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Thread: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

  1. #1

    Default Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    As some of you may remember, my wife and I are expecting parents. She is 19 months now and we are planning on buying a mobile home this upcoming month (we are waiting for the land to be ready -- grandparents are giving us little under two acres). My question is to you older, more experienced home buyers, is a mobile home so bad? I know it doesn't go up in value, but I also know that when we are done with the trailer we could always add on and give it a solid foundation, or even build a new home and rent out the mobile home.

    But my question is: would it be a good choice if we want to stay in the 300-500 dollars a month, and have a nice home to live in? http://claytonehouse.com/# that is the mobile home we are considering -- it's very nice. With it furnished and all the extra fees, it will be around 60K.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Major Supreme Commander Sil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    I generally don't think (!) but it allows you to travel, so I guess . Plus, you're parent/grandparent/whatever may want to use it and travel around the place once you're done with it

  3. #3
    Colonel pookey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blistna View Post
    As some of you may remember, my wife and I are expecting parents. She is 19 months now and we are planning on buying a mobile home this upcoming month (we are waiting for the land to be ready -- grandparents are giving us little under two acres). My question is to you older, more experienced home buyers, is a mobile home so bad? I know it doesn't go up in value, but I also know that when we are done with the trailer we could always add on and give it a solid foundation, or even build a new home and rent out the mobile home.

    But my question is: would it be a good choice if we want to stay in the 300-500 dollars a month, and have a nice home to live in? http://claytonehouse.com/# that is the mobile home we are considering -- it's very nice. With it furnished and all the extra fees, it will be around 60K.

    What do you guys think?
    i cant see the picture but ive lived in a mobile home for many years and i can say they are the best years ever its a little community on its own and i think your little girl would love it. my (van)as we call them in england only cost £500 and ground rent is £23.80 per week including water rates electric is a £1 meter so you dont really get all the bills a house does im a little unclear as to how you pay for your services over there. 60k is not a bad price for a new van make sure you have heating in it can get very cold in these in winter. i have solid fuel central heating and believe me in winter you need it. like you say you can always get a house later and rent it out all on our site own ours but the rules forbid us to rent them out should you leave the rules are different to if you own a house i should check them out before buying. lots of luck

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Sorry...i meant a trailer, or a manufactured home. Is it a bad idea to buy one?

  5. #5
    Major Supreme Commander Sil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Same thingie-oh, you know

  6. #6

    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supreme Commander Sil View Post
    Same thingie-oh, you know
    Ah, ok, I just thought u meant a rv or something. ok!

  7. #7
    Brigadier General LoneStar1836's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Not a homeowner myself and have no personal experience in this area, but I'll toss out my opinion anyway. Plus I only lived in a trailer when I was very young so basically no experience living in one, though I wouldn't mind living in one today.


    Hey 60K versus 120K for a house (and that seems to be cheap for a house nowadays) ....

    I say it all depends on your finances and how much you can afford to finance and what kind of loans you could qualify for, job stability, etc. etc. In my opinion, that is what you need to focus on and consider if you want to build your own home instead of putting in a trailer. How much debt are you willing to take on right now and what kinds of payments can you afford...to include house insurance and (depending on where you live) the property taxes...as well as all the other cost of life to include a new child.

    I would assume you have already gone to a bank, etc. to see just how big of a loan you would qualify for and what kind of payments you could afford. My sister (in her early twenties, single, and employed as a nurse) just bought a 150K house early last year. She first went and found out just how big of a loan she would qualify for and what kind of payments she could afford and then went house hunting based on that figure.

    Since you are not having to buy the land, that is a big plus.


    Like you said, the thing with trailers is you can always trade them out and build a house when you think you can afford it and still remain on the same land. I see people who live in trailers for years and then end up building a house on the land.



    And I hope the wife is just 19 weeks along and not 19 months. Congrats on the baby.
    IMO always implied.

  8. #8

    Cool Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar1836 View Post
    Not a homeowner myself and have no personal experience in this area, but I'll toss out my opinion anyway. Plus I only lived in a trailer when I was very young so basically no experience living in one, though I wouldn't mind living in one today.


    Hey 60K versus 120K for a house (and that seems to be cheap for a house nowadays) ....

    I say it all depends on your finances and how much you can afford to finance and what kind of loans you could qualify for, job stability, etc. etc. In my opinion, that is what you need to focus on and consider if you want to build your own home instead of putting in a trailer. How much debt are you willing to take on right now and what kinds of payments can you afford...to include house insurance and (depending on where you live) the property taxes...as well as all the other cost of life to include a new child.

