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The great Australian dream of owning our own home is in reality for many just a fantasy as the credit crunch squeezes home buyers out of the market. Across the country flatline there is one form of affordable housing that is bucking the trend. Damien Hansen reports on the kit home market that's revolutionising the way we look at property.

In terms of interest rates there's rarely been a better time to buy a new home. Problem is it's one of the worst time to borrow the money.

“Most project builders will charge around $400,000 to build a house like this.” Keith Richardson from Ask Homes is convinced you'll only need a small deposit if you decide to do it yourself.

“They are just normal homes packaged up in kit form its about getting involved, doing as much as you possibly can your selves and whatever you don't want to do getting a licence builder to do it.”

Starting at $148,000 this home can be built from scratch, it comes in a box, ready for Assembly.

“It comes with your choice of floor plan, steel frames, trusses, your gutters your down pipe, your external and internal cladding, all your doors, windows, flyscreen, gyprock, cornace architrave, skirting.”

But forget the steak knives because it doesn't come with a kitchen or stairs, floor coverings and a number of other finishes so check the fine print.

“They are truly affordable to buy and truly affordable to live in.” Lucio Mucci believes he has developed the cheapest and greenest homes in the country.

“What makes this house so special is that they include an underground water storage of 13600 litres, one kilowatt of solar electricity and solar hot water and of course they have the energy efficient design and energy efficient material.”

He's selling a two bedroom eco homes at Aldinga in South Adelaide for just one $175,000 - and that 's including land.

And if you can't afford to upgrade, then you can always extend. A Tasmanian firm has designed a self contained module for teenagers which it maintains can be put together for $20,000 - that's cheaper than building in under the house.

Diane and Barry used a bit of ingenuity to avert their own housing crisis by slotting five shipping containers together like lego pieces, building their dream home for around $60,000.

If they'd chased the brick and tile dream, they'd be broke.

Starting at $105,000 for a one bedroom home, these are top of the range in modular homes.

“I think the donga days are gone I think what we've proven here is with the right resource and thinking and minds behind it you can achieve fantastic results at a very affordable price” says Toby.

The brainchild of Brisbane developer Toby Lewis, The Happy Haus is the latest in the affordable housing market and arguably the trendiest.

“A 2 bedroom home could cost as little as $150,000 going right up to 3 and 4 bedroom homes sort of no more than $250,000 for the whole show including decks and carports” adds Toby.

Happy Haus' are designed by awarded winning architects Donovan Hill and are being snapped up by first home buyers looking for champagne style on a beer budget.

The SA supplier of Tecoblock is Lucio Mucci from Co-Built housing. Lucio is also the developer of the eco friendly homes at Aldinga and soon to be built Munno Para development.

Ph: 8379 0601 or 0408 827 357

Happy Haus
Tel: 1300 775 521

Ask Homes
Tel: 1800 153 371