Mobile home?

7 Replies

I am trying to help my mom find housing. Unfortunately housing in our area is not cheap.  There are no homes within an hour drive that are even close to her sub $70k price range. It seems the only option is a mobile home which I know nothing about. 

Is buying a used mobile home just asking for trouble as they just go down in value? There is one she is looking at that was built in 1979 and is listed for $24,900.  I do know mobile homes don't last forever so if she were to buy this and do some cosmetic repairs would this just be a waste?  Or would she be better of buying a 2000 mobile home listed for $38,000?  If anyone has any guidance it would be greatly appreciated as I don't know what to do or how to advise her.  Thank you.

Tawny,

$24,900 is WAY to much to pay for a 1979 mobile home, if you're only getting the home.  If you're getting land, and already connected utilities, etc. then perhaps not.  BE CAREFUL of the 1979. Usually very poorly insulated, roofs are old, pipes are pre-pex (and you do live in NH) so they can/will freeze easily. I would stay away from a trailer this age unless they it is in GREAT condition.  In fact, I just tore 2 of them out of my park.  GET AN INSPECTION!!!!

Similarly for the the 2000,$38,000 looks like way to much to pay if you're just getting the trailer.

There are usually a ton of mobile homes, in parks for sell for much less, or at least can be negotiated for much less if you're not dealing with a dealer.  Also, very frequently, homes on land for substantially less.  GET AN INSPECTION!!!!

Sam

A lot of mobile homes aren't put on MLS or Zillow, and even not on Craigslist. You will have better luck driving through mobile home parks and looking for "for sale" signs in the mobile home windows. You should be able to find a very serviceable 2000 or newer singlewide, 3 bedroom 2 bath for $10,000 when a seller is motivated. There are exceptions for certain markets, granted, but these are typically Florida beach communities and California. I am not familiar as much with New England.

Worst case you can buy a brand new 2/1 from Clayton homes for 25k delivered and installed.  Parks will work with you to cover some of the setup expenses in exchange for a long term lot lease.

Good luck!

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Mobile homes do depreciate but as with any home maintenance and upkeep have a major roll in value. A 1978 is probably depreciated to it's lowest value assuming it is well maintained. A 2000 will likely depreciate somewhat further but the amount may be insignificant. Maintenance, upkeep and upgrades are key to any home ownership.

Go on line and find the info for evaluating a mobile home to purchase, have a home inspection and know the market value in your area. Value is highly dependant on your area. eg. A 2000 well maintained on leased land in my area would likely sell in the range of $80,000-$100,000 so knowing your market is essential.

Based on your mothers likely age she should concentrate on condition and not be concerned about depreciation.

Home ownership is not a investment it is a liability meaning she may be farther ahead by renting rather than owning.

I know the general real estate market in our area but not mobile homes in particular. But from what I have seen most listed are in the $20k-$40k range for those in parks, and $80k or more if on land.  I think our market (houses and mobile homes included) is just priced higher than many other areas in the country.  I guess my biggest concern is if she buys something to make sure it will last into her retirement when she is able to retire.  She is currently 62 and struggles as is so I can't figure out any good solutions.  For those interested, here is a link to some mobile home sales where you can see the range of pricing with nothing as cheap as Texas or Florida.

http://inparkresales.com/listings.asp?Key=8&cmd=ResetAll

@Tawny Bloom

Tawny,  What are the monthly rent/lot rates?  

Do you have affordable housing units in the area?  Have you reviewed any options with the local COA?  Council on ageing.

My concern would be upkeep and mobility as your mother gets older.  Check in with you COA and see what advice they have.  I think I would opt for Affordable or Senior Housing with no yard work, upkeep and repairs that are needed with a mobile home.

@Ronald Bourgeois monthly rent/lot rates around around $400.  

Unfortunately there are not a lot of other affordable housing options in the area.  Even an apartment rental could be $900-$1000 per month.  I will mention senior apartments as an option but as she has a dog I know this limits her options.  One of the big problems (in addition to her limited budget) is she just wants her own space as she has been dealing with the most dysfunctional condo association for the past 4 years.

If she is now in a condo her best option is to move to an apartment and use whatever monies she gets from the sale of the condo and use it to supplement her income to pay rent.

This would be the best option for you as well.