Purchasing a new mobile home can be very exciting! As with any major major purchase you should make sure that you are familiar with every aspect buying a manufactured home. You certainly want to avoid possible negative issues that could come up if you don't do your research. Educating yourself is very important to make sure you get the very best deal.
It's important to realize that a manufactured home dealer is very much like a car dealer. They even use the same commission based system and product mark up system. It's good for you to have an idea of what you can pay along with your financing options before you go to the dealership. The first step for you is to research everything. If you know the manufactuer you like best, type of floor plan and what features you want, that's already a good start. Be careful of upgrades that you don't need. Instead focus on upgrades that will save you money in the long run such as thicker walls and better insulation.
As with many items you buy, you get what you pay for and that is no different with a manufactured home. You simply can't pay $60,000 for a double wide home and expect to get the same type of materials, interiors fixtures, carpets etc., as you would if you purchased a $130,000 home. So, beware of a brand new home that costs very little. Pay close attention to the quality of the manufactured home you are considering buying.
There are certain upgrades to consider that can extend the life of your home, so you should consider adding them.
After you choose your favorite manufacturer, you may still wish to shop around to see if you can get better pricing from others, for the same features. Getting the best price for the features you really want is just as important as after sale customer service and good references from the companies past purchasers. Of course aesthetics are important but longevity and service is much more important!
Investigate your financing options before you visit the dealers lot to look at homes. Traditionally, dealers finance mobile homes using personal property or chattel loans rather than mortgage loans, at rates 2-4 percentage points higher. Dealers often get a commission for obtaining credit for you, so you may be better off talking directly with the lenders instead of going through the dealer. Even if you end up getting financing through the dealer, you’ll be able to negotiate better if you know all of your options.
Be sure to evaluate all costs of homeownership, including land rental (or purchase), financing charges, insurance, taxes, maintenance and more. You should also avoid wrapping costs into a mortgage loan because interest rates on manufactured home loans, which aren't tied to land are usually a few percentage points higher than typical mortgage loans.
Also worth noting, is where you decide to place your new home. If you decide to put you new manufactured home into a community that is a rental only mobile home park, Placing your home in a rental community reduces the chances you will gain equity from your purchase. Even the best rental communities are subject to ownership changes and rent increases, which can add unexpected costs to your monthly budget. If you own the land, you can reduce your financing costs as well as increase the stability of your tenure.
Once you have chosen the manufacturer, features and the financing, start price comparing your local or state dealers online. Get pricing from many different dealers and brands and then check the blue book value for the same type of home, from previous years. This way you get a good idea of where the pricing should be.
Shop around for each component of your package. For convenience, a dealer may offer to act as your real estate broker, insurance broker, and mortgage company, but he or she may not be able to offer you the best deal on all these services. Also remember, when you sign up for a package deal that includes pre-paying for your park rent, insurance, and sometimes even furniture - by adding that into the cost of your loan, you will cut into the equity in the home. Because the interest rate is higher on personal loans and chattel loans, it will cost you more than the actual items are worth.