Mobile homes make great, affordable houses for budget-minded individuals and families, but there are some nuances you should be aware of if you're purchasing a mobile home that'll be a long-term residence. Use these tips, and you'll find a great mobile home to keep for as long as you want to.
Look for Your Own Land
A mobile home may be situated on your own lot or on a leased lot that's within a mobile home park. While both of these are suitable options for certain situations, you should look for your own land if you intend to keep the mobile home long-term.
If you purchase a mobile home that's within a park, you'll have to make a monthly lease payment for your lot. Although this lease might be affordable now and locked in for several years, the lease will eventually have to be renewed and could change at that point in time. When renewing, your monthly payment could go up significantly.
In contrast, buying your own land eliminates any lease payment. You'll still have to pay property taxes, but these aren't as likely to jump drastically like a lease payment can during renewal. Thus, owning your own land provides greater long-term financial assurance.
You can put a new mobile home on a parcel of land that you purchase, or you can buy a mobile home that's on an owned lot already. In either case, you won't have to lease the land from a park.
Explore Your Mortgage Options
Financing a mobile home purchase is a little more involved than financing a traditional home purchase because banks generally don't regard these homes as physical buildings. Instead, banks treat mobile homes as personal property.
To get a traditional mortgage, first make sure your mobile home is permanently affixed to a foundation. This will help you make an argument that the home should be treated as a building.
Then, talk to both banks and credit unions. Even if major banks won't underwrite a traditional mortgage for a mobile home, a credit union might be willing to if you have a relationship with them or meet with a manager in-person to explain your situation. Don't be afraid to mention that you'll stay in this home for a long time.
While you might have to exert extra work, qualifying for a traditional mortgage is well worth the effort. You'll get a lower interest rate, and the amount of interest you save over time will add up to a significant amount.