While some people may turn up their nose at mobile home residents those in the know realize that mobile homes are a convenient, affordable path to home ownership. Unlike the tinny single-wide trailers of the past, today’s mobile homes, also known as manufactured or pre-fabricated homes, often look and feel similar to conventionally constructed homes, both inside and out. When deciding whether or not a pre-fabricated home is right for you, there are several things to consider.
When it comes to price per square foot, manufactured homes blow the competition out of the water. With an average cost of $35 to $65 per square foot, mobile homes offer a substantial savings over stick-built homes that often start at around $120 per square foot.
In an era of rising prices, the energy-efficient nature of mobile homes make them very attractive to consumers. Their snug, airtight environment makes heating and cooling the home considerably cheaper than other types of homes.
Many owners also enjoy the ability to relocate their home as well. Companies nationwide specialize in mobile home relocation and will haul your home from one state to another for a pre-determined fee. Even multi-sectioned units can be easily relocated and reassembled with the assistance of professionals.
While many manufactured homes may not look sizeable from the outside, those who visit them are often pleasantly surprised at the available space inside. It’s common for the average-sized doublewide to offer over 1,400 square feet of living space in a three bedroom, two bathroom model. Larger models may offer slightly over 2,000 square feet. The majority of mobile homes include a master suite complete with a private bathroom that includes a tub and separate shower stall. Sizeable eat-in kitchens are standard as well.
Financing and Payment
While the average loan for a conventional home often spans a period of 30 years, mobile home mortgages rarely extend past 15 years. In spite of the shorter loan terms, mobile home payments are still typically less than payments for other homes due to the lower purchase price. Rather than dealing with a conventional lender, mobile home purchasers often finance their new homes through the retailer or manufacturer. With over 80 percent of mobile home loans set up this way, conventional lenders rarely enter the picture.
When you buy a mobile home, you can expect to pay higher interest than purchasers of conventional homes; however, an excellent credit rating can help reduce your rate. No matter how you look at it, the lower price per square foot and shorter loan terms usually offset the purchaser’s concerns about higher interest rates. Of course, cash is always an option as well. With many homes starting around the $50,000 mark, some buyers opt to pay the purchase price upfront and own their home outright.
Most manufactured homes come with a one-year warranty that allow the purchaser to receive repairs and replacements on defective components and workmanship. Many homeowners choose to purchase extended home warranties that protect them for up to seven years from the date of purchase.
When you purchase a pre-fabricated home, you will need somewhere to situate it on a permanent basis. Purchasing your own parcel of land is an option that will provide greater privacy than a spot in a mobile home park and allow you freedom from the rules, regulations and hefty lot rental fees that commonly accompany mobile home park residency.
On the other hand, many individuals and families enjoy life in a mobile home community. Many parks provide strategically placed playgrounds for the kids, basketball and tennis courts, a community swimming pool and a community room for the use of residents. Mobile home park residents also have the option of choosing parks that allow residents of all ages or those designated for adults aged 55 and above.
One important consideration when it comes to location is your area of the country. Consumers who live in areas where tornadoes and hurricanes are common will want to ensure that they live in a community or area with an available storm shelter. Purchasers who own their own land would be advised to build a storm shelter of their own. All mobile home residents are advised to leave their homes immediately when severe weather approaches.
While mobile home living may not be for everyone, many people find it a pleasurable way to purchase a first home for a growing family or a retirement abode for those in their golden years. The only way to know if a manufactured home offers you value for money is to do your homework, take your personal situation into consideration and weigh the pros and cons. A great number of people find purchasing and living in a manufactured home to be a pleasurable and financially lucrative enterprise.