I don’t like mobile homes. True, they are easier to fix up as you get your supplies at Home Despot rather than Joe Bobs 500% Mark-Up Recreational Vehicle Emporium, but they are usually overpriced and over taxed ( at least most places outside Florida. I paid barely any more in tax yearly for my mobile with shed, covered slab and enclosed screen room that I do on an acre of raw scrub here. Plus, if you don’t mind paying lot rent, Florida is chock a block full of dead senior mobiles for sale cheaper than what travel trailers go for here. Florida is a heck of a lot cheaper place to live than Nevada. If it just wasn’t a swamp, full of angry ghetto dwellers ). It isn’t hard to see $200 a month property tax here with your mobile on county land. And trying to find a used one? Then you start seeing new RV prices. It is just supply and demand. A smaller population here and fewer units available. They certainly aren’t worth spit. I can’t see these people paying $300 a month for 23 years on these turds. Sure, you can enjoy the low payment the first five or even perhaps ten years and then the pressed board stapled to the 2x2 frame starts warping and popping out. And good luck with the rest of the products still working properly.
You are looking at half the cost of a home but with far less quality. Mobile homes are made for guys whose wife needs to live in a fancier place but can’t come up with too much of a mortgage payment. Sure, it is better than renting an apartment, IF you are buying the land rather than renting the lot ( you are so close together you might as well share an apartment wall ), and it seems a lot of states that have a lot of mobile homes have zoning either trapping you into a high mortgage or buying a crapbox mobile so if you are working in a town forty miles away at the last factory you don’t have a lot of choice, but I’d rather move to a less attractive area and have some freedom than be trapped in the mobile home game. Now, having said that, if I had a mobile home and about twelve grand for septic, a well, and extending the power lines I’d be able to live out in the boonies. The NOL would go for that, but nothing of a lesser nature, not prior to the apocalypse. So under a different set of circumstances I would grimace in distaste but get a mobile anyway. But I’m too poor for that so there is no issue.
I don’t really care for travel trailers either, but I don’t hate them. They are just a lot less of a bargain than they used to be ( first, Katrina saw the fedgov subsidize the industry and just like when Medicare started jacking up medical costs, FEMA trailers jacked up RV costs. Then, after the industry took a big squishy with the rest of the economy, all the companies consolidated, Union wages were reduced drastically, but due to the debt cost all the unit costs rose significantly. Taken together, trailer inflation ). Before, you working minimum wage, a years tax return got you a ten to fifteen year old trailer in decent shape. Now, it takes six months wages to get a used one in worse shape ( granted, this is regional just like with the mobile homes-and if you are in the South they are far less of a bother winter living in them ). After spending four winters in an RV, three more than any sane person would have done, I’m no where near as enthusiastic about trailers than I used to be and I generally recommend just building your own hovel which saves money and gives you a far better product. Hell, if I can stick build, anyone one with an IQ above room temperature can do it.
However, I built underground which has kept my property taxes down ( if I understand the law right, only the above ground portion is taxed ). If you are smart and are worried about your future property tax liabilities, you need to also work around the loopholes to keep your taxes drastically reduced. I have enough silver saved ( PM’s to retain value during hyperinflation caused by the petrodollar collapse ) in case I need to pay property tax the rest of my life but am without income, but I couldn’t do that if the taxes were too high ( a big deal is made about states without income tax, and I’ve lived in one of those for twenty years so I’m not complaining, but in general you pay more tax on something else anyway. Nevada has high valuations on high property tax, one of the few things I really dislike about the location. Oklahoma has cheap land and cheap gasoline but you pay 10% tax on groceries amongst other high taxes ). Since travel trailers are a motor vehicle, being on axles, parking them on your junk land doesn’t increase your property taxes. Again, what you think of as affordable now isn’t going to be during unemployment. Check your laws and be tight fisted paying The Man, just as future insurance against losing your land when unemployment doubles to 66.6%.
If taxes are less of a concern, the best way to live in a trailer is to double the living space by placing an enclosed porch right alongside the unit, running the entire length. The roof makes a great rain catchment and the walls are far better insulated than the trailer, plus a fireplace is easily installed. Use the downstairs for a living room and bedroom and the upstairs for storage, cooking and bathing. If taxes are high and you don’t want to have a taxable structure built onto the trailer, you’ll have to tear out the walls and cabinets and put in superior insulation. You’ll sacrifice a bit of floor space, but ideally you place rigid board insulation against the interior side of the stud wall, then another wall of studs with fiberglass batting and over that drywall which both insulates and brightens up the place. That would be so well insulated it would practically count as living underground. The passive solar alone, or cooking, would keep that place toasty warm. For the ceiling, you might just glue up rigid board and cover in a white wallpaper if headspace is an issue. For the floor, rigid board glued up underneath, or you can buy the do-it-yourself spray foam insulation, PLUS the insulated skirting ( Home Depot, “Touch ‘n Foam” 200 board feet, $350. Or, better
www.sprayfoamkit.com -they have 600 feet $625, or 1200 at $750. Research “closed cell“ and “open cell“ which are two different kinds of foam insulation. Know what you are buying ). Do all that and you won’t be able to tell it is a trailer.
Which still leaves us with the space issue. Just avoiding taxes isn’t enough, you need to relax and enjoy where you are living. I can live in a hovel, as I’m just interested in a place out of the weather to read. Most folks need space and pleasant surroundings. If you can’t build on to your trailer, tax wise, you will need to purchase a Trailer Court. More than one trailer, grouped together in a laager or similar protective arrangement, if desired. I’m assuming you’d only need another trailer as your taxes are too high. Just like it is smarter to buy property closer than to invest in a lifetime of transportation costs, it is smarter to invest in tax-less structures than to pay extra tax. Because you never know how high they will go ( I’m paying fifty percent more after twelve years, on raw land ). Granted, they can change the rules however they see fit, so nothing is guaranteed. You are merely planning as best you can.
With two units, you make an H, with the horizontal bar the connecting space between the two trailers parked side by side with the doors facing. The trailer facing the sun ( I’m assuming you need winter heat, but again, that is regional ) is two living rooms ( the old bedroom turned into a lounge ) with the kitchen and bathroom and the second unit is gutted and turned into multiple bedrooms. Relaxing during the day, you soak up the sun and can split into two groups. Perhaps one reading at on end of the trailer and the other playing a board game, or whatever. Then at night or as desired everyone has their own space. With three units, shaped in a U so everyone gets sun during the day, you can use the third for daytime privacy, office space and storage. By the forth trailer, layed out in a square, everyone has their own unit, and you safely ignore all the conehead brats and insufferable spouses that are total ingrates after you freed them from debt and urban crime. Bastards don’t appreciate all that you do! Is this the cheapest or the best solution? No, unless property taxes are a real issue, then it is a darn good idea. It is an option, not a end all and be all.
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* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there