Simple Ways to Prep Your Yard/Exterior for Fall

When I became a homeowner I learned that fall really is the most important time for your lawn. It’s when you put in the most work (or should) and it’s finally not a million degrees, so you can linger in your yard to get some things done. Dig out the gloves, borrow a ladder, free up some storage space, and let’s get busy making your yard ready for autumn!

  • Start your landscaping/gardening. Fall is usually the best time to plant flowers, trees, and some veggies. Check the Farmer’s Almanac for your area. Seasons of planting vary by weather, last frost, and soil type.
  • Another thing to do late summer, early fall is aerate your land. You can usually pay someone to do this, or rent a machine yourself.
  • This is also a great time to start a compost bin. Want less waste, and richer soil? You may just like composting. Follow this easy home magazine to learn more and get some information to help you create your compost station!
  • Clean those gutters. You want them to drain right for the coming season.
  • Also, try putting your tools away. From buckets to water hoses, you’ll want to store anything that can freeze away for now.
  • Sweep off your deck/driveway. Rain and leaves will stain these areas and leave them in a mess. Keep the mess at bay by sweeping off leaves and debris. Same goes for your lawn. Keep them off the grass or mow over them.

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    Keep your deck space looking great!
  • Fix that slippery spot. Lay down some seed for muddy places, stepping stones for uneven areas, etc. It will get worse when it freezes in winter, so best to address it now.

Seasonal maintenance can add longevity to your home, and beauty and safety to your lawn. Take some time this weekend to take care a couple of these items. The long term is worth it!

Now Add Some Flair!

6 Shade Ideas for Your Yard This Summer

We’ve entered the part of summer that is just hot no matter what you do. You may have spent the season hoping for some relief, but it’s not too late to make a dream relaxation spot in your yard! I’ll be looking at some shade ideas that you can do yourself or purchase. Not only can shades be great for you and your family outside, but they can also potentially save energy if they cover part of your home, too!

Let’s check out some cool ways to stay shaded!

Sun sailSun sails are a cute, modern way to protect an area from the sun. They are rather inexpensive but offer decent protection. Check out some options here. The trick to making one is getting your measurements right for the area that needs fabric and researching what fabric would do best. Here’s a sun sail how to you might be interested in.

Sun sails add a touch of relaxation!
Sun sails add a touch of relaxation!

Palapa – If you’re in a coastal area, this is perfect –  Palapa has that island vibe. You can find it at most home improvement stores. Palapas umbrellas are popular. You could make your own, or add palapas to whatever shade project you’re interested in.

Trees – Obviously these take time to grow, but you can choose something that grows fast or purchase something that’s already grown to a certain size. This can provide some good shade that will only grow.

Plants with trellis – A trellis is a great idea for gardeners. The trellis itself will block some of the sunlight, but you can look up vines or plans that climb so that it will cover them well. Here are some great options for climbing plants! Be careful not to put the trellis too close to your home, as it may encourage the vine/ plant to grow onto your home. Though vines look lovely on a home, they are actually bad for the siding on your home and can attract bugs to your home.

Patio curtains – There are many ways to implement curtain shades. You can hang them from anywhere vertically to help the angle of the sun. You can hang them from a deck, a pergola, or install your own base and hang them from there.

Pergola – Thesecan be expensive but make a great atmosphere in your yard. Though they are a little bit more involved, they can make a great project! Try on of these free pergola plans!

Keep Cool With This Post!

I hope these ideas inspire you to choose an option and maybe even make it a project for you and your family! Stay cool!

Winter Maintenance Checklist

It’s time to prep your mobile home for winter. There are plenty of easy and efficient ways to protect your home from the elements and clean out seasonal build-up. So print out this checklist and get started! If your home could talk – it would thank you for following this guide!

