So often, in helping buyers find their first home, I can’t help but think back to my first home away from home. And, oh what a home it was! I was 21 years old. My first home was a
mobile home. No, let’s just call it what it was, it was a trailer, a rickety old single-wide 12 x 60 foot trailer. It needed a lot of tender loving care. It was downright ugly. It needed a good thorough scrubbing from top to bottom and a coat of paint. And, that’s what it got. I scrubbed and cleaned and scrapped and painted until my trailer looked like a shiny new penny. It was cute. It had red shag carpeting with red lights in the ceiling. The second bedroom was the size of a bathroom. It fit one single bed and a tiny little dresser. You had to practically climb on the bed to get into the closet.
And, it was sitting right next to the railroad tracks and the road. The master bedroom window was 10 feet from the tracks. On the other side there was a busy street. I lived at the railroad crossing!
Each time a train went by the whole place shook. The dishes clattered in the cupboards and the chandelier danced on the ceiling, threatening to come crashing down. We had to run across the living room to turn up the volume on the TV. (This was before the days of TV remote controls – I know, I know, back in the stone age). Between the ding, ding, ding of the railroad crossing gates going down, the traffic stopping, the train whistle, and the train roaring by, I was ready to be put in a rubber room. I cried the first night that I stayed there. Although, I loved the thought of having a place of my own, after just a short time I still felt a bit unsettled living there.
But, it was mine, all mine. I paid $3,500 for it, with my own money. I owned it free and clear and I paid $95.00 a month in lot rent to have it parked on a “prime” piece of real estate.
I spent a year a half there and never slept through an entire night, because of the train. Needless to say, I had large dark circles under my eyes.
One day I decided it was time to move on. I stuck a For Sale sign in the window and sold the place a couple of weeks later. The couple that bought it didn’t mind the train. When I was showing it to them a train came roaring by. They said they were used to living by the tracks, as they had for years. It was a match made in heaven.
I took my little profit and my sister and I pooled our money and built a home together off of Stewart Road in Melbourne. Now, that was a real home!
Today, I still have this picture of a train (that was given to me back in the 1980’s when I lived in my trailer), hanging in my laundry room. It reminds me of where I’ve come from. And funny, but for some reason, it reminds me of a much simpler time in my life.
Do you remember your first home?
Remember your First Home? I Lived at the Railroad Crossing!