Profile picture for user9889787

Are Manufactured Homes A Poor Choice in Housing?

They are hard to finance, not impossible but w/o the ability to get a 15 or 30 yr. fixed loan; is buying a manufactured home a poor choice? ARM loans only forever! Selling in the future given today's limited financing choices really reduces the number of eligible buyers.

I'm looking at a double wide foreclosure in northern Minnesota and very concerned that it'll take a year or more to sell. Am I being overly concerned or is my nervousness justified?
  • August 11 2013 - Walker
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Answers (21)

Manufactured Homes are not a poor choice of housing , they were and are an alternative to building. They are not made the same as a regular house obviously , thus if they are not taken care of properly they can go down hill faster than standard housing.
The materials used to build them ( especially the finishing materials ) such as cabinetry, tub units, trim ... are not the best in the world but only appear on the outside appearance.

Some manufactured homes are used in areas where the original buyer didn't want to commit to a regular build. Some lands here are owned by Land Companies and are leased...can't build on them but generations of folks have lived on these properties for years, one stipulation the companies have is you can't build on the properties.

Some buyers just don't want to wait for a standard build and in a hurry and that is an option they choose.

However as a contractor I have went into some of these 'double wides' and
built some amazing kitchens and baths just as I would in a standard house.
Replaced windows with better quality just as I would in a standard house and have seen them with block foundations making them that much more equal (almost) to a regular build home.
Still leaves the roof truss system ( weak, under sized materials but they work ) the sheeting under the siding ( have seen 1/8 paneling pcs ) they said it had plywood under it ...well that is plyed wood.

So as far as the older ones go, no they are not the same, the prior condition of the home is everything, you can spend some money on them if they aren't.
The brand new one made be made better and use a better choice of materials in finishing and etc. but I haven't had to renovate any new ones.

I have also seen some ads read ( must be moved on purchase ) so read the words carefully.

As a buyer I don't even look at a manufactured home unless the property is
worth the cost with the added cost of temporary living in the manufactured home is worth it...while I build a standard house.

Hope this a little insight on manufactured homes and help you make a more educated desision.
Again these are the older homes not the newer ones.

-Joseph-
  • August 11 2013
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
I disagree with Joe's answer. There are three types of homes:

Stick Built = built on site the old fashion way you are use to

Modular = built in a large warehouse/factory with the same material as a stick built but built indoors in a controlled environment and supervised heavily for quality. The same workers do the same job day in day out so they are good at it. They are built in box shapes and transported to the job site on flat bed trucks. There are no wheels and no I beams. I think Joe has them mixed up and he is talking about modulars.

Manufactured = these are your single wide and double wide trailers. They are considered like a car, personal property and that is why they are hard to finance. They don't usually go up in value so banks shy away from them. They are what you hear about when storms pass through an area. They are more cheaply made and not as well made as the 2 above.

tim
  • August 11 2013
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Manufactured homes are a great solution for many owners of homes. I have many people who ask to live in them, because that is all they have ever known, and they know what to expect. So this type of home compared to a brick, block or frame house is all about expectations. Many mobile home communities are more friendly than those of brick, block and frame, as they are made up of other like minded people, with the same liking of the mobile/manufactured home. Rarely do you see a manufactured home community with lots of vacancies, they do fill a need for housing for many.

Take care,
Liz
  • August 11 2013
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No Joseph don't have them mixed up. The person who listed the question is taking about a manufactured home a 'double wide trailer' . The word modular was not mentioned in the question nor my answer.

-Joseph-
  • August 11 2013
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Profile picture for Claudia_5
Your nervousness is justified.  Any time it is difficult to obtain financing for something, it narrows down your buyer pool.  The smaller the buyer pool the more longer the time on the market.  If the manufactured home meets the FHA retro-fit guidelines (tongue removed, title surrendered to the land, structural report, etc) you can increase your buyer pool significantly.  Good luck!
  • August 11 2013
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It is difficult to get financing on doublewides now and this has to do with a high number of foreclosures and a general higher rate of depreciation compared to regular stick built homes.  Just make sure you do your homework on the home including a thorough home inspection, talking to a realtor about how manufactured homes are selling/appreciating/depreciating in the area, and a mortgage loan expert about financing options.  Then you should be able to make a good decision if it is right for you.

