Owner of Milton caboose admits project more challenging than initially thought


Published April 20, 2023 at 1:18 pm

One year after purchasing a Milton caboose for $45,000, the new owner admits the purchase posed more challenges than expected.

Laurel spoke with Zoocasa, a real estate website and brokerage, about her experience purchasing the ‘tiny home’ that didn’t actually come with any land, just a $500 per month lease of where it was situated on Main St.

The renovator already had experience refurbishing alternative housing, including a 1921 former schoolhouse, so the 250 sq.ft. caboose was supposed to be another exciting project to add to her accomplishments.

“It’s hard to find a place that allows alternative housing,” she told Zoocasa. “The tiny home movement is poised to take off amid the current rental and housing crisis, but people who want to do it are prevented from doing it because of zoning regulations.”

The caboose remains in the Milton lot as she tries to find land for the property.

One thing she knows for sure is that she doesn’t want to sell it.

“It’s a really cool structure that’s a piece of history,” said Laurel. Though she never planned to live in the caboose full-time, she does have dreams of using it as a recreational property.

Despite these hiccups, her project hasn’t completely derailed. She’s pulled down the fake mirror on the ceiling, revealing the lovely original wood ceiling. She also pulled up the floor, took out the limo seats and added her own personal charms to the home.



For those wishing to follow in Laurel’s tracks – train or otherwise – she has some words of advice.

“For tiny homes, secure your land before you buy it. And for people who can afford it, a tiny house built to code is the way to go. There are all kinds of cool options out there on the internet – treehouses and shipping containers – but they’re just not allowed in most places.”

She told the real estate company that tiny homes require work, but the payoff can be worthwhile. Unlike traditional homes that require endless upkeep, monthly mortgage and insurance payments, tiny homes remove those obligations and free up a lot of time and cash.

Especially for people who want to live a life outside of the typical suburban dream, the tiny home community offers an affordable alternative.

“When your living area is more restrictive, it makes you more mindful,” shared Laurel.

Laurel also offered some wisdom that can apply to all future homeowners: “Do your research as much as you can. There’s always stuff that creeps up after you buy something, whether it be a tiny or traditional home.”

— With files from Zoocasa

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