A used mobile home is an excellent way to safe money on your first home purchase. Mobile homes are already more affordable than traditional stick-built houses, and they can be even less expensive on the used market. These tips can help you get the most out of a "new" used mobile home purchase.
A major worry for many mobile home owners is depreciation. Purchasing a used mobile home can help you prevent depreciation woes in two ways:
The depreciation has already occurred by the time you purchase the home secondhand. There shouldn't be much more loss of value going further.
You can actually make the home appreciate in value by parking it on your own land. Mobile homes that come with land are worth more and tend to appreciate at normal market rates. When saving money by purchasing a used home, you free up more cash so you can place it on purchased land instead of a rented lot.
Building codes have changed over the years, which means some used mobile homes may not be up to current code, or they may even be dangerous. Common issues in older mobile homes are aluminum wiring, poor insulation, weak wall construction, and plumbing issues.
If you're paying cash, it's up to you to ferret out any problems in the home before purchase. The cost of bringing things up to code must be figured into the purchase price – don't be afraid to walk away if the seller won't work with you.
Many used mobile homes need repairs, but fortunately these often cost less than the same repairs on a traditional home. Often, you can even perform the repairs yourself. Common issues on older homes include:
Roof leaks that may require a necessary replacement.
Wavy or out-of-square walls from uneven settling.
Spongy floorboards from moisture trapped beneath the home.
If you notice signs of these problems, such as spongy floors or water spots on the ceiling, check for rotten boards or mold. If you find these, the problem has been going on for awhile and repair may be difficult. If the problems haven't resulted in mold and rot, a firm foundation paired with prompt repairs will fix the problems so they don't return.
It can be well worth it to hire an inspector to help you check out mobile homes for sale, even you plan to pay cash and won't be using any financing. This way you are assured that the home you are purchasing is in good condition and will provide a cozy roof over your head for years to come.