We discussed homes for sale in our last post, but now we want to narrow our focus to a particular niche and discuss mobile homes for sale. For various reasons, a majority of home buyers do not consider looking at mobile homes during their search. Although not for everybody, buyers should at least know a little bit about mobile homes before completely writing them off. In this post, we will discuss the three types of prefabricated homes, where you can find mobile homes for sale, and some pros and cons to buying a mobile home.
Types of prefabricated homes
Mobile homes are manufactured homes that were constructed prior to June 1976, which is the month that The Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (also known as the HUD code) went into effect. These homes are prefabricated in factories before being transported to a location where it will be left, either temporarily or permanently. They can either reside on private land or inside of a mobile home park. The mobile home was derived from the travel trailer, which was a small structure with permanently attached wheels. Today’s mobile homes are built with steel I-beams underneath the home that are used for stability when the home is placed in its location.
A manufactured home is a prefabricated home that was built after June 1976. The Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards defines what constitutes a manufactured home. These homes, especially newer ones, are normally built to high standards and can sometimes look very similar to a classic single family home. In order to be considered a manufactured home, the structure must meet the following requirements:
– Be transportable as a whole unit or in sections
– Be 320 or more square feet in size
– Be built on a permanent chassis that can be placed with or without a permanent foundation
– Contain the necessary plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems
Modular homes are a third type of prefabricated homes that are built in factories as well. These homes are built in sections and then put together at its destination by a crane. Unlike mobile and manufactured homes, modular homes do not have axles and must be transported to their location by a flat-bed truck or other similar means. Another difference is that the modular home must meet all of the building codes for the city or county where they will be placed. While very similar to your typical single family home, costs and construction time are reduced greatly due to the efficient manufacturing process used to build them.
Finding mobile homes for sale
If you are interested in purchasing a mobile home, there are two methods you can explore; buying a pre-owned home or a new build. If you are looking for a pre-owned unit, the process is much like looking for a standard single family home. Most, if not all of the residential real estate websites offer filters where you can search for mobile homes for sale. For a quick overview of a few of these sites, you can read Homes for Sale in Ventura County, Part 1. There are also websites that are dedicated solely to mobile homes for sale. A couple of these websites are MHVillage and MHBay.com
If you are looking for new mobile homes for sale, there are mobile home dealerships that can assist you in your purchase. Most dealerships allow you to choose from either pre-built new models or homes that can be customized and built just for you. Two dealerships with showrooms located in Ventura County are Macy Homes Inc. and Anacapa homes
Advantages of buying a mobile home
There can be some advantages to looking for mobile homes for sale over buying a single family home. While the pros and cons can vary depending on whether you are considering living in a mobile home park or on private land, below are some of the advantages that you may gain if you are considering looking at mobile homes for sale:
– Affordability: mobile homes cost much less on average than single family homes
– Customizable: you have the ability to purchase and customize a home that will be built just for you
– Speed of construction: if you buy a custom built home, it will be built much faster than a new construction single family home
– Environmentally friendly: due to the manufacturing process, most mobile homes are built using much less waste than traditional homes
– Communities: if you are looking for mobile homes for sale in a park, you can find different communities (senior, family orientated, etc.) that fit your criteria
Disadvantages to buying a mobile home
Just like most things in life, there is a flip side to every scenario. While there can be advantages to buying a mobile home, there are also certain disadvantages. Below is a list of a few things that you should consider before deciding to look for mobile homes for sale:
– Appreciation: Most mobile homes do not appreciate very much and do so very slowly, especially if located in a mobile home park. There is also a chance that they will depreciate, which varies depending on the quality of construction and where it is located.
– Selling: Mobile homes for sale often stay on the market longer as it is more difficult to find buyers than for a traditional home.
– Park owners: If you buy a mobile home in a park, you will be under the guidelines of the park owner. Even if you do your due diligence and find a good park owner, he/she can always sell the park at any point and you run the risk of it being bought by a horrible owner.
– Trailer park mentality: Last but not least, there is a stigma associated with living in a mobile home. While it can be completely unfounded, most people will automatically think negatively when you tell them that you live in a mobile home, no matter how nice it actually is. While you may or may not care what other people think, at least be aware of the negative opinions that are out there.
We hope that you learned something new about prefabricated homes from this post. There will always be different opinions on whether purchasing this type of home is a “good idea” or not, but at the end of the day, it will come down to your personal situation and your housing needs. If you are on the fence regarding mobile homes, you can always consider taking a couple of hours to visit a dealership and looking at the various mobile homes for sale that they offer.