Thursday, November 06, 2008

speaking of tenants

It is yet another business idea I have that will be shot down by my wife for any number of reasons.

I am a regular reader of The Oil Drum and I came across this article which had as comments a link to A tumbleweed house is a fully featured home in about 100 square feet. A principle of them is that they can be built on a flat bed trailer thereby qualifying the home as a 'moveable' which means it is not subject to building codes.

I can fit three or four of these in my back yard and still have place for my children to play. Tumbleweed sells these homes premade for between 35 and 45 thousand dollars. That seems a little bit ridiculous to me in terms of price, I figure I could probably build these homes for about one third of that price. I live very close to a commuter train station that gets downtown pretty quickly on a fixed schedule and close to an express bus stop that also gets downtown through the day from early in the morning until late at night. So I could advertise at the four universities we have in our city and rent these out to students for 250$ per month. At that rate I would have accumulated about 15000$ after five years. So long as I keep them in good condition, the four Tumbleweeds could give me 1000$ net per month after the five years are up.

There is also the potential to make more of these to have other people host them in their yards where I would get a monthly licensing fee.

So for my regular blog readership, what do you think of the idea?


Zhoen said...

I've been dreaming of one of those homes for years now. I heard of them on NPR.

Don't forget the shipping-container housing option.

Phil Plasma said...

Unless I put the container on a flatbed trailer, it would have to sit on my property, if it sat on my property it would be considered an immovable and as such, I am only allowed to have one immovable on my property in addition to the house, and as I already have a shed, I couldn't have a second. And besides, the smallest shipping container is 20' x 8', these tumbleweed houses are 15' x 8', which reduces the amount of back yard being eaten up.

Debstar said...

You'd be better off putting old people in them. I hear uni students get mighty out of control and you'd have to put up with the latest crap music like Arctic Monkey and besides which they are generally so untidy they'd end up filling up your back yard with boxes of clothes and books and junk and before you know it your backyard would look like a gypsy camp. If you have never seen a gypsy camp let me tell you it's not pretty.
Then again you could end up with a lot of ready made baby-sitters who would be happy tutoring your children for a small amount of money.

ghost said...

i think its a sweet idea. but i think deb's got a good point.

Phil Plasma said...

The disadvantage of putting old people up is that some may not be able to get into the loft where they would sleep.

Knowing how I was when I was a student and how many of my friends were, I don't think I'd have too much trouble. To avoid a gypsy camp I'd focus on getting students that are from out of province so it would be harder for them to schlep all of their stuff.

handmaiden said...

Awesome! I love them. As you know I have downsized into a small apartment with about 700 feet of living space. I could handle living in a tumbleweed!

Personally I think you have a good idea.

I'm going to research this some more.