Slash Your Summer Cooling Costs by Choosing a Manufactured Home

Rising electricity costs hurt families’ pockets, taking a toll on people on fixed incomes, who are on a tight budget, who are trying to save to buy a home, and / or who simply prefer to save money rather than paying so much each month on their power bill.

If you’re frustrated with power costs and worry about the hot summer months when the air conditioner adds to those expenses, there are ways to cut your cooling costs without having to suffer through the costs or worse, having to leave the air conditioner off because you just can’t afford it.

Some of these tips apply to your existing home and some of them may make you want to consider the type of home that you live in.

Invest in a Newer Air Conditioner

Do you have older air conditioning units that work alright but that cost a fortune? Or, do you strive to keep your house or apartment cool with a portable AC unit that you wheel from room to room? Newer air conditioners are more energy efficient and can quickly pay for themselves in energy savings.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

If you’ve got central air conditioning and can’t invest in a new, more efficient unit any time soon, you may want to consider HVAC maintenance plans that involve a regular cleaning, calibration, and tune-up your equipment, which can help you keep energy costs lower as well as extend the life of your HVAC system.

Be Power Conscious

It stands to reason that if you’re not going to be home, you shouldn’t leave the AC on all day.

Here are more tips:

Close window coverings. Drawn drapes or blinds keep rooms cooler.
Install ceiling fans in as many rooms as possible.
Save heat-generating activities for nighttime. Consider alternatives to the oven during a heat wave. Save clothes drying until dark. Better yet, invest in a clothes line and let the sun dry your clothes.
Set timers for air conditioners. Avoid wasted power usage without having to come home to a sweltering hot house by having the air conditioning kick in shortly before you’ll get home from work.
Invest in LED bulbs at home. They last a lot longer than typical energy-saving bulbs and further trim your energy costs.
Don’t constantly run the air conditioner. There may be days when it’s absolutely essential. Other days, perhaps you’ll only need to run it part of the day.
Manufactured Homes Are Cheaper on Utilities

Have you compared traditional home cooling costs vs. mobile home cooling costs? This is important for those hoping to buy a home in the near future.

More people than ever are buying and renting mobile homes to save on housing and maintenance costs. Manufactured home communities offer substantial cost savings in buying or renting as well as the cost associated with maintaining those homes.

With less square footage than traditional homes, your costs to heat and cool will shrink. And if you buy a brand new mobile home, you’ll get great energy ratings on all your appliances as well as great R-value for the construction of the home, which will provide additional energy cost savings. And these homes are often designed with maximum efficiency in mind. Even families find that while they are lower on square footage, they’re designed for family living. More seniors are downsizing to these homes, too.

Buy the Right Sized AC Unit

Calculate the size of an AC unit needed based on the square footage of the home so that you don’t buy a unit with more BTUs than needed, or so that you don’t buy one that doesn’t have enough capacity. In either case, your power bills will suffer and if you’re using too large an AC unit, you’re also at risk for excess humidity that can lead to mildew and mold.

When it boils down to it, air conditioning isn’t considered a luxury, especially if you have infants, elderly loved ones, allergies, or respiratory issues. It doesn’t have to break the bank to keep your home cool and the right equipment, the right approach to energy consumption, and keeping the above tips in mind can all help you stay comfortable on the hottest days of the year.

If you’re trying to save money to be able to buy a new home, consider a new mobile home, too, as it’ll save on the housing costs as well as provide significant energy savings.

POSTED BY
HomeFirst Certified, Mobile Homes for Sale in Michigan.

Finding Home – Why Location is Key in Choosing a Manufactured Home

There is a question you must ask yourself: “Are you working to live, or are you living to work?” Exploring this question a bit more, the real question is about the type of lifestyle you want for yourself – and it has everything to do with where you live.

If your commute takes forever, if you fear for your safety when you lock your door at night, or if you lie awake sleepless, worrying whether your children are prepared for the future because you can’t afford a home somewhere else, then you are living to work.

