by Lydia Sprouts
If you are on the market for an inexpensive housing option, have you considered your local trailer park? It is an often-overlooked, but a good, affordable option, particularly in more rural locations.
In my case, living in my trailer has been a blessing. Its offers the amenities of a full house, but with the benefit of apartment size. I don’t have to share ceilings, floors or walls with neighbors; so they can’t hear me play my hand drum at midnight. I live in Boulder, Colorado, where there are still a few old neighborhoods with trailer parks in them, and I find them to be some of the most interesting and economical housing options offered here. My trailer is on the edge of town, out of the hustle of the universities and major commerce areas, and still offers a community. Because of its external location, it has more amazing views than most places more centrally located. Its compact, yet has the feeling of living in a house.
I want to share a few of my do’s and don’ts if your first apartment ends up being in a trailer park community:
DO: Get renters insurance. Trailers are great, but not as sturdy as a house. Spent the $13 or so per month to save your stuff in case of flood, fire, hurricane, or theft.
DO: Care for your trailer. If something breaks; fix it. If it’s dirty; clean it. You will want to get the full security deposit back when you move out.
DO: Plant a tiny garden. Take advantage of the house-like-ness and get down in your yard. Plant your row of herbs, hang a hammock and grill out. You will meet your neighbors, get some vitamin D, and feel more connected to your ‘hood.
DON’T: Assume all trailers are made equal. New trailers are wonderful, old ones can be drafty, malfunctioning, or moldy. Check into the maintenance routine of professionally maintained properties to ensure that your digs have been well taken care of. Make sure drains are working, the trailer is grounded properly and secured to the foundation. Make sure the skirting is completely closed; critters will live underneath your house.
DO: Be neighborly. Buy the tamales from the Spanish grandma who comes to your door. Her English is as bad as the tamales are good. Let your neighbor’s kid shovel the drive.
DON’T: Drive fast. Kids are running amuck in there.
DO: Take evening walks. My neighbors blow the neighborhood up with the smell of curries and enchiladas. Meet the local animals that roam your park. Appreciate your neighbors’ lawns, gnomes, flamingos, and prayer flags. It’s a melting pot in there, be part of it.
DON’T: Pick a trailer in a crappy location. Consider view, accessibility, and practicality.
DO: Warn your neighbors if you are having a party. They will appreciate knowing why there are 30 extra cars on the street, and will be more likely to come and tell you if you are being too loud than just to call the cops on you.
Our guest blogger Lydia Sprouts considers herself a new renaissance human.