Can You Build Equity With a Manufactured Home?

That’s a loaded question. Let’s start with 3 items and loosely define them for clarity.

Manufactured Home – Manufactured homes are homes built after 1976 in compliance with the HUD Code. Built in an indoor climate-controlled home building facility, then transported in one or multiple sections. It is built on a permanent chassis that allows the home to be placed and supported on a foundation system.

Mobile Home – Often used interchangeably with manufactured homes, these two types of homes are actually a little different. Mobile home refers to a prefabricated home built prior to 1976 before the HUD Code was put into place.

Equity – The amount that the value of your home (what you could sell it for) exceeds the amount you owe on your home. Equity comes from by either paying down the amount you owe or the value of your home increasing or a combination of both. (Ex: If home value is $80,000, and you owe $30,000, your home has $50,000 of equity.)

People often assume that manufactured homes don’t appreciate. However, this isn’t always true. While homes that are titled as personal property usually do not appreciate, those that are attached to land may, depending on the circumstances. It’s also important to note that the value of your home is not the only factor that determines whether you build equity. Let’s dig in.

So, is there equity with a manufactured home?

There can be if it’s attached to land that has kept or increased its value and the home is maintained well. Remember equity is not guarantee. Keeping up with the interior and curb appeal of your home can aid in this, but if property values fluctuate, so will home equity.

What are some of the specific situations in which a mobile home may gain equity?

  • If it’s attached to land and titled as real property, and the land value increases
  • If it’s attached to land and titled as real property and the land value stays the same, but you pay down the mortgage principal balance

What’s the value of equity?

Most homeowners don’t actually benefit from equity until they sell their home. Equity can be used to buy your new home, maybe to help with a hefty down payment. In certain situations, it can be borrowed against to fund different things in life that pop up.

Where can I learn more?

We love that question, every time.

Learn More Here!

7 Easy Ways to Protect Your Mobile Home During the Holidays

It’s a true, but unfortunate thing – the brightness of the holidays can also mean elevated theft in many areas across the country. With people leaving their homes to see loved ones and new items entering the home it opens up opportunity for theft.  The good news is you can do a few things without spending any more money to make your home less of a target. Nothing is guaranteed, but why not do your best to protect the place you call home? Below are some smart ways to keep your home looking lived in and help keep burglars away.

  1. If you’re an online shopper you want to be sure your packages are delivered to you and not to someone walking by. Have mail delivery place packages on a closed in porch, at a back door, or somewhere more concealed than your front stoop if possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a stuffed snowman in the box, thieves will just grab the package and find out what’s in it later.
  2. Keep trash and recycling concealed. If you just got a flat screen, don’t put the box by the road. Empty boxes let people know what you’ve got or that you’re moving in. Break down boxes and throw them in the recycling or trash bin.
  3. Leave some lights on or the tv when you’re gone during the day or evening. With apps or timers, this can be automatic. Leaving an interior overhead light on and outdoor lights on is a good way to ward off burglars. Having your tv on is also a good theft deterrent because potential burglars will assume you’re home and that may thwart them from breaking in.
  4. Keep windows locked. This seems easy, but you’d be amazed how many windows you “thought you had locked” but didn’t. Burglars don’t want to leave a mess or a trace – they’ll always look for the simplest way in. If it’s hard to enter your home, it may scare off thieves.
  5. Maintain your yard/exterior. Nothing tells an outsider you’re out of town or inattentive like a yard left in a mess. Keep up with seasonal maintenance and don’t leave broken items to rot. Give your home some love and attention.
  6. Don’t share your travel plans on social, or wait till you get back home to share. Sharing that you’re on vacation on social media is an easy way for someone to plan to steal from your home. They don’t have to be your friend or follow you either – the internet is an open place. Think before you post.
  7. Befriend your neighbors. A good neighbor will watch out for your home and you can return the favor.  Neighbors can be great people to help get your mail or turn lights on and off at your home while you’re gone. It may be smart to start a neighborhood watch or participate in it.

Don’t just protect your home, protect your finances, too! We’ll help you get started!

 

Protect Your Finances!

 

Easily Replace Screens on Your Mobile Home Windows

There’s really no need to have to buy new screened in windows or live without a breeze during the warmer months. Fixing the screen on a window frame is quite easy and inexpensive. You can take an afternoon and fix all the windows on your mobile home! Let’s look at how easy the process is!

