Buying or Selling a Home/apartment renting or buy mobile home
Hello Kathryn, thank you for your time and expertise!
I am newly retired, aged 64, have a modest retirement income, social security and some part time work. I live in the Chicago suburbs.
I presently rent an apartment for $650 a month, and would like my own place for privacy, quiet, etc.
Is it worth it to buy a mobile home? There is a park near me for ages 55 and up, very very nice, resort like, very well maintained and very nice mobile homes.
They have a few homes for sale from $20M on up. I can buy one for cash if it is around $20M. The one they have at that price is from 1979. And they have newer models also.
The lot rent is $700 which includes water, trash, snow removal.
Is it a good decision to buy one? Or, am I better off renting an apartment?
The question really is, is it worth it to you? Upfront I'll submit, it most likely would be for me. But, I'd want to check out some things, including the following:
-- What is park's projection for rent increase? How will you cover this additional expense?
-- What are the park's long-term ownership plans? You will want to avoid a place that has been considering selling to a developer. And, just because they reassure you that the new owner isn't a developer doesn't make it true. Depending on the neighborhood -that I'm not familiar with- you are most likely at less risk of being booted out of a mobile home park than you are an apartment. AND, you have a voice when it comes to environmental improvements, ie., noise, maintenance, etc., than you do in an apartment.
-- How well are the neighbors caring for their homes / yards?
-- Do you have enough storage, yard, parking spaces?
-- Are there any noise factors you could be, or could become concerned with, ie., factories, shopping malls, ballparks, schools, etc.
-- How close are you to facilities such as hospital, walk around space, store, gas station, etc.? This may not seem like a big deal now. But, in 20 years you may think differently.
-- Does the park allow pets? Even if you don't want or have a pet others might. Are you ok with that?
-- Is there rent control in your area on apartments and or mobile home parks?
Is the extra cost worth it to -you-? Are you good with paying $50. more, at least initially, for privacy, ownership, and stability? Will you be able to afford some long term increases?
BIGGEST piece of advice -- get an inspection. I know it costs money. And, you may be a handy guy who feels you can inspect the place yourself. But, you'd be surprised at how much a home inspector can help. If you get a Realtor involved, find one who works with mobile home transactions frequently. The combination of these two could prove invaluable re: the manufacturer's quality history, use of and quality of materials, age the home will deteriorate drastically at, etc. The sellers' agent is not your friend or advocate. They have a fiduciary responsibility to the seller. Plus, your knowledgeable agent will provide you with inspector choices.
Being a privacy lover myself and in the same age group as you, <that may not necessarily need the home to last for 40 more years>, I'd be inclined to make the leap if I was satisfied with all of the above.
What ever you decide Bob, I wish you well <smile>