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Thread: Thinking about land in Southern Nevada

  1. #1

    Thinking about land in Southern Nevada

    Hi All.
    Firstly I am not a US citizen, but going by the regulations, non resident aliens, can buy land in Nevada.
    I am somewhat disabled due to a drunk driver, & I hate the cold.
    My choice of southern Nevada, twixt Mesquite & Moapa is because they do not get Snow ! ( According to Charts )

    Obviously I have not taken any classes, and being 61, If the land purchase works out, I would need someone to build the cabin / kit thing.

    I am only looking at 1 bathroom 2 beds thing with some sort of garage.

    However, then you need water tanks & power, do you run on 12 v ?
    I have lived on a 40 ft sailboat, since 1990 and have crossed the atlantic several times, so I am no stranger to water conservation & wind generators.

    Any Hints or things I have not thought about, would be greatly appreciated.

    My max budget, would be $ 75 - 80 000.

    Thanks in Advance

    Fossil

  2. #2
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
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    Fossil,
    Look into 24 v (run similar $ components on half the amperage). Also don't be so quick to dismiss LHBA. I built my 24x24 for around 80k (or would have if I were able to build alone, spent around 20kon helpers).

  3. #3
    LHBA Member DanS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fossil View Post
    Obviously I have not taken any classes, and being 61, If the land purchase works out, I would need someone to build the cabin / kit thing.
    As Peter said--don't dismiss the idea of mostly building yourself so quickly. The whole point of LHBA building is to be something that you can do, it's a lot of work, but it's not rocket science. You said you're "somewhat" disabled--can you do trim carpentry? Swing a sledge? Much around with mud in your hands? If you can manage that--I'd bet you can do an awful lot of the building yourself.

    Even if you were to hire someone to erect the building, it's not a terrible investment to take the LHBA class. It will let you know what is going on, and why some things are being done the way they are.

    However, then you need water tanks & power, do you run on 12 v ?
    You've got two different infrastructure bits mixed up a little here.

    Water: there's lots of ways to get water. A well, rainwater collection, hauling water into a cistern, etc.... I drilled a well, and most people in the American West have wells too. How deep (and expensive) a well is depends on where you are building.

    How deep the well is will also change the electric you end up using. You could build a house entirely on 12V or 24V electrics, using Solar PV or Wind Generators to charge batteries. But for the most part, off grid solar in the US is done with a Solar PV Array (maybe a wind generator) which charge a bank of batteries, and then using an inverter to convert the power to 120 VAC (which is standard household wiring in the US). That allows you to operate commonly available kitchen appliances, computers, etc... Very common to also have a combustion engine generator backup, or to augment the system for heavy loads (a 12V or 24V well pump won't handle a very deep well, for instance, and it may be cheaper to use a generator to pump from a well than to buy a solar system with an inverter strong enough to run the well).

    I have lived on a 40 ft sailboat, since 1990 and have crossed the atlantic several times, so I am no stranger to water conservation & wind generators.
    You're ahead of the game then. Using less means you have to produce less--which reduces component costs significantly.

    Any Hints or things I have not thought about, would be greatly appreciated.
    Zoning. There's a lot of "cheap" land in the American west--for a reason. There are zoning classification that makes property unbuildable, and some locales have zoning regulations that might mean that a beautiful piece of land only has a building site that is excessively steep and rocky, or something. Generally when you start seeing really cheap land prices--that's a red flag that they might have issues which make them unsuitable for building a house--and more research is required.

    Dan

  4. #4
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
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    You can and should run your lights directly Off your batteries. Get affordable leds from ebay

  5. #5
    LHBA Member DanS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StressMan79 View Post
    You can and should run your lights directly Off your batteries. Get affordable leds from ebay
    This got me thinking, and researching....

    So long as the wire size doesn't get excessive (it shouldn't, using such low draw devices) this is a FANTASTIC idea. Can't believe I'd never heard or thought of it before.

    At my folks' cabin (which is off grid) we wired the shed that contains the solar system with 12V LED lighting directly off of the batteries just so we'd have light in case the system otherwise has a problem--just to troubleshoot. Why we didn't think to extend that towards the house and all the other lighting is beyond me.

    Running all of the lighting on 12VDC (or 24VDC) is just too simple. No need to run all the house lighting through the inverter means you can buy a smaller inverter, and LEDs are so good nowadays that there's really no benefit to using AC power for the lights.

    Thanks Peter! Now I just need to research standard (read: won't freak out an inspector) 12 or 24 VDC wiring standards...

    Dan

  6. #6
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
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    Dan, low voltage dc (set somewhat arbitrarily to less than 50 volts) can use standard romex (up to the amperage limit) and switches (and outlets) without arcing...outlets are tricky. If you wire dc into a.c. outlets, you can physically plug an a.c. load into it--not good, but I've heard using those cigarette lighter plugs is a good way to burn your house down.

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