In some parts of the country, this is a novel solution to a perennial problem.
If you’re hunting for a home, you’ll know that prices are the highest they’ve been in decades – between the summer of 2021 and 2022, the price of an average single-family property rose by 20.6% across the country.
The latest mortgage rate increase and string of real estate company layoffs indicate that a shift may be on its way but, for the moment, prices are not letting up, leaving many American to look for nonstandard solutions for homeownership.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen everything from the tiny home movement to the $7,000 DIY home ordered from Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com Inc. Report. And in certain states, there is the barndominium.
What Exactly Is A Barndominium?
The barndominium, or a house created out of a barn or other farm-style storage structure, started out in Texas and picked up steam after Chip and Joanna Gaines started showing them on the HGTV show Fixer Upper.
“A barndominium, also known as a barndo, is an open concept steel building with large square footage that combines living space and a working area,” Western States Metal Roofing, a Phoenix construction company that specializes in this type of house writes on its site. “The term can be used to describe any metal structure from a simple one story to a large, luxurious home.”
The concept took off in large part because barndominiums can be a cheaper alternative to a traditional house. For those who already have a barn on their property, building a barndominium to live in or rent out can be an especially sustainable option.
But that doesn’t mean that barndominiums are cheap by definition — one such structure in Linden, Tennessee was recently listed for $1.6 million.
Some of their owners also get caught up in the “barndominium culture” and start building more and more intricate properties out of a barn.
In fact, the word is often used as a catchy term that is good for marketing but can be used to mean almost anything its owners or sellers want it to.
Where Do I Go To Get Me Some Barndominiums?
Realtor.com recently put together a list of five barndominiums that are for sale now for under $400,000. One such structure is a fire-engine red, 2,200-square-foot structure in Magnolia, Texas for $385,000.
Another such property is a $240,000 house in Yazoo City, Missouri. It has a sprawling entrance and, while most barndominiums are built as a single space, this one comes attached with a second apartment.
“This sprawling barndominium on 13.2 acres offers a 40-by-40-foot shop and an attached one-bedroom apartment,” reads Realtor.com. “[…] All this, and an abundance of deer and turkey right outside your front door? You’d never have to leave, for work or play.”
One more barndominium for sale right now is the $375,000 three-bedroom home in Pointblank, Texas.
“It’s located a block and a half from Lake Livingston, so it almost qualifies as a beach house,” Realtor.com writes.
In general, barndominiums are a regional phenomenon that fit into the geography and lifestyle of certain southern and midwestern states. But for many, they are both a labor of love and a solution to the current housing crisis — while the average American home now sells for $349,816, a no-frills, average barndominium goes for around $150,000.