With the cost of real estate and property soaring each year throughout the world, more people are turning to renting cheaper alternatives. For most people, this means deciding to rent an apartment. Although this option presents several benefits, it’s expensive in the long run. You might end up spending a lot with no equity to show for it.
Other people prefer to live in a manufactured home. These structures also present some benefits, including a lower cost but still have some drawbacks. This leaves many people undecided on which is the best option to take. In this article, we will look at mobile home vs. apartment and identify the differences between them to determine the best option for you.
Mobile Home vs. Apartment
Depending on what you are looking for, both mobile homes for sale and flats could be affordable and cost-effective to you. For instance, if you look in the long-term, a mobile home could be cheaper since you only buy it once. An apartment will be cheaper if you don’t plan to buy a house and plan to stay at a certain location for just a certain period.
Let’s look at the differences of owning a manufactured home vs. renting a flat:
Mobile Home Prices
There are very few houses that can provide value for money, like a manufactured home. The average cost of manufactured homes include:
- Single wide unit homes (600-1,300 sq. ft) will cost you about $40000 for a brand new and about $25000 for a second hand. You’ll save more going for second-hand homes.
- Double wide unit homes (1400-2700 sq. ft) will cost about $75000 for a brand new and around $50000 for a second-hand one. You’ll save a lot opting for second-hand homes.
- For triple wide unit homes (>2700 sq. ft) you have to pay around $100000 – $250000 for a brand new one and over $50000 for a second hand. You’ll save by going for second-hand homes.
The price of a manufactured home can vary depending on age, model, features, condition, aftermarket upgrades, location, and amenities. The average rental price of a double-wide unit, normally the most common, is about $500.
In most cases, a manufactured home will be located in a mobile home park where you will pay around $300 per month. You’ll also pay for additional services in a mobile home park including water, and using a private road.
The average price of renting apartments in the United States is $1200 per month for a one bedroom unit. This price is very low compared to the one-time price of buying a mobile home, especially if you don’t plan on staying somewhere for long. Living in a manufactured home is, however, cheaper in the long term.
Amenities and Activities
Most apartments are located closer to towns and cities. On the other hand, manufactured homes are developed in mobile home parks far from the city. This means that apartments will be found near work opportunities, malls, schools, hospitals, and other conveniences. Within an apartment itself, you’ll also come across recreational facilities such as gyms, shopping centers, grocery stores, clubhouses, and swimming pools.
Manufactured housing is found in more quiet areas away from the city. This means that it would be hard to access some basic social amenities such as restaurants, and swimming pools. However, if you love a quiet environment, then go for manufactured homes.
In this area, both options have their benefits and drawbacks. Most people in manufactured housing environments buy their homes. These homes charge less compared to other options. The benefit here is that buying a mobile home presents extra equity, which you can leverage as collateral to get loans or sell in the future to get your money back.
However, the challenge here is that a manufactured home is still considered a private property similar to a vehicle. It loses value the moment it gets out of the factory. For instance, manufactured homes are known to depreciate at 3% each year.
Few people own apartments. Unlike manufactured homes, most apartments are available for rent and not purchase. This means that tenants aren’t developing equity in the form of accommodation or a house. They spend money on rent without expecting any returns.
However, if you happen to own an apartment that is located closer to the city, or an upcoming neighborhood, it could prove to be a great financial asset. In these locations, prices skyrocket by about 10%.
Some think that mobile homes are falling apart and require permanent maintenance due to negative stereotypes. While it is true that mobile homes need some TLC regularly to stay in good shape, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, with just duct tape, a little caulk, and some paint, you can easily take care of most maintenance needs in your manufactured home.
The most important thing to look out for is the cracks that develop after settling. Since mobile homes are built using wood, it’s also important to focus on water damage. However, the good news is that the materials used to develop manufactured homes are easy to work on and cheap, making the maintenance process easier and cheaper.
When it comes to living in an apartment, your landlord will be in charge of all maintenance activities. There isn’t much that you need to do except let the landlord know of the damage to your building. Many landlords don’t like their tenants doing maintenance on the apartment. However, this could mean a delay in maintenance.
Privacy and Space
Space and privacy are by far the main benefits of living in a mobile home. For almost half the average apartment rental unit price, you can find a spacious community where you have a personal yard and your own home.
Are you worried about having neighbors upstairs who tap-dancing every evening? How about those neighbors below who love watching the television on full volume late into the night? Or those neighbors who normally listen to your conversation? This is never a problem in a manufactured home where you’ll have a separate space from everyone else.
Manufactured homes can be very spacious from the inside. For instance, a double-wide unit can get up to 2700 sq. ft. It normally has a kitchen, a foyer, a utility room, 2 or 3 bathrooms, a deck or patio, and three bedroom apartment.
For apartments, more space means paying out more money. The standard rental space in the United States is falling and sits at 900 sq. ft at the moment. This standard apartment already costs more than standard travel trailer homes. If you aim for more space, you’ll be forced to incur more costs. Apartments are therefore not ideal for growing families. If you rent an apartment, space should not be among the top priorities.
Let’s start with a bombshell: mobile homes aren’t mobile anymore. travel trailer homes have been officially named manufactured homes since the ‘Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1976.’
Manufactured homes are moved only once: from the industry to the plot/lot of land where they’re supposed to be located. People then pay lot rent for the piece of land where the structure is located. The main reason is that moving home is expensive that some people prefer to sell and buy a new one. You can also harm the mobile home structure while moving it. When it comes to mobility, a manufactured home is just the same as an apartment.
This means that getting a new job that requires shifting or becoming tired with your current location isn’t reason enough for you to consider travel trailer homes above an apartment.
We believe that this article has highlighted the financial, lifestyle, and general differences of owning a manufactured home vs. renting an apartment in real estate. Some prefer living having access to important amenities, while others prefer the more spacious and quiet nature of mobile home parks.
Even though mobile homes can offer you an exciting living experience, these options also present certain challenges and aren’t for everyone. We, therefore, recommend that you proceed with renting an apartment since it offers access to valuable amenities at a price that isn’t very far from manufactured homes. However, it would help if you carried out enough research before settling on the perfect solution. We hope you succeed in renting the best homes for your family.