If you’re considering making an investment in a mobile home, either as a supplementary or primary residence, it’s important to consider the potential return and the disadvantages on your investment.

Today, you can find a countless array of options in mobile homes, ranging all the way from basic models to full luxury mobile homes with modern amenities that can cost almost as much as a permanent, residential home.

While sales people of mobile homes will try to convince you that upscale, luxury options are the best investment choice, the reality is that strictly mobile homes tend to lose their value over time, even if they are of a high caliber. It is true that more well known manufacturers known for quality produce mobile homes that hold up their value better over time, but even the best mobile homes decrease in value over time.

Rather than evaluating a mobile home purchase as you would a permanent home option, a better analogy is to evaluate them as a truck or automobile purchase – the value of the mobile home will decline over time, depending on the condition, use and durability of the model.

Even if you take proper and complete care of a mobile home, however, it will naturally accrue wear and tear, as well as miles that will limit its lifetime. Further, each year, new models are put out by mobile home manufacturers, which makes older models less desirable for those on the market.

Since mobile home buyers will seek financing for their property, it can be difficult to sell a mobile home for a good price because of the difficulty in finding a lender on a used mobile home. As a result, you should gauge your investment based upon your likely use of the property, rather than making it is a pure investment decision based on the perceived value.

You’re likely to find steep discounts on newer mobile home models, and dealers will often seek to sell the models by saying that you can earn a good return on your purchase once the market recovers. The truth is that they’re seeking to clear out inventory that is difficult to sell, and, even after the market recovers, it is still not easy to sell a used mobile home, even one that has limited use and is priced fairly.

If you’re looking at making an investment on a non-traditional residential home, consider you options in the modular and manufactured home markets, which are generally much more liquid and active with respect to the after market.

These homes are much more likely to conform to shifting local building codes which can be a safeguard in a legal environment where many cities, such as Miami are seeking stricter regulations on mobile home communities (http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/081023/story6.shtml). Take account of the complete risks and benefits of your home decision before making an investment.

You might be surprised at what you can afford given the depressed housing market – you may find a permanent home in the same price range as a new mobile home if you do some careful research.

Moe Bedard
My name is Maurice "Moe" Bedard. I am the founder of America's #1 Mortgage Forum, LoanSafe.org. My online work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, Fox Business, and many other media publications.