What to know before purchasing a Manufactured Home in Statesville NC.

As the market continues to improve, prices have still remained steady and rates have continued to fall.  The word on the street is that a 30 year fixed could go as low as 3%.  Crazy huh?  I am still seeing a hole in the market though for homes under $125,000.  Many of the homes in this price range need a good amount of work or just hard to find.  I always coach my clients to be prepared with their current pre-qualification letter and to be ready to MAKE that decision.  It is a large purchase to make but hesitation may lose you the home you a great deal.  Lately, I have seen some great deals on Manufactured homes and that is what I wanted to talk about today.

 

I have sold many Manufactured homes, some in great condition and some in really bad condition but most at very good prices.  Here is what you need to know before purchasing a Manufactured Home in Statesville NC or Iredell County.

120 DoubleTree, Statesville, NCFor many, there is a confusion between a Manufactured Home (single or double wide) and a Modular Home.  Let’s take a look at the difference and talk about how this choice may affect you.

Manufactured Home (Single or Double wide):  A manufactured home is very common in Iredell county whether it is a single wide or a double wide.  Often referred to as a “trailer” or “mobile home”, this type of home is built in a factory on a steel frame and transported to it’s destination.  This steel frame in permanently attached to the home.  The homes are built to Federal Building Codes or HUD codes and not the local building codes.  Each home will have a metal plate affixed to the front left that has the serial number and other important information and is not to be removed.  When the home is delivered to the site, often in 2 pieces, it will be placed either on a permanent foundation (the best option) or it may be just skirted in and left to be mobile.    These homes are usually less expensive to purchase but tend to not increase in value as much as a site built home or modular home.

Modular Homes:  Modular homes are also built in a factory but are not classified the same as manufactured homes.  As a buyer, you need to be aware of the difference here.  There are two different types of Modular home and if it is important your Realtor finds out which type you may be looking at.  Often times, this difference could mean not getting your loan.

On Frame Modular: With an On-Frame Modular, the home is similar to Manufactured and brought out on a steel frame.  The construction is usually higher quality and often times, you will see a steeper roof pitch.  You will not find the HUD label on the exterior but you will find that the steel frame will remain under the home and will most likely always be on a permanent foundation.

Off Frame Modular:  An Off-Frame Modular home will be built in the factory and trucked out in sections and then assembled right on site by local workers.  Very much like building a home on site except that the frame in able to be built in a dry environment.  The sections are then put together on a slab, crawl space or even a basement foundation.  These  homes are very difficult to distinguish from “stick built” homes and in some cases, the fact that it is a modular may not be known to some Real Estate Agents.  Be sure to check the tax records.

Purchasing a Manufactured Home:  There are a few very important things to consider when purchasing a manufactured home that many buyers are not aware of and I want to explain in detail.

  • Financing: A big mistake home buyers make is assuming that all financing is created equal.  Not so.  If you are considering a Manufactured Home, you need to let your lender know right up front so that they can tailor your loan to fit a Manufactured Home.  Not all loan programs will allow for manufactured homes and often times will require a larger down payment.  FHA loans allow manufactured homes but under strict guidelines (we will talk about that in a minute), USDA Guaranteed Loans do not allow used Manufactured Homes (only new)  but the USDA Direct program does, VA does allow manufactured as well as many private lenders such as Vanderbilt Mortgage or 21 Century Mortgage.  You will also need to know the in most cases, lenders will view an On Frame Modular the same as a manufactured home so be sure you know the difference and not be surprised just before closing.  Most of the time, banks will look at Off Frame Modular the same as stick built homes but ALWAYS be sure to ask before you place an offer. Your manufactured home will also need to have a permanent foundation and be taxed as real property and not personal property to qualify for most financing.  Have your Realtor check the tax records to confirm the status.
  • Inspections: When purchasing a Manufactured home, always be sure to have a home inspection done.  If you are getting a loan that goes by FHA guidelines, the foundation will need to be inspected by a licensed professional engineer and obtain a certification letter stating it passes FHA guidelines for Manufactured home foundations. This will include hurricane clips, wrapped columns, plastic sealing and more.  If the home does not pass inspection, it must be brought up to specs in order to obtain financing, often at the cost of the seller.
  • Repairs:  As with stick built homes, the home must be in good condition and must pass certain minimum standards for financing.  If the home has broken windows, major rot, electrical issues or plumbing issues,  your lender may require those items to be fixed before you can obtain financing.  You can ask the seller in most cases but with foreclosed manufactured homes, that may not be an option.  If the bank will not make repairs, you may not be able to purchase that home.  One way around that is to look in to the FHA 203K renovation loans.  These are available on Manufactured homes and are a good way to get the home in top shape and have it all financed into one loan.  Always do your homework before purchasing a fixer upper.

