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Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 12:19 AM   #1
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Bad Turns Good

Recently I bought a 28 foot fifth wheel trailer. It cost me $5,000, used. I thought I might like to travel around this summer.

Then the gas prices... well you know. I pull it with a 8 mpg Ford which came with the fifth wheel.

I parked the trailer on a small ranch I own in the wine country north of S. F.

This weekend I rented the trailer to a very happy carpenter for $700 a month. Not much to rent up there at that price. Close to town and beautiful views on ten acres that he will have mostly to himself, since I only use the ranch house up there about twice a month.

He will act as a caretaker and I will pay him for repair work around the place and a barn I hope to add.

What an unsuspected surprise out of a downer oil price hike.

Real estate got to love it. Let's see, what is the return on that $5,000 investment.

Whew.

boont

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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 12:42 AM   #2
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Re: Bad Turns Good

So, does that mean you're going to turn that 10-acre ranch into a mobile home park now?
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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 02:34 AM   #3
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Re: Bad Turns Good

"So, does that mean you're going to turn that 10-acre ranch into a mobile home park now?"

Of course not. Why would you suggest such a thing? I explained what happened.

b.
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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 02:55 AM   #4
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Re: Bad Turns Good

Sounds like you live in an area with a housing affordability crisis if local tradesmen are spending $700/mo to rent a fifth wheel.

No idea what you paid for the land or what your planned use for it is, but obviously you could generate much more than $700/mo income if you wanted to, and take some pressure off your local housing crisis at the same time.

I guess it's not clear to me why you rented the trailer. Were you actively looking for a caretaker? Did you need the rental income? Do you plan to give him the boot when gas prices drop?

The only moral I got out of your story was that some workers can't afford to live where they work.
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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 07:24 AM   #5
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Re: Bad Turns Good

boont, I have a logistical question for you re: the parked trailer. This is on your land on the ranch that sounds like it also as a house on the property. How do you supply the trailer with water, sewer and power? I would guess that power and water would be connected to the house's power and well (??). What about sewer? Is the trailer just connected to the house's septic system?

I ask because I am tempted to own a cabon or country place, but I have zero interest in doing the maintenance on it or paying for it. An alternative might be a used motorhome or travel trailer that I could park on a piece of land for the season. But I would have to figure out power, water and sewer. Hence my questions...
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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: Bad Turns Good

I live in wine country north of SF (but not in boont's trailer...at least yet ). The median home price here is approaching $600K. Rent of $700/mo is a real bargain, so I can see why the carpenter would live in the 5th wheel for that...especially on his "own" 10 acres. I can also see why boont might want to rent the trailer out for $700/mo instead of letting it sit idle while he's not using it. Let's see, in 8 months his renter would have bought his trailer for him.

Just be aware that renters don't take care of your property like you would. I rented my house out for several years while I lived overseas. The renters, very personable folks, somehow misadjusted one of the lawn sprinklers so that it sprayed on the house. In the summer they would leave the windows open, and the sprinkler would spray through the window into the house!! I don't know how long this went on for, but when I returned the floor and walls were ruined inside that window, and the renters (and rental mgr) never said a word about it. Thirty seconds adjusting the sprinkler was all it took me to remedy the situation...plus $5000 to replace the flooring and fix the wall.
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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: Bad Turns Good

Things just went a different direction than I thought. That was the point of the story. No, I am not going to give the guy "the boot". Worked out better this way.

I am adding another septic. The carpenter is going to do this and rig another electric line (with PG&E of course) as well. I will pay him for all his time. The trailer is set-up with a pump-out type john. One either pumps it from holding tanks every so often or swaps out that system for a "house like" one. We will do a swap out. Either would use the septic.

The water will hook up from my house. Simple hose will be trenched to the trailer. I could have done the same with the electric but I want another meter.

Yes, housing is almost impossible to find there.

I had often thought of a caretaker but never got off the dime until now. The place is a retreat for me. Music, books and nature. Nothing else intrudes.

Again, I was just remarking on how well this has turned out. The man gets a near new trailer on 10 beautiful acres that back up to a thousand acres of ranchland. Secluded, yet not remote; he is seven minutes from town.I get a live-in guy who can do all the chores I never seem to get around to. (I will hire him for all jobs). Plus, I get a huge return on a small investment.

Basically, I can keep him busy for weeks and he won't have to commute, just open his door. Yet, he is free to take local jobs as well. Doesn't get much better.

boont



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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 06:25 PM   #8
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Re: Bad Turns Good

Hmmmm.

boont and scrinch...

Are there other opportunities out there in Marin Co. for caretaker-type arrangements? For reputable, responsible caretakers, that is.

Just curious.

Gypsy
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Re: Bad Turns Good
Old 05-22-2006, 11:10 PM   #9
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Re: Bad Turns Good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Are there other opportunities out there in Marin Co. for caretaker-type arrangements?* For reputable, responsible caretakers, that is.
Ed, you know they still have winter up there in Marin, right? Never mind, I just realized that from where you are now, a Marin Co winter looks like summer anyway...
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