What about the land for the $125 cabin?

The most common questions I got on the brief TikTok I made about the $125 Cabin Build were relating to the land. A few of the questions were trolly snark. One comment remarked that the cabin was $125, but the land was $150,000. In the current trends, I guess all I can say to that particular kinds of comment is, “Fair enough. I’m a little lost, but fair enough.” :laughing:

Since I also think it’s a great question, and I know personally that access to land is a major hurdle, let’s talk about it.

One thing to address right off the bat is that the cost of this piece of land is irrelevant to the purpose of the video. It’s possible to build a $125ish cabin on free/cheap land or on $Million oceanfront land. And yeah, you can’t build a cabin out of standing-dead white spruce for $125 if you live 5,000 miles from a spruce tree. There’s also a few hundred dollars worth of salvaged material in the cabin, so your mileage will vary based on access and ability to make junk into something you love. But that misses the point.

The video is only 60 seconds, so I couldn’t fit all this in there. Here’s what I want people to walk away with: there are cracks (plural) in the system that can be found and used to escape from the madness and financial nightmare of housing that prevents us from living our best lives. This isn’t the first time I’ve experimented with this idea. I moved to Central America and lived off gambling income a few years ago for under $200/month. After that, I lived on a cheap sailboat I bought off Craigslist for under $100/month. After that, I lived in a DIY canvas tent in the interior of Alaska at temps below -40°. After that, I lived in a $0 sod house made with spruce poles, birch bark and moss at temps past -50°.

Now, I’m not necessarily recommending moving to another country or buying a sailboat, but there are options for those of us willing to look hard enough. What I love about my $125 cabin build is that it’s adapted to the local ecosystem with mostly hyperlocal materials. There’s not an abundance of clay and straw here. People use clay and straw all over the planet to pull off inexpensive builds. That’s just one example.

The Land

This land was purchased with $1,000 cash and a personal loan. The exact dollars are a distraction. The important point is that it wasn’t crazy expensive, and it’s now paid for. My dad worked at auto parts stores and my mom worked at a middle school. I don’t have family money, and I’ve lived a lot of my adult life making money in short spurts then putting myself through crazy experiments. I’m not some rich dude.

At this point, I think the quickest and easiest advice about getting access to land is owner financing. I’ve looked at property prices all over the place in the US. While it’s not easy to find owner financing anywhere you want, it’s possible to find owner-financed properties in a huge range of areas and environments which provide opportunities to do inexpensive builds and break out of the harsh cycle of rent and mortgages.

I can’t solve it all in a 60 second video. But I have so much gratitude for my current way of life that I want to help people figure it out.

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