Junk It? How To Know If A Mobile Home Is Ready To Be Scrapped

Mar 26, 2021Blog, Manufactured Home Worth, Safety, Selling a mobile home

If you have a mobile home that’s seen better days, you may be wondering what’s next. You may wonder about how to know if a mobile home is ready to be scrapped.

That’s why, in this article, we’ve pulled together the topics of mobile homes, their lifespans, and the process of putting them to rest. 

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So how do you know if a mobile home should be scrapped? How do you know if it’s just run down and in need of rehab? How can you tell whether it can be saved at all? Here at US Mobile Home Pros, we’ll offer practical tips and guidelines for discovering when a mobile home is ready for the junkyard.

When is it ready to be scrapped?

Here we’ve listed three big signs that your mobile home is ready to be scrapped.

Don’t worry. We won’t end there. We’ll also provide some guidance and tips for scrapping your mobile home. And while we’re at it, we’ll discuss some alternatives that might be applicable to your mobile home’s situation.

Without further delay, let’s find out if it’s time to junk it. 

1 – It’s a money pit

First of all, if the mobile home has signs of being or rapidly becoming a money pit, it’s time to consider scrapping it. 

This is where homeowner discretion is advised. Consider the cost of renovations versus the cost of buying a new mobile home. In addition to that consideration, weigh how many years would be left in the life of your mobile home should you funnel money into renovations. Is it worth the expense? 

What seems like a wise financial decision here? If you need help understanding the cost of renovations, talk to more than one contractor. Get a second opinion. 

It’s in your best interests to weigh all the options, the pros and the cons.

2 – It’s no longer safe

If your mobile home is no longer safe to live in, you have yet another reason to scrap it. 

What would be some signs of an unsafe mobile home, you ask? Severe mold issues are one possibility. Major deterioration to the exterior walls and roof is another. Are you dealing with water damage? Fire damage? 

Oftentimes, multiple factors will combine to make a mobile home unsafe. You’ll have to ask yourself if the home is repairable and if you have the time and resources to repair it.

And now let’s look at our next and final sign.

3 – It’s not energy efficient

If you’re dealing with an older mobile home, consider that energy efficiency is not in the picture. You’ll feel this keenly if you’re dealing with a money pit of a home.

With today’s models, buyers can say hello to energy efficiency thanks to competition, progress, and regulations in the mobile home industry. It’s a whole new world of effective insulation, appliances, windows, and more. The increased quality of such features not only helps with the utility bills, but it also helps minimize the green footprint of a mobile home.

This is good news for someone who’s looking to upgrade their home. 

Bonus reason

On top of the factors we’ve already outlined, you may find that your mobile home simply no longer meets your needs. And that realization can add to the case against keeping it. For example, if your family is growing and you want to acquire some extra room, that’s a good reason on top of the others to jump ship and upgrade.

Black two-prong plug

How to scrap a mobile home

If it seems that scrapping your mobile home is inevitable, keep your chin up. We’re sorry that it’s come to this — if it was your personal dwelling, that fact can make the process a bit more difficult. After all, your mobile home carries many memories. It’s served as a haven for you and your loved ones through the joys and storms of life. Of course, there will be a sting when it comes to scrapping it. For some, a mobile home may be the first home they owned.

We hope that this article will help you navigate this new and final phase in the life of a mobile home. But before you decide on scrapping your home, find out if you can sell it.

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How long does a mobile home last?

Now that we’ve discussed signs that a mobile home is ready to be scrapped, let’s look at how long a mobile home can last. What is the longevity of a mobile home?

In the case of a mobile home, you’re looking at an approximate lifespan of 30 to 55 years. This, of course, is contingent on maintenance. Your mobile home could live past 55 with exceptional care.

You should note that the majority of a mobile home’s building materials consist of wood and metal. And while it shares that similarity with a stick-built home, note that mobile homes weigh far less than a stick-built home.

Why? Because they don’t leave the factory with brick and masonry.

A mobile home is built on a metal chassis, making the structure somewhat “mobile.” The chassis allows the mobile home to be built in a factory and hauled to its destination. Although it can be moved from site to site, it’s an expensive ordeal that requires an appropriate process to ensure safety and to make certain that the home isn’t destroyed by the move.

There are a few considerations to take into account if you wish to help with your mobile home’s longevity.

Location is king

Consider your mobile home’s location if you want to give it the best shot at a long life. The value of your mobile home could be affected by its neighborhood or location.

But the foundation matters too

Seeing that your mobile home’s foundation is laid professionally will help. Otherwise, an improper foundation could compromise the structure.

