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Old 04/12/09, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: southeast
Posts: 94

Are you confident you can sell the house you are currently living in? That would be a big issue where I live.


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Old 04/12/09, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Former State of Franklin
Posts: 3,360

We did the trailer/build thing. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Nothing like being RIGHT THERE while building, then bop into the trailer for a meal/shower/rest, in addition to the money you'll save on a mortgage.

BUT one thing about used trailers.....buy something you can live with rather than brand new....and even then, you will likely take a beating on it unless you turn it into a rental, then junk it later. The market for used trailers is kinda slim.....especially slightly used ones you bought new.

Reason is, most folks that buy a trailer to live in long term don't have any money, and the trailer sales place wraps the moving/setup/electric/water/sewage hookup all into the finance package so people can literally move in for about nothing.....whereas when they come to buy your slightly used one, they have to come up with couple grand for all that, and many can't.....Sooo....you MAY have to actually PAY to get rid of the thing ( we did...$1000 ) or figure out something else to do with it.....

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Old 04/12/09, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Western WA
Posts: 4,594
Originally Posted by TnAndy View Post
.Sooo....you MAY have to actually PAY to get rid of the thing ( we did...$1000 ) or figure out something else to do with it.....
Yep, I know a family that is in this situation right now. The have begun building their house and the mobile home they have lived in for the last several years is worthless as nobody wants one of those albatrosses. So it seems there may be fire happen and the rest torn down and either recycled or buried using the excavator.
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Old 04/12/09, 09:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 26

From a financial point, whether it's better to live at your current place or on site - you'll have to consider:

  • Living Costs - current total monthly costs to live where you are currently (mortgage, insurance, taxes, special assessments, association fees, elec, gas, sewer, phone, internet, anything else) versus estimated total monthly living costs on site
  • Housing Market - do you think your current house will significantly go up or down in price or ease of selling in 2 years
  • Automotive - cost of gas to/from work as well as trips to check up on construction; any difference in auto insurance based on annual millage and/or where car is garaged
There's certainly a lot of advantages in living on site while things are being built, especially since it doesn't sound like you'll be doing the building yourself. My dad had a new custom home built while he lived about 20 miles away. I can't tell you the number of times he'd come out on weekends to look at the progress only to find something had been done wrong. Or sometimes he'd take off work during the week and swing by unannounced only to discover there was no one or maybe just 1 guy working. A number of others building in the area had problems with thefts - a year after he had moved in, it made the local news that a house 1 block away had been built almost entirely out of stolen materials - the owner/builder, who was a general contractor, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of grand theft. The completion date kept getting pushed back for various reasons so eventually my dad had a phone installed on site (no cell service) so he could call the contractor on a daily basis and make sure there weren't any problems - that seemed to help, but one month he got a several hundred dollar phone bill from calls to phone-sex and other 900-lines.
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Old 04/15/09, 05:03 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3

check into shipping containers/used ISBUs. Once you get into a trailer/ Mobile home situation plan to build a house mode there is 1 drawback. You have a harder time getting rid of them. Mobile homes are the most toxic death traps.

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Old 04/15/09, 05:28 PM
willow_girl's Avatar
Very Dairy
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dysfunction Junction
Posts: 13,181

I would:

Build the pole barn, turn 1/2 of it into an apartment, and live in it while building the house; OR

Build the pole barn, buy a travel trailer or 5th wheel (should be able to get one cheap, given the state of the economy), park it inside the barn, and live in it while building. (The RV probably will have a higher resale value when you go to unload it than will a used mobile home.)


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Old 04/16/09, 12:42 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844

If you want to go the mobilehome route check into what take down, moving and set-up costs will be. Can run well into the thousands of dollars, particularly if a doublewide.

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Old 04/16/09, 10:10 AM
sunshinytraci's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 362

We currently live in the living quarters we built in our pole barn. All we had to do was to provide plans that were up to the building codes for a residence in the whole structure of the building and in the parts we were going to live in. You need fire walls between your space and the rest of the building, ingress/egress windows, etc. It's very comfortable and we can build our house at our leisure; we are in no hurries to get out of a tiny, grubby place that we can't stand and we have no eyesore of an old mobile home to contend with. Then, once our house is built, we don't have to move anything and we have nice, detached mother-in-law quarters that visitors can stay in or we can rent out if need be.

One thing though - if your pole building is large enough, see about getting attic trusses and making the living quarters upstairs to save space. I did this in one building but not in the other. I wish I had because I have all this lovely space but the only thing it will hold is the insulation. Even if you don't make living quarters in your building, I highly recommend attic trusses just for storage. It's amazing how much equipment and other stuff a homestead can collect over the years. They are not an awful lot more considering the building's entire cost.

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