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Building tips for LOOOOOOOOOWWWW Property Taxes

Michael Payne
December 3, 2018
last modified: December 3, 2018

Hi, we are building a house on our land over the next few months and I am trying to build in way that saves us significantly on property taxes. We are doing EVERYTHING except the power company tie in. I just finished clearing the building site, installing water lines, temp pole, and the septic system. We only have one child left at home and want to make upkeep, utilities, taxes, cleaning all minimal. We are recycling and freecycling many things. I have already collected for free very nice cabinetry, double pane windows, interior doors, and light fixtures, etc... Anyways, we will build cheap, but we also plan to build a tight, well insulated , single story, wheel chair friendly plan. We are planning a one bedroom and office or two bedroom. The 2nd room will serve as my daughters room until the day she leaves our home.

Since we have no plans to build another house ever, unless our wealth became so significant that we "packed up the bags and moved to Beverly". That means, I do not want to build for resale value even if it is a hit on future wealth, I am building for a stay until the grave. Of course, if the difference is a $900 tax bill instead of a $1200 bill, I don't think it worth it to sacrifice the aesthetic enjoyment of a handsome yard. Our fledgling business and my Life insurance will have to be the wealth maker for my family.

Ideas I have had mulling around in my head:

1. Buy a double-wide and turn it into a bonified house on a steel frame. Keep the outside original plane jane, but 2x6, sheetrock, etc.. Tax man sees a doublewide, we live in a house.

2. Build a 2000sq ft barndominium where I use about 800ft for the house and 1200 for our business.

3. Build a small ranch house (800-1000sq ft) and build a shop adjacent.

4. Utilize lesser outside visual materials such as metal siding.

5. Don't do any fancy landscaping.

6. Don't do any decorative things such as crown moulding, etc.. until after final inspection.

7. Make a carport with a simple lean too rather than extend gable roof shape.

8. Put business in shipping containers or cargo trailers so they are not part of property.

Particulars of our county regulations:

1. Requires permit/inspections for house

2.Shop building does not require permit or inspection unless it contains living quarters.

3. Home improvements require no permit or inspection unless they include adding roof covered living space.

4. Singlewides are not allowed in our county.

I am trying to get a sense of how to evaluate this approach, improve it, or abandon it?

I don't see a rule book that the county will utilize and I know any rule book will be partially - subjectively applied as a nice "looking" house appears more valuable than a less aesthetic design.

Any advice, or understanding you can offer as I seek to render to Ceasar as little as I legally

VERY much appreciated.


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