    I would assume you have already gone to a bank, etc. to see just how big of a loan you would qualify for and what kind of payments you could afford. My sister (in her early twenties, single, and employed as a nurse) just bought a 150K house early last year. She first went and found out just how big of a loan she would qualify for and what kind of payments she could afford and then went house hunting based on that figure.

    Since you are not having to buy the land, that is a big plus.


    Like you said, the thing with trailers is you can always trade them out and build a house when you think you can afford it and still remain on the same land. I see people who live in trailers for years and then end up building a house on the land.



    And I hope the wife is just 19 weeks along and not 19 months. Congrats on the baby.
    Good advice! And yea...19 weeks not 19 months, lol.

  9. #9
    You call that a glowstick?
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    this is from the POV of a person that's not a home owner...and lives in tornado alley

    60K for a trailer. I hope it's new.

    now, i don't know your local housing market, but it's possible that 60K can get you a small house, like 1000 square feet or so. comperable to the size of a trailer i think.

    It wouldn't be a new house by any means. Likely the equivalent of a bungalow (and i don't know where you live, or what the market is like. I'm in the midwest and in the center, older, part of town, there are some perfectly nice homes for sale in the 50-75K price range. they're just not brand new.

    We lived in a mobile home when i was little, but i barely remember it. they're not bad. they definitely serve a purpose. But, unless they're secured properly they can be a liability in bad weather. Something to consider if you are in a climate prone to bad storms (us midwest, south east, east coast)

  10. #10
    Brigadier General LoneStar1836's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    60K does seem rather expensive, but like I said I have zero experience in that area so I have no idea what is reasonable to pay for them nowadays. Housing prices are beyond ridiculous if you ask me. A tract of flimsy looking house were built near me on some pretty crappy land and they sit on probably half an acre each and they were wanting 100K for them. lol. And people bought them!

    My sister paid 150K for hers and I think it might be a little over 1000 sq ft but it sits on no land and was built in the 80s in a fairly nice neighborhood but it is now right in the heart of Baton Rouge, LA near LSU and the hospital she works. Plus it's in the part of the city that is being heavily developed so that weighs into the cost.

    Yeah, I'd be rather wary of living in a trailer where you are highly prone to tornadoes. Though I assume most up there have storm shelters. My aunt and uncle live in Arkansas in a brick home, but they still have an underground tornado shelter. Just have to watch out for hurricanes in my neck of the woods.
    IMO always implied.

  11. #11
    You call that a glowstick?
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    yeah, if you're on the gulf coast i'd avoid mobile homes. you don't have to get hit by a tornado to lose your home, in fact, straight line winds can be more damaging than a twister...and you stand a better chance of getting hit by them

    What i think about is...in 20 years that trailer will be relatively worthless, but a home might be worth the same or more by the time you get it paid off

  12. #12
    Brigadier General LoneStar1836's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydiver View Post
    yeah, if you're on the gulf coast i'd avoid mobile homes. you don't have to get hit by a tornado to lose your home, in fact, straight line winds can be more damaging than a twister...and you stand a better chance of getting hit by them
    If I were right on the coast I wouldn't want to live in one, but I'm prolly 70 miles inland so I'd take my chances. Though Ike came right through here last year....

    What i think about is...in 20 years that trailer will be relatively worthless, but a home might be worth the same or more by the time you get it paid off
    That's obviously the risk you take if this is going to be a long term investment. Luckily I'm not burdened with having to make big decisions like this atm.

    If I'm going to spend a 100K, I would personally want to use that money to buy land and slap a trailer on it. I hate living right up next to people. But that's just me.
    IMO always implied.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydiver View Post
    this is from the POV of a person that's not a home owner...and lives in tornado alley

    60K for a trailer. I hope it's new.

    now, i don't know your local housing market, but it's possible that 60K can get you a small house, like 1000 square feet or so. comperable to the size of a trailer i think.
    That 60K includes all the extra fees and furniture (with all appliances -- washer and dryer too -- and a bedroom set, and and a couch). And it's all brand new. Also the cheapest thing is 70k, its def. not new and that would still make us buy new furniture and a new washer/dryer by ourselves (and the prices are really good -- the furniture is from a local wholesale and the dryer/washer is both around $300 price range).

