image of inside of manufactured home

Pre-Planning Tips For Buying a New Manufactured Home

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life. You want to ensure that this new purchase meets your wants, your needs and your budget. It’s not a decision that you should make quickly. And if you’re purchasing a manufactured home, you’re likely saving about 50% of the cost of a regular home. At the same time, you need to make sure that your new home is up to your expectations. Here’s five tips to make sure that you make the right decision. With these five tips, you can easily be on your way to fulfilling the American dream of owning your own home.

Paying for the Home

From the get-go, you’re going to need to know how you are going to pay for your manufactured home. It’s wise to have a financing plan in place even before you go out looking. Your credit score will likely determine how much you can finance and what the terms will be. Be sure to shop around for the best loan from a lender. You want to be able to enjoy living in your new manufactured home and not stress out about how you’re going to make payments.

Fitting the Home to Your Family Size and Lifestyle

Likely, you’ll have hundreds of home plans and models to choose from. It’s always helpful to review virtual tours and construction plans. You can find manufactured homes up to 3,000 sq. ft. today. You can even find double and triple wide manufactured homes. The amount of bedrooms vary from one to five and the amount of bathrooms vary from one to three. You can also find manufactured homes with porches and outdoor dining features. As you review the plans of different manufactured homes, make sure you keep in mind your family’s size and lifestyle. You want to ensure that the home meets all of your needs and wants.

Picking the Right Floor Plan

You’ll be able to choose from many different floor plans with different variations. Some of the floor plans feature the bedrooms and bathrooms at the rear and the other areas of the home at the front. This type of floor plan allows for a lot of privacy. Mini double wide and triple wide manufactured homes separate the master bedroom from the rest of the bedrooms in the home. This may be something you want to consider. You can also find manufactured homes with the master bedroom separated from other living areas in the home. Take the time to consider your daily lifestyle and preferences before selecting a floor plan for your manufactured home.

Personalizing Your New Home

You’ll certainly want all the bells and whistles in your new manufactured home. Today, manufactured home builders offer a lot of flexibility and choices. You can choose a luxury bathroom, a luxury master suite, porches, state of the art kitchen, fireplaces and a whole lot more. You can even have a home entertainment system built inside of your new manufactured home. Think about your family dynamic and what everybody would enjoy.

Knowing What You Want Before Visiting Models

Do your due diligence before even setting out to look. Knowing exactly what you want and what you can afford before even visiting a modeling center will help make your search for a manufactured home less stressful. You can easily find a lot of information online before going out and looking at manufactured homes too.

 

Contact Homes Direct today to schedule your walk through!

 

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Insurance For Your Manufactured or Mobile Home

Easily customized, flexible, and affordable — the manufactured home is seeing a huge resurgence as homeowners look to create their dream homes. But one thing homeowners should be aware of is that insurance is different for manufactured and mobile homes. It’s important to know what your insurance options are, whether you’re buying a brand new mobile home or purchasing one from a prior owner.

Your Insurance Policy Depends on Your Site

Some homes aren’t attached to real estate; your mobile home may be placed on leased property. Other homes are fixed — a manufactured home can have a foundation placed just like a stick-built home. The type of insurance policy you have is going to depend on the site that your mobile/manufactured home is on. Either way, the insurance should cover things such as theft, loss of belongings, loss of use, and equipment breakdown.

Some Coverages May Not Be Included

When it comes to homeowners insurance, there are a few things that might not be included. Notably, earthquake insurance or flood insurance might not be included if you’re in an area where earthquakes or floods often happen. Instead, there will be a separate type of insurance add-on. It’s important for you to take an in-depth look at what is covered and what isn’t. If you don’t have earthquake coverage and an earthquake occurs, your insurance policy may be of limited usefulness.

Not Every Home Insurance Company Offers Manufactured/Mobile Insurance

Because manufactured/mobile home insurance is different, not every home insurance company offers it. It can be best to look for a company that specializes in this type of policy. It’s critical that you acquire insurance when you purchase a home, as otherwise you won’t be covered for an unexpected disaster — which can occur at any time. You never want to have a lapse in your mobile home insurance.

The Cost of Mobile/Manufactured Home Insurance May Vary

Just like other types of homeowners insurance, mobile/manufactured home insurance will vary depending on the amount of coverage you want, the value of your property, and the risks associated. Coastal areas, for example, may have higher premiums because there are higher rates of damage. Some areas may also have higher instances of property theft or property damage, and consequently higher rates. But higher rates are associated with higher risk — if rates are higher, insurance is even more important.

