We Live in a Double-Wide Trailer

Double Wide Trailer

I have always wanted a very old house with beautiful architecture and original details.

Instead, we bought a property with a super classy double-wide on it.

Yep. You heard right. People always try to be nice and say stuff like, “Are you sure it’s a mobile home? It doesn’t look like one!” Well, I appreciate that. But the stickers in the closet ain’t lyin’. Certified mobile home right here, baby. The outside actually isn’t bad because of the porch and back deck.  But if you have ever lived in a double-wide, you know what one looks like and there is no mistaking it. Since we updated it, the inside is pretty great too. But there are somethings that you just can’t change on a double-wide.

So why on earth did we buy a double-wide?! They are actually a really poor investment. As in, I’d NEVER recommend for you to go buy property and then slap a mobile home on there. That will decrease your property value faster than almost anything else you can do. This actually worked in our favor when we purchased our property. We ended up getting way more bang for our buck because our trailer was…assembled…in 1979 so it was pretty run down. Everything else on the property was run down as well so between the trailer dragging down the value and the repairs all of the other buildings needed, we ended up buying 5 acres, a huge old barn {with plumbing and electric}, 2 matching smaller outbuildings {with electric}, an overhang shed, and another outbuilding {with water and electric} plus the mobile home for about the price of an empty 5 acre lot with nothing on it.

It was a score. But it was and still is a risk. Only time will tell if our risk was worth it, but our long term plan for the property should make it turn out to be a worthwhile risk.

We mitigated our risk by doing a few things.

  • We updated the entire mobile home and got new appliances for really cheap. We did all the work ourselves and I only bought things on sale or used. It looks a lot nicer, but in reality we only spent about $3000.00 on everything, including a new stove and refrigerator. This way, if our long term plan doesn’t pan out, we will hopefully be able to sell without losses.
  • We focus our money where the value is going to be. Our projects on the property are organized by what needs done but also what would potentially give us the most return on our investment (ROI). We aren’t planning to sell ever, but we still think about it just in case.
  • We have all the appropriate insurances. For our property, and both of us.  If you avoid thinking about things like disaster insurance and life insurance, you need to get your head out of the sand and grow up. No one wants to think about the bad things that can happen in life, but it would be more of a disaster if we didn’t have a plan. There are still some things we need to get taken care of, but the major ones are in place and ready to go.
  • Our property loan isn’t more than 1/3 of our income. This is just a general good practice when buying any type of home or property. 1/4 of your income is better, and in actuality it’s probably closer to that now because of my job. We also pay extra on our loan so we can get it paid off more quickly. If you really take 30 years to pay off your loan, you will pay more than double what the purchase price was, depending on your interest rate. I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather do with that money! On average, if you can manage to pay about 5 extra payments a year you can cut your loan down to 15 years.

So in the end, what is our long term plan? Our long term plan is to build a home on our property and sell the mobile home. We aren’t interested in renting it out or keeping it around for anything. Good thing you’re along for the ride to see if that really happens!

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7 Comments

  • Reply
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    SLS
    December 19, 2015 at 7:17 PM Been thinking about this all day. I follow you on IG. The statement about a mobile decreasing your property value is a myth. With any home it is about upkeep. In Baton Rouge I owned a home bought for $69k sold for $92k. In 5 years that was a $23k profit. However...we just sold a home 2 miles from here. A beautiful BRICK house. 3300 sq feet. Barns. 5 acres. Etc etc. my husband bought it for $150k. And sold it for $150k. In 9 years and after many backbreaking updates, no profit. On a house that SHOULD have had value. Now today: we bought 24 acres for $60k spent $10k on electricity/water/septic put a 2013 mobile on for $44k. Thats a $114k investment. I did the comps. The minimum we could probably get for the whole package is $150k. Thats a $36k profit in 2 years. Not too shabby. Many people who buy mobiles just slap them on land and dont take care of them. So they degrade. But a stick house with no maintenance will also degrade and have no value. So I just have to disagree. A stick or brick or whatever house does not make for a better piece of property. It's what you put into it and how you care for it. Where you live, what amenities you have. Personally, I hope to stay at Cedar Grove forever so it doesn't matter. Ha. But I think perhaps you should rethink saying a mobile is a bad investment, but that is only my two cents. ?
    • Reply
      Alli
      December 19, 2015 at 8:47 PM Thanks for following along! I agree that maintenance plays a HUGE role, for sure! It definitely depends on so many things: the current market, your area, nearby comp properties, etc. I also want to be clear here that I am talking about a mobile home, not a manufactured or modular home - there are major differences. From everything I have read and heard from real estate folks in my area, it seems to be the general trend, over time, for the majority of properties with mobile homes on them. Obviously with trends there are always exceptions to the rule. I'm glad that you have had an increase in property value - that is awesome!! If you are happy with where you live, that is all that matters. I'm glad you shared your experience and opinion, it's always great to have more than one point of view - thank you!
  • Reply
    Aileen
    December 17, 2015 at 12:20 PM The title (and tone) of this post makes me laugh :D It's really nice that you explain in detail some of these things because it's very interesting and I have no idea about any of these practical concerns. I always like what you have to say.
    • Reply
      Alli
      December 18, 2015 at 5:28 PM Thanks for reading! I'm glad you liked it.

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