Getting ready to sell your home could be an intense time. You might feel the excitement and anticipation of the changes you’re about to make. Plus, you could feel the pressure of having to whip your home into shape in preparation for sale.
Sometimes, getting your home up to speed could be as simple as a thorough cleaning and decluttering for a showing or open house. But, in some circumstances, you might be looking to remodel the place before you offer it to prospective homebuyers.
So, let’s take a look at some things you could do to shape up your mobile home before signing on the dotted line and handing over the keys. Who knows, you might get your home looking so amazing you almost want to move back in yourself!
What do buyers want?
One important thing to think about when you’re remodeling your home with the end goal of selling, is what do buyers want? When you remodel a mobile home simply for your own enjoyment and quality of life, you might find the test of what to remodel is simple. What do I want to remodel? What are my goals for this home?
However, when you’re remodeling to sell, there’s another a person or group to factor in—the buyer or buyers. Their preferences and needs may be able to help guide the adjustments you make to your home.
What it could look like
To illustrate this idea, let’s say you’re planning to stay in your mobile home for the foreseeable future. Selling isn’t on your radar. When you go to remodel, your number one plan is to make the house more beautiful in your own eyes. How? By incorporating colors you love for one thing.
So, let’s say your favorite colors are bright orange and royal blue. Thus, you’re planning a renovation that allows your mobile home to explode in these two vibrant colors. You can just imagine how much encountering these colors every morning on getting out of bed will lift your mood and give you a newfound zest for your mobile home’s potential.
Sound like a thrilling idea? Well, maybe. And if you’re the one who will be living in that home, we say go ahead. But (and this is a big but), if you’re not the only one with skin in the game, this may not be the way to go.
For those of you who are about to sell your home, it’s important to remember that what you like and dislike may only get you so far. What potential homebuyers like and dislike may also be a prime consideration if you want your home to sell.
Thinking about it from their point of view
Take a moment to consider the situation from where the homebuyer sits. They want to move into a beautiful new home. And they’ll be bringing their own lives, family members, tastes, and preferences. If they’re not fans of bright orange and royal blue, they could have a hard time seeing your home as quite as dazzling as you do.
Of course, you may not be able to completely remove your “stamp” from the home. But you probably can steer away from radical displays of personalization. Plus, you can take some time to learn what might appeal to potential buyers. What might others be looking for?
While home staging could help you present your home in the best possible light, there are other methods to look into as well. A local real estate agent may be able to give some direction on his or her experience helping clients buy and sell homes in your area. They’ve likely developed an understanding of what clients often look for and of what could be deal breakers.
Learning from experts
In addition to real estate agents, another possible place to glean information is the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Specifically, their NAHB Outlines Top Features Home Buyers Want for 2019. In this article, they offer several insights into what features buyers are interested in.
So, let’s use this as a launch point. We’ll grab some of the popular features NAHB shares and go from there to talk about remodeling your mobile home for resale. Without further ado, here are some areas the NAHB article references:
- “laundry rooms”
- “energy-saving features such as Energy Star appliances, windows and whole house certification”
- “home-storage needs, such as garage storage and walk-in pantries”
- “hardwood flooring”
- “a patio and exterior lighting.”
Additionally, the article says that “according to NAHB’s survey, 86 percent of home buyers prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or partially open.”
Something to go on
While the NAHB survey may not have been specific to mobile homes, it has some useful implications for mobile home owners remodeling to sell. What could you do to make your mobile home more appealing along the lines described above?
Hitting the ground (or floor) running
If buyers want hardwood floors in their new home, but your home has carpeting or laminate, don’t despair. You can refloor your mobile home (or parts of it anyway). Simply tear the old floor out down to the subfloor. Then, refloor with hardwood.
Of course, you may be able to do this hardwood floor installation yourself if DIY projects are right up your alley. But if not, hire a professional to get the job done right. Choosing your new floor’s color could feel tricky so check out Jane Lockhart Interior Design’s The Best Hardwood Floor Colours.
If you’re not planning to refloor the entire home in hardwood, but perhaps just the kitchen, dining room, and main living area, think about what you might want to do to the rest of the floors. For grungy carpeting, a thorough cleaning might be in order. Or, tearing out the carpeting and replacing it with new carpets could be a solution.
Doing some structural remodeling
Several of the items we listed earlier could call for some structural remodeling. For instance, if you don’t have an open kitchen/dining area but want one, that could require some changes to the structure of your mobile home. Likewise, creating a laundry room could also call for structural changes. As could creating a pantry.
If your remodeling calls for taking down or putting up walls, you need to tread carefully here. First, you want to ensure that the changes you make are legally allowed—hence, check with your local government to understand what building codes apply.
And, of course, you want to be sure that your changes don’t compromise the structural integrity of your mobile home. For instance, removing a load bearing wall would be a no-no. Consult with an engineer before executing your plans (and maybe even in the planning phase, too). Your mobile home’s manufacturer is another potential source of information about what your particular home should and should not be able to withstand.