Weather-related events, fires, vandalism, and equipment breakage; these things can happen at any time. The only way to protect your manufactured or mobile home is to make sure that you are properly insured. At Homes Direct, we help you with everything when you purchase your manufactured home. Contact us today to get started.

image of computer and tools

Tips to Help Maintain Your Manufactured Home

Just like any other home, a manufactured home needs regular maintenance. Protect your manufactured home with these tips.

Leveling

Be sure to check the leveling of your manufactured home at least once a year. You can do this easily with a carpenter’s level. If it’s not level, call in a professional to fix it.

Waterproof the Roof

You don’t want any water leaking into your home. Be sure to coat the roof with a durable waterproof coating once a year. And check for missing shingles, broken shingles and any debris.

Inspect the Frame

Any areas on the frame that appear damaged or scratched can result in corrosion or rust of your manufactured home. Touch up any damage with a quality asphaltic base pain or zinc chromate.

Check the Caulking

To keep your home energy efficient, check the caulking around doors, windows and vents. If you notice any peeling or cracking, just re-caulk the areas.

Clean the Vinyl Siding

If the home has vinyl siding, clean it with detergent and water. If there’s mildew, use chlorine bleach and water. If the interior walls have vinyl, clean them with a mild detergent.

Check the Gutters For Clogs

Clogged gutters can cause issues like leaking, foundation damage and water damage. Make sure your gutters aren’t clogged.

Cover Up Ceiling Stains

For mild ceiling stains, you can shoe polish, white chalk or soft erasers to hide them. If it’s a tough spot, just repaint it.

No Abrasives on Fiberglass Showers, Tubs or Sinks

If your shower, tub or sink is made of fiberglass don’t use an abrasive cleaner. This can cause discoloration on the fixtures. Stick with something that is non-abrasive.

Following these tips will keep your home free from wear and tear and keep it looking good.

image of person stressing over manufactured home mistakes

Purchasing a Manufactured Home: Three Essential Pitfalls New Buyers Must Avoid.

Purchasing a home should be an exciting event that fills you with joy. Finding the right property to meet your needs can be a challenging task and it seems that you’ve settled on a manufactured home. Manufactured housing has come a long way since the term was first defined by Federal Law in 1976.

According to the Manufactured Housing Institute’s National Communities Council, a manufactured home is as described:

Manufactured homes are built entirely within a factory while following federal building codes administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD. Manufactured homes are then delivered to their final installation site to be erected.

Manufactured housing provides an affordable living solution for potential homeowners throughout the world. Manufactured housing has come a long way since the 1950s and building quality for manufactured housing is equitable to that of a site-built home. With that being said, there are still a few pitfalls that must be avoided when purchasing a manufactured home.

Three Manufactured Housing Pitfalls You MUST Avoid

While manufactured homes have plenty of benefits, we must still take care to pay attention to potential pitfalls. Like any other home-buying venture, buyers will get out of the experience what they put into it. By arming yourself with the following knowledge, you’ll be one step ahead when looking for the perfect manufactured home. Without further ado, here are three simple pitfalls that potential manufactured housing buyers must avoid.

  1. Consult Your Builder Regarding the House Foundation. One of the easiest ways to find yourself in a lot of trouble is by not matching your manufactured home to the proper foundation. When you purchase your manufactured or prefabricated home from a builder, inquire after the outline and drawing of your foundation.  The foundation size should match the box size of the new home, not the actual size of the house.
  2. Inquire After A Full Cost Breakdown. Any time that an individual seeks to purchase property, unexpected expenses are likely to appear. In order to stay within the ballpark of your budget, inquire after a full expense breakdown from your chosen builder before signing on the dotted line. By understanding what to be on the lookout for, you can account for potential surprise expenses along the way.
  3. Acquire the CORRECT Building Permits. For starters, your conventional building permit will not be permissible for a factory-built property. Reference your local HUD-code regarding modular homes and discuss potential permit requirements with your builder. Typically, permit fees for manufactured homes are more affordable than conventional properties as there are fewer inspections to go through.

Purchasing the perfect modular home is as easy as contacting a reputable builder to take care of the job. Utilize the outlined tips above to make sure that your next manufactured home works for you!

