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General information about mobile homes

mobile homes

A mobile or manufactured home is a great option for buyers who have a limited budget but still want a property they can call their own. But contrary to popular belief, the relatively low price point isn’t the only thing that makes mobile or manufactured homes a wise real estate investment. There are several benefits to living in a mobile or manufactured home, from the sense of community to the roster of amenities that same community offers.

Want to learn more about mobile and manufactured homes? Continue reading below.

Mobile vs. manufactured: What’s the deal?

Mobile and manufactured homes are often used together and interchangeably, so we can totally understand if you’re confused. The fact of the matter is that mobile and manufactured homes are one and the same. We’re talking about the same property type. The label only changes based on the manufacturing date.

The term “mobile home” applies to any house of this type that was built before the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (also known as HUD Code) was introduced in 1976. As such, properties considered as “mobile homes” don’t meet the HUD Code. One downside to this is that people started to think that mobile homes weren’t safe nor were they durable enough to withstand weather conditions.

The mobile home becomes a “manufactured home” if it was built after 1976. This implies that they follow the HUD Code. But regardless of the manufacture date or the introduction of the 1976 HUD Code, mobile and manufactured homes are two peas in the same pod. It’s up to you however you want to call it.

What makes a mobile home?

One of the defining characteristics of a mobile home is its ability to be transported from one place to another. It’s because mobile or manufactured homes are usually set on a trailer chassis. That said, you have the option to set the mobile home on land.

Another feature that makes a mobile home is that it is constructed off-site, most often in a factory or a controlled space. Everything is done in that place, from the paint to all the little details. Then, the mobile or manufactured home is transported and assembled on site.

What are the benefits of buying a mobile home?

The perks of buying and living in a mobile home come in multitudes, some of which you’ll discover on your own, based on your lifestyle and needs. But in general, everyone who has a mobile home can agree on the following benefits:

  • Ease of homeownership: According to this article by Curbed, a new manufactured home costs about $292,600 less than a single-family home. Although average prices have risen in the past years, the fact remains that mobile homes are more affordable than stick-built properties. This brings the dream of homeownership closer to people with smaller budgets.

  • Flexibility: Mobile homes are semi-permanent. You can transport them to another site whenever you wish. If land ownership is too big of a commitment or purchase for you, you can opt to rent land in a mobile home community or somewhere else.

  • Quality control: Since mobile/manufactured homes are built in factories, you can rest assured there will be rigorous quality assessments. Construction in a controlled environment also prevents delays that are usually caused by inclement weather as well as supply shortage. If you’re on a tight schedule, this could be it.

Things you should consider before buying a mobile home

With all its perks, buying a mobile home sounds like a good idea. But before you shop around for manufactured homes in your area or desired location, here are a couple of factors you should consider:

  1. Your financing options are limited. Mobile homes are considered personal property instead of real property. As such, your financing options may be limited and more expensive. Mobile homes that are attached to permanent foundations are more likely to qualify for a mortgage loan.

  2. Location: If you are planning on parking in a mobile home community, it’s important to take into consideration park fees. This may or may not include water, grounds maintenance, sewage, and garbage disposal. This will be on top of the rent (if you’re only renting land) and may be on top of the HOA fees if you own the land where you’re parked (but still in a mobile home community).

  3. Mobile homes will depreciate over time. Unlike stick-built and traditional real estate, mobile homes will gradually lose value over time. This is because of their very nature: they’re not attached to land. Consider this if you plan to sell the property in the future.

Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, a mobile home might be the solution to your real estate needs. Browse our website to find more tips for buying a mobile home, or get in touch with our team here at Sundance Property Management.