Why are people in mobiles so resistant to putting $ into them?

madeynaMarch 23, 2013

I have a freind that is getting ready to retire and to do it she is going to have to get out from under her huge house payment and buy a mobile. We have found it shocking that every one we have looked at has had either no updating at all or cheap bandaids put on in instead of any real updating. My mom bought a double wide mobile and had a really nice kitchen put in real, wood flooring and had the whole thing sheetrocked. My brother did the same and added siding when his wife became disabled and it was obvious they were no longer going to be able to afford their dream home. They are both really happy with thier homes and they don,t look cheap and dated like the homes I have been looking at with Mary. Is it the age thing ? Are older people happier with things as is and cheap fixs or is a mind set of mobiles being a cheap temperary home? My moms been in hers for since 72 and is very happy with it. I just find it shocking how many mobile out there have never had any guality updating.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Unless you put the home on a permanent foundation a manufactured jome will only go down in value over time. That is a big disincentive to making improvements.

But look at it like this: Mary can pay a lot less for her home, and use the money she has left over because she got a cheap run down place to put in the improvements she wants, in the colors and finishes she wants. She can have it exactly the way she wants it. She needs to stop looking at the worn out carpet and oogly vinyl coated wallboard and start asking about things like how much insulation it has, if the windows are doublepaned glass, and how old the furnace, water heater, and roof are.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It may simply be a question of money. Last August I sold my two story house and bought a manufactured home on a permanent foundation in an over-55 community. It was a lot cheaper than a stick-built house and all on one level. Since moving in I replaced the rusted electric water heater with a propane-powered tankless water heater, and replaced the dated white kitchen appliances with stainless steel. I'm especially fond of the duel-fuel range. Tomorrow the stained white carpet is being replaced with laminate flooring, I'd love to redo the bathrooms but I'm running out of money.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I understand the no resale value of a mobile but would have thought more people would have wanted to update just for thier own pleasure. On the other hand its really eye opening how really cheap crappy pressboard cabnets can hold up so well. They are super ugly but we,ve seen cabs from the 70 still going strong. Space is a premium so she will buy the first one in the right spot with enough yard to play with then add all new flooring and gut the kitchen and bath. You can get good shaped mobiles here for free but they must be moved and its almost impossible to find a place to put one. There are some stunning newer ones but thier out of town on land and she doen,t need a signifgant amount of land to maintain .

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 1:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What price range are you looking in?

I have seen some older MH's that are downright gorgeous. But all of them are on a permanent foundation. One DW on a permanent foundation on 2 acres of land here in Vermont sold a couple years ago for just over $200,000.

But we must be real sometimes. Many times the owners are indeed older and that 70s cabinetry works just fine, so why change it? Not everyone has the funds to update on a regular basis. Maybe just meeting the lot fees are all they can do.

Then there are homes in upscale parks where they are very well kept and maintained. But you'll pay more for them.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 7:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

She was looking in the 60,000 range but ditched that when we discovered it was difficult to find one in a location she likes. Thats when we started looking at older homes . They seem to have the best spaces. She has health problems that put her in a wheel chair part of the time so has particular needs. With housing prices dumping the way they are she might be able to buy a small single story house instead. But if she does that she,s going to get taxed higher and was really looking forward to living in a adult community for companionship.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Location, location, location. You can find older homes for sale in parks where I live for half that. No park amenities, though, and we have Winter, being in Michigan. We choose to live in a park rather than on our own land for community as well, so we understand that preference.

Have you used Mh village to assist you in your search?

Here is a link that might be useful: MHVillage

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our MH is in an over-55 snowbird cooperative on water in Florida, so they're the only MH population I'm familiar with.

Just a short time ago, almost no one was there year-round, now more seem to be. Our neighbors to the left are making extensive changes of the sort you imagine, new everything inside and out, house-grade finishes, new kitchen, etc. The ones across the road are just doing a cosmetic fixup for their own pleasure, but they won't be there full time.

And, let's face it, MHs will not give the best return for investment, which is best kept quite modest if that's a consideration. For most, I'm guessing it's a big one. The most common significant upgrade here seems to be to house-grade insulated windows -- for comfort.

Other than that, only speculation, but, as already suggested elsewhere, our over-55ers are people who've fussed over homes elsewhere already or still are, putting lots of money, and energy and caring into those. As in been there/done that? A lot of our retired people probably just aren't interested in having to worry about things so much. And if you put money in them, you start caring, right?

There is the checkbook issue, of course. Many of our snowbirds have means and could invest, while others are likely on pretty fixed budgets. It'll be interesting to see what those who actually do downsize to a MH in Florida will do in future; I'm guessing some genuine gussying up for some.

For us, and this doesn't apply to a lot of people, of course, but, although we're considering someday moving down there full time, we won't invest much in a MH that could be carried off in a bad storm. If the whole park were badly affected, owners might just choose to sell the land to a hotel developer, and the MH value would be virtually nil. The average value of the old MHs in our park is probably about $2k. :) Very tidily maintained, beautiful views, but most haven't been to code for a long time, and no one's trying to impress anyone. Since we're in a SPLOSH 1 zone (baby hurricane would swamp us) on a coast, this is more real to us than to many, but I sort of suspect MHs' particular vulnerability to serious damage might at least be a factor in the back of some minds. Our best furniture would go to our kids, not with us.

Our park might strike you as far from the sort of situation you're asking about, but it is a population with at least some money who are investing very little of it in the MHs they live in several months a year, even though buying in required a larger investment for the land initially.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 6:12PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Just bought double wide office trailer
Greetings All, I just bought a doublewide office trailer...
Considering an older (1972) mobile home - what do I need to know?
Hi all, I'm just beginning to look for a nice little...
Where to get Homeowners Insurance??
We are in the process of purchasing a vacation property...
Do You Love Your Mobile Home?
Hi there. I have read the posts on this forum with...
Marlett 1997
I have a Marlett as a rental in Idaho. I haven't had...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™