I thought I would throw the numbers out for some of our expenses. They add up quickly, and if you are seriously thinking about making a move like this, these numbers might help. All areas and circumstances will be different, but these are the numbers from my specific experience. (So far.)
Water – $7000
We had water about 250 yards from our property line, on the opposite side of the road. It cost us $3000 for the water meter, $2000 to bore under the road, and another $1000 to get water to the corner of our property (These are rates charged by the 1 water company that services our area. Monopoly, much?) Once the water was at the corner of our property, we spent about $400 to rent a ditch witch and trailer for two days and another $600 on the line we used for the water as well as the connectors. This put water to the house and let us build a spigot outside the house. It took about 4 weeks from start to finish to get water set up. (The water company had some issues with a neighbor that didn’t want to let the water company dig on his property. It took a couple of weeks to get that issue resolved.)
Electricity – $1000
We somehow got a $1500 credit for our electricity, I’m not sure if it is Federal, State, County, or Company specific. The total to get underground electricity to our house was $1300, so we did not have to pay anything out of pocket for that part. We did, however, have to pay $650 for a electric circuit ground thingy that connects from the wires the city put in to the wires we put in for the double wide. The wire is very expensive and cost us about $350 for a little over 100 feet (3 strands of 35 feet). Our total out of pocket cost was $1000. It took us about 3 weeks to get the electricity set up.
Electric Circuit Ground Thingy (Does anyone know what this is really called?). And – if you were wondering – We are going to put skirting on the house as soon as the septic is finished.
Our aerobic septic system is costing us $5500 + permits. The permits cost a total of $330. In Texas, it is required that all aerobic on site septic facilities have a maintenance plan (i.e. septic insurance). This total includes 2 years of this maintenance plan. We still don’t have the septic set up, but we are 1 week into our wait and the individual that is doing it says we should have it up by early next week. That puts us at 1.5 weeks for our septic system to be set up.
Our total for electric, water, and septic – $13,830 – (This does not include money paid for the house and the land. This number would also be much higher if we had hired out the work we did by ourselves.)
We have some other big expenses that we need to deal with as well.
Every time we go to our property it costs us $20 in gas. I usually pack us a lunch, snack, and plenty of drinks, but we almost always stay out so long we end up stopping for food on the way home. This is a HORRIBLE habit, and as soon as we can be at the property full time, this expense will stop.
Right now, the road in front of our property is a white dusty rock. Every time someone drives by, a cloud of dust blows over everything. We called the city and for us to have the city pave it, it will cost about $5 a linear foot. Even if we only do the section on front of the house, that’s still going to cost us $2,000 – $3,000.
We are moving to a very safe area. We live between a retired policeman and a retired teacher. There is very little crime in this area. Despite that, someone stole thousands of dollars worth of DH’s tools from our barn last week. Ugh. We are dealing with the insurance company, but that’s going to be a long drawn out process, and we need to replace some of it fairly quickly so we can start doing work to the property.
We want to get a tractor at some point. It can wait awhile, but it would make things SO much easier. A good used tractor will cost about $6000.
We want to build a small (and secure!) shop/garage for DH. Eventually, he would like to quit his job and work only from the property. This will enable us to be entirely self sufficient, since his income could pay for the things that we can’t produce on our own. Total cost to get up and running – $6000.
On top of everything else, DH is quitting his job and switching to another job that is closer. In the long run, this will work out much better for us. His pay is comparable, but Instead of DH taking 3 hours to get to work and back each day, it will only take him 45 minutes. He will also have Sundays off! *Happy Dance!* He hasn’t had Sundays off in a really, really long time. The only real negative is that we will have to pay about $1500 – $2000 upfront to prepay for 4 months of short term medical insurance.
I know that a lot of these expenses are adding equity and value to our property, but it still adds up quickly. At least I know we saved enough to pay cash for all of the utilities and I know it will all be worth it in the long run. If the long run ever gets here…..
P.S. Eventually we want to be off grid – and we plan on building our own solar efficient, off grid home; but for now, we are in a time (and money) crunch. We are currently living with my parents and we want to be on the property full time before school starts (this Monday! Yikes!).