“Rent or Dent”

22 May

Up here in “the piney woods” (literally) we’re busy building ISBU based oil/gas housing and laboratories for delivery to North Dakota.

Now that I’ve kicked pneumonia’s butt…

We’re talking to the Canadians about oil/gas housing for their workers as well, as well as a few “Remote Monitoring Stations”…

Thanks to praise from the likes of Yahoo and CNBC News… again…

Mixed into that lot are some pretty good prospects for “EPA Remote laboratories” in places like Oregon and Washington State and…

… We’re building a few ISBU Homes (and even doing a few ISBU additions to existing homes) for families, too.

It’s really funny, actually. I never really pictured us taking a firm position in the Commercial/Industrial Complex, but yet… here we are…

While we do this, I’m getting  hammered by people/haters telling me crap like;

“I’m nuts…  that ISBU housing is never going to take off and I should find something productive to do with my time and energy – Go buy a real house like everyone else…”

To them, I say this;

First, HOME prices aren’t coming BACK.

There isn’t any real rebound in housing prices to be measured here, folks. Don’t listen to the Realtor hype, look at the NUMBERS. Forget about a “magic bullet”. It’s not gonna happen.

It’s not the 90’s anymore.

You’re not going to see  housing values increase in double digit percentage points annually. That ship has sailed (except in some notable markets that we’ll talk about in a minute).

It’s a buyers market.

(As in – If you’re trying to SELL your home, you’re screwed.) That makes it a good time to BUY an existing home, but it’s not because you’re buying under market and you have the opportunity to make a lot of cash on a flip.

Note: Much of the hype we’re seeing about “recent booms in home sales” is bank driven… Home Foreclosure sales are driving the housing industry right now.

25% of all current home sales are “foreclosures”.

Home prices (historically) follow inflation trends.

When you adjust for inflation, home prices generally follow suit. Look at housing prices as far back as the 1890’s and you’ll see what I mean.

The problem we have is rampant inflation and a crippled economy isn’t producing jobs that allow the production of a mass of qualified buyers for home purchases. That, coupled with “the state of the state” means that we’re seeing RENTS that are competitive with housing, allowing families to live without that commitment. Why risk another housing drop spike, when you can move to a better home for less?

As I type this – Home sales are STILL down 3% from LAST year (which wasn’t a good year for realtors OR families, let me tell you)…

In most markets, you’re still better off renting.

House prices aren’t going to “magically  come back”, folks. Home prices have NEVER been a big performer (except in a few housing spikes in areas where “location, location, location” is everything).

I’m not even going to start on the lobbies, politics or the banking industry as they try to manipulate themselves back into position to your pockets…

It’s not just US here in America.

It’s happening all over the planet as the economy and political tomfoolery drive families into the darkness…

As Greece “helps” smash the EU…  as the Germans hold their breaths as well, knowing that they’ll bear the brunt of the bailouts, failures and impending economic collapse – we’re also holding our breaths here in the USA waiting to see how hard it ripples through the American Economy.

Trust me when I tell you that We WILL feel the fallout from the EU crisis here.

This means that many families are taking a “new path”…

They are making an exodus from here…

… to handbuilt homes like this, surrounded by (gasp!) trees,  grass and fresh air!

(Not to mention Wild Deer, Elk, Moose, Rabbits, Turkeys, Geese, Ducks… get the idea?)

Up here, I’m surrounded by stuff like this!

While it’s beautiful, it’s just a  little too much wood for my taste… so let’s look something made of  METAL, huh? 🙂

That’s what I’m talking about! I swear I feel like the Australians read my mind. THIS is glorious RURAL living!

Where was I? I lost my train of thought while trying to figure out who to send the gift basket of Vegemite to!

Speaking of Vegemite (and those “Men At Work” knuckleheads that arm-twisted  me to taint my tastebuds with it… once… but only once. Ewww!);

(Ironic, really. In my opinion, the Australians lead the way when it comes to “Corrugated Coolness”… but Vegemite? I think it’s the Australian version of Haggis. Yes, Vegemite’s “gawd-awful stuff”… But they love it? Go figure…)

When I think of “Vegemite”, I think of this (because “the alternative” is gooey, gastronomic suicide); 🙂

CRAP! Lost my train of thought, again…

Man, I’m telling you… senility is a terrible disease! LOL!

Okay… back into the fray;

Families across the planet are buying land they can afford and then they are using paychecks and sweat equity (assisted by bamboozling relatives and friends they probably never want to see again…) to build a nice, affordable home for their families. 🙂

By reducing their mortgage obligations and downsizing, they reduce their cashflow requirements, making life “safer and saner” in these trying times we face…

Admittedly, as a result of the current market conditions…

… we ARE seeing a housing spike in ONE specific area of home sales.

Vacation home sales” ARE up, and people are buying places close to home. Look at that carefully and you’ll see that many of those “vacation home sales” are actually rural purchases as families elect to begin the exodus out of cities and into the country, where they’ll have more control over their lives and futures.

Many of these “new home purchases” are being termed “Vacation Home” buys, due to their location and configuration.

This is a trend that we predicted HERE, a long time ago. Now, it’s just becoming measurable.

THIS is going to help fuel fires for “alternative homes”… ISBU homes included.

We’re seeing a hundred families a month asking for help navigating a path toward a sustainable, safe, affordable structure that will shelter their families.

So, to those naysayers out there, we say what we’ve always said…

Grow a spine.

Take some responsibility for your own life.

Secure your own future by working hard for it.

Stop whining like a cry-baby.

The only “Cry-Baby” that whines around here is the WAH pedal attached to the business end of this beautiful Fender Stratocaster I play to fuel my creativity…


Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I tend to this concrete we’re shooting over this wonderful PEX tubing manifold in the floor.  It’s gonna make this ISBU Container  toasty warm year round, for pennies…


3 Responses to ““Rent or Dent””

  1. yoliver May 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I totally agree with your rational in terms of building a home without being mortgaged up to your neck. I want to build a small home with as little initial outlay as I can and build it on as I can afford. Hence I’m thinking of ISBU to give me instant kitchen and bathroom. I still haven’t figured the best way of insulating it though. I guess I must have missed something

    • Renaissance Ronin May 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      We do ISBU additions all the time.

      In fact, as I type this, we’re adding three bedrooms and a huge connecting bathroom suite to a large home to accommodate an extended family’s desire to live together in the mountains… in style! 🙂

      Do yourself a favor and add your insulation (SPF, rigid insulation or even cellulose) to the OUTSIDE of the boxes, by attaching firring strips to the boxes to create “channels” AND to provide a connection point for traditional siding or veneers.

      You can do this by:

      (a) gluing firring strips to the corrugation using “Super Strength Construction Adhesive” or

      (b) by welding small lengths of threaded rod to the corrugation itself, to allow a “bolt on” firring strip solution. Glue is more family friendly (from the labor standpoint) and I’ve done both methods several times, quite successfully.

      Remember that if you shoot SPF into those created spaces between the firring strips, the foam itself will glue everything into one big monolithic slab. Using SPF is a bit more expensive but you’re only going to insulate ONCE so it’s well worth it. You’ll get high R values, a moisture barrier, a vapor barrier, and even some added structural integrity as by-products. And… it’s NEVER gonna come off, I promise.

      Once insulated, apply siding (using that firring you installed) to match the existing structure or get crazy! 🙂

      Hope this helps.

      • yoliver May 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

        Yes! It helps. Thanks very much.

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