Why We LOVE Our Little Cavco Home
by Kathryn Bechen
In 2018 my husband Steve and I bought our little Cavco home, which we named Cactus View Cottage, in the Greater Phoenix, Arizona area. Having lived in it for a year now, here's why we both still like it so much:
1. I'm the author of the Amazon bestselling book Small Space Organizing, and a cottage-style and dollarwise-budget decorator/organizer, and at just 748 SF, our cottage-style house with its cute little front porch, was my FUN 15th small space housing challenge to organize and decorate during our (now 39 years) of marriage, living in various places around the U.S. My hubby Steve helped, of course, and we've had a great time setting up and customizing our new home together!
2. It was brand new which meant clean, under warranty, all modern appliances, fixtures, and plumbing. No handyman things right out of the gate!
3. Due to its affordable price, we were able to pay cash for our home and be mortgage-free, and we also had funds left to pay cash too for all our furnishings inside and outside, plus our small storage shed outside. It feels great to have a paid-for home, inside and out, as we enter our future Golden Years. :) We also only pay a reasonable land-lease lot rent, and affordable taxes and insurance. Personally, this works well for us as we did not want to deal with buying a lot and all the prep work, nor with having HOA fees and meetings etc. Our particular lot is in a 55+ community which has over 100 clubs and very nice amenities -- really anything you could ever want to occupy your time and socialize, from golf to crafts to concerts. Pay your lot rent and you can use any and all of it as you wish. The company that owns the land and buildings manages and maintains the grounds and buildings etc. as part of our lot rent.
4. Our Canyon Villa floorplan with its 2 BR and 2 BA bedrooms/baths on either end, and the main living area in the middle lives really well, especially since there is no hallway.
5. The cathedral ceilings are not only attractive, but make the home feel much more spacious. They were also nice for installing ceiling fans. All the ceiling fan hook-ups were already there/wired, and we just had to buy the fans and install. My husband installed the fans himself and said the hook-ups already being there made things much easier.
6. All the new appliances are top of the line and were included in the sales price: stacker washer/dryer, range, microwave, dishwasher.
7. The interior walls are sheet rock, just like a stick-built home, so you can paint or wallpaper them the same as a regular home.
8. It's energy efficient and very. It takes all of about 10 minutes of lowering the AC to cool the whole house down, and even in the 100+ Arizona heat, it's affordable to cool.
9. It's cottage-cute! With our little front porch and room to add the cabana outside on our side patio to make a charming outdoor seating area, we get compliments on how attractive our home is from neighbors and visitors. Similar cabana.
10. We love having no yard to mow. Our home is surrounded by crushed rock and a concrete driveway and to maintain our "yard" all we have to do is hose it off. Our community trims the shrubs and palm trees on the one side and in the front, so we do have trees and foliage to enjoy -- we just don't have to take care of it ourselves.
11. It's so low maintenance that we have a "lock and leave" lifestyle since we like to travel. Our community is gated and guard-housed with professional security, and we can also hire residents called "caretakers" for a low fee who will check our home while we're away to make sure nothing is amiss inside or outside. Our community provides new homeowners a list of caretakers upon purchase.
12. It's well built and very sturdy. My husband has been a commercial real estate lender/banker for most of his career and because of that has inspected properties all over the U.S., so if he says it's well-built after nearly 40 years of property inspections, I believe him! He says even the floor is insulated. Also, there is no formaldehyde in the walls.
13. The outside siding is attractive, warrantied for 50 years, and washes off easily with a hose. It can be easily painted if you decide you want another color instead. (We didn't; we like our blue-gray color.)
14. These homes can be ground-set. Ours is not, and has steps, but these type of homes can be placed right on the ground with a crawl space underneath to avoid steps which is smart for aging residents. There were no ground-set homes available when we bought our home, but if there had been, we likely would have chosen ground-set, and all the new homes now in our community are ground-set. There are pros and cons to both ground-set units and units with steps and skirting; it's really a matter of personal preference.
15. It's SO easy to clean inside since it's small and everythings freshly new. Housekeeping is drastically cut compared to a larger home, freeing up time for more fun pursuits like travel and hobbies etc. Also, it was easy and affordable to furnish since it's small.
Is there anything we don't like? Just one thing: I would have chosen to have at least one soaking bathtub like this vs. two walk-in showers since I need to soak aching muscles sometimes, but no home with a tub was available at the time of our purchase. Well, maybe two things, since I mentioned the ground-set option might be what we would choose if we were buying again.
We look forward to spending our future Golden Years in our little home in Arizona, and yes, we'd buy a Cavco home again if we were choosing today.
Kathryn & Steve Bechen
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