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A dream , an Airstream and a few questions  RSS feed

 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Hi fellow Permies! To give you some background I live in Grand Rapids, MI and am looking into starting my own homestead someday. I am 24 and I have a full time job that I would really like to ditch in the next few years. I have an opportunity to purchase a large Airstream trailer for 5,500 and I would pay all cash for this. The problem is where I could park this thing. At the moment I live with my mom and siblings in a rented house right in the city, no driveway or backyard to speak of. I could park it at a storage facility (has anyone on here dealt with these places?). But I would like to be able to work on the trailer too, so I am not sure if that would fly at a storage place. Also I could possibly park it on a mobile home lot...but I am not finding this too promising, has anyone ever dealt with this too? I am not sure if they will let an Airstream trailer in any park- and RV places are out of the question as they are very expensive. Anyhow thanks in advance for the input, my mom thinks I am crazy but it just feels like a good investment. I plan on moving out to the country when I can get enough money to make a down payment on vacant land, and having a self contained mobile home will be helpful.
 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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Put an ad in Craigslist. Somebody with some land and power will let you park it at their place.
But Airstreams aren't that rare, and then you have to invest in a vehicle to to the dang thing, insurance, etc.
And there's no guarantee that you can live in it on the land you find. Or you might find land with a house

So I'd find the land first. Actually, I'd get debt free, then find the land. Then the Airstream. But that's what I'd do.

FWIW, I have a beater trailer we used while building on our property that I can't seem to get rid of.
 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Ann Torrence wrote:Put an ad in Craigslist. Somebody with some land and power will let you park it at their place.
But Airstreams aren't that rare, and then you have to invest in a vehicle to to the dang thing, insurance, etc.
And there's no guarantee that you can live in it on the land you find. Or you might find land with a house

So I'd find the land first. Actually, I'd get debt free, then find the land. Then the Airstream. But that's what I'd do.

FWIW, I have a beater trailer we used while building on our property that I can't seem to get rid of.


Good idea about Craiglist I never thought of that, I am going to put an ad up today. and the gentleman who is selling us the Airstream said he would tow it for free for us within reasonable distance. Definitely have to get some RV insurance- but I think we can package that with our car insurance.
BTW I am debt-free and but my other half is still working on that. I would love to find the land first but right now it is a question of finding land within city limits as my hubby's job requires him to be available 24/7 and within 20 mins of Grand Rapids, MI (he's a locksmith). So land prices are super inflated around Grand Rapids and I havent been able to find anything reasonable which is why I think renting land/ lot would be better and saving for land somewhere off the beaten path when we are financially ready to move.
Thanks for your input!
 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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*Bump*
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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That is only an OK price on an airstream in OK condition. Unless it is immaculate fully upgraded/restored and ready to go off-grid with full solar and big enough for you and your intended family size +1 (things happen) for the foreseeable future, I would pass.

If you are really tied 24/7/365 to town, I would work on debt-free and finding that piece of something you can afford and work with. Things like foreclosures and tax sales. Maybe a bigger plot you can turn into a SPIN farm. Getting a big urban parcel with no house cheap, then start a farm and live in the 'stream, just drive the house away in the off season--that is a cool dream. Not sure what the department of make you sad would say about that--you can't live in a camper full time on your own land in my county and I am in the middle of nowhere

FWIW, my neighbor bought 4 parcels of land for $500 on a tax sale--and one of those parcels included an airstream! (the reason he bought it).

 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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DeLaney B-B : Way off topic but worth it !You know how every time you see the ads for the latest Pixar or Disney movie you think about kidnapping a niece
or nephew to take to the movies ?

O.K., before you leave Grand rapids make sure you connect with the Awesome and Incredible people at " The Geek Group " 902 leonard street labs (NW)
616 - 466 - 4335, they give tours anyone 12 -52 will be glad they went to every Saturday @ 12:30 lots of near by parking and just a ways off of 131
Enjoy, prepare to be amazed ! Bring al the kids you can you will be a miner hero ! Big Al
 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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R Scott wrote:That is only an OK price on an airstream in OK condition. Unless it is immaculate fully upgraded/restored and ready to go off-grid with full solar and big enough for you and your intended family size +1 (things happen) for the foreseeable future, I would pass.

