Welcome to House Calls, a new feature in which Curbed tours the lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes of regular Angelenos. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line with a few photos and details about your place.Photos by Wonho Frank Lee
Buying a house in Los Angeles can be a daunting, if not downright impossible. But when Brandie and Brendan got fed up with their previous rental in Koreatown, a little outside-the-box thinking brought them to a quiet trailer park just off Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock. Some may scoff at the idea of trailer park living, but these two might be getting the last laugh. Turns out, in this housing market, buying a 950-square-foot mobile home can be a better deal than renting an apartment. With its close proximity to Eagle Rock's main drag and an ample collection of Elvis memorabilia, this could be the beginning of a Millennial mobile home movement.
Who lives here?
Brandie, comedian & podcaster
Jack, prince of pups
What're the stats?
2 bed, 2 bath, 950 sq ft, washer, dryer, dishwasher, central air
What did it cost?
Bought the house for $45K, pay monthly lot rent of $1050 which includes all utilities
How long have you been here?
Just over a year
How'd you end up here?
While on tour last year, our old building in Koreatown sprayed the apartment on either side of us for cockroaches - guess where they all went! We came back and decided we needed to get a place without any shared walls & had loved Eagle Rock for a long time already, so we started driving around the neighborhood looking for places & found our trailer park - at first we thought it was crazy, but then when we toured the house we fell in love & after crunched the numbers realized it was a great deal - now our rent is half that of most places in the area, and we're (mobile) home owners in LA for the price of a nice car!
What's the best feature of your place?
Having a washer/dryer in the house is a GAME CHANGER. We can never go back. Central air doesn't hurt either.
What's the worst feature?
Honestly, I love our house so much, but the stigma of living in a trailer park always means I need to take an extra minute to explain to people who raise an eyebrow when I tell them where we live. Mobile homes are just tiny houses for people that don't like documentaries, don't be a snob.
What are the upsides and downsides of renting vs. owning?
I think we kind of get the best of both worlds - the park takes care of the grounds and exteriors, and we have a home warranty that covers anything that goes wrong inside the home.
What's your approach to decorating?
A lot of our furniture came from Brendan's grandmother, which is perfect for a mobile home because a bunch of our neighbors are little old ladies! We have an ecclectic mix of artwork & [tchotchkes] that Brandie has been collecting forever - lots of velvet paintings, Americana goodness, Abe Lincoln busts... we want it to feel homey and like a casual museum when friends come over so there's always something fun to look at. The previous owner had painted clouds on the ceiling of the whole house and asked us if we had wanted him to paint it back, but we love them, they open the whole place up - every day is blue skies in our trailer home. Our kitchen wall is also a hold over from the previous owner - she was Indian & it's pages from an Indian children's book teaching English. We have plans to eventually take it down and frame our favorites, but it's a fun conversation piece we're not in a hurry to dismantle yet.
Out of all the crazy things on your walls, what's your favorite?
I think our velvet weeping Elvis would be my favorite, because he's over the TV & Elvis shot a bunch of TV's because he hated Robert Goulet. I had wanted a good velvet Elvis for a long time but never found one I really loved, until our friends Robin & Jimmy gave him to me as a gift one year. One of the top 10 gifts I've ever received.
Any crazy/interesting stories about your place or living here?
Well, it wouldn't be a trailer park without a few crazy stories! Most of our neighbors are perfectly nice & quiet, but the trailer park hoarder lives right behind us because of course she does. We're pretty sure she has a baby possum as a pet, which we've seen scurry around in her yard at night before!
If you could have any living situation in LA, what would it be?
We love our mobile home, and my dream situation would be moving it to somewhere like Big Bear as a vacation home, and having a place in Northeast LA with a pool as our primary. It could be another mobile home though, because we love ours & I've got a whole new appreciation for them since owning one - you don't have to be a millionaire to own in LA if you just think outside the box a bit.
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