4 Reasons You Should Buy a Manufactured Home

Manufactured Homes, the Next Big Thing in a Housing Crisis?

These days the cost of living is expensive. So expensive in fact, we are experiencing a record low number of millennials buying homes! According to Urban.org, only 37% as of 2015.1 The Reason? Buying a house is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

The average cost for a new traditional stick-built home with land according to the U.S. Census Bureau, costs $376,000 as of March 2019.2 The average cost as of December 2018 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, for a new double wide without land was $106,000 and $52,100 for a new single wide without land.That is a huge difference! The other option? Renting. Don’t get me wrong, renting has it perks, but when it’s time to plant your roots, it just isn’t ideal.

The biggest drawback to renting is that you do not have the potential to build equity. A manufactured home, however, can potentially be a good investment particularly if the home is permanently affixed to land. When renting, the monthly rental payment becomes a permanent monthly expense as long as you rent. A mortgage, however, has an end date. If it is within your budget, you can also make extra payments toward paying off your mortgage loan ahead of schedule to eliminate having a monthly mortgage payment even sooner. I don’t know about you, but my mortgage is my biggest expense each month.

If you are an animal person like I am, remember that your home is your pet’s home too! Owning a home means you have more freedom with how many pets you can have.  It is not uncommon for rental agreements to either not permit or limit the number of pets you may have in your rental home. Rental agreements may also limit the breed, size, or weight of dogs. When looking to move to Tennessee, it was hard to find a rental to live in that would permit my cuddly 84-pound Rottweiler Lab mix. This also meant we didn’t have a yard for her to go run and play in. While it meant fun trips to the dog park, it also meant standing in the cold rain for bathroom breaks. We were also always perpetually worried the owners would decide one day they didn’t want to rent to pet owners. Now, Sadie has a nice fenced in yard since buying our own home.

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Find the place where everyone feels at home.

Rentals also limit your ability to make your home feel like your own. Rentals deter you from putting holes in the walls for hanging pictures, updating or remodeling, even painting. Home ownership offers all those freedoms. The sky is the limit for what weekend project you’ll find yourself getting into, whether it is a bathroom remodel or planting a garden. Plus, what’s the point of watching all those home improvement shows if you can’t utilize your inspiration from them?

With this all being said, buying a home can be expensive, unless you know what to look for. So, what is stopping you from purchasing a manufactured home? They are more popular now than ever, and for a great reason. They provide the same features you are looking for in a traditional stick-built but cost less! Just imagine, sitting on your front porch sipping your sweet tea or coffee as you rock in your rocking chair, owning your own home for less than you expected.

References
1. Urban Wire. 11 July 2018. The state of millennial homeownership. https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/state-millennial-homeownership
2. United States Census. 23 April 2019. Monthly New Residential Sales, March 2019. https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales.pdf
3. United States Census. 8 June 2018. Average Sales Price of New Manufactured Homes By Region and Size of Home By Month of Shipment. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/econ/mhs/average-sales-price.html  

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!

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!

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 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.

8 Ways to Settle Into Your Mobile Home: A Simple Guide in What to Do After You Purchase

Buying a new home is both exciting and overwhelming. After going through the process of closing and unpacking, there are a couple of things that you’ll want to consider adding to your final list:

1. Change your locks – Changing your exterior locks is an important step to secure your new home if you have purchased a used home. You never know who may have a key. While old homeowners are supposed to turn in all old keys, it is still wise to make sure you change your locks.

2. Create a “Honey-do” list – Every home needs some maintenance even if it is new to you. It is a good idea to look at your inspection if you had one and see what areas need fixing that you may not have been a deal breaker for you to purchase the home. This could be installing GFI outlets or securing a loose railing. This will help you continue with the general upkeep of the property ensuring a long life for your new abode.

3. Get Organized – Since you have moved there may be objects that don’t necessarily belong in a certain room. Think about any objects that you may have out of place and decide where they would function best in your house. Another major room to organize is your kitchen. Having a good flow in your kitchen will help you to keep it clean and make cooking in your new space a lot easier.

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Setting up your kitchen is important, plan out how you want it.

4. Declutter – If you didn’t before you move, get rid of old things that you don’t truly intend to keep or have space for any more. This will help you declutter. Living in an organized space helps the mind relax. We all have stress in our lives; coming home to cluttered home can make you feel overwhelmed and feel as though you can’t kick back because there is still work to be done.

5. Make it your own – Since it is now your space, make it YOUR space! Pick a fun theme for a bathroom or guest room to have some fun sprucing up your new home to make it feel like your own. Putting a fresh coat of paint on the wall will make you feel good about your space and help you connect with your home.

