The Grissim Guides to Manufactured Homes and Land

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Great Product, Checkered Past, Flawed System
World War II and the first house trailer
Mobile home parks and snob-zoning
Tarnished image - abuses, defects and disasters
The Magna Carta of manufactured housing
Recent history - the great boom and bust of the 1990s
Enter Wall Street
The bust - and the aftermath
Chapter 2. The Manufactured Home - A Quick Look
Is a manufactured home right for you?
Pros and cons
Chapter 3. Your Piece of the American Dream - Just Across That Pressure Pit
The heavenly deal from hell
The purchase contract - description
The grim slide
The post mortem - what happened, and why
The current lending environment
Chapter 4. Getting Started - Calculating Your Buying Power
Consider a personal advocate
Research, obtain your own credit rating and calculate your buying power
Finding answers on the Internet
Shop for the money first, get pre-approved for a loan
Conventional home loans and dealer-financed contracts compared
The happy ending versus the nightmare
Do what many dealers won't do
Chapter 5. Finding and Buying Land for Your Home
Welcome to "No Mobiles" land
Land-home packages
Working with a real estate agent
Purchasing raw land in a rural or semi-rural area
Your purchase offer - more questions to ask
Closing escrow
Purchasing land in a manufactured home subdivision
The waltz begins
Chapter 6. Leasing a Home Site in a Land-lease Community
Pros and cons
Is land-lease a smart option?
Conventional home loan interest rates for land-lease communities?
When a land-lease deal can make sense
Two cardinal rules - and a cautionary tale
Your greatest vulnerability: uncontrolled rent increases
Your second greatest vulnerability: losing your home because of lease violations
Questions to ask when shopping for a site in a land-lease community
Community rules and regulations
In all, a trade-off that can work
Chapter 7. The Anatomy of a Dealership
Independent dealerships
Factory-owned dealerships
A dealership's profit centers
About factory rebates
Wild and crazy profit centers
The trapped entrance, locked homes, up rotation and other mysteries
"Write ups" and the blight of high pressure sales
Where are the price stickers?
Knowing the territory
Chapter 8. Finding a Reputable Dealer
Getting the local low down
Checking out a dealership
Questions you or your personal advocate should ask the dealer
Questions to ask "satisfied customers"
Warning signs, encouraging signs
Chapter 9. Selecting the Right Home
A quick look at the price range - and some tips
Tips before you begin shopping
Checking out the lot models
The checklist, features, comparisons
Narrowing the field, getting to apples to apples
Real bargains on the front and back lots
All those spinning plates
Chapter 10. Getting to a Fair Price and a Square Deal
Keep your options open - don't sign anything
A common cutthroat tactic
Dealer financing - Don't be a Charlie the Tuna victim
How one reputable dealer operates
A word about the Kelly Blue Book and the NADA Appraisal Guide
The strategy for determining a home's fair market value
How dealerships price their homes
Negotiating a square deal on a home price
Getting to a square deal on a home price and dealer financing
Negotiating the terms of a loan package
Deal terms: important details
The 10-80-10 pay-out
Before you sign the purchase contract
The new rules of the game
Chapter 11. Site preparation, delivery and set-up
Site preparation - what, and who, is involved
Hiring a general contractor
Should you be your own general contractor?
When being your own general contractor makes sense
Working with a general contractor
Manufactured home foundations
The delivery
The setup (or installation)
Your new best friend - the building inspector
Installation sequence
Final touches
Chapter 12. The Walk-through Inspection, Warranty Service and Long Term Care
The walk-through inspection
The checklist
Manuals and documentation
The honeymoon - and after
When problems arise
Maintenance for the long haul
Don't forget those warranty cards
It's all about people
Some key issues, The heart of the dilemma
Three strategies, Ethical standards
The path ahead
Resources - Web sites, miscellaneous
List of State Administrative Agencies
List of Manufactured Home Industry state associations
Washington State home installation inspection checklist