Mobile Home Advantages and Disadvantages
Mobile home advantages and disadvantages are important to consider before you embark on the journey of buying and moving into your own. We’ve put together a list to help make your decision a little bit easier.
But first, let’s start with why you might need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of owning a mobile home and why you might be reading this article …
First, you read every article we put out on a weekly basis. If that’s the case, we are thankful!
1st Time Home Buyer
Second, you are looking to get your first home all on your own. You just finished college and are looking for a low-income option while jumping into your career. If you see yourself only there for a few years, and starting a family is not on your radar, then a single-wide mobile home would be sufficient.
Third, you already are married, and you want to grow your family. Brick and mortar homes are beyond your budget, but a mobile home will fit the bill. Since you and your young family want to keep growing, a double-wide is going to give you the most room to fill over time.
Fourth, this is not as common, but many small companies will use a mobile home for their headquarters or office. It is cheaper than the typical office space, and the lower purchase price can allot more money to the design phase.
Fifth, you are moving out of a mobile home, and you have not decided if you want to go with a brick and mortar house or transition to a newer mobile home.
Fifth, retirement is on its way! You are looking at some places to relocate to; maybe you want the fun in the sun setting like myrtle beach or Florida, then many mobile home options are practically touching the sand! However, you might ditch the sand in your pants for a more rustic setting, buying some land and planting a mobile home as a peaceful getaway … or a better place to hunt!
Did we guess right? Whatever your reason, you’ve come to right place. In order to help you make a better, more informed decision, we are going to outline the disadvantages and then the advantages of mobile homes.
First, a significant disadvantage to buying a mobile home is that its value depreciates like a rock sinks when thrown into a creek.
When a car leaves the lot, the value plummets, the same could be said of mobile homes leaving the factory. Unlike traditional homes, mobile homes do not come part and parcel with a piece of land. If you are looking to buy a mobile home on land, the value of the total property may go up, but that is not because of the mobile home.
This disadvantage comes from the category mobile homes fall under when dealing with types of property. Technically, mobile homes fall under “personal property,” and brick and mortar houses are called “real property.” “Real property” is permanently fixed to land and “personal property” can be moved. Generally speaking, real will increase in value over time and personal will depreciate.
Second, because mobile homes are personal property, they are more expensive to finance. Higher interest rates, paired with shorter terms, are par for the course when it comes to financing personal property. Banks often refer to these loans as, “chattel loans.”
Third, mobile homes are not anchored-down in most cases. Usually, they are sitting on a lot, which consists of a concrete slab, often called temporary foundations. Due to the lack of a permanent foundation, mobile homes are likely to receive more damage from storms and other natural disasters than a brick and mortar house.
Fourth, design choices are quite limited. When it comes to mass-produced mobile homes, you will essentially have a few choices of layouts, and they are all shaped like a shoe box. For those who like to transform pre-existing things into beautiful works of art, this isn’t necessarily an obstacle. And if you read through our blog posts, you’ll find lots of ideas to inspire you. From remodeling to painting to landscaping, we know you want to make your mobile home look and “feel” like it’s yours. However, if you are set on having a custom design and layout, then the lack of choices among mobile homes may disappoint you.
Fifth, this disadvantage depends on whether or not the mobile home is in a park. Even if you buy the mobile home outright with cold hard cash, but you are in a mobile home park, you will have a landlord. You will still have to operate on someone else’s schedule, procedures, rules, and still pay rent even though you own the home!
Also, if you ever want to sell the mobile home that is in a park, it’s harder to sell, and you will get less than you would if it was not in a mobile home park.
First, with mobile homes, homeownership is much more accessible due to its lower-cost. The lower price per square foot compared to traditional houses means that you will get more bang for your buck. No need to worry about putting nails in the walls or paying a hefty security deposit. With so many affordable options, you can be the owner of your own mobile home!
Second, mobile homes are more flexible than stick-built homes. This is especially the case if you are going to put the mobile home on land you own. Since mobile homes are semi-permanent, you have the ability to move the mobile home to a different position on your property, or completely remove it to put in a newer mobile home or to build something else. Also, this could be a benefit if you want to build a brick and mortar home in the future, but don’t have the funds to do it at the moment.
Third, this is related to the one above, and should be fairly obvious (it’s in the name after all) – mobile homes are mobile. It is not as easy as moving a car, nor is it as cheap, but they move much easier than permanent homes. If you decide you want to live in a different neighborhood, you don’t have to leave the comforts of home behind! All the memories you’ve made and the spaces you’ve created can be transported to your new location.
Fourth, manufacturers construct mobile homes in controlled environments. Traditional houses are exposed to the natural elements while being built and often experience many delays due to the weather. This can lead to significant problems that are hard to detect in those houses. With a mobile home, you can move in much faster than trying to build a brand new home! And you know the quality of your home is tested and controlled.
Fifth, buying a mobile home is a cheaper way to get into high-priced areas. Beach property, lake property, and certain cities can all have higher land prices. Choosing a mobile home allows you to have a lower cost entry point into those areas in comparison to stick-built options.
Sixth, if a mobile home is on your privately owned land, then you will have a lower property tax than if your home was considered “real property.” Even if you can’t get the same financing that you would if you built a traditional home, you will see the difference on your tax return!
Seventh, mobile homes can be cheaper when it comes to maintenance. No need to worry about installing and maintaining gas lines, plumbing/sewer lines, landscaping, and other property-related issues. Particularly, this is the case when the mobile home you buy/own is in a mobile home park. Even though having a landlord can be difficult in some cases, there are advantages to paying someone else who is responsible for maintenance and property.
Eighth, mobile homes are becoming more eco-friendly in the processes and materials used for their construction. Mobile homes are built, across the board, with higher quality materials than in past years. Improved quality and a smaller carbon footprint, all for a lower price than a brick and mortar home! Just add solar power for a sustainable mobile home!
Even though we began our article with the bad news first, we feel the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to owning a mobile home. What do you think? Of course, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons as they affect your own personal situation, but hopefully, the list above gave you a good place to start.