Moving Stinks!

  • By Rachel Johnson
  • 05 Oct, 2017

3 Tips To Make Your Move Easier

When buying a new mobile home, San Antonio families must plan ahead for the move into their manufactured home.
"I had no idea what a pain in the neck it would be to move the first time I did it" - Rachel Johnson
I had no idea what a pain in the neck it would be to move the first time I did it .

I looked around at my house and thought what I'm sure most everyone thinks - Aw, this won't be that hard. We don't really have that much stuff.

Trust me when I tell you, you have more stuff than you think.

And those junk drawers, cabinets, and possibly entire closets are just waiting to make your moving job a lot harder than it needs to be.

So, here are some tips I wish someone would have given me four years ago as I set out to pack up and move on to my dream home.

Get Rid of Stuff

A garage sale is a great way for San Antonio families to rid themselves of clutter before moving into their new mobile home.
"The most crucial part of moving is deciding what NOT to move." - Rachel Johnson
The most crucial part of moving is deciding what NOT to move.

Too often I have heard people say - and thought myself - "I'll just take it with me and get rid of it later!"

Don't. Do. That.

If you are even considering the possibility of getting a new place, start doing this now.

My rule of thumb is this: If I haven't used it in a year I am not going to use it.


1)   Have a moving sale. Profit off your surplus. Lighten your load! Just think of how many boxes, trips up and down stairs, and clutter you'll save on moving day.


2)   Donate to charity. All of those outgrown clothes, hardly worn shoes, and never used dishware can benefit others as well as your sanity. Gather it up and donate it.


3)   Throw it away. If you've done 1 and 2, chances are the item is ready to be tossed. Recycle what you can and throw the rest out. Never pack what should have been discarded. Scraps of paper, socks without a match, nearly empty beauty products...the list goes on. Don't bring old clutter to your new home.


Get Organized

Organizing your families belongings makes moving into your new mobile home much easier.
"Not only will this making packing easier, unpacking will be a breeze." - Rachel Johnson

Maybe you feel like this should have been the first tip, but, I assure you, it is a lot easier to get organized when you've picked through it already.

1)     Straighten up the cabinets. If you haven't already go through your kitchen, bathrooms, and any other storage areas and group like things together. Glasses with glasses, bowls with bowls and so on. Not only will this making packing easier, unpacking will be a breeze. Each box will have a clear label and a clear destination.


2)     Collect all things random. If you're anything like me, you see little things around your home all the time that aren't in quite the right spot. A stapler on the dining table, batteries in a kitchen drawer, tools in the bathroom. When you see these things, intentionally put them in their place as soon as you notice, and if it has no place, create one .


3)     Deep Clean. I know. I don't want to do it either, but beginning this process slowly over a few months is so much easier than on the big day - which will inevitably make the day longer, or even extend it into two or three days or even a week! Vacuum long forgotten corners, wash curtains, dust light fixtures and scrub those baseboards.

Get the Right Tools

A San Antonio family packs up their belongings to make the move into their new mobile home.
"Having the right tools (and the right expectations) will make the work satisfying instead of a quick trip into Crazy Town." - Rachel Johnson

Moving is hard work, there's no denying it. Having the right tools (and the right expectations ) will make the work satisfying instead of a quick trip into Crazy Town.

1)     A dolly. Hand-truck. Thing with the two wheels that rolls stuff. Whatever you want to call it, it's a life (and back) saver. And you can rent them from moving companies. Or, better yet, borrow one from a friend.


2)     Packing tape dispenser. Nothing is more annoying than trying to find the end of the tape. You just keep spinning it and spinning it and but it disappeared. Get the tape dispenser. You're welcome.



3)     A Sharpie marker . I know, seems common sense. But for whatever reason, these guys are everywhere until you need one (like my kids). And remember, label the side of your box, not the top, or you won't be able to read it when it's stacked.


Moving is a fresh start. A clean slate. Get rid of your clutter, get organized, and get the right kind of help. Happy moving!

About The Author:

Rachel Johnson is the newest member of the Braustin Mobile Homes team. Her experience as both a manufactured home owner, mother and wife make her the perfect writer to answer the questions many of yall have along your path to home ownership. You can also follow her blog In Little Things for Rachel's pieces on finding faith, hope and the little things. 

Braustin Mobile Homes

By Rachel Johnson 12 Oct, 2017

In 2015, after announcing participation in The Mayor's Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness , San Antonio increased its efforts to provide housing for the homeless veteran population in the city. A combination of local shelters and city provided services, however, produced only a 12 percent decrease in veteran homelessness from 2015 to 2016.  

Officially named " The Military City "  in March of 2017, San Antonio has greater responsibility than ever to lead the charge in caring for not only those who actively serve the country, but for those men and women who have already served and are left searching for their place in the world.

The efforts have been many. Volunteers, police officers , and city officials have come together. The earnest desire for change is apparent, but something is missing!

By Rachel Johnson 05 Oct, 2017
I had no idea what a pain in the neck it would be to move the first time I did it .

I looked around at my house and thought what I'm sure most everyone thinks - Aw, this won't be that hard. We don't really have that much stuff.

