Doublewide or not ?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Randy Dandy, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. Randy Dandy

    Randy Dandy Well-Known Member

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    The wife and I have been round and round with contractors, quotes, ect...We was wondering if there was anyone that can see any reason why we shouldnt buy a small doublewide and put it on a permanent foundation. I have read several websites on the issue and some say they depreciate, but some say that in todays market that they actually apreciate if they are put on a permanent foundation, and possibly bricked around the bottom of the house. A contractor just left about an hour ago with a quote that really tryed to throw the screws to us, compared to what we had talked about two different times prior. We are frustrated and was wanting to get anyones opinion on doublewides. Thanks
     
  2. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    Check with insurance agents about getting it insured. Friends had a mobile home put on a permanent foundation and then couldn't get insurance. My neighbors up the road have been trying to sell theirs, it's only a few years old. They did get one offer but the bank refused to finance the buyer on it because the value is less than what the original owner paid for it. I've been in it, the walls are thin, the molding is cheap, doors and cabinets not properly alligned etc.... that can all happen with newly built homes too but I've seen more of it in mobile homes and double wides than anywhere else. One other thing to check into, dh and I looked at modular homes about 10 years ago hoping to put one on some land, the minute my ds and I walked into the first show home we had trouble breathing, stinging lungs and eyes. Turns out they were loaded with formaldahyde and we couldn't handle the chemical (we both have allergies and chemical sensitivities. I guess after they have been in place for a while that gets better but I wasn't going to chance it with our health while waiting for it to air out.
    We live in a 100 year old house, the problems of an old house were less for us.
    Double wides work out great for a lot of people but do a lot of homework first.
     

  3. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) i don't know if this would apply to you or your decision or not but I can pass these thoughts on to you.

    When we went looking for a place to retire I absolutely would NOT look at anything with a mobile home on it, no matter how it was placed. I hated them..never lived in one, didn't want to. However after looking at properties with stick built homes on them and not liking any of them for varying reasons I saw a property with an older double-wide mobil on it. The property was perfect and I said yes. This place is not on a permanent foundation. But, I found that compared with my Moms place in ID which is, the problems you encounter are the same.

    These problems are: As well as the ones listed already, the fact that many businesses will not install, work on or do anything involving construction on a mobile. Like changing the windows to double-paned,Installing Drapes, Cabinetry etc. This hasnot been a problem for me(my neighbor is an contractor and did any work I needed) but it was for my mom over in ID.

    I have not had a problem here with the insurance thing. Don't know why? I think the very best protection you can have when buying a place is a tried and true real estate agent. Ours was on EVERYTHING like the proverbial "duck on a june bug" and made sure that all was correct and legit and ON PAPER before we signed off.

    Good luck..hope all goes well...LQ
     
  4. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    Randy Dandy..

