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Posts: 44
Location: Lynnwood, Washington
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Permaculture beckons me to leave my comfy suburban apartment to "live on the land"  The mobile home available for rent is disgusting to me.  But the land is a dream.  The money is right, but although I can picture living in a tent all summer I cannot imagine sleeping in the winter in a rotting trailer.
How fixed and clean and comfy can a trailer be restored to?  Or should a new home be built.
In the meantime, until I have a clean and comfy bed to go to each night, what is it worth to me?  Would I sleep in my truck until I have something better?  Set up a tent in winter?  Or go in the ugly, stinky trailer?  This land has a full view of the Puget Sound, a tiny stream running through, fruit trees, sunny exposure and the potential to provide self sustaining life.  What would you give?  What DID you give to live the way you believe.  What modern amenities have you exchanged or abandoned?  Or if you haven't made the move what do you think you're willing to give up?  Do you see it as adventure or hardship?  Would you give up the internet?  LOL
 
                          
Posts: 25
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Is there no internet out there?  That would be a problem!  Well, for me it would, as it is my income............ if that were not so?  I think I could give it up and go to the library or something, from time to time.

ever looked into yurts?  I know money is tight as heck, but you might be able to afford a yurt, Patti, and a yurt can be the basis for an expanded dwelling you can add to over time, and still be initially quite comfy........ compared to slugs on the floor, EW!

At my age I don't know what I would give up, really, but that land does sound mighty mighty sweet.  If it got this real, for me?  I'd surely have some hard considering to do.
 
                                    
Posts: 44
Location: Lynnwood, Washington
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The internet and phone service I'm not sure about.  Both feel essential to me.  When I asked a friend who said he was giving up both his cell phone and land line how people were going to get in touch with him, he said "Knock".  The yurt is a possibility.  And those cobb structures with flowing lines intrigue me.  I have never considered building my own abode. 
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
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For me, anyway, I can and have lived in less than desirable situations to obtain my goal in the long run.

But this property with the crappy trailer is just 'for rent'?  I can think of a couple of things that might work for you in the way of quick shelter, but I'd hate to see you start putting or building permanent structures on land that isn't or might not ever, be yours.   Can you give us a bit more info?

Sorry... I just remember that my sister fixed up and landscaped two different properties that she was renting...both times the landlords raised her rent because the place was worth more after her hard work.  Bastards.
 
Posts: 190
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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We lived in a 1951, 8'x35' trailer for 6 years on property we didn't own, although we owned the trailer and so had fixed it up.  A modern tiny house would be better insulated, but we did OK with what we had.  We had wood heat, a propane cook top, no plumbing and no electric until we made a solar panel to run 1 light and a radio.  We've lived for 17 years with no phone of any kind, and 7 years in very rural settings with no car, and only got internet a couple of years ago.  We were a lot younger then, 20's and 30's, but most of it still seems doable as we're not that far removed from living that way now (still off grid but in a straw bale house with rainwater cistern).  So I'd have to say, it can be done if you want to.  As to whether it's a hardship or an adventure, it's a bit like asking how full or empty the glass of water appears.
 
                                    
Posts: 44
Location: Lynnwood, Washington
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The rental versus purchase sure is important  Maryanne.  I would probably be willing to live in a cave if I were able to purchase.  Since renting is my fate at least I can do my thing for as long as it lasts.  The property is tax assessed at less than half the neighboring homes because it is so neglected.  There is a typical home, older, plus the trailer and various out buildings.  The owners come there once a year to work on the place.  No one loves it.  Kids inherited it and live all over the country.  Compared to your circumstances Walk it is quite developed.  There is power and water.  The current property manager is gradually understanding my goals toward sustainability.  I can only hope that the owners find value in that and that my efforts result in a long term home.  This is the original homestead that has been parceled out for development of new homes.  They are all typical suburban lots.  This one place could be a tiny local fresh food source for the neighborhood, in time.  At least, that's where my imagination leads me.  Every neighborhood needs such a place and I'd like to make it happen there.  Thanks for your respnses-this is doable.
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
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Any chance that one of the outbuildings could be cleaned up and converted to living space?  Even just one room?  At least it'd get you out on the land (it does sound just wonderful!)  Then you can insulate w/ straw bales, etc, etc.

Could you can hang out in the tent while you work on repairs, etc?  If the owner is agreeable, maybe you can salvage what you need from the trailer or other buildings.  I know someone that converted an ancient chicken coop to a rental! 

Some ideas that may or may not work for you:
Can you borrow someone's camping trailer for a while?
Google 'van living', 'tiny houses', 'alternative housing', 'RV living', that kind of thing.  There are some neat spaces that people have created. 
What about a storage shed kit?  Some are big enough to put a loft in it for a sleeping area. 
Earthbag construction?  Check out Kelly Hart for some ideas,
http://www.dreamgreenhomes.com/
All you need is something to keep the weather off your head, the rest can come a step at a time if you're tough enough, and I think you are!   I love doing things on the cheap, and having them look really good by the time it's done!  I love your idea of the li'l market, too.

Hit your local FreeCycle.  Maybe someone has an old camper shell they want to get rid of.  And by all means, let people know what you need...ask!  You might get a freebie something or other that works.  (Cheap is good, free is better!)   

I thought in most areas the power company would get you hooked to their services up for nothing...not in some really remote locations, but was there power out there at some point?  The last time my computer was in the shop for a week, I had to think to remember what in the heck I used to do before I had it!  LOL
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