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Old 04-21-2014, 11:05 PM   #21
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. I am sure the condos would have more cachet, but I am not sure the cachet is worth an extra few hundred thousand dollars,
This is exactly why I decided to live in a manufactured home. I've never been one to keep up with the Jones so the cache thing doesn't sway me. For the price of one of these it doesn't matter if they depreciate "like a car". You save all along the way on what it costs to by one you make back the costs indifference between a manufactured house and a "normal dwelling" after a while. And at 55 I wasn't looking for any long term capital gains. I am assessing my living arrangements in 10 year increments these days. (Unless I die sooner)
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:52 PM   #22
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Where was this? it sounds interesting.
The condos were in downtown Benicia on waterfront. There is a senior mobile home park behind a wall across the street.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:07 AM   #23
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This is exactly why I decided to live in a manufactured home. I've never been one to keep up with the Jones so the cache thing doesn't sway me. For the price of one of these it doesn't matter if they depreciate "like a car". You save all along the way on what it costs to by one you make back the costs indifference between a manufactured house and a "normal dwelling" after a while. And at 55 I wasn't looking for any long term capital gains. I am assessing my living arrangements in 10 year increments these days. (Unless I die sooner)
Manufactured houses certainly seem to make a lot of financial sense. Do you live in a park or have your own land?
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:58 AM   #24
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Palm Harbor builds mobile and modular homes and are considered top of the line. I bought one 10 years ago (Florida) and the depreciation is not as bad as I thought it would be. Extra insulation (at a price), vaulted ceilings, pick your own finishes, open floor plans make this a great home. I live in the country on 5 acres and it keeps the property taxes very low. I'm very happy with mine.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:29 AM   #25
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The folks across the way from me have a modular on a walkout basement foundation. You wouldn't know it was a modular unless you were told. It is about 24x36, nicely appointed with a nice lower level family room in front and a garage in back. They use it as a summer cabin.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:39 AM   #26
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I was in a modular home years ago back in Connecticut. I can't remember the builder, but you would never know the difference vs stick built, except I would say a good modular built home is probably more precisely built being built in a factory with the completed modules then assembled on the job site.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:38 AM   #27
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My husband is an architect, he would never recommend the purchase of a mobile home - new or otherwise - unless you can afford to loose all your investment.

Buy a modular home and put it on land you own. Modular homes are constructed to comply with stick-built code.

Mobile homes are not the same quality, they depreciate in value. Mobile home parks are subject to re-development and it is difficult to find another park that will accept an older mobile home.
+1 We owned a 12X60 2-bedroom mobile home (vacation home) on a rented lakefront lot in a mobile home park over 20 years ago. It was old (+20yrs) when we bought it, but it was always used as a vacation home, and in excellent condition. We sold it for what we had in it after 5 years because we heard the park was being sold. Many of the mobile homes in the park were year round residents, and not all of them were properly taken care of (they do deteriorate over time) and were forced out of the park. The park was sold and it has gone downhill since (but the lot rents went up - skyrocketed). Not sure about today, but mobile home park rental residents didn't have the same rights as renters in apartments or homes (and a state by state issue). I knew of some parks that would not allow homes to be re-sold and stay in their park due to age alone. They could also force you to remove a trailer (their call), and steep rent increases could put one in a bind if on fixed income. It would be wise to investigate park/state rules and regulations where you are considering living before investing in a mobile home in a park scenario.

Modular homes are also built by some of the same people building mobile homes. Quality can very greatly. I would question a modular home's ability to hold value unless it's on your own property, and built by a reputable modular home builder.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:11 AM   #28
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I have a 3,000 sq ft Modular. It was brought to the site on a bunch of trucks, hoisted by crane and finished by a local company that mainly does mobile homes. Problems:
1) Factory quality control was poor. Lots of sloppy work.
2) When caught with variances from plans, they fought or ignored.
3) Took years and dragging an attorney in to get anywhere.
4) Eventually gave up.
5) Not the fault of manufacturer or GC but many insurance companies will not write home insurance on Modular. And I mean big names.
6) When home was appraised for lending purposes, appraiser says he knocks 10% to 15% off if it is a modular.
7) Home energy audit by independent company showed our home to be only 70% efficient as most homes built today. We thought it would be at least 100%.

If you want to go modular, I would want to inspect each box in the factory before they wrap it up. I would hire some professional home inspector to fully inspect in the factory and again onsite. I would want some major retention until you were happy. I would not deal with a company that did any mobile homes. I would want the home manufacturer and the onsite to be one and the same.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:55 AM   #29
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Manufactured houses certainly seem to make a lot of financial sense. Do you live in a park or have your own land?
After spending 20 yrs of my adult life living out of a suitcase I don't feel comfortable owning anything big, expensive, immobile, or not disposable. My house is in a trailer park.

