Does the shell even matter?

8 Replies

I am looking at a pre-1976 mobile home. I realize there are issues with the standards that were implemented in 1976; probably better to demo than move. But if the wiring, plumbing, siding, roof, windows, doors, flooring, appliances have been replaced, what makes a 1970 single wide any different in value from a 1980 or 1990 of same size in same park? Thanks

The difference is the walls frame and what size studs are used and what type of walls were put up. The same as we had an 1980's model we gutted it now has 2 by 4's and sheet rock vs the flimsy boards and the cheap crud they used back then.

If the unit is in a MH park, check to see how old they allow units to remain in the park. Once they reach that age - out you go.

The issues might not be in the current park. The larger issue is what to do if the home must be moved. Older homes might be pulled out, but in many cases they can not be reset anywhere except farm land. So the value is lower because your locked into leaving the home where it is- forever.

Factoring in moving costs, the home is essentially worthless if I move it. I might walk away with a couple thousand, but I would lose most of my equity if the park kicked me out. I met the park manager today and turns out we are old friends! We were in toastmasters together many many years ago. Always good to be honorable and friendly with everyone, you never know when you will see them again. According to him, the park has never kicked anyone out for purely age of trailer and no real intentions of doing so. The only possiblity is getting rid of the two 12' wides they have in the park, but there are a number of trailers this old and older. Sounds like should be good for 10 years or more, but you never know.

@Samantha Miller interesting, if I replaced the studs the only original thing is the metal trailer underneath that it sits on. I saw someone put an old mobile on a permanent foundation (city lot, not MH park), and completely frame around it. When you replaced the walls, did you need any building permit? I would assume since personal property, no problem as long as park is okay with it.

@Patrick Mcgowen,

I had permission/permits for nothing because a mobile home manufactured etc is not real estate its personal property hince the repo not foreclosure I did at least tell the park manager I will be rehabbing the mobile home.

In some cases because I do a few mobile/manufactured/modular home investments I typically have the home moved to a unrestricted lot and placed on foundation which then increases value. I have done this many times paid 17000 including moving cost paid 8000 for a .5 acre lot rehabbed mobile for 15k so total of 42,000 and sold for 89-99k

How much is it worth? It all depends on the buying pool. In a TP your chances are good that the buying pool has some construction or handyman experience. And even if they don't know what they are looking at they all have concerns about wiring and solidity. Therefore it depends on the quality of work. A rebuilt 70's trailer is worth more than an 80's trailer (especially one that isn't maintained) to the right person. IF the work has been done right.

That means all studs checked and replaced or reinforced if necessary (usually is necessary): 2x2's OR 2x4s. In your area 2x4's would be worth more mostly because more insulation can be stuffed in there. If there was leakage or sag then walls should have been jacked up to height before stud repair. Plywood layed over an existing floor is perfectly fine and stable as long as leaks have been fixed. Check roof, windows and plumbing.

A basic check you could do as it doesn't seem you've done the work yourself is to push on the walls from the inside and note the flex. Another is to check the outside and see if the walls are bowed. First is to check for rot, second is to check for wall jacking. And rot.

A well rebuilt 70's or even 60's single wide should easily last another 50 years. An original 80's trailer will not last that long without major repairs.

Oh... and I suppose it's possible that permits should have been acquired in your state. But I've never ever heard of anyone actually doing that for trailer they live in.

The difference would be the overall frame and structure of the home including the materials. I've known others to move older homes but just be sure it can handle the move. If you decide to move the home, it's best to get trip insurance as an extra precaution.

Hope that helps!