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Five Tips to Buying Your Next Manufactured Home

Five Tips to Buying Your Next Manufactured Home

Anyone can overpay for their manufactured house – leading to their ultimate disappointment. Compiled below for your shopping pleasure, are five helpful tips to buying your next manufactured house.

A manufactured home, prefabricated home, or a traditional stick built home – regardless of its construction technique, the home buying process is an incredibly stressful process for the majority of individuals who undertake the task. Buyers can easily avoid potential housing issues by understanding manufactured home dealers operate in a similar manner to your average car dealership. And like your average car dealership, manufactured home retailers use the markup and commission system. By understanding your fiscal parameters, financing options and understanding the retailers ultimate motivation is your best strategy against overpaying.

Hot Tip, Understand What You Want From Your Manufactured Housing

First off: Make make sure to exercise your due diligence by doing your homework. Reading this post is a great beginning – but it’s just the beginning.

Be prepared to research each nuance of the individual retailer and manufactured homebuilder – examining as many different online resources as possible. Understand which manufacturers you like best as well as your favorite floor plans and features.

Manufactured home upgrades will increase the purchase price up front but can ultimately save money in the long run, with energy-efficient upgrades saving thousands of dollars over the life span of your prefabricated housing unit.

Prefabricated, Modular, Or Manufactured Housing

In the world of manufactured homes, the old axiom that you get what you pay for remains true.

Chances are, you won’t be able to pay $70,000 for a stylish double-wide unit and get the same fixtures, materials, and construction aspects as a $145,000.00 home. It’s financially not possible.

Buyers are often upset or disappointed with their purchase because their home has low-grade flooring materials, or inexpensive trim, or thin carpet… but they only paid $34,900.00 for a brand new 1000 square foot double wide manufactured home. Of course, the unit should still be professionally constructed and every owner should be 100% happy, but and buyers expectations must align with units price point.

Manufactured Home Features and Upgrades

Certain features and upgrades can drastically extend the life of your home and make living in it more cost efficient and comfortable.

Choose a pitched roof, rather than a flat roof, if possible, this helps increase the lifespan of the roof. Make sure the roof hangs over the edge of the house, that it is properly ventilated and it extends over the home, this will increase the longevity of your new home.

Look for a home with exterior wall studs 16 inches apart (as opposed to 24 inches). Choose vinyl siding rather than metal or hardboard siding and with exterior walls at least 7 1/2 feet high. Housing wrap is always a good idea, too.

Choose high-quality plumbing fixtures, such as standard kitchen and bathroom faucets and sinks (this may require an upgrade). Request a shutoff valve at each plumbing fixture.

Avoid particleboard sub floors. When it gets wet, particleboard is more susceptible than plywood to problems such as swelling, warping and loss of strength. Larger joists, smaller joist-spacing, and thicker subflooring can reduce floor flexing and sagging.

Related: The Insider’s Guide to Manufactured Home Dealers (an article I wrote for About.com)

Research Your Manufactured Housing Options

Although you may have chosen your favorite manufacturer, you may get a better price from a different one. Use online reviews and ask for customer testimonials. Receiving  the best price quote for the features you want is just as important as after sale customer service and good references from the companies past purchasers. Of course pretty is important but longevity and service is more important!

Avoid pinning your hopes on only one home or one dealer. Get firm prices from several dealers and several brands either online or via phone, since dealer markups on homes can vary widely.

Check the “blue book” value for a similar make and model from the previous year listed in the appraisal guides online.

Investigate Lending Options before You Visit The Retailers Lot

Investigate your financing options before setting foot on a lot. Check out banks and credit unions as well as traditional manufactured housing lenders.

Historically, manufactured housing retailers finance mobile homes using personal property or chattel loans rather than mortgage loans, at rates 2-4 percentage points higher. Dealers often get a commission for obtaining credit for you, so you may be better off talking directly with the lenders. Even if you end up getting financing through the dealer, you’ll be able to negotiate better if you know your options. Same goes for insurance.

