Author Topic: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?  (Read 4682 times)

wifeytini623

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Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« on: January 06, 2015, 09:48:48 PM »
Any mustachians here who live in pre-fab/modular homes/mobile homes/etc? My husband and I are considering it for our upcoming home purchase. What are the benefits/drawbacks?

We can buy a 4br "mobile home" in our area that looks identical to a small ranch house -- except the "mobile home" is about $45k, whereas the small ranch house would be $130k.

I know the mobile homes don't appreciate in value, but I'm not sure a regular house would in this market anyway. Thoughts?

MikeBear

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 11:12:49 PM »
We've lived in a 1992 manufactured home on it's own property and foundation since 2001. I'm not impressed on the so-called "quality" of the factory build. Nothing is standard, including the door knobs and such. We had to replace the asphalt roof in 2002 because it was already worn out after only 10 years. ALL the windows have breached seals and some now have cracked, but I haven't gotten around to replacing them as of yet. We had the natural gas furnace replaced in 2005 because the old one exploded (no *hit, blew the metal chimney right off the roof besides). They had to replace it with one specifically designed for a manufactured house (more costly).

Never again, stick built all the way. We are going to sell this one, and move in the next few years when we retire.

If you are willing to live in that house and maybe throw it away after it's worn out, it might be worth it at that price. Just be aware it might already be falling apart, and it's not always easy to tell.


Exflyboy

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 11:50:26 PM »
I have a single wide as a rental.. the quality is OK but its definately made about as cheap as it could be.

This one is not on a foundation and I have had to pull out a number of animal corpses from the insulation.. quite lovely..Not.

Whether you like it or not its value will decrease, its basically a thowaway house. Mine was built in 1995.. I'm guessing it has another 10 years of life.

I may be better off having it towed off my property before we try to sell our house, rather than leaving it there.

At around 10 years life I had to replace about half the siding (made of paper basically). I then found out it had no vapour barrier under the siding so it had rotted a number of studs and three floor joists on the ends to about 2 feet in.. That was a mess!

I had to replace the roof a couple of years later..

I have made a lot of money from rent over the years so I'm not complaining..

Frank

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 01:51:38 AM »
It depends. I would look at the area the mobile home is in. Is it primarily owner occupied? Are most of the homes nice and kept up. Are many of the homes stick built?

I would try to stay towards an area that is nicer and has more stick built houses, not because there is anything wrong with mobile homes, but because it gives you more upside.

Once the trailer is worn out you will still have a lot. What is a lot for a stick built house worth it that area?

So take the lot value and subtract it from the $45k. What is left is your Doublewide Cost. Now how long will you have to live there for that to be worth it, or pay for itself?

I have bought a foreclosed double wide and lot for $17,500 and then sold the double wide for $5,000 and the lot for $25,000. It is possible to get a double wide discount just for putting up with something someone else (or a bank) doesn't want to.

And if you can live there while you build your stache all the better! Good luck!



Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 06:25:05 AM »
I think mobile homes are a great option for low cost housing, with 3 caveats: 

1) Never buy one new. The depreciation curve is even more brutal than new cars

2) Budget for extra maintenance costs.  They usually are less well made AND some tradespeople (plumbers, especially) don't like to work on them and will charge you extra.

3) If you are in area that needs heating or cooling much of the year, budget for extra energy costs.  Mobile homes tend to be less insulated and air sealed and cost more to heat/cool.

mm1970

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 10:32:10 AM »
I think mobile homes are a great option for low cost housing, with 3 caveats: 

1) Never buy one new. The depreciation curve is even more brutal than new cars

2) Budget for extra maintenance costs.  They usually are less well made AND some tradespeople (plumbers, especially) don't like to work on them and will charge you extra.

3) If you are in area that needs heating or cooling much of the year, budget for extra energy costs.  Mobile homes tend to be less insulated and air sealed and cost more to heat/cool.
Pretty much.

In my home town, there's a company or two that build these.  There's aren't a ton of regular built houses, so if you want a house and can't find one, you buy land and a mobile home.  I have 2 sisters and 1 cousin who live in them.

One of my sisters just got a new one about 5 years ago (replaced a trailer).  She likes it.

My other sister's husband worked for the company that built them, so they've been in theirs since the early 90's.  They built it on top of a basement, and have done a lot of work since - replaced the doors, replaced the interior walls with dry wall, etc.  It's becoming a "real house" as things wear out.

Programming 'til FIRE

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 10:55:42 AM »
We are currently finishing up the building phase of our modular home.  Total costs are around $170,000.  It is 2,300 sqft on the first floor, 2,300 sqft full basement with walkout, and 1,100 sqft second floor.

I can't tell a difference in the quality of this home from a normal stick built home.  Time was greatly reduced from normal construction.  Looking up from the basement, you have no idea that was built offsite.

Again, this is a modular home, meaning it was built in parts offsite and brought in.  It has been hard to explain to people the differences, because they think it is just a double wide.  Then I explain that is on a full basement and has a second floor, which just causes even more confusion.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 10:58:51 AM by curtisd »

eil

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 11:26:17 AM »
My mom purchased a double wide modular in a decent community last summer.

They are cheaper to buy, yes, but you have to figure in lot rent as well. I estimate that she paid around half of what an equivalent "real house" would have cost in the area, but the lot rent is almost $500 per month. So I would mainly consider something like this as an alternative to renting a smaller house or a condo. At the stage I'm at, it wouldn't make financial sense to live in it forever.

I don't actually have many complaints about the quality of the house itself, the two biggest issues are the crap vinyl siding and near total lack of insulation. (She's in for quite a treat when she gets her heating bill after this month.) It's been pretty easy to work on so far.

tuckred

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2015, 03:57:29 PM »
We live in a 1983 mobile home; I actually like it quite well. I know some of them are junk. Ours is basically built the same as a stick built house as far as the framework. Most of the interior walls have been replaced with sheetrock; some of them still have the weird thin wallboard it came with. I think some of the new ones come with regular sheet rock interior walls. We have replaced all of the windows. We have replaced the flooring, mostly with pergo type flooring (laminate?); new carpets in the bedroom. Just normal maintenance on a 30 year old home. It has good insulation; I'm not sure if extra was added by previous owners. We heat with a wood stove and it heats up all of the living areas fine. It's 2000+ sq. ft, with 3 bedrooms and I keep the 2 unused bedroom doors closed in the winter. We also have a fireplace. It came with the 10 acres that it is on. We have thought of building, but then think better of it, since we do like the layout of the house, and it just seems wasteful to build something else. We are paying 550 on the mortgage...the one thing I DON'T like is we have been unable to refinance to take advantage of the good rates. I think you can if the house is on a foundation, but I think we will probably just pay off the mortgage soon.
Edited to add that we are in Eastern Washington...cold and snowy in the winter and hot in the summer.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 04:03:17 PM by tuckred »

tuckred

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Re: Modular Homes/Mobile Homes/Trailers?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2015, 08:25:37 PM »
I think mobile homes are a great option for low cost housing, with 3 caveats: 

1) Never buy one new. The depreciation curve is even more brutal than new cars



I would agree with this. Here is a good site for info on buying and remodeling mobile homes, plus lots of pretty homes to look at: http://mobilehomeliving.org/