  • Change air filters: Easy to do and it maintains indoor air quality and ensures your AC/Heat flows efficiently
  • Remove window units or winterize them
  • Check for leaks: Do your windows need to be caulked? Have a dripping sink? Remedy these areas to save on your utility bills.
  • Clean + prepare chimney/ fireplace: Consider hiring a chimney sweep. Clean up your fireplace if it can be used or stuff the chimney appropriately. Be sure to ask for professional help if you’re unsure how to clean or use your fireplace.
  • Clean out gutters
  • Put garden hoses up: drain the hose and disconnect it so the water doesn’t freeze and ruin your hose.
  • Seal interior/ exterior gaps: Be sure your home is well insulated.
  • Collect firewood: If you have a wood stove or want to have bonfires now is the time to start collecting.
  • Check your roof: Weathering over time has probably left your roof with some wear and tear. Be sure it’s fixed before winter when snow and freezing temperatures can damage your roof.

Get Maintenance Tips Now!

Here’s to being prepared and a great winter! This may also be a great time to consider checking into insulation options for your home if you notice a need for it in your mobile home!

Advice from Homeowners to Potential Homebuyers

When we asked some homeowners what they wish they’d known before they purchased a home, we found a theme: researching and understanding the responsibility behind owning a home. Get started with the advice below –

With the internet providing unlimited resources – we have the opportunity to be very informed buyers. However, that also means we might get some bad or inaccurate advice. Therefore, it is wise to be thorough in conducting your research. Ask parents and peers and don’t be shy in calling mortgage companies and asking questions.

Also, it’s good to be prepared for the pitfalls of owning a home. Repairs and updates to a home shouldn’t deter you from owning a home, but you need to have an idea of the cost and time you’ll be spending to keep your home in good shape.

Check out mobile home options!

Manufactured home with steps leading to the front door.

Research:

General –

  • Read blogs, check Pinterest and Google
  • Research the builder of the home you want to purchase. Read reviews. Check into negative reviews if there are any. Compare them to other builders.
  • If safety is a priority to you, check crime rates in the area you would like to live in.
  • If you have kids – look into the school districts and what they offer.

Home Specific –

  • Ask if the title is clear.
  • See if an escrow account for payment of taxes and insurance is available or required through your lender.
  • Check into interest rates and compare them, also see if it’s a fixed rate that will not change during the term of the mortgage.
  • Find out what the estimated annual homeowner’s insurance and property tax payments will be.
  • Look into the history of home and lot in the public land records.

Responsibilities:

Think you’re ready to make a home purchase? Dig into these first-time homebuyer resources as a next step! Have your own homeowner advice? Interested in something specific? Email us your input at facebook@vmf.com!

Mobile Home Types Listed on Vmfhomes.com

If you’ve spent any time on our website then you’ve seen that we as VMFHOMES.com we categorize mobile home types as land and home and home only. While those titles are somewhat self-explanatory there are some details about them that may not be. So, I’m going to explain what each type is made up of and what you can expect from that property type.

Land and Home

A land and home option is just how it sounds – it’s a sale of the home and land together. This could be a home on a permanent foundation, but it doesn’t have to be, as it just depends on the specific listing. Some customers like this option because it can save you the step of coordinating the moving and placing of the home. It’s also usually move-in ready, too! No two land and home listings are the same.  Acreage may also vary. 

This can be a perfect option for someone looking for their forever home and to settle in with family!

Home Only

  • Home only listings can be a little less cut and dry. This options is just the home and it does not include any land in the sale price. Also, VMF doesn’t deliver, move, install or set up the home, which means it is the responsibility of  the customer to find and coordinate this aspect of the process. Fortunately, we usually can help with finding a licensed professional in most areas. We ask customers to keep this extra cost in mind when purchasing as well.
We have more homes that can be moved to your land!
  • Home only listings are typically on another piece of land and have to be legally moved to the land you plan to place the home on. Or the homes are located at a local home center. 
  • Sometimes the home will be located in a mobile home community/ park. In these situations, it is typically up to the park and the property manager to decide if the home can be moved because there was most likely an existing agreement in place. Sometimes the park might work with the new owner and negotiate the terms under which the home may stay (or leave), but this really depends on each specific situation.
Mobile home communities are a great option for affordable housing!
  • There are also other potential situations, but I’ve mentioned the most likely scenarios. If you have a question about a home only listing you can request more info on the website, send us a message, or give us a call.

