Mansions & Mobile Homes

While at the beach last week, I was reminded of how much I love being surrounded by million dollar homes. I know you’re not supposed to get envious of The Joneses and all their things, but I make an exception for mansions. They motivate the crap out of me!

Why? Because IT TAKES A TON OF MONEY to be able to afford one of them, and these guys managed to pull it off. Or maybe they inherited it or mortgaged their asses off and are in a ton of debt, I don’t know, but either way I like to pretend they’re ballers and bought them outright with cold hard cash. It fuels me further :)

I don’t want to own a mansion myself, but I DO want the options that money like that brings. The ability to say “I can buy that if I wanted to” is some pretty powerful $hit.

It was actually pretty funny. I caught my dad gawking at them when we took the kids out on a private pier to go crabbing (a fun cheap activity btw!), and he told me he can’t wait to win the lottery so he can pick one up. I told him he could buy one now if he really wanted to, and all it would take is extending his retirement by 10 years, haha… (my mom is about to retire and he’ll probably follow soon after).

He just about laughed me off the docks.

“I don’t want it that bad. I just like thinking about it!” Smart man. Freedom wins out again!

The next day I got motivated from a completely different direction. We ventured over to Panera Bread for some tasty morning treats, and while waiting in line I broke my “no cellphone” rule and whipped out the ol’ app to see how much homes in the area cost – a few miles from the beach. My jaw dropped to the floor.

“$7,000????” “$19,000??” “$27,000???” “How can that be?”

Ahh yes, mobile homes. So cheap, and so minimalist!

“Let’s buy one!” I half-joked with my beloved wife, “we can retire right now!”

I started to go into all the benefits it would bring (as if early retirement wasn’t enough), but sadly I was met with some “yeah rights” and the companion eye rolls. Don’t ever get married :)

Two extremely different ways to live, but both very motivating. One gets you lots of space but less money, and the other less space with tons of money! Provided you’re choosing the mobile route due to extreme frugality/conscious living and not *need* – which is a whole different story. Still, it’s hard to argue the benefits of owning a paid off home faster than we normally would. We spend more on our cars!

What it all comes down to, though, is the DREAM. If waking up in a mansion excites you and you can afford it, by all means do your thing. And conversely, if you can live just as happy a life in a trailer and reap the financial bliss, even more power to you. Completely different lifestyles for completely different people.

(Speaking of different lifestyles, here are other half-hearted things I’ve considered over the years too :) All requiring more research before re-proposing to the Mrs!)

Regardless of whether I end up in a mobile home or mansion though, I thoroughly enjoy the process of thinking about it.  You can never go wrong surrounding yourself with things that motivate you however crazy they may seem. It doesn’t matter if they’re homes, books, people, blogs, worms, whatever. Harness them all to reach your goals faster!

In the meantime, I’m buying my father a lottery ticket :) Dreaming is great, but taking action is better.

PS: I hear investing in mobile homes is a “thing” too. Fellow reader Mobile Gurl writes a blog exclusively on that @ Check it out!

[Post card above of National Trailer Park & Sales, Jackson Hole, Wyoming – by 1950sUnlimited]

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  1. Kirsten July 22, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    I’ve often said I could be happy in a trailer, but then I get a little worried about the size. We have always owned larger homes…

    Right now we live in an area that doesn’t get too hot during the summer, so almost no homes have central air. We have AC units for the bedrooms, because there are a few days that it get s pretty warm, and we have allergies, so sleeping with the windows open causes misery. Anyway, last night I was bouncing the toddler to sleep while my oldest watched a video on an iPad in my bedroom. It occurred to me that we spend the better portion of our time in that one bedroom – much less than 200 square feet, even when considering the attached master bath. I started glancing around, trying to figure out where I’d put my kitchenette in a space like that… A tiny house is probably not for me, but seems like I could make a mobile home work better than I fear!

