Are you looking into building a new house? Have you considered a manufactured house? Check out our story. The 7 reasons we chose to purchase a new manufactured house and how we turned it into our new home.
Our house history
My husband and I had owned two stick built homes before we decided to go with the manufactured house. The first was a well maintained no elbow grease required kinda house. The second was a fixer-upper that had been vacant for quite a while.
Our second house.
At the second house, we really got our feet wet with home improvement projects. Talk about a learning experience. I think even before we had officially signed on it we had ripped out the carpet and installed new tile flooring (a huge no-no, I definitely do NOT recommend). It took us about a month to get it move in ready. We lived in that home for about 8 years. It was always a work in progress. You could call it a long-term live in the flip.
Well, our hard work paid off and 8 years later we decided we had enough equity in our home to sell and buy something out of town with a little acreage.
We had been eyeballing a house on four acres that had been on the market for almost 5 years. After listing our home ourselves it sold for the asking price in just under three months. At that time we thought we had it made. But, then…real life. When we went to make an offer on the home we had been eyeballing, it ended up having a pending offer already. 🙁
Our plan B.
In our real estate market there really weren’t any other properties we were interested in. It seemed we were after the unicorn property that didn’t exist. So, the four of us moved in with my parents. Really not as bad as it sounds. :). We wanted something out of town but not too far out of town, FLAT (our previous house was on a hill), and 2-10 acres. But because there was nothing like that for sale, we were forced to get creative.
We knew of a property that had been for sale previously and had not sold while listed.
At the time we were looking, that property was being rented. It met all our criteria. Except for the one catch .. there’s always a catch. It was pretty much a dilapidated dump.
We ended up contacting the owner and asking if he was willing to sell. There was a lot of back and forth but in the end, we decided on a price and on January 29, 2016, this little beauty became ours.
The demo and the cleanup.
After we took possession, every spare second was spent down at “the place” as we came to call it. We kept our camper there so the kids had somewhere to warm up and play. My husband worked so hard after work and on the weekends. We were so anxious just to make it ours.
Thank goodness for our family’s. We have been blessed with great support from our families and friends. Shout out to my dad was instrumental in helping us plan and did so much of the dirt work for us. Where would we be without family?
Down went buildings including that beautiful old trailer house. We burnt and cleaned and hauled off debris and years of junk and old stuff. We even took down most of the fencing. The only thing that was left when we were finished was a lean-to type building. Everything else was gone. We finally had a clean slate.
The first to be rebuilt was the pump house building around the existing pump and well. Prior to the rebuilding process, a few trips to the county planning department were required. Each county has their own set of rules and requirements when building, so be sure and connect with your specific county before starting a build. The dealership we went through was also helpful and pointing us in the right direction when it came to permits.
At the planning department, we had to get the proper permits after submitting the required forms and giving them a rough draft of our plans for rebuilding. We also had to locate the septic tank and have that inspected, Luckily, we got the all clear for that and did not need to replace it.
Once the pump house was complete. The pads for the foundation of the manufactured house and shop had to be dug. Gravel had to be brought in for this. Dirt had to be moved. Such a huge process but lucky for us we had my dad and an uncle with the equipment we needed.
Another thing we did was have a shop built, we had to have quotes from contractors to submit with the financing approval. So, finding a quote and contractor we were happy with had to happen before the financing. The building of the shop started after the construction loan was approved.
During the cleanup and demo time, we were constantly working on two other things;
- Finding financing for the new home (the really really unfun part)
- Deciding on the type of new home, floor plan, finishes etc. (the fun part)
We Chose a Manufactured house.
At first, we planned on building a stick-built house; we looked at different floor plans, got different quotes. But In the end, we decided on a manufactured house
Reasons We Decided on a Manufactured House;
- Time; It was going to be quicker to build the manufactured home than if we had a stick-built home built.
- Price; The manufactured home we built was about $64.00 per square foot. The stick-built homes the lowest quote we could find was around $90.00 per square foot.
