Shipping Container Homes: Are They Right for You?

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In recent years, people have adjusted to living in many different home alternatives. Whether it is the tiny house movement, or even homes made out of plastic bottles, humans are industrious in their efforts to create their own shelter. The American dream is no longer just to own that two-story-white-picket-fence home. The typical home, and even business, is ever evolving and taking shape in all different sizes and mediums for financial and environmental reasons. Shipping containers are not just new homes either. Big businesses are getting involved with using them as well. Just take a look at what Starbucks has done with shipping containers.

Shipping container homes made quite the impression on experimental buyers and businesses. Whether they want a place to call their own, take something ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary, or they’re interested in the incredibly low prices, then a shipping container is a great option.

Shipping Container Home

The Benefits

If you’re the type of person who loves a fixer-upper, likes to interior decorate, or is on a budget, then shipping container homes are a good fit for you. Shipping containers are easy to personalize because they are just large, empty, metal containers.

Some people may see them only as a drab piece of metal that only functions as a place where you’d sleep and live but never invite friends or family over. They couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, if you want to keep the shipping container plain and simple, functioning only as a place to live and sleep in, then by all means do that. However, shipping containers are becoming some of the most artistic designs used in home building today. Just take a look at these home masterpieces below.

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Whether you are a college student, first-time buyer, or just incredibly artistic, you should consider a shipping container home. The price of an average shipping container alone costs around $1,400 to $3,000 for a 20-foot container.

For a 40-foot container, the price is $3,000 to $5,000. However, they do have shipping container homes already completed. Like homes, the range is quite big on pricing, but the average shipping container home costs $15,000 to upwards of $200,000. Obviously the more luxurious, elaborate, and large the shipping container home is, the more it is going to cost. The accessibility, pricing, and convenience make shipping container homes amazing homes to live in.

The Negatives

These are not the type of home for someone who loves wood walls to say the least.

All jokes aside, these homes require lots of attention and work if you really want to make it beautiful. If you are not interested in putting money into a shipping-crate home, then all your left with is a large metal crate. Many people couldn’t care less as to what their home looked like on the outside, however, most people want to live in a home that they find aesthetically pleasing.

A single shipping crate would probably not benefit a family. Shipping container homes do make great family homes when they are made into two stories, or they buy a large enough container that can be split into sections. For the most part, however, a 20-40 foot shipping container is more likely going to be occupied by one person or two people at most.

Also, smaller shipping containers do not allow for the best atmosphere to entertain guests. So if you’re big into showing off your place during the Super Bowl, or having friends and family over for Thanksgiving, then a shipping container home is probably not the best choice for you.

There are many things that you will also have to consider when building a shipping container home. There is insulation, electrical installation, and even plumbing and piping to add. This is not a task to take on if you are not ready to put on your hard hat or hire someone who is.

Are They Right for You?

If you are ready to create a home that is entirely your own concept, willing to put in the amount of time and effort into a large home project, and you have the capital to do so, then by all means buy a shipping container, break out the power tools, and get creative.

Shipping container homes are a great investment in the world we live in. They are great for the environment, save on costs, and are an amazing way to express yourself. By creating a home out of a shipping container, you are giving new life to an unwanted material that would otherwise sit unused in a port somewhere, taking up space, and having a negative effect on the environment. So when you decide to make a new home for yourself, you are also creating a new use for a great crate.

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Home Measurements Cheat Sheet [Infographic]

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Take the guesswork out of your home decor feng shui. Here are the ideal measurement for everything in your house. Don’t ever second guess the height of your towel rack or your necessary drawer space. Home measurements need to make sense to give your home a natural flow.

Home-Measurements-Cheat-Sheet

Living Room

With hanging pictures or artwork, the center of the frame should be 57″ high.

End tables should sit 1″-2″ below the armrest of the furniture.

There should be 9″-18″ of knee space between furniture and the coffee table.

The distance your furniture should be from the television is based upon your TV screen size. With a 40″ screen, sit about 5-8 feet away. With a 46″ screen, sit 6-10 feet away. If the screen is 52″ or bigger, you should be viewing it from 7-11 feet away.

Kitchen

The ideal counter-space width for food prep is about 3 feet.

Your microwave should be about 54″ high.

Between the counter and the island, you’ll need about 42″. This gives space for drawers and storage, as well as room for two people to be cooking int he kitchen at the same time.

