10 Pros and Cons of Mobile Homes
Examining the pros and cons of mobile homes can help you make an informed decision before signing the dotted line.
Mobile homes, sometimes called manufactured or modular homes, are prefabricated and can be delivered to your site move-in ready. In a tough economy, buying a mobile home, whether new or existing, is one of the quickest ways to assume homeownership. But before you do, take a good look at the pros and cons.
The Pros of Mobile Homes
Mobile homes come in many sizes and layout options, suitable for a single person or a family.
Mobile Homes are Cheaper than Traditional Homes
The average price of a new manufactured home in 2021 was $125,200. The study from the US Census Bureau reports the cost of new single-wide mobile homes at $88,000 and doublewide mobile homes at $155,200.
Compare this to the average traditional home price of $507,800 from the first quarter of 2022.
The low entry price of a mobile home can help you secure housing, especially in cities with high living costs and unattainable home prices.
Quick and Easy Setup
You can purchase an existing mobile home on a lot or buy a new one. If you purchase new, you’ll need your own land or will need to rent space in a mobile home park. Since mobile homes are prefabricated, the home company can schedule a quick delivery in as little as a week.
Mobile homes contain all amenities as regular homes, and you can even secure a custom build. If shopping for a new home, you can view base models with available upgrades for layouts and finishes.
(Possible) Lower Taxes
While laws vary by state, some localities don’t consider mobile homes as “real property” and have lower or no property taxes. Your tax situation will depend on whether the home is on land you own and has a permanent foundation – in these cases, mobile homes are usually taxed the same as traditional homes. But if your mobile home isn’t permanently affixed, you may benefit from lower property taxes.
Works as Transition Space
While there’s nothing wrong with buying a mobile home as a “forever house,” they also work as great transition homes, especially in places with high rental rates.
A mobile home can serve as temporary housing while you save for something else.
The Ability to Relocate
While not an easy process, you can relocate a mobile home. If you’re in the market to purchase land, you can live at a mobile park home until you’ve saved enough money and then move your home to its new location when ready.
The ability to relocate also means you can sell your mobile home if you desire to move somewhere else.
Cons of Mobile Homes
While mobile homes have some serious perks, there are also drawbacks. Here’s what to consider.
Hard to Finance
Obtaining a traditional loan for a mobile home is difficult unless you already own the land you’ll be parking it on. The most typical type of mobile home financing is a retail installment payment plan made through the mobile home dealer.
While stick-built homes tend to appreciate over time, mobile homes depreciate. It’s possible that once you buy your mobile home, it will start to lose value.
There are exceptions, though – especially if you own the land. A study by Lending Tree found that in our recent housing crisis, mobile home prices went up nearly as much as traditional homes.
Still, if you’re concerned about selling your mobile home in the future, keep depreciation in mind.
Less Durable Construction
In hurricane or storm-prone environments, mobile homes won’t offer the same durability as traditional homes. Without a strong foundation, mobile homes may shift during high wind storms, lose siding, or suffer roof damage.
The inside finishes of mobile homes are generally of lower quality than stick-built homes, featuring thinner walls that are more susceptible to damage.
Possible Lot Rent
Mobile home parks provide space for residents to park their homes but also come with lot rent. Unless you own your land, expect to abide by the rules of the mobile home park and pay a monthly rent.