When you must slog through traffic for hours to work or sleep with one eye open in case someone tries to steal the patio furniture, it’s time to question your actions.

Choices Exist So You Can Have It All

If you work in a metropolitan area, then affordable homes may be found only on the outskirts of the city and far from work, meaning you’ll see the inside of your car more than your living room! You’re probably part of the 10.8 million Americans with commute times over an hour. While housing values in a big city tend to be significantly lower—the average house value in Detroit, MI is $44,000, a whopping $250,000 difference than Ann Arbor, MI—they often come with the challenges of urban crime and under-resourced educational systems.

But, you probably want it all – a good home in a nice neighborhood close to work with great schools for the kids. Therefore, the key to home ownership is location.

So, don’t scrap your job – rather, find a new location in which to live. When there are mobile homes for sale in peaceful, thriving communities, why suffer from the strain of your long commute or the struggles that come from owning a home in a dangerous neighborhood with few options for a good education? Neither will ever bring you peace of mind.

The American Dream Is Possible

Manufactured homes solve the problem by providing affordable living in beautiful communities that let you stay near work – a modern solution that balances work and home life. The choice to purchase a mobile home for sale in a good school district, close to work, and within a safe neighborhood eliminates the stress and fear ruling your life. Balance does exist, and you would have time back in your life to do something else besides drive to work or fret about security.

Imagine if you could take a break from the stress and fear – think about the volume of things you could accomplish. With a shorter commute, you would have more time in the mornings to see your family and more time in the evenings for a hobby or other activity; without the fear of crime in your neighborhood, you might enjoy more time outdoors or find yourself relaxed enough to enjoy your home; and without the concern for your children’s education, you might have more to help them focus on planning for their future.

Cost of Living Versus Quality Of Living

It is simple to see the trade-offs to purchasing a single-family house—if it’s in a neighborhood with prime school systems, the cost will be commensurate, and if it’s affordable, the price tag may reflect the risks to living in that area. Neither of these seem to be a good value for the money you would spend.

In a manufactured home, you don’t have to sacrifice. The value of your manufactured home comes from the affordability of the home within the quality of the community location. Mobile homes for sale in today’s communities are located in prime areas for urban workers, for parents concerned about their children’s education, and for anyone who wants to feel safe at night.

It’s time to ask yourself, “What would it look like to work to live?” How would things improve if your neighborhood caused you to enjoy life more? Let go of the awful commute, the threats to your safety, and the uncertainty of your children’s future; focus on a location for your new home that gives you everything. Find mobile homes for sale near you and start living.

We all work, and it’s vital to have an income; there’s no question that we should be gainfully employed. However, the cost of working shouldn’t be so much that your job only begets more work. Where is the satisfaction, the pay-off, the enjoyment that comes from a balanced life?

Instead, you could have a low-cost mortgage in a thriving neighborhood with a manufactured home.

Posted BY: HomeFirst Certified, Mobile Homes for Sale in Michigan.

The Article “Think Twice Before Downsizing to a Mobile Home…” is Bad Journalism

Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers per day are entering retirement currently, and many of these are considering downsizing their housing needs and costs as a part of their overall retirement plan. Unfortunately, some may miss an important option to downsize into a manufactured home. While it’s not the correct decision for everyone, there are those who can’t properly analyze the opportunity due to ignorance of the facts. And that’s the case for the Yahoo Finance writer who wrote “Think Twice Before Downsizing to a Mobile Home in Retirement”.

The writer raises concern for investing in something you don’t own the land under, which is the case in a manufactured home community. However, you also don’t own the land under an apartment, which is the #1 option for most retirees. So I guess you’d have to say that owning half of your living accommodations is better than owning none at all? What the writer is missing is that the whole point of moving to a manufactured home community is to cut your housing costs dramatically while still maintaining the privacy of a detached dwelling with its own yard and the ability to park by your front door – it has nothing to do with a financial investment. Do manufactured homes depreciate? Of course they do. So does that car your bought. But, just like that car, your purchase is not based on re-sale, but on current, in-hand cash flow concerns. Let’s look at the math. If you buy a manufactured home for $20,000, set up in a manufactured home community with a lot rent of $300 per month, then your total payments, if you pay cash for that home, is $300 per month. If you instead rent an apartment, you’ll find the U.S. average rent is currently $1,150 per month – that’s $850 per month more! Who cares about the fact that your heirs will only be able to sell the home for maybe $15,000 twenty years from now (although there’s no proof that the home will not remain stable or increase on the re-sale market)?

