Owning your own little chunk of paradise without breaking the bank (or even taking a loan from one) is possible for almost anyone.
If you are able to save up $5000 to $20,000 and don’t mind getting your hands a bit dirty in exchange for making a dream come true, then read on.
- Manage your expectations — think tiny.
This journey simply must be about enjoying the basic pleasures of life. The media offers a narrow scope of paradise, often limited to mansions and oceanfront views — but such luxury does not always a paradise make.
If you simply want a place to escape to where you can enjoy fresh scenery and rediscover the intrinsic joy of being alive, palatial seaside homes will get you no closer to this goal than a rustic forest bungalow. So, think small, and achieve your dream vacation retreat all the faster.
- Start with a rough idea of what you’re looking for.
Do you want a tiny house in a snowy forest? How about a piece of lakefront or oceanfront property? Considering where you want to be will narrow down your selection and make the hunt easier to initiate.
- Use the full power of the internet.
It’s Craigslist time. Pick the destination you’re looking for and expand your search radius by 500 miles. Get ready to go property hunting — but let your only expectation be that your expectations will likely change.
For instance, while 15 wooded acres outside of Boston may sound perfect, you may find unexpected perfection in 2.8 wooded acres in northern Vermont that someone will trade you for a pickup truck or $6000. Or perhaps a seafront home on the gulf coast of Florida is your dream, when in fact the bargain that awaits you is an acre of jungle in Puerto Rico for a fraction of the cost.
The point is this: you can find the perfect spot, but allow your ideas to evolve. Whatever you do, keep these 3 points in mind:
- Don’t settle on the first property you find.
- Be thorough — investigate the surroundings, look for red flags like liens against the property, and make sure you’ll be allowed to do with the land what you want.
- Don’t rush the process.
- Build or remodel it yourself.
Salvage and collect free materials like lumber, windows, and tools. Watch plenty of free Youtube tutorials.
The cost of labor in building a house is often 35% to 80% of the entire budget. For that reason, DIY (doing it yourself) and DIT (doing it together) is the way forward.
Do bits of construction as your budget allows, and don’t put pressure on yourself to be done by a certain time. This way, you can create your own getaway on your current salary without excessive stress.
In the end, you’ll find that perfection is not so much found as made — and the joy of making your own paradise is one you’ll never tire of.