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Thread: HOME SHOPPING what to look for

  1. #1
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    Default HOME SHOPPING what to look for

    so my family and i will be moving to a new city soon.

    we are looking to buy our first home. Of course iwant to buy 10ish or so acres outside the city and build my own self sufficient and secure ranch.

    im trying to pass it off on the wife as being "green" cause it really is.

    well she wants a home in suburbia or the city, eek.

    what should i look for other than close to the edge of the city with easy means of travel, and close to water? do i want to be on a hill or in a valley?
    east or west? etc. any help would be good.

  2. #2
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    Wooded. Good for trees to heat your home, if you have a wood stove.
    Open. Good for raising crops to feed your family.

    West. Sun in your eyes in the morning, and evening, if you need to commute into the city.
    East. Sun in your rear view mirror, if you need to commute into the city.
    Consider the prevailing wind. That is the direction that the fallout will probably go after they nuke your new city.

    Hilltop. Great for getting hit by lightning, and more exposed to windstorms. If you have a generator running after the power goes out, you show up like a "beacon on hill" to everyone without power.
    Valley. The bad guys surrounding you have the high ground.

    Close to the city. Eeek.

    Water. Depends on the type and quality. Any freshwater can be filtered to be drinkable. Saltwater and brackish water is MUCH, much harder. Basically you need to distill it, or have multi-$$$$ equipment to make drinking water.

    Well. The kind in the ground. Depending on the depth, you may be able to hand pump water in a situation. That could be good. Also means one more thing that could go wrong, if it is not reliable.

    The closer you are to the city, the more you will spend. Figure out how far you are willing to commute, and then that is how far out you go.

  3. #3
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    What city or part of the country?

    If you are where there are basements, get one!
    A fire place would be a major bonus.
    Block construction on the house. Brick OVER block would be better.
    LOTS of storage space plus a 2 car garage.
    Land that is good for a garden space.
    A well is a must.
    An interior room that could be built up to be a "safe room".
    A dead end street may be a plus...?
    Clear lines of fire all around the house.

    Got kids? You want to be able to get to them (defend their rooms) if need be.

    That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure others will add more.

  4. #4
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    i was looking at texas. i would like to get 10-20 acres and build a small home. pay off the mortgage early, abd then a larger home and use the smaller as a guest house, inlaws, or rent it out.

    i found one plot that is 11 acres, and has a 1500 ft deep well that flows 600 gpm! but i dont like the land. some others i am considering have streams going through them.

    i think i will stay up wind of the city. anyone know about basements in texas? do they normally have them? the soil where i want is kind of sandy.

    also, if the home is being cusom build could i have the basemtn larger than the house floorplan? like have an area that people wouldnt look for?

    thanks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwillis View Post
    i was looking at texas. i would like to get 10-20 acres and build a small home. pay off the mortgage early, abd then a larger home and use the smaller as a guest house, inlaws, or rent it out.

    i found one plot that is 11 acres, and has a 1500 ft deep well that flows 600 gpm! but i dont like the land. some others i am considering have streams going through them.

    i think i will stay up wind of the city. anyone know about basements in texas? do they normally have them? the soil where i want is kind of sandy.

    also, if the home is being cusom build could i have the basemtn larger than the house floorplan? like have an area that people wouldnt look for?

    thanks.

    No basements here in TX, at least not too many, if you build on a hill you can probably do it. I was in real estate for years, and only sold 1 basement house, guess what happens every spring? can you say indoor pool? It's not that we can't have basements here, its that we don't have the skilled labor to do it right, if you can find a guy who built homes up north, maybe you can get it done right. I built homes for a while, and trust me some of the labor here in TX can't hang a window correctly and some of them have never seen a plumbob or a level.
    Common sense is so uncommon nowadays it ought to be reclassified as a super power

  6. #6
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    My understanding is that it is economics that causes fewer basements in the north. Here's how it makes sense to me.

    The further north you are, the deeper your footers need to go. Once you have deep footers, to keep the footer of the foundation below the frost line, the cost to make that into a basement instead is relatively low. If you are in an area where the ground doesn't freeze, or doesn't freeze to any real depth, then building a basement is expensive, because you don't have to do much in the way of foundation, and concrete work is expensive.

    Add to that the cultural issues -- in some places, people expect basements, and in other places people don't.

    Add to that the skilled labor issue. If you don't have basements in your area, it is going to be more expensive to find someone to do it. They probably specialize in commercial, or other structures, or they wouldn't be skilled at doing the concrete work for a basement.

    Maybe I am pulling that all out of you know where, but that is how it makes sense to me that "The South" has no basements, despite having areas that I would NEVER want to live in without one. Like, say... most of Texas.

    If it were me, I would be looking for a basement with a concrete ceiling on it. Make it a 36" reinforced concrete ceiling as long as you are at it. Design the house so it doesn't look like it has a basement. Put a shelter door on it. Hide the stairs.

  7. #7
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    That is an awfully deep well. Mosat of the "deep" well systems I have worked on ran 300-350' with some ag systems around 600'. They had a cat diesel to pull the water and another to pump it. I would really hate to lose a pump and the pipe weight alone would cause problems. At any rate 1500' deep should be warm enough to use as a heating system during the cold months.

  8. #8
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    Yes, a nice deep well (doesn't have to be 1500 feet!) that has that much flow could be used as an open loop geothermal system. Basically, you pump water out of your well, use a water source heat pump to extract heat, and then dump the water. Normally you would dump the water back into another well, but I would consider building a pond instead. It sounds like you have plenty of water to do it.

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