Mobile homes or trailers are housing structures prefabricated in a factory setting, set up on-site, and connected to a trailer chassis to create movable houses. They are a common sight in trailer parks, leased land, and some owners place their units on property they own.
The idea of owning a mobile home could be fascinating and enticing. You don’t have to sell everything when you want to move. Plus, these homes could cost as low as half the price of stick-built homes. Thus, mobile homes can be a more attractive option than stick-built homes.
But they have downsides, and there are many factors to consider before you leap. Here are the pros, cons, and considerations of mobile home living.
The Pros of Mobile Homes
Homeownership is More Affordable
The per square foot cost of owning a mobile home is much lower than the cost of stick-built homes. On average, the cost of owning a mobile home could be half the cost of a stick-built home. For the same amount of dollars, you could get double the floor space in a stick-built home.
Besides, many lenders recognize mobile homes as legitimate property. They offer borrowers competitive financing products – making homeownership easier and achievable for many. But still, you must have a good credit score, a stable source of income, and a clean tax record.
Mobile Homes are Flexible
Moving homes is usually a backbreaking and sad activity. Leaving behind pieces of your life and old memories in a former home could be heartbreaking. But you don’t have to sell your home or move out if you own a mobile home. You can shift right along with it.
While it isn’t easy to unhook a mobile home from its station and travel, it is flexible, thus, a better option when moving.
Mobile Homes are Top Quality
Due to advancements in manufacturing technology and developments of new materials, modern-day mobile homes are comparable to stick-built structures. They compare in terms of size, quality, and durability. Some mobile homes have luxury features like granite finishing, top-notch flooring, and other features. You can own the home you always wanted at an affordable price, and you can move with it when you shift towns.
Insurance for Mobile Homes is Possible
Banks and credit unions are not the only financial players fanning demand for mobile homes. Several insurance carriers offer mobile home insurance or manufactured home insurance. It operates pretty much like a standard new build homeowners insurance.
Home insurance is a crucial safety net for the homeowner. It makes homeownership a less risky venture. Although it is not a legal requirement, lenders will insist on getting coverage to protect their investment.
Mobile home insurance is not usually considerably cheaper than standard or new-build home insurance. However, the average insurance price can differ considerably across states. In Arizona, for example, the annual insurance fee is estimated at $825, whereas country-wide the figure stands at $1,211.
Cons of Mobile Homes
Moving Mobile Homes Isn’t Always Easy
Even though the homes are dubbed mobile, the reality is mobile homes are not so easy to move. It takes plenty of technical expertise and manual labor to detach a unit from its station and shift it. Plus, you will incur extra costs and several legal barriers.
Mobile Homes Depreciate
Unlike stick-built homes that appreciate as they age, mobile homes depreciate. This is so because mobile homes are not real property. Instead, they are personal property, like a car or a yacht. As the years go by, the value decreases, whereas the value of stick-in homes often improves.
Borrowing Rates are Higher
To the bank or credit union, mobile homes are personal property. They are just like your car or a yacht. The average lending rate is the same as that category of assets, and it is higher than mortgage rates. So, you will pay a higher interest rate for every dollar borrowed to own a mobile home.
Reselling is Harder
Mobile homes might be less costly, but they are harder to sell. They are often custom-made to the owner’s specs and preferences. Thus, they are more difficult to sell because they only suit the taste and liking of the original owner. You might need to shift strategy to sell your property faster.
Considerations of Mobile Home Living
Perhaps you fancy the idea of living in a mobile home. The affordability and flexibility might swing you over. But think about why you want to own a home? If you wanted to be your landlord, a mobile home might not be the answer.
The mobile home must be at a trailer park or leased land. So, you will still have someone on your back demanding rent and adherence to park rules. Worse still, you could get evicted! Also, manufactured homes are structurally less rigid than stick-built homes. The structure could be unstable during extreme weather.
Mobile Homes are Affordable, Flexible, and High Quality
Mobile homes contribute significantly to improving homeownership. There are several advantages, disadvantages, and considerations to weigh before buying a mobile home. Once you have considered everything from a personal perspective, you can decide whether to buy a mobile home or a stick-built home.