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Question on mobile home

Old 03-27-2009, 02:33 PM
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Default Question on mobile home

I am seriously considering putting a trailer, err -- manufactured single-wide home on a lot we own near the NC coast.

Our initial plans were, and still are, to build a stick-built custom, but 2008 treated us pretty roughly, and with the economy and threat of lay-off's, my wife and I are going to need to wait for a year or two....In the meantime, I hate not being able to use the lot, and wondering about putting a mobile home on the place, using it for a couple years, then selling it, when we build the big house.

I'm finding it tough to get good information, however, and wondered if anyone had some experience. Dealers seem to either not call me back, or be of the "Y'all just come on in, and we'll handle everything..." variety.

Here are my basic questions:

1) This county supposedly requires a "wind-zone III HUD rating". Ideally I'd like a used home, but if it truly has to be a zone III, this limits the number out there. Can a manufactured home be converted to comply?

2) What kind of depreciation can I expect, reselling the home later? I imagine the market is pretty soft, but hopefully I'll be able to find a buyer?
If I *have* to buy new, are there any brands to avoid?

3) In terms of hook-ups, right now the lot has a capped septic system, and a capped well. There's a utility pole on the street I'd need to connect to. What would be an approximate cost to hook-up these connections?

4) Is this really a stupid idea?
Old 03-27-2009, 03:42 PM
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Well
I think that the mobile home Idea is fine, Now I am sure we will see a bunch of Nay sayers.
I would look at BUYING a REPO ! sitting on a Dealer LOT, While We all know these are disposable homes, Treated and Maintained can offer a lot service years. The main objective is to get it CHEAP, the set up is Cake once its on the lot and tied down and secured. You already have the main things WATER, Power and Septic on the ground.

Your whole plan is to get to the coast for some boating and fishing correct ? and due to this economy Your plans of building a Stick built home has be put o Hold, So I say if you can keep it simple and cheap do it. I would even position the MOBILE home on the lot as not to be in the way when you get to build your stick built home. I do not believe that you can convert a zone three wind load home, but I would get it from another Source.
If your handy and not code heavy area You should be able to hook it up yourself Just need the mobile home pole set and the power company run the line to your pole then hook into the power on the pole set near mobile home. NOTE the mobile home pole service line will not be allowed to run OVER the roof of the MOBILE home.

Another option if this is a weekend Getaway would be to buy a 5th wheel Camper and park it on the lot ! Set it up and leave it, The RV industry is Hurting bad and there are a lot of good units avail at a good price. Also if you are not code heavy again and have a good location Make 3-4 parking spaces for RVs with full hook ups and rent them out !!


Just my two cents worth and I prob overcharged you at that
Good Luck
Coconut Sunrise
J
Old 03-27-2009, 05:09 PM
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I would 2nd the 5th wheel. Ease in relocating the camper and ease of sale should be number one in your book. Get a smoking deal on one and then take your time selling once the home is finished.I used to be a factory rep. for a mobile home factory. You cannot convert the wind load without dismanteling the exterior and adding additional framing and straps to the structure. If you do find a used one, inspect the subfloor especially in "wet" areas (bathrooms, kitchen, utility) for rotten floors. If you do go this route I would avoid a used double wide due to the potential for rot where the units joined in the repo yard.
Old 03-27-2009, 06:27 PM
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Thx all -- good advice. I considered an RV but if I read the zoning regs correctly, while I can *store* an unoccupied RV on my property, I can't live in one -- I'm sure a week or so would be fine, but permanent hook-ups might raise some eyebrows.
Old 03-27-2009, 06:35 PM
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there are several mobile homes around me some even on pilings 13 feet in te air.i'm 2 blocks from the GOM.
Old 03-27-2009, 07:55 PM
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Hey, this is the hull truth. Bring a Large Leaky boat and "store" it on blocks! Remember the show "Simon and Simon"?
Old 03-27-2009, 10:56 PM
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If you face reality, most people in the same situation end up living in the mobile a lot longer than they originally planned. You can do it right, and have a nice mobile home for years, or go for cheap, and have a raggedy ass trailer for years.
Old 03-28-2009, 03:50 AM
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Try looking at Sun RV in Florida, they sell park models that are very well built and up to III standards.
Old 03-28-2009, 04:01 AM
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The only way your thinking could be considered stupid is if the costs super exceed the benefits. IMHO the way to go is to buy a trailer (new or used) and then sell it after the house is built. If the house is built you should be able to sell the trailer for close to cost or a little under if you haven’t beat the crap out of it......but I don't know what the market will be in a few years nor what the market is like in your area.

