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Hold or Fold: 40ft Shipping Container Home

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x post from r/real_estate:

"Hi Folks,

I just placed an order for my first shipping container home. It will be done in about 30 days but I just received some horrible news from a family member who had previously agreed to let me put it on his property. Long story short, he cant help me out and i need to figure out something to do with this container. Its 40ft container home that will come complete with pretty much everything i need for a nice place to live.

What states/counties have friendly building codes for containers? How could i find cheap land in safe areas to place it on? Any and all suggestions and ideas are greatly appreciated."

What would you advise this investor?

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Shipping Container Homes and Tiny Houses fall into what I refer to as a niche market. It might be fun for a while but I believe resale will be difficult unless the economy is oppressed by real estate taxes.  Higher real estate taxes encourage us to think small again.

Shipping container homes are just that, the cargo box off of a tractor trailer that has been tricked out to live in. You see shipping containers in many ports and railroad terminals around the country.

It is an interesting lifestyle choice with kits starting around $24,000 and up to how much do you want to pay. The trick as you have learned is you need a place to park it.
Cities with an occupancy inspection and that require building permits will not be good choices to locate your box. That leaves counties away from big cities. Big cities are where a huge portion of the population goes to work. Are you planning on commuting or retiring?

Utilities are another issue.

Water: Do you want to dig a well and have a septic system? Do you know how far apart to place your septic system from your fresh water well? Do you know that the type of soil and substrata impact those distances in dramatic ways?

Power: Do you want electricity? How far are you willing to pay to have it run to your property? Are you considering solar? How do you feel about a propane tank in the back yard? Have you ever seen a BLEVE?  BLEVE is an acronym for “Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion”. BLEV-ee) is an explosion caused by the rupture of a vessel containing a pressurized liquid above its boiling point. If you are that far out in the country there might not be a volunteer fire department.

It looks like you were caught flat footed and did not get that permission in writing. At the current time I cannot think of a municipality within 25 miles of Saint Louis that would permit this as it looks to much like a mobile home and they as well as the parks they stay in are being eradicated by the local municipalities whenever possible.

However, I not only like the concept of a container home, but also manage a mobile home park. If you can get it approved by the county and the Illinois Department of Public Health I have a lot for you at $275.00 a month which includes water, sewer and trash. Only 15 minutes from downtown Saint Louis. The park retains the right of first right of refusal if you choose to sell it and move on.

If the container home comes with a title you should find out if you can get it installed in a mobile home park.

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