Energy Sucking Devices in Manufactured Houses

Energy Sucking Devices in Manufactured Houses

Manufactured Houses
Energy Sucking Devices

We all usually plug in multiple gadgets or appliances such as air conditioner, smart TV, and other devices in the power outlet of our manufactured houses. However, several homeowners are not aware of the fact that most of these devices will continue to consume power even when we have turned them off.

Some devices suck a significant amount of energy and increase the energy bills in your manufactured home. So, you should have a clear idea of the devices that are energy hogs because it will help you cut down the electric bills at your home to a certain extent. Below are three secret energy suckers found in most manufactured houses.

Gadgets in Standby Mode

It is a fact that most modern high-tech devices suck a significant amount of energy even when they are not in use. This is mainly because most of these devices contain a standby mode that allows them to power up the device a lot more quickly when compared to when they were turned off all the way down. So, if you fail to turn off these devices properly, then they will continue to suck electricity from the power supply socket and increase the electric bills at your home.

Chargers

You will probably have chargers for laptops, phones, tablets, and other devices in your home and you might have plugged them into the electrical outlets for easy access. However, the issue is that these chargers will draw in a small amount of power from the outlets and add up your electric bills. So you should unplug your chargers when they are not in use. Investing in a charging station will be great too, as it will help you to reduce the electric bills at your home.

Old Appliances

Most people living in manufactured houses are seen to be a little bit hesitant to spend a large amount of money to buy new appliances for their home. However, they fail to realize that investing in new appliances will reduce the energy usage in their manufactured home, which in turn, helps to cuts down the utility bills.

Older dishwashers, refrigerators, dryers, washers, trash compactors, and even garbage disposals use more power than new appliances. If your budget doesn’t allow you to replace all the old appliances in your home, consider about replacing at least one or two of your older appliances.

How to Replace the Filter of Manufactured Home Air Conditioners

How to Replace the Filter of Manufactured Home Air Conditioners

Manufactured Home For Sale
Replace Air Conditioner Filter

Air conditioners are a vital appliance in a manufactured home, especially in the summer months. If the air conditioner is not working properly, you will be forced to face the heat that can make your days uncomfortable and nights sleepless. So it is important to keep the air conditioner in your manufactured home in top shape, and for that, you will need to change the air filter of the AC unit at regular intervals.

The steps to change the filter of an air conditioner are simple and can be completed by the homeowner itself. Below are the steps to change the air filter of central AC unit.

Shut Off the System

Make sure that the power supply to the air conditioner is turned off before starting the replacement. This is important to ensure your safety and the health of the air conditioning system. Note that if dust and debris from the filter is sucked into system, it will adversely affect the functioning of the air conditioner. After turning off the system, you need to remove the old filter. This can be done by sliding the filter out of the slot.

Check the Old Filter

After removing the old filter from the air conditioning unit, you will need to check the overall condition of the filter. You can hold up the filter to light to see how clogged and dirty the filter is. If you find that only a little light makes way through the filter, you can be sure that the filter needs to be replaced with a new one. Never try to clean the old filter and use it again as it can be harmful to the air conditioning unit.

Insert New Filter

Now you can put the new filter into the air conditioner. You need to make sure that you are adding the filter correctly by finding the arrow on the frame of the filter that shows the direction in which the air should flow. This will be always towards the air handler and away from the return duct. So, you will need to place filter in such a way that the arrow points away from the return air duct and towards the handler.

That’s it. These are the simple steps to replace the filter of your manufactured home air conditioning unit. Obviously, these steps will help you to increase the lifespan of the air conditioning unit.

How to Choose the Best Stereo for Manufactured Homes

How to Choose the Best Stereo for Manufactured Homes

Best Manufactured Homes
Choosing Stereo For Manufactured Homes

When you walk into an electronic home appliances store to choose a stereo system for your manufactured home, you will find a variety of model with varying features and options. This can make the process of selection confusing. It is important to consider your personal preferences and the ways in which you intend to use the system before making the selection.

The various things that you need to consider while selecting a stereo system for manufactured homes are listed below. Following these points would surely enroll your home in the list of best manufactured homes.

