How to Increase the Longevity of Your Manufactured Home

Many people try to predict the lifespan of a manufactured home. While some estimates can be accurate, it’s good to consider them through a wide lens. Some claim a manufactured home has a lifespan of 30 – 55 years. While this can be true, there are many factors to evaluate: Is it a pre-1976 mobile home? When was it built? What materials were used? Has it been kept up? Where is it located? Is it exposed to harsh weather? The list goes on. So while 30-55 years could be an average for many  homes, it’s not fair to generalize about the lifespan of any particular manufactured home without evaluating many other factors.

It is better to focus on ways to increase the longevity of your home instead of accepting a timeline that may not even be accurate. Let’s look at how to best care for your home.

Keep it dry! Water can damage all homes. Manufactured homes are no different. Water damage that is left untreated can deteriorate your home over time and significantly shorten its lifespan. Be careful of ceilings and floors. Covering ceilings with paint is not a fix. Don’t ignore dampness. Deal with it as quickly as possible. We’ll help you reduce moisture in your home!

It’s vital to ensure that your home is placed and installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Be sure to use a licensed manufactured home installer and other trusted professionals.  These professionals take the soil conditions into consideration, along with drainage, and just being sure that your home is properly prepped and installed. Knowing if your home is being installed properly can be hard when you’re not aware of the process yourself. Be sure to ask questions. Making sure your home is placed and installed properly can add years to its life.

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Level and smoothed footers help create an even pier and beam system.

Over time your home can settle. This settling often results in your home becoming uneven. Re-leveling your home can be done by a professional. Traditionally, if you have a pier and beam system – they measure the height of the beams and raise the home to the level that it needs to be at. This correction may prevent cracks in the walls and other structural damage  which could shorten the lifespan of your manufactured home.

Be timely with your maintenance. That’s right! Schedule it, write down when each task is completed, and keep up with them. A manufactured home benefits so much from being maintained at the right time. If you notice something out of the ordinary, address it as soon as possible.

Manufactured home roofs are important to protect. Some types of roofing need to be coated yearly. While other types may need to be inspected periodically for problem areas. It’s important to know the kind of roof you have and care for it accordingly. Read here for more about repairing your manufactured roof.

Find More Maintenance Inspiration!

We hope that you’re able to utilize these tips and potentially add years to the life of your manufactured home! Remember, you can positively impact the longevity of your home!

Protecting Your Manufactured Home Roof

Protecting the roof on your home can significantly impact its longevity. There are various types of roofing styles and materials for manufactured homes. It’s best to know what you’re dealing with, so you can best work on your roof.

Most common types of roofing

  • Flat
  • Pitched

Flat roofs are found  more in older homes, whereas pitched roofs have become more popular due to draining advantages and the ability to hold a higher roof load. Both types are built on support systems called trusses.

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Trusses in a manufactured home roof. 

 

Most common roofing materials

  • Steel/Metal
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Composite
  • Rubber/plastic (TPO)

These types are according to a homeowner inspiration site, read more about their definitions of these materials here.1

Each roof type and material will require unique maintenance. The most common advice with yearly maintenance, depending on the type of roof you have, is to apply a roof coating. An article from a mobile home site,2 recommends using some type of “elastomeric resin.” Applied properly, this should protect the roof from water as well as provide reflecting protection. Choosing a white coating can also increase the effectiveness of the roof coating. This helps your roof reflect heat and avoid the bubbling which may occur with TPO-sealed roofs. This is most commonly used in the south where heat can be especially damaging. It’s important to remember to pressure wash and clean the roof before applying the TPO resin as it will stick to the dirt and not be as effective, also according to the article.2 Caution should always be taken when working or accessing a roof.  Safety first!  Also, when in doubt, consult a professional to determine how best to maintain your roof and whether you can perform the work yourself.

Sometimes it’s not the most helpful option to just coat the roof yearly. Some manufactured homes would respond better to a new roof being placed on top of the existing roof. Read about the most common types of trusses and when they are used from a leading mobile home site.3 Some trusses are not designed to be roofed over. For homes that can hold some weight, a roof over  can be a repair option. However, the roof of a manufactured home has weight and support limitations which can make repair challenging.  Check with an expert before starting a roof over if you are unsure whether your roof can withstand the extra weight.