 

manufactured houses

Manufactured Housing Myths DEBUNKED: Understanding the Value of Modular Housing

Mobile homes are prefabricated structures typically built within a factory setting. Mobile homes are often used as permanent dwellings and they are particularly popular across Europe and North America. This form of housing has a long and detailed history in the United States as ‘house trailers’ became a prominent form of traveling while living on the road. While mobile homes have their place, they should not be construed or misdiagnosed as a manufactured housing unit. Manufactured homes are markedly different from conventional mobile homes, despite the reputation derived from misinformation that these buildings have earned.

To understand the value of manufactured housing investments, we must first dispel three key myths that continue to plague the industry to this day.

Myth #1 – Manufactured Homes and Trailer Homes are the Same

The first and most immediate myth that must be dispelled is the confusion between manufactured homes and mobile homes. Manufactured homes and mobile homes are both traditionally built inside of a factory setting. With that being said, this is where their similarities end. Mobile homes are typically built before June 15, 1976. As a result, manufactured homes are held to a higher standard of safety than their traditional trailer counterparts.

Fact – Manufactured homes must comply with the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards enacted on June 15, 1967. Trailer homes are factory-built products that came before 1976 and are not beholden to these new standards.

Myth #2 – Manufactured Homes Are Unsafe Dwellings

Perhaps the most damaging myth that continues to permeate the industry is the idea that manufactured homes are somehow unsafe when compared to conventional dwellings. While manufactured homes are often modular in design, they are consistently built with higher-quality materials due to the higher level of standards that they must appeal to. FEMA has even declared many modular homes to be safer than conventional homes when considering hurricanes.

Fact – Manufactured homes, like any other piece of property, can be completely safe around-the-year. Manufactured homes must adhere to higher building standards thanks to the aforementioned HUD Code referenced above. With that said, it is important to purchase manufactured homes from quality sellers to ensure building standards.

Myth #3 – Manufactured Homes Are Too Specialized to Invest In

Have you discussed moving into a manufactured home with your realtor? Have you discussed the idea with friends and co-workers? Many times, the general opinion of manufactured housing does not match with reality. While your realtor may advise against investing in manufactured housing due to a ‘smaller resale market’, they would not be entirely correct. According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 95,000 manufactured homes were shipped to the United States in 2019 — a 14% increase over previous years.

Fact – Manufactured housing is a booming market that continues to grow as property prices and land availability struggle to compete with a booming American population.

image of couple planning furniture for home

Best Furniture For a Manufactured Home

Today, manufactured homes are larger and more luxurious, while remaining very cost-effective. But manufactured homes do have some idiosyncrasies when it comes to layout. Most manufactured homes are more narrow than stick-built homes, which can reduce the possibilities when it comes to furniture. Here’s what you need to know.

Start With Your Layout and Furniture Sizes

Don’t just eyeball furnishings. When you find furniture that you like, take measurements, and outline those measurements on your floor. Use blue painter’s tape. Just because something “fits” in your home doesn’t mean it feels good in your home. Walk around your outlines and see if you have enough space to move comfortably.

Look for Complete Sets

Sets tend to fit better together. Rather than purchasing a dining table and chairs separately, for instance, purchase them together. Purchase a couch and loveseat set, rather than a couch and loveseat separately. Purchase coffee tables that go with the couch and loveseat. The more you can find complete sets, the more likely it is for the sets to work well together. Further, complete sets are usually cheaper than buying things one at a time.

Take a Look at Multi-Purpose Furniture

Get a desk that’s also a dining table, a coffee table that lifts to become a dining table, or a chair that has a pull-out end table. Some coffee tables have chairs that pull out from beneath them, and some kitchen tables can double as storage. When you’re dealing with limited space, you want furniture that can perform multiple tasks. Furniture that has storage in it is exceptionally popular: ottomans can have storage inside of them, as can beds and couches.

Look for Rounded Furnishings Rather than Straight Lines

It may not be just measurements you need to take a look at. Consider that rounded furnishings also take up less space. Round tables, for instance, are going to take up a lot less space than square tables. Take a look at the types of furnishings that are available. Even chairs can take up more or less space with the same dimensions: a chair that is a half-circle is going to take up less space than a chair that is a half-square.

