Mobile Home Upgrades 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. 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 help lower your energy bills. Plus, 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.

Spruce up your home by updating 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 also 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!

Lastly, 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!

Maintaining Your Water Heater

Your water heater is a modern-day convenience. We don’t always think about it like that or having to live without them until something goes wrong. Many of us have experienced when a water heater has died – and it’s not fun. Cold showers or water leaks are not welcomed surprises.

Water heaters last an average of 10 years and like any appliance, they require a little maintenance to keep working efficiently. To get the most out of your water heater it’s a good idea to do some check-ins.  Once a year, schedule time to either hire someone to complete maintenance or make plans to do it yourself. Also, be sure to consult the owner’s manual that came with the water heater so that you can follow the manufacturer’s recommended steps and to safely perform the maintenance.  In addition, hire a licensed plumber or pipe fitter to aide in any maintenance if you are unsure how to safely accomplish these tasks.

A visual inspection is something you can do yourself. This helps to identify any issues on the exterior such as loose screws, nuts, bolts, and gaskets. The goal with the visual inspection is to see what is worn and may need replacing and check for signs of rust or corrosion.

General Maintenance Tips to Consider:

  • Have the tank drained once or twice a year. During this process, flush the tank a couple of times to make sure all the sediment and debris is cleared out of the tank.
  • Besides just cleaning the water, the anode rod should be checked once a year. The purpose of this rod is to attract all the debris and sediment. This rod typically needs replacing every three to five years.

Photo of Water heater in utility closet

  • If your water heater has a temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve), add checking the T&P valve to your list to make sure it is in proper working order. This is important to check as pressure can build up in the tank.  As mentioned above, be sure to consult the owner’s manual in order to safely perform this task. Not all water heaters have a T&P valve.

If your water heater is gas, it will have this valve. Some electric water heaters also have this.

  • If you have a tankless water heater, make sure to descale your water heater to rid the sediment and debris. Make sure the tankless heater is set appropriately and not too high. Doing this will decrease the buildup.

Signs your water heater may need maintenance:

  • leaks
  • low water pressure
  • hear clicking or if your water is rusty

Keeping a mindful eye on your water heater at least once a year will clue you into when it is nearing the end of its life span and help to keep it working efficiently. Doing this should help prevent any of those unwanted surprises.


Keep Maintaining Your Home!


Things to Consider When Buying a Used Mobile Home

Many people shy away from buying used homes in general. They are intimidated by the work that could potentially go into fixing up a home or living in a place that may have exceeded its warranty. These are valid hesitancies, however buying used also opens the door to many positive possibilities. We’re going to explore a little bit about what it means to buy a used mobile home. It may be more of an exciting journey than you were expecting!

You can make it all your own – Personalization is such an important factor in homeownership. It really is true in the world of manufactured homes today that you can create the home you want. Mobile homes are versatile in more ways than one. If you purchase a fixer upper, you can start from scratch essentially and make the home into a place of your dreams.

Check the data plate – All mobile homes have a data plate located within their interiors. It’s usually under the kitchen sink, in the master bedroom closet, or utility room electrical panel.
You want to check this out in any home you consider. It tells you information about how the home was manufactured, including important information like the wind zone, roof load, and other items you need to know as a buyer.

Enjoy your dream location – Mobile homes are after all – mobile. If you don’t want to be confined by what’s already been built or a specific location, then this may be a good option. As long as the home’s condition does not prevent relocation and relocating the home will satisfy local requirements, you could place your home by a lake, in a holler on the mountains, and anywhere in-between. Many people also like the ability to place a home on family land. You should be aware that moving a mobile home could be costly – local movers in your area should be able to provide estimates.

Beautiful kitchen in a manufactured home

Set up and delivery – You want to be sure to find out what the seller offers, if anything, in the way of set up and delivery. Sometimes it’s included in the cost and sometimes it’s separate. It’s also important to use a reputable professional mover. Do your research, especially if you choose your own.

Price difference/ fit your budget – There’s no doubt one of the perks of mobile homes is the price. They typically cost less than site-built homes per square foot, especially when used. They won’t hit your wallet quite as hard, and instead of always resorting to renting – they offer the ability to own a home and stay in budget.

