I lived in a trailer park for 14 years.
Living in a trailer park was the smartest decision of my entire life.
Why? Because thanks to my willingness to live in a trailer park, fix up and pay off two successive trailers, I was able to gradually build up enough equity to buy a house. This was in spite of being a single income gal in a double-income world; having no available help from family**; living in a high-cost, very desirable area; and working in a career I loved but that didn’t pay well.
First I bought a $5,000 trailer that had to be moved – hence the super-cheap price. I was able to arrange a lease on some property for the next five years.
When I eventually had to move elsewhere for work, the trailer had to leave the property but I was still able to sell it for $1,000 more than I paid. I had done some upgrades and added a small porch.
I had long since paid off the trailer, so the $6,000 was all mine. If I had rented an apartment over those five years, I would have walked away with nothing.
I put that $6,000 and some savings into a down payment on a much larger and nicer trailer (960 square feet with extensive decks) on a large corner lot in a mobile home park. I lived in it for nine years while working in my new community.
I paid it off and fixed it up. When the real estate market cycled up, I sold it for $6,000 more than I had paid for it. Again, if I had rented over those nine years, I would have had nothing. Instead, I had $30,000.
I was self-employed at the time, so I moved to a nearby community that I had already identified as having lower housing costs. The sale of my trailer let me put a substantial 30% down payment on my first house.
I’m still living in that house.
If I had not lived in a trailer park, I would not have my house. Without my house, I would be at the mercy of what is currently a tight and very expensive rental market. I would not have my beloved pups.
I put a suite into my house so it now generates some income, which is useful since my job vanished in a corporate reorganization. The rental income is a bonus now that I’m venturing into self-employment as I near retirement.
I still have a mortgage but it is low. I have more than $300,000 in equity.
I’m far from wealthy…but I’m not at risk of being homeless either.
I recommend trailer parks to everyone who has limited income/resources but needs a toehold in the housing market.
Why would anyone want to live in a trailer park? Because they’re smart…
**For the record, my family likes me just fine but there are some life-challenged offspring in the tribe who need help more than I do, so any extra resources go their way.