This can be a perfect option for someone with family land, land of their own, or someone with a flexible situation.


Understanding how we list these options can help you better navigate our site. I hope that this helps answer some of your questions and lets you know what to expect when you are searching for a Vanderbilt preowned home. Please let us know if you have further questions or need clarification on a specific home.

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Choosing and Using a Snow Roof Rake on Your Mobile Home

Snow is beautiful but can be hard on your home. However, with a quick response you can avoid issues and enjoy your snow day. When thinking about snow and our homes we often keep to the ground. We shovel the driveway and the front steps. We make it so our car can move safely if need be. Yet, we can’t forget about our mobile home roof. Snow can become quite heavy, especially after rain or if it’s in large amounts. The weight of the snow can add stress to your roof load.

This is where roof rakes come in. Rakes are an invaluable tool for homeowners in moderate to heavy snowfall areas. There are many different kinds and price ranges, so you aren’t limited when choosing a tool.

For best use of your rake, you’ll want to remove the snow as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more the snow has a chance to become heavy or build up ice. You’ll want a ladder and/or an extendable ladder as well as a spotter to help you. Exercise caution and do not climb on top of your roof.

There are plenty of styles, but you’ll want to probably choose one that allows you to pull the snow toward you. You don’t want something that you have you lift as this is very arduous and unsafe.

This popular home website does an amazing job explaining the types and makes some rake recommendations you can check out.

A tip echoed by mobile home websites is to choose a rake with bumpers or corner protection so that it doesn’t scrape and damage your roof. Be sure to keep an eye on this when purchasing.

For the technical types, check out this home website that has broken down all the factors of a rake and what the potential options are.

Check out this Snow Removal Infographic!

*Infographic by: Rachel Mersinger*

We hope that this helps you learn how to better care for your mobile home roof in winter! We also hope it helps you find the best solution for you. Remember to read all instructions before you start, practice caution when using your rake, and be of good health when operating.

Fall Mobile Home Maintenance Checklist

We’ve now arrived at fall and life just got a little more beautiful. With the change of the seasons, we want to check in with our homes and see how they fared the previous season as well as prepare them for the next. Fall is the time we want to make sure our homes are properly sealed for the coming colder air. We also want to ensure our home is ready to handle more heat inside.

Let’s unpack some easy maintenance items and get your mobile home ready for fall!

  • Clean gutters. This is the most common tip for fall! You may want to wait until the leaves start to drop, but you could start now! Make sure they are hooked up correctly, and if your gutter drain has any damage, be sure to repair it.
  • Add caulking. Checking to ensure your windows are sealed is a good place to start. Then you can move to the bathroom and check around faucets and shower heads. Then you can check other problem spots you may notice.
  • Check smoke alarms. Change those batteries! Be sure all your alarms are wired and working properly. You’re going to be lighting candles, using the oven more, and probably adding light and warmth to your home.
  • Put the garden hose away. If you leave it out, it may make a ring of dead grass for next year. Most importantly, you don’t want it to freeze and bust the pipe.
  • Clean your fireplace. It’s good to make sure your fireplace is ready to be used if you have electric or gas, but even more so if you have a log burning fireplace. If you have a damper, you want to properly remove it and check the structure of your fireplace as well as check for creosote. Creosote should be removed during a chimney cleaning.  Consider consulting a professional.
  • Repair/ replace skirting damage. Did you accidentally hit your skirting while weed eating? Are there some holes in your skirting? Repair that with skirting tape or get a new panel!
  • Gaps around/under doors. As heat is generated in your home, it may cause your doors to swell or your doors may just have never been level. Try placing a door snake underneath to fix the gap.

