Learn everything you need to know about owning a manufactured home in Idaho.
Why Choose a Manufactured Home?
Manufactured homes offer a solid foundation for your investment – whether it is your first home or your next. They are built in factories under one roof to ensure quality control, cost savings, and timely completion – with no adverse weather conditions.
Manufactured homes are the only housing in America built to a national building code. Manufactured homes offer all the quality and amenities you want at a price you can afford. In other words, a manufactured home offers you value.
As you plan your “dream” home, your local manufactured home centers can help you match options with your desires. Manufactured homes offer custom plans with the most deluxe amenities, all at less than the cost of a sitebuilt house.
…is probably the single most important purchase you will make in your lifetime.
If you have ever shopped for a major investment, you know how important, yet confusing, it can be to get the most for your money and stay within your budget. Shopping for just the right house to turn into your dream home is no different.
Whether you are in the initial stages of learning all about the advantages of manufactured homes, are ready to purchase a home right now, or have already purchased, we hope that much of the information in this brochure will prove useful to you. We know that the more facts and information you have, the easier that choice will become.
Owning a home provides pride of ownership, and an opportunity to build equity rather than pouring money down the rent drain. Give yourself the investment and tax advantages that can only come with owning your own manufactured home.
Manufactured Home vs. Site-Built Home
We believe that today’s manufactured homes represent better construction and better value than most new homes built on-site. New manufactured homes are:
- Built indoors, so rain and cold doesn’t affect the quality of the building materials being used.
- Constructed with equal or better quality building products; such as, all kiln-dried lumber (often Grade #2 or better), Class A composition roofing shingles, and wood siding.
- Stronger, with integral steel frames.
- Appointed with brand name appliances, like General Electric, Magic Chef or Jenn-Aire.
- Complete with floor covering and window treatments.
When you consider value, a new manufactured home is far superior because:
Cost per square foot is often one half of site-built homes due to more efficient factory construction techniques and mass purchasing of materials.
Even when site improvements are added, you may have a substantial savings over building the same floor plan on site.
So, if you get a stronger home built with better materials, out of the elements, complete with appliances and floor coverings for less initial investment and lower finance costs, then isn’t a manufactured home a better value?
Selecting a Site
When you begin thinking about living in a manufactured home, you should also begin to think about where your home will be located. Shopping for a location goes hand-in-hand with shopping for your home. This may turn out to be a simple task, or it may bring up questions that will strongly influence your choice of the home itself.
Manufactured Home Communities
When choosing a community, find out about rules and regulations of the community. Become familiar with the community’s rent policies. Ask, for example, if children are allowed; whether you can have pets and what improvements are required and the times frames required for completion.
Look beyond such obvious factors as appearance, size of lots, and landscaping. Find out in advance who is responsible for yard maintenance, garbage removal, and whether this is covered in your rent.
Don’t be in a hurry to select a community. Visit possible communities or sites on several occasions, at different times of the day, and in bad weather, as well as good.
And finally, talk to residents for their opinions about the community. Talk to the manager. Ask yourself if you are prepared to live up to the rules, and also find out if the rules are lived up to by other tenants. Find out exactly what is included in your rent and what is not.
Locating on Private Property
Perhaps you want to place your home on your own lot. This depends entirely on the regulations and restrictions of the town and county where you want to locate.
As a first step, go to your county courthouse, or city hall, and obtain a copy of the zoning ordinances that apply to the area in which you are interested. In any event, do not buy property until you know you can satisfy the local restrictions. Idaho considers multi-sectional manufactured homes as having the same legal status as a stick-built home so zoning laws cannot keep this type of housing out, but there may be private restrictive covenants on the land you will want to check.
After you find a private site that suits you, and know you can obtain any necessary approval, there are some other considerations:
Does the property have restrictive covenants or other deed restrictions that may limit your use of the property?
How far away are utilities? How much will you have to pay in property taxes?
You will have to arrange for certain site preparations. They include: properly prepared concrete strips or a slab to support the necessary piers on which the home will sit, or an approved foundation, depending on local conditions; adequate anchorage provisions; and connections to electric, gas and telephone lines, and to water and sewer mains, if available.
In some areas the utility companies require that connections be made by their own technicians. In any case, be sure that the connecting is done by a qualified professional. If water and/or sewer hook-ups are not available, then you may have to dig your own well and install your own septic system. Check local regulations concerning these points. Remember that your manufactured home retailer may be able to give you valuable guidance about locating on private property.