    I'm speaking for the west coast now, specifically just outside Las Vegas, in Henderson NV.
    I have a long time friend 42 yrs old whom of which really had to be relocated from Tampa to a dry climate due to medical problems.
    After much research, I decided to buy a brand new good sized manufactured home for my friend to live in and also serves as a nice getaway for family every now and then.
    The home I chose was a 2004 Cavco, made in Phoenix AZ. I decided upon this home for a number of reasons. First, I liked their floorplans, open, 36" doorways, AND the 2 X 6 framing as opposed to the 2 X 4 standard allowed for extra insulation in the home. This home is solid and super quiet. There's really nothing mobile homish about it. In fact, many of today's mfg'd housing is constructed better than much of the tract housing going up. Most all tract housing is built with the 2 X 4 standard framing.. so, I really appreciated the quality and soundness.
    I didn't want to spend a fortune on a house, didn't want all the upkeep on a house, nor did I want the property taxes. I'm quite pleased with this house as it's as comfortable a house as I have ever seen. The air conditioning is as quiet as a mouse and since my friend has disabilities, the minimal upkeep and wide doorways really make life much easier.
    While I have never known a mfg'd home to appreciate in value, I will say that the newer homes are incredibly nice, pretty well put together and more like a conventional home than I have ever seen. I was fortunate to negotiate this house for alot less than it's asking price from the dealer.... so while it per se, likely won't appreciate in value, I can easily sell it tomorrow or next year and make a good few bucks on it. So, from a satisfaction standpoint, I believe this is a great way to live, comfortably and minimal upkeep with regular preventative maintenance.
    On the subject of financing....There have been so many homes gone back on the back, loan defaults etc, that finding a bank (atleast in this area of the country) to carry a loan is difficult. And the interest rate here are a low of 9% and high of about 14% depending upon credit history, demographics, the cost of home, where you keep it etc. Now it may be much less where you are.
    My home is situated in a nice adult only park.... nicely landscaped, maintained etc. Therefore, I don't own the land. I pay a space rent monthly.
    I believe there are advantages and disadvantages both to owning and renting land. Again, I do have a monthly rent, but have no property taxes. The only taxes owed every year are on the home and they decrease rapidly in even the first two years. A minimal expense. On the other hand, since I don't own the land, I felt it NOT wise to pay a large down on this house. Again, these homes in my opinion, really don't appreciate. The company who owns the park was willing to finance the home for less than what Washington Mutual was willing to finance it for. (Wash Mutual Bank does provide Mobile/Mfg's housing loans)
    I believe Wells Fargo does as well. If you're interested in a home that sits on a park owned lot, ask them for a referral. If you want to place a home on your own land, I'd ask other area home owners and realtors in your area are quite resourceful and will likely give you some names.
    As for personal/liabilty/homeowner insurance, personally, I had no trouble finding an insurer and insuring the home. I believe I found a satisfactory carrier by asking a neighbor. Seems that asking alot of questions offered me alot of options on this matter.
    I had an older mobile home (left to me, prior) and while it was comfortable, homes that are not well maintained can nickel and dime the heck out of you, as with anything in life. Maintainance is the key. Be sure to carefully inspect older homes. Make sure the sellers run the air, heat, and all appliances. While I have heard that most people don't have mobile homes inspected, I say, why not?? If you really like a home and seriously consider buying it, have it inspected. Repairs are inevitable on older homes and are costly to repair for sure. A good home owner whether it be a conventional home, a mobile home or a caboose, will have all the maintenance records in order and available. I wish I had simply sold the older home immediately which was left to me and gone straight for the new home. Live and learn.

    In my situation, my decisions were based perhaps differently than yours will be.
    My main goal was to locate a clean living condition and healthy environment for my disabled friend. However, looking back on the whole experience, I'm satisfied with the value I'm recieving and the expenses to maintain a new home or a well kept used home (which I had in the same park prior to purchasing the current place, in the same park) are reasonable. I can see why why many people like manufactured housing! It's a great way to live. Ask alot of questions as this will be your greatest source to information. If manufactured housing is what you like for yourself and family, I think it's a great way to go. My friend is very comfortable going from a 2000 square ft conventional home to a 1400 sq ft mfg'd house.

    Good Luck to you!
     
  5. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    I failed to mention, the home is parked, anchored on stands, well leveled, with skirting all around that matches the house.
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A mobile home is going to depreciate in value. All homes depreciate, when compared with a new one. That said, if the land is going up in value, then the value of the property as a whole will go up in value. The better care you take of the mh, the less it will depreciate over time. A double wide or single wide is going to be in much better shape if the person living there is single and either retired or never there. You put a family with kids in one and it just isn't going to hold up over time.

    You get what you pay for, and if you are interested in a mobile home or modular. visit the factory where they are made. Some are very well made, others are crummy. You can get a pretty decent modular, but in my area it is not any cheaper than stick built, just faster. If it was me, I'd get a modular that is finished on site (drywall, etc). If you get a mh, it would be worth your while to have a porch roof over the west side, and possibly the south. Those things can really heat up. Also, don't be sold by a big bathroom. Those garden tubs take more water to fill than you probably have in your hot water tank. The square footage of a huge bathroom can be better put into closets.
     
  7. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    worst thing about mobile homes is when they move them, they Flex!

    and my Mom and Dad's the movers bent the Frame pulling it up the driveway, thank goodness we had movers insurance on it.
     
  8. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Some doublewides/modulars are nothing more than junk, built with the cheapest materials known to mankind. Just because its built to meet code means absolutely nothing. There is little doubt most of these cheapie type homes will depreciate over the years.

    Some others are extremely well built, and I suspect they will appreciate handsomely over the years.


    Nearly anything built and situated in a trailer park will likely depreciate like a rocket on re-entry. Many unfortunate people will be upside down on their mortgages and will be partaking of bankruptcy court.

    I'd take the cheapest built stick built home on its own lot/septic/driveway/etc anytime over the best built modular situated in a mobile home park.
     
