Mobile homes have a negative reputation: low-quality, ugly, cookie-cutter structures that are nobody’s first choice for a residence. But this reputation is gradually being revised as the quality of mobile homes has improved and the variety of choices has increased exponentially. Today, it’s not surprising to find that many people are seeking mobile homes because they WANT to live in a mobile home, not because they have to live in one. If you make a smart selection, a mobile home can be a very smart investment.
Here is some advice if you are buying a mobile home for your residence or as a long-term investment in property:
1. Buy new. Mobile homes are being built better and better, so buy the latest model. Quite simply, it will have features lacking in a model that’s even only a few years old.
2. Shop for a bargain. The tough economy has forced manufacturers to offer great deals. You can bargain on price, on delivery, and on the amenities/features of your home.
3. Go for the upgrades. Many people got burned in the last decade by buying unnecessary upgrades in their homes – things like whirlpool tubs, Corian countertops, and three-car garages. It’s different with a mobile home. Don’t be afraid to ask for a complete array of upgrades, from high-quality counters to ultra-efficient windows. You don’t have a huge amount of space, and you will be able to utilize and enjoy each of these upgrades.
4. Size matters. Mobile homes are smaller than traditional homes and most townhouses. But that doesn’t mean that you have to have a closet-sized home. Get the bigger unit. You won’t regret it, and you will reap the financial rewards when you sell it.
5. What’s your warranty? New mobile homes come with warranties. Read the fine print. What’s the length of the warranty? Does it cover the appliances in the home, as well as the structure of the home? Do you have to pay a certain amount towards a repair before the warranty covers the rest?
6. Choose your location carefully. Some mobile home parks are better than others, so do your research. Is the development safe? Has it been established for a while? Can you hear highway noise? Is it in a flood-prone area? Will the owner be likely to keep the property, or is it potentially going to be sold to a developer who will require you to move?
7. Shop for a loan. Some lenders specialize in making mortgage loans for mobile homes. These companies understand the pros and cons of mobile homes, and they typically offer better rates and more flexible terms (10-year or 15-year mortgages, for example).
Buying any home is a pressurized experience. You are making a big, long-term financial commitment. But if you are thinking about buying a mobile home, the steps outlined above will help you get a home that you can be proud to own for many years and that will turn out to be a good investment.