Category Archives: Uncategorized

Legislative Update

Language to Preserve Lending for Manufactured Housing Passes House Appropriations Committee

Legislative language that would preserve lending for manufactured homes cleared another important hurdle, passing the House Appropriations Committee.

In March, Rep. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., along with 32 other members of the House, sent a letter to the appropriations committee imploring lawmakers to remove manufactured housing as a class from the increased protections designed by the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau.

“Since the CFPB’s Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (‘high-cost’) rules consider costs as a percentage of a loan, smaller loans, like manufactured home loans, often violate points and fee caps,” the letter stated. “Because of the resulting high-cost designation, many lenders have stopped making manufactured housing loans. It is crucial that the definition of high-cost loans is modified so that manufactured housing loans are not unfairly swept under the high-cost designation simply due to their size.”

Census data shows that nearly 20 million people in the U.S. live in manufactured homes.

The bill, H.R. 1699 – “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing”, resides in $20.2 billion Financial Services Appropriations bill that provides annual funding structure for the departments of Treasury and Judiciary, the IRS, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other related agencies.

The language will need to pass the full House before moving to the Senate and White House before coming law.

In a prepared statement, the Manufactured Housing Institute offered its support of the efforts.

“The successful inclusion of the language demonstrates positive momentum and follows inclusion of the language in the Financial CHOICE Act, financial reform legislation that passed the House of Representatives earlier this month,” the statement read in part.

MHI is the national trade organization representing the factory-built housing industry.

Planned Communities’ Designed

The second installment in a two-part contribution to MHVillage by Equity Lifestyle Properties.

Stumping the Professionals

With so many advanced mathematical formulas and neat patterns for manufactured home communities, you’d think professional planners in other housing sectors could easily replicate a neighborhood design and get the same results.

They get close, Allan D. Wallis writes in his book “Wheel Estate”, but haven’t figured out how to create the strong neighborhood bonds and sense of community of a well-managed and thriving manufactured home community.

Planner Robert Bair, Jr., one of the authors of “Mobile Home Parks and Comprehensive Community Planning” , stated that mobile home communities might be the last genuine communities in America.

 

Manufactured home communities develop a close-knit neighborliness and camaraderie that is rarely witnessed in gated housing communities and planned suburbs. Simply put, residents in gated communities rarely talk to their neighbors. A third of homeowners say they haven’t met their closest neighbor and 20 percent don’t know their neighbor’s name.

Planners of the modern gated communities, with 4,000 square foot site-built homes, have been trying for decades to get the same results witnessed in manufactured home communities. They have mimicked a manufactured home community’s layout, offered the same amenities, and even used similar lot designs, but still have yet to figure how to foster the social interaction seen in a manufactured home communities.

Hillcrest community Clearwater, Fla.

Of course, community planners can only do so much.

The friendliness and neighborhood cohesiveness that forms so naturally within manufactured home communities says a lot about the people living in factory-built housing.

Popular Manufactured Home Community Designs

Community planners use formulas and algorithms to determine the layout of a manufactured home community. Lot size and home placement is especially important to create a thriving community. Experts have found a few home layouts that work well for manufactured home communities and most of us will recognize them.

Herringbone

The Herringbone design at Island Vista Estates in Fort Myers, Fla.

A community laid out in a herringbone design uses diagonal lots to create a cohesive community that maximizes land use. The herringbone is one of the most popular manufactured home community layouts in the U.S. but it isn’t in the top slot.

Perpendicular

The most common community design is the perpendicular layout. Homes are simply placed side by side. This allows for a front and back yard and allows one end of the home to face the road. The staggered perpendicular layout is similar but the homes are placed on opposite sides of the lots.

Zero-lot Line

The zero-lot line is used less often than herringbone or perpendicular layouts. This design places the home’s backdoor on the very edge of the lot to create a larger front yard, but only a walkway in the back. This design is great for communities that have awesome views such as a pond or beach.

Parallel

A parallel layout places the home’s front facing the road. This placement allows for large lots but requires the most acreage.

The Muramota Cluster

Muramoto Cluster

The Muramoto cluster design is unique. George Muramoto was a popular architect and consultant for manufactured home communities in the 1950s. He created a park design that places four homes within a cluster that share a single driveway. To the unknowing, the community may look scattered and unplanned, but every home is placed with intention. The pattern only reveals itself from above.

 

ELS writer Crystal Adkins has authored more than 500 articles about manufactured housing and has been featured on BobVila.com and USA Today.

Photos Photos Photos!

We have been talking with our home buyers on MHV and their number one request is: “More pictures please!”

Statistically, we have found that homes with over 30 photos receive 25% more clicks to view than similar homes with fewer photos.

So there really is no such thing as too many good pictures! The important word being “good”. While your bathroom might have really lovely tile, and you may have recently replaced the shower curtain, there are only so many good angles you can capture of this space.

 

However, the exterior of the home, the layout of the living spaces, the community the home is in, these are all areas that have a variety of different angles which would be very beneficial to your buyer.  You would be surprised how quickly you can surpass that 30 photos mark!

Pro tip: Try having your first photo be of the exterior of the home since if the buyer was coming to see it, that would be their first impression in person too.

The goal is to give the customer the experience of walking through the home when they are scrolling through the pictures. Remember, home buyers might be moving from a different state. So it is important that they get to experience the home in this medium as close to in person as possible.

Hopefully these few tips will help you be able to present your home to the perfect buyer – because after all, you only need one buyer to close the deal!

If you have any questions about your listing on our site, give us a call or send us an email.

We are happy to help!

The Power of Your Sales Caption!

Is your Sales Caption as effective as it could be?

sales-captionMHVillage offers a space for a “Sales Caption” for Featured and Premium Home Listings.