In regards to your electrical requirements, I would figure out where your house is going to be built and where the electrical supply is going to be for the completed house and install your service for your trailer in accordance to that. As mentioned I would position your trailer off to the side so the trailer will not have to be moved to build the house.

Myself I would install underground service to your service pole apposed to over head hydro lines; hydro lines to a house looks like crap IMO. If your property is heavily treed you still have choices on getting hydro from the road to your property....hydro poles w/ overhead line or rocket conduit then fish the cable. If the conditions/ code or expense dictate poles w/ overhead supply you could always bring the supply into your property’s clearing and then drop it down into the ground to go the house, that way from you service pole to the house you do not have overhead wires.....you will have to plan out where that final service pole will be when to project is completed and then place your trailer in accordance to that.

To install underground service is more expensive because of > more cable, conduit, backhoe and possible torpedo (shoot through) equipment work. Obviously the cost to bring service into a property is all based off of distance. I know up here three runs of #0000 underground aluminum cable costs approx. $17 a ft., plus conduit which is cheap, plus backhoe or mini excavator (approx. $300 per day if one does it them self) or between $75 to $100 per hour for backhoe and operator, plus service pole (approx. $750-$1000) and install, plus temporary 60 Amp meter base (approx. $100). Although I’ve been involve with torpedo work twice in the last four months I have no idea what the service is worth, both times I bartered off the service for other work. I would suspect torpedo work would be in the $100 per hour range based off of our pricings.

So your hydro service could cost you anywhere from a few thousand to 10k plus, it all depends on the environment (rock, dirt, clay, trees, high water table or low lands or open grass lands), distance, labor costs in your area and materail.
Old 03-28-2009, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by feralcat View Post
Thx all -- good advice. I considered an RV but if I read the zoning regs correctly, while I can *store* an unoccupied RV on my property, I can't live in one -- I'm sure a week or so would be fine, but permanent hook-ups might raise some eyebrows.
As long as the RV has a tag and can be moved (Tires), how it is hooked up is irrelevant.
Old 03-28-2009, 04:57 AM
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Once again I had a niffty response and it's gone, by by. To the land of unread posts.

No you can't up grade a Zone II to a Zone III well I guess you can but why would you, the cost would be rediculouse.

Gonna cost more than you think to put that thing on your lot. Check local codes and remember FEMA is now involved in elevation and construction.

All trailers not built the same, make sure you are not fooled by fancy finish.
Old 03-28-2009, 05:51 AM
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Hmm....much food for thought.....

GB -- I agree about ending up staying in the place longer than planned. But I'm married. And this is fairly large concession -- makes the most sense to just hunker down and save over the next two years, or so, and just rent a house occasionally.

But it drives me crazy not being able to use the lot and go down and fish w/out dealing with hotels, or rentals, or friend's generosity.

Garrett -- good info on the electrical lines. Not sure what's going to be possible, or economical. I was playing with the lot plan and a piece of cardboard representing a home last night, and with set-backs (30' front, 25' rear, 15' of sides and 5' off septic) throwing something 60-70' long isn't trivial since the lot is just over .5 acre. I don't see any way have both new construction AND a mobile home on the lot concurrently.

Crabpot Man -- not sure I follow. In some ways an RV would make some sense, and I would think it would have tags and tires, no? With some judicious landscaping it might not be that visible from the road, but I have no idea what would be involved hooking it to power and water and sewer on the lot, since it's now bare dirt with the utilities capped. I'd hate to pay for all that to be hooked up, only to have The Law say, "Nope", a month later...

