It will come as welcome news to many people. The trailers that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) stockpiled in 2005 are again coming on the market for sale. Consumers have been buying them for a song.
But should you hop on the buying bandwagon? Here's a list of pros and cons.
The advantages :
Price : As I said, they're going for a lark. The Washington Post reported an average sale price of $ 7,367 on these trailers and mobile homes reputedly worth $ 18,620 each. In other words, buyers are paying about 40 cents on the dollar.
Condition . Many trailers were severely used. Some are like new.
Availability . As of their most recent post, FEMA claims an excess inventory of 120,000 units. They say they will be selling trailers and mobile homes for the next 3 years to clear inventory.
The disadvantages :
Price . The majority of the 10,839 travel trailers FEMA sold between July 24, 2006 and July 23, 2007 were sold as scrap. So tht's $ 6, 936 for campers for sale and $ 11,479 for mobile homes that you can not live in.
Condition . Many trailers are not in great shape. Those sold in the past have been uninhabitable. Which, in FEMA parlance, mean they could be used only as office space or storage containers. It was FEMA's way of handling the high levels of formaldehyde fumes given off by the building materials that you'll recall stung the eyes of Katrina victims and brave them unremitting upper respiratory problems.
The units coming on sale now are not classified as scrap. They're "repairable". Typically, that means they need up to $ 1,500 of work done to repair damage that they suffered from sitting empty in damp places and being moved several times.
Availability . They are currently parked at an airport in Hope Kansas. And you have to pay to make them road worthy, and then to move them.
Our original question .
Should you buy one? Of course, the answer depends on where you are, how much you have to invest, and what you want to use it for.
FEMA campers are being scooped up monthly. The irony is that due to the economy, there are thousands of campers for sale at auction each month from government surplus and designated and repossessed inventory with starting bids as low as $ 100. People just do not know how to find them. There is no reason to ignore the FEMA campers. Just keep your eyes open for better deals on better RVs. They are out there and abundant.