The writer also is concerned that “mobile homes are not mobile”. Well, exactly what out there is? Can you move your current brick home over a couple blocks, please? You would never want to move a “mobile home” – it is chock full of risk of damage in the move. These homes were built on wheels simply to allow them to be shipped to their ultimate destination, not because you might want to move them again. My in-ground swimming pool came on an 18-wheeler a decade ago, but I don’t think I want to try and move it again. But this lack of movement has nothing to do with value or investment.

The final point of the writer is that the owner of the land has superior rights to the owners of the manufactured homes. Yes and no. Both parties have rights under law. And, without the manufactured home, there is no income on that land. So really, the only risk is that the land under your home is sold for re-development. This is a very, very low risk. There are roughly 50,000 manufactured home communities in the U.S. and around 10 are torn down each year. That means your odds are .0002 of a percent. That’s about the risk of being hit by lightning in some areas. So I don’t think it’s worth losing sleep over. But what the writer is really missing out on is the financial cash flow benefits – that’s the big news story. If you save around $10,000 per year over the cost of apartments, that’s $200,000 in your pocket over a 20 year horizon. If the land your home is on is re-developed, the developer typically pays to have your home moved to a comparable property, and meanwhile you are $200,000 ahead. Doesn’t sound like much of a gamble to me.

Gather your own facts and make your own decision. But don’t rely on bad journalism!

Frank Rolfe has been an investor in mobile home parks for almost 30 years, and has owned and operated hundreds of mobile home parks during that time. He is currently ranked, with his partner Dave Reynolds, as the 5th largest mobile home park owner in the U.S., with over 250 communities spread out over 25 states. Along the way, Frank began writing about the industry, and his books, coupled with those of his partner Dave Reynolds, evolved into a course and boot camp on mobile home park investing that has become the leader in this niche of commercial real estate. To learn more about Frank’s views on the manufactured home community industry visit www.MobileHomeUniversity.com.

SHOULD I BUY OR RENT A MOBILE HOME LOT?

So you’re buying a mobile home and need to figure out where to put it. Should you put it on raw land? Should you put it inside a manufactured home community? There’s no right or wrong answer. Except the one that’s right for you.

Financial Requirements

From a financial perspective, the mobile home park lot has less up-front cost, as it already has utilities and infrastructure (like a road, parking pad and patio). Raw land may require you to install water, sewer, electric, parking pad, etc., and that can run tens of thousands of dollars, in some cases. So the first question, when you are considering raw land, is what it will cost to make it “move-in” ready.

Hidden Costs

There can be other hidden costs when buying raw land to install your mobile home, other than what you can see. Don’t forget that you will have to have to a real estate closing, and that’s going to require a title company charge, a survey, and other expenses. Plain and simple, buying land to develop into a home site is capital intensive, and you have to be ready.

Repair & Maintenance Concerns

In a mobile home park, the park owner must provide all utilities and road repairs. You are only liable for repairs to your home. However, when you own the land, you’ll have to be ready to fix anything that breaks, such as the water line, sewer line, power line, driveway, etc. That’s all part of land ownership. So make sure that you have those numbers in our personal budget.

Location

The overriding benefit to owning your own land is that it’s in a location of your choice, and not predetermined by the location of the mobile home park. This means that you can be by the lake, or by town, or wherever you want to be and can find land for sale. Buying your own land opens up a whole lot for freedom and options for where you end up living. And that’s worth a premium to many people. It is important to note, however, that many cities do not allow mobile homes on lots within the city limits, and mobile home parks may be the only game in town if you want to be in a certain city or school district.