If you later want to relocate your home, you will need to find a moving company. Firms specializing in the moving of manufactured homes have offices in major cities, and are listed in the yellow pages.
After the move, spot-check the home to see if any damage has occurred, including such hidden damage as the settling of insulation material behind wall panels. It is a good idea to carefully examine the home for damage after every move, including the one to your initial site. Consult the warranty issued for your home to determine any limitations or requirements for secondary moves.
How to Determine Which Home to Purchase
When you have answered the following questions, it will be easy to decide which manufactured home will meet the needs of your family:
- How much area, and how many bedrooms will your family require?
- Will your family require a living room and family room, or just a great room?
- Will your family require large closets, linen and storage areas?
- What features are important in the kitchen, such as a work center or a pantry?
- Do you prefer bathtubs, showers or both?
- Is a large utility room, laundry sink, or clothes folding area needed?
- How will the view be on your property?
- Are sliding glass doors for patio access desired?
- Bedrooms at one end, or would a split arrangement be best?
- Any window additions, enlargements, exchanges, etc?
- Will your home be all electric, or will you require natural gas?
- Should the bathroom sinks have overflow safety drains?
- Will the home have a 20 lb. or a 30 lb. or heavier roof construction?
- Will the roof have a high wind resistant application?
- Should you have 25-year fiberglass shingles?
- Do you prefer wallpaper or textured walls?
- Will you require larger passage doors than the standard 28”?
- Will you upgrade the quality of carpeting and pad in your home?
- Will the standard appliances be adequate?
- What exterior features do you require?
- How much money will your budget allow?
Quality and features are not free! But, there are homes with fewer features and lower quality materials that will cost less!
Manufactured Home Sales Centers
One great advantage of buying a manufactured home is the ability to actually walk through a similar model before you order your home to be built. With most site-built homes, you can look at drawings, but you have to imagine being inside the finished house. You don’t buy a car from just drawings, you test drive it, right? You can purchase your new manufactured home with the same confidence.
Because there is a manufactured home for nearly every lifestyle and budget, model home sales centers encourage you to look at as many homes as possible. The homes are already built and available for you to see for real. Go ahead, stand in the kitchen and see how well you can see and reach everything! Walk from the bedroom to the bathroom! Check out the closet space! Compare the construction quality and price of different models.
Manufactured home retailers have experience you can use and advice you can trust. They can help you determine what features you really want in your home, decide which floor plans make the most sense for your family, and help you choose a lender who can best meet your needs.
Generally, your home retailer also takes care of the transportation and installation or set up of your house. But, be sure to ask whether this service is included in the cost of the home. If you already have property in mind, you can also ask your retailer to inspect it to spot any potential difficulties.
Choosing A Retailer
You should choose a retailer as carefully as you choose your manufactured home. Ask the retailer for names and addresses of former customers you may contact. Contact these customers and ask if their homes are as good as they were represented to be, and determine whether after-sale service, if needed, was readily provided.
Avoid a retailer who will not quote the overall cost of the home, but instead says you can buy a home for so many dollars per month. Also avoid a retailer who uses high pressure sales tactics. If you have doubts about a retailer, contact the local Better Business Bureau to find out if there have been any complaints lodged against the firm.
How to Estimate Your New Home Budget
While considering financial arrangements available through retailers, a home buyer should shop around for other loan sources. Investigate the financial arrangements that can be made through other sources, including commercial finance companies, banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations. Many of these organizations have home loan programs.
In some situations, the Federal Housing Authority, or the Veterans Administration, will guarantee a loan for your home. A federal loan guarantee may result in a lower interest rate for you. The federal Truth-in-Lending Law requires that lenders disclose the annual percentage rate being applied on loans. The lender must tell you the annual percentage rate you are being charged in simple interest terms.
Be sure to check all financing arrangements available. Make certain the finance costs are clear. Do not sign any contract until you understand exactly what you will receive and what it will cost. Do not sign any contract with blank spaces. Do not rely on any oral agreement. Have all terms put in writing and save a completed copy for your records.
Ordinarily, there will be no closing costs or attorney’s fees to pay in financing and insuring a home. Title searches are not required. However, if you are purchasing your own property on which to place your home, there may be closing costs. Also you should have a title search performed to be certain the ownership of the land is clearly defined and there are no prior liens, or claims on it. Title insurance offers additional protection against unexpected claims.
