Manufactured Homes

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Building a manufactured home: All the steps that lead to building a manufactured home in a manufactured home community.

My personal experience:

An Option for the Home Hungry
I’m Buying a Manufactured Home
Step 2: Waiting on Park Approval
Step 3: Designing a Manufactured House
Step 4: Waiting on Final Pricing
Step 5: Final Pricing Is In
Step 6: Time to Hand Over the Down Payment
Our House is Here!
Putting Our House Together
We’ve Got a Garage
We’re So Close To Moving: An Update on Our House
Escrow Closed: We’re Moving!
Update on Our House: We’ve Moved!


Financing a manufactured home on land you don’t own:

Not all manufactured homes qualify for financing. The determining factors include the state you live in and the type of manufactured house you are purchasing; how large or small it is and age of the home. Typically, homes over 20+ years will not qualify for financing.

If the home you are purchasing qualifies for financing, the loan is considered a chattel loan, also considered a personal property loan. Chattel loans have a higher APR than traditional mortgage loans. As of 2016, the APR can range from as low as 6% up to 12% depending on your credit score, income, and down payment.

If you want to move your home off a rental lot in a manufactured housing community, typically the home must be paid off before you can do so. The manufactured housing community often has specific guidelines you must follow.

In our experience, we ended up getting a chattel mortgage through a credit union in Oregon. They ran our credit every two months during the build process to make sure we still qualified for the original terms. This seemed a bit extreme and I’m guessing it was because it was a chattel mortgage and not a traditional mortgage. We were told that in the past, chattel mortgages were a way to launder money. I guess that’s why they were so diligent in checking our credit!

Financing a manufactured home on land you own:

If you happen to own land, you can qualify for a traditional mortgage on a manufactured home. Again, your credit score and down payment will affect the terms and APR of your loan. Traditional mortgages have much lower APRs than chattel mortgages.

Manufactured Home Companies:

Want to see a variety of floor plans and options? Start with companies that sell a variety of manufactured homes:

If you see a model you like, you might want to check out the manufacturer’s website directly. You can save some money by going directly with the manufacturer, depending on your situation. Here are some of the more popular brands:

  • Golden West Homes : This company is considered one of the “less expensive” companies. They don’t have as many options when it comes to upgrades. However,  our model was selected from this company.
  • Skyline Homes: A step above Golden West with more upgrade options, this company has a good selection of floor plans.
  • Silvercrest: Viewed as slightly better when compared to Golden West. Silvercrest has better upgrade options and more differing floor plans.
  • Karsten Homes: When we were looking at floor plans, Karsten, in my opinion, had some of the best floor plan options. However, this brand is a little more expensive.
  • Palm Harbor: I keep seeing example models on Pinterest and these homes look beautiful, including two-story manufactured homes. Unfortunately, this company seems to focus on only a few states at the moment.

Tips on building a manufactured home

During our experience, we learned a few things that no one really told us about.

  • Building a garage takes a lot longer and requires many inspections. Not only did it take an additional two months to complete the garage, we learned that the contractor and manufactured home builder never collaborated on where the garage would go. That meant we had some issues once the home was delivered, namely that a bathroom window had to be completely removed.
  • We should have bought our own carpet. We selected the manufacturer’s higher-grade carpet, but in my opinion, it’s not that great and it’s bundled into the mortgage. I’m thinking we’ll have to replace it in 5-8 years. Unlike our wood laminate floors that we paid for out of pocket and hunted down a great Mohawk brand that’s gorgeous and durable. It also has a lifetime warranty.
  • We should have purchased our appliances separately. We bundled a kitchen appliance package through the purchase of our house and therefore through our mortgage. We upgraded our appliance package, but were limited by what the manufacturer was offering. In our case, that was Frigidaire. So far, we’re not very happy with the Frigidaire gallery appliances. Our microwave already blew up and the new one has issues, too. I’m concerned what will happen with our dishwasher, fridge, and oven in the future. We should have just purchased Maytag appliances on our own (in the past, we’ve had Maytag appliances that we really liked.)
  • We love our solar tubes and should have ordered more throughout the house! We placed two solar tubes in the house and love them. Considering they weren’t that expensive of an option, we should have ordered a couple more.
  • We upgraded the insulation on our house to the highest rated and it was worth it. Our house stays really warm overnight, only dropping between 4-6 degrees on a cold night.
  • We had no say in fixtures or the type of paint used and that’s a bummer. We got to pick an overall interior and exterior color, but had no say in the finish of the paint. For example, we chose a blush hue for the interior with white trim. It looks great, except for the fact that it’s matte throughout the entire house, including the bathrooms and kitchen. Usually, a gloss finish is used in damp areas, especially the bathrooms! We will probably have to paint those rooms ourselves with a gloss sheen – it just makes cleaning up those rooms a lot easier. The fixtures are also generic, but for the most part, they are fine. Eventually, we’ll upgrade the bathroom faucets and have already started replacing the cheap, white electrical outlets with higher quality ones.

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