More Turn To RVs As Housing Costs Move Up

Dan Bell

Dan Bell and his wife, Sherry Bell, traveled across the country in their RV for “many, many” years, he said. When his wife died, Bell decided that’s how he wanted to spend the rest of his life — in an RV, though not travelling this time.

Bell has built his “man cave” in his RV, where he lives with his Yorkshire terrier, Jolie, according to the Idaho Press Tribune. He watches television, cooks every day and has a small work station where he helps his fellow seniors navigate retirement paperwork or understand bank documents.

Bell isn’t alone. Over 100 seniors have made Leah’s Landing RV Park, a retirement community in Nampa, Idaho, their home, choosing to live on wheels rather than a traditional house.

“People call it a little city of refuge here,” said Kerri Snow, Leah’s Landing co-owner and manager.

The RV park offers yearly leases. Most parks in the area offer monthly payment options — a growing demand across the Treasure Valley among people who cite affordability and lack of housing options as their reasons for living on wheels.

At Leah’s Landing RV Park, rent is $385 a month if you sign up for a yearly lease, according to its website. While Ambassador’s RV Resort in Caldwell does not offer yearly leases, monthly rent is similar at $390 a month, according to its website.

Demand for housing in both Ada and Canyon counties is outpacing inventory and pushing up home prices, according to data from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, shared by Boise Regional Realtors.

Over the past year, median home prices rose almost $50,000 in Ada County and $30,000 in Canyon County. In the first quarter of 2018, single-family houses sold at a median price of $297,000 in Ada and $201,000 in Canyon, according to Intermountain MLS. That includes both new and existing inventory.

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