“Crafting Their Dream Modern Hobbit Home”: Couple Bypasses Bank Loan Hurdles by Building It Themselves

Getting a bank loan can be tough. Banks often hesitate to give loans for various reasons. But Steve Travis and Jeff Ingram didn’t let that stop them from building their dream home, an earth-sheltered dome.

Instead of relying on a bank loan, they took a creative approach. They financed each step of their hobbit villa project with their paychecks. They even used recycled highway signs for the foundation forms.

Their journey involved unique milestones, like a lively dome-raising party and a year-long commitment to tying rebar. After six years in a trailer, they moved into their partially constructed home.

Now, after a decade, they enjoy a mortgage-free life in a home built to withstand extreme conditions. The house has excellent insulation, so they don’t have heating or cooling bills. Steve credits the strength of their home to the massive amount of earth surrounding it.

Despite county regulations, they never needed bedroom wall heaters. The decision to use non-load-bearing walls allowed for big windows, providing plenty of natural light.

During construction, their distinctive home intrigued neighbors, sometimes mistaken for a government facility. Steve found the land during drives and fell in love with the view, leading to their unique living experience.

Discussing the local climate, they note moderate temperatures and the earth’s effectiveness as a natural insulator. They talk about the construction process, using steel arches and highway signs due to financial constraints.

Securing loans posed challenges, causing delays, but they overcame them with determination. They added a layer for waterproofing, sharing details about their home’s features, like a chimney, arches, and an innovative system designed by a Colorado-based company.

They highlight the energy efficiency, sturdiness, and low maintenance of their home, crucial in the earthquake-prone area. Inside, they discuss the strategic layout, conduit placement, and on-site milled wood.

Living in a trailer during construction had its challenges, but they found satisfaction in the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of their unique home. Despite struggles, their decade-long journey is a testament to dedication and unconventional thinking.

While bank loan struggles are real, alternatives like Steve and Jeff’s approach not only bring satisfaction but also save them from high-interest rates. Watch their journey in the video below.

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