If you are considering purchasing a used mobile home, you need to be mindful of a number of things. Used mobile homes are very different from new ones, and also very different from regular homes. Hopefully, the following 10 considerations are considered to be beneficial to you.
10 Things To Look For In Used Mobile Homes:
1. Age of Mobile Homes
Do not purchase used mobile homes that are more than 40 years old. This is because of the fact that those constructed before 1977 were not DMV registered, nor were they built to code. This means that lenders will not provide you with financing options if it is any older. Should you purchase an older vehicle, you will have to pay a higher deposit and a higher interest rate, and the loan has to be paid off sooner. In an ideal situation, the mobile home should not be more than 15 years old.
2. The Park
Certain lenders do not approve certain parks. This is why you should check whether the park is approved before putting in an offer on used mobile homes. Reasons why a lender may decline it include the fact that there have been too many foreclosures and the space rent being too high.
3. Rent Control
Most parks have some rent control in place. If they don’t, check what type of increase you can expect each year. While you may not mind paying slightly more rent, you have to consider that the value of your mobile home also depreciates with each year. Of course, overall, it is still cheaper than living in a city apartment.
Look into the security of the park. There should be a security company that patrols it and rules and regulations should be in place. Find out from the park manager how security is managed. Ask for a crime report from the police department as well.
Look into the policy on pets. If you have a golden retriever, you may struggle to find a park that will accept you. Large dogs and any dogs on the vicious breed list are usually not allowed. Smaller dogs may be suitable, but you do have to look into this.
6. Your Neighbors
While a park means that you have virtually self-contained units, you will still live quite close to others. Have a chat with them, as they will be your neighbors, and find out what they are like. Make a radius around your trailer home to find out what others are saying as well. Perhaps they have loud children or maybe someone has an alcohol problem. Find out about this also by simply visiting the park at different hours, including night time.
7. The Managers
Managers should do an excellent job and they should care about their park and its residents. This means they should enforce the rules, while at the same time instilling a sense of community. They should be welcoming and helpful.
When you visit the park on which the used mobile homes you are considering are located, look for levels of tidiness. The park should be clean and well-maintained. Residents should show they are proud in their homes and surroundings and keep it clean.
You also have to consider the actual value of used mobile homes. Look into whether prices are rising or dropping by speaking to a realtor. Make sure that the price you have been quoted is realistic. Consider having the mobile home independently appraised as well.
10. Health and Safety
If you have found a nice park and you believe the used mobile homes there to be priced right, it is time to look into the mobile home itself. Look for:
- – Smoke alarms
- – The water heater
- – Steps
- – The cooling system
- – The furnace
- – The plumbing
- – The electrical system
- – The roof
- – Earthquake bracing if applicable
All of these should be in perfect working order, it it should be reflected in the price if they are now. Earthquake bracing, for instance, can cost you around $5,000 to install yourself. Have these things checked by a professional health and safety inspector first.
Deciding to Make a Purchase
You need to treat finding a mobile home in the same way as you would finding a regular home. After all, you will be living here. At the same time, you should treat it in the same way as buying a used car, because mobile homes are a type of vehicle. To some, this confuses the matter slightly, which is why it is so important that you speak to professionals. Yes, living in a mobile home is affordable living and you will pay for it through a bank loan rather than a mortgage. However, this does not mean that it is substandard living.
Mobile homes are fantastic forms of accommodation in which many people have raised families and built friendships. Hollywood movies have given them a particularly bad name, which has deterred many people from considering them as homes. However, since the Great Recession, people have found themselves with no alternative but to consider trailer parks for their next home, and they have been pleasantly surprised. Many people who lost their jobs and homes ended up renting trailers and used mobile homes, and have now found themselves in a position where they have purchased them, rather than returning to a city apartment or a home in the suburbs. Particularly in areas where the weather is reasonably mild and comfortable, living in mobile homes provides people with a sense of freedom that they would not otherwise have anywhere else.
Regardless of your personal reasons why you would want to purchase used mobile homes, whether as a place for you to live in, as a weekend retreat, for your children in college, as an investment, or as a step towards becoming a park owner yourself, it is important that you do your research. There are pros and cons to each park, to each mobile home, and to each finance agreement. Make sure you understand them before signing on the dotted line.