Cool! A few thoughts:
- Income based repayment is a must for loans, if you're eking a subsistence living, they will probably ask you to make a very small or minimal monthly payment. Look into it.
- A trailer is poison, I wouldn't subject anyone I love to living in one. The amount of toxic plastics, heavy metals, and mold potential in a humid climate make them a definite lifespan-shortener.
- I'm also looking at coastal NC (NE, inner banks), for me it's close to home and a beautiful area. Keep in mind, though, projections of sea level rise that come with climate change. All of coastal VA/NC is very flat and prone to tidal and storm surge flooding. Picking something a little further inland might increase the lifespan of the acreage. Also, start investigating salt and waterlog-tolerant plants and natives that prevent erosion.
$3000 is way more than enough to build a small stick-built shed to live in, and then use as storage later on. Seems like a better option all around.