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Don’t buy a mobile home until you read Dave Ramsey’s advice.


Key points

  • Buying a mobile home may seem like a good way to buy your own home.
  • Mobile homes can be cheaper than freestanding units.
  • Dave Ramsey warned against buying mobile homes despite these benefits.

Mobile homes or industrial homes are real estate built in a factory and moved to a location. They are different from field built houses, which are built directly on the site where the house will stand.

It is generally cheaper to buy mobile homes because they are assembled and transported as a unit rather than being built separately. As a result, some people think of buying one home so they can own their own home without taking on a large mortgage to buy a conventional home.

However, personal finance expert Dave Ramsey has some great advice on making such a purchase, and anyone considering buying a mobile home should read it.

Here’s what Dave Ramsey says about investing in a mobile home

Ramsey was unequivocal about buying a mobile home. Although his blog states that this type of property has “come a long way since your grandparents”, he still doesn’t think that buying such a property is a good idea in the long run.

In fact, Ramsey’s blog states that “Mobile homes are a terrible investment because they depreciate very quickly – just like your car depreciates the second you drive it out of the parking lot. Investing in a mobile home is not like investing in real estate.”

He goes on to explain that a mobile home itself is not a type of real estate (the legal term for real estate), although the land it sits on is. He addresses both mobile and industrial houses, pointing out some differences between them in terms of construction, but the common thing is that they are both built on a movable foundation. And he believes that “if the average person can look at your mobile home and think it arrived in a truck, your home won’t go up in value.”

Should I listen to Ramsey?

Ramsey is generally right that mobile homes don’t retain their value or appreciate in the same way that real estate built on site does.

He’s also right that the mobile homes themselves are more like a car than a house on a permanent framed foundation. Homes tend to be more formulaic and, as Ramsey explains, they are less able to withstand natural disasters than standard real estate. Also, as Ramsey warns, mobile homes tend to have a relatively short lifespan, between 30 and 55 years, while stick houses can last hundreds of years with proper maintenance. While a permanent home can be a valuable asset to leave behind, a mobile home typically cannot.

However, there may be circumstances where it makes sense to buy an industrial or mobile home. If you have valuable land that you want to live on, but can’t afford to buy or build a house out of sticks, for example, it might make sense to build your fake home on that land. The place itself should increase in value over time, and in the meantime, you will be able to live in a property that you otherwise could not afford.

Ultimately, you must consider the specifics of your own situation. But before you buy a mobile home, you need to make sure you understand that the home itself is less likely to be an investment that pays off for you in the long run.

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