How Does The Manufactured Home Buying Process Work?
Through LEGOS®, Lincoln Logs®, blocks, even Barbie’s DreamHouse®… we’re exposed, even as young as a toddler, to the idea of building and having a home. After all, buying a home is the American Dream. Whether you’re looking to buy a mobile home, manufactured home or modular home right now or later down the road, we want to help educate you on the manufactured home buying process and also help to answer any questions you might have along the way.
These days modern manufactured and modular homes offer a variety of amenities and features. Many are customizable to meet your design tastes and budget. They’ve come a long way since your grandparent’s mobile homes and trailers. The manufactured homes of today use quality materials, smart panel siding, energy-efficient features, and have tape and textured walls… these are just a few key differences.
Manufactured homes are great for those of you who are budget-minded, looking for a starter home, downsizing, needing a ranch or lake property, even a guest house. When it comes to buying a manufactured or modular home, the process is a little different from buying a previously constructed single-family home or townhome. Let’s take a look at what the manufactured home buying process looks like.
How to Buy a Mobile or Manufactured Home?
- Determine your Family’s Needs – Have an idea of some general features you need. How many bedrooms and bathrooms. Most mobile homes now all have at least 2 full bathrooms. Do you need a living room and family room or just a larger “great room”? What would you consider as being the key area for you in your new home? Are there special needs or considerations such as furniture size, bedroom size, special needs, etc.?
- Determine a Budget – Typically lenders use a budget calculator to determine what your payment capacity is. You can find several programs online that will help you do that. A general rule of thumb is that your monthly payment will be about .8 -1% of the amount you borrow. The lenders will take into account what your current debts are to determine what your manufactured house payment limits are.
- Choose a Builder– There are many different builders that produce a wide range of products. Some focus on building as inexpensively as possible while others concentrate on a combination of affordability and quality construction. It’s important that you have defined what your priorities are before visiting a mobile home dealership. What is on your top 5 list of features you are looking for in a home? Does the builder reflect the same construction priorities that you have identified? When you visit the dealership do you experience someone who wants to help you find your home or someone who just wants to earn a commission? Did they listen to you? What are their google reviews like? What have others experienced who have gone before you?
- Find your Dream Home – Once you’ve developed your “shopping list” it’s time to have fun. When you visit your manufactured home dealership, share with them the things you are looking for. Be as detailed as possible. That will help your home consultant narrow down the search and help you find your new home sooner. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Your home consultant should be able to help guide you through the process in a friendly, informative and professional manner. Don’t be afraid to share information. You can’t go to the Dr. and have him guess at what your needs are.
- Design your New Manufactured Home – The design of manufactured and modular homes has come a long way from the long, dark trailers of yesteryear. Manufactured home exteriors can match any style, from traditional ranch homes to cozy log cabins to chalets to cool coastal retreats. Inside – depending upon the model of your home…. You can choose paint colors, cabinet colors, kitchen countertops. You might be able to customize some additional features as well… like adding stainless steel appliances or a farm sink and gooseneck faucet.
These are just a few of the steps of the manufactured home buying process, that stack together much like the LEGOS® you might have used as a kid, that will lead you onto the path to owning a manufactured, mobile, or modular home. In Part 2 of this series, Manufactured Home Buying, we talk about financing and other things you’ll need to consider, like where you’ll be putting your home.
Other Educational Resources:
Manufactured vs. Modular Homes
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