  9. Randy Dandy

    Randy Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all very much for your information. I guess I was wanting to hear all good things. Better than that I heard honesty and truth. We seen one last year that was built real good. They even gave the option of 2 x 6 walls. The floor joists was 2 x 6, or 2 x 8 I dont remember for sure. The real deal was the inside of this particular doublewide. It had real wood trim(thick crown) and real drywall. It looked just like a stick built home inside. Really nice. It was alot higher than the others though. We really thought we was ready to go with this last house contractor until he jacked his prices up. I do mean UP !!! Like my dad said, he probably had a bigger, better job/s lined up. We are just so tired of the games that contractors play. I read on one web site that was recently updated, that doublewides are starting to really impact the market, and because of it, the finacial industry is really taking hold, and some doublewides if put on permanent foundation are actually apreciating. It read that they are starting to view them as regular homes. This perspective did come from the southeast though. Uhh imagine that :haha: They said there is a larger market in the area, but it is spreading nation wide. Its a hard decision to make. Thank you all again. We will seriously consider a doublewide, and may go look at some tomorrow. Right now we have to back up and think about it. Thanks for all the different view points.
     
  10. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've lived in old farmhouses, new and used (REALLY used) mobile homes, too. Right now, I own an 1800 SF 1996 double-wide on 6 1/2 acres. The house is a super good cents home with the 2x6 walls, lots of insulation, tape and texture walls. I've pulled the carpets and put in Pergo type floors. Forced air heat, all electric appliances. I like the layout and it's nicer inside than most stick-built houses. That being said, given a choice, I wouldn't buy another one.

    Even with the title eliminated, the house "pit set" with a concrete block foundation, it is still considered a manufactured home. As such, when I refinanced, I had to pay a 1/2 point and go through a complete application process, even though I was refinancing with the same company that my old contract was though. I was able to get a 5.25% interest rate, which was comparable to a rate on a traditional house at the time, but if it was a stickbuilt house, I would have saved $500. on the refi and have had a much less complex process to go through. As it was, the company I was (and am) with is the only one in my state that will finance a manufactured home.

    Secondly, most insurance companies do not cover manufactured homes. Those that do, charge you more for the same level of insurance.

    Thirdly, there are more restrictions on what can be attached to, or installed in, a manufactured home. Decks and porches have to be inspected by Labor and Industries in WA, as do wood stoves. Wood stoves also have to have an outside airduct to carry air directly into the stove. Install it without the inspection and have a fire? Your insurance will not cover the loss. Have a fire not related to use of the woodstove? Your insurance STILL will not cover the loss. You've breached your contract with them.

    Fourthly, my house has held its value so far, and would have appreciated had I had time to repaint inside and out prior to the appraisal. The appraisal listed 5 categories for the condition of the home, from poor to excellent. Mine was rated good plus, and just held its value. That means if it had been rated fair or below, it would have depreciated.

    Lastly, even though on the inside, my house looks like any other home, it still looks like a manufactured home. It's a nice manufactured home, but it's still a manufactured home. A little bland, a little boring. I'd like to have a home that had a little more of ME in it.
     
  11. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

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    We were considering a new manufactured home. We went down in the valley one very hot summer day and looked at new ones on the lot. It must of been around 120 that day. The outgassing / formaldehyde smell was terrible... my eyes where running... my lungs congested,,, it was hard to breathe... all this from just being inside for a few minutes... no way I was going to live in one of those... Now granted in that kind of heat - with no air conditioning on you are going to set some super outgassing...

    an interesting read about fomaldehyde:
    http://www.snowcrest.net/lassen/eiform1.html
     
  12. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    Check on insurance -- I ran a mobile home park for a while and it was very hard to get them insured. Also they do not appreciate in value whereas a house does. So they can be a pain to sell -- I always see people giving them away because they cant find a buyer. Just be careful -- and yes the new ones are built better!
     
  13. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    We bought a new double wide MH and hate it. The quality is very poor. The service was bad from the dealer and the factory guys were not much better. Our next home will be brick or wood. Also insurance is through only one company as we aren't in the city limits or in a park.
     
  14. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

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    If I am not mistaken, new stick-built houses also use sheathing and other materials which contain formaldehyde. This is not restricted to manufactured housing. I own an older manufactured home on a permanent foundation. Easy to finance (5.1%/30 yr), cheap taxes on house and 4.5 acres (about 1/5 stick-built on same land). My improvements to house have increased its value. Most importantly, the land value always appreciates no matter what is on it. Of course, land which must be cleaned up before developing will bring a bit less, but the real appreciation is in the land. As with any structure, it is necessary to keep the exterior sound, and it will not deteriorate. I'd be paying a lot more to live in a stick-built, but wouldn't be any drier or warmer. Just poorer.
     
