Having a good estimation of your mobile home worth is extremely important when you want to plan your financial future. Whether you are thinking of selling your home, get financing, or refinancing, having an accurate estimation of the home’s worth in its current condition and in the current market is crucial.
Having a good idea of what you can get for your home will help you get a good price and not get cheated along the way. If you have no idea what the value of your mobile home is, it’s high time to find out.
In this article, we will help you come to terms with all the most important factors that influence the price of your mobile home. Some factors definitely have a larger impact than others and we will list them in approximate order of their magnitude.
Following these simple guidelines will give you the value of your home within a narrow range. If you want a professional opinion we will also give you some options toward the end of the article.
Factors that influence mobile home worth
Age of the home
This is probably the make-or-break factor when it comes to the price of your mobile home. Unlike traditional stick-built homes, mobile homes tend to depreciate in value. The exception being if you are selling the land and the home together. The appreciating value of the land might offset the homes depreciation entirely.
Mobile homes are seen less as real estate and more as personal property, such as a car. Therefore, the more you make your home like a piece of real estate, the better. If your home rests on a permanent foundation of any kind and is permanently affixed to the property, it’s already a huge improvement and depreciation will be less noticeable.
Another absolutely critical factor is if your home was built pre-1976 or after. This is when the new HUD-code came into effect that dramatically improved the quality, safety, and standardization of mobile homes. It also led to the use of the term “manufactured home” as these newer homes deviated even more from their trailer-like ancestors.
The average depreciation for a mobile home is between 3-3.5% but depends slightly on the factors we mentioned above, as well as the market and area you live in. At this rate, a mobile home that cost $60,000 will be worth $58,000 after the first year, and $56,200 after the second.
Has the mobile home been moved?
You might be scratching your head right now. Is it a mobile home after all? Why would it lose so much value if you move it? Well as we quickly mentioned above, mobile homes still face a lot of cynicism when compared to real estate. The more like a stick-built home it is, the better for your pocket.
Moving your mobile home is an inherently risky and stressful process for the home to go through. A million small things can go wrong that only rear their ugly heads later on. Bending or damaging of the chassis or structure is a real danger. Most lenders flat out refuse to finance for a home that’s been moved two or more times. Once already puts a dent in your chances.
Mobile home type
Just like any type of home, the more rooms there are and the bigger it is, the more it’s worth! Mobile homes are no exception. Except that there is an extra dimension to it. Mobile homes come in three main types of classifications:
- Single-wides: These homes are 10-16 ft. in width by 42-90 ft. in length which results in 600-1300 square ft. Brand new single-wides are worth around $40,000.
- Double-wides: 0-42 ft. in width by 42-90 ft. in length range, which results in 2000 square ft. Brand new double wides are worth around $75,000.
- Triple-wides: Are usually 50 ft. in length but the width varies dramatically. These homes can have any size below 4,500 square ft. Brand new triple-wides can cost anything between $100,000 to $250,000, but the sky’s the limit with these homes.
Though it might seem straightforward, there are many other reasons that cause double-and triple-wides to hold their value much better than single-wide homes. For one, the demand for double-and triple-wide homes are always high or on the increase.
This is because American families are growing and single-wides are very restrictive in size.They usually only have two bedrooms and at most two bathrooms. This doesn’t accommodate larger families at all and is even a tight squeeze for a small one. Single bedroom mobile homes have an even more limited market (almost exclusively retirees or bachelor’s/ettes).
Single-wides and larger homes are popular because they offer the size and lifestyle of a traditional family home but at a much lower price. They also have a much broader target market.
The final factor is that it’s almost impossible to finance a single-wide, especially with a mortgage. However, the larger models are much easier to finance and offer much better financing options.
So, in short, by far the two most important rooms that affect the price of the home is the number of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms. These are the two most important and most used rooms in a home and play a major role in how many people the home can accommodate comfortably.
Location, location, location
Different states can have vastly different prices. The exact same manufactured home model can cost less when it’s located in let’s say, Arkansas than in Malibu, California. You would be shocked to see just how much prices can vary, especially if the plot comes with the home.
So, it’s important you take this into account when trying to calculate your mobile home worth. Just because you see the same model as your own, with relatively the same age, and condition listed in another state doesn’t mean you should list or value yours at the same price. California has a particularly high cost of living and houses cost a premium. If you live there or in a similar area, don’t undersell yourself.
Mobile home parks
If your home is located inside a mobile home park that will also have a bearing on its price. It is prohibitively expensive to move a mobile home and even then, moving a home may mean you lose your option to finance it permanently. For this reason, mobile homes aren’t actually that mobile. Obviously, if the home is affixed to a permanent foundation this isn’t an option anyway.
