What to Look for When Purchasing a Manufactured Home

By: HomeFirst Certified
September 23, 2013

Manufactured homes are factory-built and ready-to-install at a particular location. Unlike modular homes, manufactured homes aren’t meant to relocate after they’ve been placed — even though they’re built on a permanent chassis for transportation. These types of homes cost significantly less than traditional homes and are still attractive compared to their mobile counterparts. When you’re in the market for a new manufactured home, performing a little due diligence will help you find the perfect new home for you and your family.

Land

If you’re purchasing a pre-owned manufactured home, it is likely it is already placed on a piece of land. Therefore, you’ll want to consider the area where the home is — much like a traditional home.

If you’re purchasing a new manufactured home, you need to locate the property before purchasing the home. You can buy or rent land for manufactured homes, but you need to first check whether or not the manufactured home can be placed there. In some cities manufactured homes have their own zoning classification, so check with the city first. Ask about any restrictive covenants that might prohibit you from placing your new home on the property. Utilities — including water, sewage, electricity, phone/internet/cable, and gas — should already be set up and available on the property. You’ll also want to look into the land’s sewer system. While some can be connected to the home others require a septic system to be installed before your home can be delivered.

Pricing

A good manufactured home retailer tells you the total cost — not the monthly payment. Ask for the final price — the one you’ll be financing — rather than what your monthly payment will be. Your financing expert or financial institution can discuss monthly payments with you.

The purchase price of your manufactured home doesn’t always include all of the costs, so make sure your retailer lists any additional fees including:

  • Delivery fees
  • Service fees
  • Finance charges

Also, you’ll want to total your other costs associated with purchasing the home, such as the cost to rent/buy property, utilities, property tax, and insurance.

Before you sign any papers, get the facts and understand the financing terms of your new purchase. Don’t rely on any oral agreement the dealer or seller provides you — see it on paper first. Some details to look for include the interest rate, interest to be paid over the course of the loan, duration of the loan, monthly payment amount, and the total amount you will have paid after the loan is complete.

Stability

Don’t be overtaken by the different options and floor plans. Before you select a floor plan you need a manufactured home with a solid structure. The home should have a solid chassis that meets state and federal building regulations and the seller should have documentation proving that. After you find a home with a solid construction worry about cosmetics and functional floor plans.

Installation

While a homeowner can install their own home, it isn’t recommended. A certified installer can make sure your home is installed and safe — and often you can include this with your purchase.

Warranty

Manufactured homes that are purchased new should come with a warranty, but look for warranties that also cover transportation, installation and any retailer extras added to your home.

Buying a manufactured home is similar to purchasing a new traditional home. As long as you take your time, look for solid structure, and review the finance terms you can find a great manufactured home that will last you and your family for generations.

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