Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

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ffj
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Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by ffj » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:46 pm

I've got a decision to make. I have the opportunity to buy a tiny house someone started but decided not to finish. It includes a $3,000 20 foot trailer and a shell and roof of the house. They did a good job framing the structure and a receiver hitch, some extra lumber, two windows, a roll of house wrap, and a bunch of concrete blocks come with the house. The trailer came straight from the factory to their house.

What do you guys think? They want $3,000 U.S. for it as is and he said they have spent $5,000 so far not including their labor in building it. They are being honest as I know construction. The roof is metal with burgundy color.

Anybody interested in buying a finished house that I would complete? I think I can finish it for about $10,000 and if I could sell it for around $30,000 it would be worth my time. The problem is my location as a house this size would sell for around $75,000 plus elsewhere.

Thoughts?

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Here is what they were trying to accomplish:

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George the original one
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by George the original one » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:16 pm

If you truly believe it could bring $75k when finished and delivered to another market compared to the $30k you think you might get locally, then I'd say it's worth the expense of taking a trip for an extra $45k provided you can navigate any necessary licensing required to get it to the destination.

Provided, of course, that money is a motivator for taking on this project.

ffj
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by ffj » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:41 pm

@George

It just interests me at the moment. I think it would be fun to do, but I'm not going to pay someone for the privilege of doing so.

I see these things listed for 45 to 80 grand all of the time, even here in Ky. Is there a way to find what actually sells and for what amount? That would be very helpful. But I don't know that it would sell for anything close to that in my location, or even if the other locales are doing any kind of healthy business.

black_son_of_gray
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by black_son_of_gray » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:14 pm

Just curious as to the sleeping arrangement: I'm used to seeing these layouts with a sleeping loft, but the roof seems low and I don't see where the bed would be in the schematic. Does one sleep where the table/couch is? 30k seems in line with the price points I've seen for California-located builders (can't remember specific companies, though).

henrik
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by henrik » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:38 am

It definitely wouldn't hurt the popularity of your journal if you took this on and shared the process:)

Is there a way you could just unload it to a company that specializes in selling them? I understand it's a thing in the US nowadays. This is something you can probably find out before hand (i.e. a make a prearrangement of some kind).
Or consider setting it up as an AirBnB rental on your property?

saving-10-years
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by saving-10-years » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:05 am

@ffj Sounds like a good deal if you like the design or can modify it (I am assuming that there is a sleeping loft over the kitchen and bathroom but its not one you can sit up in easily?) Do you have a space where you can work on it (are they selling because they have lost interest/lack time and don't want to pay to store it? An Airbnb option sounds good if your planning laws permit and if you don't mind sharing those awesome views.

ffj
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by ffj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:56 am

@black, henrik, saving

They planned on a loft but really even though the windows and door have been cut out already I could still change all of that. It's just wood. So it's basically a blank slate at this point with the exception of the roof as it would be too expensive to change that now.

An Air B-N-B on my property is out of the question. I like my privacy.

I'm not worried about design or the ability to build it, what I am worried about is owning a tiny home that I can't sell at a profit. Housing is fairly cheap in Ky so it wouldn't be one of my neighbors likely to buy this thing. The question would be whether someone will travel a fair distance to come get it, especially if they are looking at one for $80,000 somewhere else. I believe I can build one at that quality for much less.

I need to do some more research on the market. Btw, the kid selling it (really his dad) is wanting it gone to pay student debt. I think he got in over his head and was impulsive to start with as when I asked him where he planned to move it to he said he had no idea.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by Laura Ingalls » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:05 am

There are several Tiny House events in the summer. Maybe finish it, find an event in a place you want to visit, tow it, and sell it there. You are a country guy, so you have a 1 ton truck (jk)?

halfmoon
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by halfmoon » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:38 pm

I think it would be expensive and a lot of work. But still fun. I've dreamed of doing this just for kicks and even suggested it to DH once when we had an equipment trailer we didn't need. He wasn't enthusiastic...probably because it woudn't have a tower.

Most of the tiny homes for sale on this website https://www.tinyhomebuilders.com/tiny-h ... pa-edition seem to be generally priced well below $80k. I also think you really need a loft to sell it, which might be problematic if you don't want to mess with the roofing already in place. I guess you could squeeze a loft over the door, but it would be a head-banger.

Maybe you could dispense with the expensive finish elements and build it for a lot less than you're thinking. There's probably a healthy market on the low end as long as you sell it in an area of the country where it's hard to break into housing with limited money.

I'm a little confused by the floor plan, which seems to show the door in the corner. In the photo, it appears to be framed in the middle of the wall. That would preclude upening the couch up into a bed, which puts you back into a loft unless you move the door. Also: no jacks on the windows? Is that normal? I'm just curious.

