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Any mobile home experts here? I'm a newbie in the market. College town.


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Here's the situation. We own a home and have 1 mortgage on it. When our 2 oldest girls started college, we bought a 2 bedroom condo for them. We paid cash for it, so we own it outright. Now I have a 3rd daughter going to the same college. I won't go into the long complicated reasoning, but we have decided that a mobile home purchase is the best fit for our needs. This is a relatively small college town. My husband and I also graduated from the same school. My husband lived in a mobile home while we were in school there, and that thing is still housing students to this day. I drove by a few months ago. Trailers are a pretty popular housing option at this school. 

But...I know next to nothing about mobile homes. The one we are interested in is a 2015 Fleetwood single wide with 3 bedrooms. It is in a nice park--all students. The park doesn't allow investors, so all the homes are owner occupied. Is Fleetwood a decent manufacturer? Is there an equivalent of Kelly Blue Book or NADA so I can estimate the value?

I have other questions if anyone can help--about insuring, inspections, the "foundation" or anchoring, how to get a loan if the current owner doesn't have the title, etc. Thanks for reading!

ETA: Please be gentle with any negativity. I know about tornadoes and depreciation--thanks. We also own a camper, so we know about repairs and upkeep in that arena. My husband is EXTREMELY handy with appliances and plumbing and electrical. Also, I'm going through menopause, and I might cuss someone out. Just kidding. Sort of. 😉 Thanks again. 

 

Edited by stephensgirls
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Sounds like you know more than I do about most of the issues.  You might look into the UCC lien seach, that's how stolen equipment is tracked that doesn't have titles.  Or the state DMV might be able to check liens, or advise on replacement title. 

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Loans are basically non-existent for mobile homes usually only private financing.  Insurance is a few companies we had Foremost for ours and that seems to be the most popular company.  On your other questions I don't so value was based off size, fixtures, location just like a house not specs like a car.

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My question for you would be, what is the plan for getting rid of it once the kid is done with school?  

 

DH owned a mobile home when we got married.  He had a mortgage on it, I wasn't with him when he bought it so I can't speak to the process of getting the mortgage.  He had always allowed the mortgage company to purchase the insurance for it.  Lot rent was always a separate payment to the park, and actually, lot rent was more than than the mortgage payment.  

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1 hour ago, stephensgirls said:

Here's the situation. We own a home and have 1 mortgage on it. When our 2 oldest girls started college, we bought a 2 bedroom condo for them. We paid cash for it, so we own it outright. Now I have a 3rd daughter going to the same college. I won't go into the long complicated reasoning, but we have decided that a mobile home purchase is the best fit for our needs. This is a relatively small college town. My husband and I also graduated from the same school. My husband lived in a mobile home while we were in school there, and that thing is still housing students to this day. I drove by a few months ago. Trailers are a pretty popular housing option at this school. 

But...I know next to nothing about mobile homes. The one we are interested in is a 2015 Fleetwood single wide with 3 bedrooms. It is in a nice park--all students. The park doesn't allow investors, so all the homes are owner occupied. Is Fleetwood a decent manufacturer? Is there an equivalent of Kelly Blue Book or NADA so I can estimate the value?

I have other questions if anyone can help--about insuring, inspections, the "foundation" or anchoring, how to get a loan if the current owner doesn't have the title, etc. Thanks for reading!

ETA: Please be gentle with any negativity. I know about tornadoes and depreciation--thanks. We also own a camper, so we know about repairs and upkeep in that arena. My husband is EXTREMELY handy with appliances and plumbing and electrical. Also, I'm going through menopause, and I might cuss someone out. Just kidding. Sort of. 😉 Thanks again. 

 

 

I think you should contact the bank you currently have a mortgage with and ask about mobile homes. If they don't offer financing, they probably know who would.  There are multiple companies that finance mobile homes, but it's less common.  Call your insurance agent and get a quote or find out who he/she recommends.

You wouldn't be able to get the affidavit of affixture if the mobile home is in a park, usually, because the park owns the land and you pay rent.  This is what makes financing trickier since it remains more "mobile" and less "home" and more like an RV than a house with regard to financing.

if if the current owner doesn't have the title, you can get a copy at the Motor vehicle dept, like you can with a vehicle.  A mobile home will have an ID number or a VIN.

There is a NADA book for mobile homes. Your banker/mortgage person should have that info at their disposal.

The inspection will be done in the same manner as if you were buying a single-family, site-built home.