We hope these tips help you care for your roof, and understand better how your roof is built and what it’s made of, too. Remember to consult a professional unless this is your specialty.

Keep Up With Your Home!

References

  1. Hunker. 26 April 2019. Types of Roofing for Mobile Homes. https://www.hunker.com/13417859/types-of-roofing-for-mobile-homes
  2. Mobile Home Friend. 3 March 2019. Do Mobile Home Roof Coatings Really Work? https://mobilehomefriend.com/do-mobile-home-roof-coatings-really-work/
  3. Mobile Home Living. 20 Feb 2018. The Best Self-Supported Mobile Home Roof Over Designs. https://mobilehomeliving.org/best-self-supported-mobile-home-roof-over-designs/

First Steps to Selling Your Manufactured Home

Perhaps you’re ready for something different, another location, or just another manufactured home. Prepping your home might feel overwhelming. It certainly can be! Yet, we want you to go through the process with as much ease as possible. Time to prep your home!

If it’s time to sell your mobile home, you might be wondering where to begin. You’ll begin at the same place any homebuyer does – making your place look clean and fresh. You want the buyer to be able to imagine themselves there so avoiding bold style choices, colors/patterns, and lots of personal touches will allow them to dream up their own ideas.

A quick way to make your manufactured home more appealing is to pressure wash or clean the siding. Dirty siding makes a home look quite aged. Check out this easy how to on how to clean your siding!

Do light repairs. If you have been saving and can do some more moderate fixes, by all means go ahead. If you’re a little more strapped, try fixing easy things that don’t cost much or that you can perform the labor on. This leaves the buyer with a better visual, and they see you did work to maintain your home. Check out these quick and easy upgrades!

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Being sure your home is ready for a new owner is very important when prepping to sell.

Be sure to understand how your home will be listed. Is it a land and home or are you selling a home only? A home only is also sometimes called “chattel” (this is just an industry term for a manufactured home that is not affixed to land and the title has not been converted to real property). There are also ways to sell a home in a park/community.  Check your community’s rules and your pad rental agreement for information on how to sell your home if it is located in a manufactured home park.   Manufactured homes have to be affixed to land and have the title converted to  real property to be sold as land and home. If not, you are selling the home only. Not sure if your home is real property? Check out this informative article.

Begin considering how you will list the home. Will you have a real estate agent, list yourself, or auction the home? Research and call around to agents to see what commission they charge and decide if it’s  work you think you can do yourself. Ask yourself if you have time to commit to showing your home, covering the usual processes, and getting documents signed. If you decide against listing it yourself, be sure to find a real estate agent who specializes in manufactured housing.

Consider how you will price your home. This is best done by considering the homes around you. How much are they selling for? What condition is your home in? Many who sell by owner obtain an appraisal to determine how to price their home and obtain or pay for a buyer’s inspection to help the buyer feel confident in their purchase. These may not be necessary, but they can help you accurately price your home and secure a buyer. Learn more about how they work.

Don’t forget curb appeal! Landscaping and the area around your home are extremely important. Clean up clutter, keep your grass cut, plant some shrubs – make the place lovely! People do judge the book by the cover – give them a good cover!

We hope this helps you prepare your home for a quick and easy sale! Learn more in depth about the manufactured home sales process!

Selling Without An Agent?

 

How to Plan for the Expense of a Home/Yard Project

You know those home improvement shows where the person gets their home totally renovated for free? That’s the dream, right? For the rest of us though, we need a practical alternative. Say you want to add a fire pit to your backyard, update your kitchen cabinets, or install new doors throughout your entire home. All of these are great ideas and can add some serious flair to your home for years to come. Yet, most of us  simply cannot afford to do these things without putting together a financial plan to pay for the improvements.

Planning for the expense of a home improvement project is a little different even if you are already budgeting for expenses.  So, how can you plan to pay for an improvement sooner instead of  later? Time to jump in!

