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25 Comments

  1. Very well done article. We’ve lived in manufactured housing for almost 40 years. Your observation on site prep is very on point. The one regret we have is that we didn’t pay for a solid concrete slab but instead installed runners. If you purchase a multi-unit home, site prep is absolutely key to avoiding unit separation issues.

    One other thing, people who don’t read contracts thoroughly have a special name—litigants! But most contracts today have arbitration clauses. Be aware that such a clause limits your rights—think hard about signing such a document.

  2. Is it normal to tell the banker that your home has been delivered and tied down. So they get funding before they finish trimming out and bring the AC unit. They tell us not to mention the trailer was delivered Two weeks ago so we get 30-45 days before our first payment is due

  3. That was excellent! I mean really. I saved your site. Other sites were so dumb. Thank you for writing this article. I’m just beginning and your advice was important. I will reread it over and over again. Thank you!

  4. I agree that you should do as much research as you can before you buy a house because then you’ll be able to get better deals. The more knowledge you have, the more you can use that to your advantage. My husband and I want to move into a manufactured home because we heard that they’re more affordable than a traditional home.

  5. This is a well-written, helpful and I am sorry we didn’t read it before we purchased our Champion modified Wells. The dealership, Factory Expo, made our buying experience truly awful. The salesman was insane, unaccommodating, proud of his pressure tactics, and spent a lot of time wasting ours. He artfully dodged questions and changed subjects. #22 is spot on, too. No one wants responsibility for problems, and it has been a he-said she-said blame game from the beginning. The one thing I would add to your list is to locate and investigate the company who is going to set the home before you decide to buy a home. The nightmare didn’t end with the shifty dealer. We encountered an equally shady house setter (Set Right, Peoria, IL). We purchased the house before getting a setter in line. The house sat in two pieces on the lot for months. This pushed us into the dead of winter before we could get utilities connected. (That is another nightmare for another time.) I have never heard so many excuses why he couldn’t show up and finish things, but he sure wanted his money. Like an idiot, I paid him before he was done AND gave him all of the appliances because we purchased high-end replacements. He never came back. Now we are paying a man who works for the manufacturer to come out and fix the mate-line. Honestly, I wish we had built a site built house on our property. You featured my last manufactured home, which I bought already on the site. After renovations, I sold that one at a decent profit. Having been through everything with the new place, I think I sold the last one too cheaply. Nothing can ever re-pay for the amount of stress, anxiety and financial drain we have been through.

    1. Hi Richard,

      I remember your last home – it was a stunner! I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. Installation is one of the most troublesome aspects of new manufactured home purchases (besides the shady salespeople, of course). If there’s anything I can do to help please let me know.

  6. Dealers cannot receive a commission on manufactured home loans per the dodd-frank act. Only mortgage brokers can! Also notate ensure your receiving bids that are apples to apples. Wind zone and thermal ratings can vary greatly within a state(as you suggest to shop dealers within a state for pricing) Also, ensure this includes freight to your homesite as the father away the more it will be. Without giving the exact address they cannot provide an accurate quote and especially without seeing it. Also, one big point missed is check the data plate. A few companies own the many this is the only way to ensure what the plan truly is since they make several versions depending on the plant.

    1. Hi Angela,

      Thanks for the tips! I’ll be honest, the entire Dodd-Frank / manufactured housing issue has had me a bit confused for years. I’ve read practically everything MHi has released during their campaign to get the regulations lifted but I can’t understand WHY they wanted them lifted so badly.

      I understood that there were so many loopholes and questions in regards to the manufactured housing world (for example, how a financial advisor was defined) that the main regulations (regarding the kickbacks) were still happening just in other forms which they argued made it less fair for the consumer. I figured it wasn’t such a big issue since most financing companies also own the dealerships. So, if they were still going on, why were the so concerned with getting them removed? I guess we’ll see since they were successful in removing them? It’s all such a jumbled complicated mess – it’s really hard to keep up with.

      Thanks for the tips!