Less money to fix up/ maintain – Since mobile homes are manufactured that means usually that they are built with more economical materials, meaning that they may be less expensive to repair or maintain. This will all depend on your specific model, but will usually ring true.

Rental power – You might be considering a mobile home as secondary housing or as an investment opportunity. In this case you could purchase a mobile home to rent out to friends or tenants.

Check Out First-time Home Buyer Tips!

A used mobile home may be the choice for you or it may not be, but it’s always smart to evaluate all your options when purchasing.

 

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Pre-qualification, Pre-approval, and What You Need to Know

Both pre-qualifications and pre-approvals are indications of what a bank or creditor may be willing to lend but are not loan guarantees. The most important aspect is that they show the seller you are serious about buying while giving you an idea of what you may be able to borrow. Both processes will vary depending on the lender that you select. Before you request a pre-qualification or pre-approval, be sure to ask your lender about how the process will flow, potential associated costs, whether your credit report will be pulled and if documentation will be required. Ask for a list up front so you can know exactly what you’ll need to provide.

Pre-qualification

What: A letter from a lender that says you will likely be able to get a mortgage loan up to a specified amount

Who: A bank, credit union, or financial entity writes a pre-qualification for you. Which means they are looking at your debts and income to decide your credit worthiness.

When: Usually this is the first thing a homebuyer does when looking for a home

Cost: Free (usually)

Where: Online or over the phone (depending on entity)

Why: Potential homebuyers use this to see how much of a home they may be able to afford, or in some cases if they can afford a home. This appeals to sellers because it shows them as a buyer you are serious and can get the loan you need to purchase the home.

What you’ll typically need to provide: Usually potential lenders will look into your debts and income. Lenders usually pull a credit report to evaluate before they write the pre-qualification.

Pre-approval

What: A letter that tells you what a lender is willing to lend you based on financial documentation you provide. Looks at financial history, income, and stability.

Who: A bank, credit union, or financial entity works on a pre-approval for you. Which means they are looking at your bank statements, proof of income, credit, employment, and personal documentation.

When: Usually done right after a green light on a pre-qualification, the next step, some lenders may skip pre-qualification and go straight to pre-approval.

Cost: Varies (but usually a cost is involved for application)

Where: Online or over the phone (depending on entity)

Why: It’s more sound than a pre-qualification because approvals are based on proof of financial status and often evaluated by an underwriter. Can usually provide info about mortgage types and possible interest rates.

What you’ll typically need to provide:

  • W-2 from last 2 years (proof of income)
  • Bank statements (assets)
  • Credit score
  • Pay stubs (proof of employment)
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security # (personal documentation)

Learn More About the Mortgage Process

Gravel Driveway Repair and Preventative Care

Gravel driveways are a great, budget friendly option. Like everything else, they’ll need some maintenance and upkeep. There are plenty of things you can do to both avoid and fix problems as they arise. I’ll be looking at some of the options.

Drainage is the most important component of a gravel driveway. If your driveway has major drainage issues – you may need to do some back tracking. It could be that your driveway wasn’t put together correctly. More than likely though, the repair and upkeep addressed in this post will help you fix most issues.

Preventative –

  • Making a crownmost expert sites recommend this strategy to keep drainage moving downward. All you have to do is rake gravel to a peak in the center of your driveway. It doesn’t need to be super high, just enough to encourage the water to flow down the middle instead of down the sides.
  • Trenches and edging – These are great ideas that will give water a safe place to go. You can try digging shallow trenches on both sides of your driveway. You may also try doing a little rain garden or any type of edging that will keep your gravel in place and move the water to the end of your driveway.
  • Drains – Some people also put drains on either side of their driveway, these are more involved, but may be a perfect solution for you. Some people will install them on the sides as edging with metal or plastic grids overtop the thin drains. The most common drains are culvert pipes or French drains which are both dug underground (usually) to redistribute water.

