Debating on a newer Manufactured / "Mobile" Home ... A Doublewide

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Apr 9, 2008
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Central NY
We're kinda getting down to it here. The real estate bubble is about to burst and I'll end up unable to sell the swamp shack if I don't move soon!

I know there's a stigma with mobile / manufactured homes but ...

The real estate market in upstate NY has been relatively stagnant the last decade or so. Unfortunately with work from home being very popular in the NYC/NJ area, a lot of people have decided to move to upstate / Central NY. Our real estate market is crazy.

Our budget is $180K. I'm sure we could go higher but I don't want to. We still have the swamp shack and I'm planning for worst case scenario where I end up having to sell it for $30k or something and end up holding onto the mortgate for 3 or 4 more years. Having double mortgages isn't ideal, but I'm tired of dealing with all of the problems that the swamp shack has.

I DO NOT WANT AN OLD HOUSE. My fiance really wants an old house. We found one in our price range that looked nice and I entertained the idea. The house was an excellent lesson in why I do not want to deal with a house built in the 1800s. It was a disaster. Even something built in the 40s/50s is too old, IMO. Just asking for constant problems with sagging, rot ... knob and tube wiring ... no thanks.

Unfortunately - for what we want we just aren't finding anything. I can't live in a development. They aren't conducive to my hobbies - a friend of mine lives in a development and his jeeps are always attracting codes officers. I don't want to deal with that. We will not have kids, so we can have live somewhere without a good school district. Rural works great. More room to park stuff, more room for our dog to run and less nosey neighbors.

However, we are finding homes are within our price range. Though severely inflated, they are available. 20 or so years ago, there was a bit of a boom and a lot of the more rural areas were divided up into 1-2 acre lots and there were mobile homes placed.We're finding there are some 1200-1500 sqft doublewides built between 2000 and 2005 on acre lots. With detached garages.

It seems that "post standard" homes don't seem to catch fire and burn up like the old ones. Some friends of mine just had one put on a plot of land they bought and it's extremely nice. 2x6 walls, drywall! , very nice flooring and appliances. The build quality is awesome. IT's sitting on a pad and has a block skirting around. Looks like a modular!

Anyone have any thoughts / comments on looking at one that's around 20 years old? As long as it has normal flooring material - plywood / osb, copper wiring, modern plumbing (no CPVC for me) and isn't too old I think I could deal with it. As long as it's on a concrete pad! No more dirt crawlspaces for me.
 
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There isn't anything wrong with modern manufactured housing, in fact, their construction is superior to stick-built housing in many respects. Many (but not all) of them have plywood floors and PEX plumbing, make sure that it does because these two things can cause you endless problems. Marine grade OSB flooring is OK but particle board flooring is something that you should walk away from. Aluminum wiring has not been used in MANY years so that shouldn't be a concern. It is vitally important that they are installed and secured properly, so pay particularly close attention to this. If it has been installed on a foundation, all the better. In Texas if it is installed on a foundation and on an owned piece of land, you can give-up the title and get a deed, which makes it pretty much the equal of a stick-built house.
 
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Hopewell, Virginia, USA
Don't do it. Manufactured homes start having real problems after 10 years, unless you just pour money into them. If a 20–year-old mobile home is for sale, ask why.

Double-wides look as if they're built "just like" "real houses". They aren't. And few actually have plywood floors. Usually it's thick particleboard, and eventually humidity gets to it.

Trust me on this. Please. My mom's old double-wide, not yet 30 years old, is literally crumbling. It's been unoccupied for 10 years and needed major, unaffordable work before that.
 
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I wouldn’t, not unless it was basically “free” and I was paying just for the land. And I was ok with building a new home, but was fine with it moving a bit—that way I could live on the land and the house build could proceed at whatever pace.
 
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Dripping Springs, TX
I’ve seen many 20-year-old mobile homes that looked unfit to inhabit, most notably with the particle board siding, which isn’t fit for a shed. More importantly, I don’t see many with proper eaves and roof leaks (along with the resulting mold) seem to be a common issue. In 1978, my maternal grandparents had a modular home built by Wausau Homes out of Wisconsin. It was a ranch home that came in two halves on trucks. The halves were set on the poured concrete basement. After my grandparents moved to assisted living in the late 1990’s, it got repainted and re-shingled. No problems, except for the lowest row of wide (Masonite?) siding alongside the flower bed needing to be replaced at that time. Wausau Homes is still in business, though it looks to have moved a bit upmarket. Perhaps there’s a similar company in your area.
 

Nick1994

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You can buy houses on land for $180k in NY? You can't even blink for $300k here. In a suburb.
 
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Double wides are common in SoCal... but their plumbing is unique to mobile homes, instead of regular residential.

Don't know how they fare in the winter though.
 

