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Old 09-15-2020, 08:47 PM
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Default Modern Single Wide Vs. Tiny Home For Temporary (5-9 years) Homestead



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Hello all!!

First, I will explain my situation. I am 27 years old and my relationship of the last 5 years has ended. I left her the apartment and am currently staying with my mother temporarily. It is a large home that had an unused room in the basement, so I have been welcome to stay as long as I need to.

I do not wish to rent again. Rent in my area ranges $550 to $1200 (before utilities) a month due to being close to a college town. I also do not wish to go into a ton of debt. I have a job with comfortable pay, but want to stay in the $80,000 range at the most. I have been watching the local housing market for the last few months for fix-er-uppers and foreclosures with no real luck. Even small 800sqft A-Frame cabins have shot up $10-20,000 in value in the last couple of years.

I do, though, have access to a farm that we used to raise tobacco on that is currently only used for hay and logs. I have looked into several different options, including building and finishing out an amish built cabin on site. Double wides are also out. When the time comes to sell, single wides are much cheaper to move and easier to sell.

At this point in my life, the 2 options I am leaning towards and will list the pros and cons of each. I have chosen these options because I do not want a forever home at this point. Im looking for something for the next 5-10 years before I commit to building or buying anything else.

Option 1:
Single Wide Trailer $67,000

Pros:
-1200 sqft
-This price is turn key. They get the land prepared, runs water lines, and install septic.
-I may be able to get a better price because I have a family member that installs septic and we have the equipment to prepare the land and run water lines.
-This single wide has upgraded options. Tilled shower, vinyl throughout the entire place, upgraded cabinets and appliances.
-16x74 with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. So there is room to grow if I remain in the home for longer than expected.

Cons
-Maybe too much space for just me and my cat.
-If I sell it, I would be better off moving it to another lot just to sell with the land. Possibly rent it out.


Option 2
Tiny home.

Pros:
-Less than $50,000
-Amazing build quality inside, solid wood cabinet doors, and fully furnished
-Super mobile
-Could possibly use later on in life as a weekend/Lake home or rent out weekly at a local hiking destination
-Easily ran on Solar and cheaper utilities if I dont.
-The model I am interested in has a second bedroom that can be converted into a full size laundry room.

Cons:
-387 sqft (no room to grow)
-May have to use RV financing for this particular model
-Would have to figure out a septic or holding tank.
-Would probably add a storage building later on for a workshop and storage.


Both will depreciate, but I don't know what the smaller risk is. Both seem like very good options for me at this point.
Should I focus more on the now or the possibilities for the future? I do want to settle down and have kids at some point, but right now that seems years down the road.
This is only temporary because I dont want to set in stone that I will live on this property forever. Its a family farm so if I leave, I would need to move and/or sell whatever I put there.

Example of the tiny home (not exact due to customizations):
https://www.fairmonthomes.com/park-m.../#.X2FsFWhKjD4

Example of the single wide (not exact due to customizations):
https://www.claytonhomes.com/homes/46SHR16763BH/

Thanks for any input or advice you may have! I trust that there will be several people with experiences similar to mine on here.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:15 PM
Florida Jean Florida Jean is offline
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Unless you absolutely can’t get along with your mother — wait.

You have ended a long relationship sounds like you are in a mental rebound with a trailer/tiny home.

I know that sounds weird.

You are in a big house. Work your job and max your time. Save. Fix things around the house.

This is an uneven period in your life. 3 days after you get the farm setup done you may meet the ‘one’, get a job in another state, whatever. Toss in Covid and elections.

Stay where you are for awhile. SAVE. And you will have more money in 5 years, and have a better idea of what you need to spend your money on.

(Oh, pay rent or the property taxes and utilities at your Mom’s place)
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:19 PM
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Do you have construction skills. My buddy built his own tiny house, its really nice. I would do one on 26' X-uhaul truck.

