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Old 03/14/07, 02:53 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6
Doublewide with basement

After a long and exhaustive house search that has led us to believe that there are precious few houses with land available within our price range, my wife and I are considering buying some acreage, having a basement built and putting a doublewide on that. Anyone had experience with this? Do you regret it? Which manufacturer(s)/model(s) of doublewides have you found to be the best? Is this going to be a cheaper option in the long run, do you think?

We lived in a singlewide for a number of years and currently rent a farmhouse. We've looked at several doublewides on the lot but have never owned one.
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Old 03/14/07, 03:12 PM
MELOC's Avatar
Master Of My Domain
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,220
my sister and her ex put a doublewide on a nice poured concrete foundation. the awesome part was that they bought steel I-beams and the entire basement is open. the steel frame of the doublewide set nicely on the steel I-beams.

the downside was that the doublewide was used. 20 years down the road, every pressed board floor in the place is rotting. it only takes one or two water leaks to destroy those shoddy floors. the windows are an issue as well. they are trailer windows and they need replaced as well. they leaked undetected for a while and the floors now suffer.
this message has probably been edited to correct typos, spelling errors and to improve grammar...

"All that is gold does not glitter..."
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Old 03/14/07, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 44,742
How do you set something like that? I've thought of it, but cannot figure out how they drive the 2 parts of the doublewide over the basement hole.

"Live your life, and forget your age." Norman Vincent Peale

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Old 03/14/07, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: WV
Posts: 43
They set the two halves with a crane.
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Old 03/14/07, 03:27 PM
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Thanks Egypt Run, I'd thought maybe that or heilocopters..

Would be interesting to watch.

"Live your life, and forget your age." Norman Vincent Peale

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Old 03/14/07, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,169
Originally Posted by Egypt Run
They set the two halves with a crane.
uhmmm... we didnt have a crane...they rolled the back half on... then lined up the front half and rolled it on too.
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Old 03/14/07, 04:50 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844
I would recommend you also look at manufactured houses, such as by Uni-Bilt (a manufacturer - not a recommendation). Essentially they are delivered to the site in sections and set on the foundation via crane. Then aligned and tied together. Roof then goes up in sections.

These are built in factories and more closely resemble stick-built houses.

Biggest drawback over stick-built is apparently they don't appreciate or appraise well sometimes and you may have problems getting financing. However, they would be heads and shoulders above even the best built doublewide from what I have read and heard.

Neighbor had one put on over a basement. Halves put together within a couple of hours. Roof folded into place a couple of days later for some reason. They were abel to move in with a week with all utilities in place. Initially he had some problems with it but said manufacturer fixed all of them to his satisfaction.

Neighbor did much of his own foundation work. A friend in Ohio had one put up through a contractor and he was VERY pleased with that method. He had the contractor add a large garage on one side and a three-story observation tower on the other end.

Do a forum search on manufactured houses as there was a long discussion on them maybe 4-6 weeks ago.
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Old 03/14/07, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
Posts: 15,897
It depends on where you build. Where I live, the cost of a double wide is just as much as the cost of a stick built, but the dw is faster to put up. I would build a regular house. The depreciation on any kind of mobile home is faster than stick built (but putting it on a real foundation extends the life a great deal). It can be diffecult or even impossible to get financing on a MH when you wish to sell it in the future.
Nothing is as strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength - St. Francis de Sales
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Old 03/14/07, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 8,108
I'd sure look at a manufatured home over a trailer home for this as well. Price will not be a whole lot more, but you will get a much better building, with much more of a 'house' feel to it.

It comes in 2 or 3 pieces just like a trailer, but is built to better standards with better materials, at least up here.

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Old 03/15/07, 01:16 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: near Edmonton AB
Posts: 3,717
When I was looking, manufactured homes (prefab) were very expensive - you were paying for the speed of construction, I figure.

I ended up with a house from here, my parents have also built a house from one of their packages, and my SO will be building one from them this summer (yup, happy customers).

I had a spreadsheet going where I listed the costs of everything I'd have to do, and compared my choices ... I was quite surprised how much less this was than the prefabs (which are built right near me, even) ... of course the tradeoff is that my finishing work is taking ages and ages (ceiling still not done, trim underway, definitely still a work in progress a year later) but it is a solid sturdy house that should last and hold value.

Another thing to consider, depending on your location, is mold - here, mold can be a real issue in mobiles for some reason, and it's not even all that damp! Maybe check with some people in your area? Check out used mobiles for sale and see how they have held up in your climate?
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Old 03/15/07, 02:30 AM
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Are you looking for a cheap means to an end or a long term investment?

Cheap = doublewide

Long term = Stick built, probably smaller than you would like but in the long run a better investment.

If I could time travel, I would beat myself silly when I bought a doublewide in 1984. I would be 100K ahead now!!! Now the thought just sickens me and my retirement account.

