9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2011 12:19 AM by Lucina_Way

    Rent, Condo, Trailer?

    keo
      I am 75 yrs. old widow live alone, and feel great, thank God!  However: I would like to sell my home and move to a place where I don't have all the upkeep and can mor or less come and go.   If I purchased a co-do I might have a 10,-15 thousand dollar mtg. - a trailer would be pd in cash.  Should I rent, buy a codo new trailer?  Any comments for me would be appreciated.  Also, I do want to stay in the area as my family is here.  Also senior housing does not appeal to me, I like to be around younger people.
        • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
          JerryD
          Trailers have lot costs, depreciate and are energy hogs as I understand. You ever consider just renting?


          • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
            keo
            Yes,  I have considered renting and rents are around $800. a month in our area and I could own/pay taxes on a condo for less.  Thank you for your suggestion and the info on trailer living. 
              • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
                PuppetsbySteve
                If you are near water, maybe something that I have wanted to do for a while: buy a houseboat and keep it at a marina. Not sure about the costs, but my hunch is that a used houseboat won't be that expensive. No gas costs of an RV, beautiful view (?), great if you like to fish.
                  • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
                    keo
                    Never thought of that sure sounds nice - I love the water.   Thanks much.
                    • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
                      TroutBum
                      PuppetsbySteve said...

                           
                                If you are near water, maybe something that I have wanted to do for a while: buy a houseboat and keep it at a marina. Not sure about the costs, but my hunch is that a used houseboat won't be that expensive. No gas costs of an RV, beautiful view (?), great if you like to fish.      
                                      


                      We recently docked our fishing boat at a marina that had half a dozen houseboats doing exactly that. The idea seems like a fun way to live but you need to keep in mind the costs for dock fees and electric, water and sewage hookups. You'll have the cost of utility hookups everywhere but I had to wonder if they might be more at the marina. I have no idea what insurance rates might be like. The ones I saw did have satellite TV.

                      While I thought it seemed like fun it also has the potential to get old quickly with people walking around looking in the windows, the houseboats rocking in storms, etc. I also wondered about what one might do in the event of a hurricane. You could pack up and go but it seems like your personal belongings might be more at risk than in a conventional home.

                      I suspect the novelty might wear off soon but then again everybody is different. It certainly is an option worth exploring if it interests you.
                        • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
                          PuppetsbySteve
                          Some good points, TroutBum. There are lots of different marinas - some ritzy and expensive, some more basic. Not all that different, though, from paying for space and facilities at regular campgrounds.

                          As far as weather, most marinas are pretty sheltered. But, no question that there is a price to pay for the houseboat mode. I also hear that there is a constant dampness to the lifestyle, but I don't know about it firsthand.

                          Best bet, if interested, is to talk to some "houseboat-people" at a couple of different marinas, for sure.
                            • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
                              Lucina_Way
                              Great question and lots of good information in response. Wish I'd done this. I was more or less in the same boat, somehow ended up with two condos, one on the water in Mexico, one near a lake in Coeur d'Alene, ID and a trailer in Tucson, AZ.  I was also keen on buying and putting my money into something that would reap a good return when/if I decide to sell, but buying is more work than renting and letting someone else worry about everything. As for trailers being energy hogs, it depends on the location and the trailer. And old trailer in Minnesota, definitely to be avoided. But trailers have come a long way! All seem to be very good investments but now I find myself with more to manage than I wanted. I think the best advice is to make sure you are aware of all of the costs and downsides, as well as the upsides, before leaping, maybe rent for awhile, see how it is. Then you can make a decision that will be grounded in reality.

                              Best wishes!


                                • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
                                  JerryD
                                  Lucina_Way said...

                                       
                                            ... As for trailers being energy hogs, it depends on the location and the trailer. And old trailer in Minnesota, definitely to be avoided. But trailers have come a long way! All seem to be very good investments but now I find myself with more to manage than I wanted. I think the best advice is to make sure you are aware of all of the costs and downsides, as well as the upsides, before leaping, maybe rent for awhile, see how it is. Then you can make a decision that will be grounded in reality.

                                  Best wishes!

                                       
                                                  
                                  I listen regularly to an energy consultant's weekly radio program. I cannot believe the energy bills that many trailer owners endure. Whereas I don't know the trailer age or other parameters in these situations, the consultant who pushes all-electric and geothermal is just about never complementary about trailers. Our house is quite energy efficient and well over 3000 square feet and our bills appear to be less than 1/2 of those for many of these trailer situations where they probably have less than 1000 square feet. If you are looking at a used trailer, insist on seeing the bills for a full year with winter and summer. If it's a new trailer ask the dealer to provide at least 3 references fwho have lived at least a year in the exact same size and model of the trailer you are considering. AND CALL THEM!


                        • Re: Rent, Condo, Trailer?
                          Lucina_Way
                          Keo,

                          A couple of other things to consider: as with any dwelling, whether it is a single family home, condo, townhouse, trailer or whatever else, they vary tremendously in regard to costs. All have costs, whether they are handled at a central level, with all residents participating or whether, as with a single family home, each resident handles them individually. With condos or any unit with an HOA come HOA fees, which are all over the map. One has to look at what is covered, at the competence of the HOA management, whether it is by members or a professional or service and also at the strength of the membership. With the economic slump, many HOAs have had vacant units or members who don't pay their dues, leaving the HOA without sufficient funds to operate or having to raise the fees on the others. But given a strong HOA, reasonable fees for the services and amenities provided, and adequate management and paying members, I find condo or townhouse living at my age, which is 72, to be very comfortable. I am free to do what I want to do without worrying about the outside maintenance, snow removal and even outside window washing. And also to enjoy the wonderful amenities without having to get a pool person or landscape person. Some trailers (as mine) include the lot or a membership in the park in the purchase price, precluding lot rental, with only a small annual HOA fee which pays for a covered pool, maintennce of the grounds, and administration, etc.These are worth every penny to me.

                          Also, in any prospective residence, naturally one has to be aware of energy costs. A relative of mine had a 1971 trailer about 2000 sq ft, very well insulated and with double pane windows that was comfortable in Colorado without costing a fortune in energy bills. The beauty is in the details. I think that it all boils down to the kind of lifestyle you prefer. You may want to rent for a few months to see before buying.

                          Best wishes!

                          Lucina