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 1:33 PM

      Haha yeah… that’s literally my only reservation with smaller-home living. Kids. I can deal with small spaces myself all day long, but with kids (or at least babies) the extra room is critical. Especially if they’re light sleepers or sick/etc. Plus you’d have to either go outside or go to bed when they do or else they’ll be woken up! I’m still going to try and find a way to do something along these lines here though in the future… Even if I have to wait until they’re more grown up. I can sniff the freedom so close by!!

  2. Slackerjo July 22, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    Growing up the idea of a million dollar house was a fancy mansion. Now, in parts of Canada, a million dollar house is a regular house. Or a condo.

    I find it funny when I read about a celebrity buying a fancy multimillion dollar house and then three years later, read about the same celebrity selling the same fancy multimillion dollar house. I suspect too much work to keep up.

    You should really check out the show Tiny House Nation. Lost cost living in a quality well built house. They feature builds on houses under 200 square feet up to 500 square feet.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 1:34 PM

      Oh, I’m all about those tiny homes!! So damn cool!!

      1. Slackerjo July 22, 2015 at 3:17 PM

        That could be such a cool post. The Money Family goes on a Tiny House vacation!!!!

  3. Michi @ Grab Money By The Bills July 22, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    I used to want a mansion too, but now that I have to clean my own house (and I don’t trust a maid), I do NOT want to clean that big of a house! It’s hard enough keeping my 3 bedroom apartment clean! I recently wrote about Tiny Houses because they are very intriguing. I like the idea of being minimalistic, having more time to spend doing the things I love with the people I love because I’m not spending time cleaning, and having more money because I bought less/owe less (smaller mortgage). (Although, I could never live in a tiny house, I need a normal size house, but it definitely made me change my “dream” from owning a mansion to owning something functional yet stylish.) You’re right though, it would be AWESOME to own a mansion if I could afford everything with ease…repairs, maid(s), updates, taxes, etc.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:09 PM

      that’s what matters most with all these blog posts and home trends/etc. that they GET YOU TO THINK! and hopefully take action on over time too – however that looks.

  4. Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life July 22, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    Mobile homes all the way! I started looking into them after seeing a documentary a week ago. I’m so enchanted by how functional they are! My bf is not though, because he actually did that for a couple of years and thoroughly enjoys living in a ‘spacious’ paid off 1200sq. ft. house. Perhaps one day when I’m older and retired (and hopefully still interested) will buy one and pimp it out just for me!

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      interesting!! he’s already gotten it out of his system, haha… guess it’ll have to be a 2nd home now ;)

  5. Claudia @ Two Cup House July 22, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    We are downsizing from our large 1,500 sq ft home to a mobile home of about 550 sq ft next month. And I couldn’t be more excited because we will actually own it. Right now when someone asks if we own or rent, I say “neither” since we just pay the bank to live here. I hate having a mortgage. Worst comes to worst in the future, we will always have a place to call home, so I don’t have to worry. I would love to pick up a second mobile at the beach, though. :) Ha!

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:28 PM

      LOVE IT!!!! AND SO ENVIOUS!!!! :

      I want pictures when it’s done, okay? So very exciting :)

  6. Curtis @ PayOffMyRentals July 22, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    Ahhh…Mobile homes. Almost always a depreciating asset. But not always. Our first home we purchased was a mobile home in Hollister, CA in 1997 (Hollister is about 1 hr. South of Silicon Valley). We paid 17k for it. It was only a few years old and in a Mobile Home Park meaning we had to pay space rent. But that was right in the middle of the housing boom and all boats rise with the tide. We had to put 25% down (borrowed a couple of thousand from Wife’s parents and paid them off quickly), then paid off the mobile home in a few years. Since it cost less than a new mid-level car, it wasn’t hard to do.

    Fast forward to 2001. We decided to sell as we had moved out of state. We figured that since we bought for below market value we might get 25-27k for it and we’d be happy with that. The realtor called and said it appraised for $55k!!! Seriously?!?! The real estate tide had really lifted our boat. We sold it for $52,500. Took those monies and added some savings and bought a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a den and fireplace for $77k cash.

    I’m an absolute financial genius! <;-P Actually, it was just a matter of right place, right time. But for a guy that had a history of buying high and selling low, I'll take it!

