Though the price of the average mobile home is only $7,000 -- compared to $30,000 for the conventional house that stays put...

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MOBILE HOMES: The Low-Cost Housing Hoax

Though the price of the average mobile home is only $7,000 -- compared to $30,000 for the conventional house that stays put -- it's no bargain. In fact, if you read this report, odds are you'll discard any notion of ever buying one. The Center for Auto Safety, once affiliated with Nader, now independent, spent two years investigating every aspect of mobile home ownership: financing and insurance, renting a lot in a trailer park, getting the dealer to service malfunctioning plumbing, electrical appliances, et al. Their findings were dismal on all counts. Even if the hybrid mobile home, half house, half car, represents ""fully one-third of new single-family housing,"" it is likely to be neither attractive nor safe. Financing charges (and hidden charges) are exorbitant; the industry is stocked with fly-by-night dealers who will skip town as soon as they've made a fast buck; construction materials are inevitably the cheapest and tackiest available (the only ""standards"" are set not by the government, but by the industry itself), and both fires and windstorms are constant hazards. More -- the trailer park where you will pay through the nose to rent a tiny lot will probably be banished by county ordinances to the poorest land, land considered unsuitable for other residential or commercial uses. Once in the park you will have no protection from the management which can expel a tenant at will and, in the meantime, harass him with scores of ""regulations"" -- including prohibitions on speaking ""in a derogatory manner of the park."" In all fairness the Center points out that some people (retirees, newlyweds) are quite happy in their plastic and plywood trailer homes. But on the whole the story can be summed up in a phrase: ""the high cost of low quality.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Grossman/Viking

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974