Home to Complement FGRV - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-11-2016, 09:11 AM   #1
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Name: Huck
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Home to Complement FGRV

I'm thinking about moving to Louisiana and need an inexpensive home to serve as my base home. I would like a home with less than 500 sq ft, because after "living" in an fgrv, 500 sq ft would feel like a mansion.

The problems I am seeing so far are:
  • Small homes are typically older homes, often not in the best neighborhoods
  • Lots with water and sewage are terribly expensive
  • Lots without water and sewage can cost a lot to add a well and septic tank
  • Buying a midsize home that is in decent condition and in a decent neighborhood, will cost about what my current home will sell for.
So what would you want in a base home if you were planning on spending months at a time traveling in your fgrv? How big? How many bedrooms? Kitchen with full size appliances or smaller with smaller appliances? Bathtub and/or shower? Etc?

Ideally I would love to have a half acre lot in a development just for rv owners. Share in the cost of water, sewage, wifi, security, etc, but have my own lot with my own house. None of the current Escapees SKP Co-ops are located in Louisiana, but that's the kind of setup I would like to find.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:31 AM   #2
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Rent a storage unit and use that as home base.

Lot's of people now living in storage units unknown to the complex owner as they tend to be safe (fences and gates), cheap ($150/month or less for 10x20) and convenient particularly for those "On The Road" most of the time and not accessing the storage unit on a daily basis. Go to the local YMCA for a shower and the storage facility bathroom for the rest when you are "Home".

Just remember to pay the bill so we don't see your stuff up for auction on "Storage Wars"!!!!

This response ought to get EVERYBODY talking!!!
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:46 AM   #3
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How about a duplex or condo? Usually any smaller home is lower cost (due to lower taxes, size of lot, not in demand for current size families [or people with a higher spending threshold] -- all of which can add up to a potentially run down neighborhood.) Or you could go for a smaller, historic home... older but in a gentrified area of town.

Maybe ideal would be a garage apartment of a larger house, or a caretakers quarters (from a larger house)? One of our members (Norm?) downsized and purchased a Park Model small house - in a community with lots of smaller park model houses.

Just some ideas to throw out there.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:08 AM   #4
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I've never worked on home construction and I'm only average with tools, but I have a plan to build my own small house.

I was going to start by building a small garden shed (about 40 sq ft) on my current property. This will give me some basic building experience.

When I sell my current property, buy a lot in Louisiana and build a slightly bigger shed for storing generator, gas, tools, etc. Then take this experience and use it to build a bigger workshop (about 200 sq ft) that included a bathroom with shower, electrical hookups, and a room that could be used as a bedroom, TV room, etc. The rest of the workshop would be for securing larger tools, ladders, building material, as well as a small workshop.

At that point, I should know which parts of building a small house I could handle myself and which parts to contract out.

Since I've retired, I've found the thing I enjoy most is building stuff - from furniture to wall decorations. I think building my own small house would be something I would really enjoy, if I can figure out how to do it. Thankfully, youtube has a video for everything!

This assumes I could live in my fgrv while building the house. The room in the workshop is so I could have a well insulated, air conditioned bedroom during the summer when my fgrv doesn't cool down very well.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:24 AM   #5
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First without a target price for your home base residence an a list of preferred states this task is next to impossible.

If Florida is a possible target state you might enjoy watching (on Direct TV-channel 324) "American Auction Network" AANTV. It is broadcast in the evenings several nights each week. This would give you an idea of the actual selling prices on Florida properties. This is a CASH SALE auction....20% at time off bidding via credit card and balance in about 20 days. Here you will see the lowest possible prices available in Florida. They auction off foreclosed properties and some of the endless supply of inherited estate properties for sellers wanting an instant sale.

I had several properties in Florida that I had inherited and know first hand that many heirs do not want the properties they inherit . Fast sales at low prices can be the result. If you are retired you will discover that Florida has excellent tax rates for seniors and one of the lowest tax rates in the country.
Down side...summers are very hot and very humid....plus side...nice winters and low taxes.

If you plan on a lot of travel a condo would be your best bet. Condos go for very low prices on this auction television program. They try to show a detailed walk through of every property and supply tax and expense information on every offering. They answer any and all questions. About 80% of the offering are approved building lots and the balance are condos and homes. Their website lists upcoming properties (AANTV.com). Worth the look...I find it interesting. Best prices I have seen anywhere....but....terms are CASH.

Good Luck !
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:37 AM   #6
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A few points worth investigating.

Most if not all communities restrict property owners from just parking a trailer on a building lot and living in it.

Most even require building permits for sheds over 80 sq ft.
Most will not allow you to live in a shed.
Permits required for septic including details of home size etc.

Most if not all towns, cities and states want to prevent occupants from turning properties into eye-sores and decreasing property values for all residents.

Do you homework before you formulate any plans.
A visit to the county building and code inforcement officer would be the place to start.

