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Dave Says a Mobile Home is Just a Large Car to Live In
Townhall.com ^ | November 22, 2011 | Dave Ramsey

Posted on 11/22/2011 8:41:51 AM PST by Kaslin

Dear Dave,

I’ve heard you tell people not to buy mobile homes. We bought one when we moved out of our apartment, and it’s been much cheaper for us. Why do you feel this way?

Debbie

Dear Debbie,

It’s simple. Mobile homes go down in value. When you buy a house, it goes up in value in the long run. From a financial standpoint, mathematically, when you buy a mobile home, you’re buying a very large car in which to live.

Now, I’m not necessarily against manufactured homes. But the phrase “manufactured home” can mean different things to different people. My test goes something like this: If it’s a type of housing that doesn’t look like it had the wheels yanked off, then it will probably go up in value over the years.

There’s nothing wrong with renting an apartment for a while. When you pay out rent, that’s all you’re losing in the deal. But when you buy a mobile home, you’re losing out with the payments and you’re losing money every day as the thing goes down in value.

That’s why I tell people not to buy mobile homes!

—Dave

Dear Dave,

My stepdaughter is 17 and will be starting college this fall. Her dad and I want to help her with expenses, but she’s chosen a private university (with the help of her other parents) that costs $250,000 for an undergraduate degree. We don’t want her going into student loan debt, but we can’t afford that kind of money, and she’s really pressing the issue. What do you suggest?

Christina

Dear Christina,

The biggest problem I see is that you’ve got a 17-year-old girl wagging the dog. I can tell you right now this wouldn’t happen at my house. When it comes to the parent-child relationship at that age, the adults tell the children what to do. It doesn’t happen the other way around.

If this child is going to take your money, then she needs to take your advice too. If she’s not willing to be reasonable and take your advice, then she gets none of the money. There’s no undergraduate degree on the planet worth $250,000. The whole idea is absurd, and somebody needs to say that out loud.

This girl can work, and she can go to a state school and get a great education for about a fourth of that price. Since you’re in Texas, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the University of Texas or Texas A&M. They’re great schools. And at that price range, I’m sure it would allow you guys to pitch in and help out some.

But seriously, a quarter of a million dollars for an undergrad degree? I don’t think so!

—Dave


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
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1 posted on 11/22/2011 8:41:53 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

“When you buy a house, it goes up in value in the long run.”

He must be thinking of a vry long run...


2 posted on 11/22/2011 8:45:41 AM PST by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: Kaslin

It’s good advice, but only if you feel the future economic situation will be stable. Not many are feeling that way. If you have the ability to own mobile shelter, it may be a better investment than he thinks.


3 posted on 11/22/2011 8:48:47 AM PST by edpc (Wilby 2012)
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To: Kaslin
"Photobucket
4 posted on 11/22/2011 8:49:37 AM PST by Track9
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To: Kaslin

Dave, dear Dave; tune in, please. As a 30-year Real Estate professional, I will verify that mobile homes decrease in value just like an automobile. But, YOU CAN SELL THEM! Currently, the finest homes ARE NOT SELLING unless you live in Dave Ramseys’ dreamland, and no one knows when this will change. Those that do will not appraise for much more than 80% of original value under the best of circumstances. Most of us are lucky if we can just hold on to our homes. You, of course, made all the right decisions and have nothing but disdain for those of us who didn’t. Please; you’ve become boring. The system doesn’t provide us those mega-dollars to start over on; at least not today. And, I’m not and ‘occupier’; just a guy who spends all day, every day, looking for a job!


5 posted on 11/22/2011 8:51:38 AM PST by arrdon (Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter.)
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To: Kaslin

The line has been blurred between mobile homes and stick built homes, with ‘manufactured’ homes, on permanent foundations...and even basements.

I did work for a housing developer who did an entire development with manufactured homes - no problems. Then HUD and FHA changed their rules...no HUD financing option for buyers, had to go back to stick built.

Anyway, I like manufactured homes, and have no problem with them. However, a large segment of potential buyers have been peeled away - so their value may not grow at the same pace of stick built.


6 posted on 11/22/2011 8:52:13 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Kaslin

The line has been blurred between mobile homes and stick built homes, with ‘manufactured’ homes, on permanent foundations...and even basements.

I did work for a housing developer who did an entire development with manufactured homes - no problems. Then HUD and FHA changed their rules...no HUD financing option for buyers, had to go back to stick built.

Anyway, I like manufactured homes, and have no problem with them. However, a large segment of potential buyers have been peeled away - so their value may not grow at the same pace of stick built.


