Most people would be surprised if they could get anything at all for $100. It’s not very much money, is it?
Yet, that’s what this family spent to buy their dream home. Of course, it wasn’t all straightforward and there was plenty of work to be done to get things ship-shape and comfortable, but you won’t believe how a $100 home turned out in the end.
12. Richard Aiken’s Cabin
Richard Aiken is a retiree and 65 years old. He’s done a lot of different things in his life. He’s written a book entitled The New Ancestral Diet. He’s also taken to the stage as an opera singer. His plan to live in the woods had been on hold until he heard of a cabin in Missouri going cheap.
11. Not A Pretty Sight
The cabin was in a terrible state when Richard went to visit for the first time. As you’d expect, $100 doesn’t buy an awful lot of home, and when Richard found it, the wood was rotten through and the building was in an advanced state of decay throughout.
10. $100 Of Goodwill
The owner of the cabin wasn’t a greedy man. When Richard approached him to buy the place, he was happy to give it away for nothing. Richard felt that it would be better to pay a symbolic amount instead and they agreed on $100 in cash. It was paid on the spot.
9. Preparing For Restoration
Richard wasn’t just looking to live in the woods in a cabin, he wanted to live in this cabin – the way it would have been when it was first built. So before they could restore the place, they had to label and catalog all of the wood used throughout the cabin so it could be put back the way it was, during restoration.
8. Nice Location!
The cabin might not have been the most appealing place at first glance, but they do say the first rule of real estate is location, location, location. You can’t argue with the location of Richard’s cabin. It’s right in front of a lake in the middle of beautiful woodland.
7. Free Water!
Just around the corner from the cabin, Richard and his family were extremely fortunate to find a natural spring. That meant that they’d be able to find drinking water all year round without having to arrange to have it shipped into the woods. The cabin just kept getting better for him.
6. Building A Dock
One of the first orders of work was to connect the cabin land to the lake so that supplies could be brought in. They dug down to the bedrock by hand and then used a bulldozer to excavate in the lake itself. They then constructed this neat and functional dock.
5. Reconstruction Begins
Reconstructing a cabin isn’t an easy job. All the wood needed removing and treating for rot and worms before being replaced as it was. As you see from this picture, it starts with just a few pieces and goes from there. But from tiny acorns, mighty oaks do grow.
4. Change Of Plan
They wanted to recreate the cabin exactly as it was but they found a serious problem in that the underlying bedrock was only 6 feet below the surface of the ground. So they decided to rebuild the cabin, again, but this time on a stone plinth that raised it a few more feet above ground.
3. A Few Additions
The cabin was also given a poured floor made from concrete, something that the original would have lacked. They then also gave the cabin a porch made from local wood which had fallen naturally, which is both eco-friendly and incredibly cost-efficient. It looks great doesn’t it? Particularly for $100.
2. A Peek Inside
This is the interior of the cabin, now that it’s been finished. You can see firewood supplies, the new hearth (which is modeled on the original hearth), a home-made bench which was designed to be free moving so the family can keep warm in winter and the staircase leading up to the attic that they built from local wood.
1. Chilling Out
Richard and his family spent a great deal of time and love putting the cabin back together, and what do you need at the end of a hard day? That’s right, somewhere to rest your head. There’s a decent sized and very comfortable bed that was installed in the attic for just that.
As you can see, Richard’s $100 investment (an investment he didn’t actually need to make because he could have had the cabin for nothing), turned out very nicely for him and his family.
It just goes to show the power of human creativity. Most people would have seen the cabin and written it off without a second glance.
Yet, with some love and some labor – a cheap run down cabin in the woods has turned out to be a pretty spectacular place for a man and his family to live among nature. Now, we’re off to look for our own place like that.