Location Consideration

Before considering the various home stereo options available to you, it is important to consider the location where you plan to install the system. You will need to decide on the place where you are planning to listen to music. Usually, people listen to music in their basement, office, or bedroom. Deciding on the location to install the system will help you make plans to install the connection wires.

Optional Features

You can start by compiling a wish list that will let you consider your needs compared to what you can afford. If you find that the cost exceeds your budget for the system, you can exclude options that are not so necessary. You need to understand that there are good quality home stereo systems that can meet every preference and budget. If you own music components like iPods or MP3 players, you can look for systems that can also incorporate your personal music player.

Speakers

Speakers are becoming smaller and smaller with the evolution of technology. This means that the size of the speaker is no longer a representation of the quality of sound offered by them. While you are shopping for speakers, you can listen to your favorite songs on different brand speakers of varying sizes and types. You need to find time to listen to the various options and types of speakers to before deciding on the model that you need to buy.

Custom Systems

This is another thing, which can help you enlist your manufactured home in the list of the best manufactured homes in the locality. There are many custom stereo dealers out there, who can help you select the best stereo system for your manufactured home, which will meet all your preferences and budget, as they can build the stereo system to your requirements and specifications. These dealers can also offer help from start to finish.

Securing the Entry Door of a Manufactured House

Securing the Entry Door of a Manufactured House

Manufactured Houses
Securing Entry Door

Safety, convenience, comfort, and security are a few important things we look for in the best manufactured homes. It is true that some of these things come with building or buying a quality home. However, we will have to implement a few necessary safety measures to keep things that away.

For instance, if you fail to install the right security systems at your manufactured home, then the chances of a theft or burglary will significantly increase. However, installing the appropriate security systems in your manufactured house depending on the vulnerability levels will certainly offer more security to your home and to the residents.

To protect manufactured houses from burglars, intruders, and bad people, you will have to install a reliable and strong exterior manufactured home door. In addition to that, you must also invest in a high-quality mobile home exterior door, as it will significantly reduce the possibility of a break-in to your home.

Many manufactured homeowners feel that making their doorknobs and locks strong is the only thing that they need to do to prevent burglary and theft. However, the reality is that a cunning thief can still gain unauthorized access to your manufactured home if you have a weak entry door.

Ensure that all of your entry doors are strong and they cannot be easily broken into, as it will prevent the chances of an unauthorized entry to your manufactured home. Manufactured homebuilders advise their customers to choose quality solid doors that are made of fiberglass, solid wood, or metal rather than settling for low-quality entry doors.

Two types of manufactured home door locks are available in the market and they are called mortise and cylindrical locksets. Mortise door locks are comparatively better in terms of durability, security, and the functions they can accommodate. However, one of the major disadvantages of mortise door locks is that they are a bit more expensive than cylindrical locksets.

If you want to implement even more security at your manufactured house, then installing deadbolt locks on the exterior entry doors of your manufactured home will do the job for you. In addition to that, several experienced home security companies also suggest homeowners to reinforce the locks of their home’s entry door with metallic strike plates and cylinder guards.

Securing Finance for a Manufactured Home Improvement Project

Securing Finance for a Manufactured Home Improvement Project

Manufactured Houses
Manufactured Home Improvement Project

Securing finance for a manufactured home repair or renovation project can be a bit difficult and tricky task. If you are living in an old manufactured house, you will probably need to make repairs to the house to make it a bit more attractive and to fix damages. However, if you are planning to sell your old mobile home in the near future, then securing finance for repairing the house is not a good idea.

Having a proper knowledge on the various manufactured home financing options is necessary, as it will give you an idea on how to acquire finance for manufactured home repairs. So, consult with a few manufacturers and some manufactured homeowners, as it will help you understand about manufactured home financing options.

Some of the credit unions in the country often provide competitive financing for manufactured home repair in the form of personal loans and equity loans. However, credit unions may sometimes add the vehicle you own as a lien for securing the loan on manufactured houses.

