If a traditional home is not within your budget, modern mobile homes might be a possible option, providing more space and amenities for less.
While today’s models look more like traditional homes than ever before, buying a mobile home is significantly different than purchasing a house. Here’s what you need to know.
Home size. Single-wide mobile homes are the standard, most affordable type of manufactured home. They are somewhat narrow and generally longer than a traditional home. If you plan on moving your home, a single-wide is your best bet. It’s easier and less expensive to relocate. Double-wide mobile homes comes as two prefabricated pieces that are connected on site. If you need even more space, triple-wide or multi-section manufactured homes are also available. These can have four or more bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Design and amenities. Once you’ve selected your layout, it’s time to customize your design and amenities. Surprisingly, mobile homes offer many of the same upgrades as traditional homes, including garden tubs, cathedral ceilings, and walk-in closets.
Find a location for your home. After purchasing a mobile home, you’ll need a place to put it. There are three basic options: purchasing land, leasing a spot in an established community, or buying an existing mobile home and property together. Mobile home communities tend to be more common in suburban and urban areas. Rural areas are more likely to have land available for purchase or existing mobile homes sold as a unit with the land.
Paying for your home. Purchasing a mobile home is a little different than financing a traditional home. Most large, private lenders will not finance a new singlewide mobile home. If you cannot afford to purchase the home outright, try to get financing through the manufacturer. Some people have luck with a credit union. For larger homes, you may be able to get conventional financing. Many lending institutions won’t finance a loan for a mobile home that is older than 15 years. If you’re going with a government loan, your mobile home must not have been moved from a site and set up again. This type of loan also requires a foundation inspection by an engineer. Conventional loans generally have a minimum down payment of 5 percent, while some government loans require no down payment. Keep in mind, your total cost may be less, but your interest may be higher than that of a traditional home mortgage. Look around to find the best loan.
Other considerations. Once you’ve purchased your property, you need to protect it with mobile-home insurance. These policies protect homes against damage from fire or natural disasters, similar to regular homeowners’ insurance. When shopping around for insurance, make sure that your policy covers not just the mobile home, but also its contents and the property.