Mobile Home Expenses You Need to Include in Your Budget

by Dec 20, 2020Blog, Finance, Renting a mobile home

It’s probably hard enough just paying the monthly principal and the interest rate on your mortgage. But if you’re going to set a budget, you also need to include the expenses to maintain and update your mobile home. Don’t need to worry though because mobile home costs are bearable. In this article, you will get a rundown of all the mobile home expenses you should budget for whether you own, rent, or live in a mobile home park.

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Mobile home expenses in a park community

One of the most significant advantages of living in a mobile home park is affordability. In a park, you get to enjoy all the perks that come with owning a home without paying any property taxes. On top of that, you won’t have to deal with maintenance on the land or the utilities. In general, some of the monthly costly you will have to contend with include water, garbage, sewer, and recycling pickup. Of course, this will highly depend on the park’s management as well as the community where you are living.




In case the park includes amenities like a swimming pool, recreational center, fitness center and the like, you will probably have to pay for those as well. Some mobile home parks charge cable TV, regardless of whether you like the package or not. Depending on the state you live in, you might have to pay personal property tax every year. Trailers not built for four-season use will pay higher energy bills if they’re poorly insulated. Of course, you can insulate your home for yourself and save on energy.

broken piggy bank

Renting expenses

When renting a mobile home, the first thing you will obviously have to pay each month is the house rent. If the contract includes paying a fee for late rent, then keep that in mind as well. If you rent a mobile home located in a mobile home park, you will need to pay the park fees every month. You will also have to pay for utilities like water, electricity, trash collection, recycling, sewer, gas and the like. If the park includes amenities like a pool and fitness center, then you will probably have to pay maintenance fees to the park. When you rent, you won’t have to pay property taxes every year because the owner of the home will do it.

Landowner expenses

You can bundle your mobile home purchase together with the land if you’re looking to own property. Or if you already own property, you can purchase a mobile home to place on it. However, if you set it up with the chassis it is considered personal property, and you will have to pay two types of taxes each year. First, you will pay personal property tax for the mobile home and you will pay property tax for the land since you own it.




If you lay a foundation for the home and fix it on the land, then it will be considered real property instead of personal property. In this case, you will pay property taxes like you own an on-site built home. You might also have to pay property insurance annually. When you own a mobile home, the only person responsible for maintenance and repairs is you. Meaning that you have to set some money aside for any unexpected repairs and maintenance like mowing the lawn, for example.

Lawn Mower

Leased land expenses

When it comes to owning a home on leased land, the first thing to pay for is the land rental fee. You will have no control over the amount of money you pay each month, and the landowner could add additional fees along the way. On leased land, the owner might charge you maintenance fees each month. Depending on the arrangement, you may have everything taken care of, or it might be up to you to maintain your home. This will depend on where you lease land.

However, you will not be paying property taxes since you won’t own the land. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t have other expenses. You will still have to pay for utilities like electricity, water, garbage, gas, and all.

Irregular expenses

Regardless of whether you own or rent a mobile home, you will need to budget for infrequent expenses. These include things like pet expenses, insurance, cars and more. When it comes to your mobile home, you should also plan for irregular expenses like repairs and upgrades. You might need to install better home insulation or do roof repairs.

Taking into account your living situation, you can determine how much you’ll need to budget each month for mobile home expenses.

5 WAYS TO LOWER BILLS AND SAVE MONEY

There are a number of things you can do now to lower your bills and save you some extra spending money down the road. We’ve outlined just a handful of these cost-cutting mobile home life tips below.

 

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#1 INVEST IN INSULATED CURTAINS

Insulated curtains can save you money on your energy bill. They’re known to prevent heat transfer and block light. Without them, your furnace or air conditioner will work overtime to compensate for heat entering and leaving the home, resulting in higher energy bills. In fact, it’s estimated that homeowners lose 25% of heated or cooled air without proper insulation.

Some may opt to invest in an insulated window. While this is definitely effective, it’s also the more expensive option. Take a look at this insulated curtain we found on Amazon – it’s only $13.99 and has 4.5/5 stars.

#2 CHECK FOR OPEN AIR PATHWAYS LEADING INTO THE HOME

One of the most important things you can do to decrease your energy bills is to check for any open air pathways leading into your home. You might think this is an obvious thing to look for, but it doesn’t take a gaping hole in a wall for your electricity bills to suddenly skyrocket. Look for more inconspicuous troublemakers like loose doors, cracked windows, openings in the attic, etc. All of these things and more can do a lot of damage without you even realizing it.

