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5 Reasons to Live in a Mobile Home (and no, I'm not crazy)

For the happy heart, life is a continual feast.  
Better to have little, with fear for the Lord,
than great wealth with turmoil.

-- Proverbs 15:15b-16 --

If 2014 is all about changes, we're getting ready to make some of the biggest ones this year.  These changes will solidly launch us towards the type of life we value and help us instill character traits we honor in our children.  It will also allow us to be an example to our kids of the sacrifices that we expect of them, particularly as young people, to live Biblical lives.

Significant debt is not one of the things we value, nor do we value a consumerist, impatient, imprudent, entitlement, poor stewardship, have-it-all-right-now mentality.

We've done a lot of thought, praying, and planning and feel like what we need as a family is to drastically simplify and downsize our life.  It's becoming more and more apparent after Little Man that the most important things in life, and the most important things to give the L.M. really aren't things--it's character and life lessons.  Cliche, I know.  But true.

Up until now, I've enjoyed a large salary and I have to admit that I've felt the pull of city-life.  Dan, I know, is pretty immune--he'd truly be happy living out of his car and sleeping on the floor like back in his college days.  

Living in the city is hard for budding homesteaders.
  • There are neighbors who complain about your rooster and have the city send you threatening letters where you have no idea whom to try to make amends with...despite roosters being entirely legal.  We checked.  
  • The only parts of my yard that get enough sun for veggies are in my front, un-fenced yard--difficult to tend to veggies with a toddler potentially escaping into the road.  
  • I really don't have enough grass to tractor rabbits on for meat.  Forget about any dairying.  
We don't really have the OUTDOOR space that we'd like--and I feel like we have too much indoor space.   Our home isn't really large by my peers' standards, 1600 sq. ft, but for a family of 3 (soon to be 4), it's really just large enough to encourage us to accumulate STUFF that we don't need and spend too much time cleaning, organizing, and tending to.  I would like a larger kitchen and a real pantry since I try to do all our own cooking for health and financial reasons, but our parlor and two upstairs bedrooms are never used. 

 Bam. Essentially a wasted 300-400 sq. ft.  

Somehow, we went from a tiny 1 BR apartment for 2 years, to renting a single ROOM for 9 months, to a 4 BEDROOM house and it's just encouraged me to fill up the house with things over the past 3 years--things that I have an odd attachment to, despite most of it being given to us or hand-me-downs.  Things that I didn't even pick out.  Things that cost me nothing.  Things that should not be difficult to get rid of or give away.  But they become soooooo hard to get rid of. A smaller home will make me more intentional about only keeping things that are useful or I find beautiful or truly sentimental in value--and frustrate me to the point that I get rid of extra stuff out of sheer desperation.  

Living small is like having deadlines.  You get shizz done--or downsized, as the case may be--because you don't have an option.

We really value the country life.   Having animals and gardens teaches responsibility and hard work and gives an opportunity to learn money and business management principles that will serve our kids their entire lives.  And Little Man loves being outside.  It's better for your health--good old fashioned dirt and sunshine.  Dan needs a larger workshop for his business.  There just isn't space to teach all these diy life-skills in the city. We need the wide open spaces.

However, we're not interested in trading a rat race for a pipe dream.  I know plenty of people who have played Keeping-Up-With-the-Joneses in the city and those that chase the Green-Acres-Dream in the country.  We want to be OUT of debt, quit paying a mortgage (or minimize it as much as we can), build some wealth, and be in the place where our life is self-sufficient and simple enough that we can live on what we've invested sweat into--a few rental properties and a piece of land.

Honestly, we've already started some of that and just completed our first rental property--quite an accomplishment!  Go, Dan!

The next step to this is a trailer--a nice, large single-wide.   In my dreams, it's a 3BR, 2bath, 16x80 with new Allure plank flooring, fresh paint, and a clear deed.

Yes, I said it, a trailer.

And no, I haven't lost my mind.

Before you turn up your nose and give in to the stigmas, give the idea a chance.
  1. It's ridiculously affordable--think a decent minivan to OWN and we can move it whenever we find our piece of paradise, taking all of our improvements, upgrades, and personalizations with us (it's so hard as a woman to leave all your "nesting" behind when you move, knowing that the next person will just paint over it all.)
  2. We can live in it for a few years now and get out of debt. 
  3. We live in it a few more later and build our stick home SANS MORTGAGE!
  4. We can rent the "city house" at a price equivalent to our mortgage and allow that investment to turn into a nice rental income in a few more years.
  5. Living in a trailer means living in the country NOW, rather than waiting for several YEARS.  And for a budding homestead, time is money.  Time that could be spent finding our property and making improvements that take years to accomplish--think orchards to mature, pastures to improve, or flocks/herds to build, for example.
Getting rid of all debt, owning my home outright, and having a rental INCOME equivalent to about 50% of my current income (but without loans!), trading in hours at my city-job to be more of a homesteader, all by our mid-30s is a VERY tempting prospect--certainly one that I'd be willing to trade 400 sq. ft. of inside space for.  And when you take into account the ACRES of outdoor space that you'd be gaining, the trade is hard to pass up.

The financial savings in lifestyle costs that allow us to pay off debt faster and the interest payments on current loans ("responsible" ones of mortgage and student loans, at that) alone are staggering.  Next, when you couple this with non-taxable "income" in the form of home-raised food (comparable to the best organics), and multiply this by a few years, you're looking an income-equivalent of over $100k for a sacrifice of time equivalent to a part-time job.  Finally, add in the fact that you could build your dream home mortgage free as well, and you're talking about some real money.  

And none of this takes any account of the better environment, life lessons, and influence-control that you have on your and your kids' psyche, world-view, and life perspective.

Honestly, we'd be crazy NOT to do it.

Bring it on.


  1. Awesome Paige. I added your blog to my reader - I look forward to what 2014 holds for you guys. I share your desire for land, home-grown veggies, small live stock, just enough house no extra, and no debt. I am sure you will give me inspiration and tidbits of knowledge with this blog of yours. Jen C.

  2. Gardening puts "free" veggies in freezer for winter. Butternut squash and Spaghetti Squash are nearly $2.00/lb. We can grow hundreds of dollars of both in our 11 raised bed garden. Not to mention green beans, carrots, okra, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, pumpkins, asparagus, white and concord grapes. rhubarb, tomatoes, and whatever else strikes the fancy. Cost: seeds $20/year and a bit of physical healthy labor. Hoeing, weeding, adding much to walkways, watering and using chemical free insect control. Gathering praying mantis egg cases from blackberry bushes an putting them in the garden so they hatch there. Plus there's nothing like sitting down to a nice meal of steaming hot veggies, and a green salad and know it "cost" me nothing. Love the times Paige and I spent gardening together. Dad

  3. Praise God! Looking forward to hearing and reading about your journey and praying for your family.. With God all things are possible!!!

  4. Dropped in from the Homestead Barn Hop.

    I wish we did what you are doing years ago. We thought about it. We talked about it. But we didn't take action. Now we are but we are way behind the curve as we are in our 40s. I say you are making good prayerful decision so poo on anyone who gives you a hard time!


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