How to Calculate the Value of a Used or New Mobile Home

Knowing the value of a used or new mobile home can help you set a fair selling price on a home you've decided to sell and avoid overpaying for a mobile home you're thinking about buying. It also helps to know when you're insuring a mobile home and need to know how much it would cost to repair or replace.

Checking the Book Value

There's no simple formula for determining the value of a mobile home. It's a complicated process that takes into account the home's age, condition and other characteristics, but it starts with the book value. Y_ou can look this up online using the NADAguide, which provides basic pricing for thousands of different mobile homes. According to NADAguide's website, the price it provides is the _depreciated replacement cost, which is the value of the home minus depreciation.

To check the NADAguide, go to the company's website and enter all of the necessary information about the mobile home. Expect to supply the manufacturer, model, year and region where the home is located. You'll also need to provide a payment method to cover the fee, which was $20 at the time of publication.

Rough Calculations

It's difficult for an untrained person to calculate the exact value of a mobile home, but you can determine the approximate value with a little research. Start by finding out the selling prices of comparable mobile homes in the area -- the same process a real estate agent would use. Check with local real estate agents, lenders or mobile home dealers to find accurate numbers for comparison. By comparing a home's value to local prices, you get a realistic view of what a mobile home is worth in the same area.

When determining size, use actual measurements of the mobile home and only measure the heated living space when determining square footage. Mobile home manufacturers often include the length of the towing hitch in the home's dimensions, but this extension doesn't add any value.

Once you've come up with a base price for the new or used mobile home you want to buy or sell, compare its features to the features of the home or homes you're using for comparison. If it has upgrades, such as air conditioning, new appliances or an extra bathroom, adjust the value upward. If the home is missing appliances or has fewer bedrooms than comparable homes, adjust the price downward. The condition of the home can be anything from brand new to very poor or anything in between. Price adjustments should reflect the actual condition of the home. When you've completed these calculations you should have a realistic idea of what a mobile home is worth.

Appraisals and Other Options

If you need detailed information on the value of a mobile home, consider hiring an appraiser. She will use the NADAguide's professional pages, which provide more detailed information on a mobile home, resulting in a more accurate value. In addition, an appraiser will consider many other factors that can affect the value of a mobile home that the NADAguide does not. These factors include:

  • The exact location of the home
  • The condition of the home
  • Whether or not the home must be moved
  • If the structure is on owned land or a leased space
  • Any upgrades the home has

Ultimately the appraiser comes up with a value that reflects the home's market worth, not just its replacement value.

To get a good idea of what a mobile home might be worth in the current real estate market, you can also ask a real estate agent. The agent can provide you with information based on the selling price of similar mobile homes in the area. The actual sales price should be used for comparison, as the listing price of any home is often higher than what it eventually sells for.

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