We are itching to get on the raw land we purchased last year. Financially we will not realize our "forever" home yet, given labor cost is astronomically high in our market right now and it's not realistic to build it ourselves. We are considering a new manufactured home as a primary house to share (in our multigenerational family) and add a yurt for extra space and retreat for my immediate family (husband and gaggle of young kiddos). This will likely be a place we call home for +/-4 years? This will allow us to start homesteading and potentially starting a farming business. This is all just background. My main question is: has anybody recently purchased a manufactured home or currently live in one?
I'm just trying to get personal accounts, recommendations, or warnings. Obviously, what is available (companies) depends on geography. I'm in Oregon. I'm also interested in yurt recs or considerations. We would eventually place yurt elsewhere on property as a retreat/yoga/meditation space/school room/meeting area thing. having never been inside a yurt, size of yurt is another decision to make (not too small. Not too big 20feet? 25?). We're most attracted to a wooden yurt but they're $$$. Worth it? Any wooden yurt people? Thank you for graciously addressing my gigantic multi part question.
this is a real popular set up for a budget. 3-7k on a decent trailer and the sky is the limit for the porch/add on. in Oregon I reckon this will work fine as the climate is pretty mild. We got lucky and bought our place with a house already built but this would have been my go to till the house was finished.
I've lived in a double-wide manufactured home from the 70s for a few years. It's fine. It's not the most amazing place I've lived in, but it keeps the weather out and hasn't had any major issues. It feels like a real house so long as you don't look at the license plate. Repairing it is always a bit of an adventure since it seems like it was plumbed by a guy with a truck bed full of random sized pipes. I hope one day to remove it and build a more site-specific house on the concrete pad it sits on. Biggest downside to a manufactured home: there's really no re-use possible. You can't (really) add on to the structure. You can't re-use the building materials to build a better home. Once you're done with it, it's a big pile of aluminum that you've gotta haul off your property.
I've always loved the aesthetics of Yurts. With a decent amount of work they can be comfortable in the winter too. You can easily take it down and put it back up at a later point, re-purposing it in a different location once you're done.
A trailer + enclosure like the one Jim mentioned is a nice option if you don't mind the space. My parents have lived in a trailer for a few years now. Trailers definitely feel very plastic-y and flexible under your feet. It feels like you're in a trailer. But you can haul it anywhere you want it and sell it easy when you're done. Or haul it to a different piece of the property and rent it out.
My summary would be:
Trailer + Enclosure = cheap, easy way to have a livable structure. Good points on re-use.
Manufactured Home = expensive, but comfortable place to live. Not much re-use. Will probably outlive you.
Yurt = aesthetically pleasing, but close to the elements. Good points on re-use.
kyle +1 on the resale factor I didnt think about that once they are ten or better years old they are kind of always worth that lol. at least until the roof leaks. I get your frustration with the plumbing. I am pretty sure all the plumbing in most of those things is R.V.
I grew up in mobile homes, commonly called trailers in Canada. For the first 10 years of my life I was in single wide trailers. Then we got a double wide, with an addtiion that we moved onto property after we built a full sized basement with a wood stove with blown air into the top floor, and suddenly we had a house. It was still stinking hot on the top floor in summer, but we had lots of water so we ran a sprinkler on the roof. images of trailers They can be alright to live in. Depends on your heating situation and how cold it gets in your part of Oregon. If you are at high elevation, in the mountains, or if you are in the desert, then you are going to be visiting some extreme temperatures that someone on the coast or lower areas of Oregon are not. These things are thin walled with generally poor insulation and windows. At any rate, everything is re-usable if you have a mind to it. Metal sheeting, from an eventually disassembled trailer, can be used to kill weeds, cover firewood, dam water, make gutters... i could probably come up with tons more... but that's off the cuff. There is no reason that a decent trailer can't last forever, though. Most of the problems come from excessive snow loading compromising the weak framing and roofing systems. So put a roof over it like in Jim's photo posted above (of what we in Canada call an RV), or something that is more attached, and Bobs your Uncle. Straw bales can insulate your lower walls and up around the windows if you are inclined to conserve more of your heat in the winter. Put an addition on it with a wood stove or have a RMH bench along the joining wall and you are really going to up it's potential. Cycle the bales into your garden every spring and get new ones for the next year, or keep them for multiple years, protecting them with plastic tarps.
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We have a newer manufactured home, built in 1998. It's about 1,000sqft, double wide. The previous owner added on a 500 sqft garage and it has cement fiberboard siding. If our house is any indication, one CAN build onto a manufactured home. We plan on tranforming the garage into a family room in about 6-8 years when we've saved up more money.
We actually replaced our asphalt roof with a metal one twp years ago, as our previous roof was leaking. Since the house is airtight, mold tends to grow more merrily, especially if you live--like me--in a damp area, or if you have a lot of people breathing in the house. Our house's humidity is usuallt 50-60%, all year round, even in winter. I don't dry my clothes indoors, because of the mold issue. Roof leakage is a main problem with manufactured homes, especially in wet areas. You don't want water pooling on your roof, and most manufactured homes have slopes that are pretty shallow, and so the water doesn't run off quickly enough.
I like them as a temporary building only. Everywhere that I have ever lived, there have been well used models available for free or close to it. They generally need to be moved to a new location. When a trailer park closes, or mobile homes must be moved for some other reason, they can be available for next to nothing.
I favor the idea of putting up a completely separate enclosure, that makes sense as a stand-alone building, once the trailer is removed from beneath. This could be a barn or Implement shed. If built larger than the trailer, it gives good indoor storage for things that don't need to be heated, and it provides protection from the elements, for a unit that may have leakage issues. In cold windy conditions, an enclosed unit will be much easier to heat. An enclosure would also allow straw bales around the perimeter, to have a much longer service life.
I would expect the barn or implement shed to cost far more than the used trailer. Since it is a new structure, materials and labor would not be wasted, as often happens when repairs are conducted on mobile units that are not worth the cost of those repairs. For instance, a very substantial sloped roof, can be built for the cost of re-roofing and older mobile unit. If those costs were dumped into the mobile, it's quite possible that other systems would fail in the future, so that all of the repair work is lost, when you finally decide to scrap the trailer.
Building within an enclosure, would allow a double wide or two single wides to be placed together, with minimal attention to rejoining the roof.
The only drawback that I see, when enclosing a mobile unit, is lack of sun. This can be partially rectified by putting lots of windows into the enclosing building.
I have some neighbors with a yurt.... I wouldn't want to own one as a living space. It's just a big, "expensive", canvas tent. Theirs is 24 or 25 ft and it is spacious inside.
I also have some neighbors who have built homes from tuff sheds. And in this area there is no taxation against the tuff shed because it's a delivered product that sits on top of the ground. It's just anchored down, then they put down a stone flooring right atop the ground. It's not a permanent structure so no taxes. And it cost less than a yurt to have fully finished, I think around 15k. And the company that delivers it, assembles it once it arrives.
Camper trailers are a nice choice. Also, no taxation in my area for camper trailers. Upkeep the roof, and resell when the home is finished. I have another neighbor who bought an airstream, built their house in 3 years, then sold the airstream for the same amount they paid. This is the same way I'm doing it.
My Food Forest - Mile elevation. Zone 6a. Southern Idaho <--I moved in year two...unfinished...probably has cattle on it.
My preferred answer is to build the garage/shop/barn and live in it while building the house.
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