7 posted on 11/22/2011 8:52:17 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Kaslin

Dave missed a very important point. If the mobile home goes down in value, why not buy a USED mobile home? I know some selling a very well maintained one with low miles for $8K. Cheaper than rent in the not so long run.


8 posted on 11/22/2011 8:52:17 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (May Mitt Romney be the Mo Udall of 2012.)
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To: Kaslin

If I lost my house I would live in a mobile home on a few acres before I would go back to an apartment.

I hate living on top of, below and next to other people.

But yes, it’s not true real estate even if you secure it to a foundation.


9 posted on 11/22/2011 8:53:23 AM PST by TSgt ("Romney" means "rino cult" in Kenyan)
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To: Kaslin

$250,000 for an undergraduate degree!?!?!?!?!


10 posted on 11/22/2011 8:56:21 AM PST by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Exactly. My nephew bought a used one for like $5k... cheaper than a car, will work out about the same as paying rent over the long run. But when he has saved up enough to buy a stick built home he can sell the mh and use whatever he gets for that to help buy furniture.


11 posted on 11/22/2011 8:56:40 AM PST by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: Kaslin

12 posted on 11/22/2011 9:02:54 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Heck - I bought a nice doublewide in a “posh” San Jose neighborhood for $65K (yup - that’s right) in 1986. Sold it 9 months later when my assignment was up - for $72K!!!
Single bedroom apartments were renting for $1200/month - it was a no-brainer.


13 posted on 11/22/2011 9:05:29 AM PST by bossmechanic (If all else fails, hit it with a hammer)
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To: Thunder90
I call B.S. on the $250,000.

Sarah Lawrence is said by Forbes to be the most expensive school in the entire country, and the full freight (tuition, board, books, etc.) is "only" $58K a year. Not even $240K. And much of the expense is because it's located in New York City.

Oddly enough, except for the University of Chicago, none of the most expensive schools are on the "best" lists. In many cases they are specialty schools such as arts schools, or finishing schools for wealthy young ladies (I'm sorry, I know it's co-ed, but that's what Sarah Lawrence still says to me.)

My daughter went to a top flight, but still MUCH less expensive, private Presbyterian college.

14 posted on 11/22/2011 9:09:38 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Kaslin

I wonder what preppers think of buying a motor home.... If the SHTF you can always change locations with a motor home. Plus, it’s relatively easy to maintain, compared to a house.


15 posted on 11/22/2011 9:13:21 AM PST by floridavoter2
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To: Kaslin

I bought a manufactured home in 2005, with the expectation/hope that it WOULD decrease in value as I’m on a fixed income and don’t want to be squeezed out by rising property taxes “because the value has increased” (bad enough it will increase via rising state costs). That was the reason I bailed out of my stick-built retirement home as the price almost doubled in five years and the taxes were rising accordingly.

My boy in PA, around Allentown, was renting at $1,800 a month - nothing that wasn’t a slum was renting for anything less. He bought a used mobile/manufactured home in a development for $15,000 cash, fixed up a few things, and is paying $650 a month park rental and pocketing the difference. If, years down the line, things get better, he plans on paying cash for a stick built. (I think by then, he’ll prefer the manufactured homes).

As others have said, they are not a bad deal if bought used. In these uncertain times it may even be advisable for a couple to buy a used RV, stay in a park, and be a lot more ready to move to were the jobs are if theirs go belly up and there’s nothing else locally.


16 posted on 11/22/2011 9:13:59 AM PST by Oatka (This is the USA, assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: floridavoter2

^^Then again, where would you put all your stock piles of food, etc. Darn.


17 posted on 11/22/2011 9:14:36 AM PST by floridavoter2
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To: AnAmericanMother

Possibly they are looking at the anticipated inflation of costs. Many universities are raising costs at a rate of 9-12% per year these days. If she’s 17 now, the senior year might be 5-6 years out.


18 posted on 11/22/2011 9:14:55 AM PST by NEMDF
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To: Kaslin

It is not the mobile home itself. If one takes care of it, just like anything else the resale value can be good. Plus it will look great both inside and out.

It is they type of people who live in them, and trailer parks. Two words “white trash”. Not to generalize here, but trailer parks are nothing but a white trash ghetto that I hope to never see again for the rest of my life!


19 posted on 11/22/2011 9:16:33 AM PST by Morgana (Rent this Space....Cheap)
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To: Kaslin

The person is talking about motor home not mobile home. I actually can see savings if the motor home is payed for. The Money saved on electricity, taxes, upkeep, and mortgage would add up really fast. All the interest you give to the mortgage company going into your account is much better than the amount your house will go up. IMO.