Maybe next year I'll build the pop up camper on the step side pickup bed trailer. Need to find my plans.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:21 PM
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I retired 6 yrs ago, after living over 30 yrs in Southern California. I had hired a contractor to build a nice house on my ranch land in Oklahoma, but I after several weeks of work, I found he could not be trusted and fired him.

Which left me with time, and money, but no new house.

So I packed my truck with construction tools and drove here in late Feb. It took me six weeks and $8k to build a 24ft x 32ft pole barn. I poured a concrete floor, and added a 12ft wide shed roof on the south side, and parked my 5th wheel trailer there. Until then I lived in a tent.

We lived in the barn for 4 yrs, while building the nice house.

Another good option is to build a simple apartment in a larger pole barn.

If you decide to pack and leave after a few yrs, you have not put much money into the place, and a pole barn is always usefull on a farm.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:27 PM
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Stay with mom, stash as much money as you can in the bank. Save up a down payment then buy a place that is move in ready. Living with mom may not be good for your love life but that will be incentive to save. You may need to pick up a second job to save up if needed.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:33 PM
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My advice is to try and rent a tiny home as close in design as the one you are thinking about buying. I rented one that was about 1/2 the size of the one in your link for a vacation in Colorado and realized I HATED it. Turned me off to the idea of a tiny home on land for a cabin.

Also it is horrible if you have hobbies/storage for preps. There is no real room in those tiny homes.


An alternative idea is to make a shome (shed home). Steel warehouse garage that you convert the inside to living space. You could probably do it for the same price as the mobile home.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:01 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the feedback so far! Really is helping ,e work through my thoughts I've had for a couple weeks now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Jean View Post
You have ended a long relationship sounds like you are in a mental rebound with a trailer/tiny home.
I can see why this would be a consideration. Truthfully though, it's been about 5 months now to give myself a little time to heal.
we had been looking for homes together before things went sour, so
I have been in the "screw rent" mentality for while now. I will gibe this possibility serious consideration before I step too far into this. I appreciate the honesty.


You are in a big house. Work your job and max your time. Save. Fix things around the house.
Work around the house seems to be the best way to pay her back for her kindness. My stepdad isnt the handiest guy around and I've been doing a lot of work the last month or so. Plenty more still to do.

This is an uneven period in your life. 3 days after you get the farm setup done you may meet the ‘one’, get a job in another state, whatever. Toss in Covid and elections.
Also a couple of thoughts that have been on my brain. That "what if" and how covid is affecting the housing market.
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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Do you have construction skills. My buddy built his own tiny house, its really nice.
I could get by, but really looking for more of a move in ready option right now. I dont mind land prep, but the building process would be a bit much. Especially with travel time from my work, where the land is, and where Im living.
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Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
Another good option is to build a simple apartment in a larger pole barn.
Not a bad idea, but really not in the cards for me right now, financing wise. Would take a while to put back the money for that.
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Originally Posted by goat daddy View Post
Stay with mom, stash as much money as you can in the bank. Save up a down payment then buy a place that is move in ready. Living with mom may not be good for your love life but that will be incentive to save. You may need to pick up a second job to save up if needed.
Kind of what Ive been doing the last few months. Paying off what debts I do have. I've already been approved for 0% down rural and first time homeowner loans if a place came up for sale that I was interested in. Plus I have a Roth IRA I ended up with after neglecting an old 401k that can be taken out for a down paymant
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Originally Posted by Eagle Scout Survivor View Post
My advice is to try and rent a tiny home as close in design as the one you are thinking about buying. I rented one that was about 1/2 the size of the one in your link for a vacation in Colorado and realized I HATED it. Turned me off to the idea of a tiny home on land for a cabin.
I've actually lived in several smaller places, this is just another step down. We lived togethor in 800 sqft, then moved into a 500 sqft apartment to pay off debts and build savings. So 387 sqft by myself doesnt scare me that much. Especially without the loft. Having higher ceilings makes a world of difference, And a garage would be built later on. I currently use a semi trailer to store camping gear, hunting equipment, and tools.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:08 PM
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Between the two options in your post I would go with the single wide if the price is truly the turnkey price. The tiny home has one third the space and by the time you pay to get the utilities setup, the site prepped/house leveled and tied down, add storage buildings, and pay the higher RV interest rates you are right up close to the same investment.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:13 PM
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Something else I forgot to mention when it comes to building.
Has anyone priced lumber lately?
I work for a large hardware retailer, and this year whitewood boards have shot up by DOLLARS on the board. We can no longer even sell into the negative because we have been loosing money on a lot of it compared to what we buy at.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:17 PM
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Between the two options in your post I would go with the single wide if the price is truly the turnkey price. The tiny home has one third the space and by the time you pay to get the utilities setup, the site prepped/house leveled and tied down, add storage buildings, and pay the higher RV interest rates you are right up close to the same investment.
I have heard that RV interest rates are insane. It may truly come down to what the financing ends up being. If I have to do an RV loan, I could end up paying more a month for less. There is a pole with electric to in on site already, so would just need a meter installed close and an rv hookup put in. The biggest issues would be running a water line and figuring out the septic issue. Could possibly do some form of holding tank and have it pumped as needed. Not technically a house so here it doesnt need to follow all of the codes. As long as Im remaining safe and using common sense.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:23 PM
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Could possibly do some form of holding tank and have it pumped as needed.
Having lived in an RV for a long period of time while doing site work, I can tell you the pump truck in not always available when you need it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:46 PM
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How about a decent sized used motorhome? I would have them put in a small septic, well, and drop an electric line and you will be set for the next few years and have the infrastructure to build a future house, have a vacation whenever you want, and still stay in budget?