Spend More for Longer Lasting Furniture

Don’t be afraid to spend money on high-quality furniture. It’s better to spend $3,000 on a couch now than $1,000 every year. When you’re choosing furniture for a manufactured home, you’ll usually be choosing smaller furnishings. But if you’re buying smaller, cheaper items, they’re usually going to be of a lower quality grade; they’ll fall apart on you if you aren’t careful. If you’re buying smaller items pay more for quality — it’ll still be cheaper than larger items, and they’re going to last you much longer.

Apart from size and space considerations, the best furniture for a manufactured home is the best furniture for any home: High quality and in a style that suits you. As long as you’re certain it will fit (and will fit comfortably), you shouldn’t have any restrictions for your manufactured home. Just start looking at furnishing that appeals to you, and you’ll eventually find the perfect thing for your property.

5 Ways to Keep Your Manufactured Home Cool and Comfortable This Summer

If you live in a climate that sees sweltering summers, then you might constantly be looking for ways to keep your manufactured home cool and comfortable as a respite from the heat. At the same time, you may also be trying to avoid sky-high energy bills. Maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your manufactured home without wasting your hard-earned money on your utility bills can be challenging, but there are some simple yet effective things you can do.

1. Have Your AC Serviced

No matter what kind of air conditioning system you have installed at your manufactured home, regular maintenance is important. Once a year during the spring or early summer, it’s a good idea to have an experienced and reputable AC technician come out to your home for an inspection and tune-up. This will make sure your AC is prepared for the summer months and running as efficiently as possible. An inspection can also alert you to minor issues that you can repair now to improve performance and save you money down the road.

2. Use (Or Install) Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can make a huge difference in the level of comfort inside your home. If your manufactured home has ceiling fans already, make sure you’re taking advantage of them by running them frequently. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure that your ceiling fans are all set to rotate counter-clockwise during the summer months, as this will push cool air down towards you. You might even be able to save some money on your energy bills by running your ceiling fans and turning your thermostat up a degree or two.

3. Upgrade Your Insulation

If your manufactured home is older, its insulation may be lacking. Having new insulation installed in your home will cost you some money up-front, but this will also help your home stay cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter without using more energy.

4. Block Sunlight With Window Treatments

Use window treatments to your advantage to block out light during the sunniest times of day. Blackout shades, blinds, and drapes work wonders at regulating temperatures inside your home. Plus, they can add a nice pop of color or style to your room’s design!

5. Take Control of Indoor Humidity

Higher levels of indoor humidity can actually make your home feel a lot warmer than it is. If your manufactured home tends to have high humidity (greater than 50%), it may be time to invest in a dehumidifier for your home. You can purchase standalone dehumidifiers that pull moisture out of the air, though in some cases, you may be able to have one installed on your existing HVAC system. It just depends on what the heating/cooling setup is like at your home.

The Bottom Line

Keeping cool during the summer months isn’t just a matter of comfort; on the hottest of days, it can truly be a matter of safety. By following these tips, you can keep your home a little cooler and more comfortable while possibly cutting down on your energy bills a bit in the process.

8 Facts About Manufactured Homes You Didn’t Know

Some people think of manufactured homes as either trailers or boxy structures with little personality. But long gone are the days when manufactured homes meant having few options. Today’s manufactured homes come in a wide array of styles and sizes, and more people are turning to them for their structural reliability and lower wait times.

Here are 8 facts about manufactured homes you probably didn’t know: 

1. They Follow Strict Federal Building Laws

Manufactured homes are actually the only residential buildings in the nation that have to adhere to federal building codes rather than local regional or state regulations. Since 1976, their construction has followed the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (the HUD Code), from their initial manufacturing in a factory setting right on through their actual construction on your property. 

By following this law, manufactured homes must meet strict qualifications in the areas of fire safety, energy efficiency, structural integrity/soundness, size, transportation ability, and more. 

2. Manufactured Homes are Often More Affordable Yet Appreciate at Similar Rates to Other Homes

 Many people are drawn to manufactured homes because of their lower costs upfront. However, it’s worth noting that, in many cases, manufactured homes actually appreciate in value at similar rates to other forms of housing. This means greater profit margins later on if you decide to sell and makes manufactured homes a solid investment for the future. 

3. Over 22 Million Americans Live in Them

Manufactured home owners (in in some cases, renters) span far and wide. Over 22 million Americans now live in this form of housing, and the numbers are rising!

Furthermore, the economic hardships of 2020 have made purchasing traditional site-built homes more challenging than ever. Manufactured homes offer a more affordable, viable alternative. 