- Customizability; We were able to pick out almost any finish I wanted and still stay within our budget. I knew if we had had a stick-built home built I would not have been able to stay within our budget and still get all the finishes I was hoping for. Both budget and finishes were super important to me. I knew if we went ahead with a stick built I would skimp on the things I really wanted. We considered having a stick built home constructed and then doing the finishing work ourselves. But, you know what? I didn’t want a brand-new fixer-upper. In the end, we were able to stay on budget and get the finishes I had wanted. Win-Win!
- Found a great brand; The home brand we chose is called Kit West. It is very good quality, very similar to stick -built home. Trust me I did my research. I toured all of the model homes at any dealership within three hours of our house. Kit West even invited us to tour their factory and look at the building process first hand. This really sold me on this brand of manufactured house. They even reimbursed us for traveling expenses (food, motel, and gas). The fact that Kit West wants people to come see how their homes are built, gave me a lot of confidence in the product. Once we decided to go with Kit West we even received $1000 bucks off the home price because we had done the tour. I’m sure there are other great manufactured home brands out there. Kit West was just the one I found near our location. I definitely recommend doing your own diligence to find a home brand that fits your needs. Check out the home model/floor plan we choose the Pinehurst 2506.
- Great Quality; Manufactured homes now have very similar construction to that of a stick-built home. Gone are the days of old paneling walls, cardboard type siding, small rooms with low ceilings and no light. Our home’s structure is very similar to that of a stick-built. For example; the walls of our home are 2×6’s with 16” centers, as well as the floors. The insulation is R-21. The living area is a large open concept with tons of light. Even the cabinets are very good quality hardwood cabinets.
- Floor Plans; We were able to choose from a large number of floor plans. With the ability to easily customize it to our needs.
- Ease of process; The manufactured house dealership we purchased through was great to work with. They also had a construction company and were able to pour the foundation for us. Simplifying the process. This was much more convenient. This made one less person/company that had to be managed.
One word of advice regarding Customizing; Some of the other brands we looked at had a lower overall price tag but the upgrades and customizing seemed to cost more. With Kit West we found that the overall price was slightly higher, but we didn’t have to give up our first born to get to upgrades we wanted. Just something to think about.
After we decided Manufactured was the way to go, It was time to start looking for Financing.
Financing- the other F-word.
I could definitely say this was our biggest headache. One downside to the manufactured house is not all financial institutes loan on manufactured houses.
So many documents.
Let’s just say in our journey finding a bank and loan officer that was responsive and offered a product that fit our needs was a challenge. I called and spoke with so many financial institutes. We even thought we had one lender that was going to work well. After sending document after document, sometimes the same document multiple times. She stopped responding to us or updating us on the status. In the end, after all the time and headache we put into that specific loan we dropped that lender. We ended up using construction loan from a local credit union. That whole process was complete within two weeks. Once this construction loan was in place, it was time to order the house. After it was ordered it took about six weeks to be built.
The Final Appraisal.
After the construction of the home and shop was complete a final appraisal was done, and we refinanced out of the construction loan to a conventional loan with Guild Mortgage and that was a relatively painless process. I definitely recommend checking them out if your considering financing any kind of mortgage.
All I can say about financing is ask around find someone who’s been through it and knows a reliable, efficient lender. It can save you from a ton of stress and gray hair.
In the end, after all the stress and sweat, we ended up with a brand-new home we love, and a brand-new shop my husband loves. Five acres for our kids to ride horses, ride motorbikes, build tree forts, and catch crawdads- really just have the childhood I’ve always dreamed they would have. We have already made so many great memories in this place. Our family is very happy with the decision to purchase a new manufactured house. Of course, I have many projects and plans for the future, but that just gives me more fun stuff to share with you all.
All in total it took us about six months from selling our house to moving into our new manufactured home. It was definitely an experience but I wouldn’t have changed it. If you have questions about purchasing a manufactured house or doing something similar. Feel free to shoot me an email, look me up on one of my social network accounts or leave a comment below.
Whelp see ya!