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?

 

A Pain Free Guide to Understanding Escrow

Escrow is the final piece to understanding what makes up a mortgage.

What is Escrow?

Additional funds collected by your lender with your mortgage payment that is set aside to pay your property taxes, home insurance, and flood insurance if you have it.

Is it required?

Many lenders do require escrow for taxes and home insurance. Ask your lender what your options are on your loan.

Why is it usually required?

It keeps you from having to save separately for large bills. It allows you to not have to worry about due dates, and rest assured that the payments will be made.

How is it calculated?

Usually, your monthly escrow payment is divided by the estimated annual costs for property taxes and insurance by 12. Then, a cushion amount is added to help make sure there will be enough if the bills go up

What are those calculations based on?

  • Closing documents
  • Insurance company
  • Local property tax rates

What is an account analysis?

Sometimes called an escrow review, this is when your lender or mortgage servicer reviews your escrow account yearly. They compare the collected amount to your current bills for taxes and insurance to be sure the monthly payment is correct.

Can it change the cost of my mortgage?

Escrow does not change the amount of your mortgage, but it may change your monthly payment if your property tax or insurance bills go up or down.

What happens to the money?

The money is used to pay the property tax and insurance bills when they are due. If there is too much or not enough money when your mortgage company does the escrow analysis, they will contact you to review your options.

Learn More About Mortgages

How to Get the Most Out of the New Vmfhomes.com

Our site got a serious face-lift and we are excited about it! Mostly, we’re excited for you because finding a great mobile home just got even easier! You’ll be welcomed to our site with a larger redesigned search bar. This is where you’ll probably spend most of your time – sifting through the possibilities. Next, you’ll see some suggestions of local listings you may like. As you travel down the page you’ll find a video explaining who we are and tons of the blog posts that you can read to stay updated.

You can search for homes within 25, 50, 100, or more miles of your desired location. Your search results will take you to a listing page where you’ll find all the details you need about each home. You’ll have an option to be contacted by our helpful sales team about a particular home or you can call us.  As you scroll through searches looking for your dream home – you’ll discover there may be more options than you thought. Creating an account can help you keep track of your searches and the homes you are interested in.

Creating an account is easy and free and it allows you more control over tracking homes you’re interested in. You can provide as little or as much information about yourself as you prefer and you can change your preferences once you’ve signed in.

Create your account:

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This pop-up will appear when you click “My Account” or “Log In”. Next, click the “Create An Account” button.
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This will pop-up then you can fill out this form and register for your account!

The best things about an account…

  1. You can keep track of offers you’ve made. Properties that you have made an offer on will be displayed as well as the status of the offer.
  2. You can keep all your favorites in one place. As you navigate through our listings you can “favorite” homes by clicking the heart on the upper right hand corner.  When you “favorite” a home, it will be added to the list of  all to your favorites for you to come back to and filter through.
  3. You can save your home searches. Looking for a home within a certain area? Trying to stay in a particular school district? Or wanting less of a commute? Name and keep your home  searches on file.

Doesn’t that sound nice? We think so, too! Go ahead start a search now!

Oakbur Quill Co.

6 Unique Ways to Come Up with Your Down Payment

Sure, 20 percent down payments rock, but what average person has that much money they can let go of at one time? I don’t know many, and I certainly wasn’t one when I purchased my first home. You don’t need to feel discouraged if you can’t fork over that much money for a down payment. There are plenty of borrowing options that include paying less up front.

Need help thinking of creative ways to come up with funds for a down payment? Buying a home is stressful and takes more money than most people realize. Let’s get creative and break convention for a moment as we discover some unique ways to purchase that little slice of freedom!

  1. Assistance programs. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, chances are there’s a program that may help you in either coming up with funds or only requiring a certain down payment. Local programs are the best to look into, but there are a couple federal ones you may qualify for as well.
  2. Yard sale. You’re moving from somewhere, right? Purge the old and make some cash in the process! Sell furniture that won’t fit your space, or items you just don’t like or use. Then you’ll have more money and less to move!
  3. Ditch your car note. I’ve never had a car payment, and I don’t plan on it. Swap out that newer car with a hefty monthly payment for something less glamorous or try to buy a cheaper one out right. This is really important because even if you cash in your car, you may still have room to buy a cheaper car and aid your down payment. That extra cash can go toward your mortgage!
  4. Try a side job. Make the most of a hobby or something easy to do on the weekend to make extra money for your home purchase.
  5. Tax refunds. Other than paying off debts, using a tax refund towards a home purchase is a GREAT idea!
  6. Register for it (sorta). If you’re getting married, having a baby, or moving in with someone, or celebrating any life event where family and friends want to contribute, ask them to contribute to your down payment in lieu of buying presents.

That dream home can be a dream come true home! Think ahead, stick to your plan, and consider the long term affects. Play smart and work hard. Owning a home isn’t easy and paying for it takes responsibility, discipline, and prioritizing, but you can do it!

Still planning to buy that home?

Keep Planning!

 

Oakbur Quill Co.

 

What First-time Buyers of Pre-owned Mobile Homes Need to Know

Purchasing anything used can be a frugal and prudent choice. I commend you. In a society that loves the latest and greatest, you’ve stepped off the beaten path and decided to make an investment in an affordable home. But even knowing all that, you’re still nervous, right?

