Published: Sunday, June 15 2014 9:00 p.m. MDT
A single wide trailer is quite affordable. They are less expensive per square
foot than site built homes.
CJB~These houses have the opportunity to be so much more than a
single-wide. Also known as Tiny Houses, such structures are built much more
sturdily and have much more of a "home" feel rather than a
"trailer" feel. That makes all the difference. Such small
houses also usually transportable having been constructed on strong trailer
platforms (they are frequently classified as RV trailers, but again--have much
more appeal than a plastic and flimsy RV). These houses are modifiable, can be
added on to, and give people like my husband and I, who have no hope for a
retirement, the option of building a "dream house" albeit tiny, when our
youngest leaves the house which we fear we'll never afford to pay off.I'm so excited to see this movement growing. Fascinating contrast
to the McMansions of the last 20 years.
Re Mom of 8We really don't disagree. My philosophy and advice
to my kids and anyone else who will listen is buy the smallest house that will
accommodate you. This leaves money left over to avoid debt, invest for the
future and live life (not be house poor).
I would choose one of these over an apartment if I needed to move out of our
home we have now. We have lived in apartments--way too noisy. Too many stairs.
Funky smells. Lazy managers.
When I got married, my wife and I bought a 5 year old pu truck and a 26'
5th wheel travel trailer. We owed about 15 thousand dollars in dept between us
in the 70's. I worked construction, we lived in our 5th wheel for 2 years
and was total out of debt in our first year. Than life happens when you least
expected. We starter a family. Than meant another car and a bigger place to live
and a lot of stuff to spend money on. When the kids left home, The utility
bills got lower and lower as each one left. It took a whale to learn to cook for
2 not for 6. I thinking about the 5th wheel again if I could live in it on my
own property without the city making problems.
On the positive side Americans often raised families in smaller homes (around
600 square feet and up): built up until the forties and fifties of the last
century. Plenty of these still around.After WW2 homes were also
often available that were built for expanding as your family grew. The
foundation was made strong enough to build a second storey without any further
strengthening; basements were unfinished, lots large enough to add extensions,
a large closet on the main floor to facilitate the building of a staircase in
the space etc.On the more negative side I have seen condos that had
awful 'per square foot' prices and pokey rooms selling at only abuout
20K below far better homes; recently I saw a minature "manufactured"
home of about 150 square feet that only qualified as an "RV" though not
built on wheels, the square foot price also outrageous, and price exclusive of
land.There are sometimes problems financing any home that is
delivered on wheels and so without foundations, or the lending rate is higher
for such homes..With honest builders, sufficient land to extend, and
fair prices it could work and seems much needed.
The concept is not new. Following WWII many people built hope houses, which
were essentially a basement with a staircase. You lived in your basement until
you could afford to build the main floor. I pass one almost daily where the
simply turned the upstairs into a deck.While housing prices are a
concern, it is largely because we want so much more in our houses. In the 1950s
the average house was just under 1000 sq. Ft. Now the average is 2400. The
challenge with small homes is keeping the neighborhood nice. If people take
care of their property, values rise and people want to stay in their property.
When lawns die, driveways become auto junk yards and houses look worn, the
neighbor spirals downward.
". . . 98 square feet?!"In other words, the bathroom is in
the kitchen next to the bed.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments