Your COVID-19 Questions: Can I Still Buy a Mobile Home?

Mobile homes in Florida

MHVillage strongly encourages readers to follow guidelines provided by local, state, and national authorities (including the CDC) regarding COVID-19 safety procedures.

Under normal circumstances, it’s difficult to predict what the future holds. With the world in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can feel hard to imagine what tomorrow will bring.

This new reality is especially challenging to individuals and families considering a move to a new home this spring, which is traditionally the most active house-hunting season of the year.

So, if you find yourself wondering if you can buy a mobile home in these circumstances or are unsure of your next step, consider the following information.

Regardless of the pandemic, life events dictate house hunting.

While so much of our lives have assumed a holding pattern, and rightly so, some of the key reasons people move continue to play out.

Buy a mobile homeMaybe someone accepted a new “essential worker” job three months ago and must soon begin it. Perhaps you have recently separated or divorced and need to move. An empty nester could be caught halfway between downsizing, having sold their former, larger home but still searching for a new, smaller place.

The reasons are many but come back to the same thing: looking for a new home is not an extravagance for many. It’s an absolute necessity.

The government currently dictates the rules of the game.

That is to say, elected officials’ access to leading health experts gives them the best insight into the fight against COVID-19, and it’s that insight that dictates the rules of the game. That access dictates policy which states who can and cannot be out and about and which businesses are considered essential.

Make sure you understand what local, state, and national policies enable you to do before heading out. Also, state agencies that process title applications for mobile homes may be operating on reduced hours, by appointment only, or could be closed temporarily due to COVID-19 activity in that state.

Some states consider residential home construction an essential service.

At the time of this writing, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) listed the following states as having declared residential home construction essential: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

If you don’t see your state in that list, it does not mean that housing is not an essential service in your state — only that a formal declaration might not yet exist. Check with your state’s manufactured housing association or your state representative for guidance.

The pandemic unleashed a ripple effect we may feel for years.

The best way to keep your head above water around big waves? Don’t panic, don’t exhaust yourself fighting larger forces, and consider riding the waves if they’re moving in a positive direction for your individual needs.

For example, it’s a safe bet that lower rates and competitive mobile home prices await buyers willing to step into a chattel loan or mortgage commitment before the economy’s inevitable upswing.

Mobile homes for saleThere’s a new normal right now.

Spending an entire Sunday going from one open house to the next? Right now, forget about it. If you want to winnow down your mobile home options, understand that the percentage of homes on the market with virtual tours will only increase.

In fact, we recently made changes to to help home buyers explore homes online. Because many states have issued “stay at home” orders, we are temporarily making virtual tours free for all homes listed on MHVillage. And we rolled out our new virtual open house option for listings. These two changes make it easy to tour homes that interest you without leaving your house.

Many communities and retailers also are adapting to current market conditions. Using video streaming services like FaceTime, YouTube or Facebook, they are able to give interested buyers a “virtual open house” video tour of the property and answer questions live.

Such innovative use of technology can help you decide which listing, floor plan, or community is right for you. By the time that stage of your house-hunting efforts is complete, we may know more about when current social distancing restrictions will be lifted.

MHVillage is Your Resource

According to a study conducted by MHVillage last week, 72.5% of consumers surveyed said they are still looking to buy or rent a mobile home in spite of recent events. That means many people are still looking for a new home, spurred on by some of the reasons mentioned above.

If you’re among them, understand that you can still look for and buy a mobile home thanks to virtual tours, electronic document signing, and other technology. Just follow common-sense precautions, adhere to social distancing recommendations and follow the guidance of federal, state and local governments.

To help, continue returning to MHVillage to not only look for mobile homes but to keep up with some of the latest manufactured housing tips as they relate to COVID-19, safety, and market activity.

Above all else, keep washing those hands!