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The Ins & Outs Of Manufactured Home Ownership, Repairs And Maintenance


Manufactured homes are the ones built entirely in a factory. These homes are more cost effective compared to conventional construction of site built home. It provides the same amenities and comforts of a site built home, but around 20 – 35 percent lesser cost per square foot. This is a more practical choice with the current state of the economy. It provides you more affordable housing options in the time of crisis.

Manufactured homes are also said to have good quality and safe since they are built based on the Housing and Urban Development Code. The HUD Code has the performance standards intended for the different aspects of the manufacturing homes such as heating, plumbing, thermal and electrical systems, plumbing, construction, fire safety, structural design, energy efficiency and even transportation from the factory to the site.

Single, Double and Triple Wide Homes

Manufactured homes offer different sizes that you can choose from. There are single wide, double wide and even triple wide sizes of homes. The single wide homes range it size from 400 square feet to 1330 square feet. While the double wide and triple wide homes range from 1100 square feet to 2400 square feet and 1600 square feet to 3100 square feet respectively. These different sizes gives you the opportunity to choose which home would fit your preferences and needs.

Factors to consider when buying your home

Before you consider buying a manufactured home, you must understand first its pros and cons. This would allow you to have a more informed decision in choosing the right home for you. Enumerated below are the factors you must consider before buying your home.

1) Investment Advantages: Do you intend to buy a home that would appreciate its value? If you are looking for investment advantages, choosing a manufactured home is not right for you. In most cases, manufactured type of homes depreciates as years go by. However, if you intend to just have your own home at an affordable rate, choosing a manufactured home would definitely suits you.

2) Modern Amenities: One of the best features of the manufactured homes is having modern amenities that you can get in affordable prices. These houses may come with different amenities such as jet tubs, fire places, etc. A manufactured home would work best for you if you want to have the different modern amenities if you can’t afford paying mortgage of a traditional house.

3) Financing: If you are worrying on how to get financing for your chosen home, you don’t need to worry anymore. Financing options are available for traditional houses and even for manufactured homes. In the case of manufactured home, its loan is not like a mortgage. This kind of loan is more like of a car loan than a mortgage.

If you think the manufactured home is still the best option for you, there are different things that you must consider in choosing the right house for you.

Below are the items that you check before buying your manufactured home.

1) Size floor and plan: The manufactured homes come with different sizes and floor plans that you can choose from. You have to check the size and plan you want depending on your lifestyle and taste. Review the different features if it can fit in a singe, double, or triple wide size manufacture home.

2) Interior and exterior features: The interior features may include cabinets, closets, carpets, fire places, ceiling and wall textures, insulation, accommodations for ceiling fans, telephone outlets, cable TV, etc. You should clarify with the manufacturer about what you want about the interior design of your home so you can check the different options they provide. Your preferences regarding the exterior features must also be considered. These may include the skylights, roofing, matching skirt, etc.

Buying your home

Manufactured homes can be bought through different retail centers. These retailers offer different variety of products and services. Most of them will provide you assistance in choosing your home and its features. You may also opt to place an order with the factory of your choice.

One of the best ways to find a good manufacturer for your home is to ask for recommendations from the homeowners. You may also get in touch with your manufactured housing association to get the names and contact details of the different manufacturers and retailers near your area.

There are different manufactured home builders. Some of the most popular ones are Fleetwood, Champion, Palm Harbor, Cavco, Clayton, Schult, Skyline, Marlette, Fuqua, and Silvercrest.

The prices of manufactured homes may range from about $15,000 up to $200,000, land excluded. You can choose to have these homes be installed on your own land, in a subdivision, or in a rental community.

As with financing, you can ask your retailer about the options for financing your manufactured home. You may opt to check the different lenders in your area. The down payment and loan terms are about 5 to 10 percent of the home’s price. Its loan terms are normally from 15 to 30 years.

Maintaining your Manufactured Home

Like the traditional homes, manufactured homes must also be maintained regularly. This is important to keep them in good shape so that your home can continuously provide you a safe and efficient space for living. Some of the important areas that you must include in maintaining your home are your foundation systems, doors and windows, exterior walls, roof, interior surfaces, floors, electrical system, heating and cooling systems, plumbing system, and grounds and yards.

In fixing and maintaining your manufactured home, you may opt to choose do-it-yourself basis or hire a contractor to do the work. This depends on your budget and time, and if you have the required skills to do the fixing and maintenance of your home. If you are not skilled in wiring, plumbing, installing or adjusting the heating and cooling systems, etc., then you must hire a contractor to avoid the problems in your house from worsening. This may be costly but if you don’t have the needed skills for the maintenance and repair for your house, this is still the best option you can choose.

In choosing the right contractor for your home, you must check if the contractor has the licenses and permits to provide the services for you. You may also ask if he has previous experience in maintaining or repairing a manufactured home. You may also ask your friends and colleagues if they can recommend anyone who can do the work for you. It is important to explain to your chosen contractor regarding the condition of your home and what you want to happen in the particular area. Then ask him about the options he can do for your home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What wood stoves are manufactured home approved?