Dining Room

You need to have 2-3 feet between the wall and the table to allow room for chairs and walking space.

Dining chairs should be 12-18″ apart from each other to allow comfortable breathing room.

In regards to legroom, you’re going to want 10″ between the underside of the table and the top of your chairs.

Place-mats at the table are traditionally 20-30″ wide.

Bathroom

Your towel rack should be 48″ high.

The sink should be right at 3′, although a lot of luxury spaces go a little higher.

You need to have a 16″ radius around the toilet. This isn’t just for leg space. This will make cleaning a lot easier.

Toilet paper should be about 8″ away from the porcelain throne. This is really the worst place to have to stretch for something out of reach.

Bedroom

Doors are traditionally 2-3′ wide. The same goes for walkways – or “traffic lanes” – throughout the house.

Dresser drawers should have 18″ of “pull out” space so that you don’t crowd yourself while you’re getting dressed.

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Should You Allow Someone to Test Drive Your Home?

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Test driving a seller’s home has become an interesting topic in real estate. There are many reasons why you would be nervous about allowing a stranger to stay in your home overnight. However, the benefits to allowing a potential buyer stay over are that they are able to hear street noise level is, see how the bedrooms are lit, and even gauge their family’s reaction to a new home. With all of the good that comes with a test drive, you have to understand that you are letting someone who you do not know stay in your most prized possession.

Sleeping over at a seller’s home is not just some small occurrence that happens only in close-knit towns. This phenomenon is happening everywhere. There is even a television show centered around this idea, titled Sleep on It. The show is based on couples staying overnight at two homes on the market to see which is right for them. Whether or not they love the home, the audience is able to see the couple’s reactions for a 24-hour stay at each home. The show can be seen on HGTV.  Take a look at their catchy music video that sums up the “sleepover mentality.”

What are the Possible Benefits?

When you test drive a car, you are able to notice all of the things that you like. The same goes for a home. When most people want to buy, they look for the main benefits to owning the home. Buyers want a home that is safe, in a great neighborhood, and beautiful to look at inside and out. With test driving a home, sellers are able to take a night to sleep on it, literally.

Buyers are also able to meet the neighbors. And what better way to get to know a home or a neighborhood than by meeting the people next door? Hopefully the potential buyer finds that the neighbors are people they can get along with.

Clearly, with testing driving a home via sleepover, a buyer is able to take the entirety of the home, the neighbors, and neighborhood into consideration. This may not be for the more private individuals, but it is definitely an idea that is getting some serious buyers wanting to sleep over that dream home of theirs.

What are the Possible Negatives?

With you not in your home for a night or two, what are some of the possible things that can go wrong with a test drive/sleepover? Well, let’s start with the main problem: theft. No matter how trustworthy a person may seem, you can never be sure if they are going to take even the smallest of belongs from you.

Even though most serious home buyers would never do this to you, there are the rare instances of criminals who case homes by watching the coming-and-goings of homeowners. With a sleepover, what can be easier than someone staying over your home without you there to stop them from taking whatever they want? This is where it would be wise to create a list of valuable items to show your insurance agent and buyer so that your home is covered. This way, the buyer knows exactly what items they should refrain from taking.

There is also the possibility of a natural and/or home disaster. A fire can start in the kitchen due to operating the stove or oven. Without a contract, homeowners insurance is incredibly unlikely to cover this.

Even if a natural disaster is unlikely to occur on the day that you have a buyer test drive your home, you may want to prepare a contract in case of an emergency. However, in the event of a flood, earthquake, or fire, your best interest is to have your insurance cover the cost, so you should ask them what their policy is on a test drive.

The longer a buyer spends time in your home, the more likely they are going to see or experience things they do not like about it. Whether it’s the old paint, some minor stains in the carpet, or that ugly stove, a buyer is much more likely to hate the unappealing features the home has the longer that they stay.

Many real estate agents see the benefits, whereas others see the problems that a test drive can lead to. Kimberly Dixon, an agent from Houston, Texas, says, “For the most part, a client spending the night will likely make more emotional decisions and pick apart a property’s minor attributes, all while overlooking major value — such as a good price.”

A test drive can definitely lead to a wrong turn along the potential buyer’s stay at the seller’s home. With the multiple variables that come along with a test drive, it’s safe to say that this is a hot topic for homeowners and agents alike.

