Sometimes at work, I get press releases that have nothing to do with my job. A lot of times, these press releases show off something cool.
Earlier this week, I received a press release from this company called BluHomes: ["BluHomes"]. The company manufactures prefab "green" homes, in all kinds of very interesting designs. And prices aren't that bad either. In addition, they don't look like the "normal" prefab house. That is, this isn't a Kid Rock double-wide.
The problem, of course, is where to get the land, which is getting more and more expensive and hard to find. An empty nester home starting at $64K to $125K isn't bad ... until you realize what a lot is going for these days (never mind the property taxes in some New England areas after you make plans to build the house ...). However, BluHomes has it all kinda planned out for folks, and has the payment structure and planning spread out over a year. Having said all that, this company seems to be worth a look.
I have been tracking alternative housing options for about 9 years, since I learned about this guy in Belmont, Mass., building an alternative duplex on a very small site. The home was designed and built in Sweden and then the pieces came over and were plopped together over a period of three days (I will try and find the text of the story at a later date). One of the duplexes had this huge master bedroom loft and the walls were built in such a way to allow air to flow between them, to keep mold from becoming a problem.
I've also been investigating alternative energy for about the same time, since learning about a guy in Belmont who had a two-family with a solar panel to heat hot water for both apartments. I believe the payoff date was eight years, at the time of the story. Meaning, in the ninth year, hot water would be free for the next 20-plus years. Now, with all the incentives, alternative energy is a bit more affordable if you have the start-up costs (I was at a home show recently where they were promoting $20K windmills with a big chunk of the money coming from state and federal grants. If you have a big electric bill, do the math. It almost pays for itself).