Our sweet little home is considered a “park model”, which normally occupies that little non-oval of the ven diagram between “manufactured home” and “RV”. It’s like a manufactured home in that it’s built like a wood-framed house on a trailer by an outfit in Oregon that usually builds mobile homes even though it’s considered on paper an RV. We need RV insurance for it, have an RV loan for it, and yes, our house has a license plate. Rather than a motorhome that is made to be parked at a mobile home park, though, ours is more in the spirit of a tiny house– basically a wood-framed house that happens to be on a trailer. It is a Cavco Creekside Cabin, specifically the “Cherry Creek” floor plan that has not one, but TWO bedrooms (with doors!). It is 394 square feet, not including the storage loft, though we do actually use that as living space. The house is 13 feet wide and about 33 feet long. We bought the house sight unseen and ordered the specifics, such as a red roof and trim, the counter top color, and our floor treatments. We opted for extra insulation in the floor, an 8- inch deep stainless steel sink, and a stand-alone shower rather than a tiny bathtub (hindsight says this was a mistake with a baby, but James still thinks we made the right choice). We also splurged and got an on-demand water heater. Our room has a small closet and the kids room is sans closet but with built in bunk beds. That is probably the tiniest place in the tiny house, though of course Stella doesn’t really use it yet.
The “big room” is our kitchen, living room, and dining room all rolled into one. Luckily our ceilings are quite high and peaked and we have a huge dormer window as well as a sliding glass door and four other windows– this room is SO bright and open. I love it. The entire house has knotty pine walls.
We removed the toilet the house came with and put in a Separette composting toilet, which is amazing. We also cut out one of our two cabinets (sniff, sniff RIP Storage space!) and installed a full size gas range and oven. Mama’s gotta cook! The house came with a two burner cook top and a large microwave with a vent hood.
We had the house built by Fleetwood Homes in Woodburn, Oregon, and we hopped on a deal that was something like 20% off the building cost. The month before there was a 10% off plus free transport, so I think that these deals happen often. Our house, which is on the higher end of the park model spectrum, wound up being about $50,000 with the discount and we put $10,000 down. The most difficult part of this operation was getting a loan, since most people who buy these puppies are retirees with bucks or businesses. Our first trip to the credit union had us walking away empty handed and it was almost a year before we tried again. It took several goes, and the woman in the Fleetwood Homes office to reassure our banker and explain what this mini little mobile home actually was, but eventually we were able to get our loan– a ten year RV loan that costs us a whopping $450 a month.
We pay for propane, though James’ grandpa covers our electricity and water. Luckily we are on a well and have all LED lights. We’ll get our propane filled once a month and our highest bill was in the dead of winter and around $135. Usually it’s about $60. We rent two tanks from the propane company for $80 a year as well.
We also don’t have trash service, so we take our trash and recycle to the dump and pay each time we go. Recycling is free and we certainly have MUCH more of that than trash.
Before the house moved in, James leveled out a pretty hefty space, added a small retaining wall, and we put down a thick layer of rock. Spookily enough, our house is on the site of the property’s original farmhouse… which was torn down after an axe murder/ suicide! (sorry… sidenote!) Once the house got here, James built a small deck with stairs leading to the sliding glass door.
Here are some Pre-Living in it shots: (plus floor plan here: CherryCreek)
And… With Life!