6. Hang Pictures – This kind of goes with number 5, but hanging pictures and artwork that you love in your home will make you love it even more. Having pictures of loved ones and art you love will make you feel good which in turn will make you love spending time in your new space.

Best Practices For Hanging Decor

7. Splurge! – A new house means new things! You can buy new towels, bedding, or curtains. Make your new home a place of retreat. You just made a huge purchase, make it a place that you’ll be excited to go home to.

8. Throw a Party – It isn’t everyday people buy a new home. Have a party with your friends to show off your new space, especially after working hard to make it your own!

Why You Need to Consider Thermal/ Wind Zones When Purchasing a Used Manufactured Home

When purchasing a used manufactured home it can be easy to forget to check that the home is built to the specifications required for the location where you’re moving the home to. Manufactured homes are built to satisfy certain construction requirements based on the geographic location of where the home will be sited. This means, while one can enjoy the convenience of a mobile home, you must also consider to what standard it was built.

Make sure the home you’re purchasing was built to meet the wind zone requirements for the location where the home will be installed. There are 3 zones as you can see below. You can move a mobile home of a higher zone to your location, but you cannot legally have a home of a lesser zone placed in a higher zone location. For example, If I live in Tallahassee, FL, I am in a location within wind zone 2. Say I’m trying to purchase a mobile home from Northern Alabama that was built for that Alabama location in zone 1. I wouldn’t be able to move the Alabama wind zone 1 home to my location in Tallahassee because my location requires a home that can withstand 100 mph winds and a zone 1 can only withstand 70 mph winds.

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Understanding wind zones is vital to the placement of your mobile home.

Next, you want to be sure your thermal zone equates to the area where your home will be located.  Thermal zones are broken down into 3 zones, the most Southern coastal areas being a lower number 1 and cooler Northern areas being a zone 3. Thermal zones are based off of u-values, which gauge how much heat passes through different building materials. However much those materials “leak” measures how well the materials insulate the home. U – values are based off thermal zones and the interior temperature being a constant 70 degrees Fahrenheit. All of this complicated definition to say thermal zones are like wind zones in that they need to match or be a higher u-value to be placed in lower numbered zone. For example, a home in Michigan is a thermal zone 3 and can be moved to Texas, a thermal zone 1, but the opposite cannot happen.  Homes designed and constructed to a higher thermal zone can be installed in a lower thermal zone, but a thermal zone 1 home cannot be installed in either a thermal zone 2 or 3 area.

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Thermal Map from MHI.org

We hope this was helpful in defining what wind and thermal zones are as well as helping you consider them  before you purchase a home and have it moved. Be sure you know what your location allows and needs in terms of a manufactured home being moved to a piece of land.

Get More Homebuyer Tips!

 

Oakbur Quill Co.

Entertaining Small: How to Make Your Single-wide the Life of the Party

Sometimes a small space can make you feel like celebrations and parties aren’t for you. But that’s just not true, sure it might be a little cozier, but we think that’s even more fun! Find a way to organize what you’ve got well, plan ahead, and stylize your place just the way you want it.

Let’s find the best ways for your mobile home to be the life of the party!

Have a place for coats and bags. Borrow a coat rack, use over the door hooks, make your bed so people can put coats and purses there, or you can even set a laundry basket by the door. This gives people a flow when they enter your home and it cuts back on clutter.

Open up the floor. Move items out of the center of the room so there is space to mingle. It’s even wise to move tables to the edge so they take up less room.

Move food to the edges. Use the length of your single-wide to your advantage. Limit your spills, take advantage of outlets, and create a better flow by keeping food on outside tables, built-ins, mantles, etc. If there’s a free space by the window or in a nook – use it! Again, this leave space for people to travel freely through the middle of your home without a traffic jam.

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Make your space flow well!

Bring the lawn chairs. There’s no shame in it, I’ve done it! No one has enough chairs for that, so ask friends to bring lawn chairs and set up some of your own if you have them. In the warmer months this can split your crowd to so some people are on the porch or outside in the lawn.

Call it a potluck. Cooking food for a lot of people can get expensive fast, ask guests to bring sides to help fill up the table and split the cost. Plus, it will take a lot less time to prep and your friends can show off their cooking skills, too!

Set out the power strip. Keep your electrical outlets from shorting out and have more options for food and decor with more outlets.

Now you’re ready to start hosting parties! You don’t need a big space, you just need some thoughtful and hospitable forethought. We hope you take these ideas and share your wonderful mobile home and maybe make some new or stronger friendships blossom!

Prep Your Home With a Deep Clean!