    Now we're seriously contemplating simplifying to an 31' RV that we own. I'm really getting into this Minimalism movement and wife appears to be on board too.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:30 PM

      HAH! Love it – happy ending indeed :)

      I actually don’t care much that it depreciates that much because you’d be saving a TON just in the difference of paying a mortgage/rent. At least in my area/situation. And all that money invested over time will just turn into millions and millions of dollars and we’d be so rich – ahhhh!!!! I want to do it! haha…

  7. Tre July 22, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    I’m thinking small house by the beach. You know the ones you can’t see because the mansions are blocking the view :-)

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:31 PM

      Sign me up :)

  8. Jon @ Money Smart Guides July 22, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    When I worked at a high net worth financial planning firm, many of our clients were doctors. They all had the $1 million dollar homes. It was funny because when we would look over they’re net worth, they had a good sized retirement account and a $1 million dollar mortgages. That’s it. None really had any other savings other than their retirement plan.

    While it would be cool to own a mansion, seeing the doctor’s monthly mortgage statements freaked me out. Monthly payments of $10-$12K a MONTH. Even if I could afford it, I’m not sure I would be happy writing out that big of a check every month.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:32 PM

      I think I just vomited a little in my mouth.

    2. jestjack July 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

      A lot of times doctors and other high earners choose to live like you describe to make themselves “bullet-proof” in case of a legal proceeding against them. I have witnessed this first hand…that is professionals placing almost all of their assets in their retirement accounts which in most cases can not be touched by a garnishment.

      1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 4:18 PM

        Ahhhh that makes sense! Kinda like what I heard 50 Cent do w/ his legal troubles… he may be “bankrupt” but he’s not really.

  9. mobilehomegurl July 22, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    Thanks so much for the mention J, I appreciate it! :)

    Funny about the winning the lottery statement. I think it may be a generational thing. Honestly, I don’t even remember the last time I bought a lottery ticket. But I guess some people continue to dream!

    Nice to hear about your beach vacation. Oh and I just read about the CEO of Zappos who actually lives in a mobile home (no joke!):

    Interesting! :)

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:43 PM

      My dad was just telling me about that last week!!! So freaking cool!!

  10. Kate Horrell July 22, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    This post really resonates with me as we are supposed to be starting work to expand our 1400 sf house to a little over 3000 sf. I struggle with the cost/benefit analysis, but in the end we figure that we have lived frugally for the express purpose of spending our money as we choose, and we choose to have a house that invites our friends and family to come and visit and stay. Every time i freak out, my husband says, “Worst case, we have to work an extra three years. That’s not a bad worst case.”

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 12:44 PM

      Yup, as long as you’re okay with the trade-offs that’s all that matters :) Rarely do you find something that doesn’t have any cons!

      I want pictures when it’s done :)

      1. Kate Horrell July 23, 2015 at 12:19 PM

        Heck, you can come visit. Annapolis is nice!

        1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 4:19 PM

          Oh nice – I can! I’m literally up there every handful of months. Let me know when you’re ready for company and I’ll bring the kiddos to come say hi :)

    2. Isabelle July 22, 2015 at 1:21 PM

      Thank you for this post!
      I choose to live a pretty frugal life in my spending choices, yet we just bought a “big” house, and I am struggling to join the two together (frugal+big house). Am I just a product of society, after all? Should I want to sell and establish myself in a tiny house? I always have this feeling now of being a “fake frugal”, because of my house, and it’s preventing me from truly enjoying my space (it’s really new, just 1 month). But the thing is, it’s OK to want a beautiful house, to enjoy it, to receive loved ones in a comfortable setting. We do not spend 47% of our income on the house, we do not struggle to get by, so how about not “devil-ising” different choices? How about just embracing all parts of ourselves, mine being a frugal person, yet being proud of my house

      1. Kate Horrell July 23, 2015 at 12:36 PM

        Isabelle, that’s a great summary of my internal conflict. I feel like if I am a frugal person, I shouldn’t have a big house.

        You’re right – we should both embrace the fact that our big houses allow us to enjoy things that we love, be it family or friends or just the houses themselves.