Anyway, it would be fun and challenging. If you don't mind working for free, you could always donate the finished product to some charity and take a whopping tax deduction for the materials.

ffj
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by ffj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:02 pm

@Laura, Half-moon

I don't have a big truck, but I got a lot of redneck friends that do. haha

It's tall enough for a loft but the head-space wouldn't be huge and I don't need 80 grand to make it worth my while. My question is would someone buy this for $30,0000 because I think I could make it quite nice for that price and still come out ahead. I just don't know at this point though if i would have a buyer.

I can modify the floor plan any way I want it at this point. I can move door openings and window openings easily right now so I haven't gotten caught up in what they drew or built. It doesn't matter unless I like it. ;) The framing isn't perfect but it's not bad and more importantly easily fixable. The only thing I am constrained by is the size of the trailer(footprint) and the roof.

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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by jacob » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:14 pm

I don't think asking on ERE, where most forumites fill their wallets with glue, will get a realistic estimate of the price compared to asking in the real world or at least asking in the minimalist hipster world. If ROI is important, then buying a used travel trailer is the better deal.

Since it's in a non-finished state, I think having the buyer choose a custom design/finish is going to result in a higher end-price than if you build it with your own design and then sell it(?)

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Riggerjack
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:17 pm

There seems to be a huge spread between bid and ask for these things. This is just an RV trailer and some lumber so far. Is what is there worth reworking? It doesn't look like it. If the roof we're right, I could see it. But it isn't. Barely any rise, hard to get a good looking flat roofed (or nearly so) tiny house. There is a reason architects choose steep roofed and big eaves. And these are hard to incorporate into a tiny house that is roadworthy.

I'm a big fan of metal roofs, but don't see much here worth the effort. Maybe if I needed a shed, and wanted the trailer to start new...

ffj
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by ffj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:27 pm

I thought I would give it a shot. Who knows until you ask.

I would rather buy it with my fun money and take my sweet ass time finishing it. Worse case scenario it becomes a guest house in the backyard. haha

If I were to sign a contract with someone than I instantly am under a time constraint and then it becomes just another job, and I'm retired. I know, I want my cake and to eat it too but I can fund this myself, take my time, and hopefully earn enough to have made it worth my while. I still haven't decided yet but I have time as I seriously doubt that anyone else will snatch it away anytime soon. It's such a niche market.

@Rigger

I've thought about that scenario too. The roof isn't a deal-breaker and really what appeals to me is that i would be at least $2000 ahead in the game. I've got a pretty good imagination so the design isn't too bad .

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Fish
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by Fish » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:29 pm

How do you normally address liability issues with your construction projects? This seems like a special case since it’s clearly intended for use as a dwelling.

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C40
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by C40 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:33 pm

Check ebay completed auctions for real prices. I think $75k is probably too high to expect unless you make it super high-end. $50k might be closer to a realistic max price for a pretty nice one in California.

Also take a look at Tinyhouselistings.com. Not sure if you can see actual sale purchase prices there or not.

A question -- were you already thinking about building one? Is this something you would have wanted to do without coming upon this? If you'd sell it for an income of about 20,000+, saving a couple thousand on this doesn't make much difference. So, don't let the $2,000 savings influence you much. Only do it if you'd start from scratch if this deal went away.

ffj
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by ffj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:57 pm

@Fish

I would assume general liability insurance would suffice, but I haven't specifically researched it to be honest. Thanks for the reminder to do so.

@C40

I've wanted to build one for a while actually, even more so since I've seen so many crappy designs. And a lot of great ones too. It would be a chance to showcase a lot of my ideas and try out some neat and interesting features. But I'm not willing to go into large debt for it with no return.

I'll check out eBay tonight and tinyhouselistings. Thanks for the suggestion.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by Laura Ingalls » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:19 am

ffj wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:02 pm
@Laura, Half-moon

I don't have a big truck, but I got a lot of redneck friends that do. haha
Even better :lol:

I have seen designs that have no lofts but instead have a raised desk or seating area with a low bed on casters underneath. I thought it was very clever.

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by SavingWithBabies » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:42 pm

I vote yes but only so I can watch you build it out via your posts. But from a financial viewpoint, I vote no unless you have a serious store of scrounged materials you can use that you don't mind parting with. My gut feeling is that we're nearing the end of the tiny house hype due to people finding out just how hard it is to find a place to put them unless they are one of the lucky few to live in an area where they are allowed by code. For example, I have distant relatives that bought or had one made for them. They bought a couple acres (I don't remember where exactly but it might have been Colorado) and they couldn't keep their tiny house there. So they were having problems figuring out where to go with it even though they could live the nomadic tech life.

But I could be wrong -- maybe the trend will continue and you'll be able to sell at a profit. I give it a 50-50.

ffj
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Re: Tiny house build? Should I buy it or not?

Post by ffj » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:27 pm

@Laura

There is some neat stuff out there, I've even seen a bed on a winch. haha


@Saving

I think you are right. I'm leaning towards no at this point as I don't have the need for it if it doesn't sell. It's probably a bubble that's going to pop relatively soon.

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