I moved here 2 yrs ago from another trailer park. The difference between my previous apartment rent and the lot rent at the park paid for the house in 5 or 6 yrs. After that the lot rent, at 1/2 the price of apartment rent was just compounded savings. Then when I sold it I still got something for it and it was a pretty old unit by then.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:15 AM   #30
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This past year I have seen more than one small/tiny sturdy looking brick home more than 50 years old for sale nearby, for $75K-$79K. These are homes ranging from 400-800 square feet in size, on lots only about 50'x50'. Most of our lots are 50'x100', but on the street I am thinking of, they are smaller and so are the homes.

The older I get, the fewer square feet I feel I need or want and I sure don't want a big yard to care for.

To me these are even more appealing than manufactured homes because I feel like they might do better during the severe storms and heavy wind events that we have here sometimes. I could be wrong about that, and I probably am! But that is my perception since they have survived 50 years here already. Sturdiness during severe weather conditions is a big selling point for me when buying a home.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:18 AM   #31
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To me these are even more appealing than manufactured homes because I feel like they might do better during the severe storms and heavy wind events that we have here sometimes. I could be wrong about that, and I probably am! But that is my perception since they have survived 50 years here already. Sturdiness during severe weather conditions is a big selling point for me when buying a home.
Every time there is a hurricane or tornado the TV is full of images of mobile homes scattered al over the countryside. This likely means something.

Ha
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:46 AM   #32
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Every time there is a hurricane or tornado the TV is full of images of mobile homes scattered al over the countryside. This likely means something.

Ha
Yep, mobile home parks seem to have a bulls-eye on them for tornadoes...

I lived in one for a few years in the bad old days. Paid $4500 for a used 12x65. Was a POS, for the most part, but cheap, and kept most of the rain out. Sold it for what I paid for it when I moved to Texas. Mobile home parks are a mixed bag; could be just fine, or you could have some "interesting" neighbors, to say the least.

My parents lived in one in central FL the first few years of retirement. Was nice, and they liked it, but the lot rent went up every year, so they finally bought a stick house, then half of a duplex.

Here's one link I found... Manufactured Homes For Sale $23,900 ‚€“ Oklahoma Arkansa Region
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:22 PM   #33
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Hubby and I are considering all optoins. We will be in Arizona the first ten days of May and will check out many manufactured home communities. We lived in one early in our marriage and liked the lifestyle. I want a brand new one, and hope to pick the design/colors etc. Arizona has few natural hazards. Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes etc. are not a concern there. Fire can be depending on the area. I know the pros/cons of not owning the land and will do a lot of research before buying. I really want a pool that I won't be taking care of etc. Really into the simple life and retiring young at least compared to friends/family. If I find anything worth reporting I will get back on this thread after the trip.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:37 PM   #34
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I think the big consideration is depreciation. It will depreciate as compared to a traditional condo/home. I have a family member that purchased one almost 20 years ago. They even had to take out a high interest rate loan. I am assuming this is because of the depreciation risk the bank is taking. It was nice at the time. As of late, they have had to do a lot of major repairs. If they were to sell it now, I am sure they would hardly get much for it. Don't even own the lot it is on. If the same money had been put in a house/condo they would have some equity. You may be fine with that depending on your stage in life. I would not.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:37 PM   #35
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Every time there is a hurricane or tornado the TV is full of images of mobile homes scattered al over the countryside. This likely means something.

Ha
Just like the old saw:

What do a divorce and a tornado have in common in West Virginia?


Somebody is losing a trailer.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:45 PM   #36
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Here is my nomination for a manufactured home: FabCab ę High Performance Homes
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:23 PM   #37
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Some overkill here, but a little clarification I hope.

We live in a stickbuilt home... built from the ground up... foundation, and flooors, walls and ceiling all put together on site... piece by piece.

My best friend has a modular home that was prefabricated in pieces... Walls with electricity and wiring built in, as well as doors and windows. The pieces were transported on flatbed trailers, and erected and put together on a concrete cellar foundation.

We own a Park Model Trailer... essentially what most people think of as a Mobile Home, as in what most people understand as trailer parks. The Park Model Trailer, is brought to the site on wheels, which ususally stay under the trailer as it is skirted. "Park" models are just that ... designed to be in Parks and Campgrounds... limited in size, and although they are not commonly moved, the wheels are there so that for whatever reason... the Park or Campground owner can reclaim the site, without having an expensive clean up fee. A park model trailer has size limits... 400 S.F. commonly 12 ft wide and 34 ft long. In our Campground, the maximum size of buildings is 400SF for the main building, 400SF for an add-a-room, 400SF for a deck, and two 8X12 storage sheds. Newer models have log siding, and or higher roofs, accomodating sleeping lofts. the construction is typically 2"x3"'s and the siding is either metal or vinyl. The building is constructed on a steel trailer frame. Roofs may be shingled, aluminum sheeting (as ours is) or metal. Almost all Park models are sold complete, with full kitchens and appliances, main propane heating, and airconditioning, as well as full, (if small) bathrooms, and bedrooms with beds and dressers etc. Most park models are somewhat different from travel trailers or motoromes, in that there are few multiple use constructs as slideout beds, tables etc.

