Monday, April 18, 2016

Trailer Remodel

Hey y'all!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  In my post a couple weeks ago, here, I briefly mentioned a little of what I'd been up to in my year long blogging absence.  Of all the projects I did last year, remodeling our home was definitely the biggest!

I wanted to try and tackle this in one post, but I think I should break it up into a few installments instead.  I do have a baby on the way, so I can't make any promises, but I will try to do an installment a week until I cover the whole thing.

So, for this post I'll tell you a little about our (old) home, and share one small update I made.  As I also mentioned in the post linked above, we sold this home after the remodel.  When I started working on it though, it was not definite that would even be an option for us.  I just knew, stay or sell the place needed a face lift!

Front Yard

Our home was a 1992 Fleetwood 14'x70' mobile home (aka trailer, single wide, manufactured home).  It had two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  Honestly, it was a really great home.  Jason had bought it before we met, and he tells me he paid $12,000 for it, which he was able to finance at the time with a personal loan.  That was 15-16 years ago, so the trailer was only around 8 years old when he bought it.  There were some cosmetic issues, but nothing structurally wrong with the home.  The lot rent when we moved was just $250 a month and that included trash pick up and water.  We had paid off the loan on the home, but even with the previous payments and lot rent combined we would have paid I think $500 a month at the most.  That was in the middle of Wake County, which is one of the top places in America to live right now, and has been for a while.  That is about what you would expect to pay for rent at the absolute least in this area.  Plus, once that initial cost is paid you only have the lot rent to pay.  I can promise you there is no other way to live in Wake County for $250 a month without some type of housing subsidy.

Back Yard
I'm telling you all this because I feel like trailers get an undeserved bad rap.  In my opinion, and experience, they are a great option for an affordable home, especially when you can own your own and you find a good neighborhood.  I have lived in mobile homes almost my entire life, and could go on and on about the pros and cons of manufactured housing, but that will have to wait for another post.

I will share one quick and easy update that I did throughout the house that made a big difference for little cost.  This is specific to older mobile homes though.  This home originally came with plastic covers for the ceiling lights.  This was common in mobile homes in the early 90's and before.  Some homes even had plastic door knobs among other things.

Plastic Light Shade
These light shades dry rot over time and need to be replaced.  This especially seemed to be the case after we switched to cfl bulbs.  There is a mobile home parts store in our area, so I would from time to time pick up new shades.  Honestly, many of our lights just didn't have covers though.  The shades would fall apart and just get thrown out.  I have seen this in many other people's homes as well.

Some older mobile homes did have upgraded light fixtures, and I'm sure all new ones do at this point.  Fortunately, the mobile home parts store carries the covers for those lights as well.  One of the upgraded styles is the same as the old, but with glass shades instead of plastic.  I finally decided to pay the extra and buy the glass shades.  They still have a generic look, but for the price and the ease of installation they were the perfect option.

New Glass Shade
I don't remember what these cost, but I'm fairly certain they were under $10 a piece. I had to buy six of these and I know I didn't spend more than $60.  I want to say they were closer to $5, but I can't be sure. (That's why you don't wait a year to blog about these things! lol)  Plus, if you look at the long term savings of not regularly having to replace the covers it was a no brainer. I should have done it years ago!

If we had planned to stay in this home forever and make it my dream home, I would have changed out the fixtures one by one, but I had to keep the fact that I wanted to sell this house in mind.  Everyone doesn't have my affinity for school house lights and chandeliers.  Plus, we would never get enough money out of the sell of this house to justify expensive light fixtures.  People looking to buy a mobile home are looking for a good price.  Some may be willing to pay a little more for a home that has been updated, but only to a point.  I knew this would never be a big money maker, but I didn't want to take a huge loss when we could put a little investment in for a better return.

I think this was definitely an investment that was worth it.  The buyers probably will never know that these are not the original lights, and that's fine, but I also didn't have to explain why there were plastic lights and where to buy the replacements from.  That conversation may not have been a deal breaker, but it certainly would not have been a selling point!

Thanks for dropping in and please comment if you have any questions.  Also, don't forget to check back next week to see the master bath remodel!

Hope y'all have a great week and God bless!


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