The mobile home has long existed in public consciousness as a lower-end housing option, but changes to construction and zoning regulations have made big improvements in this home style. Now mobile homes can even be found in high-end resort communities, and can provide profitable returns to careful investors.
Search our real estate listings.
Mobile VS. Stick-Built Homes
The affordability of a mobile home is a big point in its favor. A “stick-built” (meaning built permanently on a foundation) home is much more expensive than a decently built mobile. The savings can then be used to buy a better piece of land than one could otherwise afford, or move into a park with a low-cost pad rental.
Since a mobile has a relatively smaller footprint than a house, it tends to cost less to heat or cool. Building maintenance is also cheaper. Roof replacement, for instance, will cost much less on a mobile home than it would on a similar-sized house.
Quality of Construction
Despite their reputation for being low-quality living spaces, today's mobile homes are solidly built and many conform to standard housing codes. Check with the manufacturer for the details about the home you are thinking of buying. For older mobile homes, even a small amount of work can make your living space comfortable. With the lower cost of living in and maintaining a mobile home, you may find that your living expenses drop significantly.
Aesthetics is one area where the mobile home has fallen short. Happily, there are a number of companies that are constructing mobile homes that don't look so very different from their permanently-situated counterparts. Some companies are building “green” mobile homes, with features that many stick-built homes don't even see, like sustainable wood flooring, energy efficient appliances and even alternative energy generators that promise to take tomorrow's mobile homes off the grid entirely.
As an investment, mobile homes have traditionally depreciated at about the same level as vehicles. One of the reasons was shoddy construction, but another was the fact that for decades, mobile homes were taxed as vehicles, not as homes. As a short-term option, say within 5 years, a mobile home can probably give you a return on your initial investment. At the very least, you should be able to sell it for what you paid.
Where a mobile home can really help you out is land. If you buy property and put a mobile home on it, you will be spending much less than buying a property with a house already built on it. A mobile home can be used as temporary living space while you build a home, and then sold for extra cash. The home can also be moved onto a foundation or basement foundation.
Mobile home parks are also becoming more and more the haunt of the well-to-do and the upwardly-climbing. Mobile home parks can offer the same amenities as a well-run, luxury condo complex… with the added bonus of having a free-standing home. Many mobile home communities are 55+, allowing people to buy in a safe, clean neighborhood and enjoy the society of like-minded neighbors. For families, there are plenty of options for the kids, with family-friendly parks that have playgrounds, are located close to schools, and green space.
Today's mobile homes area very different from the sorry specimen of yesteryear. New mobile homes are posh, and located on private land or private parks that offer plenty of amenities for the discerning buyer, all for much less than a traditional “stick-built” home.
Contact us for more information about mobile homes in our area.