Have any of you bought manufactured homes and are you satisfied?

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We are seriously thinking of buying a double-wide home to put here on our property. Have any of you done this and was it a good thing for you or not?

We have looked for a home for our family, but, can't find one we like, or, one in a place we like, so, we are consideringbuying one to replace the two older mobile homeswe live in. We are completely out of debt except for a small mortage on the one mobile, so, financially, we would be able to swing this.

We can't decided on whether to get a smaller one and put a basement under it, or because of cost, just going with a larger one that we won't need a basement with.

Also, which is better. A block fondation, or just getting it set up on piers and underpinned?

What has worked for you all? Please share any good thoughts you might have in this area.

Marsha in PA-wife to Loren-mother to 12.

-- Marsha (Thankful4Jesus@excite.com), February 08, 2002


My answer would be to build a home. We were looking at the double wides and to me they are so cheaply built, besides being very expensive. Have to wonder how long they would last. We gave up on the idea to buy one and decided to build. We are currently living in a single wide mobile home. If you decide to buy a double wide, I would put it on a foundation. It would be easier to get to pipes, etc... (also there would be no worry about pipes freezing and breaking), you could put hot water tank in basement(incase of leaks) and you could put your oil tank in the basement. I have heard of people putting a double up on piers and the frost still moved them! Hopes this helps you a little.

-- Jo in PA (farmerjo02@yahoo.com), February 08, 2002.

Marsha-My husbands grandparents bought a double-wide-about ten years ago and put it here-They love it and I would have to agree that it is an attractive and comfortable home. My husband and I think (hopefully this won't happen) that if something happens to this house we'd not rebuild-just replace it with a double-wide. I think you would be best having it set on blocks-I think you'll get better insulation value that way, plus a little better protection in case of storms.

-- Kelly (ky) (homearts2002@yahoo.com), February 08, 2002.

A basement would be nice with the number of people you have. You could even set up a few bedrooms, a family room and a huge laundry there. We don't have a basement but if we built another house we thought we might put all the kid's bedrooms, a family room, a laundry and canning kitchen there. But we probably won't be building another house!!!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), February 08, 2002.

Marsha, I have not purchased a mobile home, but we have a number of neighbors and firends who have. Construction and quality will vary from builder to builder. Are you looking at double wides or a modular homes? People tend to treat them as interchangable but they are not. Modulars are usally stick build homes that are built offsite. Double wides are typically the aluminum and plywood homes.

Being in PA I would say a basement is a must. Unless you have someplace to hid in bad weather I would say its a must. at least a partial basement.

-- Gary in Ohio (gws@columbus.rr.com), February 08, 2002.

If you can possibly afford to, I think you should build rather than buy a double wide. I am a real estate appraiser and I just got off of the phone with a lender trying to make a loan for someone who owes $58,000 on their 3 year old MH, $29,000 on the lot, and they are worth about $65,000 to $70,000 total. Mobile homes depreciate very rapidly, and once they are over about 15 years old, they are worth very little. And the quality, except for the few that are almost as expensive as site built homes, usually leaves much to be desired. Site built homes generally increase in value over the years if kept up well. Think of your home as an investment rather than just living space...then the answer becomes clear.

-- SteveD(TX) (smdann@swbell.net), February 08, 2002.

you should be able to biuld one yourself for near the same cost. AND,, it can change what you want,, unlike a modular,, you cant change much in there,, arent made that way. And the insulation has always turned me off of them. Nver enough,, and noway of adding more

-- Stan (sopal@net-port.com), February 08, 2002.

I have never lived in a mobile of any kind, but we have looked at some seriously when we were considering a larger home a few years back.

I don't know too much about the weather in PA, but here in Oklahoma, there is certainly one thing I would want any way you went about it, and that is a basement or cellar, some sort of "hidey hole". We have too many tornados in our area, the largest just over two years ago that was over a mile wide and stayed on the ground for over 75 miles, if I remember right. I've always had a cellar, and would especially fear for my safety in a mobile without one.

-- Christine in OK (cljford@mmcable.com), February 08, 2002.

Hi, Marsha. We bought a 4 bedroom repo double wide, and saved about $18,000. When we looked at it at the dealers, they had not "fixed it up" yet. We did all the work ourselves, put in the carpet and tile that they provided, and painted all the walls and ceilings, and saved a bundle. We did do our own foundation,but in retrospect would put in a basement. That said, after living here for two years, we would build one instead of the mobile home route as a permanent home, although around here doublewides on acreage sell for a pretty penny. We are not really unhappy with our decision, just will do it differently when we relocate.

-- Gina NM (inhock@pvtnetworks.net), February 08, 2002.

