If you’re like me, you think a lot about how to make things better.
Take, for example, our housing situation.
I don’t really like paying rent. It’s not building an asset. But I don’t want to commit to buying a place that I’m not absolutely stoked on.
I want to live in a house, not an apartment/town home. I don’t want to share any walls with anyone else. I want some land where I can grow most of my own food and have room for activities. The land needs to have access to water: either a spring, an aqueduct, or lots of rain.
I want the land to have good soil with decent weather. I’d like to be close to rivers, mountains, and/or the ocean. I’d prefer some type of snowboarding, climbing, white water, surfing, fishing, hunting and/or some type of outdoor activities to be somewhat close by.
I want land that is going to appreciate in value, not land that has already appreciated exponentially in the last 20 years.
Affordable land, however, tends to be way out in the boonies. I don’t want to be surrounded by tons of people, but I don’t want to be too far from civilization, either.
I want to be in/near a town that is already fairly conscious and grounded. I want to be in a state/county where I don’t have to fight an uphill battle against politics.
But most importantly, I don’t want to do this alone.
Having a your own homestead can be super lonely.
I want to live in a village of spiritual badasses. I don’t want to share everything like a hippy commune.
I would love, though, to have a common area. Like an apartment complex, it would have most of the amenities that we’d like to have but would make more sense to share. This would include a gym, pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, billiards, ping pong, bouldering wall, co-working space, fire pit, a big kitchen and dining room, dance/flow arts/yoga floor, etc. Some basketball hoops and an open field for throwing frisbees and kicking soccer balls would be nice as well.
The goal is to have everything you could want easily accessible. You can stay in your own space when you want some alone time, or you could hang out in the communal areas when you’re feeling social.
Well, you can build whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be an earthship.
But what is an earthship, and why would someone want one?
Your best bet if you want to learn more about earthships is to go check out their website. But I’ll summarize here.
Earthships are the evolution of housing structures. They’re built from mostly upcycled material (much better than recycled). They’re more efficient in staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They are designed to not need any heating or AC even in rough climates.
They are hyper efficient with water. They’re designed to catch rainwater and filter it. The water then goes through four uses: drinking/washing (turns it to graywater), then using the graywater to water the plants, using graywater for the toilets (why do we poop in clean drinking water?), then using the blackwater to compost outside the house.
Earthships have a greenhouse built into them, where tropical plants like dwarf banana trees produce fruit mostly year round.
They also cost relatively little to build (because of all the upcycled material), yet you can make them as baller as you want. You do not sacrifice any luxuries that you would get in a traditional home.
You also don’t need to be a professional builder. They’re not as complicated as a traditional house. With a little training (which I’m planning on doing in October ’16), you can build one yourself (though you probably want a bunch of friends to help out).
How Much Is All of this Going to Cost?
It’s hard to say at this point. My friend has built a few Earthships with less than $50k.
Parcel sizes that I think would be ideal are ~5 acres. If the land costs $10-20k an acre, then that’s $50-100k for land, plus however much you want to spend on your house, plus the shared cost of the communal area.
The communal area I described above is my ideal, something to work towards. We may not get all of the amenities.
If you factor in that everything costs more than you think, we’re probably looking at around $200-300k per house and parcel.
This price will only be this low if we build the earthships ourselves/using free labor (which is my plan).
How cool would it be to live in a baller house you built yourself? So badass!
How Many People Will Be in this Village?
The number I have in my head is 20 parcels, or 100 acres. But I’m open to whatever.
Another thought is to have one parcel have affordable/shared housing kind of like dorm rooms. We could use this space for guests or people who are interested in living short term (although with this situation politics comes into play).
So if all the parcels end up having a four person family, it’d be around 75 people (1 parcel for the commons).
This aspect of the project is flexible and I’m not attached to any particular number. I just don’t want the first time to be too big and ambitious.
I’m interested in exploring the idea of creating much larger villages in the future, but it’s smarter to start small and see what happens from there.
I’m Interested, How Do I Get More Involved?
We’re looking at the 3-5 year time frame.
We need to organize money, people, and logistics.
If you would like to join the email list where I bring you into the inner circle, the cost is $3/year.
Why does it cost money to join?
I’ll be sharing information that I don’t want many people to know about. I don’t want to let a bunch of people know where the best priced land (according to the traits I outlined above) in the country is. Plus, there’s extremely limited space.
I also don’t want to answer a bunch of questions about this from people who aren’t serious. $3 is barely anything. The price will only go up as the list grows.
I only want people who are stoked and serious. And if you don’t want to spend $3, you’re probably neither. 🙂
If you’re interested, subscribe below.