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Selecting a Manufactured Home

Section placement of a manufactured home.
Manufactured Home

Gone are the days when manufactured homes were limited to basic, rectangular, and uninspiring trailer homes. Today, the options are abundant, allowing you to select from a variety of single-section or multi-section designs that suit your home site. With sizes ranging from 900 to 2,500 square feet, these homes can be tailored and personalized to align with your specific requirements and preferences.

Before making your decision, it's crucial to contemplate the following essential inquiries regarding your manufactured home selection.

What are the available features?

Your home's interior design offers numerous possibilities for incorporating custom features that are commonly found in traditional homes. With the prevalence of computer-assisted design among manufacturers, you enjoy the freedom to select from a range of floor plans and décor variations, allowing for greater flexibility. Additionally, depending on your personal preferences and budget, you have the option to choose from an assortment of exterior designs. The exterior siding choices encompass a diverse selection of materials and colors, including metal, vinyl, wood, and cementitious sidings, which boast exceptional fire resistance. Furthermore, you have access to various additional features such as awnings, enclosures for the crawlspace, patio covers, decks, and steps to further enhance your home.

What is the anticipated cost for a home purchase?

The cost of a new home can vary significantly based on factors such as its size, floor plans, and any customized features. Prices can range from $15,000 to well over $100,000, excluding the cost of the land it occupies. The ownership arrangement for the site also varies, with options including purchasing, leasing, or renting, depending on the specific location.

Which financing options can be considered?

Typically, your retailer can provide you with details regarding financing options. Additionally, it's worth exploring lenders in your vicinity. Similar to purchasing a site-built home, there exists a wide range of financing alternatives when buying a manufactured home. Down payments and loan terms resemble conventional loans, ranging from 5% to 10% of the manufactured home's sales price, with loan terms spanning from 15 to 30 years. Most lenders offer both fixed-rate and variable-rate loans, along with programs that enable you to "buy the rate down." If you currently own or plan to acquire the land where you intend to place your home, traditional mortgage financing can often be arranged.

What additional expenses should I anticipate?

Although your mortgage payment may constitute the largest expense, you will also encounter various regular and periodic payments that depend on your circumstances. Typical recurring expenses encompass utilities, property taxes, land rental fees, insurance, routine maintenance, and additional service fees like water and sewer charges. Present-day manufactured homes are constructed to comply with HUD's latest national energy standards. These energy-conserving features incorporated into manufactured homes contribute to lowering monthly energy expenses.

What level of maintenance will be required for my home?

Your homeowner's manual outlines maintenance requirements, and it's important that you follow them. Failure to follow them could void your warranty, as well as erode the value and shorten the lifespan of your home. Additional maintenance, systems and safety information can be provided by an InterNACHI inspector during your next scheduled inspection.

What kind of warranty coverage is provided for the home, including its transportation and installation?

Every manufacturer provides a written warranty that is intended to encompass the following:
  • Expert craftsmanship in the construction of the structure

  • Pre-installed plumbing, heating, and electrical systems directly from the factory

  • Pre-installed appliances from the factory, which may have their own individual warranties

  • Warranties provided by the appliance manufacturers.

There are significant variations among warranties, with manufacturer warranties typically excluding coverage for installation (referred to as "set-up") and transportation of the home. However, you might have the option to obtain this coverage through the retailer or installation contractor. Prior to making a purchase, it is advisable to examine the coverage provided by any warranties offered, even though you may never require such warranty services.

Certified home inspectors from InterNACHI possess expertise in identifying faulty work. Whether you're in the process of buying a pre-existing home or contemplating a new one, allowing the inspector to leverage their specialized knowledge can help safeguard you by uncovering defects while the home is still covered by warranty, thus preventing potential damage or harm to you and your family.

Where can I locate my home?

There are several choices available for locating your home, depending on your preferences. Firstly, many homes are situated on privately-owned property. If this possibility interests you, it's essential to research zoning laws, restrictive covenants, and utility connections. For more detailed information, you can consult with your retailer.

Alternatively, you can opt for a land-lease community specifically designed for manufactured homes. In this arrangement, you would own the home while leasing the land. Choosing this option reduces the considerations involved in siting, such as utility connections.

Another viable option is purchasing a home and land together within a planned subdivision, where the developer takes care of siting issues. This eliminates the need for you to handle such concerns independently.

Is it possible for me to relocate my home?

While it is not a common occurrence, transporting a home can exert significant strain on its structure and components. If you are contemplating moving your home in the future, it is crucial to consult the appropriate state authorities regarding transportation and zoning regulations. Different states impose restrictions on weight, size, and width, which may hinder the relocation of your home. If you do decide to proceed with the move, it is essential to engage the services of a professional transporter; attempting to move the home yourself is not recommended. Additionally, it is advisable to refer to climate zone maps specific to your home. These maps delineate the wind, snow, and thermal zones for which your home was originally designed, allowing you to determine if your home is suitable for the prospective new location.

Considerations regarding the overall costs associated with moving are also paramount. Apart from transportation expenses, which encompass licensing fees required for interstate travel, you will need to allocate funds for a new foundation, installation, and utility hook-ups.

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