Our last home was a top of the line well known (here, anyway) manufactured home. Dh had numerous upgrades added and then went to the factory to personally see that they put them in. For the most part, we were satisfied but some things we were real unhappy with. Some of the thermo pane windows lost their seal and built up humidity inside. I think nearly every door handle in the entire house (bed, bath and entrance doors) broke within a few years and had to be replaced. Problems with the plumbing leaking in one bathroom - this was only at one joint and had to do with some poor quality PVC stuff. Probably a few other things that I can't remember right now. We were sort of unhappy with a few of the problems but various people who've had new stick-built homes built recently have told us they encountered just as many, if not more problems than we did with our manufactured home.

Would we buy another? Probably. Dh has said if he was going to start over raising a family he would probably put it over a basement.

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), February 08, 2002.

I'm near what is reputed to be "The RV and Manufactured Housing Capitol of the World" (Elkhart County, IN). I feel obligated to note that Indiana frequently leads the nation in tornado-related deaths, also. I feel this is less than coincidence. Over the years I have done business with quite a number of these companies. I've been in the plants and seen the manufacturing process and heard all the hype. The one thing I can't seem to get over is this simple fact; Manufactured homes depreciate in value while conventional homes appreciate in value.

While I can certainly appreciate the idea of owning vs. renting touted by the industry, in your case you're going to own regardless. All of that having been said, my advice would be to build if you can.

Generally speaking, square footage in a basement is cheaper than the same square footage above ground. Square footage is cheaper building up rather than building out, hence a two story will be cheaper than a ranch style home. Typically, then, a two story on a full basement will give you the most space for your money.

If you must buy a mobile home, buy used. Let someone else take that huge initial depreciation hit. The problem with that is finding a situation where you can buy one without a huge lein against it for more than it's worth. Buying a repossession might well be the best way to go if you can buy one for what it's worth as opposed to what's owed on it (generally far more than it's worth). It'll be a long process to find the right deal if there's one to be found. Good luck to you. I hope this helps.

-- Gary in Indiana (gk6854@aol.com), February 08, 2002.

About four years ago we bought a used double wide, 26 x 56' and put it on a basement. All totaled we have about $35,00 in the house, basement, well and septic system. No, they're not built as well as a conventional stick built home but its a comfortable place.

In many ways, on the other hand, they're build very similar to a stick build home. Ours has 6" walls with 2 x 6 on 16" centers and 2 x 8 floor joist on 16" centers. The roof trusses are rinky dink and ours being an older home has only a 2/12 pitch. The newer ones have 3/12 pitch.

Be careful of brand. I hear Liberty is not good at all and that why they sell cheap.

-- john (natlivent@pcpros.net), February 09, 2002.

I don't know all the differences between double-wides or modular or whatever, but my friend just recently got a modular home and put it over a walk in basement. There are three bedrooms in the basement as well as laundry, living room and her husband's workshop. She didn't want a modern type home but... Anyway they seem to like it, The first year it's supposed to be very dusty and they can't paint anything.

-- Cindy (SE. IN) (atilrthehony@hotmail.com), February 09, 2002.

When we moved here in the mid-70's we wanted to live in a more rural setting. We got a place with a modular home [built off site, good name], full basement and 30 a for about $30,000. We figured that we could replace it and that the land and the basement were worth the money. It had 3 br, 2 baths and 4 other rooms on the first floor. The basement wasn't finished. It hadn't been lived in!

Work time being what it was, we didn't get around to replacing it for 14 y. My impression: I wouldn't describe it as junk, but I would say that the quality wasn't the greatest. Everything was made to last for no more than 15 y. In the end, we just tore it down and scrapped it. We gave the usable fixtures to people who would come and get them.

We replaced it with a custom built home that is approximately 4500 sq feet on an enlarged version of the previous foundation. The difference is obvious. Still, I think, as a start, the initial investment was sound. They may make them better now but I would find a better route if I could afford it.

Best Wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), February 09, 2002.

Marsha----over the years we lived in a manufactured home---but it was inbetween---it was when we were just liveing there--until we were able to move into what we were saveing for---or when we were first starting out--- I agree with the other posters-----& I really agree with Stan---he sells real estate & he is telling it right on---- if you are able to go another route--for your investment----a stick home will always be a better investment for resale--& over time!! Best wishes---

-- Sonda in Ks. (sgbruce@birch.net), February 09, 2002.

I agree with some of the other posters, especially concerning age and quality. Some of the really old ones look just like mobiles, and even the newer ones look so cookie-cutter that you would swear you were in a mobile home park (depending on where you live there may be a definite stigma to mobile home living).

If you are not thinking of resale (or you have no one to leave the property to, for example), manufactured homes may be for you. I saw the Fleetwood representative on the Christopher Lowell Show (Discovery Channel) on the show concerning Airstream trailers, and mobile home living. The manufactureds look nice, but don't have much of a ceiling clearance--no possibility of opening up--what you see outside is what you get inside spacewise. They also can't be customized very well, unless you are willing to spend a lot of money, and at that point, you might as well go with a stick-built home.

I also don't like the fact that there's virtually no roof overhang, so your windows and doors aren't protected from wind and rain (unfortunately, new stick-builts also suffer from this deficiency).

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), February 11, 2002.

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