Friday, September 14, 2018

Getting Out of Dodge

My husband and I are looking for a way to get out of this trailer park. I have a feeling that there are some rough times coming down the pike and feel like we need to be out of here before it hits. With the kind of neighborhood that this is, I think it is prudent to not be here if (when) there is any kind of economic downturn.

Most of the people out here rely on either welfare or unskilled labor jobs. Gas stations, grocery stores and fast food. Jobs likely to have hours cut when there is a downturn. Jobs like mine. ;) I have a lot of seniority at work so I'm not too worried about mine so long as the nursery stays open. If not, well we don't rely on my income anyway. My husband is not going to lose his job. We are 99.9% sure of that. What we worry about is all the yahoos out here that will. Thanks to my son, everyone out is well aware that we have weapons. Due to his lack of OPSEC and some other wild stories that were told and gossiped about (which were completely false!), pretty much all the yahoos out here now know it.

We try hard to be circumspect when we bring in groceries, except with no garage and parking by the road, it's a little hard to be discreet when bringing in the bags. I do realize most people are not that observant, I just worry how many people have noticed us bringing in groceries and other items.

We could easily have some money for a down payment and when we sell the trailer would have even more.

So the options we are looking at right now are to buy a travel trailer and find a nice campground to go to or find someone with property we could "rent" some space on, or bite the bullet and just buy a house.

They all have pros and cons. We sat down and worked on a list of pros and cons for everything we could think of for staying put, getting the travel trailer and buying a house with as much land as we could afford.

As far as our list, staying here seems to have the least amount of pros. Not necessarily the most amount of cons, but definitely the least amount of pros. The campground also has a lot of cons. The biggest problem we have with "renting" land from a like minded person is finding someone that would agree to it that is close enough for my husband to go to work without driving for a long time. We do know a few folks that would let us, but two are not someone we think that we would want to have to work with long term unless there was no other choice and the other one is too far away from his job. Buying a house is just scary, especially with the economy needing a reset. Having that much debt hanging over our heads is a scary thought. With that said, it seems like it would benefit us the most.

We still have not reached a decision, but I do feel like we are running out of time. Have you ever felt that way?  How did you reach a decision? Or did you even have options to choose from? I realize without any real details it would be hard for you to say what you would do. With that said, what pros and cons do you see with the choices we have? You might have a thought that we didn't think of.


  1. I have always thought that it is better to own your own place than to be dependent on others. But even when you buy your own place you still owe property taxes and the government or someone else could take it from you for just about any reason - or no reason at all - so it's not really yours anyway. And if you have to get a mortgage there's another whole set of issues. That said the best site I've found for searching for realestate is It has a lot more options for selecting what you want, you can select to search for a minimum amount of acreage, for example. It also allows you to draw a line around an area rather that just selecting towns like most of the sites and you can set it up to send you an email when a new property comes up for sale in that area. I have seen some weird things with it, though. I'm not even sure if all the MLS properties show up on zillow, much less the for sale by owners, and it seems to have a habit of applying previous selections to a new search when you don't want it to. But all the search sites have issues and it would be a good one to start with. Houses are a little high right now (less so in rural areas) but there are still a few deals out there, for example:,mobile_type/42541870_zpid/ I don't live in the state much less the area so I haven't seen it and I have no idea how bad the house is and what it would take to make it livable, but to be able to buy outright or a minimal mortgage rather than getting a big mortgage it might be worth getting something like this and making do until you can do some fixing up. Hubby and I lived in a similarly priced camp on our current property for 8 years while saving up to build our house. 8 years with a composting toilet, no central heating, holes in the camp big enough for the cats to escape, etc. The first time I watched the water swirl when I flushed the toilet in the new house it was almost a religious experience.

    Both hubby and I (separately and then together) have felt like something's coming on and off since the late 1970s so we've been "prepping" long before there was such a thing. But, there's lots of things we could have done in all those years that we didn't do and had we known how many years it would be before the shtf there's lots of things we would have done differently. So I'm not necessarily the best person to ask.

