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  #1  
Old 12/05/04, 10:35 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York
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Putting two mobile homes side by side

Do any of you live this way? Sometime in the next year or two I will want to upgrade and pay cash for a newer used mobile home. I've thought about pulling it up alongside this one, and using this mostly just for storage. I'd unhook the water source and heat, leaving power for lights.

I keep thinking of all the uses for this space. I could brood chicks, do my fall canning, hang clothes on rainy days, store winter coats right in the closet, do woodworking, etc.. I don't care if it looks stupid. Also, the placement would act as a windbreak to the second place. I was thinking of putting them about 6' apart. The bad thing about it would be that it would block light, and my view out that entire side.

My neighbor recently did this, and I really like the idea. I'm wondering how to find out about if the town would permit this. I doubt my neighbor got a permit. (I don't socialize with them, because they drink, use drugs, and fight like crazy). It would be like gaining 900 sq. feet of *already paid for* storage. Any thoughts? Downsides?

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  #2  
Old 12/05/04, 11:11 AM
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I like your way of thinking Daisy, when you want a kitchen upgrade, you go whole hog and upgrade the whole dang place!

Folks that live in conventional homes must just turn green with envy when we can effectively double our living space, add new appliances and upgraded plumbing for 3 to 5 thousand dollars!

What you are contemplating is done pretty commonly here in my area and I haven't heard anyone complaining about it. Guess if it becomes a problem for you, you can just tear the old one down.

I'm all for mobiles. Cheap, instant space and if you are a "real" homesteader, who cares if it looks hokey?

As far as losing the daylight on one whole side, most mobiles don't have very many windows on the off side anyway. I guess if it bothers you enough, you can section off part of the old one and add it to your heated portion and just make a large pass though so you do have daylight.

Every one that I've seen like this though are butted right up against each other, rather than six feet apart. I imagine the reason is that the space between is unusable for most anything. and you can more easily roof between them. Most of them have large passthrus which are easy enough to frame up and insulate.

I don't think I'd ask about permitting either, assuming you are not on the outskirts of town. I don't like to give folks the oportunity to say no. I live in a fairly lax county though, and if I had to, it wouldn't take that much to put things back to what they were.

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  #3  
Old 12/05/04, 11:58 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154

It works well. Space them about 12 feet apart and a little roof will make you a garage.
Zoning might balk on you. My son had a 2 bedroom trailer that had an approved septic system. In a few years he moved in a 3 bedroom modular. The zoning board made him put in a whole new septic system because of the extra bedroom. They didn't care that their 3 children that grew in the trailer were gone.

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  #4  
Old 12/05/04, 12:19 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern Wisconsin
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You lost me when you said you were about to purchase a "newer" used mobile home.

I happen to think mobile homes are the worst investments known to mankind.

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  #5  
Old 12/05/04, 12:22 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 17

My dad did this, but he made an 'L' shape out of his trailers and made a deck in between. He used the second trailer as his office and extra storage space and room for me to come visit... He wouldn't live any other way.

Rhayven

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  #6  
Old 12/05/04, 12:29 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York
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Well, I look at it like this..........I'm not looking at resale value. I'm looking at a cash in hand purchase, with no mortgage payment. I live alone, and have no heirs to leave this place to. I'm very much into recycling. My current home is a pre-1970's model. My life is all about being a frugal, hokey hick. I absolutely could afford a very high monthly mortgage payment, and I have great job security. I don't want to have to work right up until the day I die, and I'm just not into big and fancy.

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  #7  
Old 12/05/04, 12:31 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
Posts: 13,894

Ask to see your zoning code. I'm wondering if the two mobiles are attached, even if you did shut off the water, that you wouldn't be required to put in a larger septic system. Also check with your home insurance. I think if you kept them completely seperate, with perhaps a breezeway between, you could get away with it, and your insurance would be less.

I like Rayven's idea of the L shape. I think it would be more attractive. You could create a court between them with a nice garden.

