This Aussie couple has been rejected from getting a mortgage. But that didn’t stop them from building their dream home. Here’s how they did it

 This Aussie couple has been rejected from getting a mortgage.  But that didn't stop them from building their dream home.  Here's how they did it

Discouraged by rejections from mortgage brokers, an Australian couple, Luis and Valentina, refused to let their dream of owning a home for their family fade away.

The couple diligently applied for multiple bank loans in the hope of securing financing for their first home, but were told to come back ‘when they have the money’.

Undeterred by this setback, Luis and Valentina decided to embark on an innovative and cost-effective path by building their dream home using shipping containers within a $300,000 budget.

‘We’re here today because a number of mortgage brokers didn’t believe us when we first started looking at buying our first home,’ they say.

‘Our budget was not very high. We were saving up for our deposit and were thinking of buying in the 200-300AUD range.

‘We were also planning to get married and have our first child so they basically told us to come back when we had more money.’

South Australian couple Valentina (left) and Louise (right) are building their dream home out of shipping containers after mortgage brokers turned down their request for a loan.

In 2020, Luis and Valentina purchased a 1,000 square meter plot of land located approximately 50 minutes’ drive north of Adelaide’s CBD.

With the prospect of building their home from scratch, Luis and Valentina realized this was their chance to bring their dream home to life.

They wrote, ‘We found this block at a really good price and we went for it.

The couple initially approached builders with the idea of ​​building their home out of shipping containers.

To their dismay, rejection and ghosting have become an all too common experience.

‘Hey boy! Rejects and ghosts left, right and centre. If it was going to happen the only way was if we were going to make it happen and we decided to make it ourselves.’

Luis and Valentina then enlisted the skills of an architect to help them design their ambitious two-story house – made entirely of shipping containers.

The house sits on a 1,000 square meter block, about 50 minutes’ drive north of Adelaide’s CBD, and is made of eight shipping containers.

The family of four lives in a small house on the property while they build container homes, which cost an estimated $250,000 to $300,000.

After ensuring the home’s design was thoroughly reviewed and certified by a structural engineer, Luis and Valentina received council approval for their plans in 2021. The following year marked the start of their ambitious project, as construction began on their dream ‘container’ home.

The family of four currently lives in a cozy little house located on the same property. Their temporary living arrangement allows them to stay close to their project while actively building their dream home.

Valentina, who is a wedding photographer, says she and her husband, who is a certified builder, do ‘a lot of the work’ themselves.

The couple explained that a construction loan allowed them to realize their dreams without being frugal.

“A lot of the big expenses have already been done and we still have to do the rest of the budget for the rest of the work,” the video said.

‘We are doing a lot of work ourselves and we are lucky to have so many people willing to help.’

He added that a person does not have to be ‘rich’ to build a container house and urged others to follow the unconventional building process.

‘Let it take: you can do it too. You don’t need to be rich. You just want it really badly,’ he wrote.

‘You don’t have to be rich to build a container house. It may not be a straightforward process and you may still stumble many times but as long as you have a clear vision of your end goal, it will happen.’

Valentina wrote in a comment that it is estimated to cost between $250,000 and $300,000 when construction is complete.

Container homes in Australia are treated like any construction and must adhere to the same rules that govern a traditionally built home.

Builders in South Australia must follow the Building Code of Australia and the 2008 South Australian Development Regulations.

The state requires that shipping containers be used for residential use only and meet the requirements of a Class 1a building of the National Construction Code (NCC).

In Australia container homes are treated like any construction and must adhere to the same rules that govern a traditionally built home (stock image)

Based on an average Australian home in 2020, nine 40ft high cube containers would be used for a build – a 40ft container costs between $8,000 and $13,800 depending on the availability, age and quality of the container.

Container homes can cost as little as $1,200 per square meter – about 40 percent less construction cost than a traditional build.

Total costs can range from $50,000 to $150,000 – excluding modifications such as insulation, electrical, windows and doors – with luxury container homes costing up to $400,000.

You can follow the couple’s efforts on Instagram and TikTok.


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