Gone are the days of mobile homes being an alternative living concept – today, mobile & manufactured homes are part & parcel of an entire section of housing that offers homeownership at an affordable cost. More and more people are choosing these types of homes as a cost-effective, convenient & user-friendly housing option. However, until quite recently, mobile homes and their communities were seen as a negative, associated with crime and poverty. In recent years, many top tier housing companies design and build mobile homes that are nowhere near what they used to be.. In order to prepare for what you may encounter, here are some secrets about mobile homes that you need to be aware of before making a purchase.
- Quality Varies
One of the biggest secrets about mobile homes is that the quality can vary greatly from one manufacturer to another. Some manufacturers use subpar materials, while others build homes with high-quality materials that can last for decades. Older mobile home communities will generally have houses without much protection against weather, while new homes will have much more weather resistance. Similarly, older houses will not come with the energy savings and energy efficiency of some of the more modern mobile homes. Be sure to research different manufacturers and choose one that has a good reputation for building high-quality homes.
- Higher Cost of Ownership
While mobile homes are typically less expensive upfront than traditional homes, they can be more expensive in the long run. Maintenance costs, insurance costs, and other expenses can add up, so be sure to factor in these costs when making a budget. If you don’t plan in advance for a lot of extra considerations, you might find yourself stuck with high costs. If you are your own homeowner and don’t have the right insurance, it could set you back thousands of dollars long term.
- Site Considerations
When choosing a site for your mobile home, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. You’ll need to choose a site that is level, has proper drainage, and is in an area that is protected from strong winds and other potential hazards. The neighborhood, nearby amenities like schools, hospitals, entertainment centers and other considerations also need to be taken into account to make sure that you are able to access everything you need easily. Some insurance providers will not insure you if you choose a site that has a high likelihood of damage, so stay away from those areas.
- Financing Options
Financing a mobile home can be more challenging than financing a traditional home, as many lenders have much stricter requirements for mobile home loans than regular homeowner loans. Be sure to do your research and find yourself a reputable lender that specializes in mobile home financing, and be prepared to provide documentation such as proof of income, credit score, and insurance coverage. You will also need to prepare to pay a downpayment upfront, so budget around that. Make sure that you also take into account the rent that you will have to pay over time for the land, unless you choose to own the land as well.
- Resale Value
Another hidden secret about mobile homes is that their resale value can be lower than that of traditional homes. This is largely due to the fact that many people view mobile homes as less permanent, and therefore less valuable, than traditional homes. However, this perception is changing, and many modern mobile homes have excellent resale value, owing to better construction materials being used, their top-of-the line design and technological elements, as well as their hardier structures.
Mobile homes can depreciate faster than traditional homes, making it important to carefully consider your investment. Unlike owning the land and the home, you usually only own the home with a mobile home. So while land values appreciate, so will your rent. Make sure that you keep depreciation in mind, because a mobile home can be viewed as personal property in some places.
- Insurance Requirements:
Mobile home insurance requirements can vary from state to state, and it’s important to understand what is covered and what is not covered by your policy. You will have to make sure that you also get additional insurance for everything that is not covered in your mobile homeowners policy, like flood or hurricane damage.
- Skirting Requirements:
Skirting is a requirement for many mobile homes, but it’s also important to ensure that the skirting meets local building codes and provides adequate protection from the elements. The skirting around your home is extremely important to your home’s sound structure, so make sure that it is up to code, or you could have huge problems.
Mobile homes require regular upkeep, including regular cleaning and maintenance, to keep them in good condition and to prevent damage. You also have to do a lot of repairs, fixes and designing, in order for you to get the most out of your home. Make sure you regularly inspect your home and its surroundings.
- Living in a Mobile Home Community:
Living in a mobile home community can have both benefits and drawbacks, including the cost of lot rent, the rules and regulations of the community, and the proximity to neighbors. However, there is the added security of knowing your neighbors and a large number of community events sponsored by mobile home parks and communities.
While mobile homes have many advantages, it’s important to be aware of their hidden secrets before making a purchase. From the quality of the home to the cost of ownership, site considerations, financing options, and resale value, there are many factors to consider when buying a mobile home. By doing your research and making an informed decision, you can ensure that you get the most value from your investment.