shell over existing vs moving house


Old 09-14-05, 07:22 PM
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shell over existing vs moving house

We are anticipating making an offer on a place we've had our eyes on for over a year. The property is a size we like (almost 19 acres), already has well, septic, garage, fence on three sides, and a single wide which is old and small but in really superior condition, and of course exactly where one would place a new home, not that there isn't room for another on 19 acres

Here's the issue: With a budget of $160k, and the property costing $100k, we are in the position of having the place we want but without enough funds to build the house we really want, so are considering two options, and would like to hear from anyone who has done either.

Option one is building the shell of a new home around the existing mobile, pulling it out when the shell is complete, and then finishing the interior. We know someone who has done this, but many many years ago and someone we have lost contact with. In his case he did the work himself, in our case, we would hire someone else, and realize it would involve foundation work as well, in all likelihood with just a crawl space as I don't see it as practical to actually try and put a full basement underneath. We would also have to do it in such a way that we could continue to occupy the mobile while the interior work was completed.

Option two is moving a house onto the area right next to the mobile which has been offered to us at nearly free, but of course we would have to have the site work done (foundation - possible full basement in this case - and extend existing plumbing, electrical, etc.) and pay to have the house moved approximately 75 miles and placed on the new foundation.

My dearly beloved is highly suspect of option two, and is certain that there is no way a house can be lifted, moved and reset without causing structural and probably a variety of other issues that would soon spiral into enormous cost and regret. I know it has been done successfully in the past, although I do not know at what cost.

I suppose option three would be to purchase a modular that is within our budget, but having seen many and living in a pretty new (2000) single wide for 5 years, we yearn for the sense of permanence a stick built home offers.

Any thoughts welcome.


Old 09-16-05, 05:49 PM
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I too bought a small house on a large lot. I built my dream around what I had, and changed it to what I wanted. Master plan all you dreams and then tackle them as you can afford and as you can give up the time. It is better to have bought land you wanted and could afford than to have bought the perfect house on a tiny lot. You cant stretch your lot but you can stretch your house.

My one warning is before starting a phase either have the money in hand or the loan in place. Once you tear up your home the appraisers do not give much value. Best to line up the money you need plus a cushion to cover you through the project.

Good Luck,

Brian Garrison
Old 09-17-05, 03:51 PM
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Thank you, Brian, I appreciate the encouragement! That perspective is precisely why, after looking at literally dozens of homes, shrinking each month our ideal lot size to the point that we were looking at homes on 1/2 acre lots that were kind of neat but still needed work, and still did not afford what we really wanted to end up with, we have decided to pursue this property.

Here's hoping we work it all out

Old 07-30-06, 11:27 AM
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I thought of doing this as well. The problem I saw right off the bat is that walls are generally built on top of the floor, which means running floor joists thru the mobile home. I suppose if the mobile home was set high enough off the ground you could run the joists under, but they would be in the way of pulling the mobile out.
Old 08-03-06, 07:00 AM
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Just how critical is 12ft? (assuming that's the approximate width of the existing mobile....)

I might be tempted to build my new garage over the partial footprint of the existing mobile - making it easy to pull it out when ready....
Old 08-03-06, 04:10 PM
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If you have to put the new house exactly where the mobile is, make the mobile mobile again. Since you are actually building a new home, you may be able to leave the mobile on wheels or at least, you can just leave them on. The foundation is not going to have to be all that since it is temp.

you already plan on moving it eventually. A temp hookup to the utitilies should not be that big of an expense either.

Think of it as camping next door to your new house.

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