Also. Stay with mom for a year and get your stuff in order.
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Old 09-16-2020, 12:00 AM
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Hey Red. I think I am in a particularly good position to give you some personal experience as I have recently moved FROM a single wide trailer TO an apartment that is 400 square feet right next to my job.

Let me describe the single wide first: DON'T DO IT. I know it is easy to be swayed by the lack of mortgage and the room, but DON'T, and here are the reasons why:

Impossible to harden. Especially in these times, you want a home that is a hard target, and single wides aren't. windows are just about perfect height for a man to just step into, doors and jambs are odd measurements and not made well, and the walls might or might not be 2x4 construction, sometimes you get 2x3 construction.

You will NOT get 2x6 roof trusses, and from personal experience insurance companies will give you the business if you try to claim on damages.

They are not fire resistant at ALL, and once they start to go downhill with leaks and other things, they REALLY start to go. A single spark catches, and that thing will go up in minutes, maybe less.

I started a thread here some time ago about rebuilding a single wide into a more permanent type of home. I replaced walls, replaced floors, laid linoleum, patched FIVE leaks in the roof, and got called away to this job before I could finish.

A month later the part of the roof I hadn't gotten to yet fell in.

I paid $1,500 to have that trailer hauled off and disposed of.

There was 2x4 studs in the walls, but the door jambs were a joke, and the electrical wiring was aluminum ire, not copper.

Go to home depot or lowes, and look at the quality of the door knobs and locks they sell for real houses, and the junk they sell for mobile home doors.

There was NO ballistic resistance at all to the walls. A strong air rifle could have punched through them.

Windows will be odd measurements, you will not be able to get higher quality replacements without signifigant cost.

Now, to the small space, If you have any sort of hobbies you will have no room for them at all. You will have VERY limited room for preps, and a storage shed will almost certainly be in order. It sounds cool until you do it, and then you become a master of economizing space. I save cans of soup rolled under the couch because the tiny cabinets are filled up.

SAVE. YOUR. MONEY.

You are in an EXCELLENT position right now. If I were you, I would save every single dime for a year at least, calculate the amount it would take to get a decent place with the space you need, and a decent vehicle, then add 50-75 percent of that.

If you are in a paid for house with a paid for vehicle, and no debt, then you are LIGHT YEARS ahead of 90% of America. Work toward that goal NOW.