In short, this means that whoever is buying your home has to buy into the mobile home park as well. If you live in a park with excellent management that keeps the grounds well-tended and sorts out any issues quickly it’s obviously a huge plus.
However, if your mobile home park grounds look dilapidated and uncared for, this poses just as big of a problem. It may seem petty, but even if there are older homes nearby that don’t look as good, they will affect your mobile home worth.
There are many other considerations when it comes to a mobile home park as well. For example, do they require a certain levy? How much is the lot rent? Are there extra facilities such as a bbq area, public pool, clubhouse, etc? What management structure is it under, HOA, PUD, Co-op, etc?
These are smaller individual factors, but the decency of the mobile home park has a HUGE impact on its appeal, and therefore, its value.
If your mobile home has to be moved there is another thing you should think about. Many mobile home parks don’t allow mobile homes above a certain age. 1987 seems to be the cut-off date for most mobile homes. If your mobile home was built before this date, the value will take a hit just because it’s much harder to find a space for.
Current housing market conditions
When taking into account the location, it’s also important to look at current market factors. For example, in Florida there is currently a housing bubble. This means that prices can inflate significantly above their real value. Being informed about current events such as these allow you to either price your home accordingly and take advantage of the unusually high demand or go a bit lower and sell your home quickly.
In most countries, you really only have to look at national conditions, but in the States, it’s much more localized because of each state’s independence.
This coin obviously has two sides to it. If the housing market is currently in a slump in your neighborhood or state, you might have to go significantly lower than the actual value of your home if you need to sell. It might be worth it to either rent out your home till prices go up or just try and stick it out a while longer.
Whichever way you look at it, you need to first calculate the actual value of your home so that you can weigh it according to these variables.
Now, back to the home itself! Since the inception of the HUD code in 1976, mobile homes have come a long way. It’s estimated that around 20% of the U.S. population lives in mobile home parks. This has driven a huge industry.
With this many mobile homes being manufactured, it’s only natural that innovation and entropy would start taking root. And it has. Because mobile homes are manufactured modularly in a factory type setting, it’s easy to add new features to models or create them with alternate layouts.
Here are just some of the features that could increase your mobile home worth:
- Outdoor patios, decks or bbq areas.
- Open floor design.
- Modern, designer kitchens or bathrooms.
- Energy or utility efficiency such as solar powered geysers, solar panels or insulation.
- Luxuries such as jacuzzies.
- Storm or weatherproofing.
As mobile homes are becoming more and more mainstream, these type of features will only increase and as people look more and more to mobile homes as permanent residences the demand for it will go up as well.
This, of course, includes any additions you have made yourself. Hopefully, you have done these without violating the HUD conditions for manufactured homes. If not, it will have the opposite effect.
For instance, you aren’t allowed to add a structure to your home if it leans on, or is supported by, your home’s structure in any way. Any addition needs to completely support its own weight. For more guidelines, read the article HUD Laws and Mobile Homes. Remember that HUD compliancy directly impacts your ability to get financing.
The channels you are selling through
This is another factor very often overlooked when evaluating your mobile home value. Largely because the effect it has on the ultimate price you get for your home is usually underestimated.
There are two main choices: Retail or wholesale.
Retail can be done in a number of different ways. You can hire a local or national agent to help you sell the home, sell it yourself, or sell it back to the mobile home park it is located on. Through this way, you might run into many unqualified buyers with their own biases and demands that can make it challenging. You will need to stick to your guns to get a good and fair price.
Wholesale is when you sell it to a company, such as USMobileHomePros, that is a licensed mobile home reseller. They have their own algorithms and methods to fairly and consistently evaluate mobile homes. There might be less room for bargaining but you’re also assured of a fair and consistent price, less back-and-forth, and less hassle. The moving of the mobile home will also be less of an issue since the reseller regularly undertakes this option.
How to get a professional opinion
That was quite a lot to digest, wasn’t it? If weighing and measuring all these factors seems like too much, you can always have your home professionally appraised. Mobile home resellers usually have a process in place that gets you a free quote for your mobile home from where you can decide whether to do business with them or not.
This is usually a straightforward and easy-to-do process. You just need some basic information on your home (and maybe some photos) to get started.
There is no real way to get an exact price for your home, there are simply too many things to take into account. Things like the condition of the home will be different for every single person and home. However, by looking at all these factors and considerations and finding similar homes online, you can get a close estimate.