  15. allen8106

    allen8106 Well-Known Member

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    My mother bought a double wide three years ago and it is still out gassing. It makes her very sick at times and I think it is contributing to most of her health problems.
     
  16. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    If you do buy one, stay away from "KIT" manufacturing in Idaho... trust me on this.....
     
  17. Randy Dandy

    Randy Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up about the formaldehyde. Ive done some reserch on it and here is just a few links I found. http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/formaldehyde.htm
    http://www.healthgoods.com/Educatio...Air_Quality/indoor_pollutant_formaldehyde.htm
    http://doityourself.com/home-safety/manufacturedhomes.htm
    I have found out that since they started having a problem with the outgases of formaldehyde that they now have started useing materials made of stuff that does not create such a problem. Like has been said before, most of the problem with a manufactured home is that it never has a chance to air out until you start living in it. I also read where several people have problems with formaldehyde in regular stick built homes. I got off the phone with a neighbor a few minutes ago, and they have a double wide and said that an apraisal showed an increase of the house equal to the increase of the land. I also talked to a nearby realitor. She said that they are a good investment only if you first buy a well built one and you put it on a good piece of property. She also said its important to put it on a permanent foundation or a basement, and if at all possible block or brick around the bottom of the home. We are still considering this as an option. Maybe a couple of Ionic Breezes would be in order :haha: Seriouly though, I would consider, if we get one, to let it sit awhile with possible the heat on from time to time and the doors open to air out. We would be putting it about 600 feet away from where we are now, so we could wait until its aired out maybe. I also read where they build them now so the roof system allows the discharge of whatever goes up there and it also allows fresh air in. I think we are getting ready to go into town. If we go and look at some I will try to keep all of your concerns in mind. Thank you all again for your help and good advice.
     
  18. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    You are still talking about a lot of money...have you priced DelTech homes or similar?

    My neighbors have huge insurance problems with their homes. Personally I would rather have a smaller stickbuilt than a mobile because of the quality of construction. You can find some very small homes in kits online and others that are drop on site types. I'd check them out for the bigger bang from your buch=k.
     
  19. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    My current home is what is called "stick built on site" it's sort of a combination Mobile/home, regular home. The key is that the banks consider it a house. It does have a foundation but in looking at the construction it is obvious it was brought in in two "pieces" and assembled on site. What the difference is is beyond me - except that the banks think it's better. Same with insurance. I have a regular wood stove and that is OK with them.... It also was built in 1971 which would give banks a fit if it were a mobile home outright!

    Could this be a way to "have your cake and eat it too"?

    I personally would dread the process of building a home - so many ways to get ripped off. With a mobile home at least most of it is complete to start with, although the issues of holding value, insurance and financing are very real as I found out with my last property which had a large double wide. Nice to live in but everything else became a pain.
     
  20. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The kind of house deberosa is talking about is a modular that is finished on the site. Depending on who makes it, there may be very little difference between a modular home and a mobile/manufactured home. It comes in two pieces and is put together. Technically, the mobile home can be moved and will always have the axles on it. There is a firm in our area that has "site built" modulars. They are two pieces brought in, just like a double wide, but the quality of the construction is higher. They do the finish work, like drywall after the house is planted on your property. This means that the drywall will not be cracked from moving. The houses are by no means "better" than a stick built house, or cheaper than a similar stick built house. They are only faster. You are still dealing with a contractor who may take six months to finish a job that should take about a week or so.

    Over time, I would say that the "site built" modular will be more valuable than a modular or mobile home. As for double wides appreciating in value, you need to look at the residential market. Yes, a double wide will appreciate if there is nothing else on the market of similar size. There is a sellers market, and there is a buyer's market. In a buyer's market, people will buy a house over a trailer. Although, sometimes the buyer can't tell that it's a trailer, in which case they will pay more. Putting it on a basement, or even a crawl space will add to the life of a trailer, and therefore increase it's value.

    Having been an assessor, I can tell you that a double wide will be snatched up quickly only if there is nothing else available. People will buy a double wide, not because they want a trailer, but because it is all they could afford; because it is on or near the lake; because it has a well, septic, and is in the country; because it is in the country but near the city; because they don't realize what they are buying. If you have a well built dw and sell it in five years, assuming the market is good, you will make a profit. If you sell it in fifteen years, or twenty years, you will do well if it is a seller's market.