29 -- good points. I'm hoping, to pull a number out of the air, it won't cost more than a $4-5k for installation, and hooking everything up. I'm going to try to look at some today, and get more data.
Old 03-28-2009, 06:06 AM
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It's not hard to do the simple thing here concerning the RV. Before you do anything go talk to the local constabulary to find out what you can and cannot do. I have a 5th wheel and really enjoy it. There are good bumper pulls also. If you choose the RV route and park it where you plan to put your garage or shed then you can build around it to some extent and have a place to stay during construction so you can keep an eye on the work as well as fish.
Mike
Old 03-28-2009, 06:16 AM
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The market for a used mobile home parked on a lot in the country is virtually nil, IMO. The people that would buy a used one may not have access to financial markets that lend on them (whereas mobile home dealers can get them financing, you can't). If you can't sell it, what will you do with it besides giving it away and then maybe having to pay to haul it away.
The RV fifth wheel is easy to move, easy to sell, easy to live in (we had a 32') and can be hooked up to power and sewer very easily; just like a mobile home. My guess is that if you talk with the rule-makers and suggest that your RV is temporary in anticipation of a stick-built shortly (as opposed to a trailer that "might" remain permanently), they'll see the advantage of dealing with you. IF your neighbors have stick-builts, then get them on board with a petition to allow your plan...and the rule-makers will most likely relax their objections.
Old 03-28-2009, 06:45 AM
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fc--- $4k-$5K is a starting point.

You can expect several hundreds of dollars in nothing but permit fees. Surveyor is going to cost some hundreds more dollars, because of FEMA you are going to have to have the elevation of your A/C and trailer floor certified. Mechanicals at 300 year flood level. Living floor 300 year plus 1'.

Foundation- depending on if you are cash buying, or financing and county codes, it could range from a full slab, to a compacted clay turtle back with moisture barrier, to as little as cutting the grass and throwing some blocks down.

Electrical service, you can book you are going to need 200 amps don't matter if it's in the air or under ground. Meter-service pole going to run you $400 to $800. Also you are going to either check your local codes for requirements and get a "hold harmless" notarized, or hire the proper mechanical trades to hook up sewage, water and juice. A/C, unless you have one of them freon certification cards that is either going to have to be handled by a friend that has one or a A/C contractor.

Sewerage--- You might check with the county/state health dept. once again. The septic system you have may not meet requirements anymore. Talk about big bucks to up grade.

Up shot in a neat little bundle. Before you spend one nickle on a mobile home I would check and double check county codes, flood elevations, health department, and utilities.

I think your $4-$5K estimate is very optomistic.
Old 03-28-2009, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by feralcat View Post
Hmm....much food for thought.....
Garrett -- good info on the electrical lines. Not sure what's going to be possible, or economical. I was playing with the lot plan and a piece of cardboard representing a home last night, and with set-backs (30' front, 25' rear, 15' of sides and 5' off septic) throwing something 60-70' long isn't trivial since the lot is just over .5 acre. I don't see any way have both new construction AND a mobile home on the lot concurrently.
I guess I should clarify, when I was talking trailer, I was referring to the kind that is mobile not fixed.
Now I don’t know this stuff, since your trailer will have an electrical hook-up couldn’t you not just run basically an extension cord from your service pole to your trailer? I know at campsites/ trailer parks that’s how it’s done! Mind you I’m not talking about your average extension cord here, but just the same....RV retailers would have what you need if you didn’t want to make your own.....electrical wholesalers would have everything you need for a fraction of the price of buying an off the shelf model. "If" you could run an extension cord between the trailer and your service pole it would give you a lot of freedom on where you temporally park your trailer and for how long. Really there is no reason why you couldn’t move your trailer serval times as per construction if your .5 acres isn’t a hill. And then again too, as you have mentioned, the idea of the trailer is only to take advantage of your land before the new house is built. Really what’s the big deal if you have to sell off the trailer a few months prior to the starting of construction. ? Just thinking out loud.
Old 03-28-2009, 07:28 AM
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Garrett

He's talking about a full size mobile home, could be as large as 12-1400 sq ft. 16'x80' or so. With all the electrical requirements of a full size home. Washer, dryer, hot water heater, range, oven, furnace, A/C. 200 amps is going to be minimum.
Old 03-28-2009, 07:56 AM
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Maybe I missed it, but can you even have a mobile home on your lot. Most developments have C&R that will not allow them. With you comment about not being able to use a RV on it I would be surprised if they would allow a mobile.
Second Point you might as well just plan on paying somebody to move the mobile off the lot when you get finished with it. As somebody else said there will be no or very little value left in it.

Have you thought of building a Garage that you could place the RV in and use it until you build your house? IMHO - You would have better luck selling the RV than a used single wide mobile home.
Old 03-28-2009, 08:03 AM
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I guess I best scrub that comment. Oh, my bad.....right got'tca David.
Old 03-28-2009, 08:12 AM
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We did much the same thing and added a screened redwood porch that runs the length of the mobile home facing the water. It works very well.

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