There are pros and cons to owning a mobile home. On the upside, affordability puts home ownership within reach of consumers who would otherwise need to continue renting. In addition, an owner can move a mobile home to a new location if it isn't attached to a permanent foundation. The primary downside to mobile homes is that they generally depreciate in value. If you currently own a mobile home, offset the depreciation by taking steps to maximize your home's value.
Situate the mobile on a permanent foundation so that it will qualify for mortgage financing.
Reinforce your mobile home's support if it can't be placed on a foundation. Install footings for the piers if the piers currently rest directly on the ground. Make sure your anchor or tie-down connections are firmly connected.
Expose the plate with your mobile home's identification number, as only homes with those plates qualify for mortgage financing. You'll have two plates if your home is a double-wide. Plate visibility is necessary for lender-required appraisals.
Vent your home's attic space if you have a sealed metal roof, or replace the roof with a shingled roof, preferably one with overhangs to drain water. Verify that your home's attic is properly vented if you already have a single roof.
Improve the plumbing system. Upgrade low-quality plumbing fixtures like sinks, faucets, and tubs and showers. Install a water shutoff valve at each fixture. Examine accessible pipes for signs of leaks, and repair any leaks.
Caulk between your home's sheathing and door and window frames to keep rainwater from leaking into the walls.
Upgrade obsolete appliances, electrical outlets and lighting fixtures.
Inspect the insulation underneath your mobile home. Replace it if necessary.
Add, replace or upgrade your home's skirt, if necessary, to protect the insulation and keep out moisture and pests.
Spruce up your interior. Clean your home top to bottom. Shampoo the carpets. Replace worn or stained flooring. Re-caulk your bathroom and kitchen fixtures if caulk is missing or in poor repair. Clean and seal tile grout. Paint or repaper shabby walls.
Large-scale improvements like additions, wall reinforcement and other structural jobs add value to a mobile home, but not enough to offset the costs.
Improvements that make your mobile home qualify for Federal Housing Administration and United States Department of Veteran Affairs financing may be worth doing even if you can’t recoup the costs. Market conditions vary by locale, but in some real estate markets, mobile homes don’t sell or they take an extraordinarily long time to sell if they don’t qualify for mortgage financing.
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