Manufactured, or mobile homes typically depreciate in value, unlike conventional construction homes. This is because they generally have a much shorter expected lifespan before they begin to deteriorate. While stick-built homes are subject to swings in the market, typically over the long-term their value will appreciate. If you own a mobile home you can take several measures to ensure that it holds its value for as long as possible.
One thing that mobile homes have that stick-built homes do not is a book value. This is based on its size, age, and the manufacturer and model type. If you know these things you can use a formula to give you the book value so that you can compare it to similar homes. This book value is only a base guide to its resale value, however, which will also depend on other factors.
Location is one of the most important factors in any home's value, whether it is stick-built or manufactured. A stick-built home in a desirable location will appreciate much faster than one in a poorer neighborhood; similarly a mobile home in a good location could hold its value for a longer period of time, especially if there are few opportunities to purchase in the neighborhood.
Conventional construction homes tend to appreciate over the longer term, despite small flaws in their condition. You must pay much closer attention to the condition of a manufactured home, as allowing it to deteriorate will have a marked effect on its resale value. This is particularly true of any breaches in the exterior such as leaks in the roof or damage to the skirting or belly wrap underneath your home. It's well worth paying attention to issues such as these before they become a major problem.
The exterior appearance of your home is critical to resale, whether it is stick-built or manufactured. Attractive landscaping adds greatly to the "curb appeal" of either type of construction, and will lead to many more viewings once you put it on the market. You should have your mobile home placed on a permanent foundation. Many lenders will not consider financing a manufactured home purchase unless is has that foundation, and this will cut down on your pool of potential buyers.
Generally speaking, a manufactured home should not be considered a long-term investment in the way that a stick-built home often is. You may be considering buying a mobile home for other reasons, such as its affordability or location, but you should always bear in mind that your home will be a depreciating asset.
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