Some other popular sources of financing are personal loans from your family members, friends, or equity loans. In addition, you could also seek help of your own personal bank and request them to finance your manufactured home improvement project. If you are a person with a good credit score, then acquiring a loan from financial institutions will be a simple task.

Several expert manufactured homebuilders advise their customers to look for the best interest rate when they are trying to secure finance for manufactured houses improvement project. Additionally, homeowners should also try not to settle for an enormously high, long-term interest rate loan. This is because most old manufactured homes fail to retain their value as much as conventional site-built homes, meaning that paying back a huge amount to your financial institution is a bad idea.

However, manufactured home improvement projects that include updating the bathroom or kitchen, adding porches or patios, replacing the flooring, wall covering, and paneling can help to raise the resale value of your home significantly. This will help you get a better deal when you are selling the house.

Theft Prevention in Manufactured Houses

Theft Prevention in Manufactured Houses

Manufactured Housing
Manufactured House Security

One of the simplest ways to prevent burglary in your manufactured housing is to properly lock the windows and doors of the house when you are away. However, standard door locks such as the key-in-the-knob spring bolt locks might not be powerful enough to prevent the entry of burglars into your manufactured houses.

Your best bet for a door lock is certainly a single cylinder dead bolt lock. These types of door locks are usually backed up with a strong reinforcing strike plate that is fixed with three-inch screws. However, you should also take note of the fact that the thickness of the deadbolt should be at least one inch.

Sliding patio windows and doors present a unique security challenge to most burglars. Placing a pipe or dowel in the slider track might be also useful but they are not perfect, as cunning burglars will have the skill to easily bypass them by simply lifting the windows and doors out of its side channels. You can efficiently prevent the issue by tightening the adjustment screws.

In addition to that, make sure to lock your storage sheds or garage, which is located on the property, particularly if there are any ladders or tools inside them. You should also consider using a quality deadbolt lock too, as it will significantly reduce the chances of a break-in.

Investing in a reliable home security system is also a great choice since they will instantly update you when something abnormal happens inside your manufactured homes. You will be easily able to find a cheap home security system without much research. Additionally, you may also invest in a few security alarm systems, as they will also come in handy in the events of a break in.

Below are a few things that you should do when you will be away from your manufactured home for a week or more because this will make your home look occupied even when no one is inside it.

  • Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your newspapers and mails
  • Hire someone to shovel snow or mow your lawn
  • Request a neighbor to park their car in your driveway
  • Try not to broadcast your absence
  • Make sure to turn the ringer of your landline down or off
How to Offer Unique Character to Manufactured Homes

How to Offer Unique Character to Manufactured Homes

Manufactured Housing
Manufactured Homes Styles

Manufactured homes today comes with an assortment of features that offer aesthetically pleasing and better living experience to the inhabitants. In the process of building a manufactured home, adding many personalized features will result in making a truly distinctive home. In manufactured housing, this is highly important as it offers improved living experience while also contributing to the well-being of the inhabitants. Below are some helpful cost effective tips to add a unique character to your newly constructed manufactured home.

Front Door

Having a well-crafted front door is one of the best ways to exude a sense of unique character in your home. In this, the color of the door is very important and one can always choose to paint the door with any color of their liking. Having a properly painted door of a color that you have a close connection with can really give out a sense of character to the home.

Cabinets

The cabinets are the major aspect of the kitchen and serve as storage spaces for a number of utilities. Painting the cabinets is the best way to alter the look and feel offered by the kitchen space. Since most, cabinets that come in new manufactured homes are made of wood, it is much easier to paint them with the color of your liking.

Extra Rooms

Most newly built manufactured homes have extra spaces to accommodate any needs like home office or a personal space. For providing a distinctive look, consider installing a sling farmhouse door in the entrance, as it can effectively separate the room from the rest of the spaces of the home.

Storage Spaces

Adding proper storage spaces in the nooks and corners of rooms offers the best way to store things. Many manufactured homes lack such storage spaces. Installing such storages spaces innovatively across the doors and closets can provide a unique character to the home while offering functionality to the manufactured housing.