20 posted on 11/22/2011 9:16:39 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: Dr. Sivana
In 1972 when my husband was transferred from Fort Rucker, AL to Fort Riley, KS, we bought a mobile home, because we did not want to buy a house; we already had our house here in TN. It was hard to find a place to rent and the waiting list to get into government quarters on post was quite long. Living in the Mobile home was okay for the first couple of years, but as the time went on it felt like that it got smaller and smaller.

We had considered having it shipped to TN when my husband was on orders for Germany in 1977, but I told him that I don't want to step in another mobile home again and so we just sold it

21 posted on 11/22/2011 9:19:31 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: AnAmericanMother

58K X 4 years is $232K. 58K X 5 years is $290K.


22 posted on 11/22/2011 9:21:31 AM PST by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: NEMDF
The Forbes article allowed for that; that would still only bump the cost for four years up to $240K.

And that is the most expensive school in the country. What are the chances this girl got into Sarah Lawrence? There are so many better places academically to attend. Even the Ivies aren't nearly that pricey - around $50K all told for Princeton and Harvard - and you get the Ivy degree which is still worth a great deal (if you can put up with all the nonsense to get it).

More likely to be a middle tier private school which would run between $35 and $40K per annum. Still not pocket change, but considerably less.

I detect exaggeration, either by Ramsey or his correspondent.

23 posted on 11/22/2011 9:22:11 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: lacrew

Up until 2008 FHA did insure financing of manufactureds on acreage, so long as the foundation construct complied with specific requirements. The supports had to be mortared, not dry-stacked, and the tie-down material requirements were more stringent. Has that changed since?


24 posted on 11/22/2011 9:22:34 AM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
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To: Morgana

You can sometimes get excellent deals on mobile homes on lots. You often pay only the cost of the lot, which you recoup when you sell, often at a profit.


25 posted on 11/22/2011 9:23:40 AM PST by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: All

If you give me the choice of a mobile home with 10 acres in the country or living on top of one another like stacked wood, I’ll take the trailer every time.


26 posted on 11/22/2011 9:24:49 AM PST by Maverick68
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To: Kaslin
My stepdaughter is 17 and will be starting college this fall. Her dad and I want to help her with expenses, but "she’s chosen a private university (with the help of her other parents) that costs $250,000 for an undergraduate degree. We don’t want her going into student loan debt, but we can’t afford that kind of money, and she’s really pressing the issue. What do you suggest?"

WTH??? Tell her the "private" option is off, if it's on you to pay for it!!! Are her "other" parents ponying up???

27 posted on 11/22/2011 9:24:57 AM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
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To: marktwain
Five years? Who has a five-year undergraduate program? And who the heck wants to hang around for another year? If you've been cagey about your A.P. credits, you can get out in three and a half.

I couldn't wait to shake the dust of New Jersey from my sandals. And yes, my poor parents paid for my education, as we paid for our daughter's. And it was money well spent.

28 posted on 11/22/2011 9:25:04 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Kaslin
There’s nothing wrong with renting an apartment for a while. When you pay out rent, that’s all you’re losing in the deal. But when you buy a mobile home, you’re losing out with the payments and you’re losing money every day as the thing goes down in value.

That’s why I tell people not to buy mobile homes!

Once again Dave misses the mark with his "one size fits all" advice.

If the PITI and association fees on a mobile home adds up to less then, the same, or just a smidgen more than rent of a comparable property then the mobile home makes more sense.

Dave treats his audience like children. As a functional adult I can run the numbers and weigh my options accordingly.

29 posted on 11/22/2011 9:28:13 AM PST by whd23 (Every time a link is de-blogged an angel gets its wings.)
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To: Maverick68
If you give me the choice of a mobile home with 10 acres in the country or living on top of one another like stacked wood, I’ll take the trailer every time.

Ditto. Can always re-build at a later time, if desired. My first home purchase was a mobile home in 1981, and when I sold it in '84, I got $1,000 equity proceeds at closing. Not bad for an Air Force E-4 with a family.

I'll take a mobile home that I own with a little space over a rented apartment any time.

30 posted on 11/22/2011 9:29:58 AM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
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To: Kaslin
When you buy a house, it goes up in value in the long run.

What a load of horse hockey. I would invite him to show me ANY house that has gone up in a 20-year period, AFTER inflation is adjusted out. TRUE inflation (vis-a-vis the price of silver), NOT the Consumer Price Index.