Keep Your Home Energy Efficient!

Happy fall! We hope these tips help you prep your home for the season! Now that your home is ready, it’s time to decorate!

 

Oakbur Quill Co.

How to Build Your Credit

Credit. It’s a six letter word that packs a punch. It helps us buy a home, allows us to learn financial responsibility, and sometimes it gives us a little more freedom than we were ready for. If you’ve had a bad experience with credit before – take a deep breath and relax. Your days of fearing a number are over. You are in control of your credit – not the other way around.

So you’re thinking, “Where do I start?” Whether you have no credit or bad credit – understand that building it doesn’t happen overnight. Just like building anything else, it’s a brick by brick process. Let’s jump in!

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Credit can be intimidating, but there are plenty of tools that can help you!

Get organized This is the key. Without it the cycle continues. Buy a calendar or make one just for your bills. This will help you become aware of your due dates so that you make a habit of paying on time. Set reminders on your phone and/or computer. Do all three – remind yourself however you need to. Keep a wall of post it notes with payment dates.

If you get paper statements—highlight what you owe each pay period. Keep a file folder with “To pay” and “Paid” labels. If you don’t have paper statements—keep up with upcoming payments on a whiteboard. This is the easiest way to tackle debt and stay on track. It’s important. Make a system and stick with it.

Set your max spending (and stay under it) Credit cards and loans are great—they allow us the opportunity to own something we probably couldn’t before. Yet, they sometimes can feel like free money. Where we get in trouble is when we forget we have to pay everything back—with interest. So how do you control that spending?

Discipline. Give yourself a ceiling. For example, a card or company may allow $500. Tell yourself, my max is $100 and stick to it. You will still build credit and you teach yourself how to be responsible. Credit is designed to prove you are financially responsible. Use it to learn money maintenance and focus on necessity spending instead of purchasing luxury items.

Pay your balances in full when you can and maintain only a few accounts.

Keep up When it comes to your credit and payments—you are your own advocate. Know where you stand.

Consider getting a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user (Secured /Authorized user) Not all credit cards are the same. So if you struggled with one variety—don’t feel discouraged. There are more options. One option is a secured card. With a secured card you pay a deposit to hold the card. Your credit limit is the amount of your deposit. Essentially, it’s a safeguard should you fail to fulfill your payments. It’s good discipline because then you understand how much money is behind your card, and you have a strong incentive to make payments because you pay into it.

Another option is to become an authorized user on someone’s credit card. Find someone who is first and foremost financially responsible. The best person to do this with is someone you can learn from. Think of them as a credit mentor who can help you spend well and keep you accountable.

Start Evaluating Your Debt

There are many other ways to build your credit. These are just to get you started. Don’t wait.

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VMFHomes.com Consolidates Facebook Pages for Better User Experience

You may have noticed while reading our blog that we have a great website with a huge inventory of mobile homes. Over the years, we’ve looked for the best ways to evolve and connect our customers, who are potential homeowners, with resources that fit them.  Facebook is a reservoir of growth and sharing, so it only made sense to put our products where our customers were.

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We hope that this will make it easier for you to find your forever home!

We regionalized our Facebook pages into multiples pages, “Used Mobile Homes of the Midwest”, is one example. This served us and our customers well for a while as we were able to advertise to the areas specific of those who liked the page. This was quite important as we have homes across the United States, and we wanted to serve customers with solutions in their area.

Our “Used Mobile Homes…” pages were the best way, we felt, to share inventory on social media. Now, we’ve found an even better way to share our inventory. We are combining all the pages into one page: “VMF Homes”. This will allow us to share everything we have with you, and it will be easier for our customers to find our brand. This will also streamline our ability to respond to you, update pricing, and give you the best information.

Keep an eye out for changes! Also, go ahead, if you’re a fan of our older pages, and like VMF Homes today!

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