Trust me when I tell you, you have more stuff than you think.

And those junk drawers, cabinets, and possibly entire closets are just waiting to make your moving job a lot harder than it needs to be.

So, here are some tips I wish someone would have given me four years ago as I set out to pack up and move on to my dream home.

Get Rid of Stuff

By Rachel Johnson 29 Sep, 2017

The Problem

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!

By Jason Pina 30 Aug, 2017

For many people buying a home on a secluded, quiet piece of land with an amazing view is the ultimate goal. No neighbors, traffic, or noise. The tough part about making this dream happen is knowing which route to go to purchase the land and home together. This can be a very intimidating task.

Often, our team is asked how to go about this process so we put together a list of the options you will have as well as some tips to make the process go as smooth as possible.

1.) Buy land from a manufactured retailer

It is very common for retailers to have land they have purchased and will resell to customers. This process can get you land much faster without having to do all the additional shopping around. The down side to using this option is that the retailer has bought the land at the same price you could have bought it for but they now have thrown on their marked up cost to make a profit. If you have the time and patience to search for land then this would not be the route to go.


2.) Owner financed land

If you do not have the credit available to purchase land from the bank a great option would be to find a piece of property where the owner will finance the cost of the land with a low down payment. Depending on the seller you may pay a little more in interest but, in the future when you qualify you can get a loan from the bank for the land at lower rate. Owner financing the land will help you to own the land immediately. 

To get the seller to hold the land while you go through the approval process for the home you can leave a down payment, or earnest money (Always, make sure you get everything in writing). You do not want to finalize the purchase of the land until you have closed on your loan with the bank for your home.

One down side to going this route would be that you would not be able to finance all the land and utility work (base pad, water, electric, sewage, etc.) into the loan so this would most likely have to be paid from you out of pocket. A way to avoid this would be to find a piece of land where a home has been on before and that already has everything set up and ready to have a home delivered.


3.) Let a realtor help you find land

The ideal option when finding land would be to use a realtor that is familiar with the area you want to live. This route would prevent you from paying a higher interest rate for owner financing and keeps the cost low instead of paying for the retailer's mark ups.

To go this direction you would need a pre approval from the bank where you are getting the mobile home from. Let your sales rep for the mobile home know you want to have the land included with the loan of the home. You would need to tell them the area you want to live as well as the desired land size. With this information they will estimate how much the total project will be and get you preapproved from the bank.

Once you have the approval, a realtor can do all the hard work for you and narrow down a few options to look at. Usually the manufactured home retailer will have relationships with realtors they trust. If you decide to use your own realtor do not do an application with them, as most the banks do not work with manufactured home loans, and very few realtors are familiar with the manufactured home loan process. Let your mobile home retailer be the expert when working with the banks

Another positive when going the direction of having the land and home on the loan is that you can include most site and utility work needed. No need to pay a huge contractor bill upfront.


By Ernest Gomez 10 Aug, 2017
Life can be frustrating at times. This can be multiplied when you are dealing with something that can change your life. Buying a home is a HUGE decision and will most likely be one of the most stressful and exhausting parts of your life.

I speak from experience since it was not that long ago that my wife and I went through the process of buying a new mobile home. Even though I have lived in a mobile home more than half of my life, the process of building our own was an eye opener.

For us, the shopping experience was probably our biggest point of frustration. My wife and I went to so many different shops and they were all the same. Do you have land? How much of a down payment do you have? Lets run your credit! The bank has an application fee/deposit to get numbers from them.

I couldn't understand the interrogation. I mean this is my home we were talking about. I know it's just a box to them but I planned on starting my marriage in this home and using this as an investment later down the line.  

Things changed when we found the right man who sold me our home. I felt that he really listened and understood the pit falls of how others try to do business. We felt comfortable and never rushed or pressured to make a rash decision. That made our decision of who to work with real easy.

The next frustration was dealing with getting conditions cleared. The bank asked for reasonable things like my ID, social security card and stuff. Then they needed to talk to my employer. At the time, I worked for the state so that took longer than I wanted to for them reach my supervisor, but it finally got taken care of.

Closing was easy just a lot of signing. I can't remember how many times I signed my name or initials. They explained everything and answered every question my wife and I had. Believe me there were a lot.

Then we just had to wait to get the home delivered. We went with a lot model due to time. We paid a little more but it wasn't much to get our home faster. We still felt that we got the best deal even after shopping the same home with other dealers.

Once the home got there I needed to get it connected and this is where my frustration peaked. Getting the water and septic was no issue. We did it ourselves with help from family and it was really just plug and play. The electric on the other hand was a different story. I had to wait on both my electrician and the electric company to do their parts. And one could not move forward till the other did their job. I thought it would take a couple days to get taken care but ended up being a couple weeks.

At the end of the day we finally got everything taken care of and the AC was set up. We had a fully functioning home and we loved it.

The frustration came mainly from my own impatience and with things that were out of mine or the mobile home company's control. Just like in life you are sometimes at the mercy of someone else time.

