Should I buy...well...I guess I'll just say it: a Manufactured Home?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael D. Bunting, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    My wife and I are looking into buying a new home here near Seattle, WA.
    The cost of Housing in this area (Seattle/Tacoma) justs keeps climbing and climbing....
    Our most important features that our new home must include (in no particular order):
    - ~2 acres of land or more (pretty hard to find in this area)
    - Must be located in a "good area" with "good" schools (for our future kids, should we decide to have any)
    - Alot of Sq Footage (~2000 Sq FT) As we already have alot of new furniture!
    - Bonus Room or Basement (Most important to me! = Home Theater room!)
    Those are pretty much the basic things we are looking for.
    After looking around the past month or so, we have pretty much decided that for the features we want in our new home, they cannot be had for under $200,000...which is probably about $50,000 above our price range right now, unfortunately.
    So this leads me to: thinking about possibly purchasing a Manufactured Home from a company like:
    Fleetwood Homes - www.fleetwoodhomes.com
    Heck, some models even come with a built-in Home Entertainment system featuring a Philips 43" TV and DVD player! My Sony 57HW40 would still reign supreme though!
    http://www.fleetwoodhomespuyallup.fh....com/products/
    Most of them can be had for under $100,000....add this to the land purchase cost and setup fees and I'm probably in at my target area of $150,000 or so. Plus we would be able to get all the features that we want at this time....without having to settle for a small home on a small lot with lots of neighbors.
    Any comments for me? Anyone have any good or bad experiences with a Manufactured Home purchase that they would share with me?
    Thanks for any and all info as always!
    Mike
     
  2. AviTevet

    AviTevet Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't even think you could get 2 acres of decent land near Seattle for $150k!

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that manufactured homes don't appreciate as well as regular homes, but just take that as a research starting point. If I were going to build a home I would seriously consider a manufactured home.
     
  3. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    I'm not familiar with Seattle but would it be possible to get the land you're looking for with an older or smaller traditional home on the property? I just bought my first house a few months ago and it was originally a two bedroom house that had been vacant for a while but the contractor I bought it from completely remodeled and expanded the place adding a new family room, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room and garage. Building a new house equivalent to what I got in this place would have doubled the price. Likewise, I looked into a manufactured house at this price and it would have been smaller and my real estate agent made it clear that prefab housing doesn't hold its value like traditional homes.
     
  4. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    My home is a prefab...and it's value has skyrocketed!!!! The housing costs in a given area determine how fast or slow or to what percentage housing prices climb!

    Frankly..if and when I move...if I go for new...I am going prefab again.

    BTW...the house across the street from me is a prefab that went up in 1998 for 200K. Last year it sold for 300K, Nice price bump if you ask me!
     
  5. kevin_tomb

    kevin_tomb Stunt Coordinator

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    depends on what you mean by prefab. Mobile homes are a bit different than a traditional MODULAR home. Modular is a completely regular, built to code home, but just partially built in a factory. Mobile homes are built to a national mobile home standard. Modulars are the EXACT same thing as building it on site, stick by stick. Mobiles can vary in construction standards somewhat, some great some not so great. I would consider modular, thats what I had built 3 years ago and am VERY happy with it. I owned a half acre and built a 1300 sq ft modular on it for about $80000, including full basement with 2 car garage, decks, A/C etc. Mind you this is full modular not a manufactured or mobile home.

    Kevin
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    My parents purchased a manufactured home made by a company called Redmond when they retired to northern Michigan 13 years ago (where they owned 11 acres of undeveloped land). They were able to get a lot more square feet of living space for their money than a traditional "on-site built" home. They ended up with a very nice 1,600 sq ft 3 bedroom ranch, placed on a walkout basement. At that time, however, some of the components of the unit were not quite up to the quality that I would expect in a traditionally constructed home -- items such as cabinets, windows, doors, plumping fixtures, etc. They did save enough money, though, so they could afford other items, such as a deck, pole barn, tractor, heavy duty snow blower, etc.

    Now, my dad's sister and her husband (my aunt/uncle) are looking into manufactured homes to place on their retirement property in northern Michigan, and my parents have been going with them to check out models. According to my parents, the quality of available components has greatly improved since they purchased their home 13 years ago.
     
  7. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Besides having to purchase the land, I really don't see how this is that much different than purchasing a home in a Ryland (or other companies like it) development. If you can find good land, go for it.
     
  8. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Make sure that the roof is properly designed for the snow load in your area.

    IMO, I have found that manufactured home (or mobile homes) to be generally a bit flimsy...build wise. They are quite a bit cheaper than a typical home. Old saying: You usually get what you pay for. Or maybe it's just me....I have found a number of detached, single family homes to be flimsy constructed. It's probably due to my civil engineering background.

    Dave
     
  9. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    How would a mobile home hold up in a major earthquake?
     
  10. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    Teh recommendation here in the Portland area is only go with a manufactured home if you own the land you will be placing it on. If having to rent a lot, forget about it.
    I know my wife and I looked at a mfg home a while back that was more beautiful than any site-built home I have ever seen. This thing was incredible and had a perfect room for a small home theater. [​IMG]
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  12. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Manufactured homes don't last.

