How to Choose the Best Mobile Home for Your Money

How to Choose the Best Mobile Home for Your Money
News / Consumer

News: How to Choose the Best Mobile Home for Your Money

Mobile homes have changed greatly over the past few decades. In 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began regulating the construction of mobile / manufactured homes pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974. Manufacturers raised the quality level of construction and have continued to elevate the quality of both construction and design over the years. Today, the mobile homes that California residents have access to rival tract homes and custom-builds. If you are looking at manufactured homes in California, follow these steps and get the best mobile home for your money.

1. Visit the mobile home manufacturer’s home center. If a manufacturer does not have a model home center open for tours, move on to the next. You would never purchase a tract or custom-built home without touring the site first, so expect the same from the builder of your mobile home. Schedule the visit on a day when you have nothing else planned, so you can spend as much time as necessary at the center. Buying a house is one of the most important life decisions you can make, so take your time.

2. Take the behind-the-scenes tour. Many homebuyers skip ahead to the model homes. DON’T. Take the time to see how the manufacturer constructs the homes. The most well-respected builders will take the time to explain the many high-quality construction features that come standard, such as rolled-steel I-beam frames, dual-pane metal windows, 30-pound-rated rafters, 100-AMP electrical with copper wires, CPVC plumbing systems and shut-off valves throughout the homes.

3. Look at as many models as possible. House shopping makes for a long day, but hang in there as long as you can. With each model you look at, you will get a better idea of what you like and what you don’t. Make a list as you go and show it to the sales representative when you are done; there could be new floor plans in the works that would be better for you or your family if you have the time to wait.

4. Opt for the upgrades. While upgrades add value to any home, upgrades in a mobile home retain far more value than those in a tract or custom-built home. When the housing industry takes a hit, manufactured homes generally retain more value than others, which makes their upgrades a safer investment. For example, if a house declines in value by $50,000 because of a shift in the economy, the money you’ve put into granite countertops in a custom-build won’t recoup quickly.

As mentioned above, the mobile homes California residents have access to rival tract homes and custom-builds. They range in size from 600 to 3,000-square-feet floor plans, which leave many options for a retiree on a fixed income or a sizable family in need of space and comfort.

About the author: Phil Newman writes about manufactured homes in California for a variety of trade and homebuyer publications and regularly visits the home centers of mobile home manufacturers. Most recently, Phil attended the Factory Expo center in California and was impressed by what he saw and learned.