Best wishes! I bought a mobile home to live in in college and it was a great deal for me. I charged rent to roommates and I lived rent free for the three years I owned it.

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34 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

My question for you would be, what is the plan for getting rid of it once the kid is done with school?  

 

DH owned a mobile home when we got married.  He had a mortgage on it, I wasn't with him when he bought it so I can't speak to the process of getting the mortgage.  He had always allowed the mortgage company to purchase the insurance for it.  Lot rent was always a separate payment to the park, and actually, lot rent was more than than the mortgage payment.  

 

We will list it on FB Marketplace which is where I found it. 😉 I'm not too worried about resell. It's in a desirable neighborhood for students. I'm more concerned with not overpaying.

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33 minutes ago, Random said:

 

I think you should contact the bank you currently have a mortgage with and ask about mobile homes. If they don't offer financing, they probably know who would.  There are multiple companies that finance mobile homes, but it's less common.  Call your insurance agent and get a quote or find out who he/she recommends.

You wouldn't be able to get the affidavit of affixture if the mobile home is in a park, usually, because the park owns the land and you pay rent.  This is what makes financing trickier since it remains more "mobile" and less "home" and more like an RV than a house with regard to financing.

if if the current owner doesn't have the title, you can get a copy at the Motor vehicle dept, like you can with a vehicle.  A mobile home will have an ID number or a VIN.

There is a NADA book for mobile homes. Your banker/mortgage person should have that info at their disposal.

The inspection will be done in the same manner as if you were buying a single-family, site-built home.

Best wishes! I bought a mobile home to live in in college and it was a great deal for me. I charged rent to roommates and I lived rent free for the three years I owned it.

 

The owner currently has it financed. So the bank has the title. just found out a few minutes ago. Thanks for the info! My daughter has a roommate lined up and it will cover more than half of the payment and lot lease (if my calculations are on target). 

Edited by stephensgirls
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1 hour ago, rebcoola said:

Loans are basically non-existent for mobile homes usually only private financing.  Insurance is a few companies we had Foremost for ours and that seems to be the most popular company.  On your other questions I don't so value was based off size, fixtures, location just like a house not specs like a car.

 

There is a credit union nearby that does personal property loans for things like rvs, boats, etc. It's basically a personal loan. I'm going for that type of financing. Keeping my fingers crossed. I'm hoping to avoid a HELOC.

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9 minutes ago, stephensgirls said:

 

We will list it on FB Marketplace which is where I found it. 😉 I'm not too worried about resell. It's in a desirable neighborhood for students. I'm more concerned with not overpaying.

How old is the park, generally speaking?  You said it's a 2015, so that means it's already 3 yrs old.  In 4.5 years, it's going to be around 8 yrs old.  Do 8yr to 10 yr old homes still tend to move pretty quickly in that neighborhood?   We struggled to GIVE away Dh's 10yr old mobile home.  

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16 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

How old is the park, generally speaking?  You said it's a 2015, so that means it's already 3 yrs old.  In 4.5 years, it's going to be around 8 yrs old.  Do 8yr to 10 yr old homes still tend to move pretty quickly in that neighborhood?   We struggled to GIVE away Dh's 10yr old mobile home.  

 

 Was his home located in a college town? Student neighborhood?

ETA...I'm sensing some negativity here, so instead of cussing I'll just say...I don't care if it's hard to sell. In a few years we can sell the condo if we have to. We can keep the trailer for a game day home during football and basketball season. The condo complex we're in sells fast--longest on the market last year was 61 days--appreciating at a great rate--selling at very close to list price. We're not going to be in a dire situation if the trailer takes awhile to sell. I'm going to have kids attending this university for the next decade, so... I've just got to find budget friendly, dog friendly property asap, and the trailer fits the bill. Thanks.

 

Edited by stephensgirls
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Here is what I know - all based on CA law:

Insuring it can cost you up to 3 times more than a house with a foundation.

There is a difference between the terms "modular home" and "mobile home" - at least when it comes to insuring.

Heating and cooling can be difficult but your dh will likely know this already - it depends on insulation which is sometimes flimsy or non-existent.

Some banks will not loan on a mobile without a permanent foundation.

 

Other than that - I can see that it may be a good interim solution until all have graduated. You can (perhaps) sell it for what you bought it and later retire to the paid off condo.

Edited by Liz CA
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Liz, thank. I will message the owner and ask how much she pays to insure. And I'll call my own company and ask. I feel like in Alabama it won't be more than a traditional home. I haven't heard any horror stories about that, so... but yeah, definitely something I'll have to nail down before purchase.

