Mobile Home vs. Apartment

Considering the pros and cons of living in a mobile home versus an apartment is essential for making a housing decision. Both options offer unique benefits, from flexibility and affordability in mobile homes to convenience and amenities in apartments. Understanding these differences can help you choose the best fit for your lifestyle and budget. Let’s delve into a comparison between mobile homes and apartments to help you make an informed choice.


            Understanding Mobile Homes and Apartments

Structure and Ownership

Mobile homes are manufactured housing units that can be moved from one location to another, while apartments are part of apartment complexes and are fixed structures within a building. Typically, mobile homes sit on leased land in mobile home parks, whereas apartments are usually rented within apartment buildings.

Mobile homes offer the advantage of ownership, where residents own both the home and the land it sits on, providing more autonomy compared to renting an apartment. On the other hand, apartment living involves leasing the unit from a landlord or property management company without owning any part of the building or land.

A large mobile home park with snow on the ground


Can You Rent Mobile Homes?

Mobile home parks charge a monthly lot rent on their land to each mobile home owner.  Now depending on the area lot rent can run you anywhere from $200 – $700+ a month.  When added in with a house payment that can be a pretty hefty bill to pay each month.  However,  if you can pay cash for the mobile home itself and not have a house payment you can live pretty affordably and comfortably in a mobile home park just paying the lot rent each month.  Be sure to check around to each park rates can vary drastically per area.  Rates sometimes reflect the amount of features that the park has as well: do they have a community clubhouse you can use for events, do they have a community pool, does the park have playgrounds or other activities available.

A small singlewide in a field and lawn

Mobility Aspect

Mobile homes live up to their name by being movable dwellings. This mobility allows individuals to relocate their homes easily, providing flexibility in terms of changing neighborhoods or cities. In contrast, apartments are stationary structures within apartment buildings, offering stability but lacking the ability to move with the occupants.

  • Pros of Mobile Homes: Flexibility to change locations easily.

  • Cons of Apartments: Lack of mobility for relocation purposes.

Mobile homes fall under a different legal classification compared to traditional houses or apartments due to their mobility aspect. They are subject to specific regulations governing manufactured housing communities and often have distinct laws related to lease agreements, lot rent payments, and zoning restrictions. On the other hand, apartments adhere to standard rental laws applicable to residential leasing agreements within apartment complexes.


                            Price Comparison Overview

Initial Costs

Mobile homes typically have a lower average price compared to apartments, making them more affordable for buyers. However, buyers need to consider additional closing costs and potential maintenance expenses. On the other hand, apartments usually require higher initial costs in terms of security deposits and application fees.

Monthly Expenses

When it comes to monthly expenses, mobile homes often have lower average rent than apartments. Yet, mobile home owners are responsible for land rental fees and utilities, adding to their monthly expenses. Apartments may include some utilities in the rent, simplifying monthly budgeting for renters.

Long-Term Financial Implications

In the long term, mobile homes can depreciate in value, affecting potential resale profits. Mobile home owners may face challenges securing financing due to shorter loan terms and higher interest rates. Apartments, while not offering ownership benefits, provide more flexibility for short-term living arrangements without the commitment of a mortgage.

Investment Value

Mobile homes can offer a sense of ownership and a tangible asset but may not yield substantial returns on investment due to depreciation. Conversely, apartments do not appreciate like traditional homes but can be beneficial for those seeking a hassle-free living arrangement without worrying about property maintenance.


                                  How to Rent Mobile Homes 

If I were going to move into a mobile home park I would have to decide what was important to me and make a list.  Would it be the convenience of stores nearby, what the park offered for activities or would it be as simple as the most affordable lot rent in town.  Whatever your reason for looking into moving into a mobile home park check out your options and make your best choice.

Many of your friends or family might snub the fact that you want to live in a mobile home park because of their projected stereotype. That is however all in the past… parks now a days are designed beautifully and have so much more to offer than they use to.  You might be the envy of your friends and family once they see the convenience, affordability and the resources that a mobile home community can provide you with.


Rent Mobile Home: Mobile Home vs. Apartment

In a mobile home park there are always many people around.  You probably wouldn’t have to look hard to find a neighbor, maintenance person or staff of the park in the office.  If you are a people person this might be a great thing. If you enjoy being neighborly and helping people out living in a mobile home park might be right up your alley.  The security of constantly having people around you is sometimes a good thing.  When you leave your home you might have the security of knowing that your home will also be looked after by fellow neighbors as well.
However, living in such close proximity to each other might have some disadvantages as well.


Lot Rent for a Mobile Home

Many mobile home parks allow you to rent your mobile home.  Be sure to check with the park offices.  They can tell you which units if any they will rent out. Check out our article on Renting a Mobile Home for more help.  


