Rachel’s  $100,000 House

A few days after we returned from our Great Divide bicycle trip, we got back to work on Rachel’s house.  The picture above was taken just before we left in mid August.  The structure was complete but it was pretty much unfinished inside.  It has taken us since mid October until now to do the finish work.

Rachel used the furniture and appliances from her mobile home.  She thinks she might buy different furnishings once her bank account is replenished but the old stuff will have to do for now.

Here’s a look at the interior as it now stands

Living Room


The  Kitchen

The Grand Staircase

Rachel’s Bathroom

Rachel’s bedroom occupies  a modest section of the main floor.  Sonny’s bedroom and bath occupy the entire top floor.  This photo shows about half of his gargantuan bedroom.

Moving-in Day turned out to be about the worst day of the year for such activity.  Wind speed at nearby Mission Ridge was clocked at 133 MPH.   It wasn’t that bad down at Rachel’s house but it was bad enough. The combination of wind and rain and mud had Rachel near meltdown as her possessions were dragged through the mud on the short transit from the mobile home to her new place.  We put the heavy stuff in the bucket of my Bobcat for the ride over to the house.  Even with 4-wheel drive, the Bobcat was slipping and sliding in the mud like a toboggan on ice.

When Rachel came to me some time back and asked how much house she could get for $80,000, I answered

“Not much – unless you want to do most of the labor yourself.”

Well, she didn’t do all the labor herself (she got her dad to do the lion’s share) but she was a ready helper and together we probably did 90% of the construction ourselves.  They say about half of the cost of a house is the labor.  That sounds about right since a house like hers would probably cost about $200,000 these days.  In addition to saving a ton of money, doing the work ourselves gave Rachel a sense of ownership that she never could have by simply hiring someone else to do the work.  As for me, I always get a special thrill from “beating the system.”

We all think the finished product is spot on.  It’s spacious and comfy.  Her view is gorgeous.  Best of all, it’s paid for!  No mortgage payments in Rachel’s future.

She is glad to finally move in and I am glad to move on, to…….loafing around.  It has been a busy year!