If you are really tied 24/7/365 to town, I would work on debt-free and finding that piece of something you can afford and work with. Things like foreclosures and tax sales. Maybe a bigger plot you can turn into a SPIN farm. Getting a big urban parcel with no house cheap, then start a farm and live in the 'stream, just drive the house away in the off season--that is a cool dream. Not sure what the department of make you sad would say about that--you can't live in a camper full time on your own land in my county and I am in the middle of nowhere

FWIW, my neighbor bought 4 parcels of land for $500 on a tax sale--and one of those parcels included an airstream! (the reason he bought it).



We go to see the Airstream tomorrow, so I am unsure of what the condition is like. But from what he said over the phone it is one of the bigger models of Airstreams. Posting this thread has made me consider more waiting to find the right piece of land, that just seems so far off in the future though and I could possibly purchase the Airstream now (choices!!).
But tell me more about the tax sale- where was this land located? That is a really nice price! I guess I have never heard of a tax sale before- I am going to google it.
Thanks!



 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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allen lumley wrote:DeLaney B-B : Way off topic but worth it !You know how every time you see the ads for the latest Pixar or Disney movie you think about kidnapping a niece
or nephew to take to the movies ?

O.K., before you leave Grand rapids make sure you connect with the Awesome and Incredible people at " The Geek Group " 902 leonard street labs (NW)
616 - 466 - 4335, they give tours anyone 12 -52 will be glad they went to every Saturday @ 12:30 lots of near by parking and just a ways off of 131
Enjoy, prepare to be amazed ! Bring al the kids you can you will be a miner hero ! Big Al


Funny I was just thinking of taking my niece to the movies! But I have driven by that place and always wondered what's inside that building. I will definitely have to check it out! Thanks
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
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Tax sales: Properties foreclosed on by the county for failing to pay the taxes. Often the person died or went into a nursing home with no family or will. They often go for next to nothing. The reason my neighbor bought 4 parcels is the previous 3 were no-bid so they sold all of them as a package. They often are in a questionable neighborhood in cities, but many are on the edges where the burbs grew around an old farmhouse.
 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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R Scott wrote:Tax sales: Properties foreclosed on by the county for failing to pay the taxes. Often the person died or went into a nursing home with no family or will. They often go for next to nothing. The reason my neighbor bought 4 parcels is the previous 3 were no-bid so they sold all of them as a package. They often are in a questionable neighborhood in cities, but many are on the edges where the burbs grew around an old farmhouse.


I see, I think I have actually heard of those. But if the previous owner starts to pay the taxes on the land do you not own it? I mean I thought that there was a grace period or something before you outright own the land from one of these types of sales.

By the way I bought the Airstream today it was a 31' Sovereign in pretty good condition. Looks like it may need a newer fridge and some touch ups on some of the doors, but otherwise in really great condition. We are going to clean out all the dust tomorrow. I am super excited!! and I will take some pictures and post them as I go through renovating things. for now we are storing it on the property that it was already on and the man who sold it to us is letting us store it there rent free. We are considering parking it at relatives and hooking the water/ power up there, until we find a suitable lot to park it on. Or else living on an RV campground close to town for $2,800 in the winter months but we would have to wait until October to park it there- and find somewhere else/ pay to live there in the summer months. Lots of decisions to make, but I am hopeful that we can make this work.

Thanks all for your input!
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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It depends on the state, sometimes there is a grace period but it varies wildly in length.

One thing about an airstream--you can get permission to park them in places you would never get away with a standard camper. 31' is a big one!
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1351
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Guess it depends on the location a 31 foot Airstream for 5500.00 dollars would be a steal on the West coast.
 
DeLaney Becker-Baratta
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Update: about a month later and we are parking the trailer on my fiancee's parent's lot and living there almost rent free while we save up for a plot of land to park the Airstream on. Progress is slow going so far as other things cropped up this month that needed attending to first. However, we are hopeful we can get a good amount done while living in the old girl. We are dreaming up a solar set up to hopefully run most electricity on, also we are thinking about ripping out the black water tank and toilet and building or buying (expensive) composting toilet. Another project is building a bench or daybed where the previous couch was in the front room, painting the vinyl walls and ripping out some old, moldy, flooring and replacing it. Also we've ripped most of the carpet up and will be installing a laminate wood floor or maybe wooden click together floor.
 
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