This space will allow you to enter a sentence that will show above your listing in a search result. You want to include an offer or something that is eye-catching, inviting and will get the customer to click on your add from the search result.

Often, I come across Featured and Premium Listings on our site where the seller has entered a caption, but it’s not as effective as it could be.

Actual Sales Caption on MHVillage:

So, while “Best Value”, “In A Great Community” or “Beautiful New Home” as a sales caption sounds okay, it’s not really all that inviting or unique. Plus, you would be surprised how many times I have looked at a search result on our site and seen basically the same simple caption on all of the listings in an area.

Also: If you have one of the more expensive homes in the area, a sales caption can help you explain why. I mean, if your home is priced significantly higher than others in the area, there is probably good reason. However, browsers might skip the most expensive home – unless there is a caption line explaining why the home is more whether, it be on land, newly renovated, fully furnished or the like.

So how do you ensure you are getting the most out of your caption?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Research: You want your home to stand out above the rest in your area. So, do a few searches on MHVillage in your area and make sure you aren’t using the same language another seller is using for their home.
  2. Unique Details: Try to find something unique about your ad that you can highlight in the caption. For example:

“Fully furnished, renovated home, with open floor plan”

  1. Current and Updated: One of the benefits of online advertising is you can update your information at any time. So you can change your caption at any time, based on any incentives you might be willing to offer as the seller.

This feature really can make the difference for your traffic on our site. It can be the detail that turns a shopper into a buyer!

And, if you you would like assistance or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer service.

Shopping for your home made easy!

Buying a house is simply not a simple task.

But when it comes to shopping, we are here to help!

ideal-search-alertsWe have a great feature on our site where you can enter in the details you are looking for when it comes to your next home. We call it our “Ideal Home Search Alert”.

So how does this work?

Start by select the “Mobile Homes” option from the left side of our site, then select the ” Find Homes for Sale” option. When you use this feature on our site you can type in all of the details you are looking for in a home.

 

From here you will be taken to the page where you can fill in all of your desired home details with a check box at the bottom to set your alert. Once you have created the alert, you will start to receive emails about homes that match what you seek!

You can select everything from bedroom and bathroom count, to the geographic location of the home and even the community type (All Ages, or Retirement, for instance).

You also can remove an alert from your account at any time (by logging into your free MHVillage account) in addition to creating multiple alerts for different home options.

 

The alert email will contain a direct link to homes that match your criteria. It will also include the contact information for the home sellers, so you can contact the seller directly.

This is an excellent tool that will not only email you homes currently on our site that match your criteria, it also will email you whenever a new listing is added that fits what you are looking for!

If you have any questions, or would like one of our customer services representative to help you create an Ideal Home Search Alert, let us know. We are happy to help!

 

Is Your Home Priced to Sell?

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your home.

priced-to-sellThough we work in the advertisement world of our industry and do not directly sell homes, our communication with our home sellers, professionals and buyers, gives us a unique perspective when it comes to how sellers price their homes. This article will talk about a few trends we see when it comes to home owners who are listing their own home.

Now, we know nobody knows your home like you do. So it is not surprising that we see a lot of individuals home sellers over-pricing their home on our site.

This totally makes sense, considering you know the all of the upgrades and special features the home has to offer, plus if you are like most home owners, you have invested in your home quite a bit over the years and hope to regain some of those costs with the sale

 

These are all completely logical and rational reasons to list your home on the higher end of the price range. However, there are some risks that come with pricing too high.

Things you risk with a price that’s too high:

  1. A “Hard Pass”– Some buyers look on our site and from the search results will scroll right past homes that are simply outside of their budget. So, if you are pricing your home higher than you know it’s worth you risk them scrolling past and not seeing your advertisement.
  2. Quality Buyer Leads Missed: Similar to number 1. Let’s say a buyer receives your home in one of their search alerts and decides even though it might be priced higher than they are looking, they will see the details. Your buyer might take a look at your advertisement but if the price is not justified with your home listing then you risk them moving on.
  3. Buyer’s Appraisal; Lower than Selling Price- If a home buyer is getting financing for your home, their lender will need appraisal. If that number comes in substantially lower than the selling price you risk the buyer backing out before closing.
  4. Selling Other Homes: By pricing your home too high, the other homes in your area that are priced lower get the advantage. Knowing your market is important, since buyers can also research the selling prices for other homes in that area.

Pricing your home to sell is something that takes research and perspective.

So take some time to learn how to price your home correctly for your market.  If you are working with an industry professional, or real estate agent, they will be able to tell you what homes nearby are selling for, and where your home fits in. They should be able to guide you with their industry knowledge, which is a benefit to hiring a local professional who knows your area market.

If you are selling your home directly, then you might want to invest in a home appraisal or at the very least a Book Value. Not only can these options give you a number to start with, but a report or an appraisal is also something you can offer your buyer.  We currently have an NADA Book Value on our website. You can get just the value for the home for free with your home listing, or if you want the full report (which includes a market analysis report) you can purchase that option too. For home appraisal options, we recommend contacting Datacomp Appraisal. They have a few different appraisal and report options and can give you a quote for their service right over the phone!

The next step is how you advertise the home.

While you know your home, the buyers don’t have any of that experience with the space. They are seeing a price tag on your home and they have to be sold on why it’s worth that number.

If you are advertising on MHVillage, we not only let you list all of the amenities and features of the home, we also have a spot where you can enter a full description. This area of the listing is incredibly important to buyers. Plus it’s your chance to really describe the space and prove that your listing price is accurate. Last but not least, photos photos photos. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not support your selling price with them too!

Hopefully this article can give you a little perspective from the buyers side of things as you continue the process of selling your home. If you have any questions about the services MHVillage offers, please give us a call or send us an email. Our customer service staff is happy to help!