How to Determine the True Value of a Mobile Home

Updated on October 25, 2016
A 1973 Mobile Home for sale for $36,000.
A 1973 Mobile Home for sale for $36,000.

One of the best values in a home buyer’s market are mobile homes (MH) or manufactured homes. A MH is usually found anchored on a lot inside a mobile home park. The park usually has the same amenities as a resort and you pay a monthly lot fee, much like a HOA for a condominium. The same can be said of a manufactured home but these are not movable once on a foundation. These units are much like a real home one would buy and usually are perched upon land owned.

Mobile homes usually have a life span, structurally speaking, of 50-75 years, depending on location and environmental conditions. They can be comparable to a real home; some are 2000 square feet. It is really up to the owner. But, whatever is done inside, it is still a MH. Thus, when you buy one, the transaction is much like buying a car. There is no 30+ day escrow. You still have property taxes and lot fees, ranging from $300-800 per month.

The big difference is that MH values almost always depreciate, unlike real property that appreciates. That is because the MH owner does not own the land the unit sits on. Keep this in mind when you buy one. Be comfortable with breaking even or losing money if you need to sell. This will be the usual case; there are exceptions.

Florida is a state full of MH parks. They are either age restricted (55+) or not. If you want to live in the tropic-like area, on limited resources, this is the best way to go. Once you buy a MH, most owners are able to landscape around the home as they see fit.

The trick in buying a MH is to find one that does not look like a MH from the street. Nearly all will have a carport, not a garage. Most will have a screened or glassed-in patio area called a “Florida Room.” This can be as big as 200 square feet. It is good for storage or to watch passersby, but don’t consider it a bedroom or living space.

Location is important. Are the neighbors too close or is there ample space between units? Decent back yard and front yard? Close to a lake or a pond with view? These are the subjective items when determining overall value. How much more are they worth to you? They could add thousands to a selling price. Really nice landscaping is also important.

Determining the True Value

It can be said that most MH listings are overpriced, but again, location and market may dictate otherwise. Assuming the MH is in good shape, a ballpark reduction of 25% from the retail reflects the real value. But to get the real value, so you can make an offer with intelligence, obtain a NADA mobile home report from online sources (like insurance companies providing loans) or others. From the website, you enter the precise specs of the MH you are interested in.

For instance, a 1973, 1400-square-foot home, situated on a plot with nice side and back yard, in the Clearwater, Florida, area was selling for $36,000. The lot fee was $550 a month.

The NADA report on that MH stated:

  • Basic Structure Value was $9400.00. Being in Florida increased the value to $9600. That was the retail value of the just the home.
  • Since the home was in “good” condition, its value increased to $10,500.
  • Remaining physical life of home was 43 years. The unit was in Pinellas Cascade Park MH, which is nice, maintained. NADA called it Standard. This increased the value to $12,000.
  • Additional features or repairs were nil. Either would increase or decrease the base value.
  • The final adjustment to this base amount was the Industry Standard of 1.5. When applied, the final overall value ended up at $18,000.

Clearly, when the agent determined the selling price, he simply doubled this amount for $36,000.

The only thing that would increase the value is the MH park the unit is in. A high-end park would increase the value, as would new cabinets, kitchen items, or whether it was sold “furnished,” but the effect is subjective. If this home was 10+ years younger (built in the '80s, '90s), the base value would be much higher.

This home, all things considered, could sell for $27-30,000, which would be a fair price given the market. If the home remains on the market for months, the seller is more apt to accept this amount since the monthly lot fees still have to be paid even if the unit is left vacant. Time is always on the side of the buyer.

But try to buy a MH built after 1976, when HUD mandated how construction was done.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Chris Schmidt 

      8 months ago

      Those values are complete over valued. It is nice for the seller to get so much money but the buyer ends up with all the Repair costs in the future.

      The more you pay the higher the Commision is for the Real estate agent, and so on.

      Trailers don't have that Lifespan what you wish.

      Floors, Framing, Roofing, Plumbing, Electric, everything is stone old,everything will need repair.Besides that all the Owners before you did some patches and you will have to repair those. Today the prices from Repaircosts have explodet there is no cheap fix anymore in Florida.

      Be aware of this..

      One of the reasons things have to be brought up to the latest Code. That's a Catch

      The real Value of a trailer from 1970 is 70 USD

      You read right 70 USD. Until you are done you will face costs from at least 10 to 15 Grand, to make it livable

      Trailer from 1980 Give the Guy 80 bucks , same as the Units from the 70 th.

      Don't Overpay Its a Trailer.

      Not a house gets blown away in the first wind

      Disapointed with your dream possible but you ave yourself a lot of trouble

      Why do we know this ? Because we repair them.

      For 30.000 USD you can make a lot of Vacation where ever you want to.

      You are not tied down to a Place that cost you every Year.

      Chris Schmidt

    • Old Bald Guy profile image

      Old Bald Guy 

      23 months ago

      If you know anything about determining the value of a used mobile home, why were you asking question after question about how to value a used mobile home on the "Lowell's Notes" article, entitled "Before You Buy a Manufactured (Mobile) Home" ?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)