Millenial Tips: What To Look For In A Mobile Home Before You Buy

by Sep 9, 2019

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Mobile homes have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for millennials. With the prices for traditional properties soaring, it is an alternative pathway to homeownership. The average for conventional houses in 2018 was $380,000. But only $87,000 for mobile homes.

No wonder that 23% of residents in manufactured housing are between 18 and 29 years of age.

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However, it still involves its fair set of challenges, especially for a first-time buyer. So, here are our ten tips for millennials who are looking to buy a mobile home.

The lot 

One of the main differences between mobile homes and site-built homes is their mobility. Manufacturers build the former in factories, and the buyer then has to have it moved to a lot. But the latter are constructed permanently on a piece of land. 

Therefore, manufactured houses don’t necessarily come with a lot. Before you buy, you have to ask if you can buy the land with the home or if you have to buy or rent it separately. 

You need to sort this out early on in the process. Remember that it will even affect the loan you can get.

Can you move it? 

This next tip is closely related to the first. Depending on the situation, you may need to move the mobile home to a different lot. 

That’s why you need to check whether you can. Older and poorly maintained mobile homes might not be structurally sound. This means they may not be able to withstand the process. A professional inspector or mover will be able to tell you. 

Besides this, you need to consider its size. Single-wides can be moved in one piece. But double- and triple-wides will need to be split up, making it more expensive and challenging.

Can you afford it? 

This question is probably one of the most important. We all have that image of a dream home in our minds. And you should buy a property that you want to live in.

However, this isn’t always possible. You need to make sure that you can afford the home. 

A good place to start is to calculate a budget. You have to figure out what you can pay. Do you want to and can you buy it with cash? Or will you need to get a loan to pay off in monthly increments? 

Person counting cash

You have to have this figured out before you sign any papers or make any decisions. 

We recommend that you pay close attention to all the documents and contracts to make sure there aren’t any “hidden” costs.

Make sure it’s up to code

Any first-time buyer needs to educate themselves on the HUD code. In short, the government has set out these standards to regulate the quality and safety features of mobile homes. 

Since 1976, all manufactured houses have to be built according to these guidelines. This means that homes built before this aren’t up to code. But neither are some homes which might be damaged or have been altered. 

You need to hire an inspector to check the property before you get started. 

If you don’t, you will have fewer assurances regarding its quality and safety. On top of this, you’ll find it difficult, if not impossible, to get a loan for the purchase.

Will it have resale value? 

Are you looking for your forever home?  

If you have any doubts, you should try to find out whether the mobile home will have any resale value.  

Unfortunately, mobile homes don’t typically appreciate like a stick-built home. This means that their value doesn’t necessarily increase over time. Instead, they tend to depreciate, losing value as the years go past. 

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to slow or even reverse the loss in value: 

  • Mobile homes that were built after 1976 lose less value. So they are usually a better investment.
  • The overall value can increase if you buy a house with the lot it sits on.
  • You will do well to maintain the condition of the home. By improving it, you can improve the price of the property.
  • On top of this, you can add value to the mobile home with renovation and upgrades like new cabinets or flooring.

Maintenance and repairs 

Some things are true no matter the type of home. One thing any buyer needs to take a close look at is the condition of the house. You don’t want to buy a property that is more trouble than it’s worth. And you don’t want to pay more than you should. 

That’s why you need to have the home inspected by an expert. It also won’t hurt to check its condition yourself. 

Faucet bathroom sink

Mobile homes are particularly prone to water damage and plumbing issues. You also need to look at the wiring. 

Yes, sometimes you can benefit from buying a fixer-upper. But this isn’t always the case. You can’t repair all kinds and degrees of damage.

Ask the experts 

As you can see, there are many potential pitfalls for the first time mobile home buyer. Luckily, with some help and information, you should be able to overcome these hurdles. 

It can be useful to do a bit of research on your own. However, you might want to consider reaching out to a company or individual that focuses on buying and selling mobile homes. 

They can help you get the right deal while speeding up and streamlining the process.

New beginnings 

For a first time millennial buyer, a mobile home can be an excellent investment. It can be a significant step toward greater responsibility but also freedom and independence. The process can be risky, but the rewards often far outweigh the costs. 

Overall, you must learn as much as you can. So be sure to check out how to find and buy your dream mobile home.

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