As for mobile homes being a poor investment, I'd have to agree. However, I'd rather have a mobile home than rent. If you put a freestanding roof over the home, it will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter, as well as last a lot longer. Putting a mobile home on a foundation is also a great way to extend it's life. If you can afford it, putting the mh on a basement will increase the value overall and give you not only storage, but keep you out of the jaws of the mh eating tornadoes we get around here.

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  #8  
Old 12/05/04, 12:38 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 199

Check out: www.missouritrailertrash.com

There's lots of ideas there. Some good, some not so good. Some great landscaping ideas too.

(Yeah, I know it's supposed to be making fun of people that live in trailers, but
my "mc mansion" is a 1973 model mobile home. Mine would fit in at that site just fine.)

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  #9  
Old 12/05/04, 01:03 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 34
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My neighbor has 3 mobile homes put together into one house - its a pretty nice place. He has a nice deck on it and 1/2 trailer to the South-East he cleared out and made a big sun room. The floor is solid maple- part of the basketball court from a school that was torn down locally. It has one roof over the whole thing.

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  #10  
Old 12/05/04, 01:29 PM
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Someone needs to explain to me how a used mobile home is a bad investment. Very nice ones can be had for from free to 10,000. Personally, I have never given more than 5 or 6 thousand average about 3000. These aren't dumps either. They may need new carpeting or new vinyl, maybe need to have newer windows and doors put in for energy conservation. If they are properly cared for and maintained they will last every bit as long as a conventional home.

In my area, I can take that 3000 dollar "bad investment" and make a return of 2000 each and every year. Not only that, but because I HAVE updated them with new windows, vinyl and often new appliances, and can afford to keep them that way, should I ever decide to sell them, I will be able to at least double anything I put out in initial invesments and improvements.

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  #11  
Old 12/05/04, 01:29 PM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: May 2002
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I once saw a family group who put four of them at each side of a square. Area between was essentially a playground and common area. Worked for them.

Sometimes it doesn't make sense,but usually septic tanks are sized based on the number of bedrooms usually. My advise is to oversize to begin with. For example, doubling the size of the tank and adding on to the drain field when frist installed might add 25% or so to the cost, but allow for expansion.

Some homebuilders try to get around the bedroom code by calling one room an office. Zoning usually (by observation) goes if it has a closet it is a bedroom.

I could add some pictures to that site locally. One family up the road is using their fishing boat as a trash hauler. When it gets full they hook up and head to the trash collection center. Last year the same family had a deer not only recover from gutting, but it walked off. Was hanging from the tree in the front yard when they went to bed it it had cut itself down and left by morning.

Ken Scharabok

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  #12  
Old 12/05/04, 01:40 PM
SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Floyd County, VA
Posts: 569

I have been thinking of this same thing! My house is fine right now but in the next 5-10 years it will need windows, roof, carpet or flooring, needs new electric, deck, and heat if I every go off of wood because the electric baseboard is over 30 years old - ties into the electric issue also will probably need a new water heater. I can get a brand new doublewide 24 by 40 which is the same side as the house I have now for $20,000. It hardly pays to deal with all of the little projects and having my place torn up and dealing with all of that contracting/permits/etc.

I have had friends buy a place with a mobile and then use the septic and well for a new place. The county was extremely strict about the disonnects and connects plus they made him destroy the single wide he had!!! It would have made a great chicken coop or storage. So make sure they will let you keep the current building in some capacity. Of course they are trying to squeeze out all old single wides around here, don't know if they would do the same for my place.

I think it's a great idea, be sure and keep us updated on how it works out for you!

Debbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by HilltopDaisy
Do any of you live this way? Sometime in the next year or two I will want to upgrade and pay cash for a newer used mobile home. I've thought about pulling it up alongside this one, and using this mostly just for storage. I'd unhook the water source and heat, leaving power for lights.

