Thoughts on my retreat project……


It has been a dream for quite some time to have a retreat. Limited finances have kept this dream from becoming reality. I am now looking to purchase land next summer and then place some form of shelter on it.

Often when someone hears the word “retreat” images of a rustic cabin on the side of a mountain only being accessed via a 4×4. So remote, neighbors are miles away and of course there is no phone or electricity. Well – my “retreat” would be quite different.

Here are a few particulars:

  • Ideally looking at a place out in the country approx 30-60 minutes from my home.
  • At least 3-5 acres in size.
  • Out of the city limits.
  • Front of lot wooded to camouflage interior from road.
  • Zoning must be very relaxed so ANY kind of structure can be placed.
  • Nearby water a plus.

I am approaching this project with a fairly limited budget. I plan to pay cash for everything. Budget is approx $18,000. Owner financed land is being considered. The goal is to get the land/housing in place by the Fall of 2016 and then work on improvements each weekend from there on out.

Here are a few ideas when it comes to housing:


These lofted barns can be purchased in varying sizes. Biggest drawback for me is price as they tend to be on the expensive side considering other options. Going direct to a contractor and bypassing the broker may provide this as an affordable option.

One possible benefit of something like this is the ability to make payments if going through a dealer. A larger down payment could be made and then small monthly payments made.

These can also be found used at discounted prices.


A travel trailer offers a lot of benefits and probably should be the logical choice. Generally appliances are included and they come furnished. I could purchase the land, back up the trailer, drop it off and the project would be way under way.

Largest drawback is lack of space and being able to customize how I want it. Storage is a problem however most any housing selected will have the same problem. An additional small storage shed is planned.

Used travel trailers can be had for under $5,000 in good condition. One example is below:

[slideshow_deploy id=’33378′]

The above slideshow is an example of a travel trailer costing $4700.



A two story shed has been my favored choice for retreat housing. They are somewhat spacious with an overhanging loft. The higher second story would help facilitate observations and communication antennas. Of course once purchased it is but a shell. The interior would need to be customized to my needs – but I look at this as both a benefit and drawback. Over many weekends shelves would be built and installed, solar put up, wires run, etc.

Cost varies depending on size and who they are bought from. I am looking at $8,000 installed as a decent estimate.

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The goal would be to have this retreat set up with food, water, communication, power, medical supplies, etc. If the situation was need the family could head out to the retreat for whatever amount of time needed.




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