Trailersteading is an ebook by Anna Hess about peple who want to homestead but don’t want to commute to town to pay off a 30 year mortgage. It talks about how to buy and fix up an OLDER mobile home for little money so that you can enjoy your property instead of commuting 30 years.
It is not about buying a new double wide mobile home for $120,000 and a 30 year mortgage on both land and double wide.
Living in my trailerstead has allowed me to get debt free very quickly and retire early… I already had no personal debt but a mortgage kept me tied down. I looked at double wide mobile homes (a common choice in the country in the US) but find them unappealing and grossly overpriced. My trailerstead may be unappealing around the edges, but is not overpriced!
Selling my home in town and buying this 5 acres with a trailerstead means I am no longer a slave to the market economy. Any little job will do, and any small business I might start would support my market economy needs once I finish paying it off in 3 more years (if I do not contine to prepay the 10 year mortgage on the land). I have retirement income, so don’t need additional income, if I do I will be flush with cash.
All because I trailerstead in a 1979 single wide mobile home. Granted, this one was already here, but was transferred with the land as being of “no economic value”. Free, plus I did not have to bring in electrical, water line, septic, or a road. Nor pay to move a mobile home. A veritable bargain as trailersteads go. Those things also drop the big expenses of building a home and have a dollar value higher than what I paid for the land.
I put 20% down and financed (raw) land for 10 years. Even better, I bought at rock bottom of the market when all were telling me to wait for lower prices. It looked like a gift from God and I made an offer as soon as the realtor could write it up. Prices went back up and I have $100,000 increase in raw land only, plus my paydown. I spent a year looking every day, which is a good support for “getting lucky”.
I do have basic skills around the house, but at 61 less strength. You can pick up home repair skills at your local Home Depot… if they don’t have a class scheduled, the manager will either set one up or have an employee show you personally. I saved on plumbing repairs because a HD plumber walked me through a couple plumbing issues. Plumbing is my worst nightmare! I feel fine building a greenhouse. My dad showed me a lot, including how to lay concrete block.
Worst case scenario, I can live here in 840 square feet, 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. My trailerstead is laid out pretty well, and in good shape even though it wasn’t well made. I have spent less than $100 fixing it up, $21 for mismix paint, one new light fixture about $17, plumbing parts for about $9. In the winter I put vinyl over the windows, one box did all my windows. I don’t remember what it cost, but you use a blow dryer to shrink it. Works great. The last thing was my labor in dry stacking concrete block as temporary skirting. I did not count this toward the trailerstead because it counts toward my small house expense. 4 pallets of concrete block wasn’t much, and it made a huge difference on winter warmth.
If I stay in the trailerstead, I would open up the tiny bedroom to the living room, buy used cabinets, and make a “great room” out of it. Nothing wrong with the current kitchen but it has big south windows and I would pull out the kitchen and turn it into a sun room on the other side of the living room. That would be personal preference only because I love plants and 10 linear feet of south windows are wasted on the kitchen! Besides, I would be able to see the windows and plants from the kitchen side of the great room.
I initially rejected this because it was so cold in here without enough insulation. Building raised beds that function as earth berms for the trailerstead solved that problem since I will have raised beds anyway. I don’t feel so insecure in high winds when they cannot get underneath and push up.
My back patio would become an east attached greenhouse and provide a lot of winter warmth for both the greenhouse and trailerstead.
My cheap solar heaters produce a lot of heat because it is so sunny here. If I stayed, I would prettify them instead of adding a lot of market economy insulation, which was my initial knee-jerk reaction to having cold nose and toes (market economy expense without improving lifestyle).
A little paint plus a lot of original art work and houseplants cover the sins of cheap paneling.
In all, I am glad I started trailersteading because I am coming up on zero debt with five glorious acres in the mountains and didn’t need to use equity from my prior home.
It is not possible to reenter the circular economy if you get too wound up in the consumer economy created by global megacorporations.
I call it my trailerstead because it honors my commitment to live debt free. My rich uncle sez I decided to be Spam Eating Trailer Trash! He’s pleased with me: he once bought 50 acres of prime timber land in the backwoods of Oregon and lived off grid in a pickup camper until he paid it off. He always did think outside the box. Spam Eating Trailer Trash is a step up from Indigent Living in Back of Pickup.