Set the budget. Do your research to get a good estimate on the cost of materials, labor, and future maintenance. If you  want to cut some cost and you have the ability and knowledge about how to complete the project,  save the cost of labor and do it yourself. Search the internet and talk to people at your local home improvement store to find out more about your project and decide if it is something that you should tackle yourself, or if you need to hire a professional.

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Schedule your savings!

Save 10 percent more than your budget number. There are always unexpected additional project expenses. Plan for it and your plan can go off without a hitch.

Skim off the top. Ideally, with every paycheck you can set aside an amount that you are comfortable with that will be used for your project. This requires you to know how much of your paycheck you need for everyday expenses and  bills. So if you don’t budget, wait until all of your expenses and bills are paid and then transfer part of what is left over from your paycheck to savings.

Cut or reduce unnecessary expenses for a few months. Whether it’s coffee, classes, or some other non-necessity – stop paying for it for a bit and put the money you saved toward your project budget.

Thrift/scrap/used parts. Look at discount stores for parts you need for your project that may cost less than at other stores. Keep your eyes on local garage sales and and scrap yards for pieces you can use. You may also already have something you could re-purpose to fit the task as well. Think creatively and you can cut some of your cost.

If you are receiving a tax refund, use part or all of it toward your project. This is always helpful.

Ask for it. Is your birthday soon? Mother’s day? Father’s day? You get the point. Ask for part of your project budget as a gift if people ask you what you’d like. Revamping your kitchen? Ask for a bit of back splash.  Materials adds up when gifted or donated in smaller quantities and as a bonus friends or family know they are giving you something you’ll both use and enjoy.

We hope these ideas help you make your next project happen! Depending on how much your project will cost and how quickly you can save,  we suggest planning on saving for at least 6 months to a year for your project.  This may not always be enough time to save, but it should be enough time if you utilize as many  of our saving strategies as possible.

Help Me Start A Fire Pit!

 

8 Must-Have Yard Tools for the New Mobile Homeowner

New homeowners need a lot of items to keep up with home maintenance and to save on things they can labor themselves. The upfront cost can be a lot on a new buyer. Consider saving up for each item and purchasing as you have funds and as it’s needed. As warmer weather is coming, we think about our yards and the help they need to stay kept. Let’s look at some items that will help you conquer your yard!

Check Your Yard Before You Start!

  1. Garden hose. This is a must for cleaning driveways, watering plants/landscaping, and with the proper attachments – cleaning your vinyl siding. Plus, it’s great, cheap fun for those long summer days at home for the kiddos!
  2. Rain garden/ long drain spouts. It’s quite important to be sure your yard drains well. Especially if your mobile home is not on a permanent foundation. If you notice pooling in your yard or slushy spots after rain consider redistribution ideas. Rain gardens use rocks and or absorbent plants to keep your yard healthy. Long drain spouts carry water farther from your home and foundation to keep puddles at a minimum.
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Make your yard the place for the weekend! 
  1. Lawn mower. This one is obvious. It’s so much cheaper in the long run to mow your own yard than to pay someone.
  2. Hedge shears. These handy little gadgets are good for all the in-between work. Keep your landscaping under control and deal with little issues in a snap! Operate carefully and use safety precautions.
  3. Rake. Whether your yard is covered in leaves or sticks you really can’t clear your yard without a rake. Leaving all that debris in your yard is bad for it, too.
  4. Solar powered path lights. These are a lifesaver, especially if you live in a rural setting. From getting home, to spending time outside, to friends visiting. These lights can guide your cars safely to your home.
  5. Skirting guard. If you’re weed eating or moving near your skirting, you need a skirting guard to protect your siding from holes and dings. Torn skirting is bad news for your home as critters and cold/warm air has direct access to piping.
  6. Weed eater. These are great for those annoying, hard to reach areas, edging, and carefully maneuvering around landscaping. Please follow all safety instructions and familiarize yourself with the machine.

As you spend more time in your home you’ll realize other items you need. You may also start to do gardening which will require some extras. Please be sure to use all tools with care, learn how to use them, ask a trusted individual to help with tools you’ve never used. Safety first!

