Manufactured homes have come a long way since their inception. Today, you can buy a manufactured home with features similar to those you’d find in a traditional home.
Here’s everything you must know about buying a manufactured home.
Manufactured Home Financing
Today, most lenders offer manufactured home financing if the home is permanently affixed to the ground and the land must also be eligible for financing. If you finance the entire purchase at once, like you would if you bought a single-family home, there isn’t much difference in the financing terms except for a slightly higher interest rate.
Pros and Cons
- Manufactured homes must meet HUD guidelines that ensure their structural safety, soundness, and energy efficiency.
- Most manufactured homes cost a fraction of a single-family home but offer the same features and upgrades.
- You can customize a manufactured home to your liking just like you could a single-family home.
- When buying new, you can typically move into a manufactured home much faster than any other type of home because of its faster manufacturing process.
- The land underneath the home has to be owned by you. Rent space is not allowed when getting financing.
- Manufactured homes don’t appreciate as fast as stand-alone homes.
- Closing costs are higher due to the additional inspections needed like a structural engineer report.
- Interest rates are higher
- Single-wide homes are not allowed
- Credit score requirements are usually higher than for stick-built homes.
What is a Manufactured Home?
Unlike traditional homes built on-site, manufactured homes are constructed in a factory. They must adhere to all HUD guidelines and safety rules. The homes are built in the factory onto wheels which transports the home to its site.
Some homes are delivered as a whole, and others are delivered in sections and completed on-site. Once at the site, the builder removes the wheels and makes the home a permanent structure on the land.
There are three sizes available:
Single wide is the smallest home available.
Square footage ranges from 600 to 1300 sq feet
18 feet wide at its max and max of 90 feet long
The most popular home. Square footage ranges from 1000 sqft to 2400 sqft and typically has anywhere from 3 to 5 bedrooms.
The largest home. It has a square footage range from 1600 sqft to 3400 sqft.
What to Know About Buying a Brand-New Manufactured Home
Buying a manufactured home is a bit like buying a car. You can view the models, choose your features or upgrades, size, and colors.
If you are buying a brand-new home, you must find the right lot. You’ll be able to finance the lot and the home together. The factory providing the home must be able to place the home on the lot, and the home has to be permanently affixed before you can close on a loan.
We suggest getting pre-approved before getting too far deep into the process. Getting that out of the way will help you understand how much of a home you can buy.
What to Know About Buying an Existing Manufactured Home
Before you can buy a manufactured home, you must get pre-approved. Most sellers these days require that buyers submitting an offer on their home include a loan pre-approval letter from a lender with the offer.
That’s a very realistic thing for them to ask, as they’re just trying to make sure, before they take their house off the market, that you can qualify for a home loan.
- The home being purchased must be double-wide or bigger.
- Must be built after 1976
- Must be permanently affixed to the land
Also, you have to own the land that the home is on. Rented lots are not acceptable.
What Type of Financing Is Available?
Manufactured homes can be financed with the following loan types:
The home must be on a lot that you own to take advantage of the above financing options. Rented space is not eligible.
Maintaining a Manufactured Home
Just like any other home, manufactured homes need tender love and care to ensure they remain a safe, long-lasting living space. Once placed on its foundation, inspect manufactured homes regularly for rust and leaks.
All caulking around vents and windows should get retouched as necessary. Apply durable roof coating and check the foundation once a year. Regular cleaning of siding, HVAC systems, gutters, and interiors will keep manufactured homes comfortable and clean.
Buying a manufactured home can be a great way to save money and still get the home you want. Whether you buy land suitable for this type of housing or buy land in an established manufactured home lot, there are many opportunities for families to own their own home that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a home.