Tag Archives: New Home Models

Tiny House versus Park Model

There’s a lot of talk about tiny homes and how they relate to other types of housing.

It can get confusing, we’ve found, to compare and contrast tiny homes versus the park model home, for instance… particularly when you learn that definitions change with how the sun shines, and something to do, too, with grandma’s meatloaf.

Seriously, stick with us here.

 

Park Model

A regulated temporary living space designed for an RV park setting:

  • 399 or fewer square feet of living space (Fla. is 499 sf)
  • If on wheels and a chassis, can be towed on public streets, roads, highways
  • Cannot be bought with mortgage loan
  • Requires registration, tags and insurance like a vehicle
  • Ideal for RV park or blended RV/mobile home park
  • Purchase from maker for ease of registration, travel safety
  • Retail from $20,000 to $140,000 higher end

Curt Yoder is co-owner of Kropf Industries Inc., a Goshen, Ind. company that makes Park Models.

“What we sell is destination camping,” Yoder said. “We do not promote our units in any way to

Island Series Park Model

Kropf Park Model

be lived in. We’re strictly recreational use.”

On the other hand, tiny houses are primarily looked at as residences, even if second residences or guest houses, and are less-so regarded as a getaway property, like the RV or Park Home.

The problem with tiny homes as a primary residence is that many local ordinances and codes prohibit certain sizes and residential placement. If allowed, they’re typically permitted as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) for the rear or side of a property.

A tiny house on rural land most often is less challenging, but requirements exist in all but the rarest scenario.

“This makes some of the tiny home builders want to register as an RV, but then they want to say it’s lived in rather than seasonal, and that becomes the ticking point,” Yoder said.

“Similarly, over the years, we’ve had manufactured home dealers want to sell park models,” he added. “You’re trying to sell a home next to a recreational vehicle, and it doesn’t work out that well.”

Tiny House

A lifestyle concept embodied by a small home that can fit an MH community:

  • 400 to 999 square feet of livable indoor floor space
  • Some can be smaller dependent on siting and local regulations
  • Anything smaller than 200 square feet is a shed
  • Larger tiny home dimensions cannot be towed for recreation on public spaces
  • Larger units can be hauled, if permitting and consumer/public protection is in place
  • If on permanent foundation, can be primary residence
  • Difficult to finance with mortgage loan, but possible
  • No vehicle registration, tags or insurance
  • Can be insured as personal property (chattel)
  • Ideal for private land, back property guest home
  • With the skills, you can build it yourself
  • Cost differs on preference, from $8,000 self-built to the luxurious limit (Think Italian marble everywhere)
Texas Tiny Home

From HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters.

Shawn Fuller is sales manager at Tiny House Outlet, a division of Legacy Housing.

“Our tiny house stuff has just run away. It’s insane. I’ve never been on a wave like I’ve got surging now,” Fuller said.

Fuller has several models of tiny homes, and has developed an app that allows a customer to

choose features and specifications, get financing, and have the home delivered all on the handheld device.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about tiny homes,” Fuller said. “A true tiny home has to be less than 399 square feet. If it’s bigger, you trigger all the federal guidelines on home construction. The biggest difference between a tiny home and true park model… I don’t know any park model manufacturer that’s not building to ANSI code.

“The only manufacturer I know of that’s building a tiny home with no code is Legacy, and that’s our product out of Commerce, Texas,” Fuller said.

Tiny House Show Colorado

Tiny Home Jamboree, Colorado Springs in August 2015.

What’s more

The dividing line in an odd way – because it works in both directions – is 400 square feet. In this sense, the definition changes as much as it does with square footage depending on how the home is being used and where it’s placed.

The “on wheels” consideration for tiny homes is a big divider – a tiny home on wheels (THOW) is typically going to be 399 square feet or less, sometimes much less.

“If you get much bigger than 20-30 feet long, you need a one-ton truck to move it, and not too

Tiny House on private land

“Weelhouse” from Tiny House Northeast.

many people want to do that,” Isa Bauer, owner of Tiny House Northeast, said. “You’re talking about a group of people who want to live in this home year-round for the sake of a smaller carbon footprint, and that doesn’t fit well if you’re using a giant truck to haul the home.”

