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Homes of the Future: Pros and Cons of Mobile Houses

Modern architecture is exciting and container boxes and mobile houses fit right into the picture of homes of the future. With the trend of container homes and mobile homes, it is possible to own a home without breaking the bank.
Accommodation problems in Nigeria remain a real challenge as the country struggles with a housing deficit of over 17 million units. The nation currently has a construction capacity of about 250,000 housing units each year. At this rate, it would take 68 years to provide accommodation for all Nigerians.

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The way forward is to re-imagine the real estate industry in Nigeria. The closest Nigeria has come to witnessing this phenomenon are shipping container homes. The architectural trend has arrived and holds great potential for smart homes, Artificial Intelligence and home automation. The typical dimensions are 20 and 40 feet but there are a number of speciality containers. This means you can choose to have a 10-foot container or one that’s 45, 48 or even 53 feet tall.
“Not long after starting, we moved to Lagos and got to know and meet a number of talented architects, interior designers and landscaping professionals, some of whose works have been featured on the site. It’s been a challenging, enlightening and exciting journey and we hope that it inspires you every step of the way. We have a lot to learn, but our aim remains the same, so, we’re taking it one step at a time,” explained Michael and Uzoezi Johnson of Livin Spaces.

Before you make that decision to buy a mobile home, you should know the advantages and disadvantages of owning one.
What is a Mobile home?
A mobile home is a prefabricated structure. It is built in a factory on a permanently attached frame before being transported to a site; either by being towed or on a trailer. Mobile homes can be used as permanent houses, for holiday or temporary accommodation. They are sometimes left permanently or semi-permanently in one place but can be moved.

Mobile homes have many names. They are also known as any of the names below:

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Prefabricated homes
Modular homes
Prefab homes
Residential caravans
Trailer homes
Shipping container homes

Something Special About Container Homes You Probably Don’t Know
Containers are made out of corten steel, which is a weathering steel. When you see rust on a container, which you probably see all the time, it is not traditional rust that you would see on mild steel. It’s actually creating a protective patina and barrier that protects the steel underneath. This is why containers are put on a ship and rot away from all the sea water.

Advantages of Mobile Homes
1. Speed of Construction
One of the biggest advantages of prefab homes is the fact that they can be assembled really quickly. It removes delays that are associated with unfavourable weather conditions. They are constructed in a warehouse and assembled on the site as opposed to traditional on-site development. “Our main focus is to provide housing solutions for the lower middle class of Nigeria. it is possible to own a home without breaking a bank. The essence of using modular architecture is for speed, affordability and access,” said Kanyin Ademuson, the Founder Seventh Space.

2. More Affordable Than Standard Homes
Shipping container homes are far more cost-effective to build than your typical house. Container homes offer you a flexibility of options. With this, you can choose to either use a single container or more than one depending on how elaborate the design you have chosen is. The cost of buying a container and getting it converted into a home is not as high as building with concrete and wood.


3. You Can Move Them Around
This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of prefab homes. In Nigeria, a single container can be relocated to different sites. In cases where you use multiple containers, moving them around might prove to be a challenge. Mobile homes are not easy to relocate but it does not change the fact that you can move them from one location to another.

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4. You Don’t Necessarily Need to Buy Land
Unlike conventional homes where you have to either buy a house or buy land and then build a home, a mobile home can be set on a land that isn’t necessarily yours. It’s important to reach an understanding with the landowner though especially if he/she is a trusted friend or relative. In other cases, you can own the mobile home but lease the land itself. What this means is that you can easily buy a mobile house without buying a plot of land to build. The option here is to lease the space your home would occupy.

If you own the land, things just get better and more convenient for you.

5. They Offer You More Flexibility
Mobile homes come with a peculiar flexibility that allows you have one on a land that you own and remove it in the future if there is a need to do so. They are semi-permanent, which means they are not stuck in a particular location.

6. Not Prone to Forces of Nature During Construction
Mobile homes are constructed in a controlled environment, which means you don’t have to halt construction during the rainy season or rush it due to seasonal weather changes.

Disadvantages of Mobile Homes
1. They Tend to Depreciate in Value
Traditional homes in Nigeria typically appreciate in value over the years but the same cannot be said for mobile homes. One of the things that make conventional homes appreciate in value is the land on which it is built. The value of the land has a direct impact on its value. For mobile homes, however, the owners are not necessarily the owners of the land.

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The value of a mobile home would only increase over time if the owner of the mobile home also owns the land on which it sits. Mobile land also depreciates because it is considered a ‘personal property’ and not ‘real property,’ which refers to land and anything permanently attached to it.

2. They are More Expensive to Finance
If you intend to construct a mobile home with a loan, you would attract more interest rates than if you had opted for a typical mortgage.

3. You Still Deal With a Landlord
This would apply to you if you do not own the land on which your mobile home sits. What this means is that you can still be evicted like a typical tenant if your relationship with the landowner goes sour.

4. Not Easy to Resell
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your mobile home, getting a buyer might not be the easiest thing especially if you do not own the land on which it currently sits. Moving a mobile home might end up costing you much more than you think. The exception to this disadvantage is if you are selling both the mobile home and the land jointly.


5. Prone to Damage
In the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane or an earthquake, your mobile home is prone to damage. Depending on the severity of the natural disaster, your home can fall over or get damaged.

Mobile homes especially shipping container homes provide an affordable alternative to Nigerians. There are huge opportunities for those who have home needs as well as investors in the real estate market. You should pay close attention to the cost options open to you as well as the property law and how they impact your plans.

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