Financial Considerations

When you own the land, you eventually pay it off. When you rent the lot at the mobile home park, you never own it, so the rent continues forever. However, it’s not that simple. When you pay off the land, you still have to pay the property tax and repair and maintenance. So it’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison if you just use the park’s lot rent vs. your land payment.

Conclusion

There are millions of people who have chosen to put their mobile home inside a mobile home park. And millions more who have elected to put it on raw land. There is no right or wrong answer – only the answer that is right for your individual needs and goals.

Frank Rolfe has been an investor in mobile home parks for almost 30 years, and has owned and operated hundreds of mobile home parks during that time. He is currently ranked, with his partner Dave Reynolds, as the 5th largest mobile home park owner in the U.S., with over 250 communities spread out over 25 states. Along the way, Frank began writing about the industry, and his books, coupled with those of his partner Dave Reynolds, evolved into a course and boot camp on mobile home park investing that has become the leader in this niche of commercial real estate. www.MobileHomeUniversity.com

The Advantage Of Building Foundations For Mobile Homes

The much-maligned mobile home is actually an amazingly versatile housing option. It has allowed millions of people to own their own homes at a minimal cost, and modern homes are durable, livable, and appealing. What happens underneath a mobile home is important, though! Installing a mobile home on the right kind of foundation is always a good idea.

Important Definitions

First, it is important that you understand the distinction between “manufactured” and “modular” homes. The words “manufactured home” have become synonymous for mobile homes, and they refer to the same type of structure: One that leaves the factory fully assembled or in a few (two or three) pieces.

Modular homes are also factory manufactured housing, but they are shipped to the site in much smaller pieces. They require far more construction work on-site and are also almost always more expensive than mobile or manufactured homes. However, they do not have to deal with the special foundation concerns that mobile homes do.

Financial Advantages To Firm Foundations

Even though the overwhelming majority of manufactured homes are never moved again after they are delivered to their owners, they are still theoretically movable. This leads many banks and other lenders to treat them as “personal” rather than “real” property. This is a huge difference! Personal property depreciates over time while real property increases in value.

Fortunately, lenders will consider a mobile home real property once it has been permanently attached to a robust foundation. This allows the owner to take out mortgages and hopefully, enjoy rising property values over time. The precise foundation requirements for consideration as real property vary from state to state.

Foundation Types

The most common form of foundation installed beneath a mobile home is the so-called “pier and ground” system. Here the home rests on individual piers located underneath the steel structure of the home at key points. While the edge of the house may be surrounded by a permanent curtain wall and a crawlspace may be created beneath the home, a pier and ground system is rarely sufficient to qualify a home as real property. It is still employed due to its simplicity and affordability, though.

A concrete slab foundation is typically durable enough to make the transition to real property for a manufactured home. Many homes use “hybrid” systems that blend elements of the slab and pier designs. As long as the home is connected to an insulated, continuous slab it usually qualifies as real property.

One of the most expensive but also most valuable foundation options for mobile homes is the basement foundation. This is basically a sunken concrete box poured before the home is delivered. It must be built carefully to ensure its dimensions match the home above. Basement foundations are not appropriate in areas where flooding is a risk, but they are extremely useful in other regions.

Finally, there are a number of proprietary home anchoring systems on the market today, most of which involve permanent steel connections between the structure of a mobile home and concrete footings. Most of these can qualify a home as real property. This fact needs to be carefully verified before any foundation decisions are made.

Expanding A Mobile Home

A permanent foundation that turns a mobile home into a piece of real property can be created before the home is delivered or retrofitted at a later time. When a retrofit foundation is installed, homeowners often take a long view at their future needs and elect to plan for expansions at the same time.

Although mobile home expansions can be connected to the original manufactured structure, they cannot safely bear weight on it. They have to stand independently. The same holds true for expansion foundations, even if they are created at the same time as the original home’s foundation. These are typically separated by an expansion joint that allows the two foundations to function independently.

