Upgrade or Build?

Whether it's NASCAR or your family vacation, talk about anything here!

Moderators: Greg, Mark, JD

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:51 pm

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:53 pm

Hi! i'm new to the forums, but i've found them very helpful so far! my husband and i own a mid 90's singlewide on an acre in a decent neighborhood. we've made a few upgrades and fenced the whole property with chain link for our dogs. it's not sitting on a slab and that's something we'd like to do at some point. we also have plans to add another room. we're happy with the house and the layout and other than making some upgrades (windows, the back door, stuff like that) everything is in good shape. we're in our mid 30's and are now faced with a decision. soon we'll have this property and house paid for. we feel like our options are to stick with this house and do all the things we have planned over the next few years, move the house out and build a house here or just sell the whole thing and move into a new house (maybe closer to his work or something). i've tried talking to my family for their opinion but the only answer i ever get is, "duh, build a house. that's obviously better than living in a mobile home forever." it's just hard to let go of no more house payments ever! i thought i might get a more objective viewpoint here, or is it really just that obvious and i should get used to paying for a house in some way or another for a while longer yet?

User avatar
Posts: 5673
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:53 pm

That is a difficult question to answer, every case is different.

In my case I bought a new home (14x80) for $20k. paid it off, did the upgrades (windows, kitchen, floors, bathroom) and we have a 20 yr.old home that I would laugh at a $20k offer from someone looking to buy it. Now We pay 250/mo in lot rent, To own a house free and clear would cost more that that in taxes alone.

As I said, every case is different. What you do will take some planning and a lot of thought.

"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:36 am

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:41 am

Hi Nina,

We faced a similar situation. Due to my husband and I both getting laid off and losing good paying jobs, we were forced to sell our home and downsize. It was going to be temporary, just to get caught up and back on our feet. My family and friends all shared the same sentiment..."how can you live in a mobile home?". There is a stigma that goes with it.

Not sure I want to be under another mortgage, and I have put so much time into upgrading this house, ( I call it a house, not a trailer), it feels like home. I may be persuaded into buying a small parcel of land and moving the house, but only because I fear the owner of the park one day deciding he no longer wishes to be in business and selling the land.

I would say, do what feels right for you, and don't worry about what others say. A home is what you make of it, :) Stick built or mobile, it's your personality that will make it "home".

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:51 pm

Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:22 pm

i definitely feel like this is our home and we love our acre of land. when we bought it was still a virgin lot covered in dense trees and brush lol. we cleared it all ourselves and have landscaped to our wants and needs. we've definitely run into that stigma quite a bit over the years. i'm still leaning towards paying this off and staying here, just making the improvements little by little and enjoy being debt free! i guess people will just think we're crazy for not choosing to build a house (which would more than likely be a modular home anyway so that we could begin living in it sooner rather than years later) and living in a "trailer" forever!

User avatar
Greg S
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:13 am
Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:24 pm

The only downside to your situation is that a mobile home is not a investment as a stick built home is. By that I mean a Mobile will depreciate over time as a car would. Even investing money to renovate and extend would never return the total investment once time has passed.

Security of ownership is nice but there is additional security in owning a home that in theory should appreciate. Of course the 2008 crash will always be in peoples minds but smart investors know things will turn around in time and have in fact already turned in many areas.

Everyone has the same choices, hunker down and hang on fearing the worst or try to advance and maybe get ahead or possibly lose. Being a investor my decision is simple but for those that only see a home as a place to live the decision is not so simple.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)