We all know that we judge people based on where they live. Whether you live in a five bedroom elite, a manufactured home, a three bedroom in a master built community, an apartment or an RV. There are two reasons for why you live where you live. Either you choose to live there or you have to live there.
What makes that determination? Usually it’s income. Some people are much more fortunate than others and can afford nicer/bigger homes. Some people (me included) can barely afford a roof over their head and may need to settle. Is settling a bad thing? No. As long as you have a roof over your head, you have succeeded.
I overheard a derogatory comment at work today regarding people that live in a “trailer park”. I have to admit that I was offended because I live in one. But why do I live there? Why not live in a home within a master planned community? I work for the government. I earn 1/3 of what that commenter earns; my pay is considered low income. I qualify for food stamps. I am sure he lives in a regular home that doesn’t shake when the wind blows strongly. I live where I can afford to live but guess what? I own my home outright. That’s right. No mortgage payments.
I am stuck in my current living arrangement. I can only live where I am at if I work for my particular department under the State of Arizona. In addition, if I work here and make payments for 10 years on my student loans, they will be forgiven. I have an ungodly amount of student loans and need whatever help I can get to pay them off. I live in a small town that is about 45 minutes away from a city. There aren’t many job choices here, especially ones that qualify for PSLF (public student loan forgiveness).
I could afford something nicer but it would leave me with little extra money for things like a car or weekly fun activities that I take with my kids. I think the only thing that matters is that my kids and I have a roof and we have fun. Sure I would be happier in a bigger home without the stigma of “trailer trash”. My home is currently being painted (interior) by a professional and the flooring will be replaced shortly after. It sure doesn’t look like trailer trash.
Where you live defines you in other people’s eyes. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. You live your life how and where you can and who you are is what defines you.
What kind of home do you live in? Are there any associated stigmas with it?