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New Retirement Options

The classic vision of older folks wearing pastels and living the good life retired in Florida or Arizona is no longer the norm. During our RV travels this year we’ve come across many options for places to retire, all with different lifestyles. This month an entirely new option has presented itself. A mobile lifestyle.

Many retired Canadians are snowbirds who spend their summers in Canada and travel south for the colder months. We’ve also met Americans who do the same thing. Some not for weather considerations but for the lifestyle.

campground on Lake Osoyoos

The campground we stayed at on Lake Osoyoos this month was selling their spots for $200,000. Almost 95% of the sites had been sold for folks to live on. The lot next to us had a $700,000 plus Class A RV on it and they’d purchased their neighboring spot to house a permanent outdoor room and their speed boat.

Rv camping

They came during the warm season and probably used it 4 months a year. They could have purchased a home on the lake for around the same amount of money but preferred the mobile lifestyle. We spent $60 a night to stay next to them and enjoyed the same lifestyle…sort of. Our trailer doesn’t have marble floors and granite counters but you get the idea:)

Another mobile option we’ve run across are Park homes. I’d never heard of them until our first RV trip to the Oregon coast.

inside a Park Home

These are like mini mobile homes that get delivered to your purchased campsite, hooked up to the water,  sewer, and electric, then stays put. They come fully furnished but you can personalize them to your heart’s desire.

Surfside resort in Parksville, BC

Lucy and I toured one this week that came equipped with a king sized bed, washer/dryer, dishwasher, oven, microwave, full-size refrigerator, 3 large screen TVs, leather couch, 2 leather recliners, dinette set, skylights, ceiling fans, and chandeliers. The lady parked next to us has a piano in hers!

Park home in Canada

 

Although you don’t own the land your park home is on, you have a long-term lease of the space. People put in beautiful landscapes so some of these parks are gorgeous.

Many of these folks have sold their big homes and own several of these park homes in different locations like Palm Springs, Arizona, Utah etc. They’ve developed lasting friendships within each park and look forward to reconnecting when they change location each season.

I asked a couple next to us what they did with all their “stuff”. As I suspected, they gave it to their kids, sold or donated the rest. Some couples opt to pay for a storage unit, but most agreed that was a waste of money.

Local Bald Eagles that live in this Campground

It’s an interesting lifestyle we hadn’t considered. I’m not sure I could live without a home base but I could certainly spend many months of the year, here with this view out my back window.

sunset in Parksville

With so many beautiful spots to live, this mobile lifestyle allows you flexibility with less commitment.

 

Have you ever considered not owning or living in a building?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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35 Comments

  1. My husband and I sold our home and bought a motorhome. Traveled for about a year and decided this lifestyle was not for us, Missed having a garden and a place where our daughter and her family could come and visit comfortably. As my grandson put it…I miss Nana’s house. But realize this lifestyle may be for some. Whatever floats your boat!!!

    1. I would have a problem with that too, Susan. I couldn’t not have a home base.

  2. I love that there are so many options now. Our plan over the next decade is to sell the family home and buy a pied a terre in the Greater Toronto Area. We will then eventually split our time between the east coast, the GTA, and a southern place to be named later. We were thinking renting a house in a different southern spot each year but the RV option is appealing. Some of those places are amazing. Granite and pianos… who knew?

    1. Your plan sounds exciting Jen. The home you bought on the ocean is a stunner.

  3. My parents lived in a “caravan park” in England for 4 months each year for over 17 years. It was just a really nice mobile home with wheels that was up on concrete blocks. They purchased the caravan and then leased the space it sat on every year. I am so glad they kept their “real” home as they are limited by mobility issues and can no longer travel. If they had given up their house, they would not be able to afford to live near us anymore.

    1. That’s a great point to remember Lori! If we leave the real estate market we would have a hard time keeping up with inflation to get back in!

  4. We recently invested in a quarter share of a waterfront cottage on Pender Island that comes fully furnished and equipped with everything but personal items. We have it one week each month and 2 consecutive weeks in the summer….we feel this is a great way to have a recreational property as well as our boat. We are not ready to sell or move from our heritage home and garden just yet…we love having a garden to grow veggies and roses.
    Park homes are an interesting concept…with the Canadian dollar being low right now it might be a good time to invest…its great that you are doing so much research before you take the plunge!

    1. Your cottage looks amazing! We’ve not run across anything like it near our home. The dollar is low but prices are high in Canada. You’re very fortunate to live in such an amazing spot.

  5. We full timed for 5 yrs in a 5th wheel, a great experience. We now rent a condo with elevator and underground parking as we now have health issues. R.V. Life is the greatest and miss it tremendous great memories and made many friends.

    1. Full time for 5 years would be amazing! I’ll bet you saw some fabulous spots. You bring up an excellent point, Diane. When our health becomes a challenge we will want to be living in an easy place.

  6. I am learning and enjoying your retirement living research as much as your fashion posts. You’ve developed a two-fer blog! Two for the price of one!

    Much as this option sounds adventurous and fun, I see 2 downsides:

    1) The homes do not increase in value. After 10-20 years they may not appreciate like real estate.

    2) it would be hard to live transiently if you have hobbies that depend on community, for example, playing in a musical group, acting in community theater, taking lessons in something to build a skill. Losing continuity and losing connections would be hard. Even new friendships need to be non-seasonal.

