Why I Chose a Mobile Home
A San Antonio Family Makes the Decision to Purchase a Mobile Home
At eighteen years old with no credit or clue about how to buy a home, my husband and I began searching for the perfect one.
I fell into many daydreams at lunch time picturing my acres of land filled with fruit trees and tomato vines bursting with color in my very own garden. I thought of cozy nights by the fire and imagined the family dinners shared around our dining table. Thanksgiving. Christmas. It would be magical!
But when I finally got around to looking for that house on that land, the sticker shock was fierce.
The homes I was supposed to love, that fit into everyone else’s idea of ideal, that I had subscribed to as acceptable, were going to cost me between $200,000-$300,000 and would most likely come with a fussy HOA and restrictions.
This realization killed what I imagined home ownership to be. Fighting for parking space, keeping my lawn to three inches at all times, ensuring my trashcan is removed from the curb by seven’ o ’clock or else. Not to mention my husband is a mechanic who needed to be able to fix a car in his own driveway!
When it came down to it, we had 3 essential factors in our home buying decision.
- Price—it had to be cheap. Low-cost. Whatever you want to call it, we didn’t have much money. And even if we did, I didn’t want a huge debt hanging over my husband and me.
- I already mentioned we were looking in the country outside of San Antonio, TX. This was and remains a very desirable area. It’s quiet, friendly, and though secluded, is still connected with the big city.
- The whole reason I wanted to be in the country was for space of my own! But land, especially with a move-in ready house on it, is hard to match to number one—price! Add a three bedroom, two bath new-construction “house” on the land and just forget about it.
Of course, there was another option. One I had been avoiding. One that was heavily stigmatized. One that carried with it many stereotypes and misconceptions. One that I realized had become my only and, in fact, greatest option—a mobile home.
Now, listen, I grew up in a mobile home. It was simply a house to me—complete with walls and floors, decks and a driveway. Hey, it didn’t even have wheels!
It wasn’t that I saw anything wrong with buying one, but whenever we mentioned our home buying dreams to anyone we were asked, “Are you going to buy, like, a real house, or one of those manufactured houses.”
This question often deflated me and made me reconsider what was best for my family. I felt guilty, as though by choosing a mobile home, I was somehow settling for less.
I soon realized I was letting society dictate my future and resolved to make a decision based only on myself and my family. No other opinion necessary.
We explored every number of options.
Should we buy new? Used? Land then home? Or land and home? Or maybe land with a mobile home already on it?
Fortunately, fate decided for us and through an absent-minded search on a real estate website we found the home we’d been longing for.
It was a three bedroom, two bathroom, 1,800 square foot mobile home in the perfect location with just the right amount of acreage. All for half what a similar sized home not considered “mobile” would have cost!
Funnily enough, we thought finding our home was difficult, until we started the buying process. We were young and inexperienced and did not quite understand that when you are borrowing a hefty sum from the bank they *ahem* want to make sure you can pay it back. And you prove it with quite a large and tedious stack of paperwork.
With our financial situation, we qualified for an FHA loan which requires even more paperwork, but with a lower down payment. We were at the bank retrieving papers for what felt like weeks.
But soon enough we were signing on all the lines and receiving the shiny new keys to our home!
I remember asking “When can we move in?” and my realtor replying, to my utter astonishment, with, “You can move in right now if you want to, sweety, it’s your house!”
We have lived in our home now what will be four years in November. We have already made so many lovely memories here.
Everything we dreamt about has come to life—the family dinners, our garden, and the magical holidays. This is where our family has truly begun and plans to stay for years to come.
We love the freedom of our low mortgage. And the freedom to let the grass get a little out of hand every now and again. We love the space we have for our children to roam and explore, and the comfort in knowing they can’t run out onto a busy street. There is love and laughter and joy in this home, not at all lessened by the silly name it might have.
We chose a mobile home, and it was one of our best decisions yet.