If a tiny home is fewer than 200 square feet and stays put, which many are, a predominant number of municipalities and other local governments will consider the structure a shed, and therefore unregulated.

This is the backyard grandma house, the meditation hut, the art center, the kid playhouse. You can plug in a TV, radio or computer, run a small AC or heater, and have a desk and bed, but likely will be without plumbing and running water.

The Final Word

Back to the direction of sun and grandma’s meatloaf.

Didn’t think we’d forget, did you?

Yes, Yoder said his designers, builders and inspectors subscribe to what he calls the “only true way to measure a park model”.

“When sun is at high noon, anything that casts a shadow off the home, including overhang and what else, is measured, and those are your dimensions,” Yoder said.

And Fuller, in comparing his tiny homes to the industry – It’s a matter of giving the customer what they want… Price point and a level of quality.

“The start of the whole tiny home thing was like grandma’s meatloaf,” Fuller said. “You don’t know what’s in it, but we know it’s good. We love to eat it. My tiny homes are like the Cracker Barrel meatloaf. It’s good, and we like to eat it, but it’s not really like grandma’s.

“Not everyone can get grandma’s meatloaf,” Fuller said.

“Grandma’s meatloaf” tiny home is available from Fuller at $25,000. The Kropf Island Series Park Model can be purchased for $54,000, depending on the retail outlet, and the “Weelhouse” from Tiny House Northeast is $35,000.

Affordable Housing Update

National Nonprofit partners to expand efforts in Texas

Nonprofit organization Texas Community Builders, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Business and Community Lenders (BCL) of Texas, is demonstrating the potential of delivering affordable, energy-efficient housing in Texas’ rural communities with factory built housing through a partnership with Next Step Homes, LLC and Clayton Homes.

A model home in La Grange, Texas, will serve as an example of what is possible for teachers, first responders, families and individuals of moderate income levels, and more searching for higher value, lower cost homeownership opportunities to promote asset building.

Rosa Ríos Valdez, CEO of Texas Community Builders, said, “We are proud to work with our partners to offer a model for affordable, energy-efficient housing that will be replicable in communities across Texas.”

City officials, economic developers, and members of the public will be invited to an open house and tour of this model home to explore the future of sustainable housing. An open house for home buyers and the public will be held on Saturday, July 8, with a second event for developers, real estate professionals, and officials on Friday, July 21.

Please visit nextstephometour.eventbrite.com to RSVP for the July 21 event, or nextstepopenhouse.eventbrite.com to reserve a spot for the public event.

Pricing for 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes starts from $149,000, including the land. Homes are highly customizable with optional features and a choice of layouts, and are built on a permanent foundation to ENERGY STAR® standards. Homes will be available for purchase or order as early as August 2017.

“This is a great opportunity to show the benefits of factory-built home,” said Stacey Epperson, president and founder of Next Step. “Working with Texas Community Builders, we hope to provide sustainable homeownership opportunities for more hard working Texas families.”

 

Final Input Sought for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

fannie-mae-freddie-mac

The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) on June 30 passed language from the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act as a part of its Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Services Appropriations bill.

Last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final request for input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s associated proposal on Underserved Markets Plans within the “Duty to Serve” program.

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, speaks in Chicago on affordable housing finance initiatives. From left, Paul Mullings, Sr. VP of Single-Family Strategic Business Initiatives for Freddie Mac; Russ Cross, regional manager for community outreach with Wells Fargo, and Sandra Thompson, deputy director in the Division of Housing Mission and Goals for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

FHFA, the regulator of Fannie and Freddie tasked with enforcing the “Duty to Serve” provision, issued a final implementation rule on Dec. 13, 2016 mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The statute requires the Enterprises to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

The rule requires each Enterprise to adopt a three-year Underserved Markets Plan to fulfill this mandate.  FHFA requests public input on the proposed plans through its dedicated web page by July 10, 2017.

