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.
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.
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.
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.
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.