Chris J Powell

If I Had a Million Dollars – Part 5

Looking back at my first 4 parts of the spending spree that I have been on with my “Wants” I am still amazed at just how hard it has been for me to spend a Million Dollars.  I still have  $635,990.00 left so today I am out to dump a sizable chunk of change on the bottom two sections of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and take care of putting a roof over my head.  With free money it would be easy to go out and find a home that is way too big for myself but that is #1 just not me, I am a simple guy with simple needs and while it is incredibly hard these days to find a home that is under 2000 sq ft in size…I just don’t need a house that big.



I have never owned a home, and really never wanted to.  The headaches of having to put a new roof on, or buy a new furnace well, I just have never really wanted to take on that responsibility but now at 42 and having this fantasy windfall, it might be time to take the plunge.

Having simple needs though means finding a smaller home and making it my own.  I could look to the existing housing market here in London because that is where I plan on hanging my hat for the long term…but at the same time…this series is about the things that I want, so I went out and started looking at housing designs and came across a few that not only fit my personality…would also fit into the housing budget of $250,000 that I set for myself.

Option #1

frontfirst floor


second floor
third floor

I like this plan because # 1 is is both simple and small but it also has an elegance to it that would go beyond my simple needs.  Best guess on building it with the simple fit and finish that I would like would be about $150 per square foot and with this home and its starting point of just 985 sq ft, not only would it come in under budget, it would allow me to finish out the Basement and still come in well under the $250,000 price tag at approximately $210,000!

Option # 2


This plan has a far simpler way of looking at the world but is far larger than what even I would like in general.  Coming in at over 1600 Square Feet it is simply a big house in my own opinion but the open views and glass walls really appeal to my inner boy scout that does want to see the outside world.  The Outdoor Living Spaces though really do strike me as a great way to both relax and to entertain in a world that I am sure that I would become more popular in (just because I have that Million Dollars).  Best Estimate for construction, basing it on the same $150 per square foot would be just over my $250,000 budget at $254,000.

Option # 3

If you know me…you know that I am a cheap bastard.  I hate spending money that I don’t have to and while it would be nice to hang my hat some where really nice and have the status of a home that is the envy of all who know me…my cheapness and simple tastes do keep me coming back to look at something that is not the norm when it comes to home ownership.  You see, if I can save a buck here…that means that I have a buck to spend there…and the reality of today’s world…a penny saved is far more than just a penny earned.  The world of Mobile Homes has come a long way and as I am now in the “decline” of my life…well maybe not but hey…I don’t want to have to maintain a mansion in 20 years…and I really want to be able to afford to go to the places I have never been to.  I headed out and looked at a few Park Models and Mobile Home sites and found that for well under $100,000 I can get a the same fit and finish as a $250,000 home…the only real difference is this home comes to me on wheels already built!  That $150,000 saved would definitely make a real impact on my future and enable me to do many things that I have never done before.  As nice as it would be to have a full home and all the trimmings…I don’t need more than I need.  Simple is not only better…it is smarter and with local “trailer parks” taking care of all the maintenance of the property that I would be “parked” on for around $500 per month.

Take a look for yourself at the Northlander 2014 Model Catalog, or the General Coach 3d Tour, the Titan Trailer Brand by Armstrong Trailers is also a viable option.


I am torn by the number of viable options but the Cheap Bastard in me tends to win out most of the time…and being able to live like a king but spend like a pauper always appeals to me…so the reality is…I would likely go for a New Mobile Home and set up shop in one of the Trailer Parks here in London for the next few years…with a prepay of everything so that I can not have to worry about any living expenses at all.

When it comes to furniture to outfit the home though (which was another major consideration in the decision), I can look to some of the high end choices and would set up a budget of about $75000 for furniture and appliances.  Reducing the “size” of living also takes on a uniquely European flair with a North American Lifestyle.  You see I truly believe that we North American’s have been spoiled by the wide open spaces available to us and constant need to have “bigger” does not really mean that it is better.  I looked at the Bosch Line up of Appliances and instantly fell in love with the compact design and German Engineering and with the “tight” spaces of Mobile Home living…this would give a uniquely modern look and feel to the home…while allowing for a more open concept to the living that I would do in the future!


I have also been a long term fan of Ikea and the furniture that is so functional while still modern and open…so things like:


STARTING BALANCE $                    635,990.00
Mobile Home Build/Delivery/Setup$                        92,000.00
2 Years Park Fees $                         12,000.00
Furniture $                         25,000.00
Appliances $                        50,000.00
DAY 5 BALANCE $                     456,990.00

With just under 1/2 of my total “free money” left…and only one more day to spend…where will I be able to dump the rest of my hardly earned money?  Well that will be the final surprise but I do want to thank the very special lady in my life for the idea.  I have been thinking long and hard about how I would do things and have been doing some online shopping without actually doing any shopping…but I think I have the big picture down…and look forward to sharing the $400,000 dream with you all next week!



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