As a first-time mobile home buyer, questions are par for the course. Where should you buy your home? Where should you place it after you buy it – after all, you have to have space to put it on, right? What do you need to do to get that space ready for the new house?
Let’s take some time for an overview of helpful information for mobile home first-timers.
The home comes first
Without a doubt, before you can move into your mobile home you have to have a mobile home to move into. And that means that one way or another you must procure a mobile home. Now, there are actually several ways to do this. And which one you choose depends on a lot on you—the mobile home resident.
A brief word about renting
Now, we know that we put “mobile home buyer” right in the article’s title here. Still, some people dwelling in a mobile home for the first time may actually be renting. So, let’s touch on that quickly before we dive in.
If you’re renting, you may find a mobile home available online or perhaps through a real estate agent. You might also be able to find available rentals by going to various mobile home parks in your target area and asking park managers if any homes are open for rentals. Even if there aren’t any at the moment, the manager may know about an upcoming availability.
Now, pivoting from renting, let’s talk about the gameplan for those of you who want to purchase a mobile home. Of course, you can still use the internet to help you out with your search. And again, a real estate agent may also be helpful depending on your circumstances.
If you’re buying new, head to your nearest mobile home dealership to get a feel for what your options look like. Plus, it may give you a chance to chat with someone who’s knowledgeable about manufactured housing. And that could be a great way to get started matching your needs and wants with options that might be appropriate.
Naturally, just as with other real estate, you can also use the old fashioned “scout it out” model. Simply keep your eyes open any time you’re near your target area. Who knows when you’ll see an available home?
Moving your mobile home
Once you’ve nailed down the particular mobile home, you’ll have to tackle the moving process. (However, this likely won’t affect you if you’re renting a mobile home—we assume if you’re renting, the home is staying in its current location).
But for some of you mobile home buyers, the home will need to be moved. Fortunately, we’ve written about that topic before. So you can check out our Helping You Understand The Laws On Moving A Mobile Home to begin getting up to speed. Also take a look at How To Find And What To Expect From Mobile Home Movers. Still, here are a few additional home moving thoughts.
Find a mobile home mover
A mobile home is just too large for you to move on your own. Fortunately, there are companies that have the skills, expertise, and equipment to do the mobile home moving for you. Feel free to comparison shop among the mobile home mover options so that you can score the best deal.
Additionally, take care to select a mover that is properly licensed and insured. And check with them if they’ll take care of getting the permit to move the mobile home or if that’s your job. Also, be sure to think ahead about the cost to move a mobile home. That way, you can start setting aside the needed funds in advance.
Preparing the area
Certainly, you also need to think about the area your mobile home is being moved to. Exactly what you do to this space will depend. For instance, if you’re planning to permanently affix your mobile home to your land, then a mobile home foundation may be in order. Some people might choose to place their home on a concrete slab. But of course, that option should only be used if you don’t want to have a basement.
Water, sewer, electricity, and internet
Remember that preparing your area actually calls for more than just attending to the land’s physical characteristics. While utilities may seem somewhat less tangible, they’re certainly no less important. If you want to be able to turn on the lights in your new home or run water, then you definitely want to think about the utilities in advance. Head to How to Set Up Utilities in Your New Home to learn more.
Moving your belongings
Naturally, you’ll want to pack up your mobile home’s belongings and get them on the road, too. We recommend taking an organized approach that includes starting early and planning the process adequately.
Starting early should pay off when you discover that you don’t have to pull an all-nighter the evening before your scheduled move. And planning should reward you richly in the week leading up to the move when you find that you still have a few dishes and utensils out and that you didn’t pack all the toilet paper.
Packing calls for packing boxes. And you can buy them new. Or you can find them used online when others are getting rid of them. Plus, you can even ask local stores for extra boxes that their supplies where shipped in.
Unload and unpack
Here comes the fun part. Once your former home’s contents have arrived at their new location, it’s time to get them off the truck and into their new domicile. Again, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you bring things off the truck in an orderly fashion. Try to stack boxes neatly against walls when possible—preferably in the rooms that their content will ultimately go in.
This is good for safety, of course, but it’s also good for sanity. If you have a lot to unpack, you may not get to all of it today. Especially if you’re tired from being on the road. So having it all tidily stacked while it waits to be unpacked will be more pleasant.
Also, keep an eye out while you’re unloading for any boxes holding things you’ll need right away. This saves you time and stress later. Because who wants to spend hours rifling through packed boxes trying to find a bath towel just so they can take a shower?
Filling in the space
Whether your move to a mobile home involved downsizing or upsizing, you may be in the market for some home furnishings. There are so many items that work together to make a home fully functional—from the appliances in the kitchen to the couches in the living room to the bed frames in the bedrooms.
But how do you go about furnishing your new space if your previous furnishings either aren’t moving with you or aren’t adequate to fill out the new house? Of course, the simple answer is—you buy furniture.
