It’s Thursday, which means another post from our usual Thursday contributor, Chick Who Isn’t Me. I want to make extra sure you guys don’t know this is me, since I think I would rather hang out with 14 methheads than live in a trailer.
While procrastinating today, I browsed Reddit and saw this lovely piece about a woman in Calgary who rents out her RV for $700 a month. Most of the comments I’ve read either talk about how this set-up is borderline illegal or how it’s ridiculous that people are willing to pay $700 a month to live in a trailer, 5 minutes from the ghetto and directly beside the airport… Welcome to Calgary.
I really like this idea — I’ve worked for RV rental companies before and they are definitely not the ghetto trailers of yesteryear. I remember getting that job and thinking that the trailers were going to be like the one that Eminem lived in in 8 Mile and was pleasantly surprised — these trailers had heat, electricity, air conditioning, television with cable and satellite hook-ups, full showers, queen sized beds, full kitchens with A TON of storage. In fact, I’m almost 100% sure that those trailers are nicer looking than some of the apartments that I’ve lived in in my life.
Here’s a listing of a trailer for sale, right now, in Calgary: 1999 motor home for $30 000. Please remember that, if you wait until fall, you could probably save a few thousand dollars. Also, you would need to winterize this unit at a cost of (maximum) $500. The benefit of buying a motor home over a trailer is that you can drive to the grocery store and not have to load your groceries alllll the way into your car and then drive alllll the way home to unload everything allll the way into your house. Bring your cart to your trailer’s front door, unload your groceries and save like, $0.50 on plastic bags. #winning
Now there are two ways that you can use this motor home to earn a bit of extra money:
Option 1: Buy/rent a house with a bit of extra land and rent it off to a young family that loves the idea of slightly discounted rent in exchange for having a trailer almost permanently in their yard. Plug your motor home into the house’s electricity and heat/cook with propane. With only one or two people living in the motor home, you’ll only have to dump your waste about once every two weeks and you can get fresh water from the main house’s water supply. So now we’re at a $30 000 outlay, $2 000 house rental that you turn around and sublease for $1 800… I could get used to housing costs that low!
Option 2: Do the exact same thing as above but stay in the house and have some hippy weirdo like me rent the trailer. Same $30 000 outlay but now you can only rent the trailer for $700 but still have to pay the hypothetical $2 000 house rental. Not so attractive, is it?
Without a doubt, I would choose option 1. First of all, families make MUCH better tenants than hippy weirdos. Second of all, I don’t like the idea of some hippy weirdo taking my RV off of my property to go to a dumping station. Third of all, I’m unsure about the legality of all of this but I’m willing to bet that there would be less problems with me living in a trailer on property that I own/directly rent than some guy renting something on my property/subleasing. Oh, yeah, and the the huge financial difference between living in a trailer vs. a house.
If the woman in that news article ends up with troubles over her enterprising scheme, it will likely be because she didn’t think things through and went with option two. For everyone reading this who thinks that I’m a monster for suggesting that people live in a 400 sq ft trailer, let me remind you that the Calgary housing vacancy is less than 1%, people are constantly being taken into rental scams all the time and, as Reddit’s rkarsk says: “Nobody put a gun to anyone’s head to live there. The guy that’s renting it is one less renter competing for a 1 bedroom suite. He wants to live there, someone else gets a spot in the city. Win-Win.”