Home for Sale

Tips for the New Home Buyer

tips-for-buying-a-mobile-homeIf you’re looking to purchase a manufactured home, whether it’s new or previously owned, in a community or on private land, there are a few things that people with experience want you to know.

Do your research. When a make, model or design is suggested, find out about the competitors. This holds true, too, for associated services, like financing, transport or setup.

For a previously lived in home, check the roof, water heater and furnace – these are expensive components to replace, and you should know that there is significant life left in them at the time you’re looking to purchase.

Think about drywall versus wall board. Step heavily on high-traffic areas to ensure the floor is solid. Check windows for leaks. Check skirting for holes and moisture underneath the home. None of this is very pleasurable, but all of it is necessary.

Being your own advocate is important.

Maralee Dougherty, of Leesburg, Fla., recently lost her husband and moved to a new home in a new community. She moved to a resident-owned community, so she could own the land beneath the home, and to a home that was a bit smaller in size. Beyond the expanded amenities in the new community, Hawthorne at Leesburg, Dougherty said the home “showed very well”, and that an inspector and friendly contractor helped assure her of the value.

The exterior of a new Champion home

“It’s very open,” Dougherty said of the new home. “The living and dining rooms are one big L-shape. A lot of the more expensive stuff has been replaced, including roof, windows and siding. There also was new laminate floors. Everything the previous owners had done, they seem to have bought the best.”

It’s always best that you watch for problems, or have someone you can trust do it for you.

David Murphy, of Las Vegas, Nev., said he prefers to live in an all-ages community as opposed to a senior park, and that he’s mindful of staying above flood level to help protect his investment.

“I like new-from-the factory,” Murphy said. “It is vital that the roof is sealed and taken care of. The home would be no good if it leaks on the beams… then the heat and AC need to be working well, with plumbing up to date and electrical up to date.”

On the more pleasurable side, every home shopper has a unique interest in amenities.

Pick your package

Bruce Thelen is director of sales and development for Champion Homes, one of the largest

The interior of this Champion home shows the design of the kitchen area has been a central focus for the maker.

makers in the market. He has detailed what Champion and its product designers have implemented in the way of customer demand.

“Our consumers want to see the features and color pallets and design elements that they see on HGTV, and that they see in higher price stick built homes,” Thelen said.  “We spend a lot of time figuring out features and colors that go into our homes while maintaining the price points everyone is accustomed to in our industry.”

Pink remains a popular color in Florida. Darker tones play well in the Midwest and Great Lakes, while much of the rest of the country is going to lighter brown-beige and off-white tones.

“We try to offer the consumer as much choice as possible,” Thelen said. “There are two ways we do that. One is in the actual design of the house. We create a ‘family of homes’, focusing on the living area, kitchen and bath. We perfect those as much as we can, and then build the remainder of the house around it in multiple dimensions.

The dining and main living area in a new Champion home.

“Maybe it goes from a three- to four-bedroom, or turns a 56-foot house into a 60-foot house,” he said. “We can offer the consumer this variation, along with three different bathroom designs and maybe certain cabinets, varying roof pitch or an optional dormer.”

Champion customers want to see built-in components – architectural designs that look somewhat like free-standing residential furniture. For instance, a kitchen island that uses table legs on one side rather than a full cabinet, or a fixed computer desk, or storage cubes in an entry “mud” room.

Customers want deep, stainless steel farmer sinks, “rainfall” showerheads, wide ceramic showers with no tub, and bright-open layouts.

And overall home design, inside and out.

“A cleaner and streamline look,” Thelen said. “We’ve really followed that trend. It varies somewhat by region, but it’s been more distinct in recent years.”

7 thoughts on “Home for Sale

  1. Diane Moore

    Can you tell me how to buy a home when ALL of your parks are dog haters. I was even told that a Yorkie would not be allowed cause they can bite. Exactly how do I do it. Do I buy the trailer and not tell them about the dogs (2). Then what I own a trailer in a park then you kick me out because of the dogs. What happens to my trailer that I own. I know that you won’t answer my questions, but there it is.

    1. Patrick Revere Post author

      Hello Diane, thank you for posting. Happily, I do have an answer for you! First, I would like to say that we, at MHVillage, help people buy/sell/rent homes. And we provide resources and information on the industry. But we do not own or operate a community, and have no part in the making of community rules. And we understand your dilemma. Yes, it can be difficult to find the right community for you, especially if you have a couple of pets. As for the services we provide, my colleague wrote a nice blog on how pet owners can search our site for homes in communities where pets are allowed. Take a look! http://mobilehomeadvisor.com/how-to-find-a-mobile-home-community-that-allows-pets/ Hope this helps; have a great day!

  2. Eldri

    Hi Diane! We also are looking to relocate to Florida and have two small dogs – a Maltese and a cocker spaniel. Our real estate agent knows our #1 priority is finding a place where our two dogs are welcome and she has a large number of homes to show us when we get there next month.

  3. June Parker

    Hi don’t know where you are but here in so cal we have many pet friendly parks who have no problem with you having 2 yorkies (I do too)! No only are they pet friendly but they also have dog parks within the community . Saying that however beware of pet friendly parks that allow pets but you can never have your dog off leash within even your own fenced yard And never without you there with them which is really dumb as far as I think !!! The park I am in is wonderful I have a vinyl fence around my mobile so have a nice little yard for my babies and they come and go as they like via a doggy door into our yard . Please look more there are really nice parks to fit you and your doggies. I could not live being worried every minute of every day being harassed by managers threatening to throw us out for having my yorkies

  4. Frontera

    Hi my biggest question is I am retired and so is my wife we want to finance a home what do we have to do to finance a home that’s already on the property we want to buy it we have a down payment but how do we go through the financing we both got our social security monthly payment we are and have been paying rent for 10 years at $1,150 a month we are more than capable of making payments we just need to know how to finance

  5. John Prebil

    I would like to purchase a top of the line manufactured home . Where do I find a listing? Thank you very much.


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