If you build without a permit you may be required to remove the structure. All buildings must meet current building codes and be inspected before occupation.

Civilized society does have rules.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
I'm thinking about moving to Louisiana and need an inexpensive home to serve as my base home. I would like a home with less than 500 sq ft, because after "living" in an fgrv, 500 sq ft would feel like a mansion.

The problems I am seeing so far are:
  • Small homes are typically older homes, often not in the best neighborhoods
  • Lots with water and sewage are terribly expensive
  • Lots without water and sewage can cost a lot to add a well and septic tank
  • Buying a midsize home that is in decent condition and in a decent neighborhood, will cost about what my current home will sell for.
.
If you think you have troubles find the above criteria in Louisiana trust be you don't want to ever move to Vancouver BC.

Vancouver Real-Estate Stores of 2015
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:04 PM   #8
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Name: Huck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
A few points worth investigating.
Sorry I wasn't clearer in my op.

I am interested in what others would look for in a home if they were going to move South, but still keep their fgrv.
  • Would they want a big home like they currently have or would they go small?
  • Would they incorporate, in some way, their fgrv into their new home?
  • Would they rent/buy a lot in an RV park and live in their fgrv?
This is more about the dream. I gave mine just as an example of what I am thinking about doing. First the dream, then the outline of a plan, then the details. I'm not at the details level yet.

I'm hoping that by other people sharing their dreams, I might find some ideas I haven't thought of. (Anything to do with condo living won't be one of them!)
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:34 PM   #9
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Maybe you could build what some motorhome owners have. Incorporating a small living area and a garage large enough to house your trailer and tow vehicle. Some of them look rather nice a fit into their neighborhood rather well. Like others have said, be sure you follow all the codes for the area.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:57 PM   #10
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In my neighborhood, their is a deeded RV Lot area. RV owners actually own their little slice of land, have access to commons areas (pool, rec center building with bathrooms, fitness room, showers, etc). Lot owners are allowed to park their RV for up to 6 months per year, (some owners buy two lots to get around that rule, but if you're planning to travel it wouldn't be an issue), many have storage buildings, nice decks, etc etc. Several of those RV lot owners spend 6 months here, then go to Florida for the winter months. (Most of the RV's are also big 5th wheels).
If I were moving and thinking about downsizing, and also planned to 'roam', this might be my first option.

What I would look for in a home if I were moving?
~ A location that is winter friendly
~ A mortgageless house / residence
~ A location that I'd feel safe leaving my residence unattended from months at a time
~ A house / location that doesn't have rules against parking RV's.

We've already downsized, so I don't think I'd be thinking about only living in an RV. For a season, yes, but not permanently.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:08 PM   #11
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So you want to build a house! My dad did that in 1958-'59, and I grew up in the house. He put a ton of nails into it, so it would last (and it has). Back then the hardest thing for him was getting the power company to string the lines out to the country site where he was building.

Your best bet would be to find a bit of rural land, in a county (parish?) where the permits are easy to obtain and inspections are laid-back. (Cherokee County in OK is such a place, where one can build most anything without interference.) Also, these rural areas will have the lowest land costs, and the lowest labor costs for things you want to hire done.

If you can find an Amish community nearby, you can probably buy sheets of standing-seam painted steel for a fraction of the usual price. Great stuff for roofs and even for siding if you like it.

If I were building a house for myself, I'd probably buy concrete blocks, place rebar horizontally and vertically, and fill in the blocks with poured concrete. I'd have plenty of load bearing interior walls, then lay structural steel overtop and pour 3" of concrete on it, then spray 4" of polyurethane foam on it. And I'd top it with a steel hip roof. Add good windows and a couple of steel doors. If a hurricane or tornado came, it could take that hip roof but not much else.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:19 PM   #12
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A couple of years ago a friend had the idea of buying land with an existing barn. Then modify the barn interior to accommodate an RV with hookups and raised platform. Also, add a bathroom and kitchen inside the barn.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:36 PM   #13
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I live in Bledsoe County Tn. Land is reasonable. I have 20 acres and an old house that I remodeled to suit me. I am retired and single now. I bought the old house and the 20 acres for $25,000.00. Already had a great well and septic. I stay there in the summer and garden and head south to warmer climates with my 13 ft. Burro-itto. The county has no building codes at all. Just septic permit and electrical inspection. I am at 2500 ft elevation and never need a/c in the summer. It seems that I see several old in decent shape small farm houses abandoned here in the south. Instead of fixing them up most people here just buy a double wide and put it next door. Willing to sell the old house cheap.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:53 PM   #14
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I know what I'd want... The house is 850 square feet, so it's no monster to heat or maintain, taxes are low, no homeowner's association to deal with, and it's inside town limits on water, sewer, and natural gas, a plus for insurance. There's a decent-sized hospital nearby, something to consider as you age. A very small lot makes for minimal upkeep, but there is outdoor fenced parking for a small trailer and room for a small garden and pet play area. It has an oversized, attached garage (12'x26' with a 10' ceiling and a 9' garage door), so anything up to about a Scamp 16 will back right in. Lots of work space for off-season projects. Best thing it's paid for!

