Our house, making the modern home affordable

before copyThis is the first in a long series of posts that I will be doing over the next couple of months. One of the biggest obstacles to us aspiring modernists is finding an affordable modern home. In fact, it has become a huge niche market with tons of people trying to cash in on. Prefab housing was one of the first genuine attempts to make affordable modern homes available to the masses, but unfortunately it has come up short in filling the needs of the common man. I hope to show that with a little creative thinking, and a lot of hard work, anyone can have an affordable modern home. For those that are interested in a somewhat lengthy, but thorough discussion of how we are making it happen, read on...

Ok, let me set the stage for you, tell me if it sounds familiar to you. My wife and I had been married for about two years, and had been living in various apartments around the city, some better than others. We were really tired of feeling like we were just throwing our money away, and wanted to live in a modern contemporary home. We spent quite some time researching building costs, figuring that the best way to have a modern home was just to build one. We live in Salt Lake City, Ut, and building costs for the frugal can usually be had around $100 a square foot. We thought that would be perfect, 1200 square foot home on a thirty thousand dollar lot, and we would hit our budget of $150 thousand. Sounds good on paper, unfortunately it totally doesn't work. Problem #1, there are no lots for sale anywhere we would want to live, and certainly not for $30 thousand. We really didn't want to compromise on location, so after almost 3 months of looking for a lot, we gave up on the plan of building in the downtown area. That left two options, either buy a house that already fits our style and budget, or find something really cheap that we could put a lot of money into. Of course finding something that fits our style and budget was never going to happen. All the cool houses go for 1/2 million or more, very frustrating. So we set out trying to find a house that was cheap and in a good location. Not an easy task, but one that at least proved possible.

Stay tuned for the next update in this series on making the modern home affordable. If there are any details you want to know, just ask.

Please excuse me while I pay some bills...