There are several companies that make all-season yurts that can be turned into permanent homes. Yurts cost less than stick-built homes, and even with "all the fixins," they are often less money than even manufactured homes. They can also be assembled quickly in comparison to stick built and even modular homes. And while you might think of a yurt as something small and temporary, some of the larger models are quite spacious. With many you can opt for "tall walls," which leave space to build a full or partial loft above. Overall, a yurt can feel large and open, making it a lovely choice for an affordable housing alternative.
So how much do those yurts cost, anyway?
Basic yurts are quite affordable, starting at $5,000-$10,000 new (though you'll probably want some add-ons, especially if this is going to be your permanent home, and there are additional expenses involved with installing one in an area that gets high winds and/or a heavy snow load each year).
Typical sizes range from 12' in diameter to 30' (and a 30-foot yurt is very spacious!), with prices increasing proportionately.
The cool thing about the yurt industry is that many of the major companies are very good about publishing their prices online.
For a manufacturer that lets you put your yurt together online and see how much all the nuts and bolts cost, visit Pacific Yurts. Make sure to check their picture gallery for lots of cool ideas (the pictures in this post are from there).
Keep in mind that interior finishings (such as flooring, cabinets, countertops, etc.) and plumbing for bathrooms and kitchens are not included with your yurt, so you'll have to hire a contractor or do the work yourself (places like Ikea have full kitchen setups these days, so this can be more affordable than you might think).
Saving Money with Used Yurt Homes
You can check on ebay, but I had best results on Craigslist. Even as I write this, there are four for sale in the Seattle area. You can search beyond your local area, too, as some owners may be willing to ship.
To check for used yurts, do a domain-only search on Google for "yurt" on "Craigslist.org". Sometimes the old owners will even help with the installation!