Monday, May 21, 2012
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Monday, November 8, 2010
When looking for a lender for a modular home loan it is advisable to find an agent that has some experience in modular home loans. For one thing, there are still some lenders that are unclear on the difference between a modular home, manufactured home, or mobile home. I spend hours on the internet reading about modular homes and am always amazed at the number of people in the mortgage or real estate profession that use the terms modular, manufactured, and trailer interchangeably. I will say that overall, many more agents have become aware of the difference and even point out to their peers that they have worked with modular homes and have found many to be superior to stick built homes. So even if you do run across a lender that is not familiar with modular homes or modular home loans you should not be discouraged. There are plenty of qualified lenders that are very knowledgeable and would love to have your business.
One unique thing about modular home loans which makes it important to have a lender that has experience in this type of loan is that the payment schedule must include a payment to the manufacturer for the total amount of the home at the time it is delivered to the home site. This is only a portion of your total cost, but generally the manufacturer will not release the house to be set on the foundation until it is paid for in full. As long as the bank is aware of this and has provided for it in the payment schedule this should not pose any problems. As I said, there are many banks that have extensive experience dealing with modular home loans. Each one may be slightly different in the way they handle the draw schedule for the builder. Some seem to favor the builder more, some the home buyer. Ideally, the loan should allow payments to the builder in a timely manner so he has the money he needs to complete each step of the process, but still leave the builder with the proper incentive to finish the job on your timetable.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Modular Home Websites with Pricing
As I have mentioned in previous columns or blog posts, one of the hardest things to get from a modular home builder is a firm price on a home. There are many factors that affect the price of a modular home, including the amount of work completed by the builder, the options chosen by the home buyer and the land that the modular home will be placed upon. The two builders below actually have fairly detailed information on their websites regarding pricing. First is Sweetwater Homes Inc., in Big Pine Key, Florida. They list about 30-35 models, along with a base price for each home. Below that is a list of what is included in the base price and what the added cost for each option would be, along with estimated pricing for surveys, county fees and other costs that go into building a new home. Obviously none of these prices represent a contract and are subject to change, but at least you have a good starting point for estimating the costs of your new home and you can see some pricing on the various options, which should allow you to make a more informed decision on which options are really important to you.
Another builder that provides useful priceful information on their website is LaClair Builders Inc., in Ypsilanti, Michigan. They show 3 pictures of actual homes that they have built, along with the floorplan, pricing and options included on each house. The houses were built in 2006 so the pricing may have changed some since then, but it should still give you a good idea of what the company includes in their price and which items are completed by the builder.
Check back soon for my next post with more informative modular home builder's websites. As always, if you are looking for websites of local modular home builders in your state check www.modularresource.com
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
First a quick refresher-A modular home is a home that conforms to all of the state and local building codes for its location and is placed on a permanent foundation. A mobile trailer is a home that conforms to HUD building codes and can be placed on a foudation but is on a frame so that it can be moved. Now back to the question of a modular home loan. When you build a new modular home on your land you will usually have a construction loan which can become a conventional mortgage once the home is completed. The loan is similar to a construction loan you would get if you were building a custom site built home except that the payouts from the bank to the builder and manufacturer are a little different. The lender will set up a draw schedule that pays the builder in increments depending on which part or what percentage of the project has been completed. One payment on the schedule is at the time the house is delivered from the factory to the land it will be placed on, the factory is generally given a payment in full for the amount that the builder is paying for the house. From that point on, the payments are made to the builder at increments agreed upon as he finishes the house. One thing to note about these loans is that depending on how the draws are set up the loan can sometimes be more beneficial to the builder than others. Although you may feel that it is better to have a loan schedule that is stricter on the release of money to the builder in my experience the best possible situation for everyone is to have a builder that you have researched and know you can trust and to have the loan set up somewhat favorable to the builder so he/she is not held up on any part of the home due to cash flow problems. (of course I am looking at it from the builder's point of view so take that for what it is worth--hey, at least I tell it like it is)