I mentioned in my last post that I put an offer in on a piece of land. Yes – it was the land that I’d mentioned previously. (If you missed it, read about it here.) I have good news to share and bad news to share.

The good news is that the sellers accepted my offer!

The bad news is that the sellers accepted my offer…

So I now have the very interesting task of tearing down the structure that is on the property. I wanted to share a few pictures before I begin the process. I will try and get to the property soon to take some more pictures since I don’t have any of the view, which is the best part.

WARNING: They are not pretty!

I also went to the bank to set up my loan and payments, and since I’m documenting my process I will share with you the strange way I’ve had to go about my financing.

First I got a personal loan to pay my builder, Tiny House Squared, and pay for some immediate upgrades to the property. I paid my builder a down payment, plus paid for the order of building materials. (He chose the materials but we worked collaboratively on the layout of windows, the door, walls, etc.) In lieu of a traditional personal loan, I went the route of refinancing my car. This made it a secured auto loan, which gave me a much lower interest rate. I highly recommend it if this is an option for you.

I knew if I bought this property that I would need to pay for some things immediately, like fixing the driveway and renting a dumpster to haul away the trash. (I also need to hire a company to haul away a car that is on the property, but I have to get a abandonment title first since I don’t know who owned it.) Additionally I’ll need to buy some tools I don’t currently have, like a reciprocating saw. I don’t think I’ll need the entire amount of the loan I took out, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry in this situation.

My next step was to find a bank that would lend on a piece of land. The trouble I ran into was twofold. First, most banks will not give you a mortgage for less than $50,000; the risk-reward is just not in their favor on these loans, I’m told. Second, few banks will give a land loan, which is what I need. The suggestion I ran into again and again was to take out an additional personal loan. With a 4-5% difference between a personal loan and a land loan, I continued to pursue the latter. I was finally referred to a small bank about an hour away from where I live for my land loan. To save yourself a lot of time and a migraine or two, I suggest starting with smaller banks and credit unions if you need this type of loan.

Now that the loan is in process, I have to focus on tedious tasks, such as getting the aforementioned abandonment title and calling electricians to get a quote on temporary electric service. I am also getting a quote from a demolition company just to see if it would be worth my money for someone else to tear the modular home down. I’m currently doubling my income with my second job, so I think about one month of my second income is my cut-off amount for the demolition. I’ve also left messages for the Fire Marshall to see if the volunteer fire department would come and do a controlled burn. That would be ideal!

Either way, once the structure is down I will need to get someone to take the I-beams that the house is resting on. They are very long and obviously heavy, but I have a few options.

The most exciting part so far is that my trailer is finished and my build has begun! Here are some pictures of that as well!

Thank you for continuing to follow my journey! More exciting updates to come!


6 thoughts on “Giant Leaps

  1. Congrats Rachel! Suggestion: Skip the reciprocating saw. Instead go for a sledge hammer, mallet, claw hammer, and crowbar. While cutting the structure apart may sound easier, I’ve found that breaking the joints is a lot easier. With a little practice you’ll learn where to hit a board and pop it right out with one hit, where it takes more time to cut it away. Less tiring too, since muscling that sawz-all around is tiring. As Boo just mentioned, the wood may be salvageable for sale, or simply used for garden projects.


  2. Another thought: Don’t forget to get a permit to demolish the structure on the property! It may seem trivial, but with the problems of getting your property legal for your Tiny House, you can’t do wrong with playing by your localities’ rules. You might even get a break on the property tax assessment, since the property officially no longer has a fixed structure on it.


  3. Hello Rachel, Congrat’s on the land purchase! Location? BIG demo project! What will you salvage for your Tiny House. COOL plans! What kind of hobbies do you have? I can’t wait to meet you & the others on March 13th.

    Thanks, Jeff Hewlett

    Subject: [New post] Giant Leaps


  4. Rachel,

    Boo’s idea is a sure thing!

    But first, look at what you have and reimagine it. The cinder blocks, for a raised bed garden. The shed, cleaned and painted, with a wood floor from scraps, becomes tool storage or a studio. Inside mirrors, for a mosaic (home or garden). Maybe the deck could be reusable, as a tiny house deck and walkway. Closet poles, for use in the shed. Lots of free possibilities!

    Are the I-beams wood or metal? If metal (this includes all mental you find), contact a local recycling business and get paid, for it. If they can send a truck, for pickup they will subtract truck fees and send you the difference.

    Advertise in the Thrifty Nickel, Exchange or whatever local ads paper, is in your area. Wood, metal roofing, wire, light fixtures, and so forth, are all sellable.

    I know people, that have built cabins, from sales like this.

    What does not sell, give to Habitat for Humanity, and you will have something to write off, on your taxes.

    Whatever is left, that is usable, put out a FREE sign.

    Hopefully, this way, you will not incur to many dumpster fees and still Reuse, Reclaim, Recycle.

    I congradulate you!!! Wow, when you set your mind on something, you get it DONE.

    Quick question, is there a septic tank on the property? Check with the county, before hook up. Better a fee now, then a fine later.

    If you plan on grey water use, for garden watering, be sure to tell your builder.

    Above all, have fun and enjoy the new life you are creating, for yourself.


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