After several years of diligently saving money, I’m nearly ready to purchase my first home. Because I’ve been thinking about buying a home for so long, I know exactly what I want my house to look like. I desire a place that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. I also need a quiet space to set up my home office in. I want a massive, walk-in closet in my master bedroom. My master bathroom needs to have double vanities, a tiled, walk-in shower, and a Jacuzzi tub. On this blog, I hope you will discover how to set priorities during your new home search. Enjoy!
Buying a new home can be an exciting but stressful time as you arrange the financing and decide on what you can afford and what you want in a home. Choosing to buy a manufactured home can open up your options, as they are more affordable than a traditional site-built home. Here are some tips to help you through the buying process and prepare you for some items you should consider when buying a manufactured home.
Determine Your Budget
Before you can begin to look at new or used manufactured homes, you will need to figure out how much you can afford based on your monthly income. It is recommended to calculate your monthly mortgage payment no more than 28 percent of your monthly take-home pay. This is a good benchmark lenders use to determine how much you can realistically afford, and it is a good way to do a quick assessment of your income's potential to handle a new mortgage.
Use this guide to calculate what you can afford. For example, if your monthly take-home income is $60,000, 28 percent of your income is $1,680, which is the maximum monthly mortgage payment you should plan to have. Any more than this can put extra stress on paying all your monthly expenses.
As you look at your budget, make sure you consider other expenses within your household, such as medical expenses, child care, and alimony or child support you may be paying to a previous marriage. You want to make sure and consider all expenses within your household budget to get a realistic limit on your new mortgage.
It is also a smart idea to not max out your budget, as this can make finances tight getting into your new home. For example, if your monthly budget allows you to have a $1,500 mortgage payment, you may go for a slightly less expensive home with a smaller mortgage payment. Moving costs, the potential for more expensive utilities on your home, and other associated expenses with setting up a new home can cut into your monthly budget to make your finances tighter.
Shop for Your Manufactured Home
After you have determined how much you can afford in a monthly payment and your new mortgage, you can begin to shop for your new manufactured home. If you decide to buy a custom-build new manufactured home, you will be buying it from the manufactured homes dealer and can negotiate on your purchase price. The dealership works just as a car dealership with a commission and dealer mark-up, so be sure you pay a fair price.
Buying new also allows you to customize your home in all its details and features. You can choose feature, such as the floor plan and square feet, the types of cabinetry and flooring, and the type and color of exterior materials. Buying a new manufactured home also requires you to have a place to put it, such as your own land or a rented lot in a manufactured home park. You can buy land and combine the purchase in with your home purchase or buy the land separately.
If you are buying a used manufactured home, you will want to check out the home for quality materials and no damage to its structure. For example, if the floor feels spongy or moves up and down when you bounce on it, this can be a sign that the floors are made of particleboard, which is a more flimsy material. And if particle board receives water damage, it can cause it to warp and bubble. You can check to see if the flooring is made of plywood and not particle board by lifting up a corner of the carpeting.