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Selecting a site for a manufactured or modular home

Selecting a good location is as important as selecting a home. It might even determine which manufactured home you want to buy.

The manufactured home retailer may have his own rental community or may be able to recommend one. Check into whatever he/she has to offer and see if it is a good choice for you.

You might prefer to setup your home on your own private property. If this is your preference, you will need to check on the zoning regulations in your area before you purchase a manufactured home.

Regardless of where you setup your home, some things to keep in mind are: public transportation - if you will need it, schools, how far away is it from your job, utilities, stores and services, property taxes, places of worship and recreational facilities.

Manufactured Home Communities

There are many manufactured home communities in the United States. Manufactured home or mobile home communites are listed in the yellow pages. Visit as many communities as possible before making your choice. Rents and leases can vary greatly, depending on the location of the community, amenities and services offered. Cooperative communities, where the residents are the owners and make their own decisions, can sometimes be found as well.

When choosing a community, find out in advance who is responsible for yard maintenance, garbage removal, and if this will be covered in your rent/lease. You will have to determine if you want to pay for the use of extra facilities, such as a laundromat, swimming pool, tennis court etc.

Read the rules and regulations of the community. For example, if you have children and pets you will need to know if they are allowed. Even minor things, such as parking rules, need to be inquired about.

Long-term leases help assure that your rent will not increase in case the community is sold. A few states require written leases for tenants, but most do not.

NEVER accept verbal promises. Get everything in writing in your contract, and make sure your rent includes everything promised.

Talk to the people already living there. Observe what is going on in the community. Is it clean? Is it quiet? Is it TOO quiet? Too noisy? Do the people seem happy? Ask for their opinions about the community. Ask yourself if you can live with the rules. Know exactly what is included in your rent/lease and what is not.

Again, GET IT IN WRITING.

Modular Homes

Modular homes may be troublesome when placing them in a high density park or community. It would be hard to maneuver the home into place with a crane when space is tight. Some parks may have a problem with the types of foundations for a modular home. A lot of modular home owners want a perimeter wall which, if the home is ever moved, will be left behind. That would restrict what could be replaced there without tearing that all out. You will definitely have to keep this in mind when choosing a site for this type of home.

Locating On Your Private Property

Perhaps you have your own lot where you wish to place your home. Completely check into the regulations, and restrictions, of the county and township where you want to locate before taking other steps. You must consider zoning laws, restrictive covenants, and hookup regulations. Such restrictions may prevent you from placing a manufactured home on a particular piece of land. Although HUD codes preclude restricting placement of homes, many localities still enforce their own policies. In some locations permission can be obtained easily, but in others it may be next to impossible. Obtain a copy of the zoning ordinances, at your courthouse or city hall, that apply to the area in which you are wanting to locate. If a variance in the zoning is needed, ask about obtaining one. Seek legal advice from an attorney if you are confused about any regulations. Do not buy a manufactured home until you know the local laws and restrictions.

You will need to have the following done before a home can be delivered and setup on the site:

  • The land needs to be "perked" or checked to make sure that it has suitable drainage for your septic system. The land is usually perked by the local county Health Dept. who will also tell you where the septic tank should be located and how large your tank should be. If it doesn't perk you may need a larger leach field around your system. A leach field is a trench filled with gravel with a perforated drainage pipe to assist the absorption of water into the ground. Mark off the area where the septic tank will be located.

  • When a piece of property is sold a survey is normally routine. However, if it has not been done, you need to get your land surveryed and know where every boundary is. If you build something over your line and your neighbor wants it there won't be anything you can do about it.

  • Next should be clearing the land. If you have a large amount of timber it might be possible to have someone clear it off in return for the timber or, if there is enough good timber on it they might be willing to pay you for it. Whatever you decide to do make sure that you always GET IT IN WRITING.

  • The home site can now be prepared for moving the home in starting with leveling the site itself and its approach.
Check local regulations concerning whether or not the utility companies require that connections be made by their own technicians. Always 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 have a well dug and your own septic system installed.

Buying a Manufactured Home on an Existing Lot

You may want to consider another alternative and buy a home that already is located on an existing lot. As with a rental community, there are fewer practical problems involved because you do not have to concern yourself about placement.

But be sure to check into the costs, services, and rules of any community before you buy. You should consider the matters such as utility connections, if there will be any restrictions on resale of your home, and whether you can live with that community's rules. Check the community's rules to see if you can live with them.

Milk Bone helps Canine Assistants.
Milk Bone has been a major contributor to the Canine Assistants Program, a charity organization whose goal is to raise and train service dogs for the people who need them the most. That means that every time you buy a package of Milk-Bone dog snacks, a portion of the proceeds goes to fund the Canine Assistantsí programs.

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