Home Care Cottages

Last week, I made a trip down to visit with Stephen Marshall of Little House on the Trailer. He is introducing his new line of little houses and going after a new need in the area. It is called Home Care Cottages, Solutions for Independent Living. These homes are built specifically for the elderly with requirements such as wheel chair access and maneuverability. Stephen agreed to let me do a video walkthrough with him and take some still photographs.

This Home Care Cottage is 400 square feet in size and has a downstairs bedroom and a loft bedroom. This home is mobile but at 12 foot wide by 33 feet long you need a special permit to move it. It felt very roomy with standard room width. Stephen says that this home is priced at $65,000.

I hope you enjoy the video walkthrough and the photo gallery. You can learn more about the Home Care Cottages by going to Stephens new website Home Care Cottages.

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Mary - November 4, 2011 Reply

I love it! I’m in my early 60s and hoping to have a small space like this somewhere in the future. Thanks for sharing.

Gigi - November 4, 2011 Reply

Nice homes! I like it so much. The designs are wonderful and so functional. Thanks for sharing.

Angie - November 4, 2011 Reply

It’s cute, I wish there would have been a photo of the downstairs bedroom. I can see it a little bit in one of the photos, enough to know where it is.

Very nice and clean looking.

    Kent Griswold - November 4, 2011 Reply

    Hi Angie, sorry I missed the bedroom when make the gallery, I have added 3 more pictures. Hopefully that will give you a better idea of the size.

      Angie - November 4, 2011 Reply

      Thanks Kent – that helps a lot. I did a double look when I first saw those 3 downstairs bedroom photos as the bedspread is the same as the one upstairs. 🙂

      It’s a lovely place.

Bob H - November 4, 2011 Reply

Wow, fantastic small house. I think this is the best one yet. Great price for 400 sq. ft. You should do very well with these.

Kevin P. - November 4, 2011 Reply

Nicely done Stephen. I love the design. Next time I’m up your way I’ll stop by to take a look.


alice - November 4, 2011 Reply

Gorgeous and practical, my favourites! Having an emergency exit from the bedroom is a big plus, and a deck out there is good too. That’s plenty of space, light, storage and function. I wonder if a person could make a kind of modular unit to slip under the sink and stove to use until the mobility issues came up so you’d have full function without having to switch, or if it’s easy enough to change out if you start with the non-adapted setup and later have to change. Plenty of room for grandkids and guests up in the loft without sacrificing your privacy.

    Margaret - November 7, 2011 Reply

    I thought about this too. I wondered if it would be as easy as moving the doors our and placing some extended shelves. Something like what your standard bookcase has… a few pegs and a piece of wood to just make full shelves. To make it all nice and neat later you would just need a handy person with wood putty, a piece of sand paper, paint, and a screw driver.

frank - November 4, 2011 Reply

Nice layout, a comfortable size and a reasonable price!

Harvey Pwca - November 5, 2011 Reply

The place is 12′ x 33′ and $65,000.

News flash here folks the “better deal” is to get a mobile home.

A mobile home will come with more amenities, be far easier to locate on lots (due to codes, etc…), and great deal easier to insure. Yeah… nobody thought of that last one did they? Unconventional bldgs (mobile or fixed) that are purpose or specially built have a great deal more trouble being insured for their proper value. A mobile home will have a better resale value –again unconventional means more difficulty in establishing a proper price (falls in with the insurance issue). A mobile home will come with various guarantees/warrantees. I don’t know this fellows products particulars but any promises are only going to be as good as his business — yes, so will the mobile home, however, the mobile home mfg’s a bigger outfit and most likely going to be in business 10 years down the road.. this guy… who knows where he’ll be.

NO, what I’ve written is NOT a slam on this fellow or his product. It IS, however, a recognition of the obvious limitations that need to be KNOWN by a potential buyer and dealt with by the seller. This fellow will sell these homes like HOT CAKES… exanding and doubling production year on year IF… IF these issues are dealt with BY HIS COMPANY… providing knowledgeable, workable solutions to each of them… PRIOR TO THE SALE!!! And that’s the key.. bringing these things up with the customer, resolving them (in the customers favor with little or no extra costs) will have that customer running their mouth off to everyone that will listen about this fellow and his product. Sales will go through the roof!!!

I’ve written about the negatives. And explained how they can be turned into positive selling points that can quite literally force the buyer into signing the deal. But this fellow’s got to do the legwork for the customer and make that customer understand he’s already thought of these things AND has solutions ready for the customer.

    Shea - November 6, 2011 Reply

    And another HUGE point in favor of MH’s, if I’m not mistaken and unless something’s changed in the past 10 years since I lived in/owned a MH: MH’s are TAXED as VEHICLES, not as standard residential property. My yearly tax on my 1980 16X70 MH, in 2004, was around $79 (lot rent was $210 monthly, and this was one of the fancier-schmancier, NICE MH parks). Later, while living in a 1500 sq.ft., fixer-upper Folk Victorian in a nearby small town, my taxes were over $1500 a year (and my mortgage was around $550 a month)!
    Yes, my stick-built home was on a residential lot of about half an acre, and it was as mine as the house was (unlike the lots in a MH park, which are RENTED). Yes, it was nice having a basement to go to whenever weather was bad. But the MH had been undamaged in the same lot since 1980, and chances were good it was going to be a safe home for another 20 years…

    So I regretted selling my MH and trading it in for the house for many reasons, but under the circumstances, I still would have had to move.

