A few decades ago, especially in the 1960s, mobile homes were all the rage for young people. They were fresh out of high school or college. They were just starting out as professionals. There are many reasons why people would opt to live in a mobile home. But the biggest reason is that it’s much cheaper than living in and maintaining a site-built home. In 2015, the average sales of mobile homes (called “manufactured homes” by some) cost $292.6 thousand less than a site-built home.
And it seems that the people who lived in mobile homes back in those decades still live in such places until now. According to Curbed, the baby boomer generation who are between the ages of 50 and 59 make up 22 percent of the population who live in mobile homes. It comes close second to the largest bracket of mobile-home residents. The young professionals who are between the ages of 18 and 29 make up 23 percent of the total population.
Clearly, living in a mobile home is much more popular than what most of us previously thought. And this trend may not be going away soon. But before we can even start living in such a home, we need to do a few things first.
Find the Right Vehicle
Much like any individual hunting for a house, we need to find first the right vehicle that would make the perfect home. So before we start living the van life, we need the actual van first. And there are many things to take into consideration. We need to know the right size first. Are we going to live alone? Do we have a partner? Do we have kids or pets? Perhaps a van won’t be the right fit for us. A recreational vehicle (RV) or trailer might be better. Living in small spaces is the norm in a mobile home. So we need to make sure that we are ready for that.
Once we find the right size, then let’s talk about features. If we want to have a bathroom, then an RV is the best vehicle. If we want to keep it simple, cost-effective, and low maintenance, then a van would be better. We can have a raised rooftop for our van to make more space. The possibilities are endless.
Lastly, we need to make sure that our vehicle is constantly in top shape. As residents of a mobile home, we may not cover the costs of maintaining a site-built home. But we certainly do need to maintain our vehicles. For example, start with the car tires. Make sure that they’re always in top shape for long journeys. It’s because there’s nothing worse than needing to change tires in the middle of a fun road trip.
As mentioned before, getting used to living in a small space is the norm in a mobile home. So before we move our entire life into a vehicle, we need to declutter. It’s time to channel our inner Marie Kondo. And then we should ask ourselves, “Does this object bring me joy?”
But, of course, decluttering in a significant way is never easy. We might have, say, an antique cupboard that we inherited from our grandmother. We certainly couldn’t bring that to our mobile home. But we also don’t need to let go of it altogether. We can just put it in storage for future use.
So what we should do is break down our material possessions into three categories: what goes with us to the mobile home, what stays in storage, and what goes to trash, charity, or be sold.
Gather and Submit All Necessary Documents
Much like any major changes in our lives, moving into a mobile home does come with legal requirements to make sure that everything is above board. First, we would need a moving permit. The process of getting one varies, depending on the county and state that you’re based in. But, most of the time, the authorities will ask you for a certificate that declares that you don’t have any overdue taxes on the property. You will also be asked for a certificate of the title for the property.
Then, you will also have to make sure that your mobile home is up to code in accordance with the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Clearly, moving into a mobile home is not as easy we thought. It’s not like just packing our bags and moving into a van or RV before hitting the road. It takes a lot of planning and preparation. But knowing our specific steps helps in making sure that our experience in mobile living will be exciting, fun, and memorable without any major hitches.