Just moved to a park model in Florida
My husband and I are in our late 40's and basically empty-nesters. I am "retired", my husband works for an airline 4 days on, 4 days off. We consider ourselves semi-retired lol. We are planning for our retirement now.
Our first step was to sell our "big" house in Texas and transfer with his company to Florida where we bought a cheap but newer (2004) 495 SF, 1 bed, 1 bath park model trailer. We are in a mid-level rental park. You buy the park model and rent the site.
The unit was used as a seasonal rental so it was very basic, but included all the furniture, linens, pots, dishes etc. We also have an apartment sized washer and dryer, full sized fridge and stove.
All for a reasonable $26,000. We did not have the funds for the entire purchase, so we found an owner who would owner finance for 5 years at a reasonable interest rate. (Due to the financial crisis, banks will not finance park models over 5 years old; they fall into a never never land of too small for mobile home financing and not really a RV, at least that is the case in Florida).
My husband and I get along pretty well, so the space issue is not too bad. We also have a storage room and shed for things we haven't gotten rid of yet. That is one area we still need to downsize.
One note about living in small places - less is more! There are many blogs on simple living, small space living, etc. to give you some ideas about downsizing and living in small spaces. I read a LOT of blogs, some of them are very useful (like this site!)
We are big diyers, so we are currently redoing some of the cosmetic things I didn't like, i.e., carpet, paint and adding outdoor living space like decks and porches. We are paying to have a driveway installed because we are parking on grass right now. Big ruts in the florida rainy season!
I will also be landscaping in the next 6 months or so. We plan on using this place as a home base and eventually retire to a boat. Our youngest child should be done with college and we plan to pay off the rest of our debt in 5 years. (truck payment, current boat payment, and travel trailer payment along with our park model).
Anyway, we have a goal and it feels good to be working toward it and really making progress!