  11. Free to Pursue July 22, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    I hear you on home gawking. I used to look at the big homes, but they feel more like a ball and chain these days. I much prefer the freedom of a paid-for home. If our financial situation suddenly changed, I would downsize in a heartbeat to maintain the worry-free living we enjoy.

    I’ve been very interested in the tiny homes concept as of late. We live in 2,200 sq ft, which I find ridiculously large (we only really use 1/2 of it). The idea of 3-500 feet is intriguing. Of course, take that from someone who has little difficulty living out of a suitcase/backpack for weeks at a time. I doubt we’ll make that move (the married thing…you know) but it’s still fun to think about all the possibilities this weird and wonderful life presents us.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:48 PM

      It definitely is :) Much better than thinking about nonsense, haha…

  12. Even Steven July 22, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    I like the different lifestyles questions with the hotel, RV, house boat. I just told the wife the other day, yeah I was at work and thought let’s just get out of here sell the houses and move to Nicaragua, we won’t need much just a house really. She gave the wife answer if I was OK with living by myself in the this situation. I guess she didn’t like the drop everything and leave idea;)

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      haha… I used to get that answer all the time with my ex :) She’d always say I could make out with any woman I want, but when I get home she wouldn’t be there haha…

  13. Kristy July 22, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    LOL….great post! We are actually downsizing from a 3,000 sf home that we built 10 years ago to move…….closer to the beach! The house we are moving to is smaller, about 2,400 sf, one car garage instead of 2, is older than our home and needs some minor renovations and major ones. The major ones are all cosmetic and optional in my opinion and if we choose to do them later, we will. But, the best part is we will now be able to walk to the beach! Yay!

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 4:05 PM

      BOOM! Living the good life now :)

  14. S L July 22, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Currently in a house too large for me, WAY too large for me. However, it has given me the ability to take in friends who need it. I have one friend living there part time, and a friend of my son’s who needed a place to live that was not on the street until he could get a job and save up money. If we wanted to, we could pretty much live there and just about never see each other.

    Looking for smaller places as I feel like it. If I found one I wanted and could afford to keep two (currently a possiblity) I would most likely go buy it. I love the feeling of looking at stuff and going I could get that if I really wanted it, and just knowing I could tends to be enough of a thrill.

    I really like being where I am. Not completely independent yet, but… getting there.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      That’s an awesome way to use up your free space though – I love that :)

  15. M/M Kash July 22, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    Great post, J$…. That’s one of the things I love about vacations….dreaming about fun future ideas. We are a beach family….have always loved the beach and knew one day we’d retire there. We purchased our beach home 5 years ago, 20% down and we rented it out during the tourist season. If the house rented 12 weeks, it paid the mortgage for the year and 15 weeks covered everything….so that’s what we did. We enjoyed it the rest of the year and other people paid for it. we purchased a home with an excellent rental history and numbers and it easily rents for 15 weeks. The renters took great care of the house and were repeat renters year after year. Now, we’d like a beach shack two or three lots back from the ocean for us to permanently live in and use the larger house for retirement income. Also, looking into a fixing up a vintage travel trailer and heading west next summer. There are so many places we’d like to visit.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      SO DAMN COOL!!! And smart!!

      I wish I had that real estate gene so I could kill it too, but for whatever reason I just hate having stuff out there even if it’s generating income. I just can’t get over that fear of stuff breaking and being on the hook at any point! As lame as that sounds.

      I admire you guys :)

      1. M/M Kash July 23, 2015 at 5:23 PM

        Yeah….we were pretty leary in the beginning. But now, out of having a year round renter and a vacation renter for 15 weeks, we really like the vacation renting better. You make you’re money quicker, make more $$ than year rounder, we get to go there and enjoy it, tax benefits, etc. If we had started this earlier, we probably would have done this in a couple locations, St.Maarten would have been a fun one. Cheers!