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As far as financing...I'm not planning on getting a mortgage. I think I can get a personal property/personal loan. My husband's truck cost nearly as much as this trailer, so we should be able to get a loan??? idk I guess I'll find out. I could walk into Camping World today and prolly get approved to buy a camper on a 10 yr loan for the same amount. Surely it's not that hard??? Hopefully??? The asking price is $40K, so this is not mortgage worthy. Possibly HELOC worthy, but HELOCs are a pain in the butt and take forever and closing costs. Maybe I'm in for a rude awakening. 

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My husband was approved over the phone for a personal loan that was enough maybe to buy a mobile home.

But the interest rate was not good.

The interest rate quoted was lower, on the same amount of money, for a car loan.  

So — that was a couple of years ago for us, but it seemed like — that personal loan would only be good for a cash crunch where we knew we would have money coming in and then pay off the loan, and not need to pay the interest rate for more than a short time.  

Your bank might have better interest rates for personal loans, though.  For ours it was lower than a generic credit card would be, but higher than their other rates.  

I have an impression that it’s possible to use a personal loan to buy something time-sensitive and then have time to do another type of financing that could take longer.  

We were looking at a car that we ended up not purchasing, so we didn’t do anything with it.  

Edit:  we just were not getting good interest rate quotes overall, though, from our bank, but we didn’t call around to any other banks.  Overall it was seeming like it would be no problem to be approved but we wouldn’t be able to get a low interest rate. 

We were looking at a used car, and it was disappointing that new car interest rates were lower, but it seemed we would not be able to get a rate that low for a used car, and then that made a used car seem less desirable if we would need a loan.  

Edit:  also, at the time we were hearing of other people getting extremely low rates on new cars.  I don’t think the personal loan rate was bad, so much as it was higher than the new car rates we were hearing about.  But I’m also not sure if we qualified for the best rate.  

Edited by Lecka
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10 hours ago, stephensgirls said:

Here's the situation. We own a home and have 1 mortgage on it. When our 2 oldest girls started college, we bought a 2 bedroom condo for them. We paid cash for it, so we own it outright. Now I have a 3rd daughter going to the same college. I won't go into the long complicated reasoning, but we have decided that a mobile home purchase is the best fit for our needs. This is a relatively small college town. My husband and I also graduated from the same school. My husband lived in a mobile home while we were in school there, and that thing is still housing students to this day. I drove by a few months ago. Trailers are a pretty popular housing option at this school. 

But...I know next to nothing about mobile homes. The one we are interested in is a 2015 Fleetwood single wide with 3 bedrooms. It is in a nice park--all students. The park doesn't allow investors, so all the homes are owner occupied. Is Fleetwood a decent manufacturer? Is there an equivalent of Kelly Blue Book or NADA so I can estimate the value?

I have other questions if anyone can help--about insuring, inspections, the "foundation" or anchoring, how to get a loan if the current owner doesn't have the title, etc. Thanks for reading!

ETA: Please be gentle with any negativity. I know about tornadoes and depreciation--thanks. We also own a camper, so we know about repairs and upkeep in that arena. My husband is EXTREMELY handy with appliances and plumbing and electrical. Also, I'm going through menopause, and I might cuss someone out. Just kidding. Sort of. 😉 Thanks again. 

 

 

I have lived in a mobile home for 13 years, and I grew up in a mobile home at various times. My current home was manufactured by Schultz, so I don't know about Fleetwood, other than it is a big manufacturer. Have there been many sales you could comp on Zillow? That is how I know how much mine is worth; I keep a pretty close watch on my neighborhood. 

Insuring can be a pain - both in the wallet and finding a company that does it. Ours has an attached garage which kicks out some companies, as they don't like a stick built structure attached to the house. Since it doesn't sound like yours has a garage, State Farm, American Family, and Farmers should all do it. 

If you're talking about an inspection for sale, I'd call and ask various companies if they inspect mobile homes. Furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning ducting all have to be mobile home specific. If those go out, it will cost a pretty penny, so be sure they are good. We replaced our gas water heater with an electric since a gas would've been over $3000, and as it was, the electric was $1600. 

Since it's in a park, the park should've anchored it onto either a concrete or gravel foundation. Concrete is better, as the house will settle weirdly over a decade or so on gravel. You should not have to do anything with anchoring other than making sure it is anchored.  

