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This couple lives in a classic 940-square-foot trailer by the seaside for $5,100 a month: It be ‘the California dream’

When my husband Brian first told me he’s from Laguna Shoreline, it took every part in me to play it cool. “Oh, is that end to Los Angeles?” I asked.

Love most elder millennials, I knew exactly the put Laguna Shoreline turned into as soon as. I’ll additionally considered every episode of the truth show conceal (I turned into as soon as an LC with a Kristin haircut) and turned into as soon as a superfan of “The OC” moreover. (Seth and Summer season forever!)

I get no longer know why I pretended. Appears to be like, Brian’s a Seth-and-Summer season stan, too.

I under no conditions imagined we would find yourself residing in the land of beachside cottages and solar-drenched ocean coves I’ll additionally considered on TV. But in 2021, we made up our minds to leave the Bay Set and exhaust a couple months in Brian’s place of birth. We both work remotely — I’m a author and he’s in tech gross sales — so why no longer?

Now we had been right here ever since. At the new time, we are residing in an ragged-college, 940-square-foot, aluminum-sided trailer across the avenue from the seaside.

Deciding we wished to contend with in Laguna Shoreline wasn’t engaging — I indicate, or no longer it is enticing, sunny, laid support, and has a thriving art work scene. But realizing an extended-term residing put in this kind of costly put required us to get ingenious.

Finding a ingenious approach to are residing in Laguna Shoreline

The median home fee in Laguna Shoreline hovers round $3 million and the median monthly lease is over $8,000. Brian and I were paying $6,200 a month for our momentary rental, a steep fee we would possibly additionally abdominal for a few months but no longer one thing we would possibly additionally withhold.

Luckily, we discovered a unusual shrimp neighborhood tucked away in a picturesque canyon across the avenue from the ritziest resort in town. It be stuffed with cell homes that promote for as shrimp as $150,000.

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Brian and I must no longer any strangers to replacement abodes — we would previously lived aboard a 46-foot motor yacht for three years — so the belief that of a home on wheels didn’t intimidate us.

At the same time as you happen to purchase a trailer in this cell home community, the development is yours but you lease the land it sits on. We made up our minds to survey at shopping a cell home as a hybrid solution — fragment owning, fragment renting — fascinated by lower than what both used choice would fee.

After residing aboard a 46-foot motor yacht for three years, the 940-square-foot “feels luxuriate in a mansion to us,” Brian says. “Now we contain always loved an unconventional put.”

Courtesy of Jaclyn Westlake

We paid $212,500 for the trailer the utilization of cash we would saved up after negotiating a $5,000 credit ranking from the sellers when the house inspection uncovered some mandatory repairs.

After residing on a boat, we didn’t contain a lot extra than a TV and a mattress to start out with. In expose to rebuild the unstable support deck, fence the yard, re-lift out the landscaping, renovate the kitchen, and furnish the house, we took out a $150,000 home equity loan in opposition to the trailer.

All told, we’re currently paying about $5,148 a month, including:

  • Land lease: $3,424
  • Utilities: $394 (these fluctuate a shrimp every month, but right here’s what we paid in April 2024 for electricity, gas, water, sewer, and recordsdata superhighway)
  • Mortgage compensation: $1,330

We’re appealing to repay the house equity loan to lift our monthly fee of residing down a lot extra and hope to abet out so within the subsequent two years.

Rob a survey interior our ‘classic’ Laguna Shoreline trailer

Our two-mattress room, two-rest room home turned into as soon as in-constructed the 1960s. The exterior is normal and we luxuriate in the classic survey.

There’s no storage, only a carport, so we constructed a storage shed in the aspect yard for tenting equipment and vacation decorations.

Jaclyn and Brian’s ragged-college, 940-square-foot trailer has wheels (even supposing they aren’t visible) and would possibly additionally be moved. It’s possible you’ll well peek the carport on the suitable and the storage shed peeking over the fence on the left.

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In our carport, it is possible you’ll well gain a golf cart, which is our favourite approach to get around the neighborhood, secure groceries or zip across the avenue to the seaside. When or no longer it is no longer good to make exhaust of the golf cart, we contain a typical automotive and a van for transporting Brian’s surfboards round town.

We put our own fee on the kitchen, adding butcher block counters, a tiled backsplash, a dishwasher, and a wine fridge.

When they supplied the trailer, Jaclyn and Brian knew they wished to update the kitchen. “It turned into as soon as glorious, but it didn’t contain moderately a few warmth or persona to it,” Brian says. Jaclyn adds that it turned into as soon as “very white.”

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There must no longer any closets — no longer one! — in this home, so we had to get ingenious with storage: My cloth cloth cabinet is in the lounge, our towels are kept in a buffet in my put of job put, and pots and pans traipse in the leisure center.

It be unconventional, but we create it work.

Jaclyn and Brian didn’t trade the leisure structurally in the lounge and restaurant (to the left on the support of the couch), but they did contain to figure out the suitable format in what they call a “queer home.”

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Though I contain a staunch desk, I generally write on the couch with our our 15-three hundred and sixty five days-ragged dachshund mix Indy (brief for Indiana Jones).

Brian generally works in the 2d mattress room-turned into-put of job so he can end the door while he’s on calls. Typically he’ll head outdoors.

Jaclyn is a recruiter turned into occupation recommendation columnist turned into novelist whose first e-book, “Dear Dotty,” turned into as soon as released in June. She has a 2d new coming out subsequent summer and is currently engaged on her third, generally at her desk or on the couch.

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We went a shrimp wild with our wallpaper (tropical every part!), including in the major mattress room.

There’s one thing so stress-free about vivid that this put is ours to decorate nonetheless we please.

Jaclyn and Brian contain a king-sized mattress, “which is mandatory if you contain a shrimp dog that likes to intention end in moderately a few home,” Jaclyn says. Across from the mattress is a dresser with a TV hidden on the support of it that rises up on a rob when they must peek.

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The yard is what supplied us on this put. It has an open air bathe and a restaurant, and gets deal of solar. We added some tropical landscaping, a hot bathtub, Ping-Pong desk, pizza oven, and a projector show conceal.

I luxuriate in sitting outdoors and searching on the hummingbirds dance round our flora.

Jaclyn and Brian exhaust moderately a few their time outdoors in the backyard, working, reading, stress-free, and recordsdata superhighway recordsdata superhighway hosting.

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A ‘less stressful’ version of the California dream

Living in a house on wheels doesn’t exempt us from the everyday house owner headaches. Since transferring in, we’ve dealt with an ant infestation, tented for termites, and evicted a family of mice, and we’re currently grappling with a gopher field.

But retaining our monthly housing prices low (for the put) makes tackling these issues less stressful.

We generally advantage from our morning espresso on the deck, intention end walks down to the seaside, and unwind with an night time dip in the hot bathtub.

The trailer is across the avenue from the seaside and Jaclyn and Brian in overall head over a couple days a week.

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We luxuriate in searching at Indy sunbathe on his favorite lounge chair, having guests over for open air pizza events, taking the golf cart into town to snatch dinner or hit up the annual Sawdust Artwork Competition, and turning on the fire pit while we peek a movie under the stars.

In transient, we might no longer be happier right here. Now we had been in this home for 2 years now and we get no longer opinion on transferring anytime presently.

Jaclyn Westlake writes books about comical, unsuitable girls attempting for their map on this planet. Her debut new, “Dear Dotty,” is on hand wherever books are supplied. A recruiter turned into occupation recommendation columnist, her work has appeared on The Muse, Commercial Insider, and Inc. It’s possible you’ll well note her adventures in writing, seaside residing, and past on Instagram @jaclyn_writing or at

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