Insurance (fire, theft and physical damage) is required by the lending institutions and may be included in the financing package. Typical manufactured home loans are for terms of 15 to 30 years. During the entire term of the loan the borrower will be required to maintain physical damage (property-casualty) insurance on the manufactured home. Most lenders will allow the borrower to finance one to five years of insurance.
Do not assume, however, that the insurance required by the lending institution is all that you need for your own protection. The required insurance may be just enough to protect the lender’s interest in your property; you may want to add extra protection to cover its full value.
If you pay cash for the full purchase price of your home, and do not have a lender requiring insurance, you still should obtain a policy for your own protection. In addition to fire, theft and physical damage insurance on the home itself, you may want a personal effects policy for your belongings.
Home Financing - Idaho
1st Choice Mortgage
3023 E. Copper Point Dr., Suite 101
Meridian, ID 83642
American Pacific Mortgage
2950 Magic View Drive, #192
Meridian, ID 83642
Capital Mortgage LLC
3451 E. Copper Point Dr., #104
Meridian, ID 83642
Diversified Mortgage Group
7977 West Marigold Street
Garden City, ID 83714
Idaho First Bank
250 S. 5th Street, Suite 800
Boise, ID 83702
Innovative Lending Corp.
Source Mortgage, Inc.
531 S. Fitness Place
Eagle, ID 83616
Waterstone Mortgage Corp.
4355 West Emerald Street, Suite 190
Boise, ID 83706
Home Financing - National
Bank of America
Bank of the Ozarks
Bank of the West
Branch Banking and Trust Co.
Capital City Bank
CIS Financial Services
Citizens & Northern Bank
Citizens Tri-County Bank
Clayton Bank and Trust
Community Bank, Ellisville, MS
Community Trust Bank, Inc. (KY)
Community Trust Bank (LA)
Community West Bank, N.A.
Conway National Bank
CountryPlace Mortgage, LTD
Eagle Home Mortgage, LLC
Farmers and Merchants Bank (GA)
Fifth Third Mortgage Company
Fifth Third Mortgage (MI)
First Citizens Bank
First Federal of Charleston
Glossary of Terms
See AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY.
In general, housing for which the occupant(s) is/are paying no more than 30 percent of his or her income for gross housing costs, including utilities. Please note that some jurisdictions may define affordable housing based on other, locally determined criteria, and that this definition is intended solely as an approximate guideline or general rule of thumb.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM (AHP)
A competitive program of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBanks) system that provides grants twice a year through financial institutions for investment in low- or moderate-income housing initiatives. The program is flexible, so that AHP funds can be used in combination with other programs and funding sources, thus promoting a project’s feasibility.
See AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM.
See AMERICAN HOUSING SURVEY.
AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY (ACS)
A nationwide survey designed to provide communities with a fresh look at how they are changing. It is a critical element in the Census Bureau’s reengineered 2010 census plan. The ACS collects information such as age, race, income, commute time to work, home value, veteran status, and other important data from U.S. households.
AMERICAN HOUSING SURVEY (AHS)
Contains data on apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes, vacant homes, family composition, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment, fuels, size of housing units, and recent movers. National data are collected every other year, from a fixed sample of about 50,000 homes, plus new construction each year. The survey started in 1973 and has relied on the same sample since 1985, allowing users to view statistical changes in homes and households over the years. In some metropolitan areas, additional samples (every four to six years) measure local conditions.
A set of building construction requirements developed and administered by national and local bodies to ensure that buildings meet certain minimum standards for structural integrity, safety, design, and durability.
A small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county or statistically equivalent entity, delineated for data presentation purposes by a local group of census data users or the geographic staff of a regional census center in accordance with Census Bureau guidelines.
CENSUS TRACT NUMBER
A four-digit basic number, followed by an optional two-digit decimal suffix, used to uniquely identify a census tract within a county or statistically equivalent entity.
A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such for an individual.
ELDERLY PERSON HOUSEHOLD
A household composed of one or more persons at least one of whom is 62 years of age or more at the time of initial occupancy.
EXTENT OF HOUSING OVERCROWDING
The number of housing units with 1.01 or more persons per room based on data compiled by the United States Bureau of the Census and referable to the same point or period in time.
FACTORY BUILT HOME
Any home that is constructed inside a factory and then brought to the site in big pieces, usually sections or modules, and assembled. This is a pretty broad term: manufactured homes, mobile home and modular homes are examples of factory built home.
