Friday, May 23, 2014


I bought this place in Tennessee back in February of 2011 to use as my winter home. The mobile home on the property was in horrible condition. The previous owner had several dogs that he didn't let out of the house the last year or so he was alive and the dog urine had rotted out the floor and the duct work. The 5 1/2 acres was appraised at that time at $32,000, and most of that was the value of the land with a value of only $2000 value placed on the mobile home.  I purchased the land for the bargain price of $22,000. My original plan was to somehow make the mobile home habitable so I had a place to live for a few years while I built an actual house.

The first expense was a new heat pump and central air along with all new duct work, a $6000 expenditure right off the bat. I should have realized then that things were not going to be as quick and inexpensive as planned. I've been saying ever since that I should have had the existing mobile hauled away and put a new one here instead, it might have been cheaper.  LOL Since purchasing it the entire house has been gutted,  drywall was replaced in areas where it was damaged, the rotted OSB subfloor was removed and new plywood put down, all new appliances were installed - washer, dryer, stove, fridge, water heater and pressure tank for the well. Both bathrooms were completely gutted and redone, several built-in units were removed, the small porch was enlarged so it now runs the full length of the front of the house and an ADA compliant wheelchair ramp was installed, every square inch of the interior has been painted, new wood flooring was installed and it was capped off with a new roof last summer. Whew!

There are still some smaller projects, (there are ALWAYS more projects). I'd like to replace the vinyl skirting with steel, the front door probably needs replacing, the stairs going down from the back door need to be replaced or a deck built, and the new yard barn/shop still hasn't been painted, but for the most part the house is  finished. During the whole process my long-term goals have changed, and at this point I no longer plan to build a "real" house here. The caboose is parked here awaiting it's rebuild, and when it's finished I plan to sell this property so I had an appraisal done a few weeks ago just to see if all the sweat equity has increased the value. I figured most of the money I put into the mobile home was gone, since it IS a 17 year-old mobile home and they don't appreciate, so I was pleasantly surprised when the appraisal came back at $45,000. If I sold it today I could double my money, not too bad for 3 years. (We aren't going to add up how much I've sunk into it, and all my labor is free.  LOL) 

The next project is to clean up around the old storage shed, get rid of the construction debris from working on the house and enclose at least one side of the lean-to on the back of the shed for a storage area of caboose parts as I dismantle it.

The honey suckle is blooming, and the whole yard is perfumed by it's heavy, cloying scent. There was a 6-foot high fence all the way around the building site when I bought it, most has been removed because the posts were rotting off at the ground and the honey suckle was pulling the whole mess down, but there is still a section in the back corner or the yard that's covered with it.

In other news, I made a quick run up north to get Baz's motorcycle out of his friend's garage in Ames, Iowa and haul it to MN and to get some other business taken care of. I spent a couple days hanging out with my grand kids and marveling at how incredibly fast they are growing up! My other daughter and almost-son-in-law are almost definitely moving to Utah, he's gotten a great job offer out there. Since he's currently living in my camper over in NC this means I won't be moving north until he's relocated, which is looking like a month away. In the meantime there will be lots of sorting and packing of my daughter's "stuff" along with working on other projects here, although it's heating up and the humidity is getting nasty, so I don't know how many outdoor projects I'll get accomplished.


  1. It sounds like you can make a nice profit, although you did put a lot of work and money into it. The mobile home looks great! So maybe I missed it, but do you plan to move north, stay in TN, or someplace else altogether?

  2. At least all of your time, effort and perseverance paid off and you have doubled your investment.

    Your place looks great. You have beautiful trees and I bet it is very quiet to help you think.