My Small Home

Fifteen years ago I moved from a not-large home (1,220 sq.ft. — more photos at with 5 bedrooms and not much property (top picture), and moved to a smaller single-wide mobile (750 sq. ft., 2 bedrooms) with lots of property (4 acres). And I’ve closed off the master bedroom so I don’t even use all of those square feet (bottom pictures).

A major concern some of my friends and I have is that San Bernardino County no longer allows single-wide mobiles to be places on property here. (My single-wide was grandfathered in.) There’s even some question as to whether the county will allow a small HOUSE to be built on property here. Just thought you might be interested in this frustrating aspect of the trend for smaller houses being built.


mobil in snow

16 Responses to My Small Home

  1. Anon says:

    glad yours was grandfathered in. seems to be a big problem all over the “civilized” world….the problem of disallowing anything below a certain size.

    or, maybe it is mostly a North American problem? (I think in much of Europe/Japan/Hong Kong/etc… small sized living accommodation is more the norm, due frankly to much less physical space available?)

  2. Bobby Ray says:

    I think that in most localities the issue of single wide mobile homes and tiny houses is two fold …no threefold.

    1. Tax revenues are greatly less with a 720 foot 12×60 mobile home as compared to a 3 bedroom 1800
    square foot home with a two car garage.

    2. The snob factor … poor folks can not afford the bigger homes and so they go live in a different county –
    no need for the county to assist them when they are or will be paying minimal taxes. I bet many
    building permits cost more than a 12×60 mobile home. Construction creates local employment.
    old mobile homes dating from the 60’s and the 70’s do nothing for employment or to keep money in motion
    from one hand to another.

    3. Folks most intimately involved in housing transactions – Realtors don’t make any money on trailers.
    Realtor boards are very active in passing real estate laws. Most laws get passed and decided before
    the public hears about them. (An example of this is San Bernardino’s neighboring county – Riverside county
    which is larger than several states – IT IS ILLEGAL TO PUT A SIGN IN YOUR CAR SAYING IT IS FOR SALE.
    The county has code enforcers that do nothing but drive around and earn lots more revenue for the county ‘
    than what their salaries cost. Who gains by this law? The car owner? I think only the auto dealers whose
    association pushed that law. Not much different is a law here that limits you to parking in front of your house
    to 72 hours. You have a wheel chair van that gets used only on weekends? You get a ticket every week. Oh … and don’t try parking it on your lawn for a day like on Wednesdays .. that is illegal too as it has to be on pavement.

    • Yes, I agree with your assessment, Bobby Ray. This is the McMansion and Chamber of Commerce crowd doing a very big power/land grab to line their pockets, once again at the expense of the rest of us. There is something fundamentally crooked about what they are doing and I’m sorry we don’t have a Tiny House lobby to interrupt them from perpetrating squatters rights on the whole of America. I don’t think they should have any right to dictate how land not in their possession shall be used.

  3. Mick says:

    Here in Charlotte County Florida, it is so highly regulated, I am having to spend $50k to get a 575sf mobile home set on my mh zone lot. They don’t say you cant set a used unit, but the requirements make it next to impossible, so one has to pay the high cost of new. There are permits for everything from drainage to elevations, to trees.
    So if you read about a cheap mobile home zoned lot, don’t be fooled.

  4. Talk about unconstitutional regulations.. it should be unlawful for a county to dictate what kind of home, size, construction, whatever. Seems that such discriminatory regs are to benefit the rich so they can protect their way of life and property values. Of course, the county benefits in collecting higher taxes. In case those with the highfalutin attitudes haven’t noticed, there’s getting to be far fewer rich, and more abundant numbers of poor folk who can’t afford a fancy new, or big home. Some don’t care to believe that standards of living are coming down. Well, handle it.

  5. Amy Alquist says:

    Neither can you get a mortgage for a mobile home on it’s own land. At least in New York, you must take a personal loan!