    I lived in one for three years because it was all I could afford at the time. Never again. When we built our new home, we had a choice: Acreage and a factory built home or a traditional city lot in a subdivision with a stick built home. We went for the stick built; it was no contest.

    Manufactured homes look great on the seller's lot. Once you own one for a couple of years, though, they go to hell fast. At least, every one I've been in does. My wife's parents bought one new in '96 and within two years it was shot. I tried to install a toilet paper holder in one of their bathrooms for them and the cabinets were made with 1/8" door-skin plywood. Couldn't get it to hold for crap.

    Others have mentioned value. For every story of a MH that has increased in value there are 10 more where they've decreased. Around here you can get a used MH on acreage for under $100k - much less than the sellers put into it. I wouldn't even consider one. All the BS you hear about "They're only cheaper because we build them in a factory" is exactly that: BS. The build quality is nowhere near that of a nice stick built.

    That said, new factory homes are not horrible. They've come a long way from the trailers of the 70s and 80s. If you're like me - wanting a fair amount of property but can't afford a stick built home on top of that - then you have to make a decision whether to trade home quality for property. We decided we'd rather have a stick built home than room for horses and an ultralight runway. You'll have to make the decision for yourself. There is no wrong decision, it just depends on what you want. There are many people who live in manufactured homes and have no problem with them.
     
  13. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    "manufactured home" do not hold their value. they depreciate where stick built homes appreciate.
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    However, keep in mind that if you place a manufactured home on your own piece of property, your overall property values will probably still increase, because the land will continue to appreciate in value. Also, while the components of a manufactured home are usually not of the same quality as a traditionally built home, they can still be replaced over time. My parents have replaced the windows, plumbing fixtures and roof on their 13 year old modular home.
     
  15. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  16. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    ....and the particleboard floors dissolve the first time your washer or commode overflows.
    My dear sister asked about MH about 15 years ago, she was in the Bay Area and it was what she could afford. I passed along pretty much what these previous posters have covered, to no avail. She was in "such a strong real estate market" that the usual rules "didn't apply." Her used mobile home was "going to appreciate in value." On it's tiny $500.00 a month lot.
    That was two bankruptcies ago. [​IMG]
     
  17. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    I very much appreciate everyone's honesty here. Thanks so much!
    I pretty much would have to agree with everybody also myself, as these were my thoughts almost exactly before I started this thread a couple days ago.
    My wife and I will do some talking and go from there I guess. I would really rather prefer a new home versus a manufactured home....and I guess I might have to give up one of my "wants" (2+ Acres of land, and no close neigbors) in order to fulfill my wants in buying a new home.
    I have found some lower prices new homes (with less land) and I will be checking them out as soon as I can....
    If I am giving up on finding that perfect home on a large lot...I'm definitely not going to give up the "bonus" room or den or basement in my new home....I absolutely must have a seperate - dedicated - HT Room!
    Why else would I be posting this thread on HTF.com! [​IMG]
    Thanks agin guys....keep the debate (stick built vs. Manufactured) open if possible.....it's been interesting reading for me!
     
  18. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Michael, you might consider looking for an older home with a bit more square footage that you can update.

    What is the median price for homes in your area? You can get an FHA 203K rehab loan on a home that is need of repairs. An FHA, VA, or bank foreclosures are good options. Plus any home that has need of cosmetic and functional updating is a candidate.

    You find a home for $110,000 that with $25-40,000 worth of repairs could get an appraisal for $150,000 when fixed up. Your loan would be for $110,000 plus $25,000 for the repairs less the 3% down payment. You could do some of the work an build sweat equity or turn it over to contractors for the whole thing. Even with contractors doing the work you can get some equity. Rates are about a half percent higher than standard FHA rates, but you don't have a construction loan etc.

    Our market in Boise is ideal for this type of program. I have friends in Seattle that say the real estate market there is crazy.

    Skip the MH.
     
  19. JoelC

    JoelC Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael, my wife and I just purchased a "manufactured" home from a company called Premier Buiders. It is a 2640 SF Colonial style home, and should be delivered to our 5 acres of land between 9/9-9/13. At first I was a little scared, as I have heard the same things that were written here. We are financing through GMAC Mortgage and when I first told them it was a "manufactured" or "pre-fab" house, they said, "We don't finance for those". About a week later, I called back and spoke to another person at GMAC. He asked how many pieces it was being delivered in and I said 4 pieces. He said ok, we can finance those because they are actually considered stick built. I think, and I am no professional, but there is a different build quality between this and a double wide trailer or what not. We customized the whole thing making it from a 4 bedroom to a three bedroom and changing other room dimensions etc. I am still a little bit nervous, but hopefully everything will turn out alright.
     
  20. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    JoelC

    Thanks for your comments. I think my wife and I will probably check out a few more maufactured home companies as well - before making a final decision on the matter.

    The manufactured home we had talked about previously came in 3 sections (at least I think so)...and was 2200+ sq ft.

    On the other hand, I will quailify for a VA Loan (I'm in the military right now), so that's another option I have for financing my home.

    Good luck Joel - I'm sure everything will turn out fine. Keep me/us here informed if you can.
     

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