Good luck on this!
  • August 12 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
You will not make anything off the purchase when you sell. 
  • August 12 2013
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Josh must have a crystal ball ...  I have purchased and resold about 200 manufactured homes during my career and made a profit on each and every one.   manufactured homes are no alternative housing.  I have lived in one for over 20 years.  

Like any home they require maintenance but a high percentage of owners just done understand or cant afford the upkeep.  The modern MH is build with 2x6 studs, can withstand 150 MPH winds and is in all ways equivalent to any modern framed home.
  • August 12 2013
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Profile picture for CrystalAdkins
Boy, to be real estate 'professionals' few of you have done your homework.

Data Comp did a study a few years back that proved that manufactured homes can and do appreciate. They studied 185 newly purchased homes and 3 years later 97 of those homes were worth an additional $2900 (average). The remaining 85 lost value. Placement, maintenance and market go into play of course. The other 3 stayed at the same value.


Saying they cannot gain value and that they are more cheaply made than a stick-built home really shows your ignorance. Studies have been done comparing the construction of a modern manufactured home against a site built home. Guess which one had more issues? Not the manufactured home!

Your ignorance continues to push untruths into the public which is a disservice to everyone. Look at some true data and stop using the same ole tired misinformation and untruths.
  • August 13 2013
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Profile picture for CrystalAdkins
As far as foreclosures go, I've never seen a bit of national data that states manufactured homes have more foreclosures. What data I have seen (and there's plenty out there) states that manufactured housing has 7% less foreclosures than stick-built homes and the loans perform better than stick built homes.

(Source: http://www.rooflines.org/3127/manufactured_home_mortgages_perform_as_well_as_other_mortgage/)

Here's the sources to the appraisal data:
http://www.nw.org/network/comstrat/manufhsg/documents/appinmhhousing_000.pdf