Creating a designated laundry space
Maybe you’d like to expand that tiny stacked washer/dryer unit for your prospective homebuyers. You’re thinking a bit more space could appeal to the next homeowner. Well, keeping all the above cautions in mind, look into your options for expanding the space a bit.
If you discover that you can indeed move the washer and dryer hookup, one option could be moving the laundry room entirely. But if you want to keep it located near the current area, then see whether you can take out a nearby wall and expand into a nearby bedroom perhaps.
Remember the shelves
Once you have the structure nailed down, attend to other elements like decor and shelving. And if you’re going to be having a combination laundry room/mud room, consider flooring that will be easy to clean (definitely not carpet). Creating some storage shelves large enough to hold laundry baskets (full or empty) could be a great help.
And masterminding a place to store detergent, stain remover, and dryer sheets out of sight could provide a fresh, tidy look to your laundry area. A utility sink could be an excellent addition. Take a look at this Minneapolis laundry room or this compact laundry space for inspiration.
Opening up the kitchen & dining room
The popularity of open floor plans in main living areas means there’s no shortage of design inspiration available on the internet. Opening up the space between your kitchen and dining room and putting in an island could be a great way to go (if structurally feasible for your mobile home). You can still have a dining table of course. And the island could double as kitchen workspace and breakfast counter. Plus, you’d experience the added bonus of having a spot where guests can socialize with you even as you put the finishing touches on a meal.
On top of open kitchen and dining spaces, don’t forget to rope the living room into your thinking here. Maybe you’d like to create a more open layout that includes all three of these areas. Again, your home’s structural integrity could be an inherent limitation. Thus, get an engineer or licensed contractor’s perspective on what options you have. An expansive area that includes cooking space, dining area, and couches and chairs is a great idea if possible. For inspiration, head to Elle Decor’s 30+ Ideas for a Chic Open-Concept Space.
Putting in a pantry
Pantries offer an overflow area for crammed cupboards — or a space large enough to contain items whose shape or size don’t lend themselves to cupboards at all (think mops, brooms, bulk food containers). Whether your new mobile home pantry calls for putting up new walls or finding another creative way to get the right kind of space, don’t forget to install shelving that allows you to reach things as conveniently as possible.
While you may already know how to create storage space with solid shelves or racks, don’t forget that if space is short, you can turn to creative solutions. For instance, use a behind-the-door shoe organizer to collect your spices. And don’t think you have to have an enormous pantry to create a tidy compartmentalized space.
Revamping for energy efficiency
Drawing from the NAHB article above, renovating your home with energy efficiency in mind is another idea when planning for your sale. Since they mentioned windows let’s start there. Of course, you may choose to find a company that can install Energy Star windows for you. But, for those of you who love doing your own work too much to hire an installer, check out Home Selfe’s 6 Tips for Installing ENERGY STAR Windows Yourself.
And windows aren’t the only energy efficient elements you can install around your home. While Energy Star home ovens, ranges and microwaves may not be available at this point, there’s nothing to stop you from investing in an Energy Star dishwasher.
Getting a garage off the ground (not literally, of course)
A garage can offer plenty more than a spot to park the car. In fact, some people’s garages are so busy being used for alternate purposes that there really isn’t much space to park the car. A garage can be a place to hide out when rain strikes your outdoor barbecue. Or it can be a handy location to set up your hobby without overwhelming your living room. And let’s not forget it can serve as a storage solution for everything from out-of-season decor to clothes and toys your kids have grown out of.
Clayton says there are three types of garages mobile homes can have—detached, adjacent, and integrated. Check it out in their article 3 Garage Options For Your Manufactured Home. And once you do have a garage in place, head to The Family Handyman’s 51 Brilliant Ways to Organize Your Garage.
Taking on the outside living space
Coming up right after garages is another extension of the home, but it’s not quite as closed-in as a garage. Your outside living space could involve decks, porches, landscaping, and—to get back to the NAHB article—patios and lights.
There are so many ways to go when choosing a patio. For one thing, what material will form the “floor”? Should you opt for poured concrete? Or maybe you’d prefer the ruddy look of a brick patio. Then, there’s also the option of installing a flagstone one.
And once you decide what the foundation will be, building up from there could take any of a number of forms. A pergola could provide some structure without closing the area completely in. Plus, it offers a built-in location for planting climbing plants.
Shedding some light on the area
Don’t forget those lights either. Of course, you want to be able to enjoy beautiful evenings in the great outdoors (without anybody tripping over unseen stairs or chairs). Torch lights could be placed in the ground surrounding the patio while lanterns could offer light from above the seating area. Short on space but want to put in a patio anyway? Check out Small Patio Decor Ideas for a Gorgeous Outdoor Oasis.
Before you sell
As you get started remodeling that mobile home for sale, don’t forget that a little extra research could help you find ways to complete some remodeling projects on the cheap. And before you sell, take a look at our 5 Things You Must Do Before Listing Your Mobile Home For Sale.