Rightly or wrongly, mobile homes get a bad rap.

The truth is that they do have some drawbacks, but so does any type of home you’d consider purchasing. One of the best things about the Palm Springs real estate market is how incredibly diverse it is. There are different property types and purchase arrangements tailor made for the many different types of buyers out there.

Particularly in Palm Springs, mobile homes can be a fantastic option for certain types of buyers - especially if you are a first-time home buyer looking to get a foot in the market, a part-time resident or an investor.

We’ve put together this guide to buying a Palm Springs mobile home to help any would-be buyer.

What Exactly is a Mobile Home?

The term has evolved over the years.

You may be picturing something closer to a motorhome or an RV in a grungy, dilapidated park on the outskirts of town.

In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Modern mobile homes are only mobile in the sense that they are manufactured elsewhere and then transported - to either a freehold property or a mobile home park. And many of these mobile home parks are well maintained and absolutely beautiful.

What are the Different Types of Mobile Home?

Mobile homes, just like any other consumer good, come in tiers of differing quality - depending on how much you want to pay. As with a traditionally constructed home, higher quality building material generally have a direct correlation to the ultimate sales price.

Mobile homes generally fall into one of three tiers in terms of quality. In terms of size, they generally come in either single wide, double wide or triple wide configurations - in a whole constellation of floor plans and interior layouts.

Mobile homes also tend to have a pretty consistent quality to them. As they are manufactured off-site in a controlled environment, the quality of the construction is much easier to maintain.

In Palm Springs in particular, mobile homes can be absolutely stunning, available in quite a range of architectural styles, including builds that effectively mimic the much sought-after mid-century modern style that has come to epitomize the Palm Springs real estate market.

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Is a Mobile Home the Right Choice for Me?

For several reasons, mobile homes are generally less expensive than more standard or “stick built” properties. A lower cost per square foot usually means that your money will go quite a bit further in terms of the size of the property.

For this reason, they can be a great option for first-time home buyers. With a mobile home, you can get a detached property that is all your own, for the same or less than what you’d pay for a condo.

Also, much like a condo, mobile homes will often be placed in a mobile home park that can come with some pretty incredible community facilities such as a community pool, playground or clubhouse.

Mobile homes are also less permanent. It’s expensive to move a mobile home, but it can be done. Purchasing a mobile home can be a good option if you’ve purchased land that you want to live on, but you’re not quite ready to build a more permanent home on for whatever reason.

Lastly, if you're an investor or a part-time resident, mobile homes are a great option for many of the same reasons as a condo. Their smaller size is easier to manage and they also provide a welcome, low-maintenance lifestyle. Plus, mobile homes can be an attractive alternative to a hotel or condo for vacationers looking for a short-term rental.

Are there any Drawbacks to Owning a Mobile Home?

Just like any property type that you may be considering, there are clear pros and cons to owning a mobile home. I’d be lying if I said that mobile homes are a great option for everyone, but they can check all the boxes for certain buyers.

If you’re interested in a mobile, you should know that finding financing can be a little more complex. Unless you’re buying the property a mobile home resides on as well, it will often be considered personal property. The term real estate refers to land or property attached to that land that can’t easily be removed without damaging the land.

What this means is that depending on the type of mobile home (single wide, double wide, triple wide), the age of the property (older than 15 years) and whether or not land is part of the sale, all factor into the loan you can qualify for.

My recommendation is to get in touch with a qualified mortgage broker, so you can be fully informed. I’d be happy to provide a referral.

For more information about buying or selling Palm Springs real estate, contact Geoffrey Moore. He can help you with all of your Palm Springs real estate needs.

Posted by Geoffrey Moore on
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