Thursday, February 23, 2012

Senior Living Options on the Desert

Butterbean wants to know if the parade was in the park we are going to move to.  And no this is still the park we have been at since late November.  We need to move out of here by March 1st, so that is when we will go to the new park for us over in Apache Junction.

I rode the motor scooter over there today and stopped at the neighboring site to the one we are renting, and talked with the fellow that has a motorhome on the site and his neighbor across the street from the site we will be on.  One of the fellows was from Manatoba, Canada and the other fellow was a native Iowan, but I didn't catch where he is living now.  We spent about 15 minutes talking about several subjects and the conversation flowed easily.  They agreed that our motorhome will be tight on the site, but the neighbor has a 36 footer and he fits with a couple of feet at each end to spare.

As you know, we have been looking at park models for the last couple of years, but are not impressed with the height of the trailers and the permanence of the trailer once an Arizona room is built on.  Perhaps the price of about 90 K has slowed me as well.  Even with the Arizona room you only have 6 to 700 sq feet.  Add that to the fact that you can't purchase the lot, but will need to pay $5,000 a year for as long as you own this property.........  In 15 years that is 90 Thousand!!!  Completely gone.  That simply doesn't make sense to this accountant.

We also looked at manufactured homes in a retirement village just South of the Superstition Freeway about 2 miles South of us here.  These homes are essentially double wide park models that have the wheels removed.  They are set right on the concrete foundation at ground level.  Again this is in the retirement village with the club house and swimming pool and tennis courts.  A zillion activities are scheduled to keep the seniors busy.

The price of this place is the purchase of the housing unit somewhere between $100 K and $200 K and the rental of the lot which includes all the fees for the park and club house.  One lady that I talked to a couple of weeks ago told me her rent was almost $800 per month.  Ya.......... like 9600 a year.  $96,000 in ten years.........

And folks over there have oooodles of places for sale, and very few sales.  I guess it is better this year than last, but still you can expect to wait for two years on average to sell a place once you become an owner............

You could very easily spend as much in rents as you did to purchase the place.  Let's face it, people are making their living running these operations.  And the developers have an annuity due for as long as the village exists.  You can't just pick up and leave..  This option seems to make even less sense to an accountant.

Because of the handicap I have been left with after the cancer surgery this fall, we need to have hookups almost all the time.  Also this motorhome doesn't have any laundry facilities, which is a problem for us now as well.  We are getting by, but spending quite a bit of our time just living.....

So that leaves more permanent forms of housing.  At least you can deduct the interest and taxes and not suffer overwhelming depreciation on the property.  Its value may go down, but not in half like the motorhomes do.  In ten years you are lucky to recoup 25 percent of a RV purchase price on a trade in.. And that's after paying the camp rent to park it.  Camping has become EXPENSIVE!!

Since we are not full timers, and do not intend to sell our home anytime soon, the idea of an Arizona property is not at all frightening.  So we have been actively looking at small ranch homes here in the Valley.  And now you know why we can't leave this area, because we have found what we were looking for.

If you are with me this long, you can see that we need to decide almost everything possible.  And this will need to be mostly complete before we can go back to Kansas.  Even then we will be coming back to inspect things before the dry wall goes up.  And who knows how many more times before we finish.

As real estate owners, we have been thru this several times, so it doesn't seem as daunting....... But we have never tried it from 1300 miles away...........

Ya, we are certifiably nuts..........

Retired Rod


  1. It seems like you might have posted a picture of the housing site, but my being able to view photos is very sporadic. I hope you post it again sometime and maybe I'll be able to see it.

    Very interesting financial analysis.

  2. No, you are not nuts, we are thinking the same thing!

  3. Well, maybe we're getting a big jar of Nuts together here because that has been our intention the past couple years as well. Depending on how medical things go this summer we will be back on the hunt again next winter & hopefully in Arizona somewhere. After checking prices in the Wickenburg area we know the prices are too high for us here. Good for you in making what Kelly & I think is a wise decision by getting away from the RV/Mobile Home Park concept. I look at your decision as an exciting challenge:))

  4. Certifiably Nuts no not at all. How exciting.

    I can't wait to hear all about it on Sunday.

    See you soon

  5. Very exciting. Can't wait to see the house! Does this mean that you're selling the motorhome? Do you have someone to look after the house when you're back in KS?

  6. Funny how we all wander lost and end up on the same path. I am sure you will be happy with your new place and we will be glad to have you as neighbours albeit an hour away, but that is better than all the way over in KC.

    See you Sunday.

  7. So where is this lot? I would love to drive by and watch the progress while we're down here.

  8. Congrats, Rod. You are quickly becoming a 'land baron' what with your home in Kansas, your house at the lake and now your new home in AZ!

    I'm sure you'll be making the odd trip back to supervise!

  9. butterbean carpenterFebruary 23, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Howdy Y'ALL & I'm talking to all y'all,

    As a former home-builder and seeing the quality of what they're putting out these days AND REMINDING MYSELF OF THE 'WATER-SHORTAGE' IN AZ, NM, TX, OK CO,UT,etc.!! Whatcha agonna do if it don't rain enuff for a few years.. Phoenix & Las Vegas are agonna have first dibs on ANY WATER;THEY HAVE TO WATER THEIR GOLF COURSES!!! BETTER THINK HARD ABOUT INVESTING IN THE DESERT!!!

  10. We wish you the very best of luck in your building...sounds to me like you've made the choice most suitable for you both...good show...and congratulations...will be watching the progress :)


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