Here is a little background bite about our type of home. Homes made before 1976 are typically referred to as trailer homes or mobile homes though I feel like people use this term interchangeably from my personal experience. I don’t often hear people refer to them as “manufactured homes”.  Manufactured homes are similar to modular homes in how they are built in a controlled environment and then shipped to a location. Typically manufactured homes aren’t put on a concrete base (Typically pillars of some sort instead).

Why we decided to move into a mobile home/manufactured home

COST, COST, COST. Seriously, I am cheap lol. I honestly have been enamored with tiny home living and living sustainably. This just seemed like the next logical step. I don’t think I would ever live full time in a tiny home (vacation home one day? maybe) but I wanted my own home, my own space that I could do with what I wanted. Apartment living has its benefits but it wasn’t cutting it for me, especially since we are home bodies and we are home most of the time having a space that reflected us was important.

First lesson – Don’t sign until after they fix it

Now this is more of a first time home buyer lesson and less specific to our situation but if the prior homeowner or company that is selling the home has to fix things from us and our inspector. WAIT until they fix them before signing. Because of the pandemic and only a few months left on our apartment lease we probably jumped the gun on this. We waited probably about a month and most of the items (not big items, thankfully) were not done. We listened to the advice of someone who was selling the home to us or rather handling the sale when we probably shouldn’t. It’s now 6 months in and I just finally got a response from the manufacturer that they are going to call in 3 weeks to make an appointment (for who knows when) to finally look at the issues we reported almost 6 months ago. Now we are dealing with pandemic timelines so it may or may not be this extreme but when you only have a 1 year warranty on the new home (Overall, specific things like the roof etc have their own lengthy warranties) 6 months is concerning. 

Also, even if you are buying new, if they try to sell you on… it’s a new house you don’t need an inspection, save your money. Still do the inspection, have a contract and a guarantee from the inspectors work. It may cost you a couple hundred dollars but it’s really worth the peace of mine.  Believe me, my home was “brand new” and still tons of things were shotty or incomplete.

It’s always more money, give yourself a buffer

There is always more information than what you’ve been given. Anticipate expenses to be higher than you think they will be. I like to give myself a budget for everything but make sure you do your best to plan for the unexpected.

Focus on the immediate needs

This is really tailored to the individual. In our case, we purchased new and some of our immediate needs were things like making sure the vapor barrier was sealed and the A.C. unit was leveled. More things that would cause issues over time. We also budget our money accordingly. Sure we really need a shed but maybe right now we’ll just organize the pile in the dining room. No one can visit anyway, covid19.

Give yourself permission to not have an “instagramable” house

Seriously, when I first started I was full steam ahead, paint the entire house, buy all the furniture (Of which I still don’t have not one single room complete lol) . I had this crazy idea that I needed to do as much as I possibly could before we officially moved in. Which I guess in a sense was partially true, here we are just a few months shy of a year and the list of things that need to get done have been about the same since winter began. Did we hibernate? I’ll go with that. 

I had this crazy notion that it must be ready. And I fully mean “I”, because my husband has such a care-free attitude none of it really bothers him. If everything was in boxes and we used crates for chairs he’d probably be just as happy as if I have a fully clean and decorated living space. In fact as I sit here, he is actually in the most unfinished room of the house, and to be frank probably the last room I am planning on tackling and I guarantee you he doesn’t even notice. 

This isn’t to say, don’t make the house your home and put your own stamp on it but just don’t hold yourself to unrealistic expectations and timelines is really what I am getting at. Which leads me to my next topic.

Take Breaks, avoid burnout

Having gone full speed ahead initially I quickly found myself burnt out. Firstly, we found a house much quicker than I would have thought. So my typical, obsessive planning phase for everything I plan didn’t really happen. We got the house. I picked paint colors, we painted the entire house and then went from there with all the normal moving actions. I was focused on giving us enough time to go through all of our current items (of which we had been doing slowly for a year prior) and really determine what we really needed to bring to this new house. I didn’t spend much time thinking about the layout of the house and where things would go or how I wanted to decorate, and to be honest I’ve only recently started breaking down each room to decide what should go where. Honestly it is a little sad how generic my house looks still without any art on the walls or wallpaper or all the lovely touches I dream of adding. But again, not going to beat myself up over it. It’ll be awesome… eventually.

After the initial weeks of craziness I finally vegged out on the couch watched whatever the heck was on Netflix at the time and just chilled. I’d love to say I multitasked and put stuff away while binged whatever I watched that weekend but that would be a bold faced lie. Your girl laid her ass on the couch and did not move. AND THAT’S OKAY!

I found that instead of overworking myself during the week as I sometimes work upwards of 60 hours a week I focus on the design and implementation tasks on the weekends… IF I WANT. Since this is also the pandemic I’ve found that I also like to spend time on some new hobbies and I allow myself to do so. 

Know your warranties

This one is more specific to newly built homes but it’s extremely important to read and know your warranties. Even if a home is new you can still have issues or a lemon situation.

Inspect your home every so often

Seriously, write yourself a checklist and schedule it in your phone to get notified. Just go around and check off your list to make sure everything is still running in tip top shape. I was surprised at the number of issues we had with brand new equipment but sometimes things aren’t installed properly or are defective and it’s super important to stay on top of it so it doesn’t become a bigger issue.

Do it your way

Yeah I said it, you can throw everything I just said out the window if you want. I’m pretty type A when it comes to the household. I like having lists and checking things off so that I don’t have to think about it any other time. Not everyone is like that. Not everyone needs a reminder to inspect their home, not everyone wants to even think about it, maybe it’s the responsibility of someone else in your family. Do you and enjoy.