I love my mobile home and now know what to expect when I do it all over again when our family grows and we need more space. Frustration is all perspective, but if you can remember: Can I control it? Can I affect the outcome? If the answer is no then the answer is just time and hoping you picked the right company to take care of you/and your family through one of the most important financial decision of your life.

By Alberto Pina 02 Aug, 2017
We were honored to be featured in the San Antonio Business Journal.  They did not let us post the whole article, but here is how it started:
By Jason Pina 01 Aug, 2017

With the housing and rental market prices sky rocketing, more and more people are choosing to retire in mobile home communities. The idea has become so popular that there are now areas designated solely for people that are over the age of 55.

These retirement parks are truly amazing. Everyone there is living such a care free and relaxing life. The neighborhoods and quality are not like any other mobile home community. Fifty five and up communities, or as we call them "Winter Texan Communities," have all of the amenities that make you feel like you are on vacation.

Here is the Braustin Mobile Home top 5 reasons you should move into a 55 plus area.

Zero commitment

 You have zero commitment to the land. One year you decide to live in South Padre, the next you are living in a water front community next to a beautiful lake in the hill country surrounded by trees. You never have to go through the long real estate process of selling your land. If you do decide to sell your home and buy a new one the process is amazingly fast and easy. Most the time the communities will buy your home within a week without a need for a real estate agent.

Low maintenance

Yard and gardens are taken care of by the property management. No need to worry about trimming trees, picking weeds or mowing grass ever again.

Utility Cost

Most lot fees include water, sewage, and trash pickup. No property taxes either

Fast move in and no land investment

No need to go through the long process of having raw land developed. Everything is ready for you, the only item you invest in would be your home.


Almost all communities have fitness centers, pools, and frequent community events.


You have worked so hard your whole life, now is the time to kick off your shoes and live in a low cost, no maintenance area so you can use your nest egg to do any and everything you've always dreamed off.

Thank you for reading. If you are in the market for a new manufactured home and need an honest team to help you out with the process please visit our website at to view our publicly posted, no haggle, upfront pricing.

By Jason Pina 19 Jun, 2017
Federal regulations require all manufactured homes to be built to a certain code, so most homes are structurally built the same. Because of that, people will purchase the less expensive starter home as their first place to live instead of buying a fully customized budget breaking house.

These home owners are smart, and realize there is no need to pay for the fancy bells and whistles that skyrocket the cost of their home, especially when they can do most of the work themselves with a little bit of time. In their mind it is best to choose a cost effective starter home that fits their budget and then add on the upgrades as their wallet and schedule allows. 

Our team at, Braustin Mobile Homes , has put together the 6 most popular DIY upgrades for mobile homes that really make them stand out.

1.) Decks and porches
By Alberto Pina 14 Jun, 2017
By Peggy O’Hare, Staff Writer For The San Antonio Express-News | June 13, 2017
By Ernest Gomez 06 Jun, 2017
With companies like Amazon, E-bay, and Car-vana , everything these days is moving towards the virtual experience. It didn’t always use to be that way though. Before the “Easy button” you had to decide to buy something, get up, get dressed, drive to the store and deal with a sales person. It was high pressure and at the end you sometimes wondered if you got the best deal.

Today virtual shopping is common place, but it wasn’t always so. When Amazon first came out they themselves didn’t expect to make money for the first 5 years. Virtual shopping was a new concept and they knew it. Consumers are creatures of habit even if there is a new, better way. New ideas take time to catch on, especially when it comes to folks parting with their hard-earned money.

Nowadays most folks are busy with work, family, or just wanting to relax with whatever free time they do get. They expect a buying process to be streamlined, efficient and designed in a way that can be done in the comfort of their home. Old school high pressure sales tactics are quickly becoming a thing of the past as consumers demand better.
Virtual stores created the ability for people to either buy what they already wanted at the click of a button or allow them for search for the best price on an item hassle free. In today’s market, convenience and comfort are the key to earning someone’s business.

Ecommerce has changed entire industries and the home buying experience is right there in the mix. Articles by the New York Times and The Washington Post have shown that stick built homes are using this approach to cut cost, and improve the home buying experience. New technology now gives potential home buyers the ability to look at homes from a different city, state, even country from the comfort of their couch.

Some companies in the factory built housing industry have begun to offer the same opportunity. While these companies still offer the traditional methods to physically see and feel the home in order to gauge the quality of the manufacture, they also allow customers to walk through homes with VR goggles like those offered from companies like Merge VR . This allows these companies to showcase a wide variety of model homes without the expense of all that inventory. In turn, that allows potential home buyers to get a lower price on their new manufactured home.

Just like any new idea, this concept will take time to gain traction, but its already in motion. Virtual dealerships such as Braustin Mobile Homes have worked with a number of families entirely online and over the phone to help them save thousands of dollars on their brand new manufactured home. By using new technologies, they work with folks to help them customize, build and deliver their new home direct from the factory to their home site.

Shopping today is in the consumers’ hands more so than ever before. Companies like Blockbuster have become relics of a past generation. The home buying process still has some archaic practices, but a brave few are dropping the stone axe and rock wheel for a way that allows them to better serve their clients by focusing on helping them instead of selling them.
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