        1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 4:33 PM

          I’ll go in 50/50 with you! :)

          1. M/M Kash July 24, 2015 at 5:59 PM

            Deal… Sounds like a plan. :)

  16. Hannah July 22, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    I really have started to adopt much more of a simplicity mindset, but I have to tell you that I’m a total mansion dreamer. I think it would be so fun to live in a huge house on the water (with a boat and a jet ski), and always have huge groups come over for grill outs and beer and all that. I mean, I know its not at all practical, but if I ever happened to hit that 7th digit, you know that I would be near the water if a flipping huge house.

    Oh wait, was the point of this blog post mobile homes?

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 4:19 PM

      Hah. I’ll only allow you to do it if I can come over and party with you :)

  17. Brooke July 22, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    We live in a mobile home exactly for this reason. We are able to make huge progress on my student loans because we choose to live in a mobile home. In my area, much better quality of life for less than the price of a comparable apartment.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 4:33 PM

      Work it! I’m jealous! :)

  18. Kayla @ Kat Script July 22, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    I hear ya, sometimes I just want to buy a tiny house and simplify so I don’t have to work so much/so hard. I don’t know that I could actually do it though… Maybe!

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:05 PM

      Could always go back to your normal life if it sucks :) That’s what I always think with any major move at least. Especially when I jumped into blogging full-time! Figured I could always go back to a 9-5 if needed to.

  19. Mrs. Budgets @mrandmrsbudgets July 22, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    I’ve looked up mobile homes in Laguna Beach, a place I dream of living, and although the prices were somewhat reasonable for ocean front property in Cali, $600-800,000, there was still a monthly rental space fee over $2500.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:11 PM


  20. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar July 22, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    I could totally do it. I’ve had family members that live (or still live) in them and they’re a great boon to retiring early. I made many of the same jokes when we were house shopping since they’re just so damn cheap! AND MOBILE! *raises eyebrows*

  21. Will @ Phroogal July 22, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    I like to think people living in mansions have it figured out as well. I love biking through neighborhoods full of those homes. I figure since most millionaires are first generation, most of those people deserve what they have.

  22. John @ Frugal Rules July 22, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Excellent post J! My wife and I joke about this whenever we go back to San Diego to see her parents. We walk around La Jolla and see all the multimillion dollar homes wondering how much their monthly payments are and wonder what kind of upkeep they require. We’d be much happier in a shack close to the beach with very little. But, that being said, those nice homes in La Jolla are awfully nice to look at and dream about being in. :)

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:07 PM

      La Jolla is one of my favorite places in the world. So beautiful!! (but expensive!)

  23. Tawcan July 22, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Dreaming is fun isn’t it. A few of my co-workers travel so much that they are almost living in hotels 80% of the year. I don’t think that’s so much fun. A small house is nice because you don’t end up with too much things and it’s easier to upkeep.

  24. Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels July 22, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    I don’t think I would enjoy living in a mobile home, but I don’t want a mansion either. I just want my dream home where every kid has their own room (I never did) and decent size of back yard. The key really is to live under my means and be able to travel and not to become a slave of my mansion :D

  25. Ella Blue July 22, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    Exactly. I often consider trailers as an option. However, I think there is wrongfully a lot of stigma with them. I was recently thinking of the trendy, eco and econ friendly tiny home movement. It is a bit hard to understand how the time home movement is seen a relatively positive light, where as owning a trailer comes with negative connotations (poor, trashy, etc..)

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      For sure… I don’t think I could live in a trailer park, per se, at least one that has high crime, but I could live in the trailer itself somewhere more fun/safe :) Though I’ve heard of lots of trailer/rv RESORTS that look cool! That could be fun!

  26. Celeste July 22, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    I have no interest in a big home. As a matter a fact, I went from a 1200 sq foot home to a 730 sq foot condo…and I’m sick and tired of over priced city living. My place is on the market and we’re looking at purchasing a mobile home. I’d love to do an RV or something like that…but where would we park it? We live in a pretty populated area…and…I just can’t find or figure out a way to make it feasible. I’m still looking but we’ve settled on a mobile home park. Now, if we could sell the condo…we can move on and really start to enjoy our lives with less expense and then work on paying off the rest of our debt much faster.

