2023 Mobile Home Buyers Guide
Welcome to 2023. What a difference a year makes!
Mobile Home inventory at the beach is still low, the nice homes are selling quickly, but hopefully, we've seen the last of the skyrocketing prices and bidding wars that were so prevalent in 2021 and 2022.
Three years ago Delaware Beach Mobile Homes were still relatively inexpensive, but the pandemic changed that. Mobile Home prices doubled and in some cases tripled. Ground rent fees have all gone up as well. You used to be able to find a decent singlewide for $60,000 with a monthly ground rent fee of $550. Now that same home will cost $110,000 with a monthly ground rent fee of $700 or more. Lending rates have also gone up. Most mobile home loans with 20% down will be at 8% to 10% interest rates depending on your credit score. The State of Delaware treats mobile homes as vehicles and charges a 3.75% Department of motor vehicle fee both when you buy and sell a mobile home. This fee is usually split 50/50 between the buyer and seller, so don't forget to add $1875 to the purchase price for every $100,000 of mobile home you buy.
Every mobile home community in the area does credit and background checks on new residents. The minimum passing cedit score to be approved is usually around 640.
In the last 90 days we've seen aproximately 70 mobile home sales in Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and Millsboro. The lowest price was $44,000 and the highest was $225,000 with the average being right around $105,000. Obviously there is a huge differnce between singlewide and doublewide prices as well as large differences in what the homes sell for in different communities depending on the level of desirability. It also makes a large difference where in the community the home sits. For instance homes on larger yards and homes with waterviews or waterfront also tend to sell for more than those without, even though you rent the land. Age of the home and general condition also make a big difference in price. Most of the mobile homes selling for less than $80,000 are in rough condition, extremely old or have something wrong with them and it's getting hard to find a doublewide in decent condition for less than $135,000.
Just like the prices of everything else, ground rent fees seem to have increased across the board. When I first moved to the area in 2000, most ground rent fees were in the $350 to $500 a month range. In 2023 monthly ground rent fees range from around $650 to $1000 a month and waterfront lots can range form $1000 to as much as $1800 a month in some of the Pot Nets Communities. A few of the mom and pop owned communities sold out to large national corporations that manage mobile home communities and with the new owners came increased ground rent fees. These include Sussex East, Sussex West, Colonial East and Bay City.
Here's a few things to consider when purchasing a Delaware mobile home in 2023
Research the different mobile home communities in Sussex County Delaware. Look for ones that fit your budget and offer the amenities you desire. In general, the more amenities, the higher the ground rent fees will be. Pot Nets Communites have the nicest amenities but also the highest monthly ground rent fees. My favorite leased land community in the area is Rehoboth Bay MHP
Consider the age and condition of the mobile home you are interested in. Older homes may require more maintenance and updates, while newer ones usually come with a higher price tag. If the mobile home was built before 1978, there is a good chance you will not be able to find a lender who will lend on it.
Hire a home inspector to assess the condition of the mobile home and identify any potential issues. No home is perfect and most have at least a few major defects. A home inspection will identify those major defects and give you the choice of asking the seller to repair/replace the defect, lower the sales price or give you the option to walk away from the deal free and clear.
Find out about the rules and regulations of the mobile home community you are considering. Most communities have restrictions on renovations and may require approval for any changes to the home. Many of the communites also have restrictions on certain dog breeds and the number of pets allowed in the house. None of the communities allow short term subleasing, this means you can't legally rent it out weekly or monthly when you're not using it.
There are financing options available for most mobile homes built after 1978 in Delaware. You may have noticed that most of the big national home loan companies DO NOT offer loans for mobile homes in leased land communities, but we have a list of lenders who do.
First Shore Federal is a local bank that most of our buyers use.
220 Washington Street. Millsboro, DE 19966 Phone: 302-934-1785
Priority Funding LLC Manufactured/Mobile Home Specialists
877 393 5511
21st Century Mortgage
First Credit Corporation
WSFS BANK (Wilmington Savings Fund Society)