FAIR HOUSING ACT
1968 act (amended in 1974 and 1988) providing the HUD Secretary with fair housing enforcement and investigation responsibilities. A law that prohibits discrimination in all facets of the homebuying process on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
FAIR MARKET RENT (FMR)
Primarily used to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program, to determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts, to determine initial rents for housing assistance payment contracts in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program, and to serve as a rent ceiling in the HOME rental assistance program.
FAIR MARKET VALUE
The amount of money that would probably be paid for a property in a sale between a willing seller, who does not have to sell, and a willing buyer, who does not have to buy.
FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA)
Provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single-family, multifamily, and manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world, insuring over 34 million properties since its inception in 1934.
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
An elderly person who is unable to perform at least three “activities of daily living” comprising of eating, bathing, grooming, dressing, or home management activities.
GROSS ANNUAL INCOME
The total income, before taxes and other deductions, received by all members of the tenant’s household. There shall be included in this total income all wages, social security payments, retirement benefits, military and veteran’s disability payments, unemployment benefits, welfare benefits, interest and dividend payments and such other income items as the Secretary considers appropriate.
All the people who occupy a housing unit. A household includes the related family members and all the unrelated people, if any, such as lodgers, foster children, wards, or employees who share the housing unit. A person living alone in a housing unit, or a group of unrelated people sharing a housing unit such as partners or roomers, is also counted as a household.
See U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT.
Same as a manufactured home.
INCOME LIMIT (IL)
Determines the eligibility of applicants for HUD’s assisted housing programs. The major active assisted housing programs are the Public Housing program, the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments program, Section 202 housing for the elderly, and Section 811 housing for persons with disabilities.
A measure of integration of the housing, transportation, environmental, and employment amenities accessible to residents. A livable community is one with multiple modes of transportation, different types of housing, and destinations located within an easy distance (20 minutes by transit, 15 minutes by bike or foot, 10 minutes by car) of homes.
LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT (LIHTC)
A tax incentive intended to increase the availability of low-income housing. The program provides an income tax credit to owners of newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated low-income rental housing projects.
Means a structure, constructed after June 15, 1976, in accordance with the HUD manufactured home construction and safety standards, and is transportable in one (1) or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight (8) body feet or more in width or is forty (40) body feet or more in length, or when erected on site, is three hundred twenty (320) or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein, except that such term shall include any structure which meets all the requirements of this subsection except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the secretary of housing and urban development and complies with the standards established under 42 U.S.C. section 5401 et seq.
The most probable price that a property should bring in a competitive and open market, provided that all conditions requisite to a fair sale are present, the buyer and seller are knowledgeable and acting prudently, and the price is not affected by any undue stimulus.
METROPOLITAN AREA (MA)
A large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities that has a high degree of economic and social integration with that nucleus.
A business in which more than 50 percent of the ownership or control is held by one or more minority individuals; and more than 50 percent of the net profit or loss of which accrues to one or more minority individuals.
Means a factory-assembled structure or structures generally constructed prior to June 15, 1976, and equipped with the necessary service connections and made so as to be readily movable as a unit or units on their own running gear and designed to be used as a dwelling unit or units with or without a permanent foundation.
Households whose incomes are between 81 percent and 95 percent of the median income for the area, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller or larger families. HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 95 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD’s findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs, fair market rents, or unusually high or low family incomes.
A factory built home constructed of prefabricated three-dimensional modules, entire rooms and larger, which are transported on flat-bed trucks to a home site and assembled, usually using a crane for placement. Sometimes the module is jacked up and the flat bed truck is then driven out from beneath it. A key distinction: modular home components don’t have wheels and running gear and are not towed to the home site. Two other characteristics to keep in mind: 1., most modular homes are built in conformance with the Uniform Building Code, or other local code requirements, not the HUD code. And, 2., Modular homes (with very few exceptions) are more costly than manufactured homes while offering savings over comparable site built homes (from which they are usually indistinguishable in appearance). In fact, modular construction is steadily gaining popularity for high end luxury homes because of its cost savings and shorter construction time.
NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM (NSP)
Provides emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties that might otherwise become sources of abandonment and blight within their communities. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) provides grants to every state and certain local communities to purchase foreclosed or abandoned homes and to rehabilitate, resell, or redevelop these homes in order to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of house values of neighboring homes. The program is authorized under Title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
NONPROFIT HOUSING ORGANIZATION
Any private organization that is organized under state or local laws; has no part of its net earnings inuring to the benefit of any member, founder, contributor, or individual; and has a long-term record of service in providing or financing quality affordable housing for low-income families through relationships with public entities.
