Author Topic: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)  (Read 2892 times)

Hunny156

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Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« on: October 09, 2014, 11:57:43 AM »
OK, so the in-laws are getting older, and my mother in law will be retiring in about a year, father in law has been retired for a few years now.  These two are about as non-mustachian as it gets, and they have drifted along their entire life, never really worrying about their future, and filing for bankruptcy several times along the way.  They have lived in my grandmother in law's basement apartment their entire lives, paying about 1/4 of market rent, and still just could never make ends meet.

Their children both live here in TX, while they currently live in metro NYC.  My mother in law has medical & weight issues, she simply won't last living that lifestyle for much longer, so on a visit here recently, we toured the local low-income housing apartments for seniors.  These communities out here are so nice, it makes me wonder why we are all working so hard for our retirements!  (Kidding of course, but also blown away by the amenities.)

Even with both of their SSA Incomes, their finances are going to be tight, even more so since they probably will not adjust their spending habits even though their income will be far less.  We've tried for years to show them a better way, it's just not ever going to happen.  My mother in law is already getting anxious over some financial moves she needs to make now to facilitate moving, and I suspect that she hasn't even calculated the cost of relocating and how much of her stuff she needs to unload in order to move here in a cost-effective manner.  Add to the mix that she & hubby don't really get along, they just can't afford to be divorced, and a 1 BR unit with no disposable income could be a HUGE issue when it comes to their happiness.

So, the hubby & I were looking at other options, since we created a budget for them and could see the issues that don't worry them at all ($60 left at the end of the month!).  Last weekend, we did some research on mobile homes, and were actually surprised at how far they have come.  For all intents and purposes, this could be a much better option for them, as a brand new single wide with decent upgrades (my mother in law is very much into looks), which is a 3 BR, 2 Ba unit, could be purchased and set into a nice mobile home community for about $70K.  Getting an older home won't be an option, she loves warranties and is terrified of "unexpected" expenses.

Hubby & I are meeting w/the property manager today to get a tour of the community, but it has all the bells and whistles that compare favorably w/the low income apartments, but at a more reasonable price point.  This community is gated, newer homes throughout, has a pool, clubhouse, fitness center, park, picnic area w/grills, you name it.  It's also a 55 and over community, all for lot rent of $199/mo!  By comparison, the 1 BR units in the low income housing would run roughly $800/mo, plus utils.

The drawback we've seen so far is that this community is in a more rural area.  It's growing fast, but a car would be a necessity.  We would help them find an older compact car, so they would still come out ahead this way.

Anyone have any experience with mobile homes and mobile home communities?  What are we not thinking of/missing?

Oh, and I should note the obvious - my father in law is penniless, but my mother in law managed to accumulate about $65K in her 401K by contributing $40/week for her entire life, even though she panicked after 9/11 and switched to "safer" investments AFTER her account dropped to half it's value. *Facepunch*

My mother in law also owns half of the home she lives in currently, but she has never paid any attention to managing it, so her brother has let it fall into some disrepair.  He has agreed to buy her out though, b/c he can rent out her apartment for 3-4x what she pays him in rent, which would more than cover the cost of him taking out a mortgage to buy her out.  They haven't settled on a final price yet, but it looks like $225 - $250K will be her share.  She has agreed to let us manage the funds for her, so after paying for the mobile home/car/moving, we would put it in an investment account.  It's not our money, so she would still have full rights to do what she pleases, but we have tried to drive home the point that this should not be considered spending money, if her husband passes before her, she will need to draw down from that account to continue supporting herself.  Both are in their mid/late 60's, so they still have plenty of life left and no other windfalls to save them!

I would appreciate any insights, experience you may have had with certain manufacturers, anything at all.  Thank You.  :)

naloj

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Re: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 12:23:32 PM »
There was a thread recently about it:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/manufactured-homes/

If your FIL/MIL are buying a new trailer in Texas, they probably don't have to worry about most of the stuff that was mentioned.  Basically, they depreciate rapidly and aren't as well built as a house but will still hold up a long time weather/build quality permitting.

The community being 55+ and mostly new trailers is a good sign.  I lived in a run down place while saving for my house and had alcoholic neighbors on both sides but it was still fine as we had one of the largest lots in the park as a buffer.

2ndTimer

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Re: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 12:51:50 PM »
We live in an over 55 trailer park and like it very much.  Something to think about, they may stay there for a long time and what happens when they can't drive any more?  That was very much a part of our planning and we are paying a bit more to be in a place where we can walk or catch a bus to the grocery store. 

