Choosing A Home
If you have decided that a manufactured home is right for
you, consider the following issues:
What size home and floor plan do I want?
Manufactured homes come in a variety of sizes and floor
plans that include spacious living rooms, dining rooms, fully-equipped kitchens,
bedrooms, family rooms, and utility areas. Depending on the size of your
homesite, you can choose a single-section or larger multisection design. Homes
range in size from 900 to 2,500 square feet and can be customized to meet your
needs and preferences.
What features are available?
The interior design of your home can include custom
cabinets; walk-in closets; bathrooms with recessed tubs and whirlpools; and
wood-burning fireplaces. Because most manufacturers use computer-assisted
design, you'll have flexibility in choosing variations to floor plans and decor.
You can choose from a variety of exterior designs, depending on your taste and
budget. Exterior siding comes in an array of colors and materials including
metal, vinyl, wood and hardboard. Awnings, enclosures around the crawl space,
patio covers, decks and steps also are available.
How much can I expect to pay for a home?
Depending on the size, floor plans and features, a new
home can cost anywhere from $15,000 to more than $100,000. This doesn't include
What financing options are available?
Your retailer usually can provide information about
financing. You can also check with lenders in your area. Just as there are
choices when you buy a site-built home, there are a variety of financing options
when you buy a manufactured home. Down payments and loan terms are similar - 5
to 10 percent of the manufactured home's sales price, and loan terms from 15 to
30 years. Most lenders offer fixed and variable rate loans and most have
programs that allow you to "buy the rate down." If you own or plan to purchase
the land where you will place your home, traditional mortgage financing can
usually be arranged.
What other costs can I expect to pay?
While your mortgage payment may be your biggest expense,
you'll have other regular and periodic payments. They may include utilities,
property taxes, land rental fees, insurance, routine maintenance, and other
service fees such as water and sewer. Today's manufactured homes are built to
meet new national energy standards set by HUD. The energy conserving features
found in manufactured homes help reduce your monthly energy costs.
How much maintenance will my home need?
Your homeowner's manual outlines maintenance requirements.
It's important that they're followed. Failure to do so could void the warranty,
as well as lessen the value and life of your home.
What warranty coverage is offered on the home, its
transportation, and installation?
All manufacturers offer a written warranty that should
- structural workmanship;
- factory-installed plumbing, heating and electrical
- factory-installed appliances, which also may be
covered by separate
- appliance manufacturer warranties.
There are important differences among warranties. For
example, manufacturer warranties usually do not cover installation (also called
"set-up") and transportation of the home, but you may be able to get this
coverage through the retailer or installation contractor. Although you may never
need such warranty services, it's a good idea to check the coverage on any
warranties offered before you buy.
Where can I locate my home?
Many homes are placed on privately owned property. If this
option appeals to you, find out about zoning laws, restrictive covenants, and
utility connections. Your retailer can give you more information. Another option
is to place your home in a land-lease community specifically designed for
manufactured homes. Here, you own the home but lease the land. Placing your home
in a land-lease community involves fewer siting considerations such as utility
connections. A third option is buying the home and land together in a planned
subdivision where siting issues are handled by the developer.
May I move my home?
Yes, but it's not common to do so. The transportation of a
home can place considerable stress on its structure and contents. Nevertheless,
if you do plan to move your home at some future time, make sure you check with
the appropriate state authorities about transportation and zoning regulations.
States have restrictions on weight, size and width that may prevent you from
moving your home. If you relocate, make sure you use a professional transporter;
never try to move the home yourself. It's also important to check the data plate
zone maps in your home. These maps tell you the wind, snow and thermal zones for
which your home was constructed. Use them to determine if the new location is
suitable for your home.
Cost is another consideration. Besides transport expenses,
which include licensing fees to take your home through a state, you'll have to
pay for a new foundation, installation, and utility hook-ups.