Posts Tagged ‘sustainable living’

Older-Model Manufactured Home Leads to Debt-Free Living

January 22nd, 2015 Comments off


lacefield-home-jasper-florida_1Downsizing seems to be a growing trend these days. There are many stories written about the “tiny houses” people are building, some as small as 150 sq. ft.  One couple decided to buy an older model single-wide manufactured home and remodel it.  Now, they happily live in a 750 sq. ft. home that is completely debt free in the midst of their organic farm in Jasper, Florida.

Roberta and John Lacefield purchased an older-model manufactured home to save money and lessen their environmental impact. “We started with an older-model manufactured home, and it gave us a place to live as we decided what else we needed,” Roberta explained. “We liked the idea that we were ‘recycling.’ “

Gradually, the couple remodeled and added on as they had time. However, in addition to adapting to living in a smaller space, there were also some other adaptations to deal with. “Though it has worked well for us, it has been a hard home to live in because the perception in this country is that anyone who lives in a manufactured home is actually ‘trailer trash,’ “ Roberta explained. “We prefer to think that we live in a recycled home that allows us to keep a very small footprint on the Earth.”  She observes that “our homes are so much a part of the way we judge each other in our country. It truly is tough to rise above all that.”

Before retiring to this organic paradise, Roberta taught math classes from elementary school through college level classes for 30 years.  Now, she and her husband John devote their time to refurbishing their home and raising organic vegetables and healthy chickens and cows. They offer tours of their little farm, telling visitors how they are able to raise fruit and vegetables without pesticides.


Mother Earth News tells MHProNews that the Lacefields’ one-bedroom, one-bath manufactured home cost $7,500, including delivery and the heat/AC pump. They said the setup cost them about $500. “We changed out the windows to double-hung, double-pane, added a porch on the front made of wood that we milled on our Wood-Mizer sawmill, and put a mudroom on the back made primarily from salvaged materials. Our total cost was under $10,000,” Roberta said. 

The home is 750 square feet, and it is a single-wide that is only 52 feet long. “It is small, but my husband reminds me to envision living on a boat,” Roberta explained. “If you make every space count and get rid of your ‘junk,’ 750 square feet is actually a lot of room for two people — especially in a warm climate where so much of our time is spent outside.”

Although the Lacefields have done much of the remodeling work themselves, they had a professional team level the home on the site and skirt it, and had a professional install the heat/AC. And, the updating still continues. “Today, I added an electrical outlet to the peninsula countertop. It is amazing how a little thing like that can make a small space so much more convenient,” Roberta said.

While the Lacefields enjoy their debt-free living close to nature, Roberta says she is not sure they would do it again. “Although we live in a community that values conservation, there is such a strong stigma against ‘trailers’ that I feel I have to justify and apologize for our choice,” she said. “On the other hand, our land taxes this year are $30. That is mighty hard to beat! We do get to celebrate all the way to the bank.

She feels that it’s up to each person to decide how important other people’s opinions are.  “If you can handle the stigma, there are some strong upsides to living in a manufactured home,” she added. ##

(Photo Credit: Roberta Lacefield)



 Article Submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News- MHProNews.

High End Show MODs

March 12th, 2013 Comments off

While MHProNews reported Jan. 21, 2013 that Seattle-based modular builder Greenfab would have two modular homes at Las Vegas’ National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders Show (IBS), JetsonGreen has provided pictures of the homes. Each was comprised of five modules, and required five hours to finish the initial installation for the pair. With energy-efficient components targeted to LEED Platinum Rating, including a remote-controlled shower head and indoor/outdoor fireplace, these luxurious versions of sustainable living are made healthy and strong, while reducing resources, waste and CO2 emissions. Says CEO Swen Grau of Greenfab, “Modular construction procedures have progressed to the point that we can design and engineer a custom modular home as easily and inexpensively as we could if the home was stick-built.”

(Photo credit: JetsonGreen)

Affordable Modular Housing Program for Missouri

September 10th, 2012 Comments off

connecttristates reports a collaborative effort between the North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) of Bowling Green, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky-based Next Step will put low income people in modular homes in the NECAC area. The non-profit works with a variety of other non-profits, businesses, and governmental entities to deliver social service, community health, and affordable housing programs to the disadvantaged and elderly in northeast Missouri. Next Step builds and trains a network of non-profits nationwide to provide access to affordable factory-built housing, while educating home buyers and providing them with fair, fixed-rate mortgages and energy efficient homes for sustainable living. The new modular homes, ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet with major appliances installed, will range in price from $40,000 to $50,000. MHProNews has learned there are no income guidelines for this particular program.

(Photo credit: Next Step)