You’ll first want to decide what material you want your screen to made of. There are tons of different types of screen roll you can purchase, the most common material for mobile home windows is fiberglass. Be sure to measure the frame to get the roll that will fit the area, over compensate if it’s close, as you can always cut excess.

To begin you’ll want to remove the frames that need repairing and clean off a flat surface to work on. This will help you add the right amount of tension and have the space you need for the project.

The most common mobile home window sizes are 30” by 60”, 36” by 60”, and 36” by 54”. Sizing will depend on the year of your mobile home and the manufacturer. You’ll want to measure to be sure. Using a flexible tape measure may be easiest.

First, you need to remove the spline (the black rubber tubing) this holds the screen in place. You may need to use a tool to remove the spline, a flat-edged screw driver will do the trick. Just be careful as you may have to dig a little to get the spline out. Don’t use a knife or anything sharp. As you do this, you’ll also be removing the damaged screen.

Next, you can roll out your screen over the frame and cut it to fit the frame. You want to overlap the frame by about a half inch. If you cut it too short there’s no good way to fix it. But you’ll need extra so you can fit it into the grove and add the new spline.

It can be helpful to place something on the screen to add tension. This may also make it easier to place the spline correctly. You don’t want your screen to be loose.

With the help of a thin roller or a rolling tool without a sharp edge you can easily roll the spline into the cracks, sealing the new screen to the window. You can trim the edge after it is locked into the window frame. Using something like a utility knife is probably the best bet. Again, exercise caution!

There are plenty of other tips and ways to do this well! You can also easily preform the same for a screen door. If you’re looking to make your own screened door, you can purchase or make the frame and cover the holes with your screen roll.

Keep the holidays bright by keeping up with your home! Give your mobile home the gift of an upgrade!

Get Upgrade Ideas!

References

  1. Clayton Home Blog. 27 November 2018. Whether Manufactured Home Exterior Door and Window Sizes are Different. https://blog.claytonhomes.com/are-manufactured-home-exterior-doors-and-windows-different-sizes.
  2. Family Handyman. 27 November 2018. Screen Repair: How to Fix a Window Screen. https://www.familyhandyman.com/windows/window-repair/how-to-fix-a-window-screen/view-all/.

Protecting the Outside of Your Mobile Home from Cold Temperatures

Snow and cold weather can really take it out on your home. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the outside of your home needs attention, too! If you live farther out this is important because the city may not sweep or clear out your area. Once snow hardens it’s quite tough to remove, so removing snow as soon as it falls is your best bet. Doing some preliminary things to help the exterior of your home will make for a cheery winter!

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Freezing can be detrimental to the exterior of your  home if left untreated.

Try these things before and after snow as needed –

  • To start clean out your gutters! Leaves and other debris can make an area for pooling water. They also can freeze and crack your gutters.
  • Place doormats outside of doors or at the beginning of stairways. Use mats with industrial tops, such as rubber or thick straw.
  • Turn off outside water sources. There are also covers made for them which can be helpful, too.
  • Be sure to pour out water in bird baths or any pooling water. Water can freeze and break feeders or areas near where people are walking can freeze.
  • If you’re worried about slipping on stairs or leaving your home, you may want use rock salt or sand on your walkway, especially for the elderly. This can save you from having to shovel your driveway as well.
  • In the winter it can get dark as early as 4 p.m., so add outdoor lighting to help light the way and prevent falls. This can also help with seeing slippery spots as you approach your home.
  • Once a snow falls, clear off your dyer vent as it can cause a fire if blocked while dryer is running.
  • Check your siding for cracks as well as windows. Seal these up to help keep your home warm and energy efficient.
  • If snow falls and covers your driveway or walkway, try shoveling the snow, only shovel fresh snow, and pay attention to how you feel. Do not shovel if you feel short of breath or dizzy, it’s also not wise for the elderly or sick to do this as it is a demanding cardio workout.
  • Lastly, but not when it comes to importance, consult a professional about clearing the roof. You may only need to do this if the roof is damaged or if the snow falls for many days without melting.

Keep Your Home Warm!