Purchasing a manufactured home in today’s market can be a great buy, especially for first time home buyers and investors.  With the prices of manufactured homes at an all time low, you can pick up a pretty good deal for under $50,000 and do minimal work to get it in shape.  Owning your own home and paying less than area rent…. Can’t beat that!  Be sure to check my website for a complete list of Manufactured homes for sale in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman and all of Iredell County.

 


Call me for additional information.
704-450-0588

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If you see a property you would like additional information about or would like to schedule an appointment to see, please don’t hesitate to call me directly at 704-450-0588 or email me at Sonya@SonyaLeonardHomes.com.  I am happy to help.

I have found the perfect home-Now what? NC Buyer tips

Buyer Tips  for first time home buyers or those not familiar with buying a home in North Carolina.   IMG_0748

 

It has been a very busy week this week for working with buyers.  I have had showing appointments in Statesville, Mooresville and the Troutman area just about every day and I will say, the pickins are gettin slim!  It is becoming harder and harder to locate that “perfect” home and the good ones are moving quickly.  With that being said, this week I wanted to remind you what you can expect when getting ready to put in an offer on a home and a summary of what you can expect after your offer has been accepted.

I found a great home, Now What?

After many hours of search for homes, driving by, scouring the internet and touring the neighborhoods, you have finally found the right home for you.  It was that “wow” factor the minute you walked through the front door.  You love everything about it and know this is the one for you.  Ok, now what do we do?  This is when your buyers agent really goes to work!  Finding you the right home is a lot of work, but negotiating the deal and getting it to closing is where they earn their paycheck.
Always be sure to go back through the home you have selected a second time before putting in an offer.  You want to really take a good look at all the features and condition of the home so that you can address any problems you see right up front.  Open the cupboards, check the appliances, check out the attic or basement, look for obvious things that you know you will want fixed or items you would like to remain with the home.  Maybe you would like the refrigerator, the washer and dryer or that swing set in the backyard.  Anything that is not “nailed, glued or screwed” down is considered personal property and should be removed by the seller unless you ask for it to stay as part of the negotiation.  Make a list of everything to include in the offer.  If you see any obvious repairs that you know you need to have fixed, put it on the list and address it in your offer to purchase.
Your agent will then go to work getting all the paperwork together to work up an offer.  They will perform a market analysis for you to help determine a good offer price, find the covenants and restrictions for you to review, see if they can locate a survey so you can check the boundary, pull the deed to confirm ownership, prepare all the Offer documents for signatures along with many more “behind the scenes” tasks that need to be handled before presenting an offer.

How much money will I need to put in an offer?

This is one question that I get every time and it is a good one.  Most buyers don’t know what to expect as far as costs upfront.  At this point, you should have already talked with your lender and received a pre-approval letter stating that you can purchase the home and that your credit has been reviewed.  Your lender should review a good faith estimate of charges that you can expect in connection with your loan.  These costs may include : Down payment, lender costs, attorney costs, inspection costs, recording and processing costs, pro-rated taxes and homeowners fees and monthly escrow amounts.  Depending on the type of loan you are receiving, these costs will vary.
You could ask the seller to pay some or all of your closing costs as part of the negotiation but the down payment (if required) will have to be paid by you.  On the NC offer to purchase, you may offer the seller an earnest money amount or a due diligence amount or both.  This is part of the negotiation and can vary depending on the skills of your agent, the size of the deal, the length of time until closing and other factors.  On average, it is usually $500 to $1000.  Earnest money will be kept in a trust account with one of the real estate offices involved and the due diligence money will be made out the the seller directly.  The due diligence money will not be returned to you but will be credited at closing.  If you back out, you will lose that money.  Earnest money may be returned depending on the reason for termination.  Each deal will vary so be sure this is very clear and that your agent has explained this to you thoroughly.
You will also need to have money available for the appraisal.  As soon as the offer is accepted, your lender will need a check upfront for this (usually around $450).  If you have asked the seller to pay for closing costs and they have agreed, you can ask that your inspections be paid at closing, but if you are paying for these items, you will want to bring your checkbook and pay the contractors directly.  Home Inspectors, Termite inspectors, septic and well inspectors and any other contractor you ask out will expect payment or at least a credit card number to have on file that will be charged if the transaction does not close.  As the buyer, you are still responsible for these costs as they are not required for most loans.  Inspections are for your protection and highly recommended but you could be out of pocket a large amount if things don’t go well and the seller refuses to fix items of concern.  Your agent will help you through this process and make it as smooth as possible but be prepared to weather some bumps.

