I have had experience with both so let me tell you what I found out about mobile homes. When I got a divorce from my first husband while living in Louisville Kentucky the kids and I moved home to Minneapolis Minnesota so we could have support and family around us. We bought a town home and lived there for three years, but we wanted a real home, a place of our own. The town house was like living in an apartment with noise and neighbors too close for our taste. Homes were so expensive and the down payment too high so we found a brand new mobile home that was sold to someone else and now the dealer had two alike on his lot and needed to dump one of them. I bought it with a $10,000 discount and they set it up for me - a turn key setup. All I had to do to move in was turn the key!
My entire family told me what a mistake I was making. They said I would loose all the money I put into it because mobile homes depreciated every year you live there. They said I would loose everything because I would get blown away by a tornado. They said I wouldn't have any friends because nothing but trashy people live in "trailer parks". Any of this sound familiar?
We had a double wide, three bedroom mobile home with two bathrooms. The kids rooms were huge and you can see Tracy on the left with Mac, a friend of Anjie's in the middle with Willy (I don't remember the rats' names) and Anjie on the right with Dusty (another rat on her shoulder). We were very happy living there and the park was real nice. The girl in the middle lives in the mobile home you can see through the window. Yes, there were some trashy people living there, but most of them were just folks like us benefiting from the low cost of mobile home living.
We kept seven or eight cats, three rats, one bird and three 50 gallon fish tanks while we were living there in 1978. When we sold the home three or four years later I had a profit of $12,000 and a good down payment on a real home and no tornado ever caused us any damage. The home I bought next was located one block from the worst "petty crime" area in the city of Minneapolis. We were right downtown and had folks parking in front of our house and walking by to go to the Realto Theater - a pornographic theater a half a block away. You should have heard the complaints from my family! Those trashy people who were suppose to live in trailer parks were really in the inner city neighborhoods and I would fear for my life living there, they said.
This is the house we moved into showing the signs of tornado damage. Yes, when we moved right down town - a tornado hit in a place it had never hit before unlike the mobile home park being hit by tornados 4 or 5 times a year. Let me tell you what happened the day the tornado blew over my home.
It was a stormy Sunday, summer day. Anjie and Tracy were visiting their father in Kentucky and I was going to meet my Mom for movie and lunch. The day before I had watered my plants and put them on the porch - took a hose and sprayed them to wash their leaves. Our dog, Fluffy spent the night on the porch. When I got up, I went out to let the dog out for the bathroom. Normally I took him around to the back yard to go, but what I saw when I got to the porch made me so mad! Dirt was everywhere - not one of the 6 or 7 plants was still in their pots. It looked like Fluffy took the fig tree by the trunk and shook it. No dirt was left on the roots and the porch looked like a war zone. I pushed the dog out the front door to find her own potty place, picked up Sunday's paper and let it fall to the floor of the porch. It was soaked and water sprayed every where when it hit the floor. I then cleaned up the porch and threw out the fig tree and other plants too far gone to save. As I was finishing the cleaning job, Fluffy came back with his head hanging and soaked to the skin. I sure felt sorry for him and got a towel and dried him off. We were friends again and the dog was happy. I looked at the paper to see if any of it was dry enough to read. There was not even a little dry spot in the middle so it looked like I would have to throw the whole thing away, but I left it where it lay.
After the movie, my Mom and I were sitting in a restaurant having lunch when we heard about the tornado that blew a bus through the plate glass window of the Firestone store just a block and a half from my home and injuring several passengers. We drove home listening to the radio and wondering if anything was left at home. My Mom came with me to see if I needed help. We had to park about two blocks away from home (three and a half from the Firestone store) and walk because of all the power lines and trees down on the streets. As we walked through the back yard to get to the house we saw the worst damage done to all the garages in the ally way. There was a shingle sticking through the 3/4" siding of the garage, the garage door blown down and all my storm windows broken and laying on top of our bicycles inside the garage. My Mom was picking up pieces of shingles, pamper diapers torn to shreds and a lot of other junk from the back yard asking me if that was mine. I think she was in shock. It made me sick to see our big, beautiful maple tree laying on it's side and across the neighbors fence. A six foot slab of sidewalk was standing on end because it was torn up by the huge root ball that was under it. A number of our neighbors were at the porch windows trying to comfort Fluffy. It looked as if someone took a machete to the screens and there was glass, shingles and other debris all over the porch I had just cleaned that morning. Fluffy was not hurt at all which surprised me since there was no place to hide out there. The paper was as dry as a bone - the storm must have sucked the water out when it came through.
I went and got Fluffy's leash and took him to the back yard to go potty. He walked over to that huge gapping hole left by the tree and looked at me as if to say, "And you punished me for what I did to your plants?" I had to laugh at that because he was right. The tornado did much more damage than he did and it was such a relief to see him all right. That is Fluffy sitting on the sidewalk in the above picture. He is about the size of a boarder collie even though it doesn't look like it in the picture. My back door was damaged so bad it couldn't be locked for at least two weeks and during all that time I never once felt unsafe. The neighbors all pitched in together to help everyone repair their damage. I ended up with a new roof on the house and garage, both painted, the back door and outside stairway repaired, a new garage door and new siding and best of all, combination windows on every window in the house and porch with a new front door too. All that was paid for by insurance and was something that I could not have done myself.
I was living in that house when I met Larry, my husband, and he use to feel scared when he came over to see me at first because of the neighborhood I was living in. We had some car thieves living up the street, but all the neighbors cars were safe. Once they got to know you lived there, no one had better touch your car. The guys that went to the Realto Theater were always fair game though. I'm telling you all this just to say that God will keep you safe as long as you check with that Holy Spirit inside to be sure you are doing something that is fine with Him. I was not following God when I lived in Minneapolis, but now I can look back and see all the places he shielded me from harm and see His hand has always been on my life.
I am not saying that you should ignore the advice of your friends and family, but listen, and then do what you feel is right. The picture above is of Tracy and I taken when she got her mobile home two years ago. She told me to tell you that people don't give you much respect when they find out you live in a mobile home and she doesn't care for her neighborhood much (Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park) but she does like the low cost and the fact she is buying instead of renting. Those people who look down on mobile home living just have never lived in one you will find. And since when does it make sense to take advice from someone who has never experienced it?
Love you dear - send me pictures after you move in. I would love to see your new home!