Anchoring a mobile home to a permanent foundation really does convert it into a “manufactured” home as well as a piece of real property. While it may not always be within a homeowner’s budget, it is generally an excellent idea for those owners who are thinking in the long term.

Carol Robson is a retired social worker who believes in living simply, being ecologically friendly, and leaving a small footprint. For more helpful information for others looking to do the same, check out Tiny House Plans.

Should I Sell or Rent Mobile Homes?

So you’re looking into the concept of investing in mobile homes to make a high rate of return on your money. There’s no question that the demand for affordable housing is definitely working in your favor. But should you rent or sell those homes? That’s a great question, and one worthy of some discussion before you decide.

The SAFE Act

Enacted in 2008, this law requires you to get a mortgage license before you can create mortgages on mobile homes. Dodd-Frank, enacted in 2010, further regulates what you can and cannot do when selling a mobile home and carrying back financing on it. If you sell a mobile home (except for a cash sale) and carry back the financing, you will be subject to these laws, and must stay in conformance with them. This has led many mobile home investors into renting rather than selling the homes. For more information on the SAFE Act laws in your state, consult your state’s Manufactured Housing Association. The SAFE Act has no impact on renting mobile homes.

Dealer’s License Requirements

If you sell more than a certain number of mobile homes per year, you are also subject to obtaining a mobile home dealer’s license. Consult your state’s Manufactured Housing Association to see what the laws are. If you rent mobile homes, you do not need a dealer’s license.

Foreclosure vs. Eviction

When you sell a mobile home and carry back the financing – and the buyer defaults on the note – then your only recourse is to file for foreclosure. This can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. In some state, it can take 6 months to a year to obtain the foreclosure, and cost thousands in legal fees. When you rent a mobile home, you only have to file for eviction. An eviction, by comparison, can be completed in 60 days or less, and costs a few hundred dollars.

Warranties

When you sell a mobile home, you are responsible for certain warranties of condition and title. When you rent a mobile home, you are only responsible for what are called “the minimum habitability laws”, which specify such things as that the heater works.

Repair & Maintenance

This item definitely appears to be in the favor of selling the mobile home. Mobile homes are normally sold “as is” and you do not do any maintenance on the home.  If the toilet breaks, it’s the buyer’s problem. However, if you carry the financing, there is always the chance that the buyer will default on the mortgage and, when you get it back, you find the home was destroyed due to a plumbing leak or other repair item that the tenant never completed. So there is some amount of argument on whether ot not you are helping yourself by not staying on top of repairs as the landlord. When you sell a home for cash, then this issue does not apply.

Quality of Tenants

Those that think of the property as theirs make the best tenants. And nothing makes it more “yours” than buying it. This makes the tenant a “stakeholder” in the business, and they will generally keep the property in a better condition than a mere renter who does not plan on living there that long.

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong answer to the question “should I rent or sell the mobile home”? But you will probably be able to clearly see what works best for you after considering the issues involved. Educated decisions are the best ones.

By Frank Rolfe

Frank Rolfe is a mobile home park investor and owns over 100 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also leads regular Mobile Home Park Investing Bootcamps through www.MobileHomeUniversity.com.

HOW TO BUY REPO MOBILE HOMES FOR SALE

Some of the best deals on used mobile homes can be obtained by buying them as bank repossessions – also known as “repos”. These are homes that were purchased and lived in, and then the buyer defaulted on their payments to the bank, and the bank foreclosed on the home and now offers it for re-sale. Repo homes allow you to buy a newer home for a low price.

Find the lists of homes

To start the process of buying a repo home, you have to find a list of homes to work from. You can find complete lists of all repo homes from the biggest mobile home mortgage companies (21st Century, Vanderbilt, etc.) at www.MHBay.com. These lists are your initial inventory of targets to work on.

