We bought a 40 year old mobile home last week.
What are we thinking??
I have to tell you, buying an old mobile home wasn’t really my plan.
Gabe and I had talked about buying a mobile home, so we could get moved out the farm debt-free. Essentially, it would give us a place to live where we could take our own sweet time saving up to build a house, without paying rent in the meantime.
I agreed that it was a good idea, but secretly, I had kind of hoped that we would move to Stephenville instead, which would make it easier for our kids to participate in homeschool group activities, Crossfit Kids, and put us closer to church.
Then this trailer fell in our lap.
I just happened to log into Facebook and see a brand new listing for an old “livable condition” mobile home. I tagged Gabe in it – just in case he might be interested in it – and he set up an appointment to go look at it.
The next morning it was ours.
Despite the leaking roof, sagging floors, crumbling kitchen drawers, and 1970s faux wood paneling, There were several reasons we went for it:
- It was cheap – $1,000 to be exact
- It came with two large steel-framed porches, a steel-framed carport, and sheetmetal skirting, that, together, were worth the purchase price alone.
- We liked the layout of the trailer. Most single-wide mobile homes are pretty similar, but I definitely liked the placement of the laundry room better than our last home!
On the way home, Gabe asked me if I was excited, and I told him I wasn’t sure yet, but the more I think about it the more my answer is YES!
I’m excited about a 40 year old, run down mobile home. So weird, right?
But I haven’t gone crazy – at least, I don’t think so – I have good reasons!
It Gets Us Our Own Home
After 7 years of renting houses, I long for a place that is mine, where I can express my style – or more accurately, develop my own style – without asking permission.
Over the last few years, we have talked about buying houses, mortgages, and even forgetting traditional housing, and going mobile in an RV (still love that idea!)
But the bottom line is, we want to live on a farm, and we don’t want to go into debt.
Buying a mobile home will pretty much get us everything we want – on a small scale. 😉
It Gives Us Renovation Experience
I have a keen interest in flipping houses, but absolutely zero practical experience. I’m looking forward to renovating our own house, to get an idea of what all is involved, and how much it will cost.
This kind of knowledge might be handy when I’m 60 or so and finally have the funds to try house flipping. 😉
It Gives Us A Family Project
We’ve talked about building a house in the past, but the idea has always scared me for the simple reason that I once heard some contractors talking about the divorce rate amongst couples who attempted to build a home from scratch. It’s stressful, and people butt heads. A lot.
I’m not concerned so much about becoming a divorce statistic, but I am thankful to start with a smaller project at a trial run.
It keeps us out of Debt
We have worked really hard to save some money over the last year and a half, and while we don’t have enough money to buy a house outright, we have the money to buy, and renovate this mobile home.
Even if the reno costs more than we estimate, we’ll be able to do it piece by piece as we earn the cash, rather than going into debt for it.
It gets us out on the Farm
It’s hard to farm when you have to drive from town out the farm to take care of animals and gardens. I’ve missed being the crazy goat lady! And of course, Gabe would like to get cows again to add to our pig and duck collection (and it sure would be nice to have the beef again!)
We’ll have a more efficient house
For the last two years, we’ve been living in a 120 year old, 2,100 square foot farm house. I’m not complaining about having a rood over my hear for sure, but you’d have to try really hard to have a more poorly set up kitchen, the bathrooms are tacked on, leaky constructions (remember, bathrooms weren’t built into houses 120 years ago!), and without central heating and cooling, the closed floor plan is incredibly hard to heat or cool, not to mention expensive.
Mobile homes tend to have more efficient kitchen set ups, open floor plans that are easier to heat and cool, and this one in particular will hopefully be well insulated when we’re done with it.
A part of me is afraid that we’ll be crowded in a such a small house, the other part of me knows that we can easily downsize, and that once we do, house cleaning will be SO much easier!
So last week we bought a small house (mobile home) in dire need of repairs and renovations, but it's a HOME, and it's OURS, and I LOVE it. (Hopefully I won't hate it before we get done with it ????) We spent the day out there today getting it ready to move, and what with the attached metal porches and car port, there is a LOT to do. This picture of Hadassah is only marginally related, since she's sitting on one of the porches we're dismantling eating quinoa and broccoli we heated in the Instant Pot. ???? #newadventures
We spent all day yesterday getting the house ready to move – disconnecting and dismantling porches, and removing skirting, and boy am I sore! But I can’t wait to get the home home, and get to work on it!
Renovating an old mobile home isn’t for everyone, but for this stage of our lives, it’s the best choice for us – and if it’s the best choice for you too, let me just encourage you not to let a societal stigma stand in your way.
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