The Truth about These Mobile Home Myths

Many opinions and ideas have been taken as fact when it comes to mobile homes. But as manufactured housing continues to evolve and gain popularity, it’s important that these myths are eliminated.

If you’ve seen one model, you’ve seen them all.

Maybe 30 years ago this statement had some grounds, but not now. Mobile homes are no longer built all the same. There are a wide variety of models with traditional to upscale layouts and materials. Mobile homes are evolving and changing.

Just look at the popularity of small manufactured homes. The whole idea of smaller homes is to provide a small, efficient space. There are mobile homes for a variety of budgets and lifestyles.

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They are starter homes.

A mobile home can the home you live in all your life, especially now. In the past, mobile homes were sometimes considered transitional, temporary housing. Today, they are an investment for many families.

We are often told we have to have a bigger or more expensive home and that we should not be satisfied with the first home we buy. But when it comes to your home, you decide. If you love your home, then you love it. You don’t have to have a bigger, newer home. Your home has character. Your home is YOURS.

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Your forever home is right here.

Mobile homes aren’t built well.

Manufactured homes are built indoors, which helps to protect the home from weather during the building process. Also, mobile homes are typically built on sturdy, steel frames. They are built to comply with federal HUD Code building requirements, which enable builders to build with consistency and quality. Check out code standards.

They are not built to withstand storms.

No home is indestructible, but manufactured homes are built with weather in mind. Manufactured homes built to HUD Code must be built according to which wind zone the home will be located in. There are three wind zones based in the United States.  Coastal areas are in the highest wind zone, Zone 3. Zone 3 homes are built to be able to withstand 110 mph winds. Wind Zone 2 are built to withstand up to 100 mph. Zone 1 homes are located in more interior areas of the country. In these areas, the threat of hurricanes is much lower, so Zone 1 homes are built to withstand lower wind speeds. Get educated about wind zones!

Can Mobile Homes Build Equity?

Why Checking Your Credit Report is the Best First Step

Honestly, I didn’t care about credit until I went to buy a home. Then it mattered – greatly. Unfortunately, I found it to be true “no credit is equal or worse than bad credit”. It’s a good idea to check out your credit score and report before buying a home. After reviewing your credit report and score, you might choose to pursue a home purchase or you might try improve your credit score first.

By law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Unfortunately, some folks don’t know this and end up paying for what they didn’t have to. Also, some websites claiming to sell credit reports and scores are not legitimate. Be sure to check out this site to be sure you don’t get fooled by an impostor website.

You can visit one website to get your free credit reports from the three major credit reporting companies – AnnualCreditReport.com. You’ll have to input some of your personal info to retrieve your report. This is the same if you call or mail your request. If you create a myEquifax® account, you can get two free credit reports a year.

Credit reports offer you a lot of details – from debts and when you paid them to old addresses. Plus, things like payments, accounts, and actions within them that you may not know about. That’s why credit reports are always good to look at– because they may show information about potential fraud or identity theft and things that you may not be aware of. This may help you protect your credit score and history by letting you see whether all the information and account details are accurate. Then, if they are not, you can freeze your credit, place a fraud alert, or dispute inaccuracies.

What you may be surprised to find out is that credit reports do not list your credit score! Weird, huh? You’d think for sure it would.

According to Equifax®, there are a couple of ways to see your credit score.

  1. You can contact your credit card company or bank as sometimes they may provide your credit score to you as an account feature.
  2. You can purchase your credit score directly from any of the three major credit reporting companies.

Find More About Credit Scores!

How Escrow Accounts Work and Why They Rock

If you have a mortgage, then chances are you’ve heard the word escrow thrown around a time or two. But what is it exactly?

An escrow account is a helpful tool built into your mortgage. It allows for funds to be collected monthly to pay for your homeowner’s insurance and/or property taxes. By your mortgage collecting escrow, it ensures that your insurance and property taxes are paid in a timely manner. The benefit to you is you don’t have to worry about fronting hundreds or thousands of dollars all at once for your homeowner’s insurance or property taxes.

The formula is typically simple for finding the amount owed. Let’s say both insurance and taxes are escrowed from each monthly payment. The monthly payment is found by taking the total amount paid to both insurance and taxes for the year and then divided by 12. (The 12 is for 12 months.) That’s it! That would be your monthly payment in addition to your mortgage! Please keep in mind, some lenders may use another calculation that varies slightly and is also permitted by the law. Be sure to contact your lender if you have further questions as to how your escrow is calculated.

Occasionally, your escrow payments may increase or decrease. If that happens, either your insurance or taxes have changed. This will affect what you pay monthly. In most loan types, this is the cause of increase or decrease for monthly payments.

All in all, escrow accounts allow for your insurance and property taxes to be paid on your behalf without much extra work on your end!

