If you live in Arizona or anywhere heat is extreme, deciding whether to buy a new manufactured home or an older less expensive mobile home is a hard decision. It is easy to get focused on the cost of a new manufactured home and compare that directly to the cost of an older mobile home. That isn’t an honest comparison. Older homes have numerous hidden costs and there are quality of living considerations. Here is a list of 9 things to consider regarding heat and older mobile homes.

  1. Older mobile homes can become ovens in the heat. More people die from heat exposure than from hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and tornadoes every year. It is a serious problem that doesn’t get a lot of thought. Making an older mobile home comfortable in high temperatures is extremely expensive.
  2. If you do decide to outfit an older mobile home with air conditioners and cooling systems the cost of doing so is going to be enormous, not just in terms of equipment but also in electric bills.
  3. Older mobile homes have almost no insulation and aluminum wiring which not only can’t handle the electricity demands of air conditioning equipment but also create a fire hazard if overloaded.
  4. If you do decide to make the investment in an older mobile home it will not be worth the cost of the improvements made. You won’t be able to recoup the expenses of the upgrades if you sell the home.


  1. Air conditioning in an older mobile home is going to be expensive to run. You may find you only use it minimally to save money. Turning it on on the hottest days and leaving it off the rest of the time to save money. It is a very expensive asset that is rarely used due to costs. It might be better to have an energy-efficient system you can run all the time.
  2. Older homes have extensive off-gassing of toxic vapors from the materials in their construction, especially in the heat. They have tar roofs that melt in the summer allowing leaks to form. They usually have mold issues and a leaking roof will guarantee this. Basically, older homes have some inescapable hazards which you won’t find in new manufactured homes.
  3. New manufactured homes are compliant with HUD specifications. That means they are built to high energy standards with excellent insulation ratings and the correct wiring to support air conditioning equipment. Most stick-built houses are of lower quality than a HUD spec manufactured home.
  4. Arizona and similar hot areas have been seeing record-breaking temperatures lately. This trend does not seem likely to reverse anytime soon. Getting into a well-insulated energy-compliant home now is a good thing long-term for your wallet as well as your comfort.
  5. New manufactured homes may qualify for a mortgage, especially if they are located on owned land. You will not be able to get a mortgage for an older mobile home.