  27. Lisa O July 22, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Hahaha, I think you put living in two totally different spectrums! I love to visit the mansions but would never want to live in one because it goes against my “simple” style of living. On the other hand, I don’t think I would be happy in mobile home either! We have a 5th wheel camper and I love to stay in it but it is not a place to live 24/7! My “simple” 1478 sf home is just perfect…small enough to keep expenses down but large enough to enjoy with family and friends, have a few nice things, keep a garden, and swing on swing under the shade tree!

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      Sounds beautiful :)

  28. Simple Is The New Green July 22, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    I personally don’t like big homes. They are fun to see from an architectural standpoint, but I would get bored in a mansion in a heartbeat. It is funny you mentioned the lottery and homes. Just the other day, I told someone that if I won $10M in the lottery, I would still want to live in my one bedroom condo in the heart of a great city. I might upgrade to a better view, but not more space. I like to live in small spaces and have the world be my backyard. :)

    Check out this article:

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:18 PM

      So so (SO) cool. Great article, thx :)

      1. Simple Is The New Green July 23, 2015 at 4:09 AM

        I think I already recommended this, but in the documentary, “I AM”, this Hollywood producer mentions that when he moves into his ‘next’ mansion, he sighs and says I am no happier. Then he moves into a mobile home and bikes to work and his happiness soars!

        I know what you mean though, that it is nice to afford that life, even if you don’t need it, but it doesn’t mean we always want it. Plus, like you said, it is sad that there are people who can’t even afford their next meal. :(

  29. Maggie @ Northern Expenditure July 22, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    I come up with a completely new lifestyle daily. Right now, “Early Retirement” means freedom to become any one of those identities. Tiny house by the beach sounds pretty good for today’s “future identity.” Whichever one gives me motivation for that one day is the right one. :)

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:27 PM

      haha I know the feeling 100%.

      all I know for sure is that I want Financial Freedom cuz then we can do any of them!

  30. Erica July 22, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    Where I live, mobile homes actually cost a fair penny (I got mine for $95K, and it was a *great* deal). It’s definitely better than renting an apartment here – I came out $50 a month better after buying, and that includes all my utilities – but I’m pretty house-poor and I don’t consider the mobile home to be an asset that I include in my net worth. As someone pointed out above, mobile homes are almost always depreciate in value, and I will consider myself lucky if I make back $80K when I eventually sell.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:28 PM

      I agree with with homes – no matter how big or small – not usually being a great investment. So many other areas the money could grow! But we all need a place to live, eh?

      1. Erica July 24, 2015 at 4:51 PM

        Yes, we do need a place to live. It’s a pretty good setup for now ^_^

  31. Tyler @ OddBall Wealth July 22, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    When I was a kid I always wanted to own a mansion when I got older. Now that I’m older, the thought of owning a mansion just seems like it would require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. Maybe if I had enough money to buy the mansion and hire people to do all the maintenance around the mansion I would consider :)

  32. Braden Dunlop July 22, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    When reviewing crime statistics in our general vicinity, general occurrences of many non-violent crimes peak in and around mobile home parks. Larger numbers of occurrences stemming from drinking and driving, drug abuse, etc, generally go hand in hand with these establishments.

    I am NOT claiming this holds true of EVERY location across the globe, but, in our area, +90% of the sex offenders listed and a large number of folks who’ve been recuperated by the state penal system reside within a trailer park setting. I do not intend to imply that recidivism is rampant, but there is a different class of folks encumbered by the need to live in mobile homes than of those who’ve set it as a priority to own their own home and land.

    While there can be made a very convincing argument for saving money, doing so at the cost of safety has always been preventative for me.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:35 PM

      Yeah, safety would have to come first for sure – esp with little kids. We’d either get one on a plot of land somewhere or check out some of the more resort-style campground-like places I’ve seen. I like saving money but not if it jeopardizes safety!