4. Manufactured Homes Are Often Permanent

While mobile homes also follow the HUD Code, they are far from the only manufactured housing going up. Today’s manufactured homes often offer spacious interiors and more rooms than traditional mobile homes, and many of them are set up on permanent foundations once they reach their destination. A lot of people eventually add on to them as their family and needs grow. 

5. Most Are on Private Lots

Going along with the above, over 60 percent of today’s manufactured homes are now built on private land rather than trailer parks or other group lots. This gives homeowners greater customization and renovation freedom. 

6. They May Be Safer

Because of the strict federal regulations, manufactured homes often meet greater safety standards than other housing. In fact, a study released in 2017 showed that manufactured homes have between 38 and 44 percent fewer fires and personal injuries than site-built homes. 

7. Manufactured Homes Offer Luxury Options

From vaulted ceilings to wide windows and upscale fixtures, today’s manufactured homes are sectional works of art. Many offer luxury accommodations for those on a budget, with a wide range of customization options. It may be a “cookie cutter” home, but you can make it look and feel like it was built just for you. 

8. They Take Just Days to Build 

The amount of time between when you order your manufactured home and when the construction is complete on your property varies (depending on building permits/ land availability, where the home is coming from, etc.) However, the actual construction time takes just days. Compare that to site-built home construction times of several months to a year or, in many cases, longer, and the convenience is clear. 

Mobile Homes vs Site Built Homes

Perhaps you’re new to the world of home construction, or maybe you’ve recently started looking at other housing options. Either way, if you’re like many folks, some of the terminology may be confusing. So, today we’re going to discuss the differences between “mobile homes” and “site built homes” as well as the pros and cons of each. 

History

Many of the modern housing terms we use today date back to the years immediately following World War II. The United States was experiencing an economic boom, and families were quickly growing. New housing was needed, and it was needed fast. 

Enter the mobile home. This small, rectangular-shaped home could be quickly driven to where it was needed and moved off wheels and onto a foundation or directly onto the ground. Many Americans started living in mobile homes permanently, while others simply adopted them as temporary shelters while their traditional house was being constructed. 

By the late 1970s, mobile homes were mixed in with other types of housing and communities, necessitating the need for clearer terminology and residential zoning codes. This resulted in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development introducing the term “manufactured home” and amping up use of the term “site built home” for traditionally-constructed houses. And under new regulations, the new mobile homes being set up as long-term residences without actual transportation use were referred to as “manufactured homes”. 

Mobile Homes

Today’s mobile homes or “manufactured homes” are not the flimsy structures of days past. Thanks to stricter codes established in 1976, manufactured homes today are typically built indoors in large-scale facilities with intense standards and quality control. Generally speaking however, all of these homes must both have and meet national safety standards in the following areas:

  • Electrical wiring
  • Body/framing requirements
  • Plumbing
  • Fire safety
  • Thermal protection
  • Anchoring

Most manufactured home companies also offer a range of customization options that vary with each model. These homes generally come at a significantly lower cost than other homes, even when paired with the cost of land. That said, many mobile home owners are able to rent the land they have their home set up on in order to save even more. 

Mobile homes today typically take no more than a few months to construct and then transport to the property. For buyers looking to get a new roof over their heads fast, this is great! 

Site Built Homes

Most homes that you today are traditional site built homes, constructed directly on the land with wood, concrete, and other traditional building materials. However, unlike mobile homes that must meet national standards, regulations can vary greatly for site built homes between states. Generally speaking, however, the requirements are in the following areas:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical/Energy
  • Fire safety
  • Life/resident safety
  • Accessibility
  • Building/structural
  • Mechanical

Site built homes can take several months to even years to construct, though they often end up having a greater property value. 

The Bottom Line

Home buyers looking to choose between mobile homes and site built homes will have to look at their own personal preferences to decided which is the right choice. If speed and efficiency is the goal, for example, a mobile home will have a leg up. Likewise, if long-term investment in value and greater customization options is preferable, a site built home it is. The good news is that both types of homes are subjected to stricter construction standards than ever, so both will be made to last. 

Benefits of Buying a Manufactured Home Versus Renting

If you’re considering joining the millions of Americans who live in manufactured homes, you’re no doubt considering all of the possibilities that come with it. And with increasing amounts of manufactured homes in Arizona (and Southern California), you have more options than ever before.