Why We’ve Decided to Sell Our House And Live In a Trailer

I’ve been known to be a bit impulsive at times. More than once I’ve lived to regret a hasty decision I’ve made. But not this time. My husband and I have put a lot of thought into this decision and we plan to follow through with it no matter what. You see, we’ve decided to sell our house and move into a trailer.

A little counter-cultural, I know. Some may say our choice goes against conventional wisdom. I completely agree. Conventional wisdom (at least in America) says, in order to be considered “successful” you should have a high paying career, own a super-sized house (and all of the trappings that go with it), and drive shiny new vehicles (which you should upgrade every few years).

Why then, have we decided to do just the opposite? Why would anyone in their right mind sell a perfectly good house, move across the country with their two kids (and 2 dogs), just to live in a run-down trailer in the woods?

First of all, I never said I was in my right mind…

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 Why We’ve Decided to Sell Our House & Move Into a Trailer

Where we are now

Here’s our current living situation. Presently, our family of 5, (soon to be 4 when my oldest moves out for college this fall), our two dogs, plus multiple fish live comfortably in a small (1100 sq. ft.) house.  Previously, our family lived in a 2,300 square foot (American dream) home, which for us, turned out to be a financial nightmare. We are incredibly happy we downsized into our existing home.

Our home is in a good location, we have nice neighbors, and it is a close commute to my husband’s work. Our house was built in 1904, so it has tons of character. Additionally, many updates have been made including a newer roof, windows, and furnace. 

We have a reasonable mortgage, which we can comfortably afford.

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into a Trailer

Our Current House

 

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into A Trailer

Kitchen in our current house.

 

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into a Trailer

Dining Room in our current house.

 

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into a Trailer

Living Room-current house

Where we are going

For comparison, here are some pictures of our future home (trailer).

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into a Trailer

Our Trailer

 

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into a Trailer

Trailer Kitchen & Dining Room

 

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into a Trailer

Living Room-Trailer (Side 1)

 

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House and Move Into a Trailer

Trailer Living Room (Side 2)

As you can see, the 1974 trailer (mobile home) we will be moving into after we sell our house needs quite a bit of work. Currently, the best features of the trailer are the roof-over and the yard. That’s about it. We will need to completely gut the place, replace the windows, and update the wiring & plumbing.

{You may be thinking it would be cheaper to replace the existing trailer with a newer structure. We checked into it. It’s not.}

Therefore, our plan is to sell our house in Colorado and move to Florida, (where we will live in an RV while we renovate our trailer), by April 2018.

Two Reasons We’ve Decided to Sell Our House And Move Into A Trailer

When we purchased our house 4 years ago, we planned to pay it off and retire in it. It was going to be our “forever” home. After moving our family around multiple times throughout the last several years, we were looking forward to “settling down”. Our goal was to pay off our mortgage, retire, buy an RV, stalk our (by then) grown children, and go fishing (a lot). We were undecided on whether we’d sell our house when we retired or keep it as a “home base”.

Well, none of that matters now. Because you know what they say about the best-laid plans.

Our new plan is to sell our house, buy an RV (to live in while we renovate), travel, renovate our trailer, go fishing, move into our trailer, travel some more, stalk our grown children, and go fishing some more.

There are two main differences between plan “A” and plan “B”. These differences are what motivates us to turn our lives upside down (culturally speaking) and take the plunge. The first reason we have made the decision to sell our house and move into a trailer is, family.

Family

The whole reason we even have the opportunity to sell our house in Colorado and move to Florida is due to our family. My husband’s aunt passed away a year and a half ago. Her husband and daughter decided to move out and sold the mobile home (which is on family property) to my in-laws. They, in turn, gifted us the trailer with the idea that we could use the home whenever we came to visit.

Instead, we’ve decided to move in full-time.

My husband and I both grew up in the “woods” of Florida. All of our family still lives there. By far, the hardest thing to do was leave them  (11 years ago) to move to Colorado for a better job opportunity. While we have made some wonderful friends and have a strong church family, my children have had to grow up without knowing their (many) cousins, or their aunts and uncles. Aside from phone calls, they only get to interact with their grandparents once (maybe twice) a year.

Additionally, my in-laws are not getting any younger. Before too long, they are going to need assistance, especially since Alzheimer’s runs in the family and my husband’s mother is already showing early signs of it.

My aunt, who has been like a mother to me is in the same position. She has always been the one people rely on to take care of them. Eventually, she will be physically unable to. Someone will need to step in and take care of her for a change.

