Hey, I know this guy! Or, I know him as much as I can after riding with him, what, three times? Four times? He’s the super smart one who used to work for Intel and looks younger than his age.

This was ride number two of three yesterday, after getting my face numbed with something like 17 shots. Because of one of my rare diseases, I don’t get numb easily with what they use at the dentist’s office, and I don’t stay numb. We use a crazy cocktail and it still doesn’t work. The entire inside of my mouth facing the tongue (lingual side) was full feeling, and the side next to my lips (lingual side) all the way up to my eyes was numb, which was absolutely ridiculous. I couldn’t speak like I normally would and it was driving me crazy. But I still wanted to be able to chat with my driver.

I asked him how he was doing and if he was feeling the crunch with housing. He told me that he had been working on home improvement projects (which is VERY popular this year), and that he’s very handy. He put in a full wood deck with ramps on either side of his place. My driver told me he was in a 55+ community and has a 2 bedroom, 2 bath trailer that is spacious and clean, and he is taking care of it as if he is selling, even though that’s not his intention right now. He is also making sure the yard is good for a dog.

According to my driver, the park across the street raised its lot rent to $900 a month. His park and the park across the street are not at all fancy. Some of the seniors had just enough for the lot rent and utilities and groceries. As soon as the lot rent was raised to that crazy amount, a bunch of them moved out. He had standing appointments with many of them as their driver and now a lot of his clientele has moved away because of the lot rent fees. [Just to put it in perspective, a few years ago an affordable lot rent fee was about $350, and a super expensive fee was about $700.] My driver thinks one of two things are going to happen: the two parks are going to be greedy with the lot rents (“someone will pay them”), or they are going to keep raising them until everyone says screw this and bails, and the lots are sold for outrageous amounts so they can be developed. Buildings are still going up fast here. They look like jail cells. There still isn’t any affordable housing being added.

My driver and I talked about this situation with the seller’s market here in Phoenix, because I keep an eye on the rental market not only for myself, but people who come to me for help. If you sell your house, what then? Where can you go? How far can your proceeds go? Do you rent instead? At some point he may not have a choice, but he just has to take what someone is willing to give him for his trailer, and there’s no recovering his lot rent. There’s no perfect world.

The Guest House poem by Rumi on tapestry

Take Me On A Ride backpack

Home Is Where You Park It can cooler