First time home owners....

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Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:52 am

Hi, I'm Andrew....I stumbled upon your forum in a search for answers to a few questions I had and I must say it's helped alot with a few things. I was really looking for a few opinions from people with long-term experience living in a manufactured home.

My wife and I just married and are looking to buy our first home. Her family has plenty of land where we'd like to move eventually and were having trouble deciding between stretching our budget to stick build, or getting more house for our money in a manufactured home. I'm looking long-term here, so I gues my real question is: If we took proper considerations before buying a MH (materials used, durability, etc.) is it reasonable to expect it to last the next 20..30..or 40 years?

We've talked about several options, the main ones being buying a smaller MH until we can build, or just buying the size house we really want right off the bat in a MH. Although there are alot of stereotypes down here in MS, I dont have any prob with MHousing itself. I also don't have a fear of DIY projects either (worked in contruction for few months). And as far as investments go, if we bought the size MH we want, we'd be there on our land forever. Just wondering what my expectations should be.

Thanx in advance for any help...and sry for the long story :wink:

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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:16 pm
Location: Eastern N. Carolina

Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:07 am


Welcome to the site.

My MH is a 35 year old doublewide that Hubby and I purchased a year ago. Yes it has had repairs over the years but it is definitely still going strong and will last me my lifetime. Any home will require maintenance over the years.

If you are going to buy new there are several things you can order to upgrade the home although they will substantially raise the price, but worth the extra expense.

These being larger floor joist, exterior wall studs, added insulation, make sure the roof has an over hang and proper attic venting. I am partial to shingled roofs opposed to metal roofs. There are also several things to pay attention to inside the home.

There are many threads on upgrades for purchasing a new home. In the stickies area on the main page of the Repair forum is a article on what to look for when purchasing a used home.

I suggest you read the forum and get an idea on MH living. You can also do searches on various threads.

Good luck and keep us posted on your new adventure.

I am going to move this thread to OT (Off Topic) as it is not a repair issue.


The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:45 pm
Location: Citrus county Florida

Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:39 pm

Hi Andrew

HUD says "Today’s units have a life expectancy of 30 to 55 years, depending on the owners’ maintenance of the unit."

When I was young for a period of time I was "house poor". It's no fun....most of your money going to the home and a tiny budget for all of the other expenses.

MHs are fine but I would advise my kids to get the land in their names....and not the in-laws.


Aside from the roof leak, soft floors, rats, mice and bursted plumbing ........ how do you like it?

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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:23 pm

Andrew, Hi & welcome to the family. First let me thank you for not using the "T" word! A mobile is just like a car, It can last as long as the care that it is given. If you beat it it will not last long.
It is hard to anticipate just what you will need or want in a home 10, 20 or 30 years from now. You Will in all likelyhood have done renovations improvements or additions by then. Just do the best you can and go from there. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."


Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:12 pm

Just over 2 years ago when we were in the process of moving from a small apartment to a hoped for 'better choice' in a rental, the place we'd chosen didn't work out. It was a crappy situation, but it pushed us in a new direction.

Long story short, we bought a 1970 double-wide in a fairly nice 'mobile home community' (hehe, they ain't trailor parks no more!). It's paid for, though we still pay lot rental.

Long term, we plan on fixing what needs it and improving several aspects that would go a good distance in making it look more like a 'home' than a cloned box. Then we'd like to sell it, and find a small piece of land that we can call our own. We'll likely by a newer used model, as we both like manufactured homes for their value and ease of care. While we dream of going 'off the grid' and building a 'green' home at some point, we'd be happy just to be able to snag a couple acres and smack down a home in no time. :)

So, we're 'first time' home owners too, and found this site by the same means as Andrew. It's been a bit of an adventure so far, but in a good way.

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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Oswego NY

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:48 pm

I have a 1977 single wide, and now a 1983 Fairmont. Both are in excellent shape, although as you can read in my blog here, the 1977 has gone through some serious wear and tear here in the 5 years I've been in it. With care, a mobile can last a pretty long time. I've seen some in my area (Oswego NY) from the 50's and 60's and I know a local guy restoring a 1945 Fairlane (?).

My personal opinion is, they are great new or used for new owners. A used one, even a damaged one, as long as you aren't talking frame damage is fixable. Roofs can be fixed, and walls can be replaced. And floors are nothing. And it's fairly cheap. I bought my 77 for $4800 and the 83 for $2100.