Housing opinion question

cptlo

Pursuit Driver
Opinion question....

I was talking to my cousin yesterday and she asked my opinion on what she should do. She inherited three acres of land with a small double wide mobile home. She wants to retire on the land and either:

1. Build a small new house (1000 or so square feet)
2. Get rid of the existing double wide and replace it with a new one
3. Completely remodel the existing double wide (take it down to the studs and rebuild it, new plumbing, electrical, HVAC)

Obviously, option 1 is the best but would also cost the most. I'm guessing option 2 would be cheaper than option 1 but I question if the savings in cost would be worth the lower quality home. Option 3 is interesting....the existing mobile home is not in terrible shape but she says it could definitely use updating and remodeling. I have no idea what this would cost but I'm guessing it would be much cheaper than either option 1 or option 2 and the end result would likely be somewhere in between a new mobile home and a site built home in terms of quality as long as she uses a good contractor that uses 'real house' materials.

Also, she doesn't have a ton of money. I threw out a wild guess on the remodel cost of $50K (no idea if that is a reasonable amount) and she said could probably pay most of that from savings but would definitely need to get a mortgage for a new site built home or a new mobile home.

So, with all that said, anyone have an opinion on what she should do?

P.S. Also note that this is in south Georgia where mobile homes are very common and not looked down upon as much as they would be up here in the big city! :)
 

Guard Dad

Administrator
Staff member
Personally, I wouldn't throw money at a used mobile home. Just putting lipstick on a pig, and I suspect the cost would approach that of a new one.

Modern mobile homes are surprisingly not terrible. If she can find one she likes, that might be her best bet.
 

The Sound Guy

Pursuit Driver
Wow, just looked and I didn't realize that doublewide pre-manufactured housing had gotten that expensive. ($70K-120K)

Tough choice.

If it were me, I'd look at the age of the existing home. I'm assuming it's pretty old if she's wanting to strip plumbing and wiring out of it.

I just don't know if I'd sink 50K into an older mobile home. Maybe do a 20K upgrade of wall coverings, fixtures, appliances, etc.
 

Far West

Pursuit Driver
Isn't she worried about storms and living in a mobile home?

You can re-do the existing mobile home, but in the end, is it safe to live in the rest of your life when strong winds blow through?

Maybe live in the Mobile home as is, while she builds a modest home on site. Since she owns the land, a mortgage for a new home is a good investment long term.
 

Guard Dad

Administrator
Staff member
Isn't she worried about storms and living in a mobile home?

You can re-do the existing mobile home, but in the end, is it safe to live in the rest of your life when strong winds blow through?

Maybe live in the Mobile home as is, while she builds a modest home on site. Since she owns the land, a mortgage for a new home is a good investment long term.
If put on a foundation and properly tied down, they are almost as good as a regular house.

If it takes a direct hit, it's toast regardless.
 

J-man

Let's Go Brandon!!!
Staff member
For the cost of a new mobile home she could probably have a small house built at a comparable price. So either option 1 or 3 in my book.
 

cptlo

Pursuit Driver
($70K-120K)

Wow!

If it were me, I'd look at the age of the existing home. I'm assuming it's pretty old if she's wanting to strip plumbing and wiring out of it.

She thinks it is about 25 years old. I've seen it and been in it a couple times years ago and it definitely wasn't in bad shape then.

Isn't she worried about storms and living in a mobile home?

I assume so but I think it is tied down pretty good.

Once she moves into the new home, she could rent out the mobile home and help defer cost of the house she built?

That's an idea....I don't think she thought of that.

For the cost of a new mobile home she could probably have a small house built at a comparable price. So either option 1 or 3 in my book.

Yeah, after seeing the numbers TSG posted above, buying a new mobile home doesn't make sense at all.
 

MudFlap

Expert Driver
another option -- sell the land and the existing structure.

take the cash (while the market is hot) and live elsewhere.

she's living somewhere else now, right ??
 

cptlo

Pursuit Driver
another option -- sell the land and the existing structure.

take the cash (while the market is hot) and live elsewhere.

she's living somewhere else now, right ??

She's living in an apartment right now.

I asked her about selling it instead (that was my first thought given how crazy the housing market is right now) and she said she would prefer to keep it (she inherited it from her father).
 

The Sound Guy

Pursuit Driver
Another note on this part....she said she doesn't like the current layout and would want to move lots of stuff around if she did the remodel.

Hmmm.... Those things are pretty engineered, I'd be concerned that the walls that are there are needed. I wouldn't put it past them last century to put weaker materials in the roof if they knew they had a wall under it.
 

MudFlap

Expert Driver
She's living in an apartment right now.

I asked her about selling it instead (that was my first thought given how crazy the housing market is right now) and she said she would prefer to keep it (she inherited it from her father).
I understand that.

That being said, becoming emotionally attached to real estate can be a costly emotion.
 

Stonewall

Expert Driver
Either live in the mobile home while she builds or gets a new mobile home. I would not put money in a remodeled trailer. It will still be listed by the year it was manufactured and the return on investment will probably put her upside down. If she sells she is back to square one. The cost to purchase a comparable will be effected by the same market she sells in so if she sells high replacement will be high.
 

lotstodo

aka "The Jackal"
I would never throw money at a used mobile home. Even in South Ga they depreciate and are harder to sell, which might be of concern of she has to move into any sort of assisted living situation down the road. Her best bet, if she can afford it without being "house poor", is to build a nice small farmhouse, and take out a loan for maybe half, so she still has some savings. Mortgages are cheap right now. It should also appreciate on 3 acres.
 

cptlo

Pursuit Driver
Thanks for all the feedback. She said thanks as well. I told her y'all are good group of folks despite all the negative cat posts. :D

She likes the idea of building a small house and then renting out the mobile home so she's going to further investigate that option. The rent would probably cover a good amount of her monthly mortgage.
 
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