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Old 03-02-2007, 03:26 AM
Location: Michissippi
3,120 posts, read 8,065,523 times
Reputation: 2084


I'd like to learn more about manufactured (mobile) homes. I toured some at a manufactured home expo about ten years ago and I've looked through a local monthly "for sale" mag, and I'm intrigued about the possibility of buying a used one (say, 1000+ feet for under $10,000--in general, not a particular one that I have my sights set on).

Has anyone had experiences with manufactured homes, good or bad?

Are there any discussion forums that are specifically devoted to the subject?

Do you have to pay property taxes if you're renting a lot in a manufactured home community?

What happens if the landlord decides to suddenly jack up the lot rent? (Perhaps a developer wants to build pricey condos or luxury homes on the land.) Are there normally any sorts of contractual or legal prohibitions that would keep them from dramatically increasing rents arbitrarily?

Has the quality of manufactured homes improved in the past ten years and would it thus be not necessarily insane to consider purchasing a used one (allowing the first buyer to take a big depreciation hit)?

Has anyone purchased a used manufactured home and did you regard it as a good deal? After paying for the lot rent, did you conclude that it was cost competitive compared to renting? Did you feel that you had a nicer dwelling?

Has anyone had any experiences with purchasing a plot of land and having a new one installed on it? Was it better than just renting a lot?

Are used manufactured homes on (owned) land available and are the prices for them reasonable? (I've never seen any listed, but perhaps I need to look in the conventional "homes for sale" books.)

Realistically, what do you think I would I need to spend to get a ~1200 foot manufactured home in decent condition?

I know...it's not the Ritz...and they depreciate in value some...but not everyone can afford a $140,000 1500 ft townhouse.

If you've owned one before, were there any hidden or unexpected costs?
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:22 PM
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Default Probably a mixed bag..... Depends on where you are

Lot of your answers are probably going to depend on the particular location you are interested in buying.

Some of my relatives have them and swear by that way of living. From what I know the lot rents pretty well cancel out what they would pay for a comparable house in that location in real estate taxes. They only pay a very small amount of taxes for the structure itself. They have had them in both Ohio and Florida. Lots of variations in the situations, must be careful in selection of the park. The better situations the homes actually have a small appreciation over time.

One of the things to know, the parts may be different from normal house type parts. Things like furnace, hotwater heaters, windows, doors, etc. In some cases it is illegal to install "Normal" stuff in a mobile. Most of the utilities, including heat typically runs under the unit.

There are a fair amount of them in SE Ohio counties. Many are installed on something like a house foundation and have built on addition, including garages. Most of those are on private lots. They seem to resell fairly well if in good condition.

The newer ones are pretty well constructed, thick walls, good insulation. One area to watch is the quality of windows and doors. The older ones typically had windows and doors made just for that application and tended to be single sheet glass with aluminum frames.

If you buy one in Ohio in a park with a rented lot it is more like buying a car in terms of paper work instead of a house. The better situations are probably where there are restrictions as to who can live there. Maybe best for retired type folks where no childred are permitted. The housing is just too dense in many cases for normal families.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:28 PM
Location: SE Florida
9,367 posts, read 25,215,139 times
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There are beautiful manufactured homes available that have all the amenities of a conventional home. Many very expensive models are out there. But, while a conventional home appreciates in value, a manufactured home depreciates in value. All things being equal, I can't think of a reason to purchase a manufacutred home. However, with that being said, all things are not equal and, as Cosmic points out, many people really like them.
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:00 PM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 12,366,662 times
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I have one and I had originally thought I'd build behind it on my 10 acres, but I have to move out of GA.

One of the things I liked about it is I've had GREAT post purchase service. Just one phone call no hunting down this and that sub-contractor. Would I do it again...Yep.

I'd probably shop around a bit more and buy a "hi-end" model this time. Mine's considered "mid-level"...my siding and roof are the same as a stick built but I have vinynal walls inside...that is the only thing that I don't like...Well there is the carpet but that's just me...I hate carpet and did get talked into it by the salesman...live and learn...LOL.

If you can find a late model MH on a small tract of land that would be your best bet. MH Parks tend to up the costs.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:31 PM
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
9 posts, read 68,823 times
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B'spawn, you do well to consider a used one, you don't have to worry so much about depreciation, and can probably at least break even if you want to sell it in the future. Make sure you get one with plywood floors, that fiber board stuff that some of them have will dissolve right under you. I lived comfortably in a small cosy older (1976) m.h. with my three small kids for three years till I was able to purchase a conventional home. It survived Hurricane Lili in Lafayette LA without a scratch and lot rent was $135. I was glad not to have the hassle of a regular real estate transaction when I sold it too.
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:28 AM
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 37,448,326 times
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I think some mobile homes are very nice inside. They're always cute and tidy and have cupboards and storage space all over. As was said before, depending on the area they actually appreciate, contrary to popular belief. Check out some of the areas in Florida on realtor.com. They have a lot of mobile homes for sale down there and some of the ones from the 70s are listed at higher prices then you would pay for a brand new one. I was a bit confused by that so I read the info thinking that maybe the lot unit was included, but nope, just the home.
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Old 03-03-2007, 08:45 AM
Location: Michissippi
3,120 posts, read 8,065,523 times
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Yeah, I'm interested in the feasibility of getting a used one for that very reason--someone else can take the big hit on the initial depreciation. I figure that, once I'm ready, I could spend between $10,000-20,000 on one that's 1200-1600 ft. I wouldn't be doing it for investment purposes; I'd be doing it as an alternative to renting and I would hope that:

Purchase price plus loan interest (if any) plus lot rent plus property taxes (if any) plus maintenance costs minus selling price when I sell it divided by the number of months lived in it would end up being cheaper than renting a 2bd apartment while at the same time getting a larger and nicer dwelling.

(Sorry I can't post in the other threads I've been active in on this forum; I need to leave for work soon.)
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:36 PM
19 posts, read 64,323 times
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Default advice on buying a used mobile home

my wife & i are also considering this option can anyone help me with what to look for when buying used (read alot about the flooring) is it difficuilt to have repairs done are they espensive or the same a a regular home how about new appliances any advice would be appreciated
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:53 PM
4,282 posts, read 15,749,873 times
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2 things to look for:

Any indications of water damage from roof leaks. Stay away from the leakers.

Floors that have sag, bounce, or soft spots.
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:57 AM
Location: Las Vegas
14,229 posts, read 30,038,208 times
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I've owned a couple of them. The first one I bought cheap and it was a real dump but it saved me a lot of money as cheap housing when I was in college. I even got my money out of it when I left. The second one I bought new and had an awful time selling it just to get out from under the payment. RE taxes are different in every state but where I lived you didn't pay taxes till you took the tires off. If you rent space in a park you are at the mercy of the landlord who can raise the rent. It isn't that easy to move those things. It's very expensive too.

One big surprise is the payments on the new ones. They aren't much lower than the house. Mobile home buyers are considered higher risk and less deserving of credit. And the home has to be paid off much faster because the lender knows it's depreciating too. They won't be put in the position of having more money loaned out on the house than what it's worth. Make sure you add up that whole payment. It may be a better deal to buy the house.
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