When it comes to purchasing a home, any home – manufactured, modular, etc. – it’s important to get past the general, first impression, “this is pretty,” or, “what were they thinking with these colors?” Yes, staging a home and choosing a pleasing color palette is essential to the sales process, and could be the difference of making a sale or not. However, there are more things to consider when making this large investment.
If you have decided that a manufactured or modular home is the right choice for you, here are some tips that can help you find the perfect manufactured home floor plan for your family:
Do a Background Check on the Manufacturer
Most times, manufactured or modular home can be purchased directly from the manufacturer, and they will work with you to find or design your ideal home. As with most any large investment, you will want to be sure that this person is someone you can trust and can communicate effectively with. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see a company’s ratings, any complaints filed against them, and whether or not the complaints were answered and solved.
Know the current requirements for all manufactured homes.
There is a specific set of requirements that all manufactured homes must meet before they are able to be sold. Most importantly, all manufactured homes must meet the building requirements outlined by the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. Be sure to have an understanding of these regulations before looking at a specific home. For instance, listed in these regulations are fire safety requirements such as flame protection and smoke alarm requirements.
Along with the home construction and safety standards, requirements include:
- The unit must not have been previously installed or occupied and another location other than the manufacturers lot if it is a new unit.
- Multi-width homes may be located on and lot or in a project development.
- Must be at least 12 ft. wide and have 600 sq. ft. space for a living area.
- These, along with a list of other requirements are important to understand previous to search for a home.
What is your budget?
Know what kind of budget you’re working with. It’s important to leave some flexibility in your budget for unseen expenses and for additional lot payments. When purchasing a modular home, don’t forget that you will often have to pay a land lease price much like renting an apartment. If certain services aren’t included in the basic land lease that you may require, such as landscaping.
Figure out where it will be located? (private land v community)
Where would you like your home to be located? One of the fantastic things about purchasing a manufactured or modular home, is that you can choose a home and floor plan that suits you and you can choose what neighborhood – or plot of land – you would like to live in. However, as with most things, there are certain laws in places, and some private land you may not be allowed to place a manufactured home on. Be aware of your state and county’s deed regulations and zoning laws are before you begin looking at homes.
These same deed and zoning regulations, as well as other “community” rules, may also effect choosing a community and not just private land. For instance, some communities may be for the elderly only, while some may only restrict people under 25. Some communities may not allow pets, certain exterior paint colors, etc. It is also important, when buying a lot in a modular community, to read the land lease and understand what you are paying for. Communities may offer snow removal services, a community pool, and some offer landscaping services. Finding the best community, or the best land/area, to live in generally is more important than the actual home.
What size manufactured home do you require?
Once you have done a background check on the manufacturer, and you have chosen where you would like to place your home, it’s time to consider yours and your family’s needs as far as space. Do you plan on expanding your family? Are you living alone? Do you need a spare room for an office or guest bedroom? These are all questions that every home buyer should address before looking at any homes.
A single sectional modular home may be ideal for a person living on their own, but a family of three or four may require a double wide, a multi sectional, or a two-story home. Yes, manufactured homes may be customized to fit your needs, but they can only be customized so much. Knowing how much space you absolutely need can help the manufacturer or the realtor guide you to a home closing sooner rather than later.
Are there any special features that you need in your home?
This echoes the previous tip. It is essential when purchasing any home to have a list of requirements that are non-negotiable. Things such as paint color and kitchen cabinet style are wants that may change, or can be changed at a later date. However, there are certain special features you may need immediately upon moving in that the manufacturer will need to know about.
If someone living with you has a disability, you may need things like a wheelchair ramp, wider doorways and hallways, and a handicap accessible shower. If you have children you may want to decrease the amount of stairs in the home. There are a lot of things that a manufacturer can design especially for you, but there may be some things about a specific home that he or she may not be able to customize to you preference. Knowing your requirements will help the manufacturer or the realtor in choosing homes to show you that you will love.
What are some flexible “wants” that you would like to have?
This is the fun stuff. Now you can play around with some of your “dream home ideas.” Perhaps you want a larger kitchen than the one currently in the manufactured home, or you would like a laundry over a half bath for customization options listen in the blue print. Would you like a porch just in the front, or one in the back as well? A large soaker tub in the master bath, or a walk in shower?
Play around with the different options provided in the blue print by the manufacturer and don’t be afraid to ask if something is possible to create that’s not listed in the blueprint. If that specific home is incapable of being altered to fit your wants, perhaps there is another option available that is.
Buying a modular home is a great option for some people. By working with a well-established manufacturer, it’s possible to create the home of your dreams and choose the community you would like to live in. However, it is important to know the legal side of home buying as it pertains to modular homes and communities before making any decisions.
For further questions, or if you think you are ready to purchase a manufactured home for you and your family, contact Ridgecrest Home Sales, learn about our team, and check out our large selection of manufactured floor plans and home styles available now!