Should I find my land before I buy my manufactured home?

When looking to buy land and home together, many people will ask a common question?

“Should I find my land first?”

Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a variety of answers. Here is a process that we have seen work well…

Step 1) Consult with a Housing Specialist.

You’re going to have questions. LOTS of questions. Seeking the advice of a housing specialist you trust can really work wonders. A good housing specialist will be knowledgeable about houses for sale, and have some insight into land costs in the area you are looking.

The housing consultant will also talk with you about your budget, to ensure you are getting the most house for your money.

Step 2) Find a house that fits ALL of your needs.

Your housing consultant will take into account your housing needs, including your budget, and show you a list of homes that may work for you. You may see a large number of homes, so find the one that fits your family the best.

Tip: Resist the urge to ask for customization to your floor plan. When you ask for a special change from the manufacturer, you are basically asking for a home that is a prototype. And prototypes are always riddled with problems. The builder engineered that floor plan for a reason, so stay within the options list available.

Step 3) Get an approval from a lender.

This is where most people mistakenly start shopping for land, and it’s a common misstep. Before looking for land, have your housing consultant submit your offer to buy your home to a lender for approval. This is wise for several reasons:

  • a) You now have a land budget: The lender will tell you how much they are willing to lend you for your land purchase up front. It will look something like this:

          Land / Home Loan Value:    $150,000
          Home Price:                        $109,000
          Land Allowance:                   $41,000

Now that you know you have $41,000 available to buy land, your land search has become much easier!

  • b) You now have buying leverage: Land owner get offers to buy their land all the time from people with no real ability to buy. When buyers show up with an approval from a lender proving their ability to buy, land owners take them more seriously, and are far more likely to cut a deal to get their land sold!
  • c) You are not locked into anything: An approval from a lender is not a binding agreement just yet. The lender is merely giving you their terms to issue you a loan for the house you have chosen. You are not required to accept those terms if they are not attractive enough to you, and any deposit money you have made to start the buying process is fully refundable.

Step 4) Shop for land!

Now that you have your lending offers squared away, it’s time to go out there and find your land that will become your homestead. Happy hunting!

Image Credit: Richard Nolan

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What Are Low-E Windows? Are They Worth Having?

What Are Low Emissivity Windows?

Low Emissivity windows (commonly referred to as ‘Low-E’ windows) are windowpanes that are covered in microscopic layers of metallic oxides. This coating is invisible to the naked eye. By design, the coating protects your home from unwanted UV rays while allowing natural light to pass through it. The reflection of UV rays into your home helps prevent the burning of skin and the fading of carpet and furniture.

Low-E windows also help keep your house warmer in the winter (by reflecting certain sun rays back into the home), and cooler in the summer (by reflecting similar rays outside the home). This can dramatically lower the costs for both heating and cooling your home.

The science behind Low-E Windows is fascinating. And, as technology behind the windows advances, they will become more and more common in new home construction.

But are they worth the investment? According to HomeAdvisor.com, “Low-e windows are definitely worth the investment…these glazes can save you some serious money down the road”.

Got Questions!

Click here and we’ll get in touch with you right away!

Image Courtesy of VitroGlazings.com


Despite Materials Price Increase, Oak Creek Delays Price Hike.

Price Increase Delayed to Sept 22nd

In response to demand for housing to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Oak Creek Homes has decided to delay price increases on new manufactured homes.

As #HurricaneHarvey approached the Texas coast, many industry leaders feared a price increase from building material suppliers. Sure enough, within hours of the storms passing, Oak Creek Homes was notified of a price hike for lumber, steel, sheet-rock, and other materials used in hour Heavy Homes.

In an effort to keep new homes costs as low as possible, Oak Creek Homes implemented a retail program, delaying the price increase for all new homes to September 15th.

That date has been pushed back ever further, and is now set at September 22nd, 2017. All homes ordered by September 21st will be spared the price increase.

Chuck Carney, President of Retail Operations says, “We (Oak Creek) cannot control the market prices of our building materials. What we can control, to a degree, is our ability to insulate those higher prices from our coastal residents for as long as we possibly can.”

The estimated price increase, when enacted, will add roughly $1.90 per square foot to home prices.

*Some exclusions apply. Contact your local Oak Creek Homes center for more details.*


Oak Creek Homes – Hurricane Harvey Update

Oak Creek Homes – Hurricane Harvey Update

Thankfully, we are OK and are working to get back on our feet! Oak Creek Homes is a League City- based company (just south of Houston), and extreme weather is nothing new to us. Hurricane Harvey, however, is truly unprecedented in its strength.

The safety of our employees is a top priority. All are safe and accounted for, though many have been kept away temporarily due to flooding. To any customers in the coastal areas, we are wishing you the best and are happy to help in any way.

Our Texas manufacturing plants are located just south of Dallas and in Fort Worth. They are unharmed by Harvey and are operating at their regular production rate. This leaves us prepared for our usual role in the Government’s storm-recovery programs.

We have already been told by a number of suppliers that prices are about to increase due to storm demand. Whatever window we have at buying materials (and selling homes) at existing prices may close quickly. This is an unfortunate reality after any major storm.

Business in non-storm affected areas is normal. Our operations in the rest of Texas as well as Oklahoma are selling and delivering homes as usual. We are day-to-day in coastal Texas and South Louisiana.

Oak Creek Homes appreciates your business and patience! We will keep you posted on our progress and wish you all the best. From our 47 years in business, we know that you can’t keep Texas (or Texans) down!