You will never be in the highly beneficial place you are in now again. Use this time wisely and well. Stack your paper and take mom out to dinner once or twice a month. She's earned it.

And if anyone gives you any guff about "mommy's basement" think about all the money you are saving that they aren't, and smile thinking about your paid off place while they are wrestling with a thirty year slave contract, I mean mortgage.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:34 AM
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Approx. 260 sq ft for almost 6 yrs. Stuff like clothes and junk takes up all avail. space. A shed and some totes outside, still hard to get everything covered. Would have been OK for 1 yr but not this long. If I owned land, I would have built something, logs, blocks, rocks? Had a new single wide for 7 years and still owed 80% of purchase price due to interest and insurance.

If it's family land, I dont see why you shouldn't build something that could be left for other use. Trailers and RVs appeal to ease of moving in, but they're not going to hold value long term. A survivalist prepper type should be looking for more sturdy construction. Even though you think it will be temporary, well, life happens and before you know you get stuck.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Red31 View Post
Hello all!!

First, I will explain my situation. I am 27 years old and my relationship of the last 5 years has ended. I left her the apartment and am currently staying with my mother temporarily. It is a large home that had an unused room in the basement, so I have been welcome to stay as long as I need to.

I do not wish to rent again. Rent in my area ranges $550 to $1200 (before utilities) a month due to being close to a college town. I also do not wish to go into a ton of debt. I have a job with comfortable pay, but want to stay in the $80,000 range at the most. I have been watching the local housing market for the last few months for fix-er-uppers and foreclosures with no real luck. Even small 800sqft A-Frame cabins have shot up $10-20,000 in value in the last couple of years.

I do, though, have access to a farm that we used to raise tobacco on that is currently only used for hay and logs. I have looked into several different options, including building and finishing out an amish built cabin on site. Double wides are also out. When the time comes to sell, single wides are much cheaper to move and easier to sell.

At this point in my life, the 2 options I am leaning towards and will list the pros and cons of each. I have chosen these options because I do not want a forever home at this point. Im looking for something for the next 5-10 years before I commit to building or buying anything else.

Option 1:
Single Wide Trailer $67,000

Pros:
-1200 sqft
-This price is turn key. They get the land prepared, runs water lines, and install septic.
-I may be able to get a better price because I have a family member that installs septic and we have the equipment to prepare the land and run water lines.
-This single wide has upgraded options. Tilled shower, vinyl throughout the entire place, upgraded cabinets and appliances.
-16x74 with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. So there is room to grow if I remain in the home for longer than expected.

Cons
-Maybe too much space for just me and my cat.
-If I sell it, I would be better off moving it to another lot just to sell with the land. Possibly rent it out.


Option 2
Tiny home.

Pros:
-Less than $50,000
-Amazing build quality inside, solid wood cabinet doors, and fully furnished
-Super mobile
-Could possibly use later on in life as a weekend/Lake home or rent out weekly at a local hiking destination
-Easily ran on Solar and cheaper utilities if I dont.
-The model I am interested in has a second bedroom that can be converted into a full size laundry room.

Cons:
-387 sqft (no room to grow)
-May have to use RV financing for this particular model
-Would have to figure out a septic or holding tank.
-Would probably add a storage building later on for a workshop and storage.


Both will depreciate, but I don't know what the smaller risk is. Both seem like very good options for me at this point.
Should I focus more on the now or the possibilities for the future? I do want to settle down and have kids at some point, but right now that seems years down the road.
This is only temporary because I dont want to set in stone that I will live on this property forever. Its a family farm so if I leave, I would need to move and/or sell whatever I put there.

Example of the tiny home (not exact due to customizations):
https://www.fairmonthomes.com/park-m.../#.X2FsFWhKjD4

Example of the single wide (not exact due to customizations):
https://www.claytonhomes.com/homes/46SHR16763BH/

Thanks for any input or advice you may have! I trust that there will be several people with experiences similar to mine on here.
67k sounds like a lot for a single wide. I see new single wides here for 30k delivered. Not counting septic and power etc.