  33. Heather @ Simply Save July 22, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    I am REALLY curious about the Tiny House movement. There are a lot of factors I’m not ready to tackle right now such as a vehicle to pull it, where to put it, hooking up water etc, and having a few too many pets for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up in one someday! Need to find the right man that would tolerate it though! :)

  34. Nelson July 22, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    The great thing about the sharing economy is that you can use Airbnb to rent a mansion.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:36 PM

      That’s true! For lots of $$$$ tho probably :(

  35. Jim Wang July 22, 2015 at 4:19 PM

    It’s good to have a goal in life, regardless of what it is.

    There’s something freeing about keeping it small and simple but something luxurious about having it be big and grandiose… as long as it’s what YOU want and not what you society thinks you should have. :)

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:37 PM

      well hello there, ol’ chap!

  36. Vicki July 22, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    Hey J Money. We just bought a “home”. It is a campervan we can live in while driving around the country looking for the next place we want to live. We are looking to buy land to build pretty much the opposite of a McMansion, not sure where. Come September we sell everything we own ( which is not much) and hit the road. Campervan was our choice because a mobile home we have to pull around. I currently live in a town where the highway is a the only one between two states. Some people’s vans are bigger than any home in this town and I am always wondering how much debt they must be to take a 2 week vacation every year. Living in Oz means we can be in warm places all year around so that is a bonus of a campervan too. I pinch myself every day thinking how awesome life is when you can throw all your worldly goods in a van with your kid and your dog and go where ever you want. I also like the thought of paying no rent only gas, having a million dollar view where ever you choose and doing what I please. It is good to dream, for sure and winning the lottery would be sweet. Luckily for me my Dad buys tickets, I live vicariously through him when it comes being a lottery winner, and I am pretty sure I would be set if he won.

    1. J. Money July 22, 2015 at 5:40 PM

      GOOD FOR YOU!! You are taking action instead of just thinking/talking about it like I am! Haha…. I can’t wait to hear how it goes when you guys are on the road. If OZ wasn’t so damn expensive to fly to I’d come out and visit y’all on the road :)

      1. Vicki July 22, 2015 at 11:43 PM

        J and family you are always welcome down here. I actually went against the living vicariously through Dad and bought a lottery ticket today for tonight’s draw $50 million! Now that would make life interesting :)

        1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 4:35 PM

          If you won it, I want free tickets to come out there!!

  37. Crystal July 23, 2015 at 1:46 AM

    We live in our McMansion (3750 sq ft, 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, media room, library, etc), but it is way easier to afford here in the suburbs around Houston, TX. Like $200k+ depending on the exact location. Ours was $260k but our friends just bought one in a neighborhood getting gentrified for $190k. My other close friend loves her 18 foot trailer. It all depends on personal preferences, right? :-)

    1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      I was thinking about that friend of yours actually! Wasn’t she the one on some cool resort-type campground place? w/ her trailer?

  38. Jason @ Islands of Investing July 23, 2015 at 2:44 AM

    I’m a big fan of that ‘motivation’ factor – we bought our ‘dream’ family home (which is still relatively modest on a pretty tiny block!), even though the timing wasn’t ideal from an affordability perspective, but it was a really rare opportunity that presented itself. It’s definitely motivated me to work hard and boost my income, which has been a great kick in the pants as I was starting to ‘coast’ a little!!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 5:10 PM

      There you go! We all need a little extra fire lit under us at times. And dream “anythings” help with that!

  39. Tonya@Budget and the Beach July 23, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    With the beaches I go to to run/play beach volleyball, they are mega million dollar places. Beaches+Cali=Triple the expense of any other beach town. The kicker is, these places remain empty 99% of the year because they are SECOND (or maybe even third) homes. So the only time you see people is the 4th of July. What a waste of space. I often thought about really finding a way to become a house sitter at one if at all possible. But…to answer your question: I’d rather live in a mobile home and have more money to buy experiences then some giant home where you need to call your loved ones on a cell phone to come down for dinner. I do want a nice kitchen someday though. And laundry…oh the day I will never have to go to the laundromat again. Dream big Tonya!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      Oh man, laundromats! I remember those from my NYC days… we were in $3,000+/mo places (cramming in 6 people – hah) and still had to go do our dang laundry elsewhere. Man I don’t miss those days… Though on the flip side I did meet a lot more people which was kinda nice. (And hell yeah to mansion-sitting idea!)

