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build an eco building and get free rent for a year

author and steward
Posts: 49246
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I once met a couple that were looking for land.  Not to buy.  Not to rent. 

Apparently there is a deal where you come to land, build an eco home and then you get free rent on that for a year (or was it two).  To hear them talk it sounded like this was a pretty well known thing. 

So I ask:  is there a name for this?  What are the particulars?

Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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I've never heard of it, but that isn't a bad deal, really.  Of course, on paper, getting folks to help with construction is awesome, but in my experience, it doesn't work so well in the real world.

When we built our first home in Texas (adobe with metal roof, totally off grid, rain catchment, etc), we had a young couple who wanted to do something similar.  They had land about 20 miles from us, but they didn't have anything on it.  We hadn't started building, really, but we had an old bus that we were living in.

We let them stay on our property because it was closer to where they were working.  After a few weeks, they got pregnant.

So, we made a deal with them.  We'll build a small house on their property all together (16 ft by 16 ft) to get ready for the baby, and in exchange, they could help us on our house.

Well, long story short, we built their place in a few weeks, and they were happy.  Soon after, they left our place, left several tons (literally, as we weighed it) of paper on our property (they wanted to do papercrete) and we never heard from them again about it.  They never did anything to help on our house, not one thing.  And they only cooked about 3 times in the several months they lived with us. When confronted about it, they said they didn't have the time or energy, due to being pregnant, jobs, etc.

I've had tons of promises from people over the years to help us build.  We've built 2 off grid homes in the last decade, and we've yet to have anyone actually help (we had an old neighbor come mix concrete one day, but that's it)

If you could get things on a contract, and specify how the house would be built and in a time frame, etc, it might could work.
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
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Paul talks about doing this in this podcast: webpage
I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him view this tiny ad:
Green University by Thomas Elpel
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