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Ok, this is off-topic, but what they hey, there are a lot of people on the BB and I thought it would be great to get some insight on how others have gone from the rental market to home ownership.

I live in Adelaide, South Australia. Anyone from Aus knows that our property market has gone absolutely bonkers (and Adelaide is "cheap" compared to say Sydney). You need at least $300k to buy a house - and then you start renovating or knock it down and build again.

So I'm considering subcontracting and building a house with my wife - I think this is the difference between men and women - I want to get stuck in, but she is not looking forward to it!

With $300k, I can probably find a block of land with around 1000sqm, and use some of the remainder to get at least part of the house livable and get all the heavy work done - earth works, concrete footings/floor, brickwork. Carpentry doesn't bother me, and neither does interior finishing. Basically I'll need to get the house to lock up stage ASAP, and have a liveable area so we can move out of our rental property.

And then there is the balance with work and building. I am fortunate in that I run my own company, however it is still very young and requires a lot of work. But it does mean I can get away from work at 3pm and spend a few hours in the elements building before dark. Weekends would also be entirely available of course. If I have to pay contractors for everything, I can see needing to borrow $450k instead...

I can't see any other way of acheiving the same result - ie, to own a space which suits what we want. Paying $550,000 for someone else's $50k renovation just sh!ts me, but thats the property game huh?

So any comments / criticism - where ever you are - I'm keen to hear from people who have done something similar.

~Benjamin
 

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Three friends of mine have built their own houses, one of which is in the process right now. He's building a temporary house, which will eventually be the garage, to live in while he builds the main structure. He's doing nearly everything and has shifted his job schedule to get a couple hours of work in every day while there's still light. His weekends are also consumed by it. He's been at it for about a year now, though construction was fairly slow through the winter.

Each of these people have said that they underestimated the job and were worn down by the drudgery of holding down their job plus a construction job on their free time. You can certainly save money doing it, but I expect it'll age you a couple years. Also, you'll likely have to lean on your spouse a lot so make sure she's on board by the time you break ground.

On a positive note, one of my friends built a house to resell after he built his primary residence. He turned a nice profit on the second house and has fantastic equity in the house he lives.

It can be done, but I wouldn't want to do it.

Brgds,
Lawrence
 

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My wife built her own house acting as her own general contracter and hiring sub contractors to do the actual construction. She is woman hear her roar as the Helen Reddy song went. We live in that house.

We have bought two other houses, lived in and remodeled first one in Florida and sold it when I retired and moved back to VA, now remodeling the other one and we are 3 years into our 6 month remodeling project. It takes a lot to do it. I am doing all the work on this current project so a real DIY project.

It is my day job as I am retired, but being Mr. Mom, keeping up house we live in and keeping my fleet of Alfas, our truck and her Jeep SUV going , too gets to be a bit overwhelming at times. So it maybe 4 years or more at the rate I am going.

Planning is very important whether building house or remodeling one.
 
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