Myth and Magic of Manufactured Homes

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with South East Arizona Real Estate

Myth and Magic of Manufactured Homes.

Manufactured homes are great options for buyers who need an inexpensive option for a home and also for homes in rural places. A manufactured home can be completed in much less time than a site built. The quality of these homes has much improved since the “trailer” or ”mobile” phase. These homes can be ground set or on pedestals or walls. Either option might prove useful depending on the environment they are in. Raising one off the ground in an area that has occasional flooding might be just the answer to being able to live in a place that has a rainy season. Other people set theirs' closer to the ground resembling more of a ground-set patio home.

These homes can be moved and placed on lots that are just what your client wants. Conventional financing will be the way to try. Moving a home will limit financing...FHA will not finance one that has been just moved to another lot.

However with respect to placing a manufactured home on a remote location the prospects are great. Your home gets trucked in to the location and put together in much shorter time than if it was a site built. This saves quite a bit on costs and the difficulty of getting workers to come to your mountain hideaway. These homes can be set up with sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar power. They can also be insulated to high “R” factors.

Newer homes, not necessarily “brand new” have value. They are structurally sound and can be remodeled as have some of the homes I have for sale. We have one listed with ceramic tile flooring and another has parquet hardwood floors and beautiful porch additions. Manufactured homes from the late 1990's forward have improved features. The structures are now made from 2x4 framing as opposed to wimpy 1x3's. The outer walls are hardboard siding allowing for better insulation. However our office has only gotten one financed during the past year. It seems to be a struggle even for the most qualified buyers.

Consequently the pricing on these homes is plummeting as sellers are desperate to sell and move on. Most of my sellers are doing seller carry on these homes. They are getting $8000 to $10000 as down-payment. This much down-payment would normally get someone a loan. To make this more of a concern, with plummeting selling prices the appraisals rarely seem to work for traditional financing.

I guess I seem a bit frustrated with the situation of financing. However as always I'm working creatively to solve the issues.

peace without bandaids :)

Comments (2)

Randy L. Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

We do not have manufactured homes in Hawaii.  Our zoning and building codes have made it almost impossible.

Sep 30, 2008 06:45 AM
Mary Ann Ead
South East Arizona Real Estate - Douglas, AZ

That's a bummer, maybe you will have to work on stirring up some noise to change the zoning. It can be affordable housing for many people.

Sep 30, 2008 07:22 AM