1. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Eco-Friendly Arts Commune

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Lewdog, Mar 2, 2014.

    So I've had this idea for awhile now, to somehow build an eco-friendly arts commune. I think I've found the perfect country for it due to the climate, and the wide range of ecosystems it has. I would build these highly eco-friendly homes that would be self-sufficient except for satellite tv and internet. The homes would be solar powered or through a geothermal system, the water would come from a well or/and rainwater collection, and the waste would have a grey water system except for the solid waste which the homes would have incinerator toilets. People could have gardens and animals, and as much as could be recycled would be, and the material that can be burned would be disposed of that way. I already have the blue print for the homes, and where to put them. I found a 68 acre farm for only $59,000 in beautiful region of Ecuador. The climate is generally around 80 degrees there year round.

    So the only thing stopping this wonderful plan is the start up capitol. Anyone have some good ideas other than holding up a bank? Here are a few pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    You might get some 'Angel Investors', if you look at the right places.
     
  3. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    What do you think of the idea? The land is also fairly close to a volcano, so geothermal energy could be produced and used, though that would be more expensive and require somewhat of an effort and upkeep.
     
  4. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    The pictures sure look awesome, but what about the customer segmentation?
    I mean, who will live in these homes?
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Well I was thinking about two possible choices. One would be that every three months a new group of people that apply through a website are chosen to come down and live in the homes free of charge, other than their food, because the only utility bills would be the television and internet, they would be basically raising money for sustaining the commune by giving content to the website, and earning their keep by doing some hours of community service in surrounding areas.

    The other idea is that people can either rent the houses long term with the knowledge that the people are going to be artist who have a common purpose, or make them times shares with the same idea, or people can outright buy the houses for their self.

    Other than than houses, there would also be common areas for artist to share their way of life, and mingle.

    Here is the site of the house I showed. They actually only cost $40,000 to build, and might be less than that given how cheap labor is in Ecuador.

    http://www.prefabcontainerhomes.org/2012/08/40000-usd-shipping-container-home.html
     
  6. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    Yes, I think the idea is brilliant but you have to focus more on different marketing aspects and also try to convert this project into a 'brand'.
     
  7. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Not sure what you mean?

    Let me add something here. The cool thing about Ecuador is it has so many different ecosystems all rolled into one. It has rain forest, volcanoes, beaches, mountains...you pretty much name it. When you add that to the fact that there is very little arts and literature written about Ecuador and Central America other than Charles Darwin's book about the Galapagos Islands which is off the coast of Ecuador, there is so much that is left untapped.
     
  8. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    I was talking about the different marketing channels like newspapers, social media, TV, hoardings, pamphlets,etc. so that a large amount of people know about this eco-home project of yours and they get driven by this desire to rent/own these piece of beauties.
    But as you say the USP is the ecosystem of Ecuador itself so you gotta pitch this image into your target potential customers.
    So, you have to have a budget for marketing as well.
     
  9. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    That's what's so hard. I would need to own the property and build at least one house, to be able to have the right resources like costs and benefits, in order to start to market it fairly. That's always the catch 22. It takes money to make money.
     
  10. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    Seems like you have a fairly good business knowledge then. Have you done the Risk analysis and devised mitigation strategies for this plan of yours?
     
  11. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    No, but I can tell you a few things. After checking the cost of all the things that is needed to build a totally self sufficient home like I have discussed, a fair starting capital to pay for the land and building the first model house and getting the property ready for further construction, it would be around $200,000. Now if you take into account the land has 68 acres. You could give each house its own acre in order cultivate food and have livestock. I'm figuring having 30 houses, which would be 30 acres. Then take an acre or two for common houses for showing off art, doing yoga or other types of things, and maybe a fitness center.

    After that you could leave the rest of the land for making hiking trails, bird watching, etc.

    Even if thing don't go well enough to make 30 houses, if building each house costs around $45,000, and you sell them for $75,000, you are talking only around 7 maybe 8 houses just to get to the break even point. Now you have to also understand that with global warming, more and more people are moving to Central America in order to get away from the extremely hot summers and the brutal winters with no transitional seasons. So any real estate in Central America is going to have positive value.
     
  12. Darkcula
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    "Now you have to also understand that with global warming, more and more people are moving to Central America in order to get away from the extremely hot summers and the brutal winters with no transitional seasons. So any real estate in Central America is going to have positive value."
    It sure is an excellent business opportunity.

    How much funding you require in this $200,000? And have you already bought the $59000 farm you talked about?

     
  13. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    No I haven't bought the land. $200,000 would cover the cost of the land, building the first model house that I would live in, and as a single guy I could put the office in there to handle all the logistics. That would leave nearly $100,000 to get the land zoned and ready for new houses to be built. Then prospects could put a down payment down on the house and construction could begin. Then upon final approval the balance would be owed. That would create a rotating capital for each new house construction. I'd like to make it as self sustaining as possible, with a community pool and maybe even a community small store. Labor is super cheap in Ecuador, where you can get your home cleaned for only $3 per day. Honestly it is one of the best places in the world I've found for value and atmosphere.
     
  14. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    All the best then. If you want investors, there are a few "Crowdfunding" websites that can help you a lot.
     
  15. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Well I hope I come across as having a bit of knowledge about the area and some of the nuances of the area, but I think it would take someone with a bit more accounting knowledge to write up the idea for the type of site you are talking about. That is something I lack.
     
  16. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    You can always partner with someone you trust. I am sure there will be many acquaintances/friends, capable enough to fill this void of advance accounting knowledge.
     
  17. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    It sure would be nice to see an idea of my that blossoms rather than the same old 'go down in flames' depressing type ideas.

    For Hire: One accountant that will work Pro-no-no (that means for free up front) :D
     
  18. Darkcula
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    :D If I knew accounting I'd have gladly worked for 'free up front'.
    Not exactly free, but with the promise that you will let me live in one of those Shipping-container homes and free meals.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    playing devil's advocate, i have to wonder why you'd choose a site in such precarious proximity to a volcano... one that apparently seems to be anything but dormant, to boot...
     
  20. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    For the ability to get geothermal energy. I also imagine there are some hot springs around. Areas around volcanoes also have very fertile ground for farming. With that said. I don't think the farm is THAT close to the volcano. Even if the volcano erupted, at worst the commune would get some ash, not lava.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you'd better study up on volcanology... the vast majority of deaths from volcanic eruption are caused by ash, not lava!... and pyroplastic flow... and the destruction zone extends far beyond the limited area lava can reach...
     
  22. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Here is the link to the volcano, and by reading its description and that of the type of eruption it gives, it is not of the dangerous type and in fact only produces very fertile land and great wildlife. It is currently erupting and has been since 1934.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangay
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    did you read this far?

     
  24. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    It's one of the oldest volcanoes in the world. You could step outside in a rain storm and get struck by lightening. The Sun could implode and destroy the entire universe. Mount Rainier could explode destroying a great deal of Washington and Oregon, while covering many others in layers of ash, causing earthquakes all along the west coast, and tsunamis due to the seismic activity.

    All are very true, and in fact the part about Mount Rainier is VERY true, yet you still live in Oregon very close to it. Since 1990 there has been seismic activity all along the Oregon coast.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sure, but i just live here [nowhere near mt. rainier or any other volcano], and i'm not planning to locate an entire community of eco-friendly folks here... besides, we're not discussing seismic activity, only volcanic eruptions...
     

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