Family of four weighing the options between mobile homes and renting an apartment
April 14, 2022

Buying a Mobile Home vs. Renting an Apartment: Which is Better?

As the cost of stick-built houses has skyrocketed over the past few years, so has homebuyers’ interest in mobile homes. These days, mobile homes are manufactured with higher quality materials than ever before and at a fraction of the cost of site-built houses. As a result, more and more families are opting for manufactured homes, which means their value is rapidly rising

Some families may be debating whether investing in a manufactured home or sticking to apartment living is best for them. We’ve got you! Read on for our breakdown on how to decide if owning a mobile home or renting an apartment is better for your family. 

Weighing the options of buying a mobile home vs renting an apartment

Considering Cost: Mobile Home vs. Apartment

The average family is going to consider cost before anything else. You have mouths to feed, so you can’t be spending your hard-earned money on things that aren’t important to you. 

In general, the upfront cost of renting an apartment is lower. You may pay a security deposit and application fee, but this cost is usually less than a down payment and closing costs on a mobile home. 

Buying a mobile home may be more affordable for you than you think! Check out our financing options, or reach out to one of our Housing Consultants for support. 

Though an apartment might be a lower initial cost, looking at the monthly expense is different. The median monthly housing payment for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom mobile home is roughly $750. Considering the average rent payment in San Antonio is $1,230, you can see that buying a mobile home saves you money over time. 

Buying a mobile home is also a better long-term investment than renting an apartment because of equity.

Building Equity: Mobile Homes Can, Apartments Can’t

Equity is among the top reasons to buy a manufactured home rather than rent an apartment. The equity in your home is the difference between how much the home is worth and how much money you still owe on it. 

When you take proper care of your mobile home and pay your mortgage on time, it builds equity. In contrast, your monthly rent payment goes into your landlord’s pocket and does not build any wealth for you and your family. 

It is essential to consider other factors that may impact your time and money, such as maintenance. 

Maintenance Matters: Apartments are Easier Than Mobile Homes

Apartments have a clear advantage when it comes to maintenance. When you rent an apartment, any issues that arise are the responsibility of your landlord. If something breaks, all you have to do is make a call, and someone else comes and fixes it for you. 

When you own a mobile home, you are your own landlord, so it’s up to you to make the repair and cover the associated costs. Beyond repairs, basic maintenance of the home and landscaping can sometimes become costly and time-consuming. Some may prefer renting an apartment simply to avoid dealing with maintaining the property. 

Other families, however, desire more customization than an apartment can provide, so maintenance is not an important consideration. 

Making a House a Home: Mobile Homes are Customizable

Another factor to consider is how much customization you want to have in your home. Typically when you rent an apartment, you cannot make any changes to the property. You have to accept it and leave it be, even if you hate the wall color or want different flooring (unless you don’t want to get your security deposit back). 

When you own a mobile home, it’s yours to do with what you wish. You can make all decorating and design choices for yourself without penalty. Before buying your mobile home, you can customize the layout to your needs. If you care about customization, mobile homes are the clear winner. 

If customization is not the most crucial factor to you, before you go ahead and rent an apartment, you should also think about how much privacy you desire. 

Privacy and Peace: Mobile Homes are Quieter

Apartment living is not for everyone, in large part because it does not offer nearly as much privacy as living in your own home. When you live in an apartment complex, you share walls, which means you can hear your neighbors, and they can hear you! 

The amount of privacy in your mobile home depends on where you place your home. In a mobile home community, you might run into your neighbors more than if you put it on your land. The point is that you have control over how private your mobile home is; this is not the case with apartments. 

If you are still on the fence, you might also think about how necessary amenities are in your living situation. 

Amenities: Apartments May Offer More Than Mobile Homes… But Not Necessarily

Depending on which apartment complex you choose, you may have access to more amenities when you rent an apartment. Some locations offer swimming pools, fitness centers, or clubhouses. If you buy a mobile home and place it on your land, you do not have access to these types of shared spaces. 

That said, you CAN have access to these types of amenities if you live in a mobile home community. Many in the area offer the same perks as an apartment complex but with all of the advantages of owning a mobile home. 

It’s up to you to decide what is best for you and your family. There is no one-fits-all when it comes to affordable housing. 

If you are curious to learn more about mobile homes, we would love to help! Contact our Housing Consultants to learn about our double-wide and single-wide mobile homes from the most reputable brands in the industry. 

As the world’s first online mobile home dealership, you don’t need to visit one of our locations in San Antonio or Odessa. Shop our selection of move-in-ready manufactured homes

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