Know a good deal from a bad deal – become an expert on values

Before you are ready to start buying a home, you need to become a quick expert on valuations. You have to know the difference between what’s a deal and what’s not a deal. The best way to gain this skill is to pour over the homes and their asking prices, and then cross-reference that with NADA value guides and the prices of homes you see being offered by private individuals on MHBay. For example, if you see a 2003 Clayton 3/2 being offered by a private seller for $26,000, and a NADA value on that same home of $31,000, and you can buy that same type of home from the Vanderbilt repo list for $18,000 but needing work, and then deciding it needs only $2,000 of rehab, then you know that the repo is a good deal. If you don’t know what anything’s worth, how can you know if you are getting a good deal or not.

Avoid homes with expensive problems to fix

Almost all repo homes will require some degree of remodeling before you can move in. The key is to find homes that need only inexpensive cosmetic repair, and not substantial, expensive structural repair.  Watch out for items like black mold, sagging ceilings – any evidence of water intrusion, which is the #1 cause of structural issues. You can paint a wall yourself, but you can’t replace the electrical system.

Negotiate

Repo homes are often sold at discounts to the asking price. So you can’t be a good buyer until you are a good bargainer. If you need to, read a book on “how to negotiate”. Or maybe watch some videos on that topic on Youtube. You cannot ask what the price is and then way “I’ll take it”. This is America, and we like to haggle – and every seller knows it. Sellers will normally price homes a little higher than they will actually take, just because they know that people will make lower offers.  So think “garage sale” and never pay the asking price.

Conclusion

Buying repo mobile homes is not difficult. And it’s not hard to get a great deal. But, like anything, there is a skill set required. But it’s well worth the effort, as you can save thousands and thousands of dollars in this manner.

By Frank Rolfe
Frank Rolfe is a mobile home park investor and owns over 150 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also leads regular Mobile Home Park Investing Bootcamps through www.MobileHomeUniversity.com.

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TOP 10 THINGS TO AVOID WHEN LOOKING AT USED MOBILE HOMES FOR SALE

You win or lose, when buying a mobile home, on the front end — how good a deal you get. So to make a good purchase, it’s important that you know what to avoid as much as what to seek out. So here’s a list of what you want to avoid when buying a used mobile home.

#1: Frame damage

If the frame is bent or broken, the home cannot be moved down the highway. Additionally, it will lead to other problems like leaking. You cannot afford to buy a home with structural issues at any price. Period.

#2: No title

A home without a title is a complete nightmare. You have nothing to prove that it belongs to you. You also have nothing to prove that it belongs to the guy that you’re buying it from.  And that means that you also have no chance to sell it or get a loan on it, as you do not have the required title. Although it is possible to get a new title on mobile homes – assuming you have the right credentials – it can be very tedious and take up to a year.

#3: No affirmation of wind-load or snow-load

If you are buying a home in an area of the U.S. that requires certain minimum wind-loads and snow-loads, then you have to make sure that you are buying a used mobile home that qualifies. This is not something that you can leave u to chance, as there are significant liability issues involved. In addition, you will not be allowed to bring in a home that you cannot prove meets these requirements.

#4: Rotted exterior

Rotted exterior panels are normally as a result of a product known as T-111. This was a poorly designed concept – effectively a pressed coardboard panel that completely rots in the event that moisture gets inside the protective coating (which seems to happen every time). Not only is it expensive to fix these issues, but it can also be the cause of water intrusion into the rest of the home, leading to rot and potentially black mold formation

#5: Evidence of interior ceiling water damage

Interior moisture can also be the result of roof leaks. The best evidence of these leaks is a sagging, stained and/or detaching ceiling. Although a coat of Kilz can hide the stain, the sagging nature will still be observed. Moisture and a mobile home do not get along well together, and homes that show signs of significant water intrusion should be avoided.

#6: Rotted floors

The final source of moisture inside a mobile home is from plumbing leaks and/or tenant abuse. This will be evident in warped and rotted flooring. This will require removal of the carpet and/or vinyl, replacement of the wood or particle board, and then putting the flooring material back. While this is expensive, what’s more expensive is what’s happened in the areas you can’t see, like behind the walls. We cannot emphasize enough that you should avoid mobile homes that appear to have been the subject of water intrusion.

