Thursday, August 04, 2005

Unmobile Mobile Homes

No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.
Samuel Johnson (1709–84), author

The mobile home association must be on a big public relations campaign. This is the second story I have heard in one day. The first was on National Public Radio about the stronger roofs on mobile homes.

Now this story on Yahoo from the Tribune Wire Service about mobile homes in Malibu going for a million dollars. This has to signify that the housing bubble is near.

A former attorney paid $1.05 million for a mobile home that has virtually no land. The space for a trailer is a pad of cement that the home sits on. There is generally a small front and backyard as well as a carport. This former attorney, and current owner of a 1971 mobile home, does not own the land, she merely pays rent for the space. According to the article spaces rent from $800 to $2,500 a month.

I became familiar with mobile homes because my grandfather managed a couple of mobile home parks and owned one. Rather than rent an apartment, I suggested to Daughter’s mother that we buy a mobile home. She thought I was mad (now, I think she is, but that’s another story). We paid $16,000 for a 12 x 56 foot trailer. I think the rent space was less than $100 a month. The first time the washing machine went into the spin cycle, I honestly thought we were having an earthquake the place was shaking. We eventually got used to it.

A few years later, we sold the place for $26,000. We got married and moved up to a doublewide trailer 24 x 60 foot. We purchased it from a mobile home dealer. We had the washer, dryer and refrigerator included. I had a wood burning fireplace custom built into the place. We paid $42,000, sold it three years later for $62,000, and purchased a house. This was all back in the early late ‘70s early ‘80s. The space rents were starting to go up and it did not make sense to live in a mobile home, if you could afford to live elsewhere unless you wanted to retire and be part of a small community.

Now, since a house in Malibu sells for several million, I guess it makes sense to buy a trailer, but only if you want to live near the beach and be on the real estate bubble.

Note: I suspect the bottom picture is of a mobile homes after a tornado.


B2 said...

At one point in our search for a home (now more than a few years ago), we were desperate enough to look at some "manufactured homes." Having pretty much just gotten back into California from Kentucky, we were reluctant to embark upon on a redneck lifestyle, however affordable -- and so we passed on the opportunity to live a life of pink flamingos, collapsible beds, and moonshine.

Janet said...

Mobile homes by me are actually going for $200,000. I am SO not kidding.

BTW, your link in your comment did the same thing again today. Perhaps sometimes it just defaults to the wrong thing?

Mine has changed as well

Anonymous said...

Considering the presence of palm trees in that lower photo, I suspect it was a hurricane, not a tornado. Tornados are rare in palm tree territory, though they do happen.

The Misanthrope said...

I saw the palm trees and realized the error of my ways, but was too lazy to change it.