The data on mobile home costs were obtained from answers to long-form questionnaire Items 53a and 53b, which were asked on a sample basis at owner-occupied mobile homes. Questionnaire Item 53a asks if there is an installment loan or contract on the mobile home. This is a payment plan for mobile homes similar to buying a car or appliance. If the mobile home is not permanently attached to the land it may not be considered real estate and thus will not have a mortgage. With an installment loan, the buyer pays a specified amount per month for a specified number of months. The mobile home is the collateral for the loan, similar to a car loan.
The data derived from Question 53b include the total annual costs for installment loan payments, personal property taxes, land or site rent, registration fees, and license fees on owner-occupied mobile homes. The instructions are to exclude real estate taxes already reported in long-form questionnaire Item 49 or personal property taxes in arrears from previous years.
Costs are estimated as closely as possible when exact costs are not known. Amounts are the total for an entire 12-month billing period, even if they are paid by someone outside the household or remain unpaid.
The data from this item are added to payments for mortgages; real estate taxes; fire, hazard, and flood insurance payments; utilities; and fuels to derive selected monthly owner costs for mobile home owners.
Data for mobile home costs were collected for the first time in 1990. In Census 2000, a question was added to determine if there was an installment loan or contract on the mobile home.