Ask yourself why you actually need a 3200 Sq foot home. My BIL grew up in 1200 Sq ft with 13 children. Are there any Jones' in the neighborhood?
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Old 03/15/07, 03:00 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
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Maybe you could get Jimmy Carter to help you out? What is the process for getting on the list for a Habitat for Humanity house? You might have to finish up some stuff, but it would certinly be more affordable.
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Old 03/15/07, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: South central Virgina
Posts: 2,137
Joe, I doublewide will depriciate nearly half the value by the time you move in and continue to do so until it falls slap apart.
If there is any way to avoid buying any moble home, single or DW, please do so.
I had a 14' x 70' that was fairly nice because I had kept it up, but they sold the mobile home park to build a shopping center and my home was too old to reset anywhere, regaurdless of the shape it was in.

A stick built home is the only way to go. It grows in value where even the modulat homes loose value somewhat, though not as fast as a mobile home does.
I should write a book on people being there on contractors, because you can come out way, way ahead doing so if you know the ropes, but at the same time, you can loose your butt with a few mistakes also.
There are a number of things a home buyer can do to drop the price of the home meaning a lot of money over the 30 year period you are paying for it.
Plus you in up with something when you retire that is worth something instead of a pile of crap.

God Bless
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Old 03/15/07, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,069
Please check the thread here from a few weeks ago. There are lots of misunderstandings and incorrect information that alway show up on these threads. The biggest issue, and one that is simply ignored by a lot of folks here who wish to dismiss anything they don't understand as "inferior", is the difference between a trailer and a modular home. A trailer, no matter how wide, is a trailer, not a modular, manufacturer home or a factory built home. If it has a permanent, no removable, steel frame and a vehicle title it, is a trailer no matter how many other words are used to describe it. A "HUD code modular" is a trailer. Trailers can be good, or really bad depending on a lot of variables such as location, build quality, cost, and a few dozen other factors. A modular, or "state code" modular, is a stick built house, built in a factory and delivered on a removable trailer frame. Most modulars are built with standard stick built residential products and a generally built to a higher standard than trailers. They can be as cheap as trailers, or they can cost hundreds of thousands more. They are custom built to your budget and specifications. In the northeast and New England states, modulars are generally well accepted as being quality homes and they are NOT valued differently than stick built units. This is not the case everywhere. Two members here are involved with real estate in the south central states and claim that there is extreme prejudice against anything that isn't stick built there and values reflect that. This will change as construction costs continue to climb or if there are regional labor shortages in the future. Buying a trailer or modular home is a learning experience. You need to do a lot of research and really educate yourself as to what is available and what it's worth. I have a modular that is built better than the average stick house and is worth about $250,000, or roughly 3X my initial investment. An hour away from here, we have friends that are going to default on a double wide that is now worth 40% of their mortgage. It is on a full basement and was real nice looking when it was set 18 years ago. It was also exceptionally poorly built and has literally fallen apart around them. The lack of quality, lack of maintenance and some predatory lending practices have all resulted in a total disaster for the family. Good luck and be careful.
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Old 03/15/07, 09:09 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844
On neighbors, as mentioned one has a modular. From outside and inside it looks like a stick-built. Put on a full basement. My only real rap with it is no inside stairs to the basement. That's fine for them since they are firm believers if you throw anything away you will need it a couple of days later. From what I understand you can't move around in the basement anyway.

Not quite across the road from them the house of an elderly couple burned down. They brought in a double-wide. From both outside and (especially) within it looks like a mobile home. Fairly nicely done, but still a 'cheap-ness' to it. Both being in their 80s it suited their needs. However, I rather doubt much of what they paid will be reflected in property value after both die.

Even some 'stick-built' homes are partially done in a factory. Trusses have been plant made for a long time. In some areas where a contractor builds numerous units they have a small plant to make at least the wall sections. They are then delivered to the job site on a trailer. Site framing workers aren't really carpenters as much as assemblers.
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Old 03/15/07, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: East TN
Posts: 6,977
I lived in a modualr home that was set on a basement and now live in a doublewide which is not on a basement, just underpinned with block and brick. The modular was basically a stick built home that was transported and set on the basement. The only clue that it wasn't site built was the place underneath where the 2 halves were bolted together thru the wood sill which sat on steel columns down the center of the basement. The quality of the home was better than my doublewide, but it was also more expensive.
My current doublewide has appreciated pretty well because we have maintained and improved it over the years. I have seen them set on a basement, and done properly they are pretty nice.
In an area with no building codes and poor quality labor many times a doublewide is constructed much better than a site built home.
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence"
Robert Frost
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Old 03/15/07, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 139
I just put in a new doublewide a few years ago and its the most efficent home I've ever lived in..... yes you'll hear alot of people say how bad of investment it is....but my monthly payments are so much cheaper that I can actually afford to do things that I like other than spending it all on the house. In my old place the taxes were higher, the basement had water in it all the time, expensive to heat etc.... glad I dont have that headache anymore.
However if I was going to go to the trouble of putting a basement in I think I would try to choose a modular home instead of a manufactured...but thats just doublewide is made by shult homes, One of the best modular home builders is Design Homes
One thing is remember when having a stick built home put in is figure at least 15 to 25 percent more than the price they gave you....theres always all kinds of hidden costs
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