Online platform LendingTree said mobile home values rose dramatically to the point that they are now comparable to single-family house values.
LendingTree obtained data from 2021 and 2016. The business found that mobile homes’ average value increased by 34.6% annually. It almost matches the growth of single-family dwellings during the same period, which increased by 35.4%. However, comparisons made by experts end with market growth rates.
Residents of mobile homes claim that purchasing one becomes more challenging with time. As soon as a mobile home has damage, it may lose its appeal and diminish its commercial viability. Those who buy mobile homes as investments find this to be extremely difficult. Additionally, entering the present market means dealing with a more competitive rental and housing market.
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The problem faced by mobile home owners
Large businesses are now buying mobile home parks. As a result, new owners hiked cost for the property where mobile homes reside. The situation makes it difficult for elderly and low-income households to pay their bills on time each month. Community organizer Yvonne Maldonado discusses how their lifestyle as mobile homeowners is impacted by the non-improvement of the warranty of habitability.
The habitability warranty refers to landlords’ obligation to maintain the livability of all their dwellings and rental properties. Maldonado contends that the services provided by for-profit businesses, such as snow and garbage disposal, do so little to maintain most people’s homes “livable.”
After a corporation purchased the mobile park she lives in, Holly Hook from Swartz Creek Estates in Michigan attempted to sell her house. The house’s selling price was lower than the purchase price, nevertheless. She bought the house for $28,000, according to Hook. But the selling price for the house started at only $10,000.
“It gets harder and harder to sell, and you lose value in many cases. The community used to be really laid back, and people didn’t worry about paying the rent because it was quite steady for years and years. All that relaxation and that feeling of security are just gone,” she said.
Homeowners hold real worries. But many worry that if they speak out, the businesses that control the land they live on will take action against them.
“A lot of people feel powerless,” added Hook.
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Being in a powerless state
According to the US Census, a brand-new mobile home typically sells for around $124,900. But, according to Alyson Snow, a lawyer at the University of San Diego School of Law, the increase in mobile home pricing is due to scarcity.
She said that the pandemic caused producers to experience difficulties distributing the components needed to construct homes. Additionally, the lockdowns reduced the number of builders available to put together and equip dwellings.
“Those shortages created fewer mobile homes in the market. So you are at the mercy of who’s going to rent you the land,” she added.
Photo Credit: Brittany Murray