Source: Skyview Home
For some, the American Dream of living in a big house out in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a sprawling backyard is just that—a dream, one they can’t realistically achieve. A lot can stand between a buyer and homeownership, whether it’s a competitive housing market squeezing them out of purchasing a home in their area or simply a salary that makes the price tag on a house unaffordable. Whatever the obstacle may be, for buyers like these, purchasing a used mobile home can be a much more realistic way to achieve the dream of homeownership. And used mobile homes come with several advantages over site-built homes if you know where to shop for one and what to look for in a used mobile home before making a purchase.
Cost savings is perhaps the number one reason to consider buying a used manufactured home. While the median price for a new home was $361,800 in June of 2021, the price of a new manufactured home was just $78,500. And opting to buy a used mobile home can save you even more!
For example, a new single-wide trailer will, on average, cost you about $40,000. Used single-wide homes, on the other hand, typically sell for between $10,000 and $25,000. You’ll also pay far less for luxury features in a used mobile home. If you dream of living in a house with marble countertops, large windows, and an open floor plan, then opting for a used manufactured home will be a far more economical choice for you, compared to paying for those same features in a site-built home.
Flexibility and Customization
Buyers of used mobile homes also enjoy greater flexibility than those buying site-built homes, as well as many options for customization. A site-built home remains forever attached to its land, but mobile homes can move with their owners, which can be especially helpful for those with careers that require frequent moves or those who enjoy having the freedom that comes with increased mobility.
A couple might choose to purchase a cheaper, used mobile home while they begin a family, then save to buy a site-built home down the road. They can then sell that original mobile home to recoup some of their costs, rent it out to someone else for a source of income, or even turn it into a second building in a family compound, should they happen to own the land it sits on.
You can also buy a used mobile home with the intent to remodel it, adding on rooms or even whole stories. Jessica Alredge and her husband did just that when they purchased a Horton single wide and then added on two stories, creating their 1800-square-foot dream home while living debt-free!
How to Buy a Used Mobile Home
If you’ve never shopped for a mobile home before, you may not even know where to begin the process. Fortunately, buyers of used mobile homes can utilize several different sites, organizations, and information sources to help them through the process.
Buying a Used Mobile Home at a Park
The majority of used mobile homes on the market today are those already situated in a mobile home park. One advantage of buying a used mobile home at a park is that the utility set up, such as water and electricity, will already be taken care of, relieving you of at least one major headache.
To start the process of buying a used mobile home at a park, you can visit sites like MHVIllage and Mobilehomeparkstore.com. These sites contain hundreds if not thousands of listings of mobile homes for sale in parks. No matter where you are in the country, you can find a used mobile home to buy by entering your location and browsing listings near you.
Additionally, you can call nearby mobile home parks and ask them directly if they have any homes currently for sale. You can find these parks by searching Google or even looking through a phone book for your area.
Buying a Used Mobile Home on Its Own Land
You can also utilize MHVillage to search for used mobile homes on their own land. Enter your location into the site, then select “private property” under the location type filter to display mobile homes for sale with their own land.
VMFHomes is another useful site. They specialize in used, repossessed, and foreclosed manufactured homes and include listings with land/home packages on their site. You can even search through HUD Manufactured Homes or realty sites like Zillow.
Need more help finding the perfect mobile home for you or your family? The team at Home Nation can help you locate the ideal home for your lifestyle and budget!
What to Look for When Buying a Mobile Home
Alt text: Mobile Home Design Plan
Source: Firestone Home For Sale
While used mobile homes come with many advantages for buyers, they can also cause some long-term issues if you don’t know what to watch out for during the buying process. Arming yourself with the right questions to ask about used mobile homes, at the beginning your search, will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
Older manufactured homes were built to the coding standards of their times. Because of this, some will not meet coding standards that are in place today, which means that you could purchase an older mobile home, only to find you cannot move it onto the land you own or the park where you intended to live. Certain areas may restrict even newer mobile homes.
A mobile home that is five or ten years old may not be allowed at some parks, while many towns forbid the placement of single-wides within their city limits. Before you buy, check that the used mobile home you intend to purchase will meet the codes and regulations in your area.
Inspect the Electrical System
Inspecting an electrical system is especially important when purchasing an older mobile home. Those manufactured from the late 1960s up to about 1972 utilized aluminum wiring. Today, this kind of wiring is a recognized fire hazard, and if you find it while inspecting a mobile home, that means the entire electrical system will need to be re-wired before it’s safe to live there.
Additionally, you’ll want to check for any flawed or worn-out wires and make sure the home has sufficient electrical circuits to avoid overloading the system. Make sure you test all the electrical outlets inside the home, as well, to make sure each one is working properly.
Inspect the Water System
Plumbing problems and leaks can make for expensive repairs, down the road, so you’ll want to thoroughly inspect a mobile home for any signs of water damage or faulty plumbing before you agree to buy. Start by checking that every water source inside the home is functional and leak-free, including sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, dishwashers, and washing machines.
You’ll want to inspect all the floors and ceilings as well. Stains on the ceiling can indicate that the roof of a mobile home is leaking. Likewise, mold, wet spots, and bowed or sagging subflooring indicate leaks that have caused water damage to the floors. And checking the threshold of a house may reveal wet insulation or rotten wooden supports, both of which are also signs of water damage.
In addition to inspecting a used mobile home to make certain it’s leakproof, fire-safe, and code compliant, you’ll also want to consider the materials used in its construction. For example, lumber in 2x6 size makes for durable walls in a used mobile home, as the spacing of the studs is wide enough to allow for both good room venting and protection. Shingled roofs also have some advantage over metal roofs, as many metal roofs have less overhang (or even no overhang), which increases the chances of rainwater leaking into the walls and causing damage. But shingled roofs will also require reroofing every 15-30 years, which is an additional cost consideration.
Source: Crosshaven Home For Sale
Used mobile homes can be an affordable and flexible alternative to site-built homes for buyers. With the right tools and knowledge, you can find the perfect used mobile home for your budget and lifestyle and move from renting to homeownership without putting yourself in financial peril.
Are you ready to find the right mobile home for you or your family? Then contact Home Nation to get support through every step of the process, from acquiring finance to finding and buying that perfect home!