Post # 1
I live in California. Houses are crazy expensive. We’re not going to be able to afford a home in the city we live in, much less our dream city.
Me and FI have been toying with the idea of living in a mobile home.
The issues I have are:
FI’s family judging us
Well, that’s actually it. Locally, in the $20k range, I can get a unit with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, nice carpeting, tile, new fixtures in a good school district. If we went smaller (2 bedroom or 1 bathroom or both) the price drops to 10k-15k. Everything we look at was built in the 90’s or earlier. We could save for a year or two and own it outright, or get a loan when we have our car and credit card payed off in the next year (yay double payments!)
Fi’s totally fine with it, his grandparents lived in one very close to the beach, and that is our dream one day: to have a place by the ocean. I don’t know too much abotu mobile homes-but they’re mobile, so we could pay someone to move it when we were ready to move out of our city and to a coastal one.
The only issue? Judging.
I know it’s the right thing for us as a young family, and as someone who wants to live in an expensive city but could never afford a 3/2 traditional home. But man, do I feel the sting of public opinion
If you own/live in a mobile home: tell me about it! The good, the bad, the ugly. What would you wish you had known before moving into one.
Post # 3
Unless they’re paying your bills, what’s a little judging??? My friend has one and it’s really nice! She just put in granite counter tops. Buy what you can afford and what you’re comfortable with.
Post # 4
How’s the resale market? That would be my main concern if you decided to save up for a stationary house, would you be able to sell the mobile home?
I don’t have one but my grand mum had a double wide modular house in Florida and she was only able to easily sell it because it was in a very desirable elderly community. She had friends who also had mobile homes and they rented the land their homes were on. When it came time for them to sell their home was worth less than the land they were on.
Post # 5
@MissFireFlower: we live in a manufactured home that my sister owns and it is in a gated park and i totally understand the sting of public opinion. it seems like no matter how nice the area or the house is eeryone will still be like “eww you live in a trailer in a trailer park”. but ya know what… who is laughing now when they cant do anything for fear of morgage and all we have is (really low) space rent and all teh mmenities our frineds have to PAY FOR right here where we live!
mobile homes in this day and age really are just pre made houses. a lot of the time i prefer a manufactured because i like the layouts more and you typically get a lot my sq footage for your money.
if you find a place you love go for it. people can judge all they like but you will have the final laugh when the are super jelous because you have a super amazing house for less than they would pay for morgage in a year.
Post # 6
DH’s family home is a double-wide modular on a full basemant foundation. I hate that house. The kitchen is like teeny dungeon. But most of my issues tend to stem from it being a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single level home with one living room and usually when I’m there, there are 12 adults and four children and six dogs there too. That’s less of the house’s fault and more an issue of everyone cramming into one house for days at a time. Like PP though, I would worry about the resell value if that’s important to you. Their house is 25 years old and they’ve done remodel work but it is run down. The plumbing is loud and leaks like crazy. The windows are drafty. The bathrooms need new tubs, showers, sinks and vanities. It’s fine for his dad to live in but if he were ever to try and sell, he’d be in trouble.
So I guess I would tread carefully unless you are quite certain that you never want to buy a different place. What DH’s family found with the pre-fab houses is that they’re often built with the lowest quality supplies so problems start cropping up after a few years. All houses need work at some point, but I can say my parents’ 20-year old traditional house has needed far less work than their’s.
If you find one you love and you’re positive you won’t ever want to sell it and you can confirm that you’re happy with the materials used to build it, then I would go for it.
Post # 7
@MissFireFlower: I would never ever ever ever EVER get a mobile home. But, I live in tornado alley. 😀
So long as your mobile home is relatively earthquake safe, I say go for it. There are plenty of nice options (much more so than in times past) and you can always make additions to the design to suit you and your fi.
I would like to throw out that shipping container homes make me drool, and they are generally less expensive (though it might not be less expensive than your 20k option). You can buy a container used for anywhere from 3k to 5k. 3 containers would make a very comfy home. Then you just cut out and add in some windows, frame up the interior and add insulation, then have a pro install your plumbing and electric. They are sturdier than most mobile homes, because they are preframed steel. 🙂 Check these bad boys out!
Meka World: Contain Yourself
I LVOE THEM! What were we talking about again?
