In Mexico, about 350,000 low-income families build their own homes over the course of several years. Laying down the bricks themselves, they add on new rooms and extensions as more money comes in. But according to the affordable housing company MeXvi, these families are not just wasting time by taking the traditional approach, but also money--as much as 40% in scrap and middlemen costs. So MeXvi has , for an astoundingly low price of $7,000.
Charging about half of what clients would pay to build independently, MeXvi works with families in the construction process, providing materials, labor and an architect or civil engineer to facilitate the project. The materials are high in quality, meant to be able to stand up to natural disasters, and the basic structure of the house (usually a system of steel panels) .
Sound too good to be true? Well, there is one catch: Prospective homeowners have to pay the seven grand up front, often impossible for struggling families. For that reason, MeXvi has teamed up with such development organizations as FOMEPADE and the Inter-American Development Bank to provide clients with the necessary credit.
When the alternative is paying installments to build your house piecemeal--with no guarantees for an exact timeline--the proposition to pay off a loan for a house that can be built in just two weeks is a pretty attractive one.