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Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)

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Old 01-08-2015, 12:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)

Steven and Lucia,

Wife and I are in the early stages of considering something very similar, slightly farther out form Vancouver/Portland. We would be interested in hearing more about your yurtification journey, as you have a half-year's head start on us.

Financing land should be doable, but will require a larger down payment: 25% or higher is what we have been told. Financing unimproved land is a much bigger risk for a financial institution than financing a single-family home. In the SoWa/Northern Oregon region USDA loans are also pretty common if you are looking at rural farmland. I'd be interested to find out how feasible it would be to get a USDA loan to buy unimproved land and put a yurt on the property.

If you have good credit, you might look into an unsecured personal loan to finance all or part of the yurt itself. That's what we are doing. This would have a sub-10% interest rate an a term of 3-5 years, which for a nice yurt is basically like having a mortgage for 5 years and then you would be free and clear of debt (for the yurt anyways).

My chief concern at the moment is building permits. We would need utility power, and AFAIK from lurking on forums and talking to reps of a local yurt company (Pacific Yurts) pretty much nobody has gone through the process of getting permits to use a yurt as a permanent residence.

From what I have heard, I doubt you would be able to get a permit to live in a yurt anywhere near Portland or Vancouver. That kind of structure simply isn't worked into building codes, and local inspectors are going to be too busy to bother with dealing with a "unique structure". However, farther upstate (WA) or downstate (OR) it might be more likely, if you can luck out on finding an understanding inspector who is willing to work with you. That's what we're hoping anyways.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)

Melissa from

Yurts of Hawaii

does the permitting process. I believe she is available for general info and consulting.
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