4 Things You’ll Want To Know Before Buying A Used Manufactured Home

by Sep 25, 2018Blog, Buying a mobile home

Maybe you’re a college student on a strict budget and you’re desperately searching for a frugal housing alternative. Perhaps you’ve reached your retirement years and your home just feels too big. You feel like it’s time for something new. You talked with your friend about it, and she mentioned that you might look into used manufactured homes.

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Unsure, you didn’t give it much thought, but it’s beginning to sound like a possibility the longer you think about it.

A highly probable option

You take a seat and do a quick Google search on buying a used manufactured home. There is a ton of information out there, so you grab your pen and notepad and start taking notes.

However, there are so many ideas and tips available that you’re not sure which ones are the most relevant to your situation. To help, here are four things that you’ll definitely want to look into and add to those notes you’re taking.

#1: Getting a loan      

If you’ve decided to purchase a manufactured home, getting a loan is probably one of the first things you’ll need to think about. First of all, you’ll need to know whether the manufactured home you’re looking at is under the category of “personal property” or “real property.”  

Personal property vs. real property

In general, a manufactured home has the label “personal property” or “chattel” when it isn’t permanently secured to an appropriate foundation on the piece of land that it sits on. Conversely, when a manufactured home is permanently fixed to a foundation, it is considered “real property.” While these classifications may seem unimportant at first glance, they actually have a lot to do with what type of loan you can get.     

Loan options for buying a used manufactured home

Cash out of an envelope

If the manufactured home you’re interested in has been deemed personal property, then your only loan option will probably be what’s called a “chattel loan.” Homeowners typically use a chattel loan to finance “movable” property. There are pros and cons to getting a chattel loan. For instance, your interest rates will likely be higher than if you get a traditional loan. But your processing costs will probably be lower.

You can take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of chattel loans by checking out this article.

While it’s not guaranteed, you’ll most likely be able to get a “real property” loan if the home you’re looking at buying has a secure, permanent foundation. A real property loan is like a traditional mortgage. Generally, homeowners consider it more desirable than a chattel loan. If the home you want to buy has a permanent foundation, make sure to explore your options before settling on a chattel loan. Since you may qualify for a real property loan.  

#2: HUD code

Whenever you’re thinking about buying a used manufactured home, you’ll want to check for a specifically red plaque that is usually attached to the rear exterior of the home. The plaque should state that the manufactured home is in accordance with the rules of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is a HUD tag.

Safety requirements after HUD

On June 15, 1976, the HUD code went into effect. New laws governed the building of manufactured homes- with attention to providing safety guidelines to builders. The HUD code ensured improved structural safety by requiring that:

  • a manufactured home be attached to a permanent foundation
  • have an appropriate amount of exits
  • posses a proper system of ventilation

… and other safety regulations.  

A warning: if certain alterations are made to a manufactured home, it will be considered out of compliance with HUD code. This will probably end up costing you money. So if you’re looking at a home, you’ll want to make sure that none of those alterations have been made by the previous owners.   

#3: Quality

It doesn’t matter how nice the seller is or how polished the home looks when you’re giving it a walk-through. Before buying a used manufactured home, you should always get an inspector to give it a thorough examination. You may be able to see some water damage, but what you won’t be able to see at a glance are the plumbing or electrical problems the home may have. By all means, go ahead and let an expert take care of that for you. Even if you’re fairly positive that there are no problems with the plumbing, an inspection can’t hurt.

An electrician checking electric box

#4: Neighborhood dynamics

Imagine this scenario:

You found the perfect manufactured home a few years ago. It was in excellent condition and within your price range, so you bought it and settled down for a while. However, you’ve recently decided that you want to sell your home.  It’s still in exceptional shape, and you’ve even taken extra steps to spruce it up. You know it’ll attract plenty of buyers.

You soon realize, however, that a major complication in your home-selling process is coming from your neighbor. His grass hasn’t been mowed for months, his house is surrounded by year-old aluminum cans, and his dog barks perpetually. You’ve become used to the mess over the years, but prospective buyers are wary of it.

Now you regret that you didn’t know how much your neighbor’s messiness would affect the value of your home at the time of purchase. This article will teach you how to spot these types of neighbors during your search for a home.

Ideas learned for a new start 

You’re beginning an exciting new part of your life as you look into buying a used manufactured home. Now that you have a list of ideas to get you started, you can take on the rest of your research armed with the “weapon of organization”. And before you make the decision to purchase, be sure to take a look at these manufactured home reviews.

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