This article was published by NPR.
Five years ago, Mike Noel was newly retired from his manufacturing job in Rhode Island and had just gone through a rough divorce.
“I hooked up my boat and headed down here, without having a place to live,” he recalls in the living room of his home near Vero Beach, Fla.
Noel used most of his modest retirement savings to buy the house at Heritage Plantation, a mobile home park 20 minutes from the ocean. The homes here look more like conventional houses than what you might think of as a mobile home. They’re up on foundations and have yards and driveways.
“I thought I was moving to paradise – you know, beautiful weather and being able to fish 12 months a year.”
His new place wasn’t like the large house he owned in Rhode Island, and the floor needed repairs. But the price was affordable and it offered the promise of a new start.
And then it started to rain.
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