Here’s Betsey, just chilling in her mobile home in Malibu, being perfect in every way.
Like everyone else who was born in the ’80s, I have a lot of feelings about Betsey Johnson, and all of them are magical. I wore one of her dresses to my very first school dance – and then to a significant proportion of the subsequent ones, because they were the BEST. And of course Betsey’s legacy goes way beyond fashion – she’s iconic. She cartwheels down runways, for god’s sake.
I love her.
And, unsurprisingly, I love her house. THERE IS A YELLOW ROOM. Like, an all-yellow…room. Where everything is yellow. I cannot with the fabulousness.
The reason I’m rhapsodizing about Betsey in a post about mobile homes in Malibu: Her fabulous yellow room is in one of them. Specifically, it’s located in a trailer park called Paradise Cove, which is, like one of its most famous residents…yes…
When I first heard about Paradise Cove and Point Dume Club – both trailer parks cozied up right on the edge of Malibu’s beaches – I was a little perplexed about the whole concept. People pay millions of dollars…for trailers? And I get that they’re in Malibu, but…still. And then my friend, Ren Smith – who’s the primary real estate agent for the park – showed me around and explained the whole deal to me. And now I get it, and would like my own trailer in Malibu, please and thank you.
Want to see all the mobile homes for sale there? Of courrrrrse you do.
Here’s why million-dollar mobile homes make sense (or at least the kind of sense that things that cost millions of dollars make, which is highly subjective):
- With a mobile home, you don’t own the land that you’re “parked” on, but rather pay a monthly fee akin to a lease for the plot. Now, this understandably gives people pause – because if they lose the land, what, exactly, are they supposed to do about that? – except there are two more elements that come into play here: 1) A mobile home park is one of the least expensive ways to get into an insanely expensive area (like, say, Malibu, where houses literally down the street from the houses in the park go for two to three times the amount), and 2) These particular parks have tons of protective clauses built into the leasing system, which means that nobody is up and selling the park and kicking you out.*
- Whatever you picture in your head when you think “trailer,” that is not what we’re dealing with here. Sure, some of the houses are more traditional mobile homes, but the vast majority are manufactured homes that residents have built on the chassis of a previous property. And these manufactured homes have singlehandedly given me a new long-term goal, which is to have one. They are massively less expensive than traditional stick-builds, are infinitely customizable, and are, when done right, stunning.
- Many residents buy smaller homes as weekend or summer getaways. A one-bedroom can go for as low as 600k, and yes I know that 600k for a one-bedroom seems insane, but remember that we’re talking about a one-bedroom with a view of the sea and private beach access.
This is David Arquette’s place.
So no, I’m not moving to Malibu…but I am doing all sorts of fantasizing about buying one of the older, less expensive properties and giving it a gut renovation?
…Have you been reading here for long?
(Yes. Yes, I am.)
*This does, incidentally, happen in low-income trailer parks all across America, and the difference between living in a high-income trailer park and a low-income one is just one more symptom of our current socioeconomic crisis. John Oliver explains the issue in this episode of Last Week Tonight; it’s worth a watch.