Why Do People Live in Trailer Parks?

Trailer parks have a bad reputation, at least in the United States and the rest of the developed world. They're viewed as the worst of the worst when it comes to places you can live. Urban ghettos also seem to have a bad reputation, but you'll get more judgment thrown your way if you tell people you live in a trailer park for some reason. These types of places are often run-down, mismanaged, full of crime and drama, and if you choose to live in them you'll probably have the negative social stigma to deal with as well. Of course, this isn't to say that all trailer parks are the same, because some are actually much nicer than others and very liveable for your average person. So you're probably asking yourself why anybody would want to live in a trailer park to begin with. Well there's many reasonsand the parks probably wouldn't have such bad reputations if more people understood those reasons, so here's just a few.

Trailers are Cheaper
The most obvious reason why people may choose to live in trailer parks is that it's usually much cheaper than other options. Renting a trailer per month is usually cheaper than renting a studio apartment or a home in most areas. In Florida, I've noticed that the cost to rent trailers per month are usually a couple hundred dollars cheaper per month than studio apartments in many cases and in Nevada they're about a hundred dollars cheaper. Buying and owning a new or used mobile home or trailer is much more affordable for most people than buying a home. It can also be a decent investment with low risk since trailers are easier to fix up than regular homes as well. The return over investment may not be as great as it would be with a home, but at least you don't have to invest as much. Since trailers are smaller than homes in most cases, this also means less lighting and electricity used, which can help a person save money on utility bills every month. Even things like air conditioning and heating can be cheaper because it uses less energy and resources to heat or cool a small trailer home than it would with a large house, since there's less space to cool or warm up.

Sense of Community
If you've never been in a trailer park, then you may have no idea about their strong sense of community. Not all places are the same, but I've been to many trailer parks where there seems to be a mini-community of people who are friendly and social with each other. You'll often see people from one home going over and visiting people in another home. This happens in neighborhoods with regular houses, and even in apartment complexes, but not to the degree that I've seen in trailer parks. Everybody seems to know everybody and it's almost like one big family sometimes. People aren't separated by things such as race as much, because of how tight-knit the community is. Unlike many other areas in the city or country, it doesn't matter if you're white, black, hispanic, asian, or any other color. Many people get along with each other and view each other as equals because of where and how they live in some of these places. It's similar to how people are in homeless encampments, since everybody is out in the open and everybody knows everybody's name. In other words, the residents in these areas are often more involved in the whole community part of the neighborhood. Since trailers are usually closer in proximity to each other than homes, it's easy to see how friendships and communication is made between residents.

No Leases
One major benefit of living in a trailer home is that many of them don't require leases. You can often pay month to month in these types of places, and that can be very convenient for some people. There's always going to be those who don't like to commit to anything, and signing a lease can be a big commitment to some. There's others who work unreliable jobs or may be thinking about leaving the area, and a lease doesn't exactly mesh well with situations like that. Monthly or weekly hotels can end up costing over a thousand dollars in some areas where trailers are just a few hundred every month. Renting houses will almost always some type of contract or lease. There are however many trailer parks that do require their renters to sign legal agreements or documents in order to rent there, but on the other hand, it's pretty easy to just go to another park and find one that doesn't have any type of paperwork.

No Credit Checks
There's others who are trying to stay below the radar for whatever reasons (people trying to hide from their debts, hide from the law, or hide from people trying to harm them). These people may not want their names on any official documents and probably won't want a credit check run on their name. There's also people who simply have bad credit due to defaulting on loans or credit cards, and they may be having a hard time renting an apartment or home because of it. Trailer park management or employees may be less picky when it comes to the types of people they rent to because they're usually aware to the fact that many of their tenants have bad credit or other types of financial problems. So many of them do not want to waste money by running credit checks when they'll end up renting to people with a bad credit history anyways.

Family or Friends
Some people just want to live with their family or friends, who may already live in trailer homes. It's very common to see family members or close friends living near each other in trailer parks, often right next to one another. There's a lot of people who would like to live near their family members but may not have the money to do so. Renting a home or apartment next to your brother or sister may be hard because of all the paperwork or the work involved in moving into these types of places. Also, people who live in homes or apartments tend to stay in them for longer durations than those who live in trailers or mobile homes. This may be because many people downgrade and move into trailers to save money, and then return to their apartments or houses once they're back on their feet. Either way, this means that people are constantly moving in and out of trailer parks and so it's easier to get a spot or vacant lot next to a family member if you're willing to wait for their neighbors to move out eventually.

Separated Units
Since trailers are seperate units, this can be a better option than renting an apartment because you don't have to worry about cockroaches or other problems that you'd find in low-income multi-unit buildings. Sometimes, a neighbor's cockroach problem can become your problem, simply because you live next door to them and your apartments are connected. Even if you keep your place as clean as possible, the insects will still enter your apartment to take a peek every now and then as long as your neighbor's place is still infested. Rats, bed bugs, and even fleas can all be an issue when you live in a place where units are attached. I once lived in an apartment unit where the entire building I was in had to be vacated and quarantined so they could get rid of a bed bug infestation. The bugs had traveled from apartment to apartment and it became a major problem, which is the reason I eventually left. When you're living in a trailer, this isn't as much of an issue. Sure, insects and rats can crawl between trailers very easily, but not as easily as between apartment units in the same building. So when you live in a trailer and you keep your trailer clean, you're unlikely to end up with an infestation of something because of your neighbors. Also, loud noise from the neighbor's music or pounding on the walls can be more of a problem in apartments or duplex homes since there's only a wall dividing two different homes. This is less likely to be a problem for those living in trailer park or mobile home communities as well.

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