    1. Those are excellent points Marian!! I’m not sure I could give up my things either.

  7. Ellen McMahon says:

    Here is a hidden treasure for you to check out. It could be your home base and then RV it whenever you want. There is even a place to park your RV. I know people who live in this park and love it. Just down the street from French Laundry. They help with movie festival, play pickle ball, and of course lots of wine tasting. The price is amazing for Northern CA! No I am not a realtor, just love this area and wish I could retire here.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/6468-Washington-St_Yountville_CA_94599_M13191-46055

    1. We adore Yountville! Thanks for the heads up Ellen. We will check it out!

  8. Our tiny RV sees shorter trips as it and we age. Now it’s more of one week jaunts, never staying more than a couple of nights in one spot. Our style changes for our needs.

    We live close to a ski hill. There are folks who winter away from the south so they can be in the snow.

    We’ve certainly spotted a variety of styles. The latest I noticed was very big rigs that are renting for a month or more so that the grandkids and family can come to the their base rig,ie a substitute cottage. Many of the family had reserved nearby campsites for the weekend or week.

    As you pointed out the amenities and quality are amazing now.

    1. We’ve seen that too, Julie! Sometimes 3-4 campers in a row with family from far away. It’s a great way to have s reunion.

  9. Several years ago before actually retiring, Hubby and I seriously considered the mobile lifestyle. It seemed very appealing at the time as neither of our children live in our home state. However, when the actual retirement time came, we downsized and moved into a Garden Home in a gated community. It was the right choice for us as we love to travel and then come “home.” But, you have presented some new viable options for those who do wish to be more “home free.”

    1. That’s why we aren’t jumping into anything Libby. There are so many ways to retire! Garden homes are great because the yard work is fine by someone else:)

  10. This was new to me and so interesting to learn about. Thanks!

    1. It’s fascinating to learn how others are retiring, Leigh. I’m positive there are tons of options we haven’t discovered. It’s fun!

  11. We’ve stayed in trailer parks over the years while travelling, especially in Australia and new Zealand. They have “park homes” but they call them cottages in several and they were really nice. My mum now lives in what we call a “mini-home” which is the size of a house trailer but is permanently sitting on blocks, closed in at the base and hooked up to electrics, sewage and water. But she didn’t actually relocate… just across the driveway because it’s still on the farm. That way she still lives i the neighbourhood, her friends are still close, but she doesn’t have to manage the big farmhouse. There are so many ways to downsize, aren’t there?
    Not sure why someone would pay so much money to purchase such a tiny piece of real estate. Not to mention the cost of the trailer. Ironic that friends of mine are relocating from Toronto to tiny Saint Andrews, New Brunswick where a house can be had for a fraction of the cost of that $700,000.00 trailer you mention. And they’re on the ocean and there’s a thriving arts community… not to mention fresh lobster in season. They can still afford to leave for two months in the dead of winter, and maybe rent that trailer you guys stayed in:)

    1. Living in the ocean would be a dream come true for us! The prices must be amazing in St Andrews, Sue! I was baffled by the amount of money those folks spent to be at the lake. Just insane. With all their bells and whistles added up, it was way over a million!

  12. Wow! Y’all have a lot to consider. The new options are interesting. I have cousins that traveled the US in their Class A for 2 1/2 years but last month bought a home in a Del Webb Sun City community in TX. The motorcoach is in storage. They are Texans but spent holidays in Montana and Chicago with their children. Loved every minute of it. The Del Webb community appealed to them for the active lifestyle. Can’t wait to see what you and your husband decide on. I’m really enjoying your travels!

    1. Their travels sound so fun, Terry! We saw our first Del Webb in Sacramento area and loved it. So many options!! We’re having fun looking.

    2. We’re in Del Webb Sun City in Georgetown, TX. Several of our neighbors have homes in another state or even another country they travel to during the Texas hot Summer months.

  13. We have driven down the coast to San Diego and over to Tucson a couple of times in the winter and have wondered “what’s keeping us in the grey?” I think that I could embrace the “gypsy” life more easily than my husband although he has no family in Vancouver nor is he attached to material things. I would probably have to go “the storage route” because I don’t think that I could give up my stuff.

    1. Me too, Joanne. Those sentimental pieces have a strangle hold on me. I just like them too much!

  14. It is interesting to learn what others are doing and what the options are. I am not at a point where I could live without home…but who knows..that can always change. Interesting post, Jennifer.

  15. The mobile lifestyle really appeals to the wanderlust in me. I have fantasized about taking a year and living for one week in each state in an RV. Though I think I would prefer pulling a trailer rather than a full driving RV just so I have something to driving around in after parking the trailer. (Not sure I’m using the right terminology here!)
    We did a week on New Zealand’s south island in an RV and it was magical!
    Have you had experiences with both? Any ideas on the pros and cons of each?

    1. We have rented Class C and huge Class A motorhomes, as well as haul this little trailer. I think I’d rather have a 5th wheel which gives you spacious accommodations but unhooks from your truck so you have wheels once you park!

  16. There are a few mobile home parks here. Generally they are just for those that can’t commit to bricks. I guess it’s a good idea having several over your way but to afford it generally I suppose means disposing of the bricks property. Big step.

    1. I think so AnneMarie. They sell the main home and just move around a lot. I don’t think I could do that. But I never say never.

  17. Karen Perrine says:

    We are thinking along the same lines and I am really enjoying your post and such. Where in Oregon?

    1. That park was called Shorewood,Karen. I could be spelling it wrong. It’s on the northern section. I loved its private beach and stunning location.