What is Escrow_ (2) Final final

Researched and created by Rachel Mersinger

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4 Things to Do When There is Flooding Around Your Mobile Home

When rain happens in droves in can be a threat to any home. If there’s a flooding situation – a mobile home with skirting will need to be checked and serviced appropriately. Since mobile homes are often not on a permanent foundation – caring for them looks a little different than with a site built or home on a slab. The good news is – if you act fast during flooding in or around your home – you may have exponentially less to fix.

  1. Call your insurance agent and file a claim if you have flood insurance or coverage that may cover the type of damage that has occurred to your home. Filing a claim will help you understand what damage may or may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance plan. You can then take action to have damage repaired that is not be covered by your insurance. Or this may be a good time to get flood insurance to protect against future flooding.
  2. Respond to damaged areas quickly. Don’t let water sit. According to a relevant release from FEMA, the best response is a quick one. You’ll want to talk with a licensed contractor before you decide whether the repairs are something you can handle on your own or if you will need to hire a contractor. A contractor will recommend removing wet/damaged flooring in the home if needed. If water is under the home, they advise removing the skirting so the water that’s trapped can evaporate and dry quicker. Removing wet flooring and removing skirting, if done correctly, can help to minimize further damage.
  3. Install a sump pump. Chances are you may already have one and the flooding was just too quick for it. If not, a sump pump can help to avoid water damage under your mobile home. They work to redistribute water from under your home to a new location. Learn about how a sump pump works.

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    Watch water nearby your home during a flooding event as water may rise to reach your home. 
  4. If you handle water damaged materials yourself, always wear protection as not all  rain water is clean. It could likely be contaminated from the sewer. If you plan to somehow displace water or handle minor repairs yourself wear gloves and take other necessary precautions. Please consult a professional before attempting any repairs yourself.

Flooding can impact your home in a variety of ways. Play it safe, smart, and respond in a timely manner to protect your home from further damage by eliminating water soaked materials and diverting standing water. Water can cause permanent damage and more than likely it will happen where you can’t see it. Protect your investment. We hope these tips help you.

  1. FEMA. 23 July 2019. 16 July 1999. 3 Jan 2018, updated. Flooded Mobile Homes: Damaged or Destroyed? -Timely Response Can Make All the Difference. https://www.fema.gov/news-release/1999/11/16/flooded-mobile-homes-damaged-or-destroyed-timely-response-can-make-all.

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?

 

How Well do Manufactured Homes Stand Up to Storms?

Storm season is on it’s way and you might be wondering, ‘how will a mobile home hold up’? It’s a common question, and not one that can be answered out right as there are a variety of storms and many types of manufactured homes. However, we can take a moment to look at preventative measures you can take as a homeowner and how mobile homes have been built to withstand storms.

Manufactured homes are built with the elements in mind

To begin, we need to look at the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which was implemented in 1976, and how it impacted how these homes are built. Mobile homes are built to comply with certain wind zones, thermal zones, and roof load requirements. These are all standards that help homes withstand certain forces. Wind zone requirements help your mobile home withstand hurricane force winds and are based on the location of the home. Thermal zones have to do with heat leakage in the home, and roof loads are based on how many pounds of snow a roof can withstand per square foot.  Roof load requirements also determine the build of the roof such as flat or pitched, etc.

Manufactured homes and their ability to withstand the elements

The Manufactured Housing Institute has provided information regarding the ability of manufactured homes to perform as well as site-built homes when it comes to storms and harsh weather.  According to the information, this attribution is said to be connected to the fact that manufactured homes in wind zones 2 and 3 are built to withstand the equivalent building code requirements as site-built homes.

Preventing damage to your mobile home

There are a couple ways you can actually prepare your mobile home for severe weather. One is ensuring your home has the appropriate tie-downs and anchors. Then you’ll need to be sure they are installed correctly and fix any that are broken or not properly placed. It’s also advised to have storm shutters, or heavy-duty shutters to protect your home. Another good way to prepare for storms is to make sure than any structures that are attached to the home are improperly installed as carports and patio roofs are likely to be the cause of home damage in high winds.  If you live in a place prone to tornadoes you could also consider building an underground shelter. Don’t forget to be sure your home is protected by your mobile home insurance. Most plans don’t include flood coverage – this is quite important if you live in a moderate storm area.

Storms cannot always be predicted and the level of threat from a storm is not always understood or appreciated. We aren’t meteorologists, so we would never advise you to remain in your home during a life-threatening storm.  We are saying, however, that you may come back to your home after a storm and find that your home survived much better than you thought it would. Manufactured homes may surprise you in their ability to withstand storm damage until you know that they are built with the elements in mind.

Learn More About Mobile Homes!

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

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!

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.