Aside from the fact that our family members will need to rely on us more and more as they age, we want our kids to have the opportunity to learn from (and about) their grandparents, aunts, and uncles while they still can.

If all of this isn’t reason enough, ultimately, the truth is, we just miss the heck out of them.

However, none of this matters if we couldn’t afford to move in the first place. Which brings me to the next reason we have decided to sell our house and move into a trailer. Finances.

Why We've Decided to Sell Our House And Move Into A Trailer

Finances

The fact that my in-laws have gifted us a mobile home on three acres of family property is a huge reason we have decided to sell our house and move into a trailer. You see, four years ago, we tried to move back to Florida so we could be near our families. Our stay was cut short by the fact that we couldn’t afford a house on my husband’s income. After three short months, we were forced to move back to Colorado where we could afford to purchase a house. This is because my husband makes considerably more money doing the same job in Colorado than in Florida.

Being mortgage-free means we will be able to afford to live in Florida. My husband won’t have to stress about making enough money to pay the bills because our bills will be greatly reduced. He will be able to seek employment based on his interests instead of our bank account.

Some of the things we will be able to save money on include:

  • Mortgage-no monthly payment!
  • Water/Sewer-there is a well on the new property
  • Trash Service-we will be transporting our waste to the county dump (free)
  • Food-groceries are much more expensive where we currently live. We will be moving within 15 miles of Aldi’s!
  • Entertainment-currently, if we want to do anything “fun” (even fishing and camping), we have to drive an hour and a half to get anywhere. In Florida, we will have access to rivers, lakes, trails, and tons of other frugal entertainment. Most of it will be within 10 miles of our home.
  • Clothing-first of all, we will be moving to a warmer climate, so we will need fewer clothes. Second, there is a gigantic market for used items where we are moving.
  • Household Goods-again, the secondhand market where we are going is immense.
  • State Income Taxes-Colorado has a state income tax rate of 4.6%. Florida does not have a state income tax. Whoo hoo!

That’s why we’ve decided to sell our (perfectly good) house and move into a (run-down) trailer.

I hope you will join us on our crazy journey to downsize our belongings so we can move into an RV for at least a year while we work on our trailer. Expect more posts on how we plan to downsize and prepare for our family of 4 (+2 dogs) to move across the country. I will also be posting on how we will prepare our house for sale (on a budget), including DIY kitchen and bathroom renovations, creating curb appeal, and how to stage your home for a quick sale.

Eventually, I will be posting about how we plan to take our ugly duckling of a trailer and turn it into a beautiful swan which our family plans to enjoy (mortgage-free) for many years to come.

What are your thoughts? Are we crazy to think this could actually work? If you had the chance to be debt-free by the age of 45, would you take it? Even if it meant selling the home you love and moving into a trailer in the woods? Weigh in on the conversation below!

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Ok. Either this family is completely crazy, or they are on to something. I don't know.

Why would anyone want to sell a perfectly good house in order to move into a run-down trailer? This family does!

About Cheryl Lemily

A wife, mom of 3 boys & 2 dogs. A minimalist raising a minimalist(ish) family. Living a small, slow, simple life. Helping others declutter & simplify.

7 comments on “Why We’ve Decided to Sell Our House And Live In a Trailer

  1. We did the same thing 5 years ago…moved here full time in summer of 2015…no mortgage and family owned land…took the ugly duckling that my great grandfather built by hand to a very beautiful swan…sold everything and moved…will. E completely debt free by 2019 with two kids finishing college debt free…yay Dave Ramsey!

    • Chenedra,

      Sounds like you are living the (new & improved) American Dream! Congrats on the kids finishing college debt free. My oldest is going to college this fall. He has opted for a Jr. college in order to save money and hopes to transfer to a 4-yr when he graduates. He’s carefully watching his money and working to save up for it all in addition to applying for every scholarship he can as well as work study on campus.

      • My son received his associates degree from the community college and then transferred to a 4 year university…my daughter took classes at the community college for a year and then transferred…it’s been a collaborative effort between work, scholarships, grants, self-pay, and loans…though the loans will be paid off prior to graduation…much flexibility through it all!

  2. We downsized from an 1800 Sq Ft home on 1 acre to a 1100 Sq ft trailer on 4 acres, now 10 acres since we purchased the 6 acres next to us. We couldn’t be happier. Recently my husbands company lost their contract with the government and his co-workers were freaking out wondering how they were going to pay their $400,000 mortgage and under my breather I would just laugh and say to myself you had to have the status symbol I have no worriers, if he is not working past July we will get in our RV and travel more. No mortgage no Worries!!

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