What Factors Influence My Mobile Home’s Value?

by May 21, 2021Blog, Manufactured Home Worth, Remodeling, Selling a mobile home

It’s easy to worry about listing your mobile home for sale. Will you make money or lose money? Will you get the price you want, or will your buyer throw you a lowball and practically snatch it out from under you? There are so many “what-ifs” and unknowns.

But what if you’re worrying for no reason? You could be! If you know what factors influence your mobile home’s value, you’ll be one step ahead. Better yet, you can take control of your home’s value. We want to help you figure out exactly how much money you could make if you listed your home today. And we’ll also offer ideas on how to improve your mobile home’s value so you can make even more.

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We’re going to touch on all these tips and more today as we discover what factors influence the value of your mobile home.

Market

So many specific things about your mobile home influence its market value. But while the home can influence the market value, it can be the other way around – the market can impact the home’s value. Your local mobile home and real estate market can greatly influence your mobile home’s worth. Before you start looking for ways to add value to your mobile home, we encourage you to get to know your local market’s current climate and learn how it changes throughout the year.

How to discover your home’s market value

To understand your local market, do some amateur market analysis. Compare listings on real estate websites or other sites like Craigslist. What is the average price for a mobile home? Which homes are selling for more than the average price? How long are the mobile homes sitting on the market? (It could be a week, a day, a month, two days – get an idea of how fast mobile homes are selling.)

This info will tell you several different things, such as whether your market is a buyer’s or a seller’s market. If there is high demand for homes in your area, and they’re selling like hotcakes, then you’re in a market that’s favorable to sellers like you. Analyzing the market can also tell you which neighborhoods are seeing a lot of new people moving in and which are seeing a decline in residents.

We compile reports for a quick snapshot national and state markets, which take similar homes to yours and provide you with valuable pricing information, saving you time and possibly, a lot of money. Get your report now!

Location

This brings us to our next factor: location. They say that “location is everything.” While that’s not entirely true, location may still be the most important way to determine your mobile home’s value, especially in certain markets. 

There’s not much you can do about location unless you decide to move your mobile home to a nicer area. For most homeowners, however, that is far too expensive and won’t be an option. Instead, do a realistic assessment of your home’s current location. Is it near nice schools and shopping areas? Is it in a pleasant mobile home community or out in the country by itself? If you live in a neighborhood, is it a peaceful place with no loud neighbors and low crime rates? 

A mobile home that is near impoverished communities or crime hot spots won’t have the same value as a home in a good neighborhood. Also, if you live in an area where good schools, stores, and recreation areas aren’t easily accessible, this will bring down your home’s value.

A walk in the park

Type of property

Did you know that you can actually change the type of property you own? That’s right, you can actually change your mobile home from personal property to real estate.

Real estate vs. personal property

From the moment they’re manufactured, mobile homes are, well, mobile. They have the same type of title deed that a vehicle would have. This makes them what is technically known as personal property. Stick-built homes, on the other hand, are real property. Otherwise known as real estate. 

Basically, anything you can move around with your hands (or with a truck, in this case) is personal property. Land obviously cannot be moved. Therefore, if a stick-built home is built on a piece of land it becomes part of the land and can’t be moved. It becomes real estate.

Upgrading to real estate

By now you’re probably wondering how you could possibly change your mobile home from personal to real property. It’s fairly simple: affix (via a concrete foundation) your home to a piece of property that you own. Register it as real estate, and you’re done!

Obviously, it’s a little more involved than that, but you get the idea. This is a great way to add value if your mobile home is still mobile and sitting on a piece of property you already own. By converting it to real estate, its value will increase significantly. Real estate is always more valuable than personal property so take advantage of that if you can.

Upgrades

Before you decide on your home’s market value, you must take into account any upgrades you’ve made while living there. Upgrades can include new or better appliances, new sheetrock, new flooring, a fireplace, or a porch. Anything that you’ve replaced with something better adds a little to your home’s value. 

Obviously, since mobile homes are manufactured factory-style, the materials used are low-grade compared to a stick-built home. If you recently ripped out all of the wall panels in your home and replaced them with sturdy drywall, that’s something your buyer will appreciate. A porch or deck is also a huge plus, provided it doesn’t inhibit the buyer from moving the home if they need to.

Energy efficiency

Just because mobile homes are economical doesn’t mean they can’t be improved upon. In fact, mobile homes are famous for their lack of energy efficiency. That means that they’re hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and definitely not friendly to your energy bill. Cheap windows and a lack of a basement and foundation contribute to this problem. 

Since this is the case, any upgrades you can make to improve energy efficiency in your home will greatly increase value. Replace those cheap windows, install better insulation and insulated skirting, and go to town caulking all the seams so no hot or cold air can escape.

