Buying a mobile home isn’t as easy as you might be thinking. It’s a process that involves making several critical decisions and steps.
For instance, to purchase a mobile home successfully, you should start by doing research, finding the perfect location, and looking at the finance options, among other things.
Here, we give you the complete process of buying a mobile home from anywhere.
Process of Buying a Mobile Home
Buying a manufactured home can be successful if you follow the steps below:
Start by Doing Research
The internet should be the first stop every time you want to buy a mobile home. Here, you’ll get a clear sense of the available mobile homes.
You can begin by searching for the dealers or manufacturers that are found near you. Even though these homes are mobile, delivering them is an expensive and time-consuming process. If the dealer or manufacturer is near you, you’ll save a lot of money.
After you have found the brands within your area, you can check their websites to identify the services and lines they offer.
However, you’re unlikely to find clear pricing information during your web search. Sellers prefer keeping this key information from buyers, thus giving themselves an upper hand by forcing potential buyers to reach out or stop by.
If you want to acquire the pricing information, you can check the MHS (Manufactured Housing Survey) sponsored by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). The U.S. Census Bureau collects this particular data and information.
Some of the information you might access includes monthly manufactured housing statistics, like the number of units to be shipped and their average prices. You can then determine whether you can afford a single-wide, double-wide, or triple-wide unit from the information.
You should note that the factors that affect the pricing of a mobile home include add-ons, location, brand, and size of the home.
Just ensure that you carry out sufficient research before investing in a mobile home.
Assess Your Finances
Once you get an idea of the pricing of your manufactured home, you should evaluate and assess your options when it comes to obtaining financing. Here, you must consider your income, along with your annual, monthly, and weekly expenses.
Consider the money in your inaccessible accounts, including money market accounts and savings accounts. Ensure that the state of your retirement and investment accounts makes you comfortable.
If you want to purchase a home after selling your current manufactured home, you should consider the sales of comparable homes, known as ‘the comps.’
You can also get your credit report if you want to finance your purchase. Ensure that all your financial documents are in one place since you’ll need them later.
Focus on Locations
One critical thing to consider is the location or land your home will be placed. The location or piece of land can limit your manufactured home options.
Let’s look at a few possibilities, as far as land location is concerned:
You Own the Land
If you own the land where you want to place a mobile home, then you’re good to go. The next step is identifying the type of unit you can buy or install.
For instance, some areas don’t allow manufactured homes, and others have restrictions on the type of home you can install on your property. In some cases, you might be allowed to buy a double-wide, and not a single-wide unit.
You Plan to Buy the Property
If you want to buy a land property separate from your mobile home, then restrict your search to areas that allow mobile home types that you wish to buy.
You can find a reputable agent to assist you in locating land to place your manufactured home.
You can also approach various lenders since they offer loans on mobile homes that are linked to a piece of land.
You Want to Lease the Land
There are several mobile home parks, otherwise known as manufactured home communities, where you can lease the land for your home. These communities come with exciting amenities such as clubhouses, swimming pools, and spacious parking spaces.
Even though most communities are available for everyone, others limit the occupants to particular groups, such as those above 55 years of age or retirees.
If you visit these manufactured home communities, you can even find homes for sale and spacious pieces of land for lease.
Go and Shop for the Home of Your Choice
Manufactured homes come with several things in common. For instance, the homes are space-efficient and come with a bathroom, along with cooking and sleeping facilities.
Another critical thing is that all the homes should comply with the HUD Code for quality and safety.
However, these homes might also differ in several aspects, such as appearance, layout, manufacturer, and age. These are, therefore, some critical decisions that you’ll have to make.
Buying a New or Used Mobile Home
Manufactured homes are attractive and come with fewer maintenance requirements. With that said, you’ll save even more money if you go for a used home.
There are mobile home communities that won’t allow you to install an old or used home. Old homes that were developed before 1976 don’t have the quality and safety standards of the homes of today. You should, therefore, choose wisely here.
Where Do You Purchase a Mobile Home?
You should approach a real estate agent or seller if you want to buy a used home. For a new home, you must narrow down your options first.
For instance, the United States has over 60 manufactured home manufacturers. These manufacturers differ in customer service, warranty length, and available models.
If you come across a manufactured home that you want to buy, near you, try finding where you can order yours or tour sampling units.
You can buy a mobile home via dealership or in a manufactured home park.
Single-Wides, Double-Wides, Triple-Wides and More
A mobile home is sometimes built and transported as a single family unit. Even though such mobile homes are the least expensive and smallest, they often come with certain restrictions.
The units are restricted in some community homes. Due to the financial responsibility of the home buyers and the value of the property, it sometimes is not easy to obtain financing.
Double-wide units are transported in two halves. Their price is about 1.9 times that of single-wide homes.
You can even get mobile homes that have three or more units, however, this also translates into a higher price.
Buying a mobile home offers plenty of options. For instance, you can select the layout of your rooms, lighting finishes, floor plans, and your preferred home model.
However, remember you’ll pay for any additions that you want.
Figure Out Ways of Obtaining Financing
The average price of a mobile or manufactured home is $85,438. This is very low compared to $310,800, which is the average price for buying site–built homes. This means that buying a mobile home is cheaper compared to other options, such as site-built and modular homes.
There are different financing options to pay for your mobile home:
Paying for a Mobile Home Using Cash
This is the most realistic option, especially for homeowners looking to downsize. The benefit of paying with cash is that there is no interest on the purchase of your home.
Getting a Chattel Loan to Finance Your Home
All mobile homes are categorized under personal property. Just like a plane, car, or boat, they contain an identifying plate.
You can finance these homes using chattel loans, which have low upfront fees, but higher interest rates than mortgages. In most cases, the terms are 20, 15, or 10 years.
To access chattel loans, you can either work with a dealer or find a reputable lender yourself. A home dealer can have a direct relationship with a private lender and can, therefore, help you enrol in the best loan programs.
Accessing a Mortgage
For a manufactured home, it is not easy to get a conventional mortgage. For instance, some government loans can only fund homes developed after 2006, and they must have a permanent foundation.
For your manufactured housing unit to qualify for a mortgage, you should own the land on which the home is placed. Mortgages are typically only available for real property.
There are two mortgage options that you can use to buy a mobile home: Freddie Mac’s ChoiceHome and Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage. The loans have a low down payment requirement of 3%.
The Construction Phase
If hookups are ready and you have selected a piece of land, the next step is getting on a delivery and installation schedule.
However, the time of construction varies for new homes. Some factories can develop a home within two days, however customization of a home takes a little longer.
Generally, you should expect about two to four months from when you place your order to delivery.
Ship Your Home and Install It
When moving your home to its location, it will be towed like a trailer, on a chassis, with wheels.
After the home arrives on its intended piece of land, the axles and wheels are disconnected, and the home is anchored, hooked up, and attached on-site. Any external features, such as skirting, stairs, and porches, are then added.
Move Into Your Mobile Home with Your Family
Now that you have installed everything in your home, it is fully yours, and you can bring in your belongings. You can involve a moving company to assist you in moving boxes and furniture into your new home.
This is the time to get to know your new home park and meet your neighbors. You can finally sit back, relax and enjoy.
The Final Verdict
Even though the process of buying a manufactured home isn’t easy, you can find your perfect home if you follow the steps that we have highlighted above.
However, you should ensure that the home you select is within your budget and meets all of your home requirements.
If you don’t have enough money, you can approach a lender to help you out. You can also involve a dealer in the process of locating a home and identifying a lender.
Don’t forget that there are several moving companies that help you facilitate moving into your new home.
We hope that you get the best home deal for you and your single family.