Reference: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-protect-your-home-from-freezing-temperatures-1388721 

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Some of the most sentimental and meaningful items I have are gifts that friends have made for me over the years. Sure, fancy gifts are fun sometimes, but homemade gifts endure through time. It’s also nice to be able to pick one idea and make it in bulk for a lot of people. It also is a good way for you to stay in budget! Make something your family can join in on and enjoy less stress, and less useless spending this holiday. Below are ideas you’ll be sure to enjoy giving!

Make a holiday blend! Place a small blend of each of the below in small glass jars, baggies, or decorative wrap. Then you can boil it with some water on your stove top for a great smell all day! Water will evaporate so keep adding water. There are also other options, such as wax warmers, that can fill your house with holiday smells too!

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  • orange slice
  • cinnamon sticks
  • cloves
  • bay leaves
  • cranberries
  • lemon slice

Make a round of candles! Who doesn’t love getting a candle? Especially, one you make. We recommend using soy wax that can be melted down. Soy takes the longest to burn of most common candle ingredients. All you need are few ingredients!

  • soy wax
  • container for candle
  • wicks
  • something to melt the wax in (microwave)
  • candle scent/natural oil

Make a keychain! Everyone needs their keys, why not add some personality to them! You know your friends. Make a keychain in the theme they’d like. Getting creative is easy! Choose your style are get started with these great ideas!

Make magnets! All you need is some magnet tape or rounds, your favorite cut out items, and clear overlay stickers. You can also use bottle lids, stickers, or anything you think of really!

Make a set of coasters. Grab some thick cork and cut into whatever shape you want and seal it with mod podge for an easy seal. If your good at sewing you can make your own pattern, or you might even use felt and cut out fun patterns and layer it to reinforce it.

Wrap That Gift in Style!

How a Sump Pump Works

Water is bad news for any home, and mobile homes are no exception – especially with the fact that many aren’t placed on basements or permanent foundations. This means water can reach your home that much more easily. A common solution to avoid water damage or flooding in your home is a sump pump. A sump pump is a typically self-automated water drainage system that displaces water underneath your home to another area that (hopefully) can handle the water better.

Sump pumps have two main parts: the pit and the pump itself. The pit is the large basin/can that is placed into the ground under a home, crawlspace, or in the floor of a basement. The pit collects water, and once it fills up to a certain point, it tips part of the pump and then it pushes the water out through a small pipe system to whatever draining area is connected. The pump is usually submerged in water and a part of it floats when in contact with rising water. The way a sump pump drains is commonly compared to a toilet, in that once the tank fills up with water, it gets pushed out and the water level goes back down. The pipe system only flows the water one way – otherwise flooding could increase.

Most pumps are electric, however there are some manual options.

You’ll want to maintain your sump pump. Build up can happen, so you’ll want to turn off the pump and take out rocks or debris that gets stuck in the pit. Be sure that the pump is actually pumping water and not just sitting there. Pouring water in and watching the process happen is the best way to check.

If your pump constantly runs, you might want to change the switch, as this does not need to happen and is not energy efficient. Making sure the electrical is in proper working order is important, too. It’s a good habit to check your sump pump annually.

If you need to install a sump pump, it’s pretty doable with a little bit of know-how. You also can get a professional to do it as well if that eases your stress. These are wonderful tools to keep your underbelly from flooding or the water from reaching the floor of your home.

Start Protecting Your Home Today!

Oakbur Quill Co.

7 Ways to Open Up Your Home around Thanksgiving Time

Hospitality goes a long way. You might think it’s an art lost on your parent’s generation, but it’s not. It always seems a little sweeter around the holidays as well. Sometimes it feels hard to reach out, and we don’t know where to start. We often make it harder than it really is. It starts at home, open your doors and see how easy it is to offer support and care to someone.

We’re going to check out some ways that we can offer the most by simply opening a door.

  1. Invite someone over for Thanksgiving without close family or friends. Give someone, or a family a place to go on this holiday. Being alone during this time can be quite disheartening. Preparing a huge meal can be financially undertaking for some as well, offer someone the chance to be a guest and to not have to  worry about it.
  2. Host a craft party. Get supplies and invite friends over to make some homemade Christmas gifts. They can check something off their list and you can have a great time. We recommend holiday drink mixes!
  3. Give someone a venue. Know someone that wants to have a party or celebration but doesn’t have the space of the area their looking for? Offer you home for the space. This may alleviate their planning as well!
  4. Teach what you know. Do you have a special skill? Ever think of teaching it to people? A fun little workshop may be a great way to make new friends and share one of your gifts with others so they can learn, too!
  5. Bake cookies for your neighbors. It’s timeless for a reason! Go for it!
  6. Have a monthly movie night. It takes little planning and is free but everyone loves a good movie. You can have a different person bring their favorite movie and change it to someone new each week.
  7. Have a thank you note party. Have everyone bring some of their favorite cards or you can make some, too. Take some time to write and listen to music. We often forget to express our thanks – now is a great time!