I was you, just months ago – scouring the internet, asking anyone who would listen, and quizzing my lender about terms that made little sense to me. If this is your first homebuying rodeo, you don’t have to take the ride blind. We’re unpacking the things you need to know because, you need to know.

  1. The amount you’re pre-approved for (don’t shop without it). I know what you’re thinking. Shopping is a click away – it can’t hurt to start browsing, right? Wrong, it does hurt to shop without a price guideline. Then you begin your entire homebuying process ruled by emotion and want instead of practicality, efficiency, and affordability. Your pre-approval will give you the max amount you can borrow from a lender you choose to finance your home purchase. Seeking pre-approval may impact credit – it could negatively impact your credit so you do need to plan to avoid multiple pre-approvals which can be seen as risky credit behavior.
  2. You need to save more than you think. Your down payment will take some saving for (if you haven’t already). Think about $3,000 – $10,000 depending on the cost of your mobile home and the loan amount you want. It’s good to keep your credit card payments up to date while you’re home shopping, you can still use it, but making large purchases on credit should be avoided.
  3. The facts about the home’s history. Ask current or previous owners for details about the home or home and land that you are purchasing. If you want to own the place, you want to know what you’re getting. Before you sign a purchase agreement, do things like:
    • Check out the data plate for the pre-owned, manufactured home (located under kitchen sink or master bedroom closet).
    • Ask if the title is clear and check with the county recorder’s office to find out if there are any liens on the property.
    •  Find out if the home site shares a driveway
    • Ask for a copy of the survey
    • Check for any softness in vinyl and carpet flooring/ water damage to ceilings
    • Know the thermal zone, roof load, and wind zone the home was built to as this will determine whether or not it can be moved to your area. Homes are built to specific building requirements to be able to withstand certain climate conditions.
    • Visit the home site at night and during rush hours to understand traffic patterns and after it rains to check for any standing water on the property
    • Ask about foundation and flooding in yard
  4. What kind of home insurance you want. Mobile home insurance is a big deal and there are many forms of coverage. Knowing the area around you is important as well. Is your potential home site in a flood zone or prone to flooding even if not in a flood zone, an earthquake area, or near a place that gets sink holes? Protection against these risks are often not included in common home insurance, so be sure plan to add them to your policy if needed.
  5. The details of your mortgage. Don’t be afraid to ask your lender hard questions. It is their job to articulate your loan details to you. Don’t be intimidated. Finance companies can often charge fees that could be negotiated, or are for services that aren’t needed, but if you don’t know about them you can’t help yourself.
  6. What you’re willing to put into home maintenance. Homes don’t do well when they just sit neglected. Are you willing to improve a fixer upper, are you willing to take care of your yard, or are you willing to do other monthly tasks? Be sure the nature, location and condition of your home fits the amount of work you’re willing to do.
  7. Paperwork and documentation is your new part time job. The entire process of homebuying and borrowing calls for lots of paperwork. You’ll have to send in a lot of documents (tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, etc.) to your lender and real estate agent (if you have one) as well as sign many items. Be prepared and don’t get discouraged. The information you must provide will not always make sense. Ask for further explanation about what you are being asked to provide or sign.

Check into these items and you’re on your way to home ownership. The point is to find a home that will give you the financial freedom to enjoy your new lifestyle not be burdened or surprised by it. Use the tools in your tool belt and always be willing to look into other resources. You can do it!

Get More Homebuying Tips!

Oakbur Quill Co.

Reducing Moisture in Your Mobile Home

Moisture can be an issue in any home. It’s important to be preventative. It’s so much easier to avoid these issues instead of having to deal with the consequences of them. Most of these items can be done in seconds and don’t add hassle to your daily life at all, it’s just getting in the discipline to do them. Those living in the southeast are the most at risk for moisture in their homes. If your home is unleveled or your skirting is damaged, you’ll also need to check on these items frequently.

Let’s look at some ways to reduce moisture!

Dehumidifiers. They can be pricey, but they also can seriously reduce moisture in the air. I have one in my basement and all that has to be done to maintain it is emptying the water pan. You also can attach a hose and run it continuously, just be aware of your electricity bill.

Repair any tears in the belly wrap. The vapor barrier, located on the underbelly your mobile home essentially separates the ground from your home. If there are tears in your belly wrap, moisture can seep into the space underneath you home and cause mold or softness.

Keep floor registers open. Keeping them closed traps air and leads to less circulation – neither of which are good for clear air.

Use the fan in your bathroom when you shower. If you’re like me you try to trap the warm air in, so often I don’t use the fan. However, I pay for it when my fire alarm goes off from lack of ventilation in my older home. Moral of the story, turn the fan on. It keeps the air moving and strips the air of moisture.

Turn the fan on when using the stovetop. Not using the fan can cause serious smoke in the kitchen without proper air flow.

Ventilate your skirting so moisture doesn’t accumulate under your mobile home. There are usually built-in vents that should be open to keep critters out as well as moisture.

We hope you practice these things in your home and improve the lifetime of your home. There is a lot of great info below. Take some time and look the document for helpful tips and how to understand your home better!

Find More Solutions!

Oakbur Quill Co.

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!

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 

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.