Your Guide to Mobile Home Ownership

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Buying a home is one of the largest investments an individual makes in their lifetime. Before jumping into the world of home ownership, it's important to consider all available options. For buyers looking for a flexible and cost effective alternative to a traditional stick built home, a mobile home may be the solution. Mobile home sales are currently on the rise in the U.S. An estimated 20 million Americans live in mobile homes, as of 2018. Additionally, 20% of residences in North Carolina are mobile homes. Many mobile homes come equipped with customizable floor plans, and can accommodate two or three bedrooms, a fitted washer and dryer, two bathrooms and a breakfast bar. There are many advantages to purchasing a mobile home, as well as a few disadvantages that should be considered before making a decision on a property. Here's some information on mobile home ownership, including common floor plans, property values, and a guide to selling or moving a mobile home. 

Two Bedroom Homes

A two bedroom mobile home can be set out on a 600 square foot to 1,900 square foot floor plan so a family could buy an affordable property that also has plenty of space. One of the best things about mobile homes is that you can adapt the space to suit your needs if purchasing new. Although you can adapt the space of a conventional property, it’s far more expensive. A mobile home is more adaptable because of the materials it’s made from so you’ll get a choice of floor plans and the chance to customize the place before you take ownership.

Floor Plans

If you see a picture taken from inside a modern mobile home, you might think you’re looking at a conventional house because the floor will be carpeted, the walls covered with paintings and photographs, and the rooms filled with comfortable chairs and furnishing you’d expect to find in most homes. When mobile homes were truly mobile, they were eight or ten feet wide with little corridor space. One room led into the other and life was compromised for the occupants. When mobile homes became too big to be moved around, they became more luxurious with big floor plans and all the amenities found in conventional properties.

Double Wide Homes

Two, three, four and five bedroom mobile homes are available if you opt for a double wide mobile home. Walk-in closets and private bathrooms are offered in these places that also have utility rooms and large kitchens with dining areas big enough for family meals. Thanks to a width of 30 feet and a length of at least 70 feet, these places offer loads of space but not as much as you’d find in the typical American home. According to Census Bureau information from 2015, the average US home occupies 2,687 square feet while the typical mobile home only covers 1,080 square feet.

Mobile Home Valuations

Does the value of a mobile home go up or down? Property prices go up and down but is that the same with mobile homes? Unfortunately for mobile home owners, in most parts of America supply outstrips demand meaning the value of their property falls as it ages. The price of new mobile homes isn’t standardized so making a valuation of a property whether you’re selling or buying is difficult. Factors like the lot the home is on, the park and the community make a difference to the value and that’s before you’ve even considered the home itself, its condition and size.

Selling a Mobile Home

When it’s time to sell you have two options. The first is to sell it yourself. This means listing it yourself after establishing its market value. The other option is to sell to a broker for a wholesale price. There are advantages to both methods. If you sell the property on your own, you’ll need to get park approval. If you have poor credit or a criminal background, most parks will block your sale. If the home needs repairs or the park is selling properties themselves, you might also get turned down. You’ll get a significantly lower price if you sell to a broker but selling wholesale will put the cash into your pocket quickly.

Moving Your Mobile Home

Mobile homes aren’t as mobile as they used to be but you can still move them from site to site. You won’t be hitching the home to the back of your truck and motoring down the highway yourself but you can hire firms to do that for you. Companies in this line of work have labor and set-up costs to cover, and need materials, permits and various transportation fees paid as part of their fee to move the property for you. The distance from site to site, the size and weight of the property also come into consideration.