Around 20 million Americans live in mobile homes.
Mobile home living has been and still is a popular concept. In fact, 18.8% of all homes in South Carolina are mobile homes.
While a popular assumption in the public mind is that mobile homes are associated with poverty this is not true. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute, 57% of the heads of mobile households are in full employment.
Americans are purchasing mobile homes for freedom and for the sheer fun of having a home on wheels.
Are you thinking of getting a mobile home? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.
Advantages of Living in a Mobile Home
There are several aspects of living in a mobile home that are hard to resist. Here are a few pros to think about as you consider getting a mobile home.
Many people find mobile homes attractive due to their affordability. Unlike conventional homes, you can get more space for your money as mobile homes cost less per square foot.
Any apartments or condos within the same price range as a mobile home will most likely not be in a desirable neighborhood. If you are an aspiring homeowner concerned about the cost, then a mobile home offers you better value for money.
Once you purchase a home or an apartment, it will sit on its location more or less permanently.
A mobile home, on the other hand, gives you the flexibility to move around should you want to. For example, you can decide to take a vacation and go on a road trip.
Since you can hitch your mobile home to your car and tow it (if you choose to have wheels on it), you won’t lose any amenities that make life convenient as you hit the road.
Faster to Construct
There is an endless stream of horror stories of people who have suffered at the hands of contractors while putting up a stick-built house.
Mobile homes are manufactured in assembly lines similar to vehicles. As a result, they use a repeatable construction process.
Once you put in your request, the manufacturer can turn out your mobile home anywhere from two days to a week depending on the options you want.
If you have to build a foundation or a lot for your mobile home, it can take one to two days. You can, therefore, finish it in time before your mobile home arrives.
When you own a mobile home it is considered your property and not real estate. Thus, you can get a warranty on it.
A mobile home warranty will cover the repair or replacement of appliances and systems detailed in the agreement arising from normal wear and tear or age.
When a major appliance or system breaks down, you can have peace of mind that it will be dealt with even if you have no money for it as long as it falls under the warranty terms.
Another benefit of the warranty is that since it is supported by the manufacturer, any repair or replacement will be done by professionals.
You won’t have to fear that something else might break down due to an inexperienced hand trying to remedy an existing issue.
You can learn more about mobile home improvement and repair here.
The Realities of Mobile Home Living
As with almost anything else in life, there can be drawbacks to living in a mobile home. To make an informed decision, you should not just look at the benefits but also be aware of the realities of a mobile home.
Here are some disadvantages you need to consider.
The value of a mobile home falls rather quickly once you purchase it. Much like a motor vehicle, the moment you wheel the mobile home out of the shop it begins to lose its value.
On the other hand, the value of conventional homes appreciates with time. The main reason for this is that in almost every instance, the homeowner will also own the underlying land.
Even if you were to own both the mobile home and the land it sits on, you would only see an increase in the value of the land and not the home.
Harder to Finance
Mobile homes are not considered as real property but your personal property. The reasoning behind this is that anything that can be removed without ‘injury’ to the land isn’t real property.
Since a mobile home has a chassis, wheels, and axles it is not truly immovable and therefore only classified as personal property.
Due to this classification and the fact that mobile homes are perceived to be less safe, it is hard to get financing when you want to buy one.
A mobile home can only qualify for a traditional loan if it has all its mobility components removed and the home itself becomes affixed to the land. Additionally, you can’t move a mobile home once you receive any financing for it.
Subject to External Authority
Most mobile homes are typically located in a park. When you are living in a mobile home park you aren’t your own boss.
Despite the fact that you own the home you will still have to pay rent in the form of park fees if you want to continue living there.
Not only that, but you will also have to abide by the rules of the mobile home park. If you decided to get a mobile home because of the freedom it would give you this can be an especially sour issue for you.
Another downside arising from the location of your mobile home is the effect of the neighboring homes around you.
If you live in a mobile park with unruly neighbors or other mobile homes that look run down it will affect your resale prospects later on.
Look Before You Leap
Americans have been in love with the idea of mobile home living for many decades. Despite the stigma and stereotypes that come with getting a mobile home, many people buy them for different reasons.
Before you get on the bandwagon make sure you understand the benefits and drawbacks of owning this type of a home.
As you continue researching on mobile homes check out our other articles for home improvement ideas that can help deck out your mobile home.