PS- the DIY options with these are insane. If I ever get some money and some land, I intend to build one of these bad boys myself (after someone else pours the foundation, digs a well, and sets up geothermal heating and HVAC. :D)
Post # 8
@MissFireFlower: You’d be surprised; I feel that there was a connotation with mobile homes until I found out one of my co-workers was in one. It is super nice and comfortable. The area that she’s in isn’t bad at all. I think you just have to be congnisant of the area that you are setting up house in. Let them judge all they want… you won’t be in huge debt!
Post # 9
@MissFireFlower: My FI and I have tossed this idea around alot recently.. and honestly we’re both for the idea. My only problem with it is my parents and friends will judge us. I’ve heard way too many times from my dad about “trailer park trash” and my friends have already insulted the fact that we have kids while living in an appartment. Judgement has never really bothered me until I had kids. Its wierd but im a little hesitant because of that.
Post # 11
I would never, ever. I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for.” PP mentions of leaky plumbing and drafty windows is kind of how I also envision them. I am not in an area where you see them very often so my experience is extremely limited.
Post # 10
I tend to agree that a lot of the new manufactured homes are adorable and many of the coastal commmunities in California have them right on the water which otherwise would cost an arm and a leg. However, some things to consider would be:
1) Your mobile home will likely not appreciate in value. Generally speaking, your regular home will appreciate in value over an extended period of time.
2) They’re usually a land-lease, which means you don’t own the land it’s sitting on. If you look at a lot of manufactured home listings, they sound ridiculously cheap, but then you have to pay to lease/rent the land, and that can be up to a few thousand dollars a month, depending on where you are (e.g. the exclusive beach community).
3) It’s not really like you can move the home either (vs an RV). So there are horror stories online of people losing their homes because the land owner sold the land that the mobile home sits on, but the mobile home isn’t all that mobile that they can move it (or it’s very cost prohibitive).
Overall, it could be better than renting in that you may still get a tax writeup and you don’t have to share walls or be subject to rental regulations (e.g. painting your walls). However, the mobile park itself will still have a management team and regulations that you will be subject to.
Post # 12
I wouldn’t want one around here. I guess the ones I’ve been in have always felt really cramped so I probably wouldn’t want one if I had kids. If I was really interesting in traveling that much I’d just get an RV. Those shipping container homes are really neat!
I’m sure a lot of the judging comes because often times they aren’t in the “nice” parts of town. So judgement can come if you even live in a house in one of those areas as well.
Post # 13
I think, living in CA (especially in a coastal location like what you are dreaming of) my concern would be flooding and earthquakes…and the fact that a mobile home is not constructed as well or as attached to a foundation as a traditional home.
Also, where do you live where there is both really really expensive housing AND open land to put a trailer on? I would think the two would not match up (where I live in the Bay Area, for example, is crazy expensive but trailers aren’t up to code/allowed…even if you could find land (which you can’t)
Post # 14
If we purchased a mobile home, it would be in a park. There are tons in the bay area, I have family that lives in a park in Hayward. The thing is, we’d be living 30-45 minutes away, but that’s loads closer then now!
Here, there are only 2 parks that allow children AND are in a good area. Our home won’t grow in value-even if we upgrade it. I think the best we can hope for is for it to stay the same. That’s a trade off, though. With space rentals here being about $250/mo, we could easily buy a home for what we would spend on a down payment and have LOTS of extra cash left over.
Post # 15
@MissFireFlower: I live in a mobile home….I LOVE IT! My dad at first was like oh hell no. no just no. not going to happen. never. no. It is perfect in my eyes. We have a two bedroom, two bath, two living room and one large huge kitchen! We rent but I totally would buy if I found the right location.
Post # 16
I wouldn’t choose to live in one, but only because of the crappy resale value they have (even if they’re maintained and still super nice!). The other reason we chose not to buy a mobile home/land is because we could afford a 3×2 home that is cheaper than paying rent where we live (this really only applies where we live because the market is definitely a buyers’ market right now). We considered buying a mobile home, but ended up purchasing a house because it was actually more affordable that way. Our house (once fixed up and with upgrades that we are working on now) will be worth a good 30-40k more than we bought it for.
ETA: Don’t let fear of judgment stop you from doing something that is better for your situation.