Anyone ever remodeled a mobile home - from the frame up?

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Old 08-01-13, 07:03 AM
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Anyone ever remodeled a mobile home - from the frame up?

Thanks for welcoming me on board, it's great to be here. I have a question - just wondering if anyone has ever remodeled a singlewide mobile home, completely from the frame up? Why even consider it? For one thing, you'll be living in a 2013 home with all the safety, longevity and energy saving amenities of a new construction while paying ever decreasing property taxes on a (for example) 1993 singlewide. As property assessments go up, the value of your singlewide stays flat, due to the devaluation of singlewides as they age, while the actual value of your investment stays solid due to the inherent value you've built into it. No permits, because local building officials are not legally obligated to concern themselves with a mobile home from the ground up, and no one on the federal level is going to concern themselves with what one man does with his own singlewide - unless of course he builds them to sell commercially - only then will they have reason to be concerned. One can work on his singlewide without new power permits, thanks to the mandatory electrical disconnect required on all singlewides. And the best part is, your investment isn't anchored to the ground, your free to pick up your new construction home and move it where you please (with regards to local zoning of older mobile homes, that is - you are, after all, still titled as a 1993 singlewide).
Now I'm not condoning breaking any laws - this is all hypothethical after all, simply for perusal - I'm simply talking about taking advantage of what appears to be a black hole in the system, a place where laws aren't written for. I'm talking about a retired residential builder trying to render his tax burden as flat as his retirement income. Pros? Cons? Accolades or admonishment? Looking forward to hearing from the DIY community. Thank you.
 
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Old 08-01-13, 12:02 PM
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I've worked on quite a few MHs over the yrs and have extensively remodeled some of them ..... but nothing I would call a 'frame up restoration' I don't think I've ever worked on one that was bad enough to warrant ripping up all the subflooring but have replaced portions of the subfloor on many. My house has an single wide inside of it. The floors, walls, ceiling, wiring, etc have all been modified since it was originally built.

I'm not so sure about not needing any permits. I think the electrical permits/inspections are needed everywhere although not all jurisdictions are concerned with the bulk of the rest of the work that might be done. Depending on how much you spent remodeling the MH - getting sufficient insurance might be an issue.
 
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Old 08-01-13, 04:55 PM
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Thanks for the reply...

Thanks for your reply. I, too, have repaired my share of singlewides over the years, the most extensive being an entire exterior rear wall section removal/repair, due to water running off the shingle roof, then behind the vinyl siding. I see your point about insurance - with no permits, insurance would need a paper trail to the liable party responsible for the reno - which is ironic, because I would be making it much safer than original, in that I always use metal boxes and armor cable in the walls, ceilings and floors, ice dam rubber roofing in the "wet" areas, under the washer/dryer, water heater, and bathroom, etc. Proper egress windows in living and sleeping areas, that sort of thing. But, you're right, none of that matters without a paper trail to the responsible party. Currently, in my county, you can still build your own home yourself and get it insured, course with the proper permits. Permits equal tax dollars, unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, I agree with the permit process, and always strive to do things better than code. I just hate having to pay the rest of my life for my extra dilligence eg. increased property taxes. I'm willing to pay my fair share, but when my "fair share" increases 47% in one year, then... I joke with others that, had I known how taxes would have become, I would have pulled a rusty Airstream on my property and let pokeberries grow up around it, and pay taxes on that; all the while, living in the luxurious 5,000 square foot "bunker" underneath! haha.
 
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Old 08-02-13, 05:06 AM
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Some states have programs that freeze or reduce property taxes for senior citizens - might be something you'd want to look into.
 
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Old 08-03-13, 05:14 PM
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My county might, but I don't think it does, as I hear from a lot of the older citizens having trouble making it here these days. I currently live in a modest 1,500 sq. ft. log (sided) home. When I built it, 20 years ago, the tax was reasonable, like $350 or so a year. Now, it's around $1200 a year and climbing every three years! I can just afford the tax and insurance now; I'm sure I can't afford it when I retire, so I'm looking for an alternative to the roller coaster ride. The county has lost so much income from industries leaving out, there's only the residents left to pay for the whole county's infrastructure. A mobile home would be cheaper and, should the county become totally unreasonable, I could move my freshly remodeled home/cabin to a (for now) cheaper neighborhood.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 05:04 AM
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I know tenn has it although I think there are income restrictions. My land taxes aren't bad but I figure I'll look in to it after my wife retires. One thing to think on - MH insurance rates are higher than the same amount of insurance on a conventional home. Also between permits and the paying to have it moved - it isn't all that cheap to move a MH.

forgot earlier - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 08-04-13, 07:15 AM
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Good point, it's about $2,500 to move a mobile home 20 miles or 2 feet. Hadn't checked on the insurance since moving out of my singlewide in 1995, didn't seem all that bad then, but that was then, lots of things were cheaper then. Had a used mobile home guy tell me if I could build it ony 8 feet wide, it would then be a camper and not regulated by anyone; build what you want, move it when and where you want. I entertained thoughts of a camper double-wide for a while - a 16 feet by 50-or-so feet wide home/cabin. But the rooms would be under 8 feet wide each, so that's not conducive to long term living. Still, it rattles around in the back of my head...
 
 

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