Appreciating home prices has left many Americans to get creative with their housing ideas. One of these options is the manufactured home. Is it worth the risk? What do I need to know about this housing type?
Not having enough money for the down payment of a home is one of the biggest barriers to homeownership among many Americans. If they do get close to saving the amount they need, market pressures dictate home values to increase, once again pricing many individuals out.
This has been the case in the past few years and there’s little hope that things will loosen up as they were. So people are looking for alternative ways to homeownership. While some home shoppers choose to delay home buying, many are getting out of their way to look for down payment assistance programs, low down payment mortgage options, and there are those who are instead looking for alternative housing options.
One of these options which has become increasingly popular in the past few years is the manufactured home. But what exactly is a manufactured home?
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Also commonly known as mobile homes, manufactured homes are homes built in factories.
Each of these units is built according to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards set by the federal government.
These homes are built on a study, immovable steel chassis. When purchased, they are towed and delivered to the specified location.
Throughout the years, manufactured homes have significantly evolved in design and functionality without sacrificing cost. This is why for those who are looking to get a place of their own with simplicity and cost in mind, a manufactured home is easily the best option.
Where to find the details about the unit’s manufacturing origin?
The information you need is located in the data plate inside the manufactured unit. Typically, you can find this near the main electrical panel, in the bedroom closet, or the kitchen cabinet. The plate contains information about the unit’s HVAC and its components and appliances. It also gives you details about the wind zone and snow load which the home is built for.
To make sure your unit is built according to government standards, make sure there is a red data plate with a serial number which is placed on the exterior of the unit.
What to do if I don’t find the data plate?
At times, the plate is not really missing but just painted over. In some cases, they might be accidentally removed.
Contact the Institute of Building Technology and Safety. They can provide you with a label verification letter or performance verification certificate of the unit. You can also ask them for a replacement of the data plate.
Can I put my manufactured home anywhere?
Before you set camp, make sure the location you chose doesn’t have zoning restrictions. Some communities strictly don’t allow manufactured housing while others adhere to restrictive community policies. See to it that you talked to the head of a community first or any local authority before you put your manufactured unit on any lot.
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Can I get financing for a manufactured home?
Yes. In fact, manufactured homes are eligible for both government-backed VA and FHA loans. Some conventional mortgage programs also allow loans for the purchase of a manufactured home as long as it is placed in a permanent location. You may also get financing from the seller of the unit itself.
Can I transfer my home anywhere?
Yes you can as long as a) you are allowed in the location you intend to transfer to and b) the climate in the location you want to move in is favorable for the manufacturing specifics of your unit.
Again, zoning is key. You can’t just move anywhere without knowing the community policies in the area first, else you risk getting charged with trespassing or worse, getting harassed by unfriendly neighbors.
And of course, climate consideration. These homes are built with a specific environmental condition in mind. A change in environment could have a devastating impact on the natural wear and tear of the home.
Does the unit have a warranty?
Yes, the unit has a warranty unless you’re buying second hand. The appliances have their own warranty coverage as well. You should find out these details first when comparing homes to purchase or selecting one to buy.
Who should I go to when I get issues with my manufactured home?
You should contact your seller first. They should be able to help you fix these issues. If they can’t be resolved by the seller, call the manufacturer.