    1. Zillow is where we have been looking. We did look at all kinds of houses, including run down and foreclosures. I also noticed the acreage thing. I am assuming they meant 1.00 instead of 100 for example but not positive. As far as the work needing done, pretty much all of it we can do. As far as no central heat or air, we don't have that now. We use a space heater for the bathroom and the fireplace and kerosene heaters for the rest of the house. So, there is a lot that we can figure out how to make do with. That being said, I can only imagine the joy at being able to actually flush!!

      For the mortgage, yes we would have to have one. Our hope is to have it be as small as possible as you said.

      I hear you on the feeling and it not really happening. I am hoping that is the case this time. Hindsight is always 20/20. My husband and I were just talking last night about what we might have done differently the past few years and maybe we would be out of here already. Unfortunately, we spent four of our last five years together battling for and with my son. I am just glad he is on a better path now so that we can get back on the path we want. We won't actually move until he has joined the Marines and is off to basic. So we are not quite ready yet, but I am surely feeling the need.

      As far as not being the person to ask, I think the folks that have been living with this mindset for a long time and say they would do things different are exactly the people to ask. As they say, been there, done that.

  2. Oh, another thing with zillow is that people, especially in TN for some reason, fill out the amount of acreage incorrectly. So there will be some houses that say there's a 100 acre lot when they really have 1 acre, for example.

  3. That is a toughie. You understand the kind of people that tend to live in trailer parks. Knowing you ain't one but we both know the reality. I would get out of dodge too! Do you own the mobile home you live in? Can you move it, or the cost is prohibitive? I lived in a very decent park in Oregon and I still wouldn't trust them. I had a 10'X 40' single wide single wide and I wanted to buy land and move it. Where I found a few acres in another close county would not allow it due to it's size, it had to be 12'X 55' or bigger. I asked why to the zoning department and they said I might want to sell it later and someone may buy it... after a few choice words to the planning commissioner I left. Living in a travel trailer isn't too bad, I did it for 5 years, but then the people there are as bad or worse then MH parks. I know that in Alabama snowbirds would buy and acre or two and build RV Docks where they could pull in under a roof and a concrete slab and have power/water/tv/sewer and have a small room with a kitchen, laundry room and bathroom and even maybe a TV room. I wonder if Tennessee allows the same thing. I now have a 19' travel trailer, but if I was going to live in one I would get a 32' or bigger one and just have it sat and not move it. Another idea and I have seen it done is having a metal building and moving a bigger trailer in it and living in it and it would be protected and still have all the things you need in it. That is something I wouldn't mind doing. Good Luck, but you are right to not stay where you are at. those are the kind of people you have to defend against...

    1. We do own the trailer. We have talked about moving it, but since we don't own any land yet and don't know exactly where we will end up, we don't know if we can move it yet. It is an option we are looking at, though. Our biggest concern with that, which we won't have an answer to until we call someone in to assess, is that the trailer is almost 50 years old and needs a lot of work. We are not even sure if it can be safely moved or if where we wind up will allow it. We just want to look at all options before we start paying for anything at this point. Since we have decided not to move anywhere until my son is off to the Marines, it doesn't have to be completely figured out right this minute. Which I am glad of. I don't want us to make a choice that we later end up regretting.

      Most of the travel trailers that we have decided could be acceptable are either 5th wheels or 34-36 feet. We would have to borrow my husbands son-in-laws truck to move either one! My SUV could pull something smaller, but the sizes we are looking at are at the max or over what I would be willing to pull with it. As far as just plunking it down on land and putting up a roof and permanent pad, I assume they must in at least some places as I have seen that.

      I saw first hand a campground that would be worse than where we are now! I have also seen some that were super nice, although more than we were willing to pay. We actually are going to look at another one this weekend. We already know someone that lives there year round and he is pleased with it. We will see. We may be a bit more choosy than him!

      Thanks for the wish for good luck. I think we need it! lol I know we will make the right decision because we really think everything over and try to work through every possible scenario before making a decision.