Boise & Garden City

Buyers line up for homes made of shipping containers, but lenders are cautious

Building homes with shipping containers

David Herman is building a 17-home subdivision in Garden City called Remington
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David Herman is building a 17-home subdivision in Garden City called Remington

Developer David Herman says he has a list of 37 people who have expressed interest in buying houses made out of cargo shipping containers in his Garden City subdivision.

Herman told the Statesman in February that he expected to have the 17-home subdivision finished by the end of the summer — and some would-be buyers expected to be nesting in their steel-walled homes by now.

But construction hasn’t yet begun.

Herman said he spent months working on some last infrastructure issues with city officials, then discovered mortgage lenders who were amenable to the project last year had cooled on the idea of shipping container houses.

He learned that, he said, when one buyer tried to pre-qualify for a loan.

“She had her lending institution contact me,” Herman said. “He said ‘We just don’t have any appetite for that housing model.’”

That was a bit of shock, he said, as lenders had previously approached him.

The development is now on “hiatus” until Herman can sort out what’s going on with the lenders and the market. But he remains committed to getting it built.

The plan approved by the city calls for a single row of 17 homes on a 1.2-acre site on Remington Street, next to the racetrack at the fairgrounds. Each house would made of four shipping containers (two sets of side-by-side containers).

The anticipated sale price for each home is about $152,000.

“It’s going to move forward,” Herman said. “I feel obligated, morally and ethically. I don’t want to go back [to the city] and fight the battle with them and say, ‘Gee whiz, we’re going to build apartments.’ We’d start over at square one. It’s not my desire to do that.”

Those interested in learning more about Herman’s vision for Remington Container Homes can visit his website,

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller