TLDR: What is the realistic cost of moving a used single or doublewide trailer onto raw land, including the cost of utility connections? Have you done this before? Tell me how you did it!
My family is getting together some money to buy some land. We plan on having a small subsistance farm where farm products go to the family first, then maybe we'll sell some surplus. My spouse and I are planning on moving onto this land ASAP after buying it. We've found that raw land is fairly cheap while land with any kind of a house on it is very expensive. So we'd rather buy some raw land on the low side of our budget range and move a mobile home onto it.
Tiny houses are NOT an option. We have pets, we need our space, we entertain a lot... I'd say 700 square feet is a minimum.
So I want to know how much this costs. I've done some google-fu and it seems like used mobile homes run from $15,000 to $50,000, and we'd be looking at more of a $25,000 place. Something decent to live in but it doesn't have to be amazing. I see the cost of moving a singlewide trailer as being about $3000-$6000 depending on distance and other factors. So right away it seems like $30,000 is about what I'll spend. Am I off base on the cost of the house or moving? What websites/places should I go to find deals on homes or moving?
Now utilities... Let's assume this land has no public connections and no well or sewer. I figure I can get around the septic install costs by setting up a greywater system. Nothing fancy, mind you, just what I can scrape together using scrap materials and a shovel. Black water is a different problem. Flushing toilets are pretty important for us. I might be able to convince my SO to use a composting toilet temporarily, but I give that 10 months max. We live in southern North Carolina so our soil is hard red clay. We could potentially dig out a ghetto septic system using 55 gallon drums, gravel, and PVC pipe, but I've never done that before and don't know how well that would work with drainage.
I've heard that electric companies will hook electrical connections to a post in the ground if you ask them to. So I'm thinking electrical hookups might be free? Internet hookups....no idea how that works.
Water... Digging a well is expensive, so is connecting to city water and city water is gross. I live in an area with a lot of rain. Could I potentially catch rain water, store it, and then send it through a pressurized filter to the rest of the house? How expensive is that?
So, what else am I missing here? I've never done anything like this at all. What should I expect and what aren't I considering?
I want as many opinions as possible so I've posted this in a few different places. My appologies if you see it twice!
We are currently in the process of doing this very thing in Texas....in fact, I am writing this while sitting under trees on the new place while my husband is clearing the site where our doublewide will go
So here's the current rundown.
We already owned the mobile home but just to give you some cheap ideas, we bought ours from a mobile home dealer that deals in used( repo) mobile homes. Most m9vile home dealers have used ones on their lot. We bought one that they had pulled up tthe carpet in but had not yet rehabbed and we bought it as is for 20000 dollars( plywood floors and needed paint and some repairs but liveable. It was a 4 bedroom which is what we needed. They currently have a singewide for 5000 dollars that needs rehabbing so that gives you sort of an idea of how to go cheaper. Also usually they will move it and set it up fo you for free when you buy from a dealer.
That being said, mobile homes are not very energy efficient and we have had to do a lot to improve the R value.
It will cost 5000 dollars to move and reset up our home to the new place.
(We just bought 6 acres). We had the water hooked up last week. It was 1700 dollars, but we will be trying to hand drill a well when we move(we have a moving deadline). To have a well digger do it(we checked) was around $10000. The lights will cost us a total of 600 for the fee, 700 for running it from next door to us and then we will have to buy an electric power pole for around 350(at tractor supply) Then we will trench the electric from the pole to the house at 5 dollars a foot(cost of the wire) to the house. Fortunately my my husband's dad was an electrician in his working life so he and hubby will do this together. So total for electricity will be 2000ish. Now I have a friend who is doing the same thing and her bill for electricity is about 7000 dollars because she is going to the back of her property and after a certain amount given to yiu, the electric company will charge you soething like 5 dollars a foot to bring it in. The reason we are trenching it in is if the electric company does it all the way to your house, you have to give them a thirty foot easement that you can't build in or plant trees in.
We will need some sort of pad for the mobile home to go on since our soil is sandy and my husband wants to level the site so we are looking at about 1000 dollars for this.
As for septic, here the groundwater is high, so I would really like an alternative idea if anyone wants to chime in.
We put a septic tank in at our last place and it cost about 2000 dollars dor the tank and leach lines and gravel and to rent a backhoe..and we did all tte work ourselves.
But this time we are planning on doing a greywater system and not sure what for black water....I am really wanting to do somethibg more environmentally friendly and to keep resources on our place.
I hope this helps and hope that someone else can point me in a better better direction for my wastes=)
Also, we had a well drilled to the aquifer at our last place 10 yrs ago through clay(150 ft) and it cost 10,000 dollars. But I worry about now is our laws in Texas are changing here and there is some talk that the water companies will soon be able to charge you a water bill from any registered well(dug by a well digger) which I think is unfair if I dig it and maintain it. If you dig it yourself in Texas, you are actually supposed to register it and get a permit of course and this also concerns me greatly too. Please excuse my mispelled words too in the previous post.
On the well thing --- I hope $10,000 was for more than just the hole in the ground. I went 305 feet deep a few years ago. The hole cost just under $4,000. My neighbor who is down by a super clean river, hit water at 17 ft. They sold him on the idea that it needed to be deeper. They hit salt and sour gas which polluted the upper water. He got the hole capped and after a 2 year wait for the salt to flush through, his $5,000 - 17 ft. well works great.
If you plan for the mobile to be temporary, consider seeking out a free older unit. I've been paid to dispose of 1970s mobiles. Don't consider it as an investment. Once the house is built, give it away or raise animals in it.
That's not where you'll find them. It's not even on my top 10 list of where I would search.
Run an add. Call demolition contractors. Buy a mobile classroom that has lost its home and build some walls. Check For news stories about mobile home parks that are closing. Search for forclosures. Going to a dealer is the last resort of the ill informed.
To add to Dale's list of places to look: Mobile home movers.
They often know where there are mobile homes that need to go. Like they moved one onto a site a couple of years ago, and know that the owner has finished the permanent home and now wants the mobile gone. Or they just moved one from a trailer park that is closing, and know that there are half a dozen more there with "For Sale" signs on them. He will gladly pass this info along if he thinks he will get more business from it.
EDITED to add: Since his income is derived from moving trailers, he probably looks at every one he passes - future business? If there is a for sale sign on it, he probably makes a mental note of it.
I cannot say much about what is allowed elsewhere, but here in Missouri a common rural sewage solution is a sewage lagoon system and I have to say that a direct discharge lagoon is one of the most trouble free, owner maintainable, ecologically friendly systems ever devised. There may be a special combination of factors that make this system not viable in other areas but I will gladly sing the praises of it.
When we bought our house and land the situation was so much what we wanted that even though I was unfamilliar with sewage lagoons that I was willing to deal with it if it should prove problematical. The real problem for any sewage situation around here is that the clay just does not percolate around here. does not does not does not!
Rules (there are more but this is just some I am prepared to address.
It must be at least 50 feet from the dwelling
It is only allowed on land holdings of 5 acres or more
It must be 100 feet from any land boundary
It must be open to the sun
It must be open to the wind (hence no trees withing 50 feet
It must be fenced (a potentially stupid requirement and mine is grandfathered)
In this kind of soil, the open to the wind and sun requirements are mostly about how it gets rid of the water, i.e. by evaporation not percolation.
The fence requirement is so that children pets and strying live stock will not wander in and get stuck and stinky or drowned. The stupidity is evident in that my pond is 5o yards away and it does not need to be fenced, and I have gotten myself stuck in it and had to get help getting out (I now know how to do that without help)
My claim that it is so eco-friendly is based on the reputation of amphibians being extremely subject to environment contamination and the fact that my lagoon has the highest concentration of frogs on our property, (Our 1.8 acrepond not withstanding). Of course just as with a septic tank the home owner has to not be ignorant and do something like pouring something harsh and contaminating down any of the drains.
Sanitation of pathogens is accomplished by solar radiation, aerobic decay and proper openness to sun and wind.
I have only once or twice detected any odor at all when being near the lagoon and that only smelled a bit swampy and/or like the discharge from a washing machine (only a bit weaker)
The greatest threat for sewage lagoons seems to come from real estate agents, who seem to not want anyone to have one. These agents seem to want a quick sell and some of the uninformed customers react with "Ewwww Poo" I don't want to buy this. So the agents lobby for outlawing them just to make sales quicke and easier. Oh, and they also insist on calling them Cess Pits as propaganda to make them sound awful. Fortunately where I live there is no code enforcement and mine is grandfathered anyway. But be aware that the VA requires (an unnecessary) septic tank between the house and lagoon and some other stuff anyway.
As for the owner maintainable feature.
My lagoon usually goes dry at least once in most summers. If I am away on vacation for a week or two in the summer when I come back I can walk across the lagoon leaving foot prints but not getting much of anything on my shoe soles. If the lagoon starts to fill in (takes years) with a long handled shovel I can dig out the "night soil" and simply throw it on the berm that was created when the pit was dug. If there is a lot of water in the lagoon, it is sufficient to dig out all around the edges where a long handled spade will reach as the stuff in the middle will simply sluff to the outside edge.
My wife did not want to be able to look out the back window and see the lagoon (psychological aversion) so I planted a bamboo grove and that solved that issue for her and she has no concern about the lagoon any more and does not mind it being there.
One problem if you buy a place that already has a lagoon. Some idiots think that it is a place to get rid of anything that is unwanted. The first time it went dry and I shoveled out some of the buildup I found several large rocks that had been tossed in to get rid of them, and a used oil filter or two. Just remnants of the ignorant of people who do not understand what a sewage lagoon is for ( kind of like people who use gasoline to clean greasy parts and then flush it down the toilet.
So my opinion is that sewage lagoons are the best thing going for soil that will not percolate.
Yes if you have a well then the siting of the well and the lagoon could be an issue, however like much of missouri, this county has a county water system that provides us with water from deep wells with all the modern chlorine and fluorine that any urbanite might want.
And yes, new homes are being built with sewage lagoon systems.
I never met anyone that I could not learn something from