should I make these improvements?

buster_2007February 16, 2008

I welcome your opinion with my dilema;

I own my 1998 double wide Redmond home and the 40 acres it sits upon. My manufactured home is only 800 sq feet and quite small. The rooms are choppy as there are 3 (!) bedrooms, 2 bathroom, no dining room.

Also, I have 4 large dogs (60#). I mention only because of the flooring part of my question.

I would like to make the following improvements at a cost of about $8k. Should I??? I want to, but don't know if it's a smart move. I guess I will remain in the home (ruaral area of AZ) for 15 years or so:

*replace carpet (yucky) with Pergro laminate flooring (about $6k installed)

*add a 6x4 picture window in front wall of house next to slider ($1400 installed)

I have the money, so no loan would be necessary. Do small, average looking homes in a picturesque setting appreciate?

Thank you so much!

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Since manufactured homes don't usually appreciate in value (except in some real estate markets,) and the trend is to houses 2, 3 or more times the size of yours, I don't think you should plan on the home appreciating unless something odd happens in the real estate world. But your 40 acres most likely will, so if thoughts of capital gains are on your mind, that should be a comfort.

But, since you plan to continue to live there for a long time and you seem to think the place worth the improvements, I'd look at the money spent as an investment, an investment in your comfort and happiness. Too many folk look at their house only as a means of increasing their net worth and weigh improvements as to how it will increase the resale value and not how it will increase their enjoyment of it. That has a value of its own that is hard to gauge by Rreal estate appraisers.

A few years before she died, my mother had a bit of renovation work done to her modest home. They didn't necessarily increase the resale value but they brought a lot of happiness and pride. Well worth the investment, I thought.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 6:25PM
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Hi Buster! I agree totally with Wayne. We have renovated our small (1200 sq ft) home so thoroughly that it has virtually become a stick-built house! This includes structural elements as well as floor, kitchen and bathroom remodels. Fortunately, we're able to do the work ourselves, so we haven't had to pay labor costs.

We are also own a large piece of land and plan to stay here at least until we retire. The aesthetic appeal and comfort level of our home is quite important to us. Weighing that against the appreciation/depreciation factor, I feel that the investment in your home is an investment in your quality of life... you can't place a dollar value on that. The land value is where our investment value lies, but should we ever decide to sell, our highly-improved and renovated home will be an asset even though its real estate value isn't comparable to a stick-built home.

That being said, we plan on continuing to invest in our home with a 2-story addition. This will be a separate structure with its own foundation, beams and trusses, but will be unified with the existing house with new siding and brick. (At present, we plan to replace the vinyl with cypress and clad the existing brick with manufactured stone.) Our estimates are that we can do this for around 20K - 30K dollars.

So go ahead - do what you want to do to make you and your dogs comfortable and happy... that's your REAL investment!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 1:10PM
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I agree totally with the others. I've got a modular home I just built on 15 acres. A lot of folks would argue I haven't invested my dollars wisely but this is what I want. I'm isolated but the other properties on my road are smaller single and double wide manaf. homes on much smaller tracts of land (1 to 3 acres). I plan to do what ever I want to this property because I plan on staying here. If I was planning to sell, I would be more concerned with resale, but if you have a plan to stay for an extended time, go ahead and enjoy your improvements. After all, that is why we all go out and work everyday, to enjoy what we have and get!! Good luck!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Not all expenditures need to be justified.
The pleasure you get from a big picture window looking out on your picturesqe surroundings would be immeasureable.
The flooring is a definite yes. I'm doing the same myself.
I hated this carpet for 14 years and it's way overdue.
And if you ever do have to sell, a house with upgrades is an easier sell than those without.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:33AM
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Improvements like flooring are personal prefrence and do not increase the value of a manufactured home or site built home. Manufactured homes are Real Estate in the state of Az. Many people are buying manufactured homes today. They are very well built, some better than site built homes. Make your home a comfy as you want.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:06AM
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buster - I hope you made your improvements and that you come back and post pics. maybe they are on the forum somewhere - I'll look around. If you haven't posted pics yet, maybe you could?
I'm in AZ also (desert) and hope you are enjoying your land and dogs.
I'm on a few acres and will be fixing up a new to me mfg home soon also.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 11:35AM
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absolutely..esp if you are having it done sounds great

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:11PM
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