HOW YOU CAN GET MORE FOR LESS?
(THAT IS, MORE HOME FOR LESS MONEY)
Part 3 of 3 Part series
Here we are on the final part of a three-part series on how you can possibly get more home for less money. In the first segment, we talked about buying an older home vs. a newer home. In the second segment we talked about buying a fixer upper in a great neighborhood (the worst home in the best neighborhood). In this last segment we are going to talk about Manufactured Homes and Modular Homes and, yes, even Stick-Built Homes as an option for helping you get more home for less money. First, let’s make sure we all understand what each one is and what the pro’s and cons are for each one.
A manufactured home (also called a mobile home) is built in a factory and conforms to a Federal building code, not a building code that is specific to its delivery destination. It is built on a steel chassis and moved in sections to the home site on its own wheels. If there is more than one section, the sections are joined together at the site. The home may or may not have its wheels removed. If the wheels are still on it and it is registered with the state DMV, it is considered personal property, not real estate. If the wheels, the axel and the hitch are removed, and it is no longer registered with DMV, it is considered real property. For financing and re-financing purposes, you should have it placed on a permanent foundation.
A manufactured home can be one way to get more home for less money. They generally cost less and sometimes they have quite a bit of square footage which will accommodate a growing family. Banks and mortgage companies will finance a manufactured home that is real property on a permanent foundation. You may elect to purchase a new one and have the site and foundation prepared for it. Or you may elect to purchase one that someone else has owned and wants to sell, already sitting on land. You may want to consider a pre-owned manufactured home because one of the downsides to purchasing a manufactured home is the difficulty in finding an area that allows them. In addition, you may find the site preparation and utility set-up a bit expensive. Finding an existing one that has been set up may be just what you need. While most homes in our market are appreciating in value, some manufactured homes could decrease in value. You will want to maintain the home and property and even upgrade it to prevent a decrease in value. Bottom line -- a manufactured home may be a less expensive option for you to consider. Your real estate professional can help you locate a manufactured home if this is the route you elect to take, or can help you locate land on which to place one.
A modular home is a second option. They are built in sections in a factory indoors and are not subject to weather conditions that builders face with site-built homes. They can be built in as little as two weeks. The sections are transported to the site on truck beds. They are put together by a builder at the site and that may take another 2-4 weeks. So, your home may be ready much sooner than waiting for a contractor to build on your site. These homes are carefully inspected at the factory and are subject to building codes for the area in which they will be located. You can meet with a designer and select your floor plans and finishes, but beware -- some of these modifications may end up costing you more in the long run. One of the advantages of purchasing a modular home is that you cannot tell it is modular – it looks stick-built. For that reason, it may be a bit easier to find a lot in a neighborhood you like on which to build the home. You will want to ask a real estate professional to help you locate a site that is appropriate. Banks, mortgage companies, and insurance companies will finance and insure modular homes, but you will want to talk with them prior to making the decision to purchase one. Again, as with a manufactured home, you will need to own/buy the land and prepare the site, including a raised or a slab foundation. Keep that in mind as a cost.
Finally, a stick-built home – one that is completely built on-site is an option for you. Choose a lot that is appropriate for your new home, select a prepared home plan, and meet with a contractor. Your real estate professional can help you with the land selection, work with you to get a contractor, and help you navigate the building and lender process. Or your broker can show you some new construction “spec” homes that are already in progress. While having a new home built or purchasing new construction can be a more expensive route, you could begin with a smaller home that has expandable space like an unfinished upstairs. As your family grows and your budget allows, you can finish that expandable space. In the meantime, it is great storage space.
If you are looking for a new home – manufactured home, modular home, new construction, or existing home and want to talk about getting the most home for your budget, please call me.
Belinda Faulkner, Broker
Moorefield Real Estate