The Ultimate Guide to Purchasing a Repossessed Mobile Home

By: HomeFirst Certified
September 24, 2013

Finding the perfect home is an exciting event that is a big milestone in many people’s lives. Finding the home that is perfect for your family can be hard and often you will have to go through several banks and real estate agents. One of the best ways to find a home is to look at repossessed homes. Often these are mobile homes that people could not continue to afford paying. Repossessed mobile homes are often much less expensive than buying one brand new, can be in near perfect condition, are great investments for you and can quickly become a treasured home. Before purchasing the mobile home be sure you have a space to put it, you have had it inspected, you find a fair and reasonable repossessed mobile home dealer or auction and you make sure that there are no fees associated with the previous owner that could potentially transfer over to you.

Reasons to Buy a Repossessed Mobile Home

Price Point

Due to mobile homes being sold at auction or for principal price only, they are often much less expensive than purchasing a brand new mobile home. By purchasing a mobile home that has been repossessed you will usually be able to save at least 30% of the original price on the mobile home. The lower price of these homes is due to their being sold in an “as is” condition by the bank that they were originally mortgaged by. Some people that might be interested in a lower priced repossessed mobile home include:

  • Mobile home park owners- they can often fill up their parks and rent them out for a much higher price, making most of their money back in a short time.
  • First time buyers- because of the low price first time buyers may find it easier to purchase repossessed as opposed to brand new
  • Investors- like park owners, people who invest in homes and rental properties can take advantage of repossessed mobile homes by purchasing, renting them out and making most of their money back quickly.

Condition

Because most repossessed mobile homes are newer or sometimes even only a few months old they are often in great condition. The previous owners that had the home repossessed were likely to take care of the home as it was most likely their first home. Taking advantage of repossessed mobile homes will allow homeowners to get a near new home in great condition for much less than a brand new one would be. The benefits to having a like new repossessed mobile home include:

  • Better insulation
  • Newer, safer appliances
  • Amenities such as jacuzzi tubs or more open floor plans
  • Air conditioning & Other HVAC issues like the cost of a new furnace
  • Less wear and tear on newer repossessed mobile homes as opposed to an older one

Along with the above, there are many other ways you can benefit from having a newer repossessed mobile home in good condition.

Investment

If you are a new home buyer or a seasoned pro at buying homes a repossessed mobile home can be a great investment for you. People often think that mobile homes depreciate in value as time goes on; this is not true. If you take care of your mobile home, keep it up to date and make sure that all necessary repairs are done quickly and properly your mobile home has the ability to actually appreciate in value. Even if you are not investing in a repossessed mobile home to make money, you can be sure that it is a sound investment that will withstand any ups and downs in the economy. This, alone, allows a mobile home to be a worthy investment. Other options that benefit people who invest in mobile homes include:

  • Renting the mobile home out
  • Turning it into work space
  • Keeping it nice as an extra or emergency home
  • Doing necessary repairs and upgrades that will allow the home to last for a very long time and even be passed down to loved ones.

Sentiment

For many families having a home to call their own is very important. This means they will have something that is theirs for a very long time. It will be the place that babies are brought home, kids learn to ride their bikes, teenagers go to prom and adults come back to visit at. A home that is in a family for a very long time is a great way to have something like an heirloom within the family that is a place of comfort and happiness. A repossessed mobile home can provide this for families. With the right setting and the right amount of work put into the home, it can last for a long time. Making upgrades and doing necessary repairs are easy and often inexpensive for mobile home owners and will allow them to always have a home that is safe and up to date. Choosing a repossessed mobile home is a good start in keeping your mobile home happy because they are often well taken care of by people that were excited to own their own home.

How to Buy A Repossessed Mobile Home

Obtaining Land for Your Mobile Home

Before you make the decision to purchase a repossessed mobile home, it is important to have land to put the home on once you purchase it. There are many different ways to get land to put your mobile home on including:

  • A rented lot- this allows you to rent a piece of land that the home sits on without having to pay property taxes or worry about repairs that the actual land needs.
  • A rented space in a mobile home park- if you want your home in a community, a park is often the best place for it. Find a park that is reputable, clean and does not have a high crime rate.
  • Owned land- purchasing land for your mobile home will be an investment of its own. It is something, like the home, that you will own outright. This option also allows you to build or place a different home on the land in the future if that’s what you want.

Getting the Home Inspected

As with any major purchase, it is important to know that you are getting the best deal possible on your repossessed mobile home. While it may cost some upfront money having your mobile home professionally inspected will allow you to save money in the long run. Getting the home inspected will ensure that you are not getting ripped off and that the home is up to most building and structural standards. This will allow the you to have a home that is safe and sound. Having a professional inspection done will also protect potential home buyers from being ripped off by an auction company or other dealer. Because repossessed mobile homes are sold as is, companies will often try to sell them for much more than they should be sold for knowing that potential owners will not have them inspected. Things to have inspected include:

  • storm drains
  • electric and power lines
  • sewer mains
  • gas mains
  • interior
  • structural integrity

Finding Your Mobile Home

It is safe to say that all companies are not created equal. When looking for your mobile home finding a good dealer or auctioneer is as important as finding the perfect mobile home. Finding your ideal home at a good company will ensure that you are not being ripped off and your sale is not being handled properly. A good dealer will be able to show you all of the mobile home- including its flaws, and discuss the price accordingly. While most auctioneers do have a set of standards that are strictly governed there are still some that can slip through the cracks and be less than honest. To know that you are getting your mobile home from an upright type of place make sure that you:

  • Do your research on the company. See how long they have been in business and how well their business has done
  • Talk to others about the company. When finding information, friends and family can often be your best source.
  • Check with the better business bureau. If they have a good rating and good reviews, they are often a good company.
  • Find other people that have purchased from them in the past. Simply make a hang up flyer or look around to see if there is anyone in your circle that has purchased from the company. Find out what their experience was like and act accordingly.

Protecting Yourself from The Mobile Home’s History

As with anything that has been taken away from someone, repossessed mobile homes are at a risk for more damage from the previous owners and often spite directed at the new owners. The first step in protecting yourself with your repossessed mobile home is to:

  • Find out if there are back taxes- you could become responsible for these.
  • Know if there is any overdue lot rent- you are also responsible for this.
  • Research if there are any other back payments associated with the home- you could become responsible for all of these.

After taking care of the previous owners back payments, make sure that you protect yourself and your home from potential damage from previous owners by:

  • Moving the home to a new location
  • Having some type of security
  • Changing the locks on the mobile home immediately

There is no way to guarantee that you are getting a perfect repossessed mobile home but taking some steps and deciding what you want will enable you to make a more informed purchase. As with any purchase, it is important to know what you want, do your research and make an informed and fair decision on the purchase.

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