The experts used to say that buying a mobile home was a bad investment. There was a time when a home built on a foundation was considered to be the best place to put your money. Foundation homes, for many years, grew in value (appreciated) over time—on the average 5%. Mobile homes go down in value (depreciate) over time. That was then. This is now. Things have changed.
Our economy is in a downward turn and it could take years for it to turn back around. Anyone who bought a house three to five years ago and tries to sell that house now will probably have to take less than they paid for it. In the past, those people could have expected to make a healthy profit. Now, they do well just to break even on the sale.
For people who don’t want to throw away their money on rent, owning a mobile home may be just the alternative they are looking for. More and more people are doing just that. There are two ways to own a mobile home.
#1 Buy land and put a mobile home on it.
My dad use to say, “Land is a great investment. After all, they aren’t making any more of it.” They sure aren’t. Land is a non-renewable resource. That simply means, that there is a fixed amount of land, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. There is only so much land to go around, right? Because of the fact that land is a non-renewable resource, it will most likely appreciate in value over time. The house that is built on that land may not appreciate. So, the safest way to invest in real estate and do it with the least amount of investment is to buy land. To make the best use of the land, someone should live on it. A mobile home is a cheap way to own land and live on it. Lenders will loan money to purchase the land with a competitive mortgage rate. Mobile homes financed with a land purchase are a more secure loan for lenders. Banks are just as willing to lend money for land and a mobile home as they are to lend to finance a loan for a home on a foundation. You can get one loan to pay to cover the land and mobile home, or you can get two separate loans—one to pay for the land and another to pay for the mobile home.
#2 Buy just the mobile home .
If you can’t afford land, you can still do better than renting by purchasing a mobile home and parking it in a mobile home community. When you live in a mobile home park, you pay rent on the lot. Lot rental is usually pretty cheap. The two payments added together are still usually cheaper than renting a house or apartment. And, you have the benefit of building ownership. If you live there long enough, the mobile home will eventually be all yours.
What if I don’t live in your mobile home long enough to pay it off?” You can sell the mobile home even if you haven’t paid it off yet, and can sometimes make money on the sale. But a good idea is to try and rent it out. That way, someone else is paying your mobile home payment for you, and you are reaping the benefits of paying down the loan. You may not make out like a bandit if you go with the mobile home, but it is cheaper than renting a house or apartment. And your monthly payments are going towards ownership.