Martin Lodge-on-Wheels: 10’x20′ House for $37,900

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While looking for more LendingClub P2P loans to fund today, I ran across a couple that was trying to buy a tiny home called a Lodge-on-Wheels. The current model is 10 ft. by 20 ft. and costs $37,900. I thought it was pretty neat to help fund this loan for people trying to achieve financial independence.

Many more pictures here.

Inspired by her experiences after Hurricane Katrina, owner Julie Martin wanted to design an affordable tiny house that can be easily moved from place to place on a trailer. It is made primarily out of wood, unlike most of the RVs out there, which probably doesn’t make it something you want to be moving around all the time. But I love the look and feel of it, much more “homey” to me.

To get started, just park the LoW, plug in an extension cord, and connect a garden house. Some features:

  • Composting toilet, no sewer line required
  • Tankless water heater
  • Microwave/convection oven, 2-burner stove, fridge/freezer
  • Cedar countertops, and even cedar-walled shower.
  • Fully insulated
  • Hardwood (bamboo) floors
  • Loft for queen-sized bed

Beyond emergency housing, the possible uses for such a place are interesting. The site seems to be catering towards hunters and outdoorsy folks looking for a portable lake cabin. However, as the couple suggests, this could be a permanent home for anyone. You could simply “rent” someone’s backyard space and live in it. Find some cheap land and own your home for less than a BMW. If you have the yard space yourself, you could create your own rental property or in-law suite.

This also reminded me of the 250 sf condos in San Francisco that were selling for $279,000. I wonder how much they are selling for now?

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  1. Just wanted to point out that you can purchase the 2008 plan for $25,900 instead of $37,900. When you go to the website, there is a link at the top for “terrific” savings.

    Either way, a really cool way to get a little home! Just buy some land in Montana, set up shop and you are good to go!

  2. I could use one of these for a guest house. Plop it down in my backyard for the in-laws. Sweet.

  3. Be careful with these if you have a homeowner’s association – most of them disallow freestanding structures. Almost everywhere, houses have to be much bigger than this (either by local building codes or a homeowner’s association), and so it might not work to buy land and move this on it.

  4. Robert C. says

    This one actually looks like one of the bigger tiny homes I’ve seen pictures of, and costs less than some of the others. I think its a great idea to live minimalist. If I had owned a plot of land I’d buy a couple of these and then just set it up for rent for when events are taking place in town.

  5. Thanks I was just looking for a new loan on LC to fund. The last one I did didn’t go through. I asked them a question about when they will start living in it to see if the rent payment really will go away.

  6. I have a friend who lives in one of the Cubix Condo’s, last I heard (several months ago), they’d reduced the starting price to $219K.

    What was formerly their website has been taken down:

  7. These are similar to the Tumbleweed houses. I like these but they seem a little expensive. Buying an RV or building your own small cabin would be a better option.

  8. I’m the person requesting the loan. Thank you SOOO much for investing in this idea! My fiance and I are so excited to begin living in this little house. I’m really very thankful πŸ™‚

  9. Adam – I think that’s just for the floor model. I didn’t want to point that out because I think Kristen (the borrower) is trying to buy that one. πŸ˜‰

    Joe – Where is this $50 bonus? You only get $25 if you refer someone.

    Red – Thanks for the update. How does your friend like it?

    Kristen – Thanks for stopping by. Good luck!

  10. I have to admit, whenever I see one of these things posted on a blog… I want one! πŸ™‚

    I would probably invest in a person who was going to use the money to buy one of these. From what I can tell, the people who live in these (permanently) live much more frugally than most people. I would be more confident in their ability to pay back the loan because of that. But maybe that’s just my perception.

  11. Does anyone know how the insurance works for these things? Is it like a trailer, that goes on your auto policy, or does it get its own homeowner’s type policy?

    One thing to be careful of – the national insurance company I work for does not write auto policies for someone who doesn’t have a permanent address (PO boxes do not count). Even if we’re not insuring this house/vehicle, we will not write your regular auto if we know you’re living out of this thing in someone’s backyard or a random plot of land.

  12. Awesome find. Can’t believe I missed it before.

    Here is the link to the loan in case folks want invest in it:

    Rob G from Lending Club

  13. Sarah the FAQ says you should insure it as a towed vehicle on your auto policy. The recommend checking first though.

  14. That is amazing. I want just to take on vacation with me. Like an RV but, better.

  15. NPR had a story on these last week one day – a grad student living in one so she could afford harvard or something like that if i remember right. she had it parked in someone’s yard.
    part of it was about going minimalist – a very neat concept considering most people want a bathroom this size.

