CRT White Paper: The Shipping Container as a Home


Download the shipping container home white paper here.

We asked Mary Martinez-Garcia, Manager of our Library Collection Development for Information Central at NAR, to explore the subject of shipping container homes for this paper and we are very happy with the results. Mary interviewed REALTORS®, manufacturers, and government agencies regarding the benefits and challenges of building a structure using shipping containers. She also found homes for all climates and budgets.

To me, the most surprising thing about shipping container homes is how different and varied these structures can be. They don’t have to look like giant rectangles. They can be customized to look like traditional homes. There are many different options to choose from, such as pre-fab homes, commercial office designs, and a wide variety of floor plans and design styles.

CRT is interested in this area because of the technology employed. When considering these homes one key factor is sustainability. Other technology considerations focus on the home as a mobile space that remains with you as you move for work or other needs. These technologies focus on the portability and flexibility of the space. These homes often allow a person to adapt to changing environments and locations because of their portability and customizability. recently featured a smaller space that was for sale for $49,500.

Shipping container homes are not for everyone but they are becoming more prevalent in urban and rural areas. REALTORS® will need to become familiar with the features, amenities, and issues related to shipping container homes as they become more mainstream. We’ve included plenty of images, site plans, and floor plans in this paper to help you become more familiar with current trends in the shipping container market. Download a copy of the white paper here and let us know what you think about this topic.

Chad Curry

Managing Director for the Center for REALTOR® Technology. Working to improve the value proposition to our members through our web properties and mobile space.

More Posts - Twitter - Facebook

  1. Mary did a great job on this paper, a whole lot of hard work! It was a pleasure working with her regarding our contributions to the paper. The home of ours that she featured is portable, and what the big island of hawaii is facing now is a major lava threat, hence the name “Lava Runner” for our portable home designs. People who live in the affected areas do not want to move, they are staying and many are building custom portable homes as the lava flows in the Pahoa area. It is amazing to see first hand the resilience of these people, and how much they want to stay where they are regardless of the threat. Our homes are becoming very popular now with this lava situation, and i am pleasantly surprised to see that people do not want to permanently leave the area, and have some peace of mind knowing they can move their custom home to anther location very quickly should that need arise.

  2. I was also surprised by how varied the styles are. It is a great concept for sustainability, but I am not sure I am ready to move into one of them.

  3. Julie

    I wonder how they are in terms of insulation. Quonset huts — also made of metal — were notoriously cold in winter & hot in summer. That’s not good!

  4. I truly love this subject about the containers homes, in fact I am making a blog to spread the word about this Eco-friendly type of buildings. Can you check my article and give me your opinion please? Shipping Crate Homes Plans