USED MOBILE HOMES VS. NEW MOBILE HOMES: WHICH TO BUY?

A common issue with any mobile home buyer is “should I buy new or used mobile home?” There is no right or wrong answer. However, it is important that you know the facts, so that you can make an educated decision that is the right one for you and your family.

Price

Of course, the single biggest consideration is price. If the price were identical, everyone would buy new, right? So there are two key considerations: 1) how much can you afford to pay and 2) how much of a premium are you willing to pay for a “new” home?  In most areas, a new mobile home is going to cost over $30,000. If you’re budget is $10,000, then the answer is easy. However, if your budget will allow for either new or used, then the important consideration is value for your money. Obviously, you can always pay less with a used home over a new home. But there are more than price considerations.

Floorplan

New homes, in general, have better floor plans. The manufacturers have done a terrific job of improving the quality of the product, and new homes general reflect modern tastes. However, if you do not need to have the subtle improvements of floor plan – and are just happy with having the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms – then a used mobile home may be the right choice.

Finish-Out

New homes have different color choices and wall textures than older homes. To some people, this is a big deal. To others, it may be of no concern at all. At the end of the day, a white wall is a white wall. And, of course, you have the freedom – and money – to change the colors and carpets on a used home to match your tastes 100%.

Re-Sale Value

New homes always sell for more than used homes (assuming similar condition). So new homes always win the battle of maximum re-sale value. However, there is something else to consider, and that’s the depreciation from what you pay for the home. If you pay $40,000 for the new mobile home, and sell it for $30,000, then you lost $10,000, even though it sold for more than the used home that sells for $15,000 but you bought for $17,000. Rarely can new homes go up in value, but it is fairly common in used homes.

Conclusion

Buying a mobile home can be a difficult enough decision, but is even more complicated when having to decide between new and old. Make sure to cover all your bases and consider every angle before making a decision. There is no right or wrong, so the decision will be based on your individual needs and goals.

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.