Here are a few things to consider before purchasing a manufactured home:
Senior or family park?
Some mobile home parks are specially designated for residents who are age 55 and better. The primary resident must be 55 years old, and other residents must adhere to the park’s age policy for secondary residents. For example, many parks will allow secondary residents under 55 years old, as long as they are at least 35 (or 45) years old. Exceptions may be made for disabled residents and caretakers (with a doctor’s note). The goal of a senior park is to cater to the needs of older adults, while excluding children and young people. Typically, senior parks are maintained well and valued higher than family parks.
If you have children or if you’re younger than 55, you’ll need to look at homes in family parks. The quality of family parks vary. Some are extremely low quality neighborhoods, while others are very high quality neighborhoods. Choose carefully. Once you buy a mobile home, you should plan to live there for a long term. Manufactured homes are usually more difficult to sell than regular homes.
As we discussed earlier, getting a mortgage loan on a mobile home can be challenging. Most lenders will want a higher downpayment than a regular stick-built home. Also the interest rate will be higher, and the term will be shorter, so your monthly loan payment may be almost as much as a regular house.
Many mobile home lenders will NOT loan on coaches that are single-wide, or on pre-HUD coaches built before 1975. If you are getting an FHA or VA loan, it may require installation of a “permanent foundation” (known as 433A in California). And manufactured homes on rented land are less desirable.
Conclusion: Research the parks and financing before you spend time viewing manufactured homes.
Read more in our book, "Buy Your First Home", http://preview.tinyurl.com/cs4724e.