  16. I brought a foreclosed home with close to 2000 sq. ft.; three bedrooms, 2 baths, and a quarter of an acre in a gated community for less than twice the $37,000 + cost of the 10 x 20 described mobile home. Mine house needs repairs but I will be able to sell it for a lot more than a woodsy mobile home. Of course, I can’t haul it to a remote location.

  17. I can see making do with this for a short, say, beach side vacation. Where you’re gonna spend most of the time outside, cooking meals on a BBQ. Good for a couple in love. Otherwise this confining space would totally get on my nerves. No way would I want to live there. It looks clean and nice here in the picture, but add any personal items and it would get clutter-y real fast. I’m just afraid they’re gonna start pushing these on baby boomers who are running short for retirement. I don’t need that much space, but at least 500-600 sq. ft. to feel comfortable. This is just a little too small for me.

  18. a few years ago I was obsessed with these tiny prefab homes. One awesome one i found was called Toma House, which is made in Indonesia. They’re more stylish than this one. No price list though.

    Not a lot of the “green” prefab companies actually built more than a model home unfortunately, since the prices were almost as high as a stick built house.

    look at tons more house ideas at

    also in my neck of the woods (rural San Diego), there are tons of cheap mobile homes in traditional style (brand new!) for around $39K with 1700 sq ft.

  19. @ Jonathan – No reason not to purchase the floor model. It might have had some traffic from people looking to purchase one, but for such a discount, you can’t go wrong. Especially if you are intent on purchasing one to begin with. Of course, this is assuming that the Floor model is in decent condition.

    @ Kristen – Good luck!

  20. This is so exciting that Kristen is actually reading this blog! And she lives in Massachusetts too! I couldn’t pass by without chipping in my $100 to her loan. Good luck Kristen!

  21. Bondrake says

    Looks like no one was buying those tiny places and the whole building is up for sale:

  22. This is a very interesting home concept, but I have to say it is probably impractical for a large segment of the mobile, vacationing crowd – retirees. A loft for a bedroom? Most people over 65 or so could not climb that ladder or crawl into the loft for bed; my parents definitely could not. I realize the small area next to the bathroom area could be used instead, certainly for one person, but that definitely eats into the available space. So as a small home for a grad student, very fascinating idea. As a primary home or frequent get-away for older recreating folks, not so much.

  23. Vlad, Thank you so much! I can’t express how thankful I am to everyone who’s contributed to our loan. This really means so much to me πŸ™‚

    Adam, Thank you πŸ™‚ Yes, we are intending on purchasing the floor model. Keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t disappear before we get the $$ for it.

  24. @Adam – I think you misunderstood my comment. There’s only one floor model, and a certain couple wants it. πŸ˜‰

  25. Massachusetts?

    This looks like a perfect little cabin to cozy up to Walden Pond. πŸ˜‰

  26. Kristen good have $150 from me. πŸ™‚

  27. Eric, thank you so much!!! πŸ™‚

  28. I like it. Very cute. So, my bedroom at my parents’ house is bigger, oh well. My one reservation–a loft for the bed and no shower. Still cute for emergency housing or a guest house.

  29. Kristen, you’re very welcome. πŸ™‚

    Just logged in and saw that your request was fully funded. I hope you enjoy your new place and keep us updated if you can. Glad to help out.

  30. It’s definitely a small world. I noticed (and funded) this Loan on LC a few days back. Good luck Kristen…

  31. Wow, can’t lend if you are from Texas! Lending Club is not authorized in all states…..” At the moment, individual lenders can invest in Notes if they are a resident of one of the following States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. ” …I counted 44 states allowed in the drop down so not sure how they parse lenders vs lendees…

  32. For the price, I would buy a fancy trailer and a tow vehicle. Seems a little pricey to me.

  33. fractalbrothers says

    Lisa, I was thinking the same thing.
    Look what you can get for $29,000 and consider the room difference..

  34. I think the buyers wanted something more unique than an RV or mobile home. I agree though, if you can get more room for cheaper, go for it.

    That little wood cabin trailer doesn’t look very weather resistant IMHO. And what’s with the wooden kitchen counters!? Wouldn’t they rot after a while?

  35. Jennifer Roberts says

    Me I’d rather build my own for way cheaper if I had that kind of money some people want for these tiny houses. Why not buy an rv you can have a nice one with slideouts for more room for cheaper or same price 5th wheels too that’s how I look at it. You can make less then 20k easy and if you know where to look you can probably get some stuff you need free.

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