How to Buy a New Home for Under $20,000

News / Consumer

Less than a decade ago, people living in California thought nothing of spending half a million dollars on a home. Actually, that price tag was considered a bargain in many areas and would undoubtedly have resulted in a bidding war. People would casually take out a mortgage for hundreds of thousands of dollars and tie themselves to huge monthly payments for the next thirty or even forty years. The real estate boom went on longer than many people thought possible, and when it finally went bust, it did so in a big way. Collapsing property values and high unemployment eventually led to the current situation, where foreclosed properties have flooded the market in many areas of the state. Yet despite the apparent bargains, many prospective homebuyers are avoiding these houses and looking to an alternative: new mobile homes.

Why would anyone buy a mobile home instead of one of those distressed houses that seems like such a steal? Why not simply rent an apartment? It all comes down to making smart choices, and buying a manufactured home is smart. The purchaser gets affordable housing, quality construction, a new home warranty, a choice of floor plans and designs and the freedom to choose the location—including the option of locating the home on rental property for even greater savings. With prices starting at under $20,000, there is no other option for California homebuyers that compares to a mobile home.

For many people, the era of $5,000 monthly mortgage payments is over. Whether they are unemployed, underemployed or simply unwilling to commit so much of their earnings to pay for shelter, their goal is achieving a sustainable, financially responsible lifestyle. Buying a McMansion crammed onto a tiny lot is not the answer, even if the price has been significantly reduced from those boom days. These homes are still not cheap, and when you own a house like that, the monthly operating costs will be significant. Utilities, property taxes and maintenance could equal the mortgage payment. All it takes is a neighbor or two defaulting on their mortgages, and suddenly the entire neighborhood is depressed and everyone’s investment takes a hit.

Manufactured homes have improved greatly from the 1960s-era trailer homes that people often think of, and they are now becoming a preferred option for many families. While it’s possible to pay $2 million for a mobile home (manufactured homes in Paradise Cove have hit that lofty price tag), buyers can also purchase a brand new model for under $20,000. There are factory outlets where potential buyers can tour a wide range of models, watch the houses being constructed in climate-controlled conditions and review the HUD regulations that make today’s manufactured homes as safe, long lasting and energy efficient as traditionally built homes—for a fraction of the cost.

Given everything offered in the mobile homes California buyers have to choose from, it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular. Unlike the money pit of repairs facing buyers of foreclosed houses, new manufactured homes offer quality construction backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. Buyers can choose the size and floor plan that suits their needs and budget, and they can even equip their new home with luxury upgrades such as a gourmet kitchen, fireplace and bathroom spa retreat. A new manufactured home offers individuals the ability to own a new home instead of making rent payments without compromising on quality or having to live in a less desirable area. With prices that start under $20,000, the days of paying a monster mortgage for decades to get a decent home are over.

About the Author:
Tom Elliot has worked in the home building industry for twenty years, primarily on the West Coast. He recently wrote a series of articles on the real estate market, in which he outlined the trend toward mobile homes as an alternative to renting or buying a distressed property. According to Tom, manufactured homes offer quality, choice, affordability and a warranty—everything needed in California today.