5 of 5
BACKNEXT
Sunsites, Ariz.
Sunsites, Ariz.
The house plan the Miller's are using to build their Sunsites, Ariz., home.
Type of development: Do-it-yourself single family home
Number: 1
Price: $150,000

Claire and Tom Miller are Wisconsin natives who moved to the high-desert county in southeastern Arizona about 10 years ago. They've built or renovated houses before, including an earthworks house in Wisconsin and a couple of conventional places in the town of Sunsites, Ariz., where they now live. And, despite the poor economy, they're taking the plunge and building a new house.

"We held off for a while, but about six months ago I told Tom if we have one more house in us, we better do it now," said Clair.

They plan to do most of the work themselves, subcontracting out the plumbing and electrical work, the roof and trusses. Tom is 61 and does not want to do the heavy work. The couple had a plastering business for 35 years, so they'll do all the exterior and interior finishing.

The housing bust has benefited them to a degree because materials are less expensive and contractors have been sharpening their rates a bit, according to Clair. "Some of them don't have a lot of work," she added. "They're more flexible now on their schedules."

The Miller's chose plans provided by HousePlans.com and are putting in the house on a two-acre plot a mile or two from town. It will be a modest 1,650 square feet, "small and plain," as Clair described it, costing no more than $150,000.

"I don't want anything bigger," she said. "Not in this economy."

More galleries
Last updated April 07 2009: 10:14 AM ET
More Galleries
Most 'one percent' moments of 2014 This year was all about more money, more problems. Here's a look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the 1% over the last year. More
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.