According to the Manufactured Housing Institute, 22 million people live in manufactured homes in the United States.
People all over the country are finding affordable housing solutions in mobile homes. Yet many worry about the declining value of the home. After all, you’ve been told for generations that mobile homes only lose their values after you purchase them.
So what can you do to help your mobile home either maintain or increase its value? In a word: upgrade.
Read on to learn about seven mobile home upgrades that will increase the value of your home and make it an even more pleasant place to live.
Mobile Home Upgrades Made Simple
Mobile homes, in a way, do not differ from any other stick-built home. Think about the things you do to increase the value of a stick-built home, and then apply the same principle to your mobile home.
You can do this pretty easily with one major difference: location.
Most people say: you can improve your house but you cannot change your location. Meet the mobile home.
You can actually improve the value of your mobile home if you pair it with some prime real estate. If you’re currently living in a mobile home park, you’re enjoying the amenities such as shared laundry facilities or even a shared playground for children.
But you’re not increasing the value of your home.
Picture the same home, not next to mobile homes of varying qualities, not controlled by you, but on a piece of lakefront property or on a beautiful grassy plain overlooking a valley of prairie flowers.
With a mobile home, your biggest asset is the mobility of the home. You can purchase some private property once you’ve paid off your mobile home, and then your only mortgage will be the property on which you’ve placed your home.
Moving does not come free, however, so consider all the costs of moving when you look at a different location. At a minimum, a move will cost $1,000 and upwards of $2,000 if you’re just moving across town. If you’re moving across the country or state, relocating your home could cost upwards of $10,000.
So, consider the final value of your property and mobile home package once you’ve moved as you consider the cost. You will ultimately improve the overall package of your home and land value. If you can afford to finance a small plot of land with a beautiful view, do it.
Strip It to Improve It
Mobile homes are not viewed as real estate. After all, they’re registered with the department of motor vehicles
But, if you strip the mobile home, you make it more like real estate. Remove the wheels and chassis, affix the home to a foundation, and consider digging a basement for it. Once you’ve done this one a piece of private property, you will have converted the home to real estate.
In doing just these simple things, you immediately increase your mobile home’s value.
You will own a unique piece of property with the home and land package.
Increase Energy Efficiency
Mobile homes are known for their lack of energy efficiency. You can upgrade your mobile home by addressing this weakness.
Begin with the insulation. Make sure your home has proper insulation to keep out any creeping cold or thick heat.
Swap out your windows and doors to prevent seepage as well, and replace the weather stripping and caulking to create stronger seals as well. If you have skirting on your home, take off the old skirting and put on insulated skirting to protect your pipes.
Look into replacing your appliances one at a time from the watt-sucking appliances that came with your home to some newer and sleeker energy-efficient appliances. These upgrades will make your mobile home more valuable.
Exterior Aesthetics: Curb Appeal
Take some time to gaze at your mobile home from the curb. What stands out to you? What can you do to improve it?
Begin with the basics: paint. Do some research on the best color paint for increasing a home’s value. Consider going the whole hog and replacing your mobile home’s siding. You can read more now to learn about how to replace your siding easily.
Then break out your shovel and invest with sweat equity by improving the landscape. Put in the necessary bushes or border flowers.
Are you using cinder blocks as your front steps? Replace those with an attractive deck or at least some formal steps.
Mobile homes are known for their flat roofs. Make your mobile home look more like a stick-built home by installing a pitched roof. This will be better for your gutters and rain run-off as well and increase the value of your mobile home.
Kitchens and Baths
Kitchens and baths are the cash cow of the home. If you can find a way to remodel or update these two rooms, you can greatly increase the value of your mobile home.
Mobile homes, in general, have pretty small bathrooms and kitchens, so you will not be spending nearly as much as you would in a traditional home for a fully remodeled kitchen and bath.
Pay special attention to fixtures in particular. Older mobile homes tend to have cheaper fixtures, tubs, and sinks. Spend a little money on more traditional fixtures to give your home a warmer and richer feel.
Often, manufacturers go a cheaper route when installing flooring in a mobile home. Take the time to check the subfloor when you look into upgrading your mobile home with new flooring.
When you need to sell your home, you can mention how you replaced both the subfloor (which is often prone to water damage) as well as the flooring. Look for more durable flooring that gives your home a richer look overall.
Remember that throw rugs can add a homey touch to any flooring as well, whether you’re putting in a new one or just want to add some pizzazz to a room that already has sound flooring.
Up until now, this article has focused on big-money changes. You can still improve your home and give it nice upgrades with just a few little tweaks.
Take a tour of your home and pay attention to the details. Consider switching out light switches to something more modern colored. Look at your light fixtures and replace the circa 1980s kitchen fixture with some more modern.
Even outlet covers can look better if you’re paying attention. Our world of home improvement has so many options that can make your mobile home even more valuable.
And do not forget the value of sweat. Spend a day or week cleaning the home from top to bottom, scrubbing out every crevice. This may help rid the home of any funky smells that have become prominent.
When considering your mobile home upgrades, evaluate the cost of the upgrade and the improved value of the home. If your kitchen remodels will cost your $15,000 but only make your home worth $1,000 more, reconsider the cost.
Read more about design ideas and upgrades at our blog.