                          Rent to Own Mobile Home

If you do decide to rent your mobile home in a park check into Renting to Own.  Some managers have programs where you can rent to own the mobile home.  If your dream is to own a home this might be a more affordable way to do just that.  


Renting Mobile Home vs. Apartment

A large apartment complex with a large amount of snow around it

If you plan to relocate soon you may want to stay in an apartment.  If you are unsure of the area and want to give it a test drive this might be a great choice for you.  Apartments provide affordable housing that you aren’t married to.

With an apartment you won’t have to pay taxes which is a plus.  You won’t have to pay for costly repairs to your living area either.  These 2 things could save you hundreds each month.

I do believe that mobile home parks are better than living in an apartment complex.  In an apartment complex you typically have neighbors to each side of you and above and below you.  If you are lucky enough to have good neighbors in an apartment complex well….lets just say you are lucky.

In an apartment complex neighbors come and go quite quickly.  You are constantly having to adjust to the new environment.  With living in a mobile home community you have a whole home to yourself.  You don’t have to share laundry areas or stairways to and from you home.  It is true mobile home park living does have quite a few advantages.


Parks vs. Apartments in Housing

Here’s one of the biggest advantages that I have found when living in a mobile home park. Compared to an apartment the fact that you can make the mobile home your own is nice.  You can do whatever type of remodeling inside the home that your heart desires.  If you are paying a monthly fee who wouldn’t want this.  I love to do remodeling projects in my home. Making it the way I want it is important.  In rentals or apartments you typically are stuck with one color wall through the home.  You aren’t allowed to do any type of remodeling or painting.

Lower property taxes can be a big plus

One of the biggest benefits to living in a mobile home park as opposed to owning a stick built home is the savings. You will have each year on property taxes.  On stick built homes you can pay anywhere from $500 – $2500+ a year on just property taxes alone.  This is a huge savings for many mobile home owners.  Now, a mobile home will be treated as personal property in most states. When you live in the home there may be a personal property tax associated with the home as well.  These taxes are typically minimal compared to regular property taxes on stick built

Park Rules Make an Even Playing Field

For some residents in a mobile home community having rules is a great thing.  You have to keep your yard looking a certain way, you might not be allowed pets and some parks are just senior mobile home parks where no children are allowed.  Park rules are a good thing because it sets the standard.  This is what the park expects from you as a tenant each month. If you are a person that likes freedom however and doesn’t take well to having a list of rules a mobile home park might not be the right fit for you.


Affordable Housing for Seniors

Whether you choose to live in a mobile home park or an apartment there are quite a few benefits for senior living.  Both options should offer some type of discount to the senior community.  Be sure to check out your options.


Lack of Space Makes Things Crowded in a Mobile Home vs. Apartment Atmosphere

If you are a person that has many belongings a mobile home park might not be a good choice for you. This would be a true con or disadvantage to living in a mobile home park.  There tends to be a limited amount of space.

Yards are typically very small.  When it comes to storage you usually have an 8 x 10 shed to keep things.  A pro or advantage to this however for most residents is the fact that you have very little to maintain.  You would have a very small area that you would have to mow, very few bushes and trees to cut and prune.  If you are looking for a bit of the simple life this is a true advantage to living in a mobile home park.


Resale Value and How to Resell Your Mobile Home

When it comes to resale value on a mobile home in a mobile home park this can be a challenge.   You might discover that you paid quite a bit more for the home than it is worth.  When you go to sell it, especially if you purchase a new mobile home.

If you need to move quickly from your mobile home this might cause an issue.  So be sure to make an educated decision when purchasing a mobile home in a mobile home park.  If you are going to stay there for 10+ years and you are looking to buy a new home, it might be worth it.  However, if you are looking to stay for 1 to 3 years, you might find yourself upside down on what you owe on your mortgage when it comes time to sell your home.


There are many pros and cons of living in a mobile home park. It can be a great place to spread your wings.  You can have a great time with the right community and people.

Just do your research before you make any commitment to live in a mobile home park. Make sure you look over all the paperwork that you are about to sign with the park.  It will be very important when it comes time to sell your mobile home.

                     FAQ’s: Mobile Home vs. Apartment

What is the disadvantage of living in a mobile home?

Living in a mobile home can come with disadvantages such as limited appreciation in value over time, potential for lower energy efficiency, and a perceived stigma associated with the term “trailer park.”

What does it mean to live in a mobile home?

Living in a mobile home means residing in a structure that is designed to be easily transportable, typically found in mobile home parks or on private land.

Do mobile homes devalue?

Mobile homes can devalue over time, much like automobiles, due to wear and tear and the depreciation of the structure.

What is the appropriate name for a manufactured home that is delivered in three sections?

A manufactured home that is delivered in three sections is commonly referred to as a “triple-wide” manufactured home.


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