Because of work, it's currently rented out. I miss the garage!
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:40 PM   #15
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Joe raised an interesting point about 'unwanted' older houses. My family's house would have brought $250,000 if located in the city where I now live. But because of its location in rural Michigan, it sold for just $73K when Mom passed away. My sister and her husband moved last year and are trying to sell their previous (rather old) house in a small town called Deckerville; I think they're asking less than $40K but no takers, because hardly anyone wants to live in that flyspeck village.

Land values might be similarly low priced in some areas. Most likely in areas far from big cities and with the nearest grocery store over 10 miles away.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:06 PM   #16
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Very (VERY I SAY) large metal building on some smallish acreage (5ish) next door to year-round resident friends. Build small but nice apartment in one end of building. Store crap, err, my valuable stuff in the building along with my Scamp/tow when "home".
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:12 AM   #17
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Look for regions without excessive rules and regulations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
A few points worth investigating.

Most if not all communities restrict property owners from just parking a trailer on a building lot and living in it. Most even require building permits for sheds over 80 sq ft. Most will not allow you to live in a shed. Permits required for septic including details of home size etc. Most if not all towns, cities and states want to prevent occupants from turning properties into eye-sores and decreasing property values for all residents. If you build without a permit you may be required to remove the structure. All buildings must meet current building codes and be inspected before occupation. Civilized society does have rules.
The above is true in over-controlled and over-regulated areas where civilization is often found to be breaking down (many urban areas, especially on the west coast and in the northeast come to mind). In rural areas, especially in the South, as noted above there are plenty of places where government busybodies will still leave you alone to decide where and how you will arrange your living situation.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:33 AM   #18
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I think it is a balance.

There are areas not far from our cabin outside of town with far less restrictive zoning policies and cheap land. There's an (almost) anything goes attitude that attracts militia and sovereign nation types, as well as Mother Earth homesteaders, crackpots, and meth manufacturers. If you want to meet your neighbors at the business end of a long gun, they're wonderful places to retire…

You also give up in-town services, like road maintenance, police/EMT/fire services close at hand, hospitals, internet connections, regular social interaction, etc. The lack of those things means less security and higher insurance rates. As we age, their importance increases.

Somewhere between the gated, manicured, HOA-governed lifestyle and the isolated, undeveloped, rural free-for-all is the right balance for each of us.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:41 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=Henry Smith;566544]The above is true in over-controlled and over-regulated areas where civilization is often found to be breaking down (many urban areas, especially on the west coast and in the northeast come to mind).
/QUOTE]

LOL or it simple could be in areas where people do not want to look out their window at the neighbours yard that looks like it belongs on an episode of Hoarders. Which is what happens in areas with no regulations regarding the storage of RV's and boats etc.

I have seen the yard no one wants to live next to in rural communities as well as urban areas .... maybe even more in rural communities where there are no regulations than in the Urban areas.

Sadly there are a lot of folks who do not care one bit about what they are doing to their neighbours property values by leaving old recreational equipment etc out in the front of the house covered in tarps. Pretty clear they have never read Real Estate Values 101. or it may be they don't own the place so they really just do not care what they may or may not being doing to the value of the property or that of the neighbours.

It would be wonderful if we could all find work in an area where you can buy a nice 50+ year old 3 bedroom bungalow for $200,000, so that a decrease of 5-10% in your property value due to a neighbour who just doesn't care what his place looks like is not a big thing but thats not the reality for many in NA. In areas where a 50 + year old 3 bedroom bungalow advertised as a tear down due to the amount of repairs it is in need off is going to cost you $1.3-5 Million! Add a couple of hundred thousand to the cost of it to fixing it up. Trust me you are going to very much care when the neighbour does something to devalue your property by 5-10%.

In my experience regulations that protect ones property values are very much loved by those who live in the communities were you are suggesting "civilization is breaking down". I tend to think of it more as a community that has chosen to put "Civil" back into the behaviour of some who where either never taught or have forgotten the importance of being a good neighbour

Yup it's a bit of a pain to have to live in a community that has restrictions in place regarding recreation vehicle or boat parking. In my area for example the trailer is permitted in a front facing driveway for 6 months of the year and it has to be moved every x so may days. In the winter it can be in the driveway for a couple of days as well for repairs or loading or unloading purposes. Otherwise it needs to be parked in the backyard or side yard or inside a garage.

The reality is that the free for all no rules alternative is not economically in the best interest of anyone who owns a home in the community.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:22 PM   #20
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There are many properties in Arizona that might work for you. Friends have an RV lot they bought years ago in a gated community. They have a very small lot and the community has lots of activities. Many of the RV's are Park Models. Monthly fee is about $100. Out near Quartzsite there are many properties with multiple RV Pads and shop buildings on a small lot up to an acre or more..
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