Intro: Music. Hey look, it’s the double wide dudes.
Mousetrap: All right all right. Thanks for turning back into the double wide dudes’ podcast. We’re going to get into another short series on mobile home myths; this one will cover stigma’s, perceptions and different feelings people have towards the mobile home industry. But first off how are we doing AP?
AP: I’m doing awesome. Really, before we go any further. I just got to say Mousetrap… You know we are over 200 downloads!! Hasn’t even been a month yet. Its crazy.
Mousetrap: It’s amazing. I just want to say thanks to people who tuned in, subscribed and downloaded our first series. I really appreciate it guys. Today we have another mobile home my we’re going to tackle and that’s trailer trash. I mean this is probably one of the harshest ones out there and one that really hits home to people.
AP: Yea, it’s ridiculous.
Mousetrap: You hear it in movies, TV shows and even people, just talking smack about it. Right, I mean I had a friend growing up in the valley and his dad sold mobile homes and I would kind of feel like there was just a stigma. Almost like his pops did something different or something shameful or something like that. So, the stigma is definitely out there. That people that buy mobile homes, people that get into manufactured homes, they are considered trailer trash. And I know this is a stereotype that you were eager to tackle AP. Why is this so important to you?
AP: This one was super important and hopefully we can change some minds – change some attitudes out there at the end of this. You know I’m I’ve been doing this for a long time, going on eight years now and I’ve met a lot of families. You really get to know people throughout the home buying process.
AP: And I can tell you these families we help they’re the absolute farthest thing from that stereotype. They’re hardworking down to earth folks that they care deeply about their family’s happiness and simply want an affordable option to get out of the rent race.
Mousetrap: Yea, from an insider’s viewpoint. I mean this stereotype really baffles me. I’ve helped families from all walks of life really from RN’s to retired military officers, veterans, schoolteachers, you name it really just a snapshot of our community here in San Antonio. Where does this stereotype even come from AP?
AP: We’re really started mousetrap, way; way back in the day. I mean we’re talking almost 100 years ago. During the Great Depression, there were a lot of folks that would travel from town to town just trying to find any work they could. And at the time they were using…I guess the closest thing to it now would be like a fifth wheel travel trailer. They lived on the outskirts of town and when you’ve got hundreds and hundreds of people with no jobs and nothing to do there there’s bound to be a little bit of crime here and there. And that’s really where this whole thing got started. Fast forward to World War 2 these travel trailers we’re used to house factory workers hundreds of them that needed to be relocated to work in the factories and help the crank out tanks and planes and all sorts of things to fight the war. And we’re used again after we won. And the Greatest Generation came back to start their own family. So, as the industry progressed a little bit they, started turning these into a more and more like a traditional house. And I mean let’s just be honest; let’s call a spade, a spade. When this industry was first born, these homes were poorly built. Companies tended to choose profit over safety and the product itself, every reason to have a bad rap, every reason to have the stigma. But the reason this really gets to me Mousetrap. It’s one thing to bash a product but when you start bashing people. That’s where we’re I think you crossed the line.
Mousetrap: Okay, I get it. I mean 100 years ago, 50 years ago, these homes were poorly built. There were some shady people behind the construction of these homes and really cutting corners. But I know the federal government stepped in back in 1976 and they came up with the HUD code, right. And that introduced a uniform building standards across the country. And it really enforced these manufacturers to build up to certain quality or else they really couldn’t be in business.
Mousetrap: Alright, I mean 40 years later how’s this stereotype still with us today, AP?
AP: Well, a big part of it just comes down to simple miss guided opinions of something that most folks don’t really understand. And I mean, Hollywood and the media hasn’t exactly been kind to our industry either
Mousetrap: Yeah you’re right.
AP: I mean every meth lab shown on television or a news story about a tornado has to have a single wide in there. I mean just a few weeks ago in San Antonio, you remember those tornadoes came through a; right through the town, right. Well Steve Brown is on there and he’s warning people in manufactured homes to take cover.
Mousetrap: Yea, and it’s nuts. The damage was really all over the place. I remember on my news feed on Facebook. I saw the majority of the damage was to; site build neighborhoods and commercial buildings, wasn’t it?
AP: Exactly, but that’s mainstream media for you. In the day and age of 24-hour news. It’s easy to just drop a story in there without doing your research, to check facts, and make sure you’re not just propagating an old worn out stereotype; like we saw right here in San Antonio or even a half million dollars stick built home is coming down if a tornado hits it. But that’s a whole another myth for another day.
Mousetrap: Yeah, I mean tornado magnets right. We don’t want to get started on that myth yet. But, so what’s the big deal AP? I know our customers don’t seem to mind. They know what’s really important in life and that’s putting a roof over; their family’s head that fits their budget. If they seem to be Okay with it, then what’s really the big deal?
AP: Well, your right mousetrap. Our customers as a whole don’t mind one bit. I mean they even wear it as a badge of honor because they know better. Where this stigma really is hurting people is that it prevents potential home buyers from even considering this as a viable option for home ownership, really simply because they’re too worried about what everyone else may think. The reality is there are almost 23 million people that live in a manufactured home in close to two thirds of them are on private land with a good chance of appreciating like we talked about in the last episode.
Mousetrap: Yea, I was reading that home ownership is at a record low. I can imagine that with the dwindling inventory of starter homes driving up home prices and their ever-increasing rental rates. This problem is only going to get worse.
AP: Exactly, and this is certainly an area that needs more attention. By the numbers, home equity will account for nearly half of the middle-income families net worth. And if we don’t find a way to show people the value that the factory built housing industry brings to first-time home buyers we’re going to have a whole mess of folks that wake up one day with nothing to call their own.
Mousetrap: It’s important to realize AP, that for many people, manufactured housing is their housing of choice. Today’s manufactured homes are safe, energy efficient and can really last as long as a traditional site built would. For millions of home buyers, a manufactured home is a smart choice. An affordable investment that more than anything gives them a safe place and a stable place for them to raise her family.
AP: Right, I’m not crazy. I know that you and I, aren’t going to change the stereotype overnight. Sadly, there’s always going to be those people that judge others and judge things that they don’t understand and really no matter what kind of home it is, a man or a woman should be proud of putting a roof over their family’s heads. I know you, me and the rest of our team at Braustin Mobile Homes take great pride in helping every single family that calls on us to make this dream a reality and we’re not stopping anytime soon.
Mousetrap: Yeah, I am right there with you AP. Well that does it for the first episode on trailer trash. This is the second series of the mobile home myths that we’re going to tackle. Tune into the next where we’re going to interview a few local families around the San Antonio area and let you listen in on what they have to say and just how proud they are that they decided to call a double wide their home. Thanks again. We’ll talk too then.