Problem areas – 

  • Potholes – These can be tricky. Essentially, they are an issue of trapped water. A great do it yourself site, suggests a helpful process.
    • First, they recommend digging the hole out wide and deep enough, so the edges are solid. This way the gravel hole will hold for the filler.
    • Once it’s clear, you can fill with thinner/ crushed gravel.
    • Next, tamp/push down the gravel with a steel or wooden tool.
    • To finish, fill the remaining area with regular gravel to the top off the hole, plus some extra to blend it out.
    • Lastly, smooth out the gravel so everything blends well.
  • Clogged culverts– Sometimes debris and rocks can clog your pipes which prevent its whole process. There are plenty of tools you can purchase for this, or you can rig your own system. This home site recommends using something to push the debris while also spraying water down the pipe. 

Start Your Gravel Driveway Today!

I hope this helps get you started in planning how to maintain and take care of your gravel driveway. Ask a professional for help if you find a big issue or just want help making sure you do things well. May your driveway stay in good shape with this information!

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How to View a Mobile Home Found on VMFHomes.com

If you’re interested in viewing one of our homes, you may be curious about what the process is – so I’ve written this to help you become more aware of how it works.

You’ll need viewing info and the address before you head out to view the home.

For most land and home packages, you can get viewing info by calling in or chatting with a representative on our website or on our Facebook page. Once you arrive at the home, you’ll see a lock box on the door. You’ll put in the code given to you by the representative. Once you’ve got the numbers aligned you can slide the door on the lock box open and the key will be inside. Then you can open the door to view the home with the key (the lock box doesn’t come off the door).

Once you’ve viewed the home, please return the key to the lock box and slide the door back as well as jumble the numbers.

Some homes are not attached to land or are not sold together. For some home only sales, they may be on private property. They could also be in a park. You will usually view these in a similar fashion to the above.

However, some homes may have already been moved from the land and will be at a local home center. In this situation, you’ll need to check the hours of the lot and potentially call to ensure they are open. More than likely, you’ll just need the ID number and can open the lock box at the home and access it that way. Sometimes you’ll need to ask someone at the home center for a key or to access the home instead. I hope that this has helped you understand how to view one of our homes.

Interested in something you’ve seen on vmfhomes.com? Contact us for viewing info!

Learn How To Make an Offer!

How to Make an Offer with Vmfhomes.com

There are three main ways you can make an offer to purchase a Vanderbilt preowned home: on the phone, through the form on our website, and through certain messaging platforms.

It can feel intimidating if you don’t know about the process. Some offer processes are quite formal and may require paperwork. However, our process is not, it is relaxed and laid back. It’s a verbal commitment so you don’t have to feel pressure about your offer. We will work with you throughout the entire process.

Before making an offer, we highly recommend that you have visited the home in person. There are many things you can’t get a feel for until you see the home in person – such as the area around the home, the condition of the home, etc. If you’re wanting to make an offer, but haven’t yet visited the home, feel free to give us a call to schedule a viewing.

Making an offer by phone

All you have to do is call up one of our sales representatives with your offer. You will then work with them until you find a price you can agree on (or in some cases you may not). Sometimes there can be a little back and forth, but your sales representative will work hard to try and get back to you quickly each time. Call us at 855 – 215 – 5564!

Making an offer on our website

For homes that are eligible for online offers, making an offer on our website is easy. The following are required:

  1. Offer amount;
  2. Full name;
  3. Phone #; and
  4. Email address

You will also have the option to provide additional information if you so choose, which may allow us to better serve you. Your offer will then go to one of our sales representatives to review. Keep in mind that some of our homes listings are cash only transactions, depending on the property.

Find all the tools you need on our website!

Making an offer through messaging platforms

Making an offer through online chat (on vmfhomes.com), VMF Homes Facebook, or email (facebook@vmf.com) follows a similar process. You can send us a message with your offer, and a sales representative will review it.

Your sales representative will communicate the next steps with you if they want to accept or talk to you about your offer, and they will help you through the rest of the process.

I hope this has helped you better understand how to buy a Vanderbilt preowned home. Please feel free to call one our representatives to get more info or to ask any questions.


Why You Should View Our Homes!

