If you’re searching for a manufactured or mobile home to purchase, you may occasionally come across a home listing describing a home as a “repo.” While some may write off a repo mobile home without a second thought, or even disregard repo homes altogether during their home buying journey, repossessed manufactured or mobile homes can actually be a viable source of entry for first time homeowners on a budget.
But first, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of repo mobile homes and understand their pros and cons. Spoiler alert: repossessed homes generally are a good investment for homeowners, particularly those on a budget, but there are a few things you should know first.
What is a Repo Mobile Home?
A repo mobile home is a home that’s been foreclosed and repossessed if the homeowner defaults on their loan payments. These homes are placed back on the market, usually by the financial institution or bank that originated the loan, and are often sold at auction to the highest bidder. If a repo mobile home isn’t sold at auction, it’ll be listed on mobile home selling platforms such as MHVillage.
While some assume repo mobile homes as derelict or in poor condition as a result of being foreclosed, in reality repo mobile homes can be of comparable quality to other mobile homes on the market. Some repossessed mobile homes were previously owned by homeowners who purchased their home when it was brand new, meaning that you may be able to find repo mobile homes on the market that are less than a decade old. And, it’s important to remember that a repo mobile home doesn’t mean that it’s a run-down home, compared to what you may think.
Should I Buy a Repo Mobile Home?
Rather than convince you whether you should or shouldn’t consider purchasing a manufactured home that’s been repossessed, we’ll lay out some of the advantages and disadvantages to going this route.
The most obvious advantage to buying a mobile home that’s been repossessed is cost. Because repo mobile homes are often sold either on auction, or are sold directly from the bank itself, they’re usually priced significantly lower than market value, sometimes for a fraction of the usual cost of a new manufactured home. This makes the home more affordable for first-time homebuyers.
And as we mentioned earlier, some repo mobile homes are newer models, since they were originally purchased as brand new mobile homes. This means that repo mobile homes can be a good source for newer homes in good condition.
Are There Any Downsides to a Repo?
Because a repossessed mobile home is often managed by a bank or other financial institution as opposed to an individual home seller, there may be less information available on the home, such as the condition of the interior or exterior, amenities, or other features of the home. As a result, repo mobile homes are often sold “as-is” since the condition of the home cannot be verified prior to the sale.
In these cases, you’ll want the house inspected by a third party to properly assess the home’s true condition. This ranges from ensuring whether any appliances come with the repo home, checking for any structural damage, and verifying the condition of the inner workings of the home, such as plumbing and electrical wiring. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending the money you saved on your home purchase on expensive home repairs within a few years of moving into your home.
It’s also worth noting that repossessed mobile homes, because of their lower asking price, tend to sell much more quickly than manufactured or mobile homes that are not repossessed. The increased amount of competition among prospective homebuyers, not to mention competition against investors looking to flip the home for profit, means that if you’re interested in purchasing a specific repo mobile home you have your eye on, you better move fast.
Finally, while it’s not a downside per se, buying a repo mobile home will often require a good credit score and credit history to get approved for financing. This is the case for virtually any manufactured home purchase, but holds especially true for repo mobile homes.
What If I’m Interested in Buying a Repossessed Mobile Home?
If you’re interested in browsing for repossessed manufactured homes, MHVillage allows users to filter their home search based on multiple criteria, including whether a home has been repossessed or foreclosed. When searching for mobile homes with MHVillage, simply click on the “Only Repossessions/Foreclosures” box to filter for those results. You can even combine your filters if you’re looking for recently listed homes, park models, or listings that contain photos, among other criteria.
No matter what you’re looking for in a manufactured home, a repossessed or manufactured mobile home can be the perfect match for a prospective homeowner.