Have some ideas or traditions of your own? Drop them to us at mediacontent@vmf.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Upgrades for Your Mobile Home that May Improve Value

There are some relatively easy upgrades you can add to your home for little cost. One of the great things about mobile homes is that there is so much you can do with them, and often a little research and how-to knowledge is all you need to achieve the look or project you desire. Fall may also be the perfect time to start or plan the project for your home.

Let’s check out some ideas!

Insulation is a great upgrade for your mobile home. It not only will regulate your temperatures, but it may also possibly lower your bills. There are plenty of options that won’t even inconvenience you while it’s being added!

Painting the walls in your mobile home can add the personal touch you’ve been wanting. Most mobile homes have vinyl-on-gypsum wall panels, which means the walls are coated and will probably need some sanding or a paint with primer to stick properly. Get all the details about painting your mobile home walls.

Another good idea to spruce up your home is to work on your kitchen cabinets. From knobs to paint color, all it takes is a little embellishment. Get started on painting your cabinets with a kit today!

You can work on making your home more energy efficient. This may mean a smart thermostat that fluctuates throughout the day, new windows, sealing your roof, etc. These upgrades usually help regulate the temperature within your home as well. Don’t stop there, there are tons of easy ways to save energy in your home without spending money. Get energy saving tips!

Landscaping can add tons of charm to your home. You can choose a color scheme or just unique plants, the choice is yours! Not only will landscaping look great, but it can absorb water and keep your home dry, too! Try some of our landscaping ideas to improve drainage!

There are many more updates out there, including upgrades you can look into that won’t cost much for your home. It’s really about knowing your home and yourself enough to know what you’d benefit from as well as what you’re willing to keep up with!

Tips for the New Dog Owner

Whether you’re a homeowner, or hope to be – owning a pet too can be a big undertaking. However, we’ve got some tips that will help you through the process. The best advice I can give you as first-time homeowner and new pet owner is to give it time. It’s easy to give up after a few weeks, but your new pet probably isn’t yet acclimated to you and your home at that point. It takes time for acclimation, training, mistakes, and discipline to all set in.

Whether you’ve got a puppy or a new friend from the pound, these tips will get you started on understanding how to best care for your pet and home.

Plan/ schedule before your dog arrives:

  • More than likely your dog is already fixed, but if not and you don’t plan to breed, go ahead and get it taken care of. Puppies bounce back quickly and it usually gives them a better temperament as they grow.
  • Find your vet. If your dog came from a shelter, likely they received heartworm testing and treatment if needed. However, you’ll want to get any shots they need as well as treatment for fleas/ticks and any other medical issues that need attention.
  • Get food and supplies. Try to find out from the previous caretaker what the pup was eating, toys they like, or what positive reinforcement they respond to. Think of the basics like bed, leash, harness, treats, etc.

First days + weeks:

  • Does your new furry friend need to be crate trained? If so, start them out day one. You don’t want a huge crate because that will give them more room to go to the bathroom in the crate. Put a cushion in it and some toys to keep them busy.
  • If you have more than one pet or your dog is from a shelter, it may be a good practice to feed them alone in a separate room. This ensures they eat only their own food and that they are less likely to get aggressive about their food.
  • Try a dog wash station/ kiddie pool. Some pet stores have a wash station made for dog baths. These will serve you much better than your home – especially for big dogs. You can also buy an inexpensive kiddie pool to wash your dog in. This will save you from the mess!
  • Follow a schedule. Your new pet needs to know what to expect from you. Strays or animals that weren’t loved well may not know they’re going to be fed, let out, or given attention. Using a schedule also helps you remember!
  • Give your new friend some exercise! Dogs really need some walking. It helps their aggression, lifespan, and overall attitude. It’s also nice to have company on your walk!
     

Be patient with yourself and with your new dog! It all takes time and training. There’s so much to learn. Good luck!

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