Light Fixtures

The light fixtures that come inbuilt in most manufactured homes are normal models and may not always go with your design concepts. In such a scenario, it is best to paint the fixtures or consider replacing them with fixtures that truly matches your style.

Safety Tips for Manufactured Houses

Safety Tips for Manufactured Houses

Manufactured Houses
Manufactured Houses Safety Tips

Many American citizens have started to choose manufactured housing over all other types of housing because of the comfort and convenience offered by these structures. If you are planning to build manufactured houses or if you are planning to invest in these factory-build structures, then you should have a good knowledge about the construction process of manufactured houses.

Consulting with experienced manufactured homebuilders will certainly help you to get an idea of the construction process and it will probably help you discover more about them. The next thing that you should know is to how to eliminate the chances of fire and tornado accidents in these structures. Below are a few fire, CO2, tornado, and high wind safety tips that will protect your home from these dangerous natural hazards.

Fire and CO2 Safety Tips

Install Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Manufactured homebuilders advise their customers to install reliable and efficient carbon dioxide and smoke detectors at their home. They also insist homeowners to keep the alarms on each end of their home. Homeowners will also have to ensure whether they are working properly or not every 6 months.

Buy Fire Extinguishers

Make sure to buy at least two fire extinguishers and always keep them inside your manufactured home. You can keep one of them in your kitchen and the other one in your mechanical room. In addition to that, you should also use fire retardants, as they will help you to prevent the spreading of the fire when there happens to be a fire accident in your home.

Tornado/High Wind Safety Tips

Follow Instructions

The first and most important thing to do after building a manufactured house is to confirm whether the house is installed according to the local and state regulations as well as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If your home is not installed according to the regulations and instructions, immediately consult with your manufacturer and take necessary steps to resolve the issue.

Monitor Weather Reports

If you are living in an area that receives high wind, then keep a close look on the weather variations and know the difference between a warning and a watch. In addition to that, you should also purchase additional tie downs, as it will offer more security to your home. Consult with your local contractor to get more information on tornado/high wind safety tips.

Simple Remodeling Projects for Manufactured Housing

Simple Remodeling Projects for Manufactured Housing

Best Manufactured Homes
Remodeling Manufactured Housing

If you are planning to remodel your manufactured home, then you should note the fact that any home remodeling project should increase the equity and improve the quality of home. This means that you will have to choose the remodeling plans carefully and efficiently. So, consult with a local contractor and ask for a few remodeling suggestions that will increase the value of your manufactured home.

Note that if your home is more than a 10 years old, then you should initially conduct a thorough inspection of your manufactured housing before starting the remodeling project. If you find out that your manufactured home might not be able to withstand the remodeling, then it would be wiser to buy any of the best manufactured homes for sale rather than remodeling your old home. However, if everything is OK, then here are a few simple budget-friendly manufactured homes remodeling projects that will bring a fresh look to your home.

Doors and Windows

Replacing the older and ugly doors of your older manufactured home with fresh and attractive ones will instantly make your home look a lot more appealing to your neighbors and visitors. Moreover, it will also increase the function and aesthetics of your manufactured home and reduce the heating costs.

Vinyl Siding

Many manufactured home manufacturers in the country advise their clients to choose vinyl siding over other types of sidings when they are remodeling their house. This is because vinyl siding instantly transforms the look of your manufactured home and also cuts down the cooling and heating costs of your home.

Roofing

Replacing the shingles of your older manufactured home or installing a new roof over will help you to increase the resale value of your home, particularly if the manufactured housing structure is 5 years or more old. In fact, you will be able to do a roof-over even without making a huge payment.

Bathroom Update

Remodeling the bathroom of your manufactured home is quite similar to a manufactured home kitchen remodeling project, If you are running low on budget, then we highly recommend you to not make any structural upgrades. Many expert manufactured home remodeling contractors claim that even the most simple and basic kitchen remodeling results in a 70% return on investment.

Decking

Adding a covered porch or deck to your old manufactured home will increase the living space in your home, which is a valuable thing for all smaller homes in the country. In addition to that, it will also increase the resale value of your home and allow you to grab a better deal when you are selling the house.