    • Anonymous says:

      not surprised to hear one can not get a mobile mortgage (assume it is ditto for tiny home mortgage).

      some NGO group/rich guy/(Hey Bill……) should start up a mortgage company specifically for this purpose…In other countries these type of folks fund all kinds of “small business loans for startups”…They should do the same on this continent.

      besides which, as noted above, small (er) abodes should be encouraged and enabled…smaller carbon footprint, etc… Where are all those “green groups” when it comes to supporting this??? (wonder what they actually live in)>

      • Those “Green groups” are taking a pounding because Right-wing conservatives are being elected into office and they form a wall/barrier to any and all progress because they don’t listen to our needs. I live in Florida and have a conservative “representative” to Congress. He takes great delight in rubbing our Green noses in the fact that he won’t lift a finger to entertain anything that isn’t a Right-wing agenda issue. He even has gone so far as to invite a meeting and then not show up for it. So, don’t think we aren’t trying, but we need for people to get out and vote for Progressive candidates (and not Conservative moles, either.)

        • poppop says:

          I am sorry you have had the experience with your representative in Florida, but let’s look at it from a different angle. Let’s take any city in the U.S. NOT run by Conservatives, but run by Progressives. Let’s try Chicago! If I wanted to put up a tiny home on a lot there in downtown, could I? The answer is NO! How about Atlanta GA (where I live), would Mayor Kasim Reed allow me to build a tiny home there? The answer is NO! How about D.C. where an article was written about several tiny homes built in an ALLEY. No you cannot LIVE in them 24hrs a day, just use them during the day (that sounds progressive, doesn’t it!).

          It is simply an issue of TAX BASIS, and until it is dealt with by the general population and put on ballots around the country, no government official (conservative or liberal) is going to WANT tiny homes built. Not enough money for the bureaucrats.

  6. Dee Lewis says:

    If communities have a problem with “minimum size” why don’t the go to a “minimum property tax”. I would love building a small home but anyone trying to find an area – close by where I live now would find that is imposible. I can see the need for regulations -as they wouldn’t want just a “tool shed” size next door to their 2,000 square foot or larger houses but how about a subdivision or area where us “normal” people who want a small space to call our own could build. I think that would be awesome!

    • There isn’t enough money in it. They are configuring the whole country (world) for rich only. This is what happens when you have a fascist state instead of a democratic republic.

      • Doug Smith says:

        If it’s the money, there would be more small houses to share the cost. No problem.
        If it costs more per acre, that’s ok with me. I’ll pay a premium to have the home I chose.
        It’s foolish and short-sighted since 4 small homes on the same property as 1 larger one, would be four times the business for plumbers and such. More households to serve, food to sell. More taxpayers…
        This needn’t be a loss to a community by ANY stretch of the imagination.

        • Anonymous says:

          Doug…a very well spoken argument…….

          now, does anyone have “Bill’s” ear? Maybe he could get on to this and support it….as an environmental / humanity issue?

  7. Nate McKenzie says:

    I always thought it made a lot of sense to have a large pole barn (Morton, FBI, etc.with a concrete floor) that a single wide “house trailer” could be put/pulled inside of next to a long wall so the windows on the building “matched to ones on the “back side” of the trailer and you could see out. Maybe a “Hot Tub” inside on the cement too?

  8. Susan M. says:

    I am faced with this problem right now! I found something I can afford, but have no where to situate it the city. I looked for a couple of months, then had to face facts. Guess I will keep paying rent.)-; I would keep any space immaculate, and the tiny trailer is in mint condition! it does not matter.)-;

  9. Ag21 says:

    Look, there was a time in the distant (thankfully!) past when notions of “property rights” and this type of “rugged individualism” could be tolerated. Not any more though. This is a global community, with shared values and goals superior to any individual whims. Mobile “homes” have no place in the 21st global village. Move to a nice rent subsidized community where you will learn to better appreciate all that your betters have provided for you.

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