[Original Image Credit: kut.org]


Add $5,000 in Home Value by Painting Your Bathroom This Color…

Add Heavy Value To Your Home by Painting Your Bathroom Blue

Years ago, we were told by industry experts that neutral color paint was the way to go when marketing your home. The idea was that using beige and white colors would appeal to the mass of potential buyers. But recent data points to painting your home using bold colors to maximize your home’s value.

Namely, it’s the bathrooms where bolder colors produce the most value. According to Zillow.com, homes with bathrooms painted in light shades of blue, such as sky blue and powder blue, sold for more money…an average of $5,440 more. Interestingly, Zillow found homes with white/neutral bathrooms sold for over $4,000 less.

Other blue-clad rooms get a good response from buyers, too. According to an article in Money, buyers pay, on average, $1,856 more for homes with blue colored bedrooms. Further, homes with dining/family rooms in shades of slate and navy blue sold for about $2,000 more.

The best part is, painting is cheap and easy. You can call in pros, or do it yourself. Either way, you’ll likely realize more money at the closing table with a bold, yet cost effective, color choice!

Check Out the Oak Creek Homes Design Center for new ideas!


Lumber Cost On The Rise.

High Lumber Costs are about to Get Higher

If you’ve got your heart set on a new home, prepare to pay more (an average of $1,236 more according to an estimate from the National Association of Home Builders). The soaring lumber cost and widespread labor shortages are impacting the residential construction market. Lumber prices, already at record-high levels, are on their way up.

Steadily Rising Costs

Random Lengths is a subscriber-based, independent organization that provides weekly reports on wood products pricing. According to the April 28 report, the cost of oriented strand board (OSB) lumber reached 4-year highs. OSB is used extensively in residential construction. The current FOB mill composite price (the price directly from the mill, without any added freight costs) is $426. This is up $68 from the same period last year.

The report also noted that the April 28, 2017 framing lumber cost (spruce, pine, fir) was up significantly from April 28, 2016. Analysts speculate that lumber prices jumped 22% during the first quarter of 2017 based on just the anticipation of a tariff on imported lumber. Now that the tariff is a reality, prices will continue to soar for the foreseeable future.

Trump Administration Cracks Down on Canadian Imports

Lumber imported into the United States from Canada accounts for about 30% of the softwood lumber used to build U.S. houses. On April 24, 2017, the Trump administration announced new tariffs averaging 20% on those imports. This new tariff will be collected retroactively 90 days prior to April 24th. These taxes will surely increase lumber costs and, consequently, housing costs.

Analysts, builders, and lumber suppliers on both sides of the border are coming to terms with this new reality. It’s too early to accurately predict how the tax will affect long term lumber prices. One thing is certain, though. Lumber prices for the foreseeable future will increase. As they do, builders will have little choice but to pass those increases on to consumers.

Now What?

The recent tariff increase should be a reality check for potential home-buyers who have been on the fence, hoping that prices of new inventory will decline. On the contrary, the reality is that lumber costs will likely increase in the near term. How much prices will increase and how long they’ll remain elevated should become clearer in the coming months. For now, though, the sooner home buyers lock in a price, the better.


Top 5 Manufactured Home Myths

Manufactured Home Myths BUSTED!

“Home sweet home” comes in all sizes, locations, and budgets: urban brownstones, modern high-rise apartments, suburban ranch homes, rustic farmhouses, manufactured homes … That’s right. A manufactured home is the perfect option for many. If that surprises you, you may be buying into the following common (false) manufactured home myths. So, let’s set the record straight!

Myth 1: Manufactured homes are unsafe.

Modern day (post-1994) manufactured homes must meet the same U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) safety standards as site built homes. That means manufactured homes meet the same construction quality, strength, and fire / wind-resistant requirements as site-built homes. In fact, manufactured homes must meet higher building-code standards than site-built homes.

Myth 2: The value of a manufactured home won’t appreciate.

As a blanket statement, that’s false. Like site-built homes, a rise or drop in value occurs on a home by home basis. Manufactured homes can drop in value, just like site built homes…but manufactured homes can also gain equity and increase in value! This is primarily true if:

  • The home’s owner also owns the land on which the home sits.
  • The house is well maintained.
  • The structure is attached to a foundation.
  • The home has been updated with additions or attached garages.

Also, location is important. Potential for a rise in home value increases with desirable land location.

Myth 3: Manufactured home communities are tacky.

It is true that you’ll find rundown “trailer parks” throughout the United States. You’ll also find rundown site-built-home subdivisions. But just as you’ll find exclusive gated communities with upscale homes, you’ll find luxurious manufactured home communities with resort-style pools, million-dollar views, and famous residents.

Myth 4: Manufactured homes all look the same.

Granite, hardwoods, gourmet kitchens with islands, fireplaces, soaking tubs, custom window treatments, spacious porches, media rooms, walk-in closets, skylights, master suites … manufactured homes have these amenities, and many more.

Myth 5: It’s tough to find financing for a manufactured home.

It’s no tougher to secure financing for a manufactured home than for a traditional home. When you finance a manufactured home as real property, VA, FHA, USDA and conventional financing is available with terms up to 30 years.

So, consider the benefits of manufactured homes. For significantly less money than you’d spend on a site-built home, you can purchase a manufactured home that has all of the amenities on your wish list. You just might get the home sweet home of your dreams.