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Ordering Your House Online

Ordering Your House Online
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BY KITT WALSH

I’ve been doing all my Christmas shopping online for years. I have the gifts delivered to a nearby packaging store, pick all the boxes up at once, shove them in the back of the car and off I go. My son one ups me by ordering toilet paper and Asian rice from Amazon, and has them delivered to his door, no fuss, no muss.

Non-perishables are one thing, but what if you could have your new house shipped to you?

One company, Honomobo, makes that not only possible, but desirable. Using shipping containers as the main structures, Honomobo offers “suites” ranging from 200-1,408 square feet, including studio, one bedroom and two bedroom models. There is even a two-story version. Honomobo offers six floor plans and has no plans to offer clients custom builds, because going custom costs more money and keeping the price down is one way Honomobo makes itself the go-to option for people trying to save money or increase their cash flow.

Prices start at $99,000 and go up to $269,304. These plug- and-play suites are built in Canada in a matter of weeks (about 8-10 weeks on average with only 1-2 weeks needed on-site) and shipped right to you, anywhere in North America. Honomobo delivers and installs, placing your new home on a foundation–and voila, instant house. You may use them as a senior suite, vacation home, office, man-cave or rental. Honomobo has testimonials from people who have added such structures to their mortgage for $500 more a month in payments and then collect $1000 in rent, creating an income stream for the owners.

“Our concept is simple. Take a durable, readily available, and cost effective structure, the shipping container, and turn it into a sleek, beautiful living space,” says co-founder, Daniel Engelman. “We have embraced the essence and durability of the container while turning it into an extremely livable and modern home.”

Why shipping containers? Honomobo encourages you to think of them as life-size lego blocks that can be stacked (and even moved later). Such containers were designed to withstand climate changes, salt water, freezing temperatures and, since they are made of corten steel, they even withstand corrosion or rust. Also, since they are repurposed, such containers are the height of recycling and the very essence of green building.

The 528-square-foot HO3 model, consists of three containers and featuring a full private bedroom, kitchen with an island and one full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. It has proven to be Honomobo’s most popular seller, though the two-story plans are contemporary homes with 1,428 of truly beautiful space. You must visit the website to see the various stunning options (including some videos on exactly how an on-site crew pulls the whole home together in a couple of weeks.)

This is no trailer-home-by-another-name. The houses include an efficient air source heat pump for heating and cooling and all are solar photovoltaic ready, meaning your new abode can go full “net positive” (only use energy it produces on its own). Each comes in your choice of colors, has giant windows (to take in gorgeous views of your lake property or desert getaway), upgraded finishes and appliances and a deck can be added to create even more space.

The one thing that truly differentiates Honomobo’s homes from other shipping container buildings is that they make no apologies about using shipping containers. They don’t try to disguise the fact, which means Honomobo’s homes really have a unique design perspective. They may take a little getting used to in more traditional neighborhoods, but the houses do conform to standard building codes and are accepted under most zoning requirements, particularly in urban areas. Be sure to check your own local zoning laws. When it comes to the bank, however, Honomobos are considered homes—regular homes—and will be financed as such. If you need help talking to your bank or financial institution, however, Honomobo provides that service as well.

I have begun agitating to have one for my old age (the adorable tiny houses appeal to my heart, but the idea of climbing into a loft bedroom makes my knees ache.) One level, brand new everything, light streaming in and sturdy enough to withstand a storm at sea (they take a week to sink even in the roughest waves), these repurposed containers might be the perfect answer to a repurposed life after retirement.

One call and they deliver? It’s easier than phoning out for pizza.

Visit http://www.honomobo.com for more information and to see the available models.

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Kitt Walsh owns a web content company, Behind Blogs (http://www.behindblogs.com), is a regular contributor to CNN Money, a public speaker on Social Media, a book editor and ghostwriter, and freelances as a feature writer, editor and marketing consultant for magazines, newspapers and private clients around the world.