I keep thinking of all the uses for this space. I could brood chicks, do my fall canning, hang clothes on rainy days, store winter coats right in the closet, do woodworking, etc.. I don't care if it looks stupid. Also, the placement would act as a windbreak to the second place. I was thinking of putting them about 6' apart. The bad thing about it would be that it would block light, and my view out that entire side.

My neighbor recently did this, and I really like the idea. I'm wondering how to find out about if the town would permit this. I doubt my neighbor got a permit. (I don't socialize with them, because they drink, use drugs, and fight like crazy). It would be like gaining 900 sq. feet of *already paid for* storage. Any thoughts? Downsides?
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  #13  
Old 12/05/04, 01:54 PM
SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Floyd County, VA
Posts: 569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_W_in_NM
Check out: www.missouritrailertrash.com

There's lots of ideas there. Some good, some not so good. Some great landscaping ideas too.

(Yeah, I know it's supposed to be making fun of people that live in trailers, but
my "mc mansion" is a 1973 model mobile home. Mine would fit in at that site just fine.)
There are great ideas in here! Sometimes I think the upper crust is "jealous" of the ingenuity of people with trailers. They are cheap, efficient and when you take out the whole social restrictions on what something is supposed to look like you actually end up with a better overall living arrangement!

I like the one with the garden painted on the side! Now the one on the 20 ft stack of blocks would give me the creeps. :haha:
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  #14  
Old 12/05/04, 02:34 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE PA, zone 6b
Posts: 510

Having the new one 6-10'away and then building a stand alone roof would give you all kinds of space. If you have a nice standing seam roof you could drain the roof to a cistern. The center spot could be a lot of things, but I'm thinking of rabbits and chickens. By building a bridge from bldg to bldg, you could have guest quarters. By doing the L shape, you could even take in a worker/boarder Just be sure that when you flush, "it" has some place to go. :haha:

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  #15  
Old 12/05/04, 03:20 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,369

Although we ended up not doing so, I drew details plans for using to used mobile homes with a stick built room in the middle. My plans called for 4 bedrooms, two baths, one kitchen, one canning kitchen/laundry combination, with living room, entry, and heating system in the stick built section. Also planned to put a single pitched roof over everything. Plan called for wood heat and we didn't feel it safe to have heat source in a trailer so wanted it in the cement floored stick built section. One trailer had a front bedroom, then living room, kitchen, two bedrooms & bath. The other had front kitchen, living room, 3 bedrooms & bath. Both units had a place for laundry in hall which I planned to make into storage areas putting laundry and deep freeze the canning kitchen. The unit with the kitchen was going to have kitchen enlarged by removing the wall to the small bedroom next to the kitchen, using the living room as a dining area/family room enlarged by removing the front bedroom. The end bedroom and bath would have become the "master" suite with the kid's bedrooms in the other unit. The living area in that unit would have become a sewing/play room. To keep the cost of the middle part down we planned to roof the whole thing but only enclose a portion - having a recessed entry on the front and a screened porch on the back. We figured we could buy both units, build roof and center portion for around $10,000 ... this was in the 70's. I drafted various configurations including abutted and "L" but finally settled on this.

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  #16  
Old 12/05/04, 03:44 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_W_in_NM
Check out: www.missouritrailertrash.com

There's lots of ideas there. Some good, some not so good. Some great landscaping ideas too.

(Yeah, I know it's supposed to be making fun of people that live in trailers, but
my "mc mansion" is a 1973 model mobile home. Mine would fit in at that site just fine.)

I like the one painted to look like a log cabin. The floating one with a boat bolted to each side was creative also, although I hope his isnt one with particleboard floors or he could get a swim on way to bathroom at night.

They are cheap, quick shelter, but having taken a couple of them apart, have to say there isnt much there to work with, at least in the older ones.
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  #17  
Old 12/05/04, 04:12 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Montana! :o)
Posts: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_W_in_NM
Check out: www.missouritrailertrash.com

There's lots of ideas there. Some good, some not so good. Some great landscaping ideas too.

