A mobile home, sometimes called a manufactured home, is made entirely in a factory and moved to the desired location instead of contractors building the home onsite. Mobile homes are not necessarily truly mobile since they are semi-permanent but have mobile capabilities when necessary.
Most mobile homes in Canada are either single-wide or double-wide. Single-wide mobile homes are at most 90 ft. long and 18 ft. wide. They cost the least and are the easiest to move since they are a single structure. Double-wide mobile homes measure over 20 ft. wide and have two large pieces, making them more challenging to transport.
Mobile homes have increased in popularity in recent years due to their lower prices and ease of transport. Some homeowners live in mobile home parks, while others buy a piece of vacant land to place their mobile homes. Here are five things you need to know if you have been thinking about purchasing a mobile home to live in.
Mobile Homes Depreciate in Value
When you buy a house, you can perform renovations and upgrades that will increase the home’s value over time. However, a mobile home almost always depreciates regardless of any additions. Like a new car, once a mobile home leaves the factory, it quickly drops in value. The reason for the difference is the underlying land. When you buy a house, you also buy the land underneath it, but unless you have placed your mobile home on land that you own, it is considered personal property. If you own the land with your mobile home, you may see the value of your property increase over time, but that is almost certainly the result of the land, not the mobile home.
You May Not Be Able to Get a Mortgage on a Mobile Home
Getting a mortgage for a conventional home is reasonably straightforward, but a mobile home is trickier because you may need to look at other options to finance it. If your mobile home is situated on a foundation and you own or plan to buy the land it is based on, then you may be able to get a traditional mortgage for it. If you own the land, but your mobile home is movable, then it typically isn’t eligible for a conventional mortgage. Still, you can look at a chattel mortgage, which secures the loan with the personal property. If you do not own the land but plan to move into a mobile home park, then a personal loan is likely your best option; however, be wary of any loan limits your lender may have to ensure that you can fully cover the mobile home.
Proper Mobile Home Installation is Crucial
Improper or incorrect installation of mobile homes accounts for approximately 80 percent of all warranty complaints and can result in severe damage to the house. After only a short time, homeowners can experience issues like leaks that intensify over time to warping and bowing in the home, which is very expensive to repair. There are various types of foundations available for mobile homes that will ensure it is properly situated. You also want to make sure there is a slope on one end around the house to ensure that water does not pool underneath it.
The Doors on Mobile Homes Are Smaller Than Traditional Homes
There are many renovations and upgrades that can be done to a mobile home to make it more modern. One of the main things mobile homeowners do is replace the doors because they are usually smaller than those installed in site-built homes. Upgrading doors is the top mobile home improvement based on return on investment. You can also replace the windows with site-built home windows that are more energy efficient, but you will likely have to retrofit them since they are typically a non-standard size.
The Stigma Around Mobile Homes is Lessening
In the past, living in a mobile home often came with stigma since many people associated them with poverty and low-income areas. This has been slowly changing as more people cannot afford conventional homes and are looking at alternatives to make their home-buying dreams a reality. Additionally, some manufacturers make high-end mobile homes that barely resemble the mobile homes that most people are familiar with.
Mobile homes are an excellent option for buyers looking for an alternative home in the current affordability crisis. An experienced real estate agent can help you find your perfect mobile home and land to go with it.