Replacing the Tub Faucet in Your Mobile Home

Whether you’re looking for a simple update to your bathtub, a better functioning faucet, or just want something different – changing your faucet can improve your bathroom experience. Mobile homes tend to have easier access to the hardware. However, it’s still a bit of a project so make sure you’re well equipped for this project or ask a friend with knowledge on the subject to help.

List of materials:

  • Tarp or towel
  • A helper
  • Wrench
  • Replacement faucet
  • Rubber gasket

First, you’ll need to find an access panel for your bathtub faucet which will usually be located behind it. Most times the panel will be inside a closet. The panel can most often be opened with screws or it may be spring loaded.

If there’s not a panel, then more than likely you’ll have to cut an access point yourself. We recommend a professional in this situation (unless you have a good understanding of mobile homes and how pipes are placed). Also, consider contacting your manufacturer and/or manual to ensure you know the layout and how to cut without hitting anything.

Before you begin to work on removing the faucet, lay a towel or tarp down inside the tub to prevent damage.You may also want to have a second person to hold a flashlight and your tools as you work.

Once you’ve removed the panel and you can see the pipes and everything for the shower – you should see the shut off valve for the water. Make sure that you turn the water off before starting to remove the faucet unit. Turn the knobs and release the excess water before removal.

Then you’ll need to use the wrench to loosen the nuts attached to the water supply lines that connect to the faucet stem(s). Next, you’ll loosen the lock nut that attaches the faucet to the tub. This should free the faucet. Be sure to check for the cone washer (usually a rubber yellow or black washer that has a slight curve to it) and be sure it doesn’t get stuck as you move the faucet – if it does just put it back into place so it can continue to prevent leaks. You may need to tap the wall some for the faucet to come free.

Make sure that you’ve got a replacement part that will fit your mobile home tub. There are plenty of mobile home part stores that specialize in kits or all the necessary pieces you’ll need to replace. You could also find them at most large home improvement stores. You’ll need a rubber gasket between the tub and faucet. Once you’re ready, place the new unit in correctly and make sure that it’s a good fit and the faucet is level.

Lastly, you can tighten the nuts and lock nut onto the new stems by hand and then use the wrench to finish. Then you can attach the water lines back for the corresponding hot and cold side and to the shower. Next, turn on the water and check for leaks in the connection. If you don’t see any issues, then you’re ready to put the panel back into place and enjoy your new faucet.

Show Your Bathroom Some Love!

This is just an overview. Be sure that you get more info and get comfortable with the steps involved before beginning the project. We also recommend that you contact a professional if you feel unsure about doing it yourself.


References:

https://www.thespruce.com/mobile-home-tub-faucet-2718631

https://www.hunker.com/12001444/how-to-replace-shower-faucets-in-a-mobile-home

Understanding What Makes Up Your Credit Score

Part of accurately building your credit is by understanding it. That begins with a breakdown of the factors that play into your score. The assumption by many is that credit is based solely on our ability to pay back money. While that is an aspect – it’s important to look at the collective.

Let’s elaborate on the 5 components of credit. Below we’ve got some examples to further help explain what each section means. These are made up examples and do not pertain to actual people or advice.

    1. Payment History: How well you’ve done with paying back your charges – based off consistency of repayment. Example: Debbie pays a little over her minimum payment before the due date. 
    2. Amounts Owed: How much you owe compaired your credit limit. Example: Debbie’s credit limit is $500 and she has a balance on her credit card of about $50 at a time. This is 10 percent of her limit, so her ratio of credit to amount owed is pretty low.
    3. History Length: How long you’ve had your credit. Example: Debbie has a credit card that she’s had for about 10 years. It shows over time how she’s used the card and done with making payments.
    4. New Credit: Based off opening new lines of credit. Example: Debbie opened a credit card, got a car loan, and opened a store credit card all in within two months. This could cause her score to drop.
    5. Credit Mix: Diversity and amount of credit lines. Example: Debbie has 5 lines of credit now: a department store credit card, a car loan, a secured credit card, a credit card through a bank, and a major credit card.

Check out This Credit Infographic

Source: https://www.equifax.com/personal/education/credit/score/how-is-credit-score-calculated