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Quick and Dirty: What does an Earthship cost to build versus a "traditional house"?

So someone found us the other day by googling this question:

 What does an Earthship cost to build versus a "traditional house"?


And the Answer is:

It Depends!

Always with the "It depends" thing... yes. I know. LOL!
But it does. It depends how much of an earthship you build, how much you build yourself, how many volunteers you have, how much your plans cost ($50k is not unusual for a custom home... including earthships... and that's not mortgageable!), etc.

The EASIEST answer is this: 

A normal Earthship, built in Taos by the powers that be... costs $225 per square foot.

A normal house, built nearly anywhere in the US, will cost you probably
$150 per square foot, if you do the "green" version.

So you are paying $75 per square foot more... 
plus... in many cases, that doesn't cover the entire cost of the earthship. 
If you live somewhere like Alaska, where solar energy storage is challenging
because of low light levels for part of the year,
you can add another $75k to the cost for solar batteries.

But here's the kicker!

 A research study conducted by the website RealAssetsJunkie.com noted that the resale cost of an Earthship averages $191 per square foot (PSF). This means that a builder stands to lose up to $34 PSF if they choose to resell their home. An average Global Model Earthship is 1,700 square feet, which results in:
COST TO BUILD          1700 X $225 =         $382,500
(-)RESALE VALUE        1700 X $191 =          $324,700 
                                     NET LOSS =              $ 57,800
 

To help address these issues, a great floor plan, an inviting home, and thus, great detailing, is required. 

Start with our section Secrets of Great Curb Appeal for more information about how to build a home that people will pay more to buy.