Hunny156

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Re: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 01:23:43 PM »
Thanks for the link to the thread!

2ndTimer, that's a very valid issue.  We believe the area will be built up enough by the time that happens, but if not, well, it's on us to take them around as needed.  It's one of the reasons they will be moving to be closer to us - there's no one in NYC who can help them out.  Hopefully we'll be FIRE for a long time before they need us to drive them around.  There is also a local elderly bus service, you just have to reserve it in advance, so they could also use that.

This is the only 55 & up nice place in our area right now, and it's a solid 30 minutes away from us, which can be good or bad.  The closest community to us has just been taken over by new management, but it has no amenities and is pretty run down.  I know my mother in law, she won't go for that, so she'll have to deal with the drive.

TheOnlyJustin

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Re: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 03:00:36 PM »
@Hunny156,

Just out of curiosity, what part of Central Texas?

Are your MIL / FIL set on a senior "community"?

There are a lot of areas in Texas that you can buy small lots for under $10k that you can build a new construction home (i.e; subcontract )for a very decent price. And yes, I know it is just not that simple, but it can be done.

You could build a comfortable 3/2 for under $70k with the right planning.


greenmimama

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Re: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2014, 03:47:56 PM »
Is their a projection for the lot rental to go up.

We lived in a nice park when we got married and it went up $10 every year, it was doable, but frustrating, I think it has not stayed on that course though.

We actually bought an old but nice trailer and we fixed it up a bit, it was great, except keeping it warm and cool cost a lot, but I imagine that the insulation and windows have improved since ours was built in 79, we bought it in 99, so it was pretty old, still their and being lived in though, not by us.

It was a great way for us to start out, I could recommend them, they aren't near as bad as people think, I would search for an older one, maybe just a few years, since they don't hold their value well, you could get a great deal.

Hunny156

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Re: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2014, 02:07:31 PM »
@Hunny156,

Just out of curiosity, what part of Central Texas?

Are your MIL / FIL set on a senior "community"?

There are a lot of areas in Texas that you can buy small lots for under $10k that you can build a new construction home (i.e; subcontract )for a very decent price. And yes, I know it is just not that simple, but it can be done.

You could build a comfortable 3/2 for under $70k with the right planning.

Austin, and if you know the area, then you know that Leander & Liberty Hill aren't considered rural anymore.  These tried and true New Yorkers are still blown away by the lack of concrete jungle, I have a feeling that even Leander is scary rural to them.

Sadly, they want it all, they don't want to plan, and given their past, why should they?  Someone has always been around to help them out of a jam.  We, too, are enabling them here, but our goals are a bit more selfish.  We are hoping they get settled here, in something we can help them with, well before they get too old to move and then we'd have to manage them from here.

This just happened w/my Father in law's Mom.  She's in her 90's, and for years, refused to leave the projects in the Bronx.  It was easier to ignore this huge problem, and three siblings did just that, two of them already living here in TX.  Then she fell, broke her hip, and all hell broke loose.  She's now stuck in a horrible nursing home, at a cost of $17K/mo.  She had managed to save up $100K, so that bought her about 6 months of care, now she's on Medicaid.  Had some planning been done earlier, she could have been living near her family, being watched over, and maybe not had a broken hip.  Even if she did have it here and needed care, it's so much cheaper out here, she could have gotten nicer accommodations for far less money.

Hunny156

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Re: Insights on Manufactured housing? (Mobile Home)
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2014, 02:11:00 PM »
Is their a projection for the lot rental to go up.

We lived in a nice park when we got married and it went up $10 every year, it was doable, but frustrating, I think it has not stayed on that course though.

We actually bought an old but nice trailer and we fixed it up a bit, it was great, except keeping it warm and cool cost a lot, but I imagine that the insulation and windows have improved since ours was built in 79, we bought it in 99, so it was pretty old, still their and being lived in though, not by us.

It was a great way for us to start out, I could recommend them, they aren't near as bad as people think, I would search for an older one, maybe just a few years, since they don't hold their value well, you could get a great deal.

Yes, $50/mo increases for 4 years, and then "caps" at $400/mo.  I just did their budget, looks like they'd have $400 breathing room monthly in year one, so a much better option than the low income housing, if we can pull all this together.

Thanks for the recommendations.  I would totally buy a used one and fix it up nicely, but my MIL has already started w/the logic of "it could be the last thing we buy, we should spend a little more to make it nice".  Sigh.  :(  Our idea of spending extra $$ would be on extra insulation, stronger walls, plywood flooring.  She really wants granite....