http://modular-home.com/category/new-mobile-homes/

I hope you will consider looking into the data before telling people that manufactured homes cannot appreciate, are not built as well as a stick built home and have higher foreclosures. The data proves otherwise.
  • August 13 2013
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Profile picture for realtorv
Buying a trailer is like buying a car.  They come with a title and here in the midwest most trailers depreciate a lot quicker then a home does.  You are not buying Real Estate so you may not be able to get the write off or be able to get a "Mortgage" on the trailer itself.  So think of it as a used car.  
  • August 13 2013
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Since most lenders do not do Manufactured housing it can be a sketchy call on purchasing one. Once VA and FHA pull their financing it will be very had to sell maybe only to a cash buyer. Not a good situation
  • August 13 2013
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The most important step for you to take in this case, would be to contact a licensed real estate agent who specializes in the area where you are home hunting. The value a manufactured home has & will hold, is largely dependent whether or not it is being sold as real estate with the land it is on, or as just the home itself (in this case it is not real estate & holds title just like a vehicle), how well it and the homes around it have been maintained & the initial quality of the home. My first instinct is to steer you away from manufactured properties if you are highly concerned about resale value, but again, there are many variables more successfully discussed with a LOCAL agent.
Best of luck!
  • August 13 2013
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re: Mobile or Manufactured Homes, I am an Insurance Agent (in FLA.- all States  have different laws) from an Insurance perspective one thing to figure into the total cost is that to my knowledge NO Insurance Company will Insure a Manufactured Home on a "Replacement Cost" settlement basis. This means that if the Home is a total loss, you will have the claim settled on an "Actual Cash Value" basis, which is how Automobile claims are settled. If your 2000 built Manufactured home burns to the ground (frame?) you will only get the, "what could I buy one on Craig's List TODAY" value. Which is a HUGE difference from having the Insurance Company be required to re-build/replace your home with "Like kind & quality" subject only to Not going above the "A"-dwelling coverage amount. Say you by a stick-built home instead and the Replacement/reconstruction estimate is $100k & Home was built in 2000. Replacement Cost settlement means that youwill either have your home re-furbished/repaired back to the state it was in before the fire...even if it costs MORE than the "A" coverage amount! (this is to protect Homeowners-not considered "expert" and Neighbors (so that a home that the owners cannot afford to repair doesn't drive down other's Property values. The 'rule of thumb' to remember the difference is "Replacement Cost" settlements means- You get NEW for OLD. Ins. Company has to "Replace" your home. Actual Cash Value-ACV means you get Depreciated Value, say your home is assumed to have a 50 year life expectancy, in this example-2000 built....You are automatically calculated to have gotten "20% of the 'Use' of the home" and THAT is the starting point. Mobile Homes in Florida are also treated as an "Automobile" in other respects as well (referring to Insurance, again), which is one reason it is so difficult to get a "Mortgage" on one.....most of them have only a 15-20 year "expected useful life" so, often, by the time someone has paid them off....they are depreciated down to virtually nothing, like a 15-20 year old car. Not sure if it helps? Good Luck...ScottieTheInsuranceGuy
  • August 16 2013
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Profile picture for Furlong Team
Manufactured housing has limited options for financing.  Consider this not only when you purchase one, but when you sell it as well.  Buyers will have a more difficult time obtaining financing, thus limiting the potential market for your home when you go to sell.
  • September 03 2013
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Profile picture for user359783
Stay away from them, really look at the build quality, check the drawers of the kitchen etc, you can notice its cheaply build. You will pay 15 or 30 years on a home that will be worthless by that time because the construction quality is so bad. If you home situation changes and you want to move and sell the place, you might get some Interested buyers, bit they will have a hard time financing it cause a normal bank wont finance them. That by itself should tell you it a bad investment, normal banks wont deal with them unless they are on a permanent base, you have to go with a company like Vanderbilt mortgages, google these sweethearts for a few seconds. So much better to buy a cheaper fixer upper, you can add value to, than a painted cardbox that is a manufactured home. You will regret it if you buy one, I know from experience.
  • September 04 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I tend to agree with user359783. Manufactured homes are often not a good choice for a long term owner. They tend to have more maintenance issues than stick built and are often harder to insure, sell and/or finance.

Manufactured homes may be serviceable for some, but for many owners they come with unexpected downsides when the new wears off. Newer is not always better. Stick built would be my first choice.
  • September 04 2013
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There are a lot to consider before you buy a manufactured home. Manufactured homes, aka mobile homes, are built on non-removable steel. One aspect to consider is can you put it on land? Some zoning regulations do not allow these types of property; make sure you do your research before buying one.

Is it built to handle rough climate?
Is it on a permanent foundation?
Does it have warranty?
  • October 06 2013
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You can definitely obtain fixed 30 year and 15 yr financing on a manufactured homes.  FHA, VA and conventional financing are available with as little as 0% down in the case of the VA loan and 3.5% for FHA loans.  Let me know if can help with anything else. 
  • July 23
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Brandon:

Please, let me have your info
  • December 03
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NINETY NINE POINT NINE Per Cent of where you will live in a Mobile Home Park will either screw you out of all of your rights including STEALING YOUR MOBILE. 

If you think that the GSMHOA (Golden States Mobile Home Owners Association) will come chaging to your rescue FORGET IT! They are all hot air and no action ...... unless you stay on their case and then they want to drop you because they have TOO MUCH WORK TO DO... HUH????

Stay away from any Mobile Home anywhere unless you have the land to set it up on then you will be dealing with the state and county that want to tax the hell out of you. Other than this you may be okay????? OHHHH don't forget to duck when you are dealing with anyone selling a mobile because they are wanting to DUMP THEIRS because of the above info that I just shared with you. Got the Picture??? 


 


   
  • December 04
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