Friday, March 23, 2012

First Time Buyers: Types of Housing - Mobile and Manufactured Homes

Buying a home can be both an exciting and frightening experience.  This series of posts for "First Time Purchasers" of real estate in British Columbia is designed to familiarize the reader with some basic concepts, provide handy links for further exploration and hopefully assist your decision making.

The first part of this series outlined the principle of "caveat emptor" or "let the buyer beware".  The onus of conducting oneself in a thorough and businesslike manner is a buyer's responsibility.  This job of course is greatly assisted by assembling a team of professionals, a Realtor® or professional members of the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia, to help with the acquisition.

This second section will have a quick look at the first and cheapest Chilliwack* housing option - the mobile or modular home.

All residential properties for sale can be quickly accessed from this site (click here to begin).

Manufactured and Mobile Homes

Mobile Homes are homes that are built in factories and then shipped to a location for setup. These buildings must conform to CSA standards and are equipped with a highway capable chassis and wheels. While they can be moved several times, common practice is that once located on a pad site or lot, there they remain.

Mobile homes come in single wide widths up to 16' and double wide sizes from  24' to 29'.

There are numerous mobile home parks in the Chilliwack area with pad rents that vary from $300 to $526 a month. The average pad rent is $470 a month.

Manufactured Homes are also constructed in a plant and must conform to CSA Electrical
Standards (CSA A277) and the BC Building Code they also must be transported on a flatbed truck.

Manufactured homes come in single, double and triple sizes and may be as wide as 41'. 

These manufactured homes can be very attractively finished as shown, in the pictures above, of a triple manufactured home I saw yesterday at Chilliwack Quality Manufactured Homes. If you go there ask for Myrna Taylor and tell her Steve Mullock sent you.

  • Mobile and manufactured housing must meet electrical standards as set forth by the Safety Authority of British Columbia. There is usually a label somewhere on the outside of the mobile or modular home indicating that it meets CSA Z240 electrical standards.  The label is sometimes difficult to find especially if the home has new siding.
  • It seems anytime there is a significant wind storm, unanchored mobile homes fall victim and become a "news" item. It seems their shape may contribute to this difficulty. An interesting discussion about this can be found National Research Council of Canada. While hurricane force winds are not usually a concern, the Chilliwack and eastern Fraser Valley can experience gales of significant strength. All units should be anchored to withstand potential damage.
Prices: Chilliwack and District Manufactured and Mobile Homes in Mobile Home Parks  (as of March 20, 2012)

Mobile and Manufactured Homes on leasehold land
  •  HIGH*               $179,900
  • LOW*                 $    9,900
  • AVERAGE*       $  84,000
  • MEDIAN            $  80,950
Mobile and Manufactured Homes with strata fee simple bareland interests in land
  • HIGH                  $214,888
  • LOW                   $  99,900
  • AVERAGE         $158,900
  • MEDIAN            $158,900
* The value of the manufactured and mobile homes is in part determined by the interest in land assigned to the unit. A bareland strata lot, a leasehold interest is worth considerably more for instance than a pad in a mobile home part with a monthly rent.

What's next?  I have asked a mortgage specialist to have a look at the financing costs between Mobile and Manufactured Homes on leasehold lots paying a pad rent vs. fee simple bareland interests in land.  That is the topic of the next post in this series for Buyers.
  1. Mobile and Manufactured Homes are administered under the British Columbia Manufactured Home Act.
  2. Suggested reading: Buying a Home in BC by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia
  3. Always use a professional agent to purchase or sell real estate - I know that sounds self-serving - but, real estate is a lot more complex than many know.  If you are looking in the eastern Fraser Valley or want a referral to real agent in your area, please give me a call.
Stephen Mullock RI
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this information with us!