A: Before a woodstove is installed in a mobile home, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does require that specific regulations be satisfied. The stove model must therefore be tested by a HUD approved laboratory and listed for use in mobile homes. Normally, a metal tag is permanently fastened to the rear of the appliance, indicating the name of the testing facility as well as the stoves compliance with what is referred to as HUD standard UM-84. Secondly, a tested and well fabricates chimney must be used and thirdly, a hard ducting system that brings outside combustion air directly to the air inlet of the stove is also required. These approved unit’s burn wood rather than coal, incorporate top-exiting flue collar and have a moderate BTU output. Here are some of the approved wood stoves;

Drolet Austral High Efficiency EPA Wood Stove (https://is.gd/UH0El1)

Osburn 2400 Wood Stove (https://is.gd/GOUa3N)

WoodPro Wood Stove (https://is.gd/940SGv)

Q: How thick are manufactured home walls?

A: There are primarily two types of walls in a modular home; these include the load bearing and the non load bearing walls. The load bearing walls hold the structure in place from both vertical and horizontal pressures whereas the non load bearing walls are normally used to divide spaces into living spots. Previously, 2 by 4 walls were the standard exterior for exterior walls, the increased insulation on the exterior walls have made the 2 by 6 framing the most common. The exterior wall cavity for 2 by 4 walls is 3.5 inches. The exterior wall cavity for 2 by 6 inches is 5.5 to 6.0 inches with the inner walls being anything between 4 to 6 inches.

Q: Where can one find a manufactured home's serial number?

A: Section 3280.5 reads as follows; “Each manufactured home shall bear a data plate affixed in a permanent manner near the main electrical panel or any other readily visible and accessible location” further to the above, HUD guideline does require that if the data plate is not in the panel box then a label that references its actual location should be placed at the spot. Amongst a whole list of other details, a data plate usually contains a serial number, model designation, as well as the date of manufacture. For older homes, it can be found stamped on the original hitch or spray painted on the frame.

Q: How can one paint manufactured home cabinets?

A: Most manufactured homes tend to come with some not so good looking wood grained cabinets which may or may not be pressboard with plastic veneer, there are lots of manufactured home repair tips in this regard. To paint such a cabinet, you can lightly sand it so as to knock the gloss down, then prime it and paint. Alternatively, if you can also opt to peel off the veneer, you can achieve this using a razor scraper and putty knife. Make sure you sand down the glue residue that remains. When removing this residue, you should wear some gloves since the glue and tiny fibers are quite nasty. Make sure you fill the fake plank grooves as well as the hardware holes with some filler and then sand till smooth. You should then proceed and give the cabinet a prime coat because the raw MDF does soak up lots of paint. Once this is done, you can use spray gloss enamel on the doors.
 
Q: Where can one get a manufactured home loan?

A: Just like any other form of home loan, not every financial institution can offer you a manufactured home loan. However, there are numerous financial institutions dotting the entire country. Under the Title 1 program, FHA approved lenders are expected to make loans from their own funds to eligible borrowers so as to finance the purchase of refinance of a manufactured home or /and lot. FHA doesn’t lend the money, but insures the lender against loss if the borrower defaults. . The interest rate is fixed for the entre term of the loan which is generally 20 years. Some of the institutions that offer such loans include;

MH Loans (https://is.gd/16yq5o)

RANLife Home Loans (https://is.gd/QM5PiB)

VA Home Loan (https://is.gd/aS4dXL)

Q: Who buys used manufactured homes?

A: Just like any other product or item, there are people who may for one reason or the other not be able to afford a new manufactured home. Such people will be more than happy to get used unit at a fair price and with an affordable interest rate. Additionally, there those people who buy such homes with an intention of reselling them or even renting them out in a park or somewhere else.

Q: How do manufactured homes depreciate?

A: There are several factors that come into play when calculating depreciation. Even though they are usually placed permanently in one location, they tend to retain the ability to be moved. For accounting and tax purposes, the depreciation due to wear and tear is normally computed annually based on salvage value, cost as well as estimated useful life. Because different manufactured homes have different costs, the annual depreciation figure does vary even though the straight line method is the most preferred way of computing annual depreciation for manufactured home. Cost of the home in addition to other charges such as testing fees, installation, sales tax and freight. The cost does also include credit or cash payments. Salvage value does refer to the estimated value of property at the end of its useful life and is normally estimated when you buy the property. For tax purposes, the US IRS general depreciation guideline does give a manufactured home has an estimated useful life of 27.5 years.

The straight line method of calculating depreciation is undertaken by deducting the salvage value of the home from its cost and then dividing this difference by its estimated life of 27. 5 years. A case in point, a manufactured home that’s costs $100,000 with a salvage value of $10,000 would be an annual depreciation of $ 100000-10,000/ 27.5 this gives you a depreciation of $ 3272.72

Q: Are manufactured homes safe in an earthquake?

A: A good manufactured home that’s fitted with an ERBS (Earthquake Restraint Bracing System) is very safe against earthquake. These systems are normally certified by the state government. In California, they must be certified by the Department of Housing and Community development. This system is highly recommended for homes in earthquake prone areas.


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