Why does anyone listen to Dave Ramsey, other than the advice to get out of debt?

31 posted on 11/22/2011 9:30:56 AM PST by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
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To: whd23

I totally agree. And while Dave is correct in saying a mobile home will decrease in value somewhat... what “increase” in owned value is seen in renting? I resent paying someone else’s mortgage.


32 posted on 11/22/2011 9:32:12 AM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
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To: Kaslin

The primary question with a mobilehome is who owns the land under it? If you’re in a rental park, the rent on that land is going to continue to increase over time. Although various rent control schemes may impact short term increases, in general the park will be able to increase the rent when you re-sell. The net effect of the increase will reduce the resale price and you end up in a situation where the comparison with the consistent loss in value when owning a car is pretty accurate.

If, on the other hand, you own the land under the coach, the appreciation will usually track the increase in land prices in your area, reducing and sometimes cancelling the depreciation on the coach.

The big landlord/tenant battle in rent controlled parks these days is over the desire of tenants to sell-off the right to remain under rent control to the next purchaser of the coach. In some cases, that right can represent more than half the sales price. Park owners, on the other hand, think they should be able to raise the rent to market value when a tenant moves out. They seem to have the “quaint” notion that it’s their land, so they have a right to profit from its increase in value.

Individuals who buy into rent controlled parks under a promise that they’ll always be able to pay discounted rent for their plot are taking a huge risk. Rent laws are usually subject to change every time the City Council majority changes. If they adopt “vacancy decontrol”, you’ve just spent a large chunk of money for an empty promise. Park residents in Oceanside, California are currently having that experience.

The politics surrounding mobilehome rent control laws can get pretty noxious. Marxist activists love to get involved in the battles. It’s educational to watch a bunch of supposedly conservative senior citizens making arguments right out of Das Kapital.


33 posted on 11/22/2011 9:33:39 AM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: floridavoter2

Motor homes, to me, are perfect. Bad neighbors? Pull in your cord and hoses and move! Most have their own generators. They are the perfect earthquake kit.


34 posted on 11/22/2011 9:34:18 AM PST by Excellence ( CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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<$250,000 for an undergraduate degree

No way in Hades is an undergraduate degree worth that kind of money. How many want to bet that the step daughter wants to be an English or Women’s Studies major - something she could do at State U for a lot less money. Even if she were in the hard sciences where there might be some real value to the degree, I’d have to tell her no deal. They’ve got labs at State U, too.

I’m a professor, I’m an education snob, and I believe in the value of ‘signaling’ in terms of choosing the right college, but costs don’t necessarily indicate value or expertise. There are many excellent state schools with excellent programs. Step dad and daughter need to sit down and figure out what her interests are (which will probably change the minute she lands on campus) and make a choice based on the program, not the school’s advertising pitch.


35 posted on 11/22/2011 9:38:48 AM PST by radiohead (Buy ammo, store food, pray for the Republic.)
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To: Kaslin

Re: the college issue: Sounds like the kid is playing off one set of parents against the other. Great life lesson she’s learning there: how to get money by selling off her affections. </sarc>


36 posted on 11/22/2011 9:40:49 AM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: AnAmericanMother
“Five years? Who has a five-year undergraduate program? And who the heck wants to hang around for another year? If you've been cagey about your A.P. credits, you can get out in three and a half.”

Many universities have five year programs for engineers and the hard sciences.

http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Registrar/guidelines/integrated_progs/index.html

If students are disciplined and very hardworking, they can sometimes complete a degree sooner, of course. AP credits are a help.

37 posted on 11/22/2011 9:43:17 AM PST by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: achilles2000
He must be thinking of a vry long run...

He is thinking about the Golden Age of the USA. In that time the country is so attractive to foreigners that millions of them want to immigrate, thus increasing the population size and leading to scarcity of housing in cities and places where usable land is limited by geography.

It does look, though, that the USA has already jumped that particular shark. Few people will be attracted by confiscatory taxes, mandatory health insurance with no guarantee of treatment, social strife, high crime levels, wasteful government, cavity-searching TSA, and a civil war looming on the horizon. In such conditions the influx of immigrants who can buy a house will drop. (Illegals from Mexico, by and large, don't buy houses even if they have the money; they live ten per room, and they save the money for sending abroad.) Emigration is also likely, especially migration within the country (from CA to anywhere, for example) - this also frees up the living space. Even those homeowners who don't migrate may lose their jobs, be unable to pay absurd property taxes and be forced to sell the house. Home ownership is directly linked to the wealth of the society, and that is falling for quite some time already.

