I have an obsession lately that I can't seem to break away from.
For the last few months we've been thinking very hard about what our next step is as far as a home. Where we're at now is 1000 sq. feet, two bedrooms, and an unpleasant neighborhood situation. If we didn't have so many things we liked to do with our hands it would be much easier to simplify life and stay here. Grow our family small-house style. But when it comes down to it, we really want more space. physical space, emotional space, social space, community space. Ok, so when I say space, I'm really talking about freedom.
I've always said that I wanted to live in a place where I could walk around naked in my back yard. Now I am a bit more realistic about the fact that I don't need a valley, just a few acres. And from a few acres away people can still see me if I am naked in my back yard. I am a nudist, but a very private one. The point is, I want space for my kids to stretch their legs and their brains and hearts. Where they can love butterflies and digging holes and sticks.
But this is not the recent obsession of which my husband tires. He's more of a 'when the time comes' kind of dreamer. I'm more of a 'build it and it will happen' kind of dreamer. But I'm not too proud to face it. We're lucky to be in the house we're in. The only thing that has changed in the last six years as far as our finances are concerned is that now we have kids. We didn't have kids so it's was easier to qualify for a loan. But the funny thing is, now we're more stable in about a hundred and one ways, all of which involve one 3 year old and one 4 year old and we're still wondering if anyone will actually give us a mortgage on our second home. I think of all the people who are in a similar situation to us who are still renting and I know that I'm lucky to be where I am. I also wish that I would have known what I wanted 6 years ago.
So remember when you were a kid and you and your siblings had a lego set and you'd spend hours building and stealing each others pieces so you could put one more window on your house or so you could finish the castle tower, subsequently saving the princess. That's pretty much where this all started. This is what I've been doing to night:
I'm just trying to figure out how to make it happen.
Obviously making a lego style, ISBU house isn't a new idea. In fact I'm pretty sure that as soon as shipping containers started littering ports and rail yards around the world, people started living in them. But only in the last 20 or 25 years has the idea been taken seriously in places where it wasn't of dire need. To say the least it's an idea that hasn't caught on very fast in Utah, though I am pretty sure that most people who still rent here would agree that to have an affordeable space of one's own instead of paying a fortune to someone else to live in theirs is appealing. I'm not talking about forcing everyone live in boxcars like "The Boxcar Children" but an actual home that has all the whistles and bells and creature comforts. And though the idea isn't catching into fruition very fast, there are projects in Utah that use this very idea, though it's next to impossible to find actual information about them on the web. Here are a couple of them:
This is a digital rendering of The Sarah House, a project for Utah's under-served that is currently being built through Crossroads Urban Center. Here is the most updated image I could find of it's actual progress.You can check their progress on the Sarah House Utah facebook page.
There's also the City Center Lofts, a seven story container apartment building that was built in the hear of Down Town Salt lake City and for which I can't seem to find an actual photograph. However it was scheduled to be completed in 2009.
Of the most useful resource I've found (Today) is this article from R One studio (Follow the link) The author makes some really great points. And I feel like I know what my next step is in building the dream. Find out how much an architect costs. Though, if you look at the two images he shares, I definitely prefer the one he clearly dislikes. Much more interesting.
This concludes this session of my this redneck yerba mate dream...To be continued.