SwampSurvivor

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The OP is talking about an upstate location, probably semi-rural. Downstate NY near the metro NY City area you might get a deluxe canvas tent with a double outhouse in the back for $180K.

Correct. I'm about a 5 hour drive from the NYC area.

We're definitely looking rural. Not interested in living in a city (Syracuse) again.
 
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IIRC there are quite a few high quality manufactured homebuilders in the NE US.

 
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SwampSurvivor

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IIRC there are quite a few high quality manufactured homebuilders in the NE US.


Those are modulars - much nicer than what we're considering !

They don't have building lots for under $50K where you could build a real house for under $100K? https://www.wideopencountry.com/10-amazing-country-homes-you-can-build-for-under-65k/

Unfortunately where we want to be, you can get a nice lot for under $50k. The problem is, the water table is so high and environmental restrictions so strict that putting in a septic system is very complicated and extremely expensive. $30,000-$40,000 is not uncomoon.

Between septic, well, purchasing land, we'd be in well over $100,000 before even having a foundation set and purchasing the house itself.

There isn't anything wrong with modern manufactured housing, in fact, their construction is superior to stick-built housing in many respects. Many (but not all) of them have plywood floors and PEX plumbing, make sure that it does because these two things can cause you endless problems. Marine grade OSB flooring is OK but particle board flooring is something that you should walk away from. Aluminum wiring has not been used in MANY years so that shouldn't be a concern. It is vitally important that they are installed and secured properly, so pay particularly close attention to this. If it has been installed on a foundation, all the better. In Texas if it is installed on a foundation and on an owned piece of land, you can give-up the title and get a deed, which makes it pretty much the equal of a stick-built house.

I guess it can't be worse than what I currently have 😁
 
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Daytona Beach
Both old mobil homes as well as manufactured homes are very popular here. Our friend moved here from Pittsburgh and bought a mobile home built in 1978! It's dated, of course, particularly the appliaces, but it's still pretty nice and very "livable". I suppose it depends on your budget. She got in at $40,000! (yeah) But hey, it's Florida. Typical rents have now exceeded $1500.00 a month.

My BIL, on the other hand is having his new modular delivered on Jan 26th. He waited about a year, but needs to get further away from Jacksonville. They guaranteed delivery for the home, but wern't sure if the appliances would be available. Once again, I can get further details on either one, but they both sell here and maintain value. Just the way it is here.

Go for it!
 

SwampSurvivor

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. Once again, I can get further details on either one, but they both sell here and maintain value. Just the way it is here.

Go for it!

I guess a lot of it depends on what the bank / insurance companies think, but I did a zillow search for doublewide homes sold within the last 2 years and ran them across our county property lookup. It seems that for doublewides, they have trended up in value when being sold a few times over the last 15-20 years.

Definitely not doubling in value like a modular or stick built, but they don't seem to lose value --- at least when it comes to selling --- like older or singlewide ones do.
 
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Don't have the impression that being out of the city can't be loud . I have plenty of land , not going to say how much . I can hear gunfire from 2 miles away and I'm sure they can hear me when I target shoot .
One house that is probably 1.5 miles from me can't seem to keep his junk truck working is always making a racket with it .
It's quieter in the country mostly but with no tall buildings and other things sound really travels .
Heck there is a railroad track 5 miles from my house and I can hear it at night .
 
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There is also something called "Tiny Homes" which can mean build on a foundation (like double wide) or on a trailer.

There is a whole TV channel dedicated on building this Tiny Homes.
 

SwampSurvivor

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Don't have the impression that being out of the city can't be loud . I have plenty of land , not going to say how much . I can hear gunfire from 2 miles away and I'm sure they can hear me when I target shoot .
One house that is probably 1.5 miles from me can't seem to keep his junk truck working is always making a racket with it .
It's quieter in the country mostly but with no tall buildings and other things sound really travels .
Heck there is a railroad track 5 miles from my house and I can hear it at night .

I'm rural now and it can get loud. I'm maybe 1/4 mile from an interstate.

It's more the restrictions on what you can't do in your own home.

For example - in the town just on the other side of the river from me, if you want to replace your sink o-rings, you need to pull a permit. A friend has a few Jeeps that are ugly, but they are tagged and on the road. The neighbors blow him in all the time.

Even worse is the city of Syracuse. If you park on the grass, you get a fine. And you can't do ANYTHING on your house without a) pulling a permit and b) hiring a union contractor to do the work. That seems a bit insane to me. Plus the higher taxes, etc.

The municipality I'm in reassessed everyone last year, but the county lowered taxes pretty significantly. To the point that my tax burden for the 2021 FY is lower than it was in 2020. Even with my house assessed $30K more than it was prior. The more urban areas just have taxes going up and up constantly.
 
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