Curb appeal and aesthetics 

Just like upgrades inside your home, curb appeal is a major selling point to most buyers. If your mobile home sports nice skirting, a trendy siding color, and a roof that’s in good shape, that automatically puts new value into your home. You’ll improve the home even further if you tear off that classic vertical mobile home siding and invest in stick-built grade siding. 

Bathroom interior with two sinks

Inside your home, paint is the number one way to instantly freshen up the space. Installing better molding, creating an accent wall, and installing better windows are also great ways to put a new spin on the traditional mobile home. Anything you can do to make it seem a little bit more special and unique is good. Buyers don’t want a home that looks like every other mobile home in the park. They’re looking for a mobile home with character, just like buyers of stick-built homes are.

Also, here’s a pro tip: it’s been proven that staging a home helps it sell faster, so you may also want to keep that in mind as you get closer to listing it for sale. 

A word about deprecation

Deprecation is a combination of all of the other factors we’re talking about today. It includes everything from location and market to age and cosmetics. We’ve already touched on all of those, but since depreciation in mobile homes is such an important subject and has so much bearing on your mobile home’s value, it’s worth explaining.

Depreciation is the decline in value of an asset (like your mobile home) or a piece of real estate. You’ll hear the word “depreciation” all the time when researching your mobile home’s value. That’s because mobile homes depreciate much faster than stick-built homes, apartments, and other real estate. Whereas stick-built homes can last for many, many decades, mobile homes are only expected to last about 30 years.

It’s not the end

Combined with the other factors that influence your mobile home’s value, age can be a death-knell. And sadly, there’s not much you can do about it. Mobile homes are meant to be temporary. Time takes its toll. As we’ve seen today, however, there are ways to make up for it. By adding value, you can extend a mobile home’s lifespan of usefulness. 

Even if a mobile home is getting older and depreciating quickly, it can still be a comfortable home for your future buyer. Used mobile homes are in high demand: they’re affordable, economical, and cozy. Many people need temporary homes when they move for jobs, school, or to be close to family. Instead of renting, purchasing their own little mobile home may be quite attractive.

New vs. used

We would be remiss not to mention the difference between a used and a new mobile home. If you’ve lived in mobile homes for any amount of time, you know the difference. You may have firsthand experience with the depreciation rate of mobile homes.

If you bought your mobile home new and are now selling it used, it’s harder to make a profit with any amount of upgrading. Used mobile homes go for far less money on the market than new ones. Because of their shorter lifespan, mobile homes that are just five or ten years old have far less value than brand-new ones. For example, a new single-wide could sell for around $40,000 or $50,000 while a used single-wide can sell for only $10,000 or $25,000. You can see what a dramatic difference that is!

That’s the bad news. The good news is, if your mobile home was already used when you bought it, you stand a better chance of making a profit. Chances are, you have already made improvements. Or maybe you renovated it before you moved in. If so, you’re a step ahead.

Appreciation

American dollars in cash

The reason you’re here reading this article is that you want to make a profit when you sell your mobile home. You’re not here to listen to depressing definitions of depreciation! Thankfully, there are a few ways to make back your money (plus more, hopefully). We’ve talked about some of them today. Upgrading your mobile home to real estate. Upgrading in smaller ways to increase the functionality of the home. Cleaning up, painting, and adding curb appeal.

In real estate, value that is added to an asset is called appreciation. Sometimes mobile home owners accidentally hit the jackpot and move to a certain area of town before it’s trendy. Next thing they know, everyone is moving to that neighborhood and houses are simply flying off the market. That might happen to you, so it pays to do some market and location research. 

In smaller ways, however, you can deliberately add value to your mobile home. Most people have to resort to this method because most don’t just “get lucky” as described above. So, if you have to put time and effort into increasing your home’s value, you’re not alone. Like other responsible homeowners, if you put in the work to make your home a comfortable and beautiful place, your mobile home will be worth every cent your buyer pays.

Taking control of your home’s value

Even though there are circumstances that are out of your hands – such as depreciation, the home buying market, and location – there’s still so much you can take control of when it comes to your mobile home’s value. If you care for your home, you’ll make it that much more attractive to a buyer. Be strategic, and you might just sell your mobile home with a tidy little profit besides.

There are so many factors that influence your mobile home’s value. It can be overwhelming. For that matter, selling your home can in itself be overwhelming! If that’s the case for you, check out these 12 ways to combat fear when selling your mobile home

And if you’re looking for even more ways to make your mobile home an attractive buy, stand out from the competition by following these 11 tips. Don’t give your home a chance to depreciate! Take control of your mobile home’s value. 



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