One way to remove an air leak is to caulk it. Caulk is a waterproof filler and sealant that’s commonly used to fill in cracks and crevices. It’s the material of choice for many DIYers and professionals due to its flexibility and effectiveness in small areas. Make sure to clean the area that needs to be caulked before moving forward. The area should also be dry so as to avoid sealing in moisture. You’ll want to have a putty knife ready in case some of the caulk comes oozing back up. Learn more about what type of caulk to use and how to apply it in this guide.

Another way to seal air patches is with weatherstripping. Unlike caulking, weatherstripping is used to seal gaps between movable surfaces like a door or a window. Common materials used in weatherstripping include foam tape, felt, v strips (tension seals), as well as tubular rubber, vinyl or silicone, among other things. If you’ve already installed weatherstripping to areas in your home, check again to see how it’s holding up. Weatherstripping can degrade quickly depending on what materials were used, so there’s a chance you’ll need to replace it. 

#3 PLANT SHRUBS AROUND YOUR SKIRTING

Bush

One of the biggest differences with mobile homes is their underbelly. If you’ve ever had to deal with your pipes, you know there’s an open space under the home where you can crawl. This area can also be a potential pathway for cold air to enter your home (and freeze your pipes). You can prevent this cold air from entering by planting shrubs around the skirting. This is a great way to insulate your home while also upping its exterior appeal. You should also consider installing insulated skirting if you have the time to do it yourself or money to hire a professional.

#4 CHECK IN ON YOUR FURNACE

You should treat furnace cleanups like you would a dentist appointment. Regular check-ins for cleaning and maintenance are important as they will not only preserve your furnace but also save you on energy bills in the long run.

Cleaning the furnace should be pretty simple. Just take your brush or duster of choice and start sweeping any obvious signs of dust and dirt buildup. You can even use a vacuum hose for those hard-to-reach places. Make sure to turn off your furnace and let it cool before touching anything.

You should also clean out your furnace’s blower, known as the squirrel cage. Depending on the furnace, this may require you to remove the control panel in front of the blower. Make sure you have a socket and ratchet if you want to attempt this.

Keep an eye out for other possible repairs while you’re cleaning. You’ll know something needs to be fixed if you see obvious cracks or rusted out areas. It’s important to look at the color of the furnace flame before turning it off – yellow flames can indicate a dirty burner. Call in a professional if this is the case. A normal flame should be blue.

Take a look at this more in-depth guide to cleaning your furnace for even more details.

#5 LOWER THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR HOT WATER HEATER

According to energy.gov, hot water heaters are often set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit despite the fact that most households are capable of operating at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Lowering this temperature setting can save you anywhere from 4% to 22% in energy savings. If done correctly, the process should only take you around two hours to complete.

You can save an additional 7-16% annually by insulating your water heater. Blankets or pre-cut jackets for insulation can cost around $20, so it’s possible you may not see savings the first year. This can still be a worthwhile investment and not very difficult, as insulating your water heater should take you under two hours to complete. Not every tank needs insulation – newer models usually have this feature already. You can detect a lack of insulation by putting your hand on the tank. A warm tank indicates heat loss and should be insulated.

GET CREATIVE

We’ve mainly focused on reducing energy bills as these can apply to almost any mobile homeowner, but don’t forget that you can also cut down on bills through small changes in everyday expenses. For example, think about how much you pay weekly for gas in your car or groceries for the family. It might be worth setting up a carpool system with a neighbor or friend. You could also try starting a community garden if your mobile home park allows it.

seedlings

Some mobile home parks will purposefully provide you with a cable subscription with hundreds of channels, many that you don’t even watch. If this is the case for you, try negotiating with your park manager for a lower payment option that better suits your needs. You could also request to get a gas, water, and electric meter set up outside of your home if you don’t already have one. Checking in with this daily can help you cut back and alert you when you’re using too much energy.

LOWER YOUR BILLS WITH THESE MOBILE HOME LIFE TIPS

Take a stab at completing all of these mobile home life tips to be more energy efficient and maximize your savings. Just remember that doing one or two won’t save you much initially, and you may have to wait several years before you can even see a noticeable profit. You should also consider winterizing your pipes to avoid pipe ruptures and costly repairs that could arise later in the winter season.



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