As I look at housing and the way its gone in the last 60 years there has been huge changes from the original prefabricated manufactured homes that were generally concrete built and primarily to house people after the bombings of WW2. Originally designed to be replaced at some point these manufactured homes have only recently started to see their demise and replacement of brick built skins going up the exterior before the removal of the concrete. They were never supposed to be up this long yet even now its still not difficult to find these types of homes in the UK and obviously partly to blame for the term “concrete jungle”. The 60s seen the rise of concrete being used for everything and the housing developments that were supposed to be the cities of the future ended up landing flat on their faces due to high crime, bad planning and poor construction.
Many lessons were learned then and even today things are still evolving, manufactured homes however are part of the housing market that probably can adapt faster than any other housing market as well as offering up and implementing many green solutions as they go. The big argument then is on the fuel usage to move the homes yet they have to be built somewhere and in a factory type condition where they are built in mass production wastage is minimised, labour maximised and new technologies easy to implement. One thing for sure is that its a market that is geared towards the customer to deliver what the customer needs which is another driving force in not only making the houses ultra modern but also extremely green in materials.
Manufactured homes are without a doubt one of the industries that can have a more positive impact on the housing market at the same time help others to improve their services as well. The cost reductions involved with pre-manufactured homes also allows labour savings which can be utilized somewhere else in the home such as adding solar panels or other technologies the house may have not thought of or couldn’t afford otherwise.
The U.S. since the recession began has had a wake up call to the fact property is over valued but also the fact that getting on the ladder often is not only expensive but like a ball and chain that can financially ruin you if the markets suddenly changed.
16 year old Austin Hay in Sonoma, U.S. has been building a 130 square foot mobile home that he plans to take with him to college and wherever he needs to go from there.
Total cost around $2,500 but more importantly Austin has already got his head screwed on to housing market and being more of a responsible teenager than many adults have been prior to the housing crisis. Starting on a budget home means you can develop as your budget allows without taking on huge debts and its interesting to see that its the younger generations starting to take the lead.
With the downward spiral of the economies around the world one thing is for sure the housing market has well and truly stalled. The main reason being not that there is a lack of demand but the mix of speculative building and the crazy loaning of before 2008 has left many homes oversized for what people can afford. I worked in social housing before and could see it all over the UK where 1 – 2 bedroom homes are shunned for 4 – 6 bedroom luxury homes. Often the smaller homes were remodelled and extended or bulldozed to build a bigger home. Issue with this today is there is a lot of spaces out there that aren’t seeing construction take place as corporations and landowners sit waiting for the next bubble to begin before starting construction again. This leaves many empty construction lots all over the world which could be utilized for urban farming as we see in the photo above. Its all being done in crates so highly mobile. This feeds local needs as well as creates jobs on land that is currently stuck in limbo hope we will be seeing more of these styled projects to remove eyesore land into useable farm lots.
Not my first choice of colours and design for the exterior paintwork but the Conhousewas introduced to deal with high housing prices and a declining affordable living space in Trebnje, Slovenia. The worst affected and no doubt why the designs and colour schemes were directed in the way they are is towards the younger more upwardly mobile generations who are likely to be struggling to get onto the housing market.
The design is based on two containers placed on top of each other with the upper unit overhanging the entrance giving shade and a pathway area while the other side creates a patio or rear terrace. With the way the containers are positioned it also allows a small roof deck type balcony to be available on the upper floor via sliding glass doors.
The staircase has been designed in a minimalistic way which suits the design and age group of the buyers the home is aimed at. With the added floor to ceiling windows although small and compact I can see the appeal of this style of home.
As I sit and see that people talk of a second recession when in fact they just mean all those billions thrown at trying to fix a problem by “spending their way” out of debt surprisingly hasn’t worked (touch of sarcasm). Then we have not only entered a long recession but also the fact it was magnified by throwing away the spare capital we had to bail out banks that quite literally couldn’t care less about anything or anyone but themselves.
But at the same time the end of Mc Mansion construction is a blessing if nothing else came out of the recession. Oversized, poor quality and simply just not needed. These homes were just a figure of how out of control the housing market became in the U.S. but just as much I remember in my parents town a public toilet is now a small 1 bedroom apartment worth £100,000 and not only was it a toilet it backs onto a cemetery two bonus features in one overpriced property. Not going all environmental here by the way as people lost a fortune on property at the same time I can’t believe people were being encouraged to get into this much debt in every direction with the “market can only go up” mentality. Which as we well know history tells us otherwise time and time again. It was simply a case of consumerism gone mad as well as speculation as people bought more homes on the back of the fact the market will go up and that they could sell multiple homes as surely there are buyers out there somewhere (we just haven’t seen them).
Consumerism always ends up like this a pile of excess hitting landfills everywhere yet I agree choice and consumerism is great its just the fact people are buying so much stuff they simply never use, don’t need and often don’t know why they bought it except for materialistic value.
Moving on to shipping container homes though it could be the only safe bet in the current economic climate. They can have a low floor area meaning cheaper land taxes, easy to construct, readily available shipping container stocks in many parts of many countries and on top of all that you can do it as you can afford it keeping away from any debt from the bank. Building your own home especially now that the banks aren’t keen to loan could be the only option and using shipping containers could be the most viable. For us we are currently looking at going back to the UK shortly and I will be looking into the issues of construction there for our first family home as we can build it on weekends, complete the first 40ft container so we have beds,toilet area, kitchen etc. while we add more units to the shipping container home. Being able to stack also means we can buy a low amount of land and utilize several levels wasting no money. All part of why shipping containers homes are so viable.