8 Tips to Create and Keep a Tidy Home

Sometimes it’s easy to see organization as the preference of the type A, or the perfectionist, just wanting everything to have a place. But organization is so much more. Organization is a time saver, a structure that allows our minds to feel less cluttered and allow more than one person to easily navigate and clean a room. Creating and starting a plan is the hardest, most time-consuming part, yet it yields great reward.

Let’s talk ideas!

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When everything is organized, everything is easily found.
  1. The weekly check. The best organization is maintained often. By checking in weekly and realigning everything you save yourself from having to take a huge amount of time and start your system all over. Doing a little over time is a far better use of your time.
  2. Use height. This one is rather popular these days. If you lack good storage, install shelves, hooks over doors, or try bookcases. These keep clutter off your floor and they create a great look.
  3. Sometimes seeing things fit in a bin is just calming to the mind. I honestly don’t think it makes much of a difference, but it’s quite helpful to visual folks. So, if that’s you – dive in and try it!
  4. The transition bin/table. Organization often gets undermined at a specific point – when new things enter the home. Having a table for transitioning items is so helpful. It helps you see if you have enough space, allows you to clear out old items to make space for the new, and it helps you properly introduce it into the perfect place.
  5. Communicate your method and use signage. The best organization is shared. If you know where it goes but no one else does, that’s not as efficient as it could be. Communicating with your family and showing them all the organization stations and how they function before using them is so helpful. You can help kiddos succeed by using signs on your bins or color systems, so they can help and keep their own space organized as well.
  6. Have a laundry day. I must be joking, right? No, this is so helpful. It’s hard sometimes to have enough time to set aside to do all the household laundry but it really impacts your organization. Also, make it a point to put everything away the same day if possible. Enlist some help and you’ll notice a big difference in your organization.
  7. Have a mail station. Having a place to sort your mail keeps you paying bills on time and saves you from papers piling up. It also keeps everything in one place instead of having it strewn about everywhere.
  8. Have a monthly donation sweep. Clearing out is so beneficial for your organization. Plus it frees up space!

More Organizing Tips!

A Helpful Guide to Mobile Homeowner Responsibilities

Buying a home is a great privilege. Quite often the joys of homeownership are expressed, and while these should not be undermined, they should not overshadow the responsibilities that follow. Owning a home is work. Anything we invest in requires attention and maintenance. Sometimes this transition from renting to ownership can cause a shock. We want to alleviate that shock.

Let’s look at some of the items that a homeowner will be responsible for.

Interior Maintenance:

  • Change air filters
  • Cleaning: floors, bathrooms, surfaces, deep clean appliances
  • Change light bulbs

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    Your manufactured home benefits greatly from timely air filter changes. 

Interior maintenance as a homeowner is not much different from renting but the importance of it is stressed. When renting you may not care about deep cleaning, or sweeping weekly because it’s not your home, not your investment. However, when the home is yours and your inheriting the mess – these items matter a lot more. Stay up on these and they are quite simple.

Lawn Care:

Lawn care is usually a big shift for new homeowners. Where you may have someone who did the work regularly that your landlord paid or you just did work when it got bad – now you have to take care of your yard. It’s also important to make sure your yard is safe and usable for guests, kids, and pets.

Exterior Maintenance:

Maintaining your exterior can really give you great curb appeal. Pressure washing your siding makes it look brand new, and skirting without holes looks super sleek. Since mobile homes are often times not on a permanent foundation a sump pump is highly advised to reduce or prevent flooding. It’s also advisable to coat your mobile home roof.

Confronting Issues:

  • Be sure you have insurance!
  • Fixing plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Flooding
  • Maintaining/ creating driveway

One of the hard things about owning is you can’t leave it there for the landlord to fix. You have to fix and it’s usually in your best interest to do it quickly. This can sometimes be a financial hardship, that’s why we stress saving past a down payment, because the habit will help you as homeowner. Most of these issues are not do it on your own unless you are versed in the issue professionally. Otherwise, expect to find a repair person to diagnose and fix the issue, plus someone will need to be home while the work is being done usually.

Maintain your home in every season:

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

How to Have a Low-Stress, Organized Yard Sale

Whether you’re moving, trying to downsize, or just want less stuff – a yard sale is a great way to get rid of items without so much hassle. Yard sales are a perfect solution if you need some cash in a pinch or can only make so many donations. It’s important though to be organized, throwing together a yard sale can create a lot of stress and keep you from selling what you need to.