38 posted on 11/22/2011 9:45:59 AM PST by Greysard
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To: marktwain
Many universities have five year programs for engineers and the hard sciences.

Exactly correct. When I got my Electrical Engineering degree, that's the plan I was on. I worked my butt off in the summers, on a co-op program with an engineering firm.

39 posted on 11/22/2011 9:47:59 AM PST by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
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To: marktwain
That's an "integrated program" to obtain both a B.A. and a B.S.E., not a standard undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree.

My daughter's college, Davidson, has a similar dual-degree program, but it's not a standard undergraduate course as it requires extra study and you wind up with two degrees.

One was enough for her (and us) - B.S. in Biology.

40 posted on 11/22/2011 9:53:49 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: marktwain
My husband is a Georgia Tech man, and all their engineering programs were four year -- even on the dual-degree track. Georgia Tech Degree Programs. Of course he was class of '73, and things may have changed, but it looks about the same as it did before (except for the two years here, two years in Korea - that's new).

He was a straight science graduate though, Chem. and not Chem.E. "I'm not a plumber," hesez, sezze.

41 posted on 11/22/2011 9:57:42 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: backwoods-engineer

The co-op feature is great for future employment, but it does add time to the degree. Friend of my daughter’s is on a similar program in biology, and the practicum is very time consuming.


42 posted on 11/22/2011 9:59:11 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: radiohead

Isn’t the 6-8 years to get a medical degree 250K at cheaper schools?


43 posted on 11/22/2011 9:59:21 AM PST by tbw2
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To: AnAmericanMother
And that is the most expensive school in the country. What are the chances this girl got into Sarah Lawrence? There are so many better places academically to attend.

I had a friend out west, who married a younger wife. They were both very strong in their religion, and had a very traditional family, with two small children. They both had finished their undergrads; he went on to law school and got his JD. She decided she wanted to go to Sarah Lawrence to get her Master's degree in Poetry. Some time after she returned from that boondoggle, she divorced her husband.

Not saying that SL caused the divorce, but she was a changed person when she returned...I don't mean that as a compliment.

44 posted on 11/22/2011 10:06:11 AM PST by Lou L (The Senate without a fillibuster is just a 100-member version of the House.)
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To: backwoods-engineer; marktwain
That being said, I won't bet the farm but I will bet a steak dinner that this girl is nowhere near an engineering program.

First of all, a female would have been offered significant financial incentives to matriculate in engineering.

Second of all, MIT is $39K p.a., Stanford $41K, Carnegie Mellon $36K, Ga. Tech $24K, and UCal Berzerkly a real bargain at $15 for out of staters. Where would she be going to pay this sort of freight for an engineering degree?

45 posted on 11/22/2011 10:06:37 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Lou L
I would say that, these days, ANY of the traditional women's colleges that have gone co-ed (and I think that's all of them now that Randolph-Macon Women's College has run up the white flag) would be a huge mistake.

They have a tremendous chip on their shoulders just because they are former women's colleges and have abandoned their traditional role to attempt to ape a more conventional school. A bad bargain that pleases no-one.

I saw this when I took an extern course at Bryn Mawr. They were very huffy about their status, more so when they discovered I was in residence at a "conventional" Ivy.

46 posted on 11/22/2011 10:10:50 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Kaslin

There’s some good insights on this thread. I’ve recently looked at some 55+ manufactured home communities. Some places I’ve looked at include both manufatured homes along with mobile homes. Other communities were strictly manufactured homes (this is my prefernce), on concrete base, with attached garages on some models. They seem very nice. Prices range between $125K to $175K. Community fees seem to avarge abot $ 450/month.Does anybody here reside in this type of community? If so, what are the pros and cons?


47 posted on 11/22/2011 10:11:35 AM PST by GreenHornet
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To: Lou L
To be fair, though, it's also true that law school is one of the biggest stresses on a marriage that there can be.

My husband and I married before I went to law school, and we're still happily married -- but many marriages among my classmates did not survive that experience.

48 posted on 11/22/2011 10:12:41 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Oatka

My experience with mobile homes is the problem isn’t the home itself, which can be had very cheaply, but the other tenants in the mobile home park.


49 posted on 11/22/2011 10:14:01 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

then don’t park it in a mobile home park. My niece and nephew bought a trailer and put it on a piece of land that they bought for $5000 and they’re very happy with it. It’s a great starter home for them and the land will always have value.


50 posted on 11/22/2011 10:17:23 AM PST by pgkdan ("Make what Americans buy, Buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world" Perry 2012)
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