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Author: rita205 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 127553  
Subject: Re: Looking at mobile home - is this a mistake Date: 10/9/2012 7:37 AM
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I live in a rural area, and manufactured homes are all around me. There's a manufactured home subdivision across the road from me, about 25 homes on one acre each.

Yes, manufactured homes have become much nicer. Most of them have more square footage, have open concept floor plans with a kitchen island, have fireplaces, etc. But getting a loan is different.

What I've seen from this subdivision is that many of the buyers purchase from the developer in a "land-home package" deal. Unfortunately, it also means that they property is sold something like a car - all that matters is the monthly payment. It doesn't seem as if anyone expects to build equity. When someone has moved, the homes sit and sit and sit for months. I think the problem is that the home depreciates so quickly, the land becomes unaffordable all by itself and if the original deal ends, it's expensive to buy the property (these one acre tracts go for about $20 - 25,000).

Plus, I am aware of lots of new-buyer lawsuits against the manufacture on defective homes. Once they are delivered and set up, it's not like there is a builder to call on to come out and fix things. The dealer may or may not stand behind it.

All that said, they are still a popular option in the south, and are better insulated and more stable than they used to be. I do have neighbors who leave home during storms, tho, and one neighbor had a storm shelter built on her property after a small tornado hit our community (but not our neighborhood). I can't imagine living in one in the heavy snow.

Do your homework. It can be a way to have land to live on, where buying the land and building a home would be way too expensive. Talk about it with people, read up on it, get in touch with whatever state consumer agency that might have information about it.

Another thing you may be able to do is look into buying a small frame house to have moved onto property you buy. Don't laugh! that's how my little country home got here. An interstate highway was going through an older neighborhood in the city, and someone bought up a few 2 bedroom frame homes to move them. According to the people I purchased from, it was cheaper for them to buy and move this house than to replace their recreational vehicle (at least, back in 1986).

Good luck,

Rita
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