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Old 05-05-2002, 08:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
Wish it was my job!
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Join Date: Nov 2000
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Location: Van Alstyne, TX USA
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whoever is talking about heat, he's in austin TX, Think more about how to get the AC flowing good enough....

I am looking into the same issue, with a little different flair. Buy the house sitting on an acre outside of town with a 3 car garage, pay down 20K or so on the principle, then build the shop.

Things I have run into (and I am in Dallas, so it should be similar)

1) Get far enough out of town that there is not a homeowner's assoc.

2) Get at least 3/4 of an acre. Any less and you will have a tough time working out a home and shop on the same lot, and since this place will have your dream shop on it, sooner or later you will want an actual house, and you will want to put it next door!

3) Consider whether you will ever make your offroad shop the basis of a legitimate business (I say legitimate as in enough documentation to get the tax breaks). If it will be a business, take a look at the requirements from both the city and the county to get a fictitious business name and an occupancy permit. You will have to do some research to see which of these you will need for your application.

4) Research requirements on secondary structures in the city/town/ whatever you are gonna be building in. In one I just looked at, you are restricted to 600 sq ft of Air Conditioned space in a secondary structure. I just found rule #1 that I will have to creatively break!

5) Take a look around the neighborhood as you are considering buying, the more car covers with jackstands poking out from under them, flat deck trailers with tire racks on them, and derelict vehicles in the back yards you see, the better. People that have the above yard ornaments will come over to gawk, drink beer, and see if you can weld up their ___________ (insert minor task here), instead of calling the cops on you for spinning up a grinder at 10 seconds after 9 on a saturday evening.
I swear hell is full of cedar, scorpions and flat hot non-alcoholic beer.

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