Purchasing a mobile home can be a cost-effective housing option, especially if you are on a tight budget or plan to live in a particular location for only a short period of time. However, there are some important factors to consider before making the decision to buy a mobile home. That is why the question, “is it worth buying a mobile home?” makes a lot of sense.
The ongoing cost of constructing a traditional stick-built house might make it inaccessible for many people (as it is built on a permanent foundation). One alternative that may be more accessible is a manufactured home. Sometimes referred to as modular homes or mobile homes, today’s manufactured homes may be subject to misconceptions.
So, what if buying a mobile home is really worth it? It is important to investigate further so you can make a smart decision.
Difference Between Mobile Homes and Stick-Built Homes
A mobile home is a type of housing that is built in a factory. It is then transported to its final destination, where it’s placed on a permanent foundation or piers. Mobile homes are also known as manufactured homes or modular homes. Learn exactly how mobile homes are built here.
If you own both a manufactured home and the land it is permanently installed on, it will be considered real property. That is why you will also have to pay property taxes for it.
A traditional home, on the other hand, is built on-site, using materials such as brick, wood, and concrete. Traditional homes are also known as stick-built homes or site-built homes.
Is it Worth Buying a Mobile Home?
Though mobile and manufactured homes are considered personal property if built on leased land, you will still have to follow the park rules. So, let’s weigh the pros and cons of mobile home ownership before you plan to buy a mobile home.
The Pros of Buying a Mobile Home
The following reasons will guide you in deciding if you should opt for a mobile home.
No Compromise on Quality
Mobile homes constructed after 1976 have been held to standards or local building codes set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, i.e. the HUD Code for manufactured homes. This ensures that mobile homes have a considerable life expectancy.
Mobile Homes are Built to Last
You may be able to buy a mobile home that is both affordable and built to last. However, it is important to know that a mobile home still tends to have shorter lifespans as compared to a traditional stick-built house and may require more frequent repairs.
High on Affordability
Manufactured housing can be a more affordable option than having a custom stick–built home. The lower price can make homeownership more attainable and allow you to get more space for your money. That is because the average price of mobile homes is often less per square foot than that of stick-built homes. Find out exactly how much manufactured homes cost here.
It is a Saving Opportunity
Even if you plan to buy a cheaper mobile home, you can save a significant amount of money by choosing a manufactured home over a traditional home. Once you know how much a mobile home costs, you can buy one easily.
Better than Renting a Stick-Built House
You would not have to pay rent if you plan to buy a mobile home. If you are buying a manufactured home on leased land, you will be able to own personal property (in other words, real property) for less than the cost of renting an apartment. This way, you will also not be losing money on various expenses.
A Great Option for Those Who Prefer Customizable Homes
Modern mobile homes can be customizable to a certain extent. Many manufacturers offer a range of floorplan options that allow you to choose the layout and features that best meet your needs. You can choose the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the layout of the kitchen, and the type of flooring and appliances.
You Can Also Get Detailed Customization
Some manufacturers also offer upgrades such as extra insulation, energy-efficient windows, and high-end finishes. With that said, before you select a design for your home, you should consult with your local government’s zoning office to make sure that the design meets any criteria that might apply to the type of home that can be built on the lot you have chosen.
Mobile Home on Private Land will Appreciate in Value
Just like a stick-built home, a mobile home that is placed on land may appreciate in value over time. This means that owning land outright can also increase the chances of equity gain.
In a housing market where prices are rising, the value of mobile homes with their own land may also increase.
Mobile Homes are Eco-Friendly
An increasing number of mobile homes are being constructed with environmentally-friendly materials. These are also designed to have a low carbon footprint.
Many are powered by solar energy and are Energy Star certified. This means that they have energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. As a result, mobile homes can be a more eco-friendly option compared to traditional homes.
Mobile Home Living Encourages a Sense of Community
Many manufactured home communities offer opportunities for socialization through clubs and group activities. So, living in a manufactured home park can provide a sense of community and the chance to make new friends.
While mobile home owners have their private driveways and small backyards, they are also close to their neighbors. This can encourage social interaction.
You Can Earn Some Rental Income
You can rent out your mobile home once you have possession. This can be a great way to earn rental income, but there are some additional considerations to keep in mind. Mobile homes are often located in mobile home parks. So, potential tenants might need to be approved by the park management before they can move-in.
There is a lot to Learn About Mobile Home Living
Though you need to follow the park rules, you can also learn more about living in a manufactured home community if you decide to move-in instead of renting out. It might be that you will start enjoying your life within the mobile home community!
The Cons of Buying a Mobile Home
Though we believe that it is worth buying a mobile home, there are some cons, too. Let’s have a look at each one of them.
Mobile Homes Depreciate
You might not be able to sell your modular home for as much as you paid for it because it depreciates over time. This may affect its resale value, but this shouldn’t be a concern for first-time homebuyers who prefer living in houses with low home prices.
From a financial standpoint, financing options for mobile homes are limited. Besides a down payment, you would have to face difficulty in getting a mortgage loan for a mobile home.
This means that you wouldn’t be entitled to personal property loans if you get the mobile home constructed in a mobile home park.
You Will Be Paying the Lot Rent
Do not forget the lot rent if you don’t own the leased land. If you choose to live in a mobile home park, you will need to pay the lot rent for the right to place your mobile home on the park’s land.
Not as Structurally Sound as Traditional Stick-Built Homes
Mobile homes may not be as safe as traditional stick-built homes during natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. This is because mobile homes may be more prone to damage from high winds and heavy rain. However, you can avoid this situation by acting proactively and building a strong and durable structure of your mobile home. Learn about wind zones for manufactured homes here.
Who are Mobile Homes for?
Even after looking at the cons, we suggest that mobile homes can be suitable for a variety of people, including:
- People who are looking to buy their first home (within limited budget)
- People who want a second or vacation home
- People who want a home that they can take with them if they move – learn the cost to move a mobile home here
Additional Categories of Mobile Homeowners
- People who want a low-maintenance home
- People who prefer a sense of community and socialization
- People who want a home that is energy-efficient and built with environmentally-friendly materials
If you belong to one of the above-mentioned categories of potential mobile homeowners, you should buy a mobile home.
Overall, whether or not it is worth it to buy a mobile home will depend on your individual circumstances and priorities. However, if you are looking for a cost–effective housing option that offers flexibility in terms of location, a mobile home is definitely a great choice.
Other benefits that make buying a mobile home a worthwhile decision include lower monthly costs, fewer mobile home maintenance costs, and less financial risk.
After all, who doesn’t want all these perks? Plus, buying a mobile home also means that you would not have to pay any monthly rent.
When you have saved up enough money to buy a traditional home or apartment, you can move out and rent out your mobile home for additional income.
Once you have made the decision to buy a mobile home, the next step is to know about the best time of the year to buy a mobile home!