If you are in the country consider above ground tank.

But forget a tiny house. Terrible investment.

Either get

a NEW or USED single wide.

A travel trailer new or used

Or build a house.

It’s a lot cheaper to fix up the interior on a 30 foot travel trailer than it is to build a house.

And you can get a used 3 foot for less than 10k. 5 k in renovations should have it feeling like home.

It will have more living space than a tiny house and is easier to move than a single wide.

The best part is that you can prolly get at least half your money back out of it when you sell it. And if you want after you move into a larger home you can keep
It and use it as a travel trailer for recreation.

You can find used Mobil homes for MUCH less than new ones. Moving them can be an issue , but single wides can be moved.

Also I’d consider a boat. Living on boat can be cool for a younger guy. It’s a lot easier to bring a girl to your boat than your trailer.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:11 AM
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How about a decent sized used motorhome? I would have them put in a small septic, well, and drop an electric line and you will be set for the next few years and have the infrastructure to build a future house, have a vacation whenever you want, and still stay in budget?

Also. Stay with mom for a year and get your stuff in order.
You can buy an above ground tank if it’s in the country. And a really big tank is only a couple grand.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDH View Post
Between the two options in your post I would go with the single wide if the price is truly the turnkey price. The tiny home has one third the space and by the time you pay to get the utilities setup, the site prepped/house leveled and tied down, add storage buildings, and pay the higher RV interest rates you are right up close to the same investment.
I have heard that RV interest rates are insane. It may truly come down to what the financing ends up being. If I have to do an RV loan, I could end up paying more a month for less. There is a pole with electric to in on site already, so would just need a meter installed close and an rv hookup put in. The biggest issues would be running a water line and figuring out the septic issue. Could possibly do some form of holding tank and have it pumped as needed. Not technically a house so here it doesnt need to follow all of the codes. As long as Im remaining safe and using common sense.
Buy a used RV. A trailer not a motor coach. You can find them for under 10k.

Pay cash if you can. If you can’t just finance short term so the interest rate isn’t as big a deal. If you can afford 1200 a month just finance the RV for 2 years. Even if you pay 10% interest ok 10 k over 2 years it won’t be that much money. It will be a LOT less in interest than financing 60k for 15 years at 4%.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:22 AM
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I am not a construction guy, my job was wildlife manager.

But, after I retired I bought really junk houses and did lots of work on them and sold them for 10 times what I bought them for. I worked on them for awhile till they were good enough to move in and then several more years to make them look pretty good.

The house I am living in now I built from scratch. I bought the property for pennys on the dollar at a foreclosure sale. There was a house here that really was junk, BUT electricity was already on the site. It was Obummers first term so I thought I would just build a cabin to come here and garden/farm weekdays and go home on weekends. BUT, our silly country re-elected Obummer, and I thought the country was a gonner for sure, so I added on to my cabin to make a small house sized right for the wife and me.

Holding down a job and doing something similar would take lots of time, but being young you will have way more years. There is TONS of job satisfaction in doing this. If there are things you don't think you can do, there are Utube videos about just about any subject these days. I never hired anybody, from pouring foundations to wiring. You can rent specialized tools.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:26 AM
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Why not save a few thousand and buy the biggest high quality shed you can get delivered. This way you can insulate, wire and do things that require the cheaper building materials. There dosnt seam to be the covid over charge fee on insulation and wireing currently. Doing it this way you can pay cash for things.

Maybe in 5yrs you find a piece of property you want and can move this shed/house to your new location. If not sell it. Mobile homes hold next to no value around here.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Eagle Scout Survivor View Post
An alternative idea is to make a shome (shed home). Steel warehouse garage that you convert the inside to living space. You could probably do it for the same price as the mobile home.
I like this idea. We had a 60'x40' insulated warehouse with a concrete slab built in the city with all the regs that go along with that for less than 100k. I've been trying to talk my wife into something like this for years with zero luck -- spending money on the INSIDE of the house while basically having a bulletproof exterior.
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