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Is It Worth It To Fix Up A Trailer Home?

Saturday, August 31st 2013. | Q & A

Q: I have just entered into a rent to own agreement on a 1970′s trailer home. For my own personal comfort, I wish to do some updating, but is it worth it to go really nice, or should I just make it livable? I’m not sure what kind of resale value a trailer home of that age will have or what kind of things I can do with it. Is it worth putting much money into it or should I simply put on a few coats of paint?

A. It depends on what you really want, and how long you expect to be living there. If you expect to be there a number of years, you can spend a few dollars more to get it into the condition you’d like.

Trailer homes depreciate like cars. They drop off sharply in the first few years, then level off. Frankly, a 1970s trailer home isn’t likely to lose any more value. That’s not saying you’ll get a 100% return or more from any improvements you put in. But at this point you won’t be pumping money into a declining asset.

Don’t over-improve it. But make it comfortable for you. And the longer you think you’ll be there, the more you can put into it.

Hope that helps.

Pros and cons or purchasing a trailer home as your first home?
Q: I’m not big on living in trailer homes but they are cheaper I don’t think we’d move into anything older than 2007.

A. Buying used probably isn’t a bad idea if the price is low enough. Consider the cost a sunk cost–that is, don’t expect to get anything back and compare it to, say, 5 years of paying rent. If it comes out cheaper, go for it.

Buying new is *nicer* but unlikely to be cheaper than renting.

Aside from trailer home ugly looks, what are the cons of living in a trailer home versus a regular home?
Q: Okay i get trailers are ugly looking. But i couldn’t help notice that some are pretty cheap to buy. So what are the cons of living in one? I assume it being hit by a tornado would be one of the big cons.? What are some of the cons of living in a trailer home versus a regular home?

A. Sometimes buying a trailer makes the most sense. Owning the place you call home is always better than renting. If that means purchasing a prefab home (sounds better than trailer lol), so be it. You’ll be a homeowner. You the heck cares about the outside?

I have an aunt that owns a 2 bedroom, 1 bath trailer. The interior has wood paneling, wall to wall carpet in most rooms, tiled floor in kitchen & bath, and in-unit washer/dryer. Outside is a side yard w/ a private storage shed. She also has 2 private parking spaces.

While the rooms are on the smaller side, they are more than suitable. Keep in mind that trailers come in all sizes. In fact, some double-wide trailers have huge master bedrooms, etc.

Maybe some make trailer park jokes, I truly believe prefab homes are just another option when considering home ownership.

what happens if you abandon a trailer home?
Q: I have a friend who lives in a trailer home, all of the pipes in the kitchen and bathroom have been leaking for months and the bottom of the trailer is now covered in mold. He doesn’t have the money to replace this but the house is unlivable and should probably be removed and destroyed.

Lets say he abandons this trailer. Its on a trailer park property in wisconsin. What would happen?

I’m assuming the park would tear the place down since its unlivable and should be condemned and remove it, they would probably sue him. Is this correct?

A. Yes, they would put a search Warrant out for him and when he gets caught he will be placed in prison and receive a hefty fine.

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