OFF-SITE BUILT HOME
Another term for factory built, sometimes used to avoid having to use the term manufactured home with its connotation of mobile home.
Any private person or entity, including a cooperative, an agency of the federal government, or a public housing agency, having the legal right to lease or sublease dwelling units.
Homes that are constructed of largely complete (or closed) panel sections. For example, a wall panel could consist of windows, a door, all the inside wiring, and insulation, its interior side covered with gypsum (dry wall), its outside with exterior siding. The finished panels are then transported to the building site, together with floor and roof panels, and assembled, usually with the help of a crane. An alternative system uses open panels in which the interior is left open for on-site installation of wiring, insulation, etc. Built to local codes. Note: The use of panelized sections is a growing trend among big home builders who develop large subdivisions of site-built homes. In essence these homes are hybrids: built on site using many large components (panel section, roof trusses, etc.) made in a factory.
Essentially kit homes in which all the lumber and other materials are measured and pre-cut at the factory, then transported to the site and assembled by the builder. Packages may include many more building materials such as pre-hung windows and plumbing. Homes in this category can be very high end. Also included here are log homes, A-frame homes and domes. All are built to local codes.
PUBLIC HOUSING AGENCY (PHA)
Any state, county, municipality, or other governmental entity or public body, or agency or instrumentality of these entities that is authorized to engage or assist in the development or operation of low-income housing under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937.
REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (RESPA)
A law protecting consumers from abuses during the residential real estate purchase and loan process by requiring lenders to disclose all settlement costs, practices, and relationships.
The labor, materials, tools, and other costs of improving buildings, other than minor or routine repairs. The term includes where the use of a building is changed to an emergency shelter and the cost of this change and any rehabilitation costs does not exceed 75 percent of the value of the building before the change in use.
Rehabilitation that involves costs of 75 percent or less of the value of the building before rehabilitation.
SECTION 8 EXISTING RENTAL ASSISTANCE
Provides rental assistance to low-income families who are unable to afford market rents. Assistance may be in the form of vouchers or certificates.
SECTION 8 HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM
Allows low-income families who qualify for Section 8 rental assistance to use their certificates or vouchers to pay for homeownership costs under a mortgage.
SINGLE FAMILY PROPERTY
A single-unit family residence, detached or attached to other housing structures.
Any home that is built on the site, which the vast majority of homes are.
Same as a site-built home, although the term is inaccurate. Factory built homes are also stick-built; the “sticks” (lumber) are simply assembled inside a factory.
SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY
Housing that is designed to meet the special physical needs of elderly persons and to accommodate the provision of supportive services that are expected to be needed, either initially or over the useful life of the housing, by the category or categories of elderly persons that the housing is intended to serve.
A project that has as its purpose facilitating the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing within a reasonable amount of time (usually 24 months). Transitional housing includes housing primarily designed to serve deinstitutionalized homeless individuals and other homeless individuals with mental or physical disabilities and homeless families with children.
URBAN RENEWAL AREA
A slum area or a blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating area in the locality involved which the Secretary approves as appropriate for an urban renewal project.
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
Serves as the leading source of quality data about our nation’s people and economy.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD)
Established in 1965, HUD’s mission is to increase homeownership, support community development, and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. To fulfill this mission, HUD will embrace high standards of ethics, management and accountability and forge new partnerships — particularly with faith-based and community organizations — that leverage resources and improve HUD’s ability to be effective on the community level.
A dwelling unit that has been vacant for not less than nine consecutive months.
Households whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the median area income for the area, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller and larger families and for areas with unusually high or low incomes or where needed because of facility, college, or other training facility; prevailing levels of construction costs; or fair market rents.
The classification of land by types of uses permitted and prohibited in a given district, and by densities and intensities permitted and prohibited, including regulations regarding building location on lots.
HUD Manufactured Home Dispute Resolution Program – www.huddrp.net
Idaho Transportation Department – www.itd.idaho.gov
Institute for Building Technology and Safety – www.ibts.org
Manufactured Housing Communities of Washington – www.mhcw.org
Manufactured Housing Institute – www.manufacturedhousing.org
Nevada Housing Alliance – www.nvmha.org
Oregon Manufactured Home Association – www.omha.com
The Utah Housing Alliance – www.utmha.org
US Dept of housing and Urban Development (HUD) – www.huduser.org