  7. Amazing discussion!! Purchasing a ready house may have a greater number of advantages than building a new house. Home buying is one of the most challenging if you’re not prepared.

  8. I put an application in at a mobile home park in harbor springs, mi. i was going to pay cash for the mobile home and pay the rent each month. i am married but want to put the title in my name only. i was told that wasn’t legal. then i was told i couldn’t prepay rent for a couple of years to assure my being accepted in the park. is this right?

    1. Hello,

      Unfortunately, I’m not knowledgeable enough to help you. I would suspect the prepayment is because they may want to raise the rent prices annually (most parks do) and if they take your payments now they can’t ask for more? That’s just a guess. On the marriage thing, in most states, everything is split right down the middle. There may be some law in your state about that.

      Best of luck!

    2. I have purchased two properties in the last 2 years in Michigan. I am married and live here too. The law changed in 2016 I believe and the wife no longer needs to be part of the paperwork. my wife is not on either of the new properties I purchased.

  9. Hi, we’re in the process of purchasing a brand new mobile home. The park owner is financing the home for us. In our agreement he has including a charge for pouring concrete slab and driveway, set up electric, water and sewer hook up, etc. This makes our 48,000 home price increase to 61,000. I’m not sure if these costs are normal since we’re paying lot rent and don’t own the land. Also, we’re charged a tax of 6.5% for title. Shouldn’t the 6.5% only be on costs of home-48,000.00?

    1. Hi Lee,

      I’m not very knowledgeable about park law but this sounds REALLY fishy to me. One of the biggest advantages of renting lots in a park is to forego the expenses of owning and maintaining the land. You would need to pay the utility companies for new installs but the concrete slab and driveway is a permanent improvement to the land and so it is an asset to the landowner, not you.

      I would walk, no run, far away. If they are trying this kind of stuff just imagine what more they want to try.

  10. This is a great and informative blog, thanks. We’re looking to pay cash for a single wide, and we’re wondering is there a certain time of year or month to get a better deal.

    1. Hi Nolan,

      I have no data to back my opinion but I assume that because manufactured homes are sold like cars, on a commission, that end of the month, end of quarters, and end of the year would be the easiest time to negotiate. If you could find out when the builder you like releases their new models you may be able to get a good deal on the dealer’s lot model. I know August is when the car industry releases their new models so it’s the best time to buy the current year’s models. You have me curious now, I’m gonna have to do some research…lol

      Best of luck!

  11. Should you see the purchaae order of the home? And should the price on the purchase order be the price you pay for the home?

    1. Hi Daphne,

      It’s not going to help much if you do. If I’m understanding it correctly, there are no MSRPs on manufactured housing so numbers on a piece of paper isn’t going to tell you much. What you see on the order isn’t what the dealer paid, there are added costs such as ‘flooring’ loans (to be able to bring the home onto the lot for show), insurance, transportation, and setup that need to be included on top of the factory’s purchase order.

      I read once that the average profit for a dealerships on a new manufactured home is $11,000. But then I’ve also read that it’s a lot lower than that nowadays (maybe the 11k was during the 1990s boom?).

  12. Super helpful insider-info, thanks for taking the time to put this together. Knowing your budget is such a huge part of being able to finance your home, whether it be manufactured or not!

  13. I absolutely agree that one of the most important things when buying a mobile home is to do plenty of research, as the article recommends. A mobile home is a major purchase, and any major purchase should only be done with plenty of knowledge. A person should know virtually everything there is to know about a mobile home before making the decision to buy it so that there are no surprises later.

  14. If the spreads are right they can buy and lease for great cash flow. When I say the spreads I mean the spread between what a home would rent for versus your buy and rehab costs.

  15. These fifteen tips are absolutely wroth learning. Maintaining a home since beginning till date we stay on the home is a tough job and a proper experience home owner can do that job quite nicely. By learning above mentioned effective tips anyone can take care of a new manufactured home perfectly. A decent sharing!! Thanks a lot. for keeping up.

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