Buying a Mobile Home: The Pros and Cons of Living in a Mobile Home

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Living in a mobile home community nice homes
Photo courtesy of Sun Communities.

The ideal home is one that’s efficient, comfortable to live in and affordable. One oft-overlooked but surprisingly viable option is living in a mobile home. This type of home is a prefabricated structure built in a factory that is transported to a piece of land. This makes it an affordable, flexible dwelling for many families and individuals.

The Pros: Affordable, High-Quality and Eco-Friendly

Living in a mobile home MHE model home

Cost: Save Money By Going Mobile

One advantage of buying a mobile home is that it costs quite a bit less per square foot than a stick-built home. To see what we mean, just take a look at some of the mobile homes for sale on our site. Cost varies widely depending on your location and the model you choose. Still, mobile homes typically cost less than traditional houses. In 2018, the average price for a new single-wide mobile home was $51,371, while the median price for homes and condos was $255,000. Because building costs are lower, you can get more amenities for less money.

Flexibility: Own or Rent Your Home

Mobile homes can be purchased or rented, making them a good option for a wide range of people. Are you moving to a mobile home from an apartment? You’ll appreciate your own yard and parking space as well as the freedom of not sharing walls with your neighbors. Renters can get all of this without the commitment or cost of a mortgage. Those who prefer to own their own home can purchase a mobile home. And, since the up-front price is lower, the down payment and mortgage will be lower as well.

Speed: Build Your Home Quickly

Once you decide you want a brand-new site-built home, it can be years before you actually move in. The process of purchasing land, selecting a builder, designing the interior and then constructing the home — which itself can take more than eight months — is quite long in comparison with the process of living in a mobile home, which can be complete within a month, even for a new home.

Quality: Consistent Quality is Key

Manufactured and mobile homes have the unique benefit of being mass-produced in a quality-controlled environment. This means all materials are selected and tested to work in a large group of homes. The factory eliminates common issues associated with site-built construction. Since more people can afford nicer, newer mobile homes than traditional homes, they tend to have more amenities and luxuries than the alternative.

Fun: You’ll Enjoy a Built-In Community

Mobile home communities often cater to retirees, travelers and young families on a budget. So they’re a great place to settle into a neighborly community. Social interactions and events are popular in most parks, while community pools, playgrounds, picnic areas and walking trails are common, too. Browse mobile home parks as part of your search so you find a place that appeals to you.

Eco-Friendly: Mobile Homes are More Sustainable

If your goal is to select a highly efficient, green home that doesn’t contribute to carbon emissions and other environmental issues, living in a mobile home or manufactured home is a great choice. Most are made with environmentally sound practices that create less waste and use less water and energy to construct. Newer models also are extremely efficient. So, you’ll save money and energy when it comes to heating and cooling.

Living in a mobile home living room with fireplace

The Cons: Renting Land and Space Considerations

Don’t Procrastinate: You’ll Wish You Moved in Sooner

The biggest con of living in a mobile home is that, due to mischaracterizations and misconceptions, it often takes people some time to actually consider it as a serious option. Once you move into your new mobile or manufactured home, you’ll wish you had much sooner!

Beloved Pets: Large, Four-Legged Friends May Be Unwelcome

Most manufactured home communities welcome four-legged friends. However, if you have more than a couple of pets, or own breeds that are considered large, dangerous or exotic, you may find that there are restrictions or fees.

Elevation: Single Level is the Norm When Living in a Mobile Home

Manufactured homes in communities, with occasional exceptions, are designed as single-level residences. So, if you’re the type of person who enjoys a multi-story home with a lot of square footage or a basement, this may not be the right style of home for you.

Locality: Think Suburban, Not Urban

You will find that many manufactured home communities are built in areas where land is more abundant. Think the edges of towns or suburbs, not downtown. While that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be plenty of amenities nearby, if you’re the type of person who likes to walk to work or likes nightlife, you might want to take that into consideration.

Minimize: Less is More

Manufactured homes are all about efficient use of space. You’ll find that philosophy extends to the outside of the home as well. While having a yard to call your own is a great advantage of living in a manufactured home community, keep in mind that your outdoor living space may be limited. So if you also own an RV or camper, look for a manufactured home community that offers on-site storage for these types of items.

All Housing Has Pros and Cons

Manufactured homes and manufactured housing communities provide a fantastic array of choices for a variety of lifestyle preferences. The key is to consider all the potential so that you find a place to live that’s perfect for you. At MHVillage, we can help you with that every step of the way.