The term “Barndominium” gained prominence from Season 3, Episode 6 of the “Fixer Upper” series. In said episode, they transformed a barn into a habitable home. However, while most think of Barndominiums as the conversion of a barn to a home, there is also new construction for Barndominiums. It is typically much cheaper to build a Barndominium than your typical home. This is a new trend which is starting to emerge in the rural/suburban-rural areas of Michigan.
Many Barndominiums have a dual purpose, with the space being divided between living space and space for recreation. For example, the recreational space is perfect for the storage of vehicles, snowmobiles, boats, and ATVs, similar to a regular barn or garage purpose. Many have even utilized the recreational space for farm animals, like cows, horses, etc. Back in the 1980s, real estate developer, Karl Nilsen, actually planned communities around the theme of raising horses with these type of living structures.
However, there are many potential hurdles with trying to insure a Barndominium. Examples of such are that some insurance companies may not write insurance for:
- Non- “stick-built” homes
- Farming related activities
- Business ventures
- Dual usage homes
Insurance companies may also have difficulty in the valuation of the home, whether Replacement Cost Value (RCV) or Actual Cash Value (ACV) should take place.
Speaking with your insurance agent is the first step to properly covering your Michigan Bardominium.
By: Mark Preston and James Arnouts