility bills with the main house which greatly reduces those costs as well. Besides not having a monthly mortgage, we are also avoiding having to rent a place which ranges between $1,000-$1,500 for a 1 bedroom tiny apartment. We are talking about saving over HUNDREDS of dollars in avoidance costs.
Lot – We do not have to buy a lot right now because we currently live with BF’s parents. They have a huge backyard with a pool, a huge lawn, and even more space on the other side. They want us to use this lot to build our house and they have been suggesting this since last year before we even thought about it too much. Eventually BF’s parents will give the house to him and his 2 siblings (equal shares) and BF and I would just buy them out so that we own the entire house. Basically this house will bring up the property value in the future. I absolutely love the neighborhood in La Jolla and the homes are hitting the million dollar range. Imagine the possibilities!
Design – We do not like living in apartment style condos because of the lack of privacy and how thin the walls are. I hate hearing people walk, use their shower/sink, and open their garage. In addition we would get to customize the sizes of the rooms which is very useful to us. Since we appreciate cooking, we will get to have a say in the kitchen design! I also want a gorgeous bathroom which we will be able to do since the house is not big and we can afford to put more money into that.
[Both pics from The Tiny Life] 500 sq foot homes
I think the most intriguing part of building this space is the design and open layout of it all. 500-600 square feet can be a lot if you space everything out and utilize every part of the home. Also, having a smaller space means you can spend more money on the architecture, the expensive countertops and appliances, and a lavish bathroom (2-person standing shower or whirlpool spa bathtub w/ jets anyone?).
All in all, we know it’s going to take a lot of research, hard work and dedication but we are determined to do this for ourselves. The most important aspect of this project is that we both decided on it together, and we constantly discuss our future. We have already spent the past few days discussing our plans, wants, needs, researching permits/foundations/structures, estimating costs, measuring the area, reading up on the municipal code, checking the zoning, etc. I will be sharing our experiences on this blog so I hope you will all join me on this journey. I can’t wait for the finished product!