Let’s look at some strategies and ideas that will help your yard sale be both organized and efficient.

Before you start gathering items, set a date and time. Be sure to see if you need a permit to have a sale and take care of that if needed. That way you know what you’re shooting for and you can begin advertising.

Secondly, start advertising. Use social media, local papers, fliers in your neighborhood/church/work, and use word of mouth by telling all your friends. A lot of these items are quite cheap or free. Don’t spend too much money on advertising, just use smart outlets. Unless you live in a perfect, busy spot – advertising is the most important thing to helping you to achieve a great sale.

Next, filter through your items and organize by category if you haven’t already. You decide the category: room of the house, cost, use, whatever works best for your mind. Think about how you will display these categories and what tables and other items you’ll need to set up.

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Going through closets is a good way to find the perfect items for your yard sale!

Then you can price items. Pricing to sell is your best bet, but don’t feel like you must give things away per say. Especially, on items you spent a lot on and that are in pristine condition. Usually, buyers will pay more for furniture, but everything else you should expect buyers to haggle with quite a bit. Label things well! Color coding pricing is super-efficient, and you don’t have to write prices a million times. Think all $5-dollar items have pink tags, etc.

Lastly, prepare the area. Placement and organization of your items allows shoppers to see them and imagine using them. Tables, bookshelves, and ladders are great ways to display your items. If you can hang clothes up somehow that also is a lot better than a pile that everyone will undo by looking through.

Another nice touch is to have water or cookies/snacks for shoppers. Especially if it’s a hot day! A comfortable shopper lingers, and lingering shoppers buy more! You could sell can sodas for 50 cents and make a little more, too! Just make sure you have water or something for free.

We hope these items help you have a great sale!

More In-depth Tips Here!

How Well do Manufactured Homes Stand Up to Storms?

Storm season is on it’s way and you might be wondering, ‘how will a mobile home hold up’? It’s a common question, and not one that can be answered out right as there are a variety of storms and many types of manufactured homes. However, we can take a moment to look at preventative measures you can take as a homeowner and how mobile homes have been built to withstand storms.

Manufactured homes are built with the elements in mind

To begin, we need to look at the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which was implemented in 1976, and how it impacted how these homes are built. Mobile homes are built to comply with certain wind zones, thermal zones, and roof load requirements. These are all standards that help homes withstand certain forces. Wind zone requirements help your mobile home withstand hurricane force winds and are based on the location of the home. Thermal zones have to do with heat leakage in the home, and roof loads are based on how many pounds of snow a roof can withstand per square foot.  Roof load requirements also determine the build of the roof such as flat or pitched, etc.

Manufactured homes and their ability to withstand the elements

The Manufactured Housing Institute has provided information regarding the ability of manufactured homes to perform as well as site-built homes when it comes to storms and harsh weather.  According to the information, this attribution is said to be connected to the fact that manufactured homes in wind zones 2 and 3 are built to withstand the equivalent building code requirements as site-built homes.

Preventing damage to your mobile home

There are a couple ways you can actually prepare your mobile home for severe weather. One is ensuring your home has the appropriate tie-downs and anchors. Then you’ll need to be sure they are installed correctly and fix any that are broken or not properly placed. It’s also advised to have storm shutters, or heavy-duty shutters to protect your home. Another good way to prepare for storms is to make sure than any structures that are attached to the home are improperly installed as carports and patio roofs are likely to be the cause of home damage in high winds.  If you live in a place prone to tornadoes you could also consider building an underground shelter. Don’t forget to be sure your home is protected by your mobile home insurance. Most plans don’t include flood coverage – this is quite important if you live in a moderate storm area.

Storms cannot always be predicted and the level of threat from a storm is not always understood or appreciated. We aren’t meteorologists, so we would never advise you to remain in your home during a life-threatening storm.  We are saying, however, that you may come back to your home after a storm and find that your home survived much better than you thought it would. Manufactured homes may surprise you in their ability to withstand storm damage until you know that they are built with the elements in mind.

Learn More About Mobile Homes!