Hip-E Habitat is a residential home design-build, construction management as well as residential community design and management company founded by Kim Obermeyer nd Holly Beck. Kim has lived in Nicaragua since 2010 and Costa Rica since 2013, now spending part of the year in Mendocino, California. Kim is available for design and building projects in any of these places (and more!).
Kim Obermeyer – Worked with his stepfather, environmental architect, Don Watson’s, design-build company Earthrise in high school and college and continued to dabble in building cabins, bungalows and ecolodges in Alaska and Thailand before coming to Nicaragua in 2010. Since then he has turned his lifelong interest in environmental design, green building and permaculture into a livelihood. Holding an impressive list of places he’s called home, as a kid in Yemen, he then spent 10 years climbing mountains and chasing wildlife in Alaska, then ran coral reef conservation projects and founded an ecolodge in Thailand. He has degrees in environmental economics (BS), environmental management (MS), and conservation biology (MS). He’s built 11 homes in Nicaragua and is working on his first in Costa Rica.
Property and building history:
It started by building a small 18’x18′ thatch roof cabana on the property of a friend’s eco hotel, the original home of Holly’s Surf with Amigas women’s surf and yoga retreats. Kim helped Holly start Surf with Amigas for the first couple years before concentrating on construction and managing their land.
The next piece of land was at an eco-development that Kim designed called Tierra Del Sueno. The lot was developed and Kim built a workshop that he has recently started to restore into a casita with outdoor kitchen.
The next project was a 3/4 acre lot walking distance to a surf spot at Brisas Del Alma . To read about its construction, click here. The house was finished in August 2014. Kim has since built or started six other houses at Brisas and in the area.
Community Design and Management
Hip-E Habitat has managed the community of Tierra Del Sueno from it’s inception, and taken it from raw land to a community of 13 lots with water, power, and roads. Half of the lots have been sold with only two others currently for sale (the rest are being held by the owners for now).
They have also taken on an advisory and management role into two other developments in the area including Seascape and Brisas Del Alma.
After completing their house at Brisas in 2014, Kim began building for others in the area. See his list of houses for more detail. In 2019 Kim took a job managing a construction project in Mendocino, California. Since early 2020 he has been designing and building tiny houses, planning eco-stuff and trying to live a conscious and loving life.
Ram Dass- “Being Free Together” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avimGrkC-Zc
I think that its great what you guys are doing. I am also studying environmental management, I think its really beautiful. Once im done with school I plane on traveling South America, I live in Venezuela, you guys should come and visit as well… 🙂
Have a great one!
Thanks Victoria- we would love to visit Venezuela. Maybe along with Columbia to learn more about bamboo building!
I would love to visit Venezuela but am scared of Chavez.
There needs to be more people like you in the world. Peace ~
Just stumbled upon your blog. I’m really diggin’ it! I just got back from living in Costa and Nicaragua. Watching your videos makes me miss it hardcore!! I would love to settle down there too, but ran out of funds. What a life, the sun, the surf, the jungle, the people, best year of my life..
If you ever need a helping hand around the camp, I’ll be on the next plane + bus(es) down there. Just give me a bed and a cold Tona at the end of day.. 🙂
Thanks Lauren, we might need help on the Tierra Del Sueno project some day- we’ll let you know!
I just came to your page by chance.
I like what you are doing (let me say I like the way you are doing it)! Didn’t read all the comments though.
Can you give me a short update on who far you are with your project? I might be interested, because I think that this has to be the way who to bulid up places for the future (especially in development countries). Would be very nice if you could write me a mail with a few lines about it. I might be interested in a lot of you…
Hope to hear from you soon 🙂
Kind regards from Switzerland!
This truly looks like a dream come true – I want to know more about living the dream without having this ‘real job’ thing 🙂
Awesome stuff! We are also a couple who live in the tropics (in Puerto Rico) and are doing a similar thing learning the culture, enjoying the ocean, fixing up our 4 acres of paradise by building, gardening, raising animals, etc. Great to see others out there living the dream! You can check out our blog at: http://www.lifetransplanet.com