My offer is accepted – now what?
After negotiations are completed and the agreed upon terms are accepted by all parties, you can begin the process of the inspections and getting your loan moving forward.  Schedule your inspections right away and plan to be present.  Call your lender and get all the required paperwork to them plus the appraisal check, make plans to start moving, contact utility companies to set up an account.  The best thing to do is to get a good checklist for things to do and attack them one at a time.  I provide my buyers with a refrigerator checklist of things to get done and people to contact to help keep you on track and I also provide a first time homebuyer binder that will have a great moving checklist in it.  Be sure you get your copy.  You can also find some good ones online.
After inspections are completed and any needed repairs are addressed, you are in a holding pattern.  It could be weeks where you are just waiting for things to happen.  Waiting on the lender to clear your loan, waiting on the sellers to complete repairs among other things.  Don’t lose patience here, it is normal and you just need to go with the flow.  Before you know it, closing day will be here.  Your agent will keep track of the due diligence date and make sure everything is in place before that date expires.  This date is your cut off for backing out of your deal.  After that, you are hooked.  Be sure you want to move forward and that you are confident your loan looks good, appraisal is good, repairs are complete and your feet are not cold!  Soon after that, you will call to turn on utilities in your name, set up the movers, do a final walk through and get ready to sign lots of paperwork.
Once the deed is recorded and you have those keys in hand…….you are good to go!  Enjoy your new home.  I hope this helps answer some of your questions about the basics but I know there are many other things involved in buying a homes and if you have additional questions, call me anytime.  I am happy to answer them for you.

What does it mean when a property is Pending on my Statesville NC Home Search?

Recently I was asked about  the “status” of a property that was for sale in Statesville NCand what “pending” meant and it dawned on me that most buyers do not know the real estate lingo for the different stages a property may be in and what those stages mean so I thought I would pass that information along to you.  The status may have a different name and meaning in different states so be sure to check with a local agent.  The following are for the state of North Carolina.

Home is listed on the MLS:

The MLS is the local Multiple Listing Service that Real Estate Agents subscribe to that allows them to put the property details on a database that is managed by the local Realtor Association.  Our local Association is the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association.  This listing has all the details that the public will see plus additional information that only a licensed real estate agent subscribing to that MLS will have access to.  This information is agent to agent information or even agent to their office information.  The public information is the information that is picked up by other real estate sites you may use such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and others.

Active:

The home is available for sale.  Be sure your agent makes a call to the listing agent prior to looking at the home to determine if offers have come in or if they are currently in the middle of negotiations of an offer.  This is good information to have before you fall in love with a home.

Conditional:

This status is used when the seller has accepted an offer on the property but the buyer still has to do all their inspections.  In NC, buyers have a due diligence period that is agreed upon on the contract to do all their “homework” such as home inspection, termite inspection, survey, check on zoning, make sure they can get financing, get the appraisal back and so forth…..During this period, the buyer has the right to terminate the contract for ANY reason or NO reason.  After this date, the buyer is agreeing to go forward with contract and purchase the home.  There is a due diligence feethat may be negotiated in the offer that goes directly to the seller and in non-refundable unless the seller breaches the contract.  This fee is credited to the buyer at closing.  The seller may choose to still allow showings for backup offers during this time.

Contingent:

This status is used when a seller accepts an offer “contingent” on the buyer selling another property first.  The buyer already owns a home that has to be sold first in order to close on the new home.  The seller and buyer agree upon a certain amount of time for the home to be sold and if not sold, the seller may terminate and put the house “active” again.  The seller may also continue to show the property and take other offers on the home.  If an acceptable offer comes in, the buyer may be given a number of day to move forward and purchase the property by a certain date or terminate so that the seller can accept the other offer.  Hope

Pending:

This status means all conditions and contingencies have been cleared and the home is ready to close.  The attorney will complete their title work and prepare the HUD for review and closing.  A cash deal may go directly to pending status if the buyer chooses to waive all inspections but there may still be a due diligence period in the contract.

Keep in mind that a property is not SOLD until the deed is recorded!  ANY deal can fall through at anytime prior to that and may come back on the market.  If you are having trouble finding a home in the current inventory, ask your Realtor to check the contingent sales and conditional sales.  There may be one there that you may take a chance on.  There may also be  homes that are “temporarily off the market”, “expired” or “withdrawn” that the seller may still be willing to sell but just took a break from having their home listed.  Your Realtor can look through all these listings to find potential homes to fit your needs.

I have many homes listed in the Statesville NCarea and I receive calls all the time on properties that are already under contract.  Some buyers search sites that may not have the status updated yet and it still shows as an active listing, only to find out it is under contract or even sold already.  To save yourself some headaches, make sure the site you are using is updated frequently.