Mobile homes also called trailers, house trailer, or residential caravan happens to be a prefabricated home that is built within a factor and is fixed on a permanent chassis before it is delivered to the site by being towed or placed on a trailer. They are often used as permanent homes, or even as vacation homes or temporary homes, and they can be left semi-permanently or permanently in a single place, but it is able to be moved and it may require being moved from time to time due to various legal reasons.
Mobile homes happen to have the same historic origins as a travel trailer, but now they are very different in furnishings and sizes. The travel trailers are often just temporary homes and behind all of the cosmetic work the trailer is fitted during installation to help hide the base will be strong axels, tow hitches, trailer frames and wheels.
However, in the United States mobile homes go way back to the early years of cars and highway travel. It was made from the travel trailer which was often called a trailer coach which was a small unit that was attached permanently and was used for extended travel and camping. The original thought process behind this was the mobility. The units were often marketed to those who had a lifestyle that needed mobility. However, starting in the 1950s the homes started being marketed as a very inexpensive form of housing that was designed to be set up in a single location for long periods of time, or installed permanently using a masonry foundation. Before that, the units were less than 8 feet wide but during 1956, the 10-foot-wide trailer was produced along with the name of mobile home.
These homes were often shaped like a rectangle and made from painted aluminum panels, instead of the streamlined shape of the travel trailer which were often painted after it was assembled. This helped to increase the difference between the travel trailer and the mobile home. The smaller 8-foot-wide trailer may be moved with a car however, the larger and much larger units had to be moved using professional trucking services, and often times it would be required to get a moving permit from the highway department. It was around the late 1960s and 1970s that the mobile homes had been made to be much longer and wider which made mobility much harder. Now, whenever a factory-built home is moved to the location, it is often kept there permanently and the mobility of these homes have decreased. There are some states where mobile homes are taxed as personal property if the wheels stay on the mobile home, but as real estate if the wheels have been removed. The removal of the axles and tongue may also be required for the mobile home to be considered real estate.
Most people who are not able to afford the traditional site-built homes or didn’t want to commit to spending a lot of money on a house, had stated to see factory built homes as being a great alternative for their long term housing needs. The mobile homes were often marketed as being an alternative to renting apartments. However, the overall tendency of these homes during this era began to depreciate quickly for resale value which made using them for collateral on loans so much riskier than a traditional home loan. The terms were often limited to less than 30 years which is normal for the home loan markets and the interest rates were often much higher. These mobile home loans were more similar to a car loan than a traditional mortgage loan.
Mobile homes will often come in just 2 sizes which are the double wide’s and single wide’s. A single wide will be less than 18 feet wide and less than 90 feet long and they are able to be towed to the site as a single part. Double wide’s will be less than 20 feet wide and are less than 90 feet long and have to be towed to the site in two different parts, which will be joined together at the site. There are some triple wide trailers and even homes that have 4 or more parts that may be built, but they are not as common.
However, site-built homes will rarely be moved, but owners of single wide trailers will often sell or trade their home to a mobile home dealer for a reduction on the purchase price of new homes. They are often considered to be used homes and they will be resold to a new owner or to a mobile park owner who will use them as rental home. Single wide trailers are much more likely to be traded to a dealer than a double wide trailer because moving them is so much easier.
Mobile homes will often be placed within communities called trailer parks which are also called mobile home parks, and trailer courts. These communities will let a homeowner to rent a space where they can place their trailer. In addition to providing space, they may often provide basic utilities like sewer, water, natural gas or electricity and even other amenities like garbage removal, playgrounds, pools, mowing and community rooms.
Newer mobile homes, especially the double wide home will often be built to higher standards than the previous mobile homes and will meet the building codes within the area. This has led to a reduction of the depreciation value of a used mobile home.
Modern mobile homes are now built from the materials that are very similar to a site built home instead of the light weight, inferior materials. They are also more likely to resemble a site-built home. Often times the main difference in appearance will be that the mobile home will have less slope on the roof so that they can be easily transported under overpasses and bridges.
The overall number of double wide mobile homes that are sold are much higher than a single wide trailer, which is partly because the zoning restrictions. Another reason for higher sales is often because they are more spacious, which are now similar to a site-built home. Single wide trailers are still quite popular in rural areas, where there are less restrictions. They are often used in areas where there is temporary housing for those who have dealt with natural disasters when the restrictions are waived temporarily.