Take care of your roof

There’s something to be said about the importance of a roof. It protects your home and valuables from the elements. If your roof is compromised, you could have a serious problem on your hands. Leaks could cause water damage and bring on mold issues. So please take care of your roof.

Mobile home skirting is a must

Mobile home skirting can insulate your mobile home from the elements, aid with energy efficiency, and protect your space from pests. Don’t forget to ensure proper ventilation to prevent mold and humidity. 

From a design standpoint, mobile home skirting can hide the mobile home chassis. As a result, your mobile home will have increased curbside appeal and look more like a stick-built home. And best of all — there are plenty of options out there for more home skirting. You can find faux stone skirting, faux brick skirting, and more.

Regular maintenance

Keep tabs on the general maintenance of your home. Don’t let the dirt and grime build-up. If you neglect the to-do list, you can count on problems snowballing. So plan to see increased wear and tear on your mobile home. Instead of letting your to-do list items slip, be a good steward of your mobile home by providing regular maintenance and care.

Various tools and cordless drill

Welcome a yearly inspection

And finally, be sure to sign up for a yearly inspection. A yearly inspection will see to it that your mobile home is level. An unlevel mobile home can lead to structural problems. If your mobile home is new construction, you should be on the lookout for settling. Other external incidents such as hurricanes or flooding can also affect whether your home is level.

It’s smart to check on your mobile home’s leveling once a year. Otherwise, you could find some aggravated symptoms such as wall seams tearing or plumbing creating problems.

Other options for an old mobile home

Whether you decide it’s time to retire your mobile home in exchange for an upgrade, or you determine it’s simply no longer suitable as a living space, we have a few ideas for you. There are several routes you can take with your mobile home. 

Let’s see what options are ahead of you. From flipping your mobile home to donating it, we trust these ideas will help you find some clarity on what’s next.

Flip it

First of all, is there any way you could flip the mobile home? If it still has a few more years of life in it, the mobile home could be a welcome housing option to another family. And rather than scrapping it, you could see it serve a good purpose.

While you may find that you’re ready for an upgrade, it could be someone else’s starter home. Consider what costs would go into prepping it for the market and calculate the resale value. Then compare that information to what you would get out of scrapping it.

You may be surprised to find that you could get more out of fixing it up and flipping it. The income could go towards your new home.

Donate your mobile home

Alternatively, you could simply donate your mobile home. While there are a few requisites that must be met, there are organizations that would be up to the task of accepting your used housing. Call up housing charities and see if your mobile home will meet the standards for a donation. Find out if any costs would be on you for moving it (if so, it may not be a feasible donation on your end).

If you’re at a loss for who to contact, you could always start by reaching out to local churches. Note that for tax deduction purposes, it would be appropriate to seek out an appraisal before donating.

Working with a charity that has experience in housing will make the process run smoothly as they’ll already know what to do!

And now let’s look at our next idea.

Consider demolition of your mobile home

How about demolition? In the case that you can’t find a place that will take your mobile home as a sale or a donation, consider demolition. 

You’ll need a permit for demolition. The cost of hiring a contractor for demolition purposes runs around $5,000. You can choose to do it yourself, provided you have a trailer and the right tools. But understand that it will be time-consuming. You’ll also want to take care that you develop a safety plan, comply with environmental health laws, and take care that your utilities are turned off. 

See if your local fire department could use it

And here’s our final idea — see if your local fire department could use it for training. You could donate your mobile home to a good cause by giving it away to a public safety agency like this.

Your mobile home’s final day could serve a grand purpose in aiding with fire safety training. Be sure all the details are ironed out if the fire department is interested in your donation. If the training happens on your property, are you willing to clean up the remains of the mobile home?

Side view of a firetruck

Research, research, research

But our biggest bit of advice in all this is that whatever you choose to do, research is paramount. Different localities have different restrictions or require different permits. 

Do you want to scrap your mobile home? First, do your research.

Do you want to donate your mobile home? Again, do your research.

It would be a big bummer to find yourself fined or carrying an unexpected expense because you simply didn’t know about a permit or something similar.

Sell your mobile home for scrap

If you decide to sell your mobile home for scrap, research mobile home deconstruction, tools needed, permits required, and where scrap materials can be sold. 

Research what types of materials carry good value. 

Perhaps selling the mobile home to a local scrap dealer would be more appealing to you.

Weigh the pros and cons and see what’s best for you. If the mobile home is in a mobile home park, be sure to find out what the park expects of you in this process.

All good things come to an end

Now that you understand more about the final stages of a mobile home’s lifespan, it’s time to get started making decisions about your home’s future.

If you decide that your mobile home is simply in need of remodeling, see our article Mobile Home Remodeling: A Helpful Overview from A to Z.

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