But furniture can be expensive. So let’s explore a few ways to get the items you need without overspending.
Actually, there are three benefits to shopping online. Likely, there are more than three, but three is good enough for us. First, there’s the cost advantage. You may be able to scout out better deals online than you can shopping in-store.
Second, there’s the comparison shopping advantage. Online, you can simply open several tabs to evaluate your competing options. In other words, you don’t have to make phone calls to local stores or drive from store to store. Plus, you can read what others have to say about the products you’re considering.
Third, there’s the convenience factor. After all, if you’re shopping online you can get the job done at any time of day (or night, actually). And this could be huge if you’re in the process of moving as you shop. Naturally, you need furnishings for your home. But you might be on the road or in the midst of packing or unpacking boxes.
With online shopping, you can actually purchase your needed items while you’re on the road—provided you’re not the driver. Or, you can buy things as you take breaks if you’re currently unpacking boxes in your new home.
Scour garage and yard sales in your area, Craigslist, curbs in your neighborhood, and local thrift stores for bargains. But, when we say “bargains” please do not hear “junk.”
Simply put, we never advocate for filling your home with other people’s castoffs that should just stay cast off. Repurpose responsibly. And be discriminating. Ask yourself if the item is salvageable or if it would simply degrade your home’s overall appearance. If it’s going to make your home look worse instead of better, then hold on until you can find something in better shape.
Making it look like home
Doubtless, the switch from an old home to a new one can be emotionally draining. Even if you really wanted to move, you can still find yourself feeling nostalgic and homesick for the old place.
So it makes sense you may be looking for ways to make the new mobile home seem homier. Let’s explore some ways to get you started.
Get out the family photos
If you’re feeling slightly cast adrift in the new place, make it a priority to get out and display family photos. Hopefully, you clearly labeled that box when you were making the move. And now’s the time to break it out. Putting up pictures of your family will surround you with the people that you love. Plus, it will start to make your space look lived-in—in a good way.
Put decor on the walls
Another great way to make your home look lived-in is to start decorating. Of course, the walls are prime decorating real estate. But they’re not the only place. Decor items can also be appropriate on tabletops, bookshelves, and even the floor.
Find adequate lighting
You may find that the home you move into seems like it’s not light enough—even with all the lights turned on. If so, simply supplement with other lighting options. First, you can always try switching out the light bulbs for higher wattage bulbs (or even bulbs with a different light tone). Whatever you do, just be sure you don’t put in bulbs with a wattage too high for the socket.
Stand lamps can be perfect for corners and other spaces. And of course, tables can easily be graced with tabletop lamps. Not sure what kind of lights will work best for your space? Check out The Best Table Lamps (and Some Cheaper Look-Alikes), According to Designers to get an idea of the variety that’s available.
Also, if you’re looking for ways to keep the space as bright as possible, remember to maximize what’s coming in through the windows. For instance, choosing valances instead of wide drapes could help you let more light in.
Choose window treatments
Talking about valances and drapes leads us easily into the next topic for settling into your first mobile home experience—curtains, blinds, drapes, and shades. Fortunately, we’ve covered window treatments elsewhere. So head to our How To DIY 3 Types Of Window Treatments For Your Mobile Home.
Take it easy
Now we get to the part that sounds relaxing. And, indeed, at least part of this topic is relaxing. Moving into a new home can be busy and stressful. That’s why you might need to set aside some time to take a bit of a rest.
Yes, we know. You’re in a hurry to get this home in its final state. And that makes sense. Surely you want to settle in as quickly as possible. But keep in mind that you also want to settle in as happily as possible, too. And taking a break can be a step in that direction.
Actually, settling down for a bit of a rest could even make you more prepared to tackle your unpacking job. For instance, why not move in all the boxes one day, but wait until the next day to do the lion’s share of the unpacking? That leaves you time in the evening of the first day to take a breather.
A few of your favorite things
Of course, it might be a more relaxing breather if you unpack a few key items before settling down. For instance, you’ll probably want at least a mattress. And you’ll surely want bathroom towels, soap, toothbrushes, and some clean clothes.
Plus, it makes sense to grab at least some paper plates along with plastic utensils and cups. But if you’ve been thinking in advance since the beginning, you’ll have clearly labeled these things and tried to keep them easy-to-access.
Now, you’ll also want whatever supplies it takes to do your favorite relaxing activities. Maybe that would be a game or two. Or for some, it could be books, a TV, or a laptop. Whatever it is, just dig it out so you can use it. Have some quiet relaxing time with your family, then after a good night’s sleep, you’ll be ready to jump back in in the morning.
The mobile home life
Since this is your first experience with a mobile home, you probably have plenty of questions. You might be wondering about making changes to your home. If so, take a look at our Changes You Can Make In Your Mobile Home For A Lasting Impression. And if you’re looking for hints to help you before you make the home purchase, try First-Time Mobile Home Buyer Tips That Will Save You Time & Money.