The past few weeks I’ve started a new series called Debt Free on a Dime. You can read Debt Free on a Dime Part #1 & Part #2 to catch up on how we started our debt free living journey! But today I’m going to tell you how we actually we’re able to build a home DEBT FREE!
God gave me a dream..
Yes, that’s exactly how we started! God gave me this deep down desire to build a home completely debt free! It seemed absolutely CRAZY! We didn’t even know anyone who had ever done that in recent years. We were encouraged to just borrow the money and forget about this nutty idea. Even my husband was not onboard at first. It just seemed so impossible to save enough money to build a home debt free on an income of less than $35,000!
But I could not get this thought out of my head that God really wanted us to build debt free and it would one day bring glory to Him. So, we just decided to start and see where it leads us.
Starting to build a home debt free…
When we hit $13,000 in our savings account (I believe we saved for 2 years) we decided it was time to start building. We just purposed in our hearts that we would go slowly and build each month as we had the money. Our plan was to do the vast majority of the work ourselves. So we started in January. We really thought it might take us a few years to actually build our home completely. Imagine our surprise when we moved in in September of the same year!
How did we do it?
It’s one thing to tell you we did build a home debt free in 9 months but practically how did we do it? The answer is lots of work, savings and sacrifices!
We tucked every spare penny towards our project and went without any extras. No eating out, no new clothes, no trips!
We also did almost all the work ourselves! The only thing we had help with was the foundation, starting the block work and framing the house. All together that cost about $4,000. We called so many contractors, and got loads of estimates before choosing ones we could afford. That is one excellent piece of advice I can offer…call around, don’t accept the first estimate you get unless it’s amazing and you are familiar with the contractor.
Did everything go smoothly?
Well, the answer is most definitely NOT! We had hiccups and mess-ups and things we just did wrong. Here are a few of the bumps we encountered along the way.
The contractor we hired to dig and pour our foundation shot us a great price! His estimate included all the labor and materials for our footing. Unfortunately, he did kind of a shoddy job and we had to clean up after him. He dug all the dirt out and piled it on the inside of the house and then never came back to clean it up! We had to dig it all out.by.hand, while it was frozen solid. It was a major pain and lesson well learned. Never pay the contractor until ALL his work is done (unless you trust him implicitly).
Our second mess wasn’t huge but we tried to get by without buying a few more expensive tools. Guess what? You DO need a tile saw to cut tile and a air nailer is indespensible when it comes to putting up boxcar siding on interior walls. Yep, you guessed it, someone had told us those were unnecessary expenses and you could do it without them just fine. Well maybe you could have, but I sure don’t want to! That just wasted time! Get the right tools…lesson learned!
Was it worth it to build a home debt free?
YES! Oh, definitely yes! When we finished our first part of our home we had a 1,000 square foot home completely debt free. Yes, it was small, but it was only my husband and I. What would we do if we had children? Build on of course, which is exactly what we did 4 years later! This time we added on another 600 square feet which had 2 more bedrooms, a large living room, a closet and pantry.
Now, 4 kids later we still have plenty of room for all of us! God has blessed us so richly, though not necessarily with lots of money. Instead he has given me the ability to stay home and homeschool our children while providing for all of our needs, all while living debt free!
Come back next week to read how j manage our expenses to keep them low!