(Yeah, I know it's supposed to be making fun of people that live in trailers, but
my "mc mansion" is a 1973 model mobile home. Mine would fit in at that site just fine.)
I just have to LOL because I use these sites for ideas too!!

My palace is a 2/2 14x70. We've been here since summer, moving up from a 1.5/1 12x48...it honestly seems "too big" but it is nice having a bathroom just for guests.

To the OP, around here you can do that as long as you are not running two kitchens. If you bump them right up next to each other you can just use flashing to connect the two homes. I've also seen the L shaped setups mentioned here by someone else and I liked the way that looked.

It sounds like a great idea to me, good luck!
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  #18  
Old 12/05/04, 04:43 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 4,473

we bought 2 very old, used mobile homes and placed them 12' apart. Built between them, removed the inside outer walls, replaced the wiring and have a very large comfortable home. It wouldnt be featured in Better Homes and Gardens...

maybe I better look at the Missouri Trailer Trash page... maybe someone took a pick of our place

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  #19  
Old 12/05/04, 06:20 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bare
Someone needs to explain to me how a used mobile home is a bad investment. Very nice ones can be had for from free to 10,000. Personally, I have never given more than 5 or 6 thousand average about 3000. These aren't dumps either. They may need new carpeting or new vinyl, maybe need to have newer windows and doors put in for energy conservation. If they are properly cared for and maintained they will last every bit as long as a conventional home.

In my area, I can take that 3000 dollar "bad investment" and make a return of 2000 each and every year. Not only that, but because I HAVE updated them with new windows, vinyl and often new appliances, and can afford to keep them that way, should I ever decide to sell them, I will be able to at least double anything I put out in initial invesments and improvements.
*****************

Bare, you are taking something used up and reconditioning it. Of course the labor that you put into them will increase the value. If you buy a mobile home, live in it for ten or twenty years doing only basic maintenance, then sell it, you are not looking at the same investment dollar. A stick built house depreciates 1% per year in comparison with a new house (same house but built this year). A mobile home depreciates 3% per year in comparison with a new one. These are averages, of course. Also consider the value of the land. Very often, while the value of the mobile home or house is going down, the value of the land is going up, sometimes unbelievably so. The market value of the mh is also going to be affected by what else is available to the buyer, and in what price range.

The longevity of a mh is going to vary by where it is located. How hot in the summer, how cold in the winter, how much heavy snowfall, wind, etc. I have noticed that certain things can increase the life and value of a mobile home. The better ones naturally have a more useful lifespan. Those with added roofs do better, as do those on a foundation rather than blocks. Another consideration is who lives in the home (single retired fella or mom and dad with six kids), and if they keep it up.

Overall, I think a modular (the new ones built to better standard) is a better investment than a mh, and a stick built house is a better investment than a modular. My friends in mh and modulars are happy with them, mostly happy at how much they paid. If you are not hard on them, a decent mh that is cared for will not depreciate in value over the years IF you include the value of the land, the real value being in the land, septic, and well. I would certainly rather have my own mh (preferably double wide) on my own piece of land than a stick built in the city, but that's a different kettle of fish.
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  #20  
Old 12/05/04, 08:11 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,510

Some of the higher end "modular" homes (not double wide trailers) are equal to conventional stick built construction. The walls, roof trusses, insulation, etc are the same, or in some cases heavier, due to the structure having to survive being moved and hoisted with a crane. Plus they are assembled indoors and the framing and plywood isn't subjected to the moisture and weather that a site built house almost always is. They are considered conventional, stick built structures by banks and insurance companies as well.

I know in my area there is a real problem on getting financing on most trailers and lower end modular homes. Many insurance companies simply won't write policies on them. An acquaintance of mine bought a large double wide modular type home and after a few years the thing was falling apart. He couldn't even sell it because it had depreciated so bad he couldn't recoup the investment. Regular sick built houses around him had all went up in value.

If a person is considering manufactured housing you would be well advised o do your homework. Like most other things in life, you get what you pay for. Usually.

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