  40. Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries July 23, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    ahhh! It is great to dream about though! I dont ever see myself owning a mansion like that but I do dream about owing property in a vacation destination location. What a great life it would be but those types of places are usually very expensive as well. Mobile homes in a great destination like that is actually a cool idea!

  41. Mrs. Crackin' the Whip July 23, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    I thoroughly enjoy the idea of being a minimalist. Oh and a mobile home? Yes, please! Then I come to my senses and remember that’s maybe not how I want to live for the rest of my life! It’s best we keep our nose to the grindstone!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      All I want to do is try it for one year and see if I love it or hate it. Worst case you save a butt ton of money and then strike it off the list and onto the next awesome minimalist idea :)

  42. jestjack July 24, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Money I actually have a place for sale at “the Beach” for a very reasonable price WITH a pier. Perfect place for your family to live OR a vacation compound. Let me know if you have interest.

    1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 5:24 PM

      Can I test-live there for a month for free? :)

  43. Julie Gosnell July 24, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    I live around the Boston area and a mortgage here that is cheap is about 300k for a condo that you have to pay fees for 0.0 I was looking at some home prices in the south where I am from and I could easily buy 10 + acres and a mobile home for around 50k (These are double wide homes that offer 3 and 4 bedroom with a living room and a bonus room. Mobile homes can actually be quiet large. Again though I have been living in a one bedroom 525 sq feet with myself, my husband, my daughter and one on the way so my perception of large may have shifted a little LOL). I have thought about it time and time again because I could have a place to pay off in short order and have land and build our dream home. Alas we must wait for hubby to finish school.. Only two more years!!!

    1. J. Money July 24, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      That could be a helluva plan! Nothing wrong with some nice planning and getting excited about the new adventure for a while :) I hope you guys end up doing it, or something similar! Congrats on the new baby !

  44. BeSmartRich July 24, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Dreaming is good but dreaming with action is better. I have seen some talents wasted which is just tragic. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank July 25, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    It’s free to dream! I love the concept of mobile homes as this is very exciting yet challenging to do once in a while. Aside from it it cheaper, I think it offers adventure and more enjoyment, which I know my kids would love to have.

  46. Pengepugeren July 26, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    I think there’s more to the decision than just home size vs. expenses, especially the neighborhood.
    Perhaps it’s because all I know about mobile homes I learned from Trailer Park Boys, but in my mind mobile homes equal drug abuse, crime and just an awfully dysfunctional neighborhood. I wouldn’t want to live like than even with ER.

    Am I completely off?

    1. J. Money September 21, 2015 at 1:21 PM

      Depends on where I’m guessing?

      I want to live in one of those resort-type RV/Mobile home parks vs the ones that first come to mind :)

  47. Meg July 26, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Every time my husband asks me when we can retire, I tell him that depends on whether he wants to live in a $50K, $500K, or $5M home. We watch that tiny house nation show and I admit I get tempted! We could retire today if we wanted to downsize to the “extreme!”

    1. J. Money September 21, 2015 at 1:23 PM

      Right??? Great way to think of it!

      Usually all up to us. We just got to remember to stop and MARINATE on this rather than going through life as if “it’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

  48. Debra September 21, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    We lived in a mobile home for about 10 years when we were first married. We kept it clean and organized. We had a utility building for our outdoor equipment and bikes. Know we have a 2200 square foot two-story house and it is very seldom really clean, it’s disorganized, and too big for the two of us. We have a utility building that is crammed full of junk. I have been looking at downsizing and thinking about going back to a mobile home or living in our RV. I’ve looked at for Myrtle Beach and there are some very nice manufactured homes listed at a very affordable price. It’s surprising how your priorities change as you get older!

    1. J. Money September 21, 2015 at 1:28 PM

      Interesting!! And totally makes sense too – the more space I have the more I tend to fill it up too :( it’s a good thing we’re figuring this out now though so we can live a better future life! Just gotta pull that trigger!