Titles are handled through the car title place; you should be able to get a replacement title through them. 

We had a mobile home mortgage through Greentree, although our home is currently paid for. 

Older mobile homes can cost a pretty penny to heat and cool, but I would not expect too much of a difference from a stick built home from a 2015. 

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"The asking price is $40K, so this is not mortgage worthy."

How much would a brand new mobile home, same size and quality cost?

They usually depreciate very quickly, so the current value might be approximately 33 to 50% of the cost of a new one? Or, would it hold it's value more, because of where it is located?

I would visit your local Fleetwood dealer and ask about that and also about insurance companies.

 

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It sounds like a very smart thing that you are doing.  Ten years of child housing at the school, assuming you only get enough from roommate(s) to cover the lot rental, that means 4K per year for college housing.  As a mobile home, pets won't be a problem.  My guess is that you won't be paying on the mobile home loan for ten years.   
 

I can't help you on the price estimate.   My plan B when I bought my first house was to buy a mobile home, if I didn't get an amazing deal on a house.  So, no negativity from me.  

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Our family has been in and out of mobile homes.  When I was growing up, my dad and I moved into one my freshman year of high school (in a college town -- College Station). (My mother and sister were still in Houston with the house). At the end of that year they traded the little mobile home in for a larger one and the rest of the family came up so we all lived together.  We bought a house for my senior year and my parents eventually sold that mobile home -- but they self financed it and I know that became a problem after they moved to South Carolina. Eventually it did sell.

My sister and her husband bought a mobile home with cash early on in their marriage and fixed it up over the years (Bryan -- but same area). Eventually they sold it (At which point they found a title problem and had to go back and find the people they bought it from to get it cleared up) and cleared enough money to build their dream house on property outside of town.

We have also rented in a mobile home once but that was for only one year.

 

You do have an advantage that the trailer is already on the lot you want to live on. Having the mobile home moved to a lot and putting on the skirting can be expensive.

Edited by vonfirmath
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Yes a personal loan should work here the park often offered financing of their own.  Re-sale was not a problem for us and our house was from the 80's. It was in a very nice park and was well taken care of we bought it for 22,000 and sold it for 7yrs later without even listing it in 2 days.  I really don't think it will be a problem in area with a lot of mobile homes and people needing reasonable housing.

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Thanks for all the input! Very helpful! I found out today that I can get a price report from NADA for $26, but I have to get all the info from the owner about upgrades, etc. That will help. And I'm scouring the internet for other listings in the area to make sure her price is in line with the others in the same area. We have some other options if this particular one doesn't work out. 

 

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Just encouraging you that we did this for our son.  He is still using it as he goes to school but it looks like it will work out well.  He has two roommates and they are all able to pay around $200/month less in rent than any thing else out there.  We think we will sell at a profit but even if we don't the low rent for these years will make it worth it.  The only issues have been expecting him to be the grown up and take care of all the bills etc and he's had a few not so grown up moments.  Good training for him though!

Edited by mims
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Ability to sell can depend on whether the buyer can get financing or not, and more importantly, whether the park rents are fixed or controlled or whatever.  Around here space rents have been skyrocketing, and that in turn has drastically reduced the value of the manufactured homes that are more or less permanently installed in those spaces.  This is even true of senior complexes, but is particularly true of the general ones.  Since you don't mind keeping it, that might not be an issue, but if you're thinking of it as an investment that will build equity these are things to study up on.  Also, recently a relative of ours wanted to buy a home like this and couldn't get a mortgage because the local financial rules were you could get one for an initial purchase or one resale, but not more than that--I thought that was bizarre, but those were the rules there.

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One summer in college I lived in a mobile home with a friend.  This was a very common practice when I went to college, likely because there was a Fleetwood plant in our town back in the 80s in Georgia.   Parents frequently purchased mobile homes for their children to live in while attending UGA or Georgia Southern.   

 

 

Edited by ZiMom
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56 minutes ago, ZiMom said:

One summer in college I lived in a mobile home with a friend.  This was a very common practice when I went to college, likely because there was a Fleetwood plant in our town back in the 80s in Georgia.   Parents frequently purchased mobile homes for their children to live in while attending UGA or Georgia Southern.   

My brother is now a foreman for Fleetwood, although it is in a different state.  To my knowledge, it has always been a reputable company.  

 

Very common! Dh lived in one when he went to college in Georgia. He liked it a lot more than dorm living. 

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