With the increasing cost of real estate and the advantages of owning one’s own home, many people are now seriously thinking of buying a mobile home. Also known as manufactured homes or trailers, mobile homes are a great alternative to stick-built homes in many ways.
What is a Mobile Home?
A mobile home is a residential structure that is not constructed directly on a plot of land like a stick–built house. Instead, there are factories for mobile homes that make the whole structure and place it on a trailer chassis. The final destination of the home transportation will usually be a mobile home park, sometimes also known as a trailer park.
There will also be park rules to follow when you live in a manufactured home community. If someone can’t afford to finance a mobile home yet, they can always look at ways how to find a mobile home for rent.
Why Get a Mobile Home?
While it may not be a traditional home, there are many reasons why a mobile home could be the best option for someone who wants to own property. A traditional home or stick-built home might be out of reach for the common man, simply due to financial reasons. Instead of getting crushed under huge personal property loans or property taxes, buying a mobile home might be a good way to begin owning personal property.
While many people do live in mobile homes and pay rent to the mobile home community, there are pros and cons to buying a mobile home. Then there is mobile home living, which is another matter; along with paying a lot rent, we have to consider every nuance of the matter.
Potential mobile home owners need to know the ups and downs of having their own mobile home. Real estate agents and mobile park owners may only talk about the many advantages of mobile home living. However, it is important to be aware of what living in a manufactured home entails – this requires looking at both the perks and the lows of mobile home ownership and mobile home park living.
Disadvantages of Living in a Mobile Home
Before buying a mobile home, here are just a few of the disadvantages you should consider:
1. Value Depreciation
One main disadvantage of living in a mobile home is that its value will start depreciating the second it leaves the factory. On the other hand, a stick-built home will usually appreciate in overall value as time goes by. This is because a stick-built home usually stands on one’s own land.
Can a mobile home owner experience increased property value?
If you are not dependent on mobile home parks and own the land your mobile home stands on, the overall property will likely increase in value. However, this is because of the land’s value, not the home.
Why do Mobile Homes Depreciate Over Time?
There are a few reasons why the value of mobile homes depreciates over time. One of the main factors is that mobile homes are considered personal property. They are not like “real property,” which we may define as land and anything permanently attached to it.
Anything that just sits on land and can be moved without damage is not in the real property classification. It is in the personal property category, even though moving mobile homes is quite difficult. Learn how much does it cost to move a mobile home here.
Can Mobile Homes Become Personal Property?
The good news is that a mobile home owner just might be able to convert their mobile home into real property. They can then enjoy the perks that come with this kind of home ownership. Not only will they be paying a lower median price overall, but they will also have a permanent residence as their investment.
Undeniable Lower Costs
At the end of the day, however, there is no denying that the cost of mobile homes is slightly lower than that of traditional houses. The average price could be around half that of a regular home. When the housing market is a tight one, even the value depreciation issues are not too considerable. You have a proper investment on hand, which can be your best friend in the midst of a housing crisis.
Mobile homes may also stay stable in value if they receive proper maintenance. Here are a few tips on how to maintain a mobile home.
2. Expensive Loans, Higher Interest
Since mobile homes are considered personal property, it is more difficult and expensive to finance them. If you go the traditional way with a mortgage loan, it might not even get approved since mobile homes are not considered permanent structures.
Even if the structures were placed on concrete blocks on the land, the vast majority of lenders will still have doubts about approving traditional loans for those living in a mobile home.
Many times, it can be hard for someone to even come up with the down payment for a mobile home. In such cases, if they really want to get the buying process started, they may have to apply for a chattel mobile home financing. Chattel loans are personal property loans that have shorter terms and higher interest rates, but again, the higher interest rates make this option quite unrealistic.
A Lower Initial Cost
We should not ignore the fact that mobile homes simply cost less than stick–built homes. Even a large double-wide mobile home from double-wide mobile home dealers in Michigan will probably be a great cost-effective alternative to a traditional home. While mobile homes usually come in one unit, there may be the option to add on new modules when you need to expand. The result might be just one square foot or so away from a regular home.
3. Downsides of Living in Mobile Home Communities
One of the main reasons why some might hesitate to check out mobile homes as a living option is the stigma that is still on them. Living in a mobile home usually means being in a mobile home park or community. Some kids and adults may still feel ashamed letting their friends know that they live in a trailer park. Certain people might also show prejudice against those who live in mobile homes.
Fortunately, the prejudice and negativity surrounding mobile homes are gradually fading away. The quality of mobile homes is also increasing, which will hopefully dash away the myth of trailers being for people who have low incomes or even a criminal tendency.
Landlords and Rules
Even if you own the actual house, there will usually be a landlord to whom you have to pay a lot rent to. There are also several rules to follow, which may lead to a restricted feeling.
Mobile Community Perks
On the other hand, there is no doubt that mobile home communities do have a lot of perks. The atmosphere there can be very family-oriented, with senior citizens enjoying their retired life and all the families knowing one another. Here are just a few things that everyone should know about mobile home living.
4. A Smaller Space
On average, a mobile is around 20% smaller than a traditional home. Make sure to look up some buying tips before purchasing single-wide mobile homes, but such living will usually mean staying within a space of 15 by 72 feet.
Why Choose a Smaller Living Space?
Even with mobile homes being smaller, they are still a popular option as one can move in almost at once. From there on, we can expand and add on modules as required. As long as the amount of your leased-land allows it, there are a lot of manufacturers who can customize various floor plans and offer a variety of their own to choose from.
5. A Temporary Foundation
Finally, the temporary foundation of a mobile home may also be a risk for the people living in it. If a natural disaster strikes, such as a hurricane, huge thunderstorm, or earthquake, a mobile home is more vulnerable to damage. The occupants inside will also not be very safe; they won’t even have a basement or cellar to escape to in case of an emergency. Be sure you know the wind zone rating for mobile homes before committing to one.
High Building Standards
On the other hand, we also have to consider the building of modern mobile homes today. They are usually constructed and put together in controlled environments, which means that their quality standards are very high. As long as you are not in a very high risk zone for certain natural disasters, a quality mobile home could be all the shelter you need from the weather elements outside.
Every major decision comes with its ups and downs, especially when we are talking about major investments like buying a home. For buyers in the U.S., one major decision might lie between “should I build a house or buy a mobile home or finance a traditional, stick-built house.”
While each of these choices also has pros and cons, it does seem like mobile homes have a definite advantage. Even the downsides are not without perks, so it is probably worth considering this option seriously. The housing market is a tough one these days; it is best to act quickly and get that mobile home as soon as possible!