Courtesy AMR Architects Inc.
Courtesy AMR Architects Inc.

The concept of turning shipping containers into homes isn’t so novel anymore, as more projects pop up across the country, though it’s still fairly new. In some cases, it can be difficult to find financing for new shipping container projects, reports MarketWatch staffer Daniel Goldstein.

Shipping containers – 8 feet wide by 40 feet long – can create about 300 square feet of living space each, and when they’re connected they can make a sizable horizontal or vertical living space.

Since the practice is relatively new and because containers are mobile, there’s no consensus on how to finance such projects, said Adam Day, an architect with AMR Architects Inc. in Little Rock, Ark., who recently pitched a container-home project to a developer.

Mobile homes, or manufactured homes, aren’t always considered real property because, as their name suggests, they’re mobile, and thus some banks won’t lend a mortgage on a mobile home, unless the wheels are removed, the mobile home sits on a foundation and the utilities and the plumbing are connected. “If you don’t attach it to a permanent foundation, it might be difficult to get a mortgage,” Day said.

Day adds that because of their mobility, financing his project was tougher. “We pitched the project as being able to be deconstructed later to build something bigger, but because of the ease of it being taken apart, the developer didn’t buy it,” he said.

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