Test Drive or Just Drive Home?

Whether you consider the benefits of a test drive or not, a contract should definitely be in place so that you, and the sleepover guest, know exactly what to expect from their stay-over arrangement. No one wants either party to become frustrated with the other due to lack of knowledge about your home or personal belongings being taken.

By discussing with your real estate agent the possible benefits and downsides of a test drive, you are able to understand if this is the right choice for you to make with your home. Just be sure not to let the potential buyer keep any house keys after the test drive.

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10 Easter Ideas to Make Your Egg Hunt More Memorable

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Decorating your home for Easter is a great way to celebrate the holiday. However, what’s great if you have lots of little ones running around that day is an Easter-egg hunt. Here are some amazing ideas to make the hunt even more fun and memorable for the kids.

Bunny Rule Sign

1. Layout the Easter Egg Hunt Rules:

Before Sunday, you should already have some sort of sign with rules ready so that some of the older kids understand what they can and cannot do when looking for the eggs with the toddlers. It would be best to make a sign that lists your egg-hunt rules clearly. Make the rules simple so that the kids have fun instead of getting hurt.

2. Easter Sunday Morning:

Wake them up with some bunny pancakes!

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3. The Bunny Bathroom:

Let the kids think the bunny had to go before he left their house but forgot to flush.

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4. Easter Bags:

It’s simple; all you need is some paper bags, cotton balls, scissors, glue, colored paper, and markers—just don’t forget to write their names in bright colors.

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5. Bunny Hats:

Now what’s cuter than seeing your kids run around with bunny hats on their heads? You can make these adorable hats with some colored paper, scissors, and put them together with staples or glue.

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6. The Backyard:

You can decorate your backyard with bunny crossing signs to shaping out bunnies from wood or cardboard, depending upon how good you are with power tools.

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7. Personalize the Easter Eggs:

You can draw out a map for the kids of your backyard. You should personalize the egg by writing each kid’s name on it or having them draw all over it before Easter, and then hide it for each child to find. Inside of it, be sure to put something personal and individual that you know s/he will love.

8. Hard Boil Decoy Easter Eggs:

Yep, that’s right! Kids love a challenge, so why not paint some hard-boiled eggs to disperse around your backyard to trick your kids into thinking they’ve found the real deal.

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9. Lunchtime Designs:

After the kids have found all of the eggs, they’ll be ready for lunch. So for a fun game during lunch, have them decorate some paper plates into bunny faces. Be sure not to let any of the kids to eat off of them, though—you don’t want them getting glue in their food!

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10. Jell-O Easter Eggs:

This is an awesome recipe that is simply Jell-O shaped as an Easter egg. You want to use plastic-Easter-egg shells to form the egg shell. Follow the Jell-O instructions to mix it into a liquid, pour them individually into the shells, put them in the freezer over night, and you have your eggs ready for your kids to have for an afternoon snack.

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Now that you have some awesome ideas for your Easter egg hunt, be sure to invite all of your friends and family members over to be part of the festivities. Everyone will be impressed with how amazing your home looks, and the kids will love the Easter games and hunt!

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What Stays with the House When You Move Out? [Infographic]

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Should It Stay or Should It Go?

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Here’s a look at what stays with the house when you move out, what you should take with you, and what should be clarified in the contract.

What-Stays-with-House-Final

Needs to Stay

Built-Ins – Cabinets, shelves, wall mounts, etc. should be left in place. Yeah, you spent money on them while you lived in the house, but now they’re a part of the property itself.

Landscaping – Gardens, shrubs, or other natural lawn elements are left behind.

Alarms – Security systems (excluding mobile ones) and smoke detectors are a part of the purchase.

You Can Take

Lawn Furnishings – Patio furniture, play-sets, and other yard equipment is rightfully yours.

Home Decor – Rugs, curtains, and wreaths can all be taken to your new estate. You can even take the blinds, but it’s probably best to leave some stuff for the privacy of the new residents.

Requires Clarification

Appliances – Some lenders require an installed over to grant the money for a loan. Other appliances may be expected, although they are not obligated to be left behind.

Movable Fixtures – Lighting fixtures and kitchen accessories are rightfully yours, but may lure more buyers if you include them in the contract.

Thank you to Realtor.com for providing information used in this infographic.

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