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.

    Texas_Customer_Home_Exteriors_Pat_Marcie_Box-12
    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!

Lifestyle_Q1_2019_Light_Bulb-6
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.

Is a Mobile Home Considered Real Property?

Most mobile homes are classified as personal property for titling and taxation purposes. This means, based on their classification, that the home’s certificate of title is typically obtained from a state’s department of motor vehicles or other state agency. For chattel, which is a mobile home by itself without land, being classified as personal property is the only option. However, once a home is placed on purchased land or affixed, there is an option in most states for the title to be converted. Let’s dig into what the conversion process may look like for a used mobile home.

Personal property: mobile homes not attached to land (mobile homes by themselves aka chattel)

Real property: mobile homes that are affixed (attached to land) with converted title

Converting to real property

Purchasers of used mobile homes often choose a title company to help them with the process of converting a mobile home’s title. It’s good to try to work with a title company that understands the process for used mobile homes. This process takes time and money, but usually proves worth it in the long run.

  • Can be completed after a home is attached to land
  • Usually not available for homes that don’t meet HUD Code standards (built prior to 1976)
  • Requirements and process to convert differs by state
  • Documents that convert a mobile home title are typically recorded  by a county assessor’s office or other state agency, many owners use a title company or attorney to help with this process. An affidavit of affixation or a declaration of intent to convert is typically required from the homeowner and generally the homeowner must also be the land owner.
  • Titling is unique to mobile homes and is not required for site-built homes, site built homes are conveyed by a real property deed and are already considered real property.

Benefits of converting a manufactured home from personal property to real property

Though converting the title for your used mobile home can feel like a lot of documentation and work, once it’s done the benefits are long lasting. If you wish to convert your title at the same time that you purchase your home, notify your title company or closing attorney so they can prepare the required documents and have them available at the time you close on the purchase of your home.  You can sign your purchase documents at closing and sign the documents required to convert your title at the same time.

  • Less of a process for the buyer if converted at the time of the home purchase closing
  • Taxed as real property
  • Can help retain the value of the home by adding land, better resale

Cost of converting

The cost to process the conversion from a mobile home certificate of title to a home on land as real property is different for each state and sometimes each county within a state. There can be costs for title and land deed research as well as having the conversion documents prepared, signed and filed with the appropriate government officials.  There  are also recording fees for having the conversion documents recorded. If the home has to be moved to the land it will be affixed to, then you’ll want to consider that cost as well as the cost of the land if you do not already own it.

Moving a Mobile Home Onto Land?

So let’s recap: Mobile homes are typically personal property unless affixed to land. Once affixed, mobile homes can be converted to real property. As real property, a  mobile home can have better resale and the land can help the mobile home retain its value.   Depending on where the home is located, the land value and your personal financial situation, having your home taxed as real property rather than personal property may even save you money on taxes in the long run.  Always contact your personal tax advisor before converting your home. We hope this has been helpful!

Oakbur Quill Co.

 

Closing Costs – What They Are and What to Expect

Closing costs and the process of closing are the final moments before your mortgage, title, and ownership are signed off on and become your responsibility. This can be nerve-racking and overwhelming, so let’s do our best to take the guesswork out of it.

Throughout the process of purchasing your mobile home, you’ve probably had an idea of what you’ll be paying in closing costs, but here we uncover the details. We’ll also go through what to expect during your closing.

Costs –

Usually closing costs are typically about 2% – 6% of the purchase price, but this amount can vary. These costs pay for things like documentation, labor, and legal representation during the closing for the home. These costs reflect a combination of many smaller costs that equal the final payment.

The buyer can go through closing without contributing to the cost by either: asking the seller for part or all the closing cost (depending on the loan agreement), or closing costs can be included in the financing.

Here are some examples of things that may be included in closing costs:

  • Document prep
  • Recording fee
  • Flood certificate
  • Survey Fee
  • Deed Stamps
  • Title Fee
  • Owners Title Insurance
  • Application fee
  • Assumption fee
  • Attorney fee
  • Prepaid interest
  • Loan origination fee
  • Points
  • Mortgage broker fee
  • Mortgage insurance app fee
  • Upfront mortgage insurance
  • Applicable loan fees
  • Inspection (if buyer chooses)
  • Appraisal
  • Possible HOA
  • Homeowners insurance premium
  • Property taxes
  • Title search
  • Title insurance

This is not an all-inclusive list and it will depend on the lender and your specific situation as to what costs you have to pay. Closing costs can really be a burden to the buyer if you don’t save and plan ahead.

The Process –

Before closing, you’ll schedule a walk-through to ensure all items were taken care of that the seller promised to address.

Learn More About Closing

The actual closing process involves paying those final fees and signing a lot of paperwork. You’ll accept your loan, your title company will prepare documents, and transfer money for you.

More than likely you’ll be offered electronic signing.  It may be difficult to review documents on a cell phone, so it would be best to review on a tablet or computer.  Consider printing the documents for easy review, as well as writing down any specific questions you may have.

Also, remember that there are aspects of your closing costs that you can shop for. Feel free to ask questions, research, and find the best deal instead of taking what you’re presented with. When you don’t know what certain things mean it can feel frustrating to have to ask, but you should. Accepting what you don’t understand is not going to help you.

We wish you a smooth closing with plenty of explanation!

Tell Me About Escrow!

Do I Need Mobile Home Insurance?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the process of purchasing your mobile home. It’s also easy to forget or overlook certain parts of the process, but there are things that you shouldn’t skimp on. Home insurance is one of those. In the search for my own home, home insurance was the farthest thing from my mind. So when it came time to shop for it, I was at a loss. That’s why I want this process to be better for you.

Let’s make it simple!

    • If you’re like me you’re wondering, do I really need insurance? You really do. A home is probably the most expensive investment you’ll make – protecting it is wise. Insurance safeguards your home and the major amenities in it and usually is preferred or even mandatory by your mortgage company.
    •  It’s not that different. From traditional home insurance, that is. Mobile/ Manufactured home insurance covers many of the same aspects of home ownership as with a site built home.
    •  Depending on your coverage, major structures, electrical, plumbing, electric heat/ air, and appliances may be covered. This peace of mind is especially valuable in rural areas, where outdoor equipment is involved, or when your insurance is also protecting your livelihood as well as your home.
    •  If you live in a moderate to high risk flood zone, you may want to consider separate flood insurance as it is not typically covered in mobile homeowners’ insurance.  Your lender may require it.
    •  Just like with medical or car insurance, you can expect to have deductibles (aka – how much you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in).
    •  Keep in mind, insurance is based specifically on your home. Insurers take the cost that they deem it would take to replace certain parts of your home into account when building your coverage1.
    •  Shop around and compare at least 3 rates but probably more. Calling is easier because then you can talk to someone in detail about the coverage and what is included. If your area is prone to a certain issue, ask about coverage for it. Be honest and detailed about the condition and facts of the home so that the estimate will be realistic.
    •  Most insurers will give you a monthly premium and a yearly premium – some give you the option to pay ahead. Be sure you get a deductible you can afford and coverage you need. Many companies will tell you it’s cheaper to bundle home and auto. While this is true for some companies, it does not mean you can’t find individual rates that are cheaper separately.
       

Is Your Family Prepared?

Now you’re ready to shop around! Ask for the things you need with confidence and don’t be afraid to ask for more info or a deal. You’re the customer after all and there are no dumb questions.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 25 June 2018. A Consumer’s Guide to Home Insurance. https://www.naic.org/documents/prod_serv_consumer_guide_home.pdf?9931