We also have a mobile home (not motorhome) in a mobile home community. Our home is older (1988) when the standard width for a mobile home was 14 feet. Ours is 14ft x 67ft and we have a double wide car port, an attached storage shed and a glassed in sunroom 14ft X 12ft. Sometime in the late 1980's, rules for mobile homes changed, first to allowing "sections" that were 15ft wide, and now, to "sections" that are as wide as 16ft. Today you can buy these "mobile homes" in various configuations, as double wides, triple wides and more. The sections come prebuilt, and are assembled on site, by bolting together, rolling out carpeting or flooring, and "crowning" the roof sections. Usually a 1 day process.

First impressions of mobile homes, the older 14ft wide may have seemed somewhat confining, with the lengthwide layout. Newer double and triple wide models often have vaulted ceilings, and greatrooms that might be 20ftX30ft.

One of the fears that many have about mobile homes, is the history of total damages caused by hurricanes or tornadoes. Laws were enacted in Florida and other states in the late 90's that required deep tiedowns, and modular construction that relied on steel banding around the core areas of the building sections. This is still a work in progress, given the millions of homes built before these laws. Retrofitting of tie downs was partially funded by the State of Florida for older homes.

As to where to settle... Of course most prefab or mobiles can be placed anywhere the laws allow this type of habitation. Personally, I feel very strongly about mobile home parks/communities... especially those with age restrictions. I must admit, that at one time, I would not have wanted to live next to seniors... especially in close proximity, as on a smaller sized lot. Now, it is more like heaven... quiet, no kids, all yards and lawns kept neat as a pin... a three minute walk to the swimming pool, the clubhouse, pool tables, hot tub... and especially the parties at the clubhouse. Friends with everyone... any and all projects have dozens of volunteers, AM coffee in the clubhouse, classes, lectures, cards, shows, potlucks, and action not quite 24/7, but at least 14/7. Next door to a nature preserve, 50 minutes from Disney... Our park's clubhouse/pool and sport complex is on the major lake of a chain of lakes with a 512 mile shoreline, and we have a 52 slip marina, mostly pontoon boats.

As mentioned in some other posts, many Parks, including ours have increased lot rents. We're grandfathered in with an annual rent of about $4500, which would now be about $6200/yr and an annual increase of $5mo. so that is a consideration. The good part of that, is we don't have to pay to a reserve, for repairs, roads, roof's, pool costs etc. Renting/Owning a tossup as far as I can see.
We had a chance to buy our park from the original owners at one time, but the shift of cost and responsibility to the residents made it a no brainer.

So much for MFG homes... IMHO, the home is superfluous... you can spend any amount, from $20K to a million dollars, but the fullness of life in the later years comes from family or community... The family is busy, doing their thing... the community is busy, doing my/our thing.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #38
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The condos were in downtown Benicia on waterfront. There is a senior mobile home park behind a wall across the street.
The Rancho Benicia mobile home park you mention is probably one of the nicest mobile home parks I've ever seen.

Did you notice that those condos are built with nothing but a garage on the ground floor, and exterior steps up to the living quarters? There's a reason for that. High tide has been very slowly getting higher, and if you add in a winter storm that exceeds the capacity of the filtration plant next door...
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:53 PM   #39
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The Rancho Benicia mobile home park you mention is probably one of the nicest mobile home parks I've ever seen.

Did you notice that those condos are built with nothing but a garage on the ground floor, and exterior steps up to the living quarters? There's a reason for that. High tide has been very slowly getting higher, and if you add in a winter storm that exceeds the capacity of the filtration plant next door...
I hadn't noticed that but thanks for pointing it out! It is not something I would have thought of to consider.

We probably won't move there anyway. Accidental Retiree has us convinced to head south where the home prices are lower and the winter temperature is higher.
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:42 AM   #40
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I have a number of friends in Florida that snow bird in mobile homes. It's cheap living if you own your own land and don't get home owners insurance. The problem with them is as they get older upkeep increases and the value decreases. There harder to sell and it's not a good idea to improve them much because it's hard to recoup the money. Home owners insurance is expensive and an older one no one will insure. Trying to finance one is difficult, so when it's time to sell it may be a cash buyer only. If I were to help a friend buy one, I would make sure it's newer, has sound floors and roof, and the price is right. So when it comes time to sell you don't get to beat up.
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