Mobile homes are most frequent in the US, Canada and the UK. Vehicles with living accommodation typically spring to mind, but mobile homes are in fact pre-fabricated dwellings; they are also different from modular homes, in terms of building components and transportation methods. Though they are sometimes associated with poor people, this is not always the case, considering that top actors like Matthew McConaughey live in luxury mobile home parks.
Even though mobile homes are often used as accommodation for the holidays, they can also provide permanent shelter to an increasing number of people. Their popularity is due to a variety of factors, including their considerably more affordable prices as compared to more conventional housing options. And when people want to upgrade their living conditions, they can simply sell their factory built home and receive a discount on the purchase price of their new home.
Mobile homes are single- and double-wides; double-wide homes are wider and therefore more spacious than single-wide ones, and they also take longer to depreciate in value, which makes them the most popular type of mobile home.
The downside is that these homes are not as sturdy as fixed ones, and many are not able to withstand strong winds and storms, that is why the house must be secured properly, for example with hurricane straps.
Most of the people living there are fully employed, while about a quarter are retired. The younger people choosing this type of housing do so because they wish to enjoy their freedom to the fullest, not only financially, but also from parents, or from feeling tied down to one place. In fact, the mobility of these homes enables their inhabitants to simply leave any time if they don’t like the community. Moreover, many people would rather own their home rather than have a place rented in the city, given that there aren’t that many housing options for people with low income.
Mobile home parks
Mobile homes look more like regular homes rather than trailers, and are an alternative to renting. Often, they are located in safer areas than some rent homes, as long as the mobile home park has strict rules in place. Thus, people can live in mobile home parks for a monthly fee, or can buy land in a convenient area and move the home there.
The fee typically includes lot rental, property tax, rubbish collection, electricity and water supply. Depending on the park, other facilities include playgrounds, community gardens, football fields and picnic areas, so that inhabitants have much of the convenience of conventional housing close at hand. Some mobile home models are spacious, with 2 or 3 bedrooms, 1 or 2 bathrooms fitted with a washer and dryer, and a kitchen.
Local building regulations do not apply everywhere to these homes; however, they must follow the codes applicable to each windzone. In some regions, there are zoning laws establishing minimum size and foundation requirements, as well as the number of mobile homes allowed on site.