    There’s one thing that really is hard to ‘control’, when in a close-knit MH park, and that’s the ‘type’ of neighbors that might move in next lot over. I was unfortunate: the wonderful old gent that had lived beside me on one side had lived there since the 7o’s, before finally selling out and going to a nursing home. The people that moved in and took his place were THREE FAMILIES (of COURSE they had passed themselves off a a COUPLE, to the manager), in fact, very noisy (music, pounding hammers, loud shouting and hooting late at night) with half a dozen kids between themselves, five vehicles (which they not only used to block my drive, but even parked in my extra spot several times!), and I got tired of the kids playing in “my” yard and picking my carefully-tended, years-in-the-cultivating, roses and peonies. Oh, and NOT A ONE OF THEM spoke passing English (they were fresh from Mexico); they ignored MY polite and patient attempts to communicate with them, in my carefully-studied, barely remembered Spanish… ;-(
    So, because of that instance of helplessness and hopelessness, I will probably never go the MH route again, even though it makes so much more sense, on paper and logically.

    One of the main reasons I am looking at getting into a ‘tiny’/small home is that it’s contingent on my also finding, either a little ‘community’ of like-minded souls (responsible, friendly, respectful and honest), or a country plot to park it on, with lot of space between me and any neighbors…

    If I could find the ‘perfect’ MH park, something less than 60 lots, with a resident Manager/Assistant manager who CARED (not some bank or investment group somewhere in Connecticut), perhaps some rules on keeping the ‘tenants’ within age requirements (50+), no ‘small children’, clearer ‘visitor’/’party’ rules (anyone who plans to invite more than 3 cars/10 people to their Mobile Home for any celebration/event should have to have it pre-approved with the Management and nearest neighbors, have it not be so loud the near neighbors can hear it through their closed windows/doors, and have it OVER before midnight on weekends)… I know I sound like a grouch, but I’m not: I enjoy music, friends, partying, too, I just respect my neighbors MORE than my desire to ‘turn it up’!
    So, thumbs up on MH’s for being a better value (and, aesthetically, some look as nice or better than small HOUSES!)… BUT, as MH’s often mean having to choose a MH park, as well, thumbs down on that aspect.
    I think I’d RATHER deal with the initial stickier points of permits and codes, what have you, than the ongoing variables associated with MH park living… As Harvey said, this is just me, and my particular opinion and insight on the matter.

    There’s good and bad with both, and the balance will be as different as the person involved…

    Margaret - November 7, 2011 Reply

    My friend, Terry got her 320 sq ft home insured under MH insurance. Buying any home means a lot of pros/cons and research. It seems that they are actually pushing these as mother-in-law types to me with the possibility of being a stand alone.

    No matter what you would need to look into the situation but you can be pretty sure you will have to do it yourself. Unless you want to pay through the nose, no company is going to do it for you. We are lucky to frequent this community here on tinyhouseblog.com where we can possibly find help to these questions.

Tim - November 5, 2011 Reply

Good points Harvey. One difference here is that these appear to be stick-built, therefore probably more durable and lasting than a mobile, providing for more resale value in the long run.

I work with a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, and something like this would fit right in their mission it seems like.

ThomasV - November 6, 2011 Reply

I think this is one of my favorites. While I do like the Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, I feel they are too small for me. This is a much more reasonable space. Having the loft for guests is a huge bonus. Well done!

    Eva - November 15, 2011 Reply

    the loft even for guests would be a huge liability. Even kids – just imagine anyone rolling off in their sleep, or sitting up banging their heads in some of these. I am certain all can be done right and beautifully – and tiny house small, but we will want to think outside of the box, and not just do everything we do in a much larger house and drag it into a smaller one. breaking up the spaces so it won’t be like a train car, kitchen sinks tucked in corners makes for banged elbows, I know we can do this! We boomers want this to be perfect and lovable and something we enjoy living in!
    there is lots of opportunity

ThomasV - November 6, 2011 Reply

Oh, and what is the ceiling material? Reminds me of the type of ceilings used in many cottages a long time ago. Is is simply sheet rock with wood strips for decoration, or something else?

Property Reservation NC - November 6, 2011 Reply

Home care cottages are really needed now a days for the elderly and even a get away house from busy works days

pamrose - November 9, 2011 Reply

This boomer gazes longingly on tiny homes but shows alarmed glances at the ladders to bedrooms(?) Been avoiding stairs already and ladders!? yikes!

Eva - November 15, 2011 Reply

I agree with the need and I’m 6 months short of 65, but the ladder for upstairs?
I lived with a loft when I was in my 50s and even then – I made sure i was fully awake if I needed to go at night. A nightmare thinking of making even one mis step…really! At least on this one you wouldn’t roll out of bed unto the floor beneath as in the others – SO – I will definitely get into designing something that is not just utilitarian a\but also design savvy for me at my age….and off the grid 🙂

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