#7: Bad floor plan

While most modern mobile homes seem to follow basically the same room flow, there are still some models that are lesser than others. One of the biggest differences is the size of the master bedroom. The floor plans that most people favor skew much o the home’s square footage into the master bedroom. Small bedrooms can be a real turn off.

#8: Plumbing problems

Leaking pipes are expensive to replace, and have probably already done a sizable amount of damage before they were discovered and/or repaired. Leave homes with such issues to another buyer, as leaking pipes can turn a good deal into a nightmare fast.

#9: Electrical problems

For the same reasons as plumbing leaks, electrical issues are not only expensive to repair, but can even result in a deadly fire. You have enough problems without taking on the responsibility of fixing and worrying about defective wiring.

#10: Price

Everything revolves around price when buying a used mobile home. The whole purpose of buying a used home is to save money over a new home. So don’t overpay for that used unit. Demand a real deal, not just a slight discount. Your happiness in what you buy will be dependent on what you pay, so that’s priority number one when shopping for a used mobile home.

Conclusion

Avoid these issues when you’re shopping for a used mobile home, and you will be very glad you did. Buying a used mobile home can be a great investment – as long as you don’t buy a lemon! Be a smart shopper, and everything will work out fine.

By Frank Rolfe
Frank Rolfe is a mobile home park investor and owns over 100 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also leads regular Mobile Home Park Investing Bootcamps through www.MobileHomeUniversity.com.

BUYING A DOUBLE-WIDE VS. SINGLE-WIDE NEW MOBILE HOME

One of the biggest design developments in mobile homes is the invention of the double-wide. But the double-wide is not always the right kind of home – you have to analyze whether or not it’s going to meet your goals. So let’s take a look at what the primary considerations are in making that decision.

Initial Cost Considerations

New double-wides are always more expensive than singlewides. That’s because they are traditionally larger, and definitely complicated to put together. Among other design differences, a double-wide has interior load-bearing walls, while a single-wide does not. So if you are trying to buy the least expensive type of mobile home, then a double-wide is pretty much always the wrong decision. If, however, you are trying to buy an expensive mobile home, then double-wides can range in price to well over $100,000.

Cost to ship and install

Not only is the double-wide more expensive on the front end, it’s also more expensive to transport and set up. It costs nearly twice as much to move and set up a double-wide than a single-wide – but that makes sense because it requires two different sections, right? The cost to move a double-wide a long distance may be downright impossible to justify. Typical move and set-up on a double-wide can run $10,000, while a single-wide is only around $5,000.

Floor plan

OK, the double-wide always wins in this category. Double-wides have the ultimate floor plans, since they have so many different directions to place interior walls. Many double-wides follow the designs of traditional stick-built housing, and it may be hard to even spot the differences. For room flow, size of rooms, etc. you cannot beat the double-wide.

Re-Sale Value

Buyers love double-wides more than single-wides. But that’s not a fair question, because they also know that they are more expensive. When you factor in the cost, the playing field becomes more level. You may find a buyer for your single-wide for $24,000, but how hard do you think it is to find somebody ready to spend $48,000 on the used double-wide? So keep it in perspective.

Lifestyle Considerations

Although the double-wide is more expensive, maybe you are willing to consider that extra cost an investment in your family’s quality of life. There’s nothing wrong with that analysis. Many things in life are weighed, not just on price, but on what you get for the dollar and what you do with it. Based on just dollars and cents, we would all shop at the Dollar Store and eat from the value menu at McDonalds.

Conclusion

A double-wide might be a good choice for you and your family, or it might be a terrible choice. Only you know what fits your needs. But make an educated decision regardless of which you select.

By Frank Rolfe
Frank Rolfe is a mobile home park investor and owns over 100 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also leads regular Mobile Home Park Investing Bootcamps through www.MobileHomeUniversity.com.