Complicated decisions about living situation


I tried SO hard but it's another long one. ?

We moved to Santa Fe this month because there was nothing available in the town that my husband got a new teaching job in. We live 40 miles away from his place of employment and I drive him to work. We are putting about 160 miles per day on our car and we really want to be closer to his job.

We found a 22-year-old park model for sale and we are going to look at it on Tuesday. Just getting it moved will be a bit of an ordeal since the wheels and hitch have been removed. Being 22 years old, it also needs some work but it doesn't sound like anything major.

I love park models and this park model is about 142 square feet larger than our last apartment.

We lived in a park model 4 years newer than this one for a couple of years that was the same size and same manufacturer, so we aren't total newbs, here. That park model was solid and livable and it sounds like this one we're going to look at is likely to be in about the same shape.

I've been pro-park model because space rent will be about $600 less than any decent rental we might find in the area and as such this particular trailer would pay for itself in less than a year. I'm all about that.

On the other hand, there are a lot of stressors involved with owning a hot water system, a bunch of plumbing, an RV roof and a bunch of electrical, especially when you know nothing about any of it and couldn't fix it (due to physical limitations) even if you did. I know all about this because of our last park model adventure - that's when I found out that my husband is not a handyman. Still, he insisted on fixing things his way. I will spare you the grueling details but that was a very rough time for us.

However, my thinking is that since we could (just barely) afford a local rental and thus would be actually saving a chunk of money each month by being in the park model, we could also afford to have someone else fix things. My husband isn't fixing anything now: he's a graduate student and a full-time teacher. Wahoo! ?

The way it is, we will just barely scrape by if we find an average-priced rental (until I find work) and financial insecurity makes me nuts. Though, we'll have a little more in savings if we don't buy anything, too. If the park model didn't present any major monthly challenges, we would be a whole lot better off financially living in that if you look at the monthly situation.

Regardless of what we "can" afford, we are trying to be very frugal, since we both have student loan debt to deal with.

I haven't been able to figure out which scenario presents a greater stress factor. I mean, sure, having someone else obligated to fix the water leaks is great, but so is knowing that all the bills are covered.

I can't look for work until we are relocated and being a renter in the area is competitive business. We have lost out on rentals, already. We also have pets, which means about half the landlords don't want us.

We've only been looking for 2.5 weeks. We could certainly hold off for another month or even two before deciding to pay cash for a park model or mobile home but this came available and it got me to thinking. Now that we are scheduled to go look at it, I am thinking more. The price is very fair - this I know. I also haven't seen a lot of park models available for sale in our price range within a couple of hours of here. This one is set up 20 minutes from where we need it to be. Also, there are spaces a-plenty available for rent within walking distance of my husband's job.

And it would be nice to be settled. There is something to be said for getting the decision made and riding it out. We had hoped to be landed near my husband's work a couple of weeks ago but whatever casita or house we rent, we'll still be temporaries. A park model would feel a lot more permanent even if we had to patch the roof, fix the plumbing and replace the heater in the first 6 months.

Does anyone have any insight on this? I think I am looking at the whole picture but is there more to consider?


Thank you all. I didn't realize I had responses to this.

We're buying it, now I am charged with getting it moved and dealing with other details which I am not particularly good at but I am sure as heck not going to complain to my grad-student, full-time teacher husband... AND I am trying really hard not to get all amped up. He won't say so but he can't handle me getting too ridiculous right now.

I also have PMS on my big make a ton of phone calls day, so...

Frankly, my preference would be to go rent a truck and get it done but I have been disallowed.

Again, thank you. I'm a tad stressed. It's nice to have support.


Cheers! on your new home :D

I have a thing for sailboats & caravans, mountain cabins & city lofts, and -arguably my mainstay- blissful blessed badass hotel rooms. When you know what you like? You can make it work.