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar1836 View Post
    60K does seem rather expensive, but like I said I have zero experience in that area so I have no idea what is reasonable to pay for them nowadays. Housing prices are beyond ridiculous if you ask me. A tract of flimsy looking house were built near me on some pretty crappy land and they sit on probably half an acre each and they were wanting 100K for them. lol. And people bought them!
    Trailers can range from 30k-130K, and the more expensive ones are made to take 130 mph winds (of course those are made to be on a permanent foundation -- check out the i-House, really nice). Mine is mid-range, and customized to my liking (starts around 40K).

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydiver View Post
    yeah, if you're on the gulf coast i'd avoid mobile homes. you don't have to get hit by a tornado to lose your home, in fact, straight line winds can be more damaging than a twister...and you stand a better chance of getting hit by them

    What i think about is...in 20 years that trailer will be relatively worthless, but a home might be worth the same or more by the time you get it paid off
    I live in east tn, and I know that in 20 years the trailer will be worthless, but I never said in 20 years I will sell it. I mighty rent it out, I might remodel and add on to it (my sister rents a very nice, old house that use to be a small single wide but now has a fire place and looks like a very nice home).

    And thanks guys, I am not trying to not listen, just clarify (I really should have told you guys where I lived because that is a factor in buying a mobile home). Thanks guys!

  14. #14
    Brigadier General LoneStar1836's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Oh I was just tossing out an opinion, and possibly some advice that you could take or leave. I have no experience in this area, but since my sister recently bought a home, I thought I'd toss out what she did first. And considering the crisis with the housing market and being able to get loans etc. People really have to consider their finances and buy something within their means. It's a big step buying a home, especially if you are a first time buyer. The biggest thing I have ever purchased is a vehicle. course I'm only 30 and single.

    And I see nothing wrong with living in a trailer. They can be quite nice nowdays compared to 20 years ago. I hope it all works out well for you.
    IMO always implied.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar1836 View Post
    Oh I was just tossing out an opinion, and possibly some advice that you could take or leave. I have no experience in this area, but since my sister recently bought a home, I thought I'd toss out what she did first. And considering the crisis with the housing market and being able to get loans etc. People really have to consider their finances and buy something within their means. It's a big step buying a home, especially if you are a first time buyer. The biggest thing I have ever purchased is a vehicle. course I'm only 30 and single.

    And I see nothing wrong with living in a trailer. They can be quite nice nowdays compared to 20 years ago. I hope it all works out well for you.
    Thats the main reason I want a mobile home, its about the same price per month as renting, its mine, and it is new AND comes with the furniture i need. :-) But I just wanted some opinions. My parents like the idea, but my wifes dad hates trailers and is trying to get us to buy a 130K house....and I don't know if I can.

  16. #16
    Brigadier General LoneStar1836's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Well don't let him pressure you into getting in over your head because he won't be the one to have to make the monthly payments...along with all the other expenses.

    Buying a house is supposedly a good investment, but if you can't afford the payments, you won't be living there very long....
    IMO always implied.

  17. #17
    Bernadette Callista's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blistna View Post
    Thats the main reason I want a mobile home, its about the same price per month as renting, its mine, and it is new AND comes with the furniture i need. :-) But I just wanted some opinions. My parents like the idea, but my wifes dad hates trailers and is trying to get us to buy a 130K house....and I don't know if I can.
    For re-sale purposes, the house is probably your best bet....assuming it's in decent shape and in a decent neighborhood with good schools, low crime, etc. But, if you can't afford it then don't do it! You don't want to be strapped to a mortgage for thirty years that is beyond your means.

    My husband and I sat down and figured out our finances before buying our house 12 years ago. He's a professor so he has a very stable salary that isn't going to go up or down drastically. We can plan on about a 2% raise every year and have our retirement taken out and they pay much of the health insurance so figuring out what we have to spend is pretty straight-forward.

    Anyway, the number we came up with that we could afford every month was lower than what the mortgage company said we could afford so we had no problem getting our mortgage....and we stuck with the number we came up with ourselves which has turned out to be a very good choice because even with our stable income you never know when a bunch of expenses are going to pop up. Especially in regards to keeping a house in good repair. We bought a new house so we've only had basic stuff but that still adds up to at least a couple of thousand dollars a year after 12 years. If the house you're thinking about is over 15 years old, there's going to be a lot of expenses that could hit you at any moment.....painting (we just got an estimate of $5000 for that), new roof, water heater, carpet, basic repairs, etc., etc. If you do buy an older home, make darn sure you get it inspected first by an inspector you really trust. If there's water damage or dry rot or any of that kind of thing and you are right at the limit with your mortgage payments you could find yourself in big trouble.

