For Real – Emergency Homes for Pennies on Dollar

By Lee Bellinger / November 12, 2013

Weatherproof Disaster Shelters
That They Practically Give Away

Million-dollar survival homes are close to becoming in vogue. I’m not into extreme prepping, but I don’t mind learning a trick or two from those who are. In fact, I think it’s really smart to have your own out-of-the-way retreat to enjoy in the good times and that can also come in extra-handy in rough times.
Today I want to tell you about a way to have a comfortable, secure, weatherproof hideaway to escape to without becoming a burden on your friends or family, and without attracting too much attention from nosy neighbors.
And, your retreat can double as a place to get away and relax. You can make it cozy and rustic, or outfit it with lots of bells and whistles… whatever suits your style and makes you comfortable.
Small Cost Second Homes:
The Wave of the Future
I recently discovered a way to put this kind of dream into reach for a lot of people.
Grand Container Home
Normally buying a bit of land and building a small home on it costs a bundle. But if you’re willing to shop a bit for the land, you can pick something up for as low as $500 per acre. Besides price, you can also add criteria such as proximity to an interstate highway or my favorite one-stop prepping center, a Wal-Mart Supercenter (there were 4,786 of them at last count).
And then, instead of building a custom home or cabin on it, you can use – hear me out on this – shipping containers.
A crazy idea? Actually, lots of builders are starting to use shipping containers to build comfortable homes that are much, much cheaper (and sturdier!) than traditional buildings.
If you’ve ever considered a second property, but dismissed the idea as financially out of your reach, the solution I’m about to describe could be just the thing to make your dream a reality.
Could a Shipping Container
Become Your Second Home?
Shipping containers look pretty dull from the outside. And they’re nothing to write home about on the inside either… but they’ve got lots of potential. And, I have three big reasons you might want to consider one for your home away from home:
They’re tough: Made from steel, shipping containers have a super-strong core structure. They are probably much stronger than your primary residence and almost surely way stronger than your typical cabin in the woods. They can be stacked eight high on a ship and not even hurricane-strength winds will topple them over. That means a tree could fall on your second home and you would hardly see a dent. A hailstorm or windstorm? No big deal. You, your loved ones, and your belongings will be safe inside. Plus, they are very hard to break into without heavy-duty industrial tools.
They’re affordable: On a square foot basis, a shipping container is really cheap compared to the price of a cabin or a house. You can purchase one for $3,000 to $5,000 depending on size. Delivery costs for the container will vary depending on location.
They’re versatile: Once you have your shipping container, you can use it as-is for storage or you can start altering it to turn it into a comfortable living space. You can run power and even running water into the container. You can have doors and windows installed, build a deck on the roof… whatever you like. A lot of people are opting to use multiple shipping containers to build their primary residence, because the cost-savings is so significant. Just imagine the savings of purchasing one or two containers and making modest improvements… it definitely puts a second home in easier reach.
What You Should Know
Before Purchasing a Shipping Container
Shipping containers are about 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide. They come in two typical lengths – 20 feet and 40 feet. Respectively, you get 150 to 300 square feet of floor space per container. On a cubic-foot basis, that’s 1,200 to 2,400 c.f. Depending on your needs, calculate how many shipping containers you’ll need to build your second home. For example, you could outfit a 40-footer for living space and use a 20-foot unit for storage.
An estimated 17 million shipping containers exist in the world today. To locate and buy one or two, do a search for a Certified Shipping Container Dealer.
Shipping Container
No matter who you work with, do a quality check of your container before you give anyone a dime. If you can’t check the container in person, ask for photos of every side, corner, seam, door, hinge, latch, the top and bottom, inside and out. Don’t buy a container that shows signs of corrosion. A little surface rust is okay, and even common, but if you see scaly sections where the metal is starting to flake or bubble, start looking for a different container. Look carefully, and don’t be fooled by a fresh coat of paint.
The other thing to look for is any twisting in the body of the container. It should be perfectly square and sit flat on a level surface. If not, it may have been damaged, leaving it structurally unsound and incapable of connecting properly with other shipping containers, which will limit your design options.
It’s usually most cost-effective to buy a very basic unit and then make improvements to it on your own. Paying extra up front for things like insulation doesn’t usually save you money in the long run. It may save you some hassle, though, so consider your options carefully.
Buying and improving your own shipping container is an unconventional idea that is quickly working its way into the mainstream. While I don’t expect these containers will ever approach the cost of a standard home, as demand rises the prices will go up.
If you think a shipping container would meet your prepping needs or just put a second home financially within your reach, the time to act is now!