It is anticipated that implementation of “Duty to Serve” provisions will create more financing options for potential home buyers, which also would be a benefit for the housing sector, including the manufactured housing industry.

“I strongly encourage stakeholders to submit feedback on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s proposed ‘Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans,'” said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  “FHFA will evaluate stakeholder input as part of our review process to ensure that the plans help the Enterprises meet their statutory obligations in a safe and sound manner.”

Each Enterprise will update their “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan” after reviewing public input and FHFA feedback. Each Enterprise’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan must receive a non-objection from FHFA before becoming effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The objectives in the proposed and final plans may be subject to change based on factors including public input, FHFA comments, compliance with the Enterprises’ Charter Acts, safety and soundness considerations, and market or economic conditions.

For Home Buyers – Questions and Answers about Manufactured Housing

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
new mobile home

New 2014 Manufactured Home Model

If you are looking to purchase your first manufactured home, or even if you have owned one for awhile and are looking to buy another, there are certain facts you should know. There are a lots of great online resources for information on mobile homes, including your state manufactured housing association. In this article we will look at 5 important facts about manufactured housing that may help you decide on your next home.

What is a state manufactured housing association?

All across the country there are state specific, independent, non-profit organizations that are fantastic resources for information on manufactured housing. At MHVillage we have a complete list of State Associations for Mobile and Manufactured Homes on our site. Go here to get more information about the association in your state.

Here’s a great sample of what the associations have to offer: The Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association has the following Questions and Answers About Manufactured Housing article on their site:

Questions About Manufactured Housing

QUESTION: Are manufactured homes built to a quality standard?

ANSWER: The construction of all manufactured homes marketed in this country is strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (or the HUD Code). In many cases, manufacturers view the HUD Code as minimum performance standards – and exceed mandated standards in their basic designs and offer buyers option packages with upgrades for increased energy efficiency and overall performance.

The HUD Code encompasses not only the construction of the home, but also the performance of heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, thermal and electrical systems.

QUESTION: Are manufactured homes a good investment and where do I get financing?

ANSWER: Many types of financial institutions and service companies – including banks, savings banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and consumer finance companies – offer loan programs for manufactured home buyers. These companies can offer a number of types of consumer, conventional and government-insured financing, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA), Farm Home Loan Administration (FmHA), the Government and the Federal National Mortgage Associations (Ginne Mae and Fannie Mae, respectively) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation loan programs.

As for their investment possibilities, manufactured homes can retain – and gain – value when placed in the proper environment, installed and maintained properly, and treated as a long-term housing investment. Continue reading

New 2014 Manufactured Homes

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

This month I had the opportunity to speak at the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association Meeting. They had model homes on display from Redman Homes, Hart  Housing, Adventure Homes and Harmony Homes. I took a few photos of the homes and posted them on our flickr account and to our Facebook page. Several people expressed interest the homes, so I wanted to give you some more information on how to find a new manufactured home.

If you are looking to purchase a new home, MHVillage has search tools to help you out:

 

Lovely New 2014 Manufactured Homes!

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

MHVillage was recently at the 2014 Tunica Show for Manufactured Housing. While we were there, we had the opportunity to see a wide variety of 2014 models. Legacy Homes LTD had several homes that caught our eye like this beauty: Model LESS 1460-21A. It is a paragon of simplicity. They’ve added a ton of features to save space – like a stacking washer and dryer right in the master bath!

If you would like to see more from Legacy Homes LTD, head over to our flickr page and if you like seeing the new models, keep a close eye on our Facebook page – we’ll be posting photos there as well!

More information about the home:

This Legacy LESS Collection home features 765 square feet of living space, with 1 master bedroom, 1 additional bedrooms, and 1 full baths.
Square Footage: 765
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Living Areas: 1
Dining Areas: 1
External Dimensions: 14×60
Model Year: 2014

Want to Learn More about Legacy Homes? There are several companies that sell Legacy Homes on MHVillage, check them out:

Greater Houston Mobile Homes in Alvin, TX

Hillside Manufactured Home Community

West Frontier Homes, LLC in Granbury, TX

Houston Area Mobile Homes in Houston, TX