So, since founding this blog and moving into my high cube, I’ve subsequently been fortunate enough to have various groups within the Oklahoma City metro ask me to give some presentations on container homes — specifically MY container home, of course.
Real estate appraiser’s group
In September 2017, I spoke at a meeting of the Appraisal Institute’s Great Plains chapter. Kelly Hogan with Scope Property Valuation Specialists had heard of me by chance through a mutual friend, and she was needing to provide some kind of presentation for the Great Plains chapter’s monthly meeting.
There were about 30 to 40 people in attendance, all of them hyper-aware of the local real estate market. Their questions were largely related to the more technical side of property ownership, zoning and taxes, but they also had more personal curiosities about design choices and the practicality of living in 270 square feet.
Main takeaway: Because there’s no loan classification for container homes yet, a significant amount of difficulty exists in getting a container home loan, either for buying or borrowing against an existing one or borrowing in order to build a new one. Personally, Bank of America (my bank since 2008) denied my application for a loan (although I imagine some kind of self-financing could be arranged in the event I sell my unit). At the same time, there are a few large-scale container projects (to be discussed in a future post), that seem to indicate that if your project is big enough (or you know the right people) one can secure a loan for these types of unique structures.
Earth Rebirth: Environmental consultants and sustainability collective
The Earth Rebirth organization based out of Norman, Oklahoma, contacted me in August about presenting to their group in early October. Even though the appraiser’s chapter turned out to be a good meeting with an engaged and curious audience, this was the type of organization more in line with what I thought constituted the “container home market,” because the ideals of Earth Rebirth (sustainability, environmentalism, recycling, etc.) are reflected in the container home itself.
There were somewhere between a dozen and 20 people in attendance during the course of the evening’s talk, and many were already familiar with container homes and other tiny living solutions, having done their own research already and currently seeking to downsize their living situations.
Main takeaway: People who are sympathetic to the environmental and sustainable aspects of container developments are very enthusiastic about the concept but largely lack the funds to start their own projects. (See lack of loan availability above.)
Minimalists.org OKC group/Tiny House Collective Oklahoma
A man by the name of John Stuart happened to attend the Earth Rebirth session, and he subsequently invited me to speak to members of his group(s) shortly thereafter. (OKC minimalists can be found here, while the local tiny house collective exists online here.)
A much more modestly sized group of like-minded individuals gathered on a recent Saturday afternoon in the sanctuary of City Pres church in OKC, which will host meetings for free. Much like the environmentalists from the previous meeting, this group consisted largely of people who had already gone down the online rabbit hole of container home research, and one had even purchased a vacant lot in northeast OKC with the sole purpose of container development.
Main takeaway: Again, the desire is there, but the money remains and issue, and I emphasized that there’s no real money to be saved on the front end of building a container home unless you have the tools and are able to do a significant amount of the cutting and welding yourself. Further, for building within city limits, obtaining permits and hiring out inspectors can add up to a prohibitive cost for most people.
Would you like me to present to your group?
I hope this gives you an idea about what kinds of groups I’m available to speak with. Of course, I’d gladly talk the ears off anyone who will listen. Currently my presentation appearances are performed gratis, but secure your place early before demand rises high enough for me to start charging! 😉
Please feel free to email me for availability and more info: firstname.lastname@example.org