    Also, with a baby coming you don't want a lot of financial worries. (Trust me, you'll have plenty to stress over without worrying about money all the time, too.)

    All that being said, if it is a good house in good shape and a good neighborhood with good schools and you can afford it without too much trouble, I think I'd go with the house.....assuming you're going to want to sell either the house or the mobile home at some point within the next twenty years or so.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar1836 View Post
    Well don't let him pressure you into getting in over your head because he won't be the one to have to make the monthly payments...along with all the other expenses.

    Buying a house is supposedly a good investment, but if you can't afford the payments, you won't be living there very long....
    Exactly! That's what he doesn't understand. And we all ready have student loands, a car loan (wives car broke down) so we don't need a 600+ monthly payment. And its like u said...we make the payments, so we make the choice -- not him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Callista View Post
    For re-sale purposes, the house is probably your best bet....assuming it's in decent shape and in a decent neighborhood with good schools, low crime, etc. But, if you can't afford it then don't do it! You don't want to be strapped to a mortgage for thirty years that is beyond your means.

    My husband and I sat down and figured out our finances before buying our house 12 years ago. He's a professor so he has a very stable salary that isn't going to go up or down drastically. We can plan on about a 2% raise every year and have our retirement taken out and they pay much of the health insurance so figuring out what we have to spend is pretty straight-forward.

    Anyway, the number we came up with that we could afford every month was lower than what the mortgage company said we could afford so we had no problem getting our mortgage....and we stuck with the number we came up with ourselves which has turned out to be a very good choice because even with our stable income you never know when a bunch of expenses are going to pop up. Especially in regards to keeping a house in good repair. We bought a new house so we've only had basic stuff but that still adds up to at least a couple of thousand dollars a year after 12 years. If the house you're thinking about is over 15 years old, there's going to be a lot of expenses that could hit you at any moment.....painting (we just got an estimate of $5000 for that), new roof, water heater, carpet, basic repairs, etc., etc. If you do buy an older home, make darn sure you get it inspected first by an inspector you really trust. If there's water damage or dry rot or any of that kind of thing and you are right at the limit with your mortgage payments you could find yourself in big trouble.

    Also, with a baby coming you don't want a lot of financial worries. (Trust me, you'll have plenty to stress over without worrying about money all the time, too.)

    All that being said, if it is a good house in good shape and a good neighborhood with good schools and you can afford it without too much trouble, I think I'd go with the house.....assuming you're going to want to sell either the house or the mobile home at some point within the next twenty years or so.
    Yea, I am going to my bank tomorrow and find out exactly how much the payments will be (Clayton homes should get back and tell me what their company said) and I will ask my bank (it's a very good local credit union) what they require and who knows, she might point me to a couple of houses that has foreclosed that wouldn't require a high down payment (we only have 2500 -- with a mobile home, thats ok, but with a house u usually put more down...right?). But we shall see!

    And yes... I am sure stress will be high in the months following the baby and then the following years will continue that trend.

  19. #19
    The Pantsinator
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    We are in the process of buying ourselves here in Arizona and we are looking at both options
    House versus manufactured home

    the cost difference is not as vast here due to the weather here not taking so much toll on manufactured homes BUT here we are able to get more land overall if we look at manufactured homes as well.

    In our case we are more interested in the amount of land we can get along with our purchase and can look at upgrading the home itself as time goes on.

    We are no where near as young as you sound so personally I would say look at the option YOU can afford and what are the things you want to do in the future on the land

    In our case we want to be able to also have horses and at least two other buildings so if we have to go with a manufactured home at first we will in order to get the land size we want AND can afford.
    Life is short, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And live out loud with no regrets..

  20. #20
    You call that a glowstick?
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    Default Re: Buying a mobile home -- good idea for first home?

    smart people go:

    ok, so i take home 4000 a month.....so i'll spend 1000 on my rent + utilities, which leaves me over half my check to live on

    or math to that effect.

    Honestly, if you can, your mortgage should be just under one of yours paychecks (one if you get paid every 2 weeks, half if you get paid monthly)

    so, if the worst happens and one of you lose your job, you can still pay for hte house with one of you

    I know a lot of people that have gotten in over their heads and were allowed to have mortgages that equal more than half their monthly salary. they're managing, but it's not easy. and it's often with some sort of free lance or part time work

    you're smart to make sure you are staying within your budget and allowing yourself plenty to live on. trust me, dr's bills, diapers, clothes, toys, formula,.....dude it adds up massively fast.

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