Newt and I were shopping for a new(er) ranch pickup. The salesman was showing us around the lot, looking at potential models.

“This model is our least expensive…only $60,000.” I gasped under my breath- our budget was half that and I knew the resale value would be way under that amount.

“There are only donuts on the tires” I pointed out to the salesman. Those little tires in your trunk that you can’t go over 40 miles an hour in. He nodded and gave me a toothy grin.

“Those tires are standard. Regular tires are an upgrade.” Another toothy grin with no response to my horror.

“What if we already have tires? Can we bring those and put them on?”

Toothy grin, “Oh, yes. But that upgrade would required reinforcing the tie rods. The tie rods would buckle under the weight of a real tire…”
And then I woke up from my bad dream. A combination of thoughts on buying a different ranch pickup and my horrible experience at the “manufactured” home dealership.

We haven’t bought a pickup yet, but I can tell you what I learned at the home dealership:
*a single wide trailer house is $80K unless you want to live in a inferior quality home (ie. plastic sinks, plastic wall coverings, cheap everything)
*did I mention the nicest house in Tiny Town sells for $90K (no resale value whatsoever)
*don’t replace the siding- the walls are not strong enough for “real” siding and they will collapse under the weight
*drywall screws??- they use nails, which were starting to pop out in the model homes (less than a year old)
*the doors and windows do not have headers to support them.

Sigh. The house hunt is still on, but I’m not sure I can afford to live in an overpriced tin can with no resale value. I can’t find a carpenter to refinish the Yellow House and its sale is pending, and I don’t feel comfortable building a house on leased land we may never own.

Sigh. My expectations of a well built house have went up too much. Darn you, Mike Holmes, Mr. Do-It-Right-The-First-Time-or-You-Will-Pay-for-It-Later! Darn you, rural life so far from anything.

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