OT: questions about manufactured homes

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My husband and I live in the California "desert." Actually, it's quickly becoming just another suburb, overrun with houses. (We're in the Victor Valley.)
Now is a good to sell our house. We want to buy a couple of acres much further out in the desert and put a manufactured home on it. I have a couple of books on their way from amazon.com so we can learn as much as we can, plus we're going on the factory tour this weekend to see how they're actually built, but I thought I'd put out a couple of questions here. I've been lurking (occasionally posting) for two years here and have learned tons. Hoping you can help.
Is 100 amp electrical system enough if we have central air, TVs in every room, a couple of computer systems, etc. etc?
Will the home appreciate in value or depreciate? We intend to put an attached garage on it, a nice deck and possibly a front covered porch. We like the Craftsman style. We're probably going to go with a permanent foundation, too.
I like the look of those Sunsetter retractable awnings for over the deck. Motorized with a remote control. Thoughts?
I can understand conventional wisdom being that the home would depreciate because people still think of them as "mobile homes." But they really aren't anymore. Silvercrest has a video on their website, in the factory tour section, that shows the process. Seems to me, this isn't my Dad's mobile home anymore and I don't see why it should depreciate in value over the years.
Yet, on realtor.com, houses are distinguished as either single family or mobile/manufactured. It doesn't help the image.
Any info greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Maxi
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They will depreciate. On the other hand a modular home which is built in modules in a factory and attached to a permanent foundation and looks like a stick built house will not any more than a regular house.

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I'm a little confused then because the sections are built in a factory and trucked to the site where they're put on a permanent foundation and when it's done, it looks like a stick built house. It's 1500 sq ft and 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, huge living room, big kitchen, etc.
What's the difference between modular and manufactured?
On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 18:03:43 GMT, "Art"

Maxi
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Is it built to stick built housing codes or to trailer home codes. If it looks like a real stick built house I suspect you are talking about a modular home and if it is from a good company is should be fine but be aware that lots of failing trailer home companies are trying to get into the modular home business. Find out how long they have been building modular homes.

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It's built to stick built codes and looks like a real stick built house. The company has been around a long time and they have quite an extensive line of designs, from 300 sq ft vacation homes to 3000 sq ft homes. We're doing our homework as well as we can, checking out a couple of companies and so far, we like this one the best. They have a five acre indoor factory in Corona where they build them. Check out the video:
http://www.silvercrest.com/factory.htm
And thanks for the input.
On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 21:59:56 GMT, "Art"

Maxi
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Well, I'm in the mortgage business and the only thing I can tell you is as each year goes by more and more lenders are pulling out of the manufactured home business altogether or at least trying to make it nearly impossible for customers to qualify. I do assume you are talking about double wide type homes.
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One reason is that for several years manufactured homes were lending money to anyone. Result was a glut of foreclosed doublewides on the market.

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On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 14:18:09 -0400, "Jim Tiberio"

I guess that's one name for them They're double wide and triple wide these days. When finished and on a permanent foundation, many of them look like stick built. The floor plans go way beyond just a simple rectangular box and have bay windows, porches, gabels and other architectural details.
We can sell our present home for about twice what the new one would cost. It's time to move. Maybe because we live out here, and there are already so many manufactured homes in our valley, we won't have such a difficult time finding a lender. Crossed fingers. Maxi
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Interisting .... last week on tv show the comment was made that 10% of new home sales were of 'Manufactured homes.' Read that as being factory built. That is one hell of a big market to walk away from ;-)
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On 11 Jun 2004 00:41:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@web.com wrote:

Do you remember which tv show it was? Maxi
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[ portions snipped ]

Sorry, I can't even remeber what I had for dinner last night ;)) My guess is it was one of the home fix-it / improvement shows I watch. Maybe 'Michael Holigan's Your new house.' ??
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'Is 100 amp electrical system enough if we have central air, TVs in every room, a couple of computer systems, etc. etc?'
ME: 100 amps is enough if you arent going to have an electric stove and a central air. If the only thing will be the a/c that will use 240 v., then, 100 amps will be ample.
'Will the home appreciate in value or depreciate? We intend to put an attached garage on it, a nice deck and possibly a front covered porch. We like the Craftsman style. We're probably going to go with a permanent foundation, too.'
ME: Virtually any home will appreciate with very few exceptions. My folks have a manufactured home built in Wisconsin and shipped down to Illinois. Their home has appreciated by over twice what they paid for it in just 7 years.
'I like the look of those Sunsetter retractable awnings for over the deck. Motorized with a remote control. Thoughts? '
ME: I like them too. You better find out the specs on wind for one of those ; thats what prevented me from going further with one.
If the home is built well , installed correctly, and maintained well....you will do well at making money on it. It most likely wouldnt do well if you placed it amongst homes owned by millionaires , etc... but, ive been in alot of them, and i like the concept and are almost always better structurally and insulation wise because they are built under controlled environments and often stringent specs.
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On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 16:29:44 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (HVAC IsFun) wrote:

We'll have a gas stove, gas heat and gas dryer.

Thanks for the heads up on the wind. It's always windy out here so I'll check the specs on those awnings before we buy. I do like that they're retractable and with a motorized one with a remote, I can do it quickly and easily. We'd just keep it rolled up when it's windy.

Maxi
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(HVAC IsFun)

Maxi,
This jerk that replied has been run out of more newsgroups than you can count. Please, please don't rely on his knowledge in your home decision.
That said, I'm an electrician, and by-and-large, we don't like manufactured housing much. I remember reading that the codes had changed significantly in Cali, but first and foremost, MAKE CERTAIN YOU ARE GETTING REAL COPPER wiring in your home. Check to see if the breaker box and outlets are good quality and readily replaceable. Some manufacturers use nutty box setups and low-clearance wiring that will be a real pain later on.
A 200 amp service is standard for most homes over 1,200 square feet in the Midwest. Different standards may apply in Cali, but I would guess your AC is gonna pull a lot of juice. When you start adding additional loads like computers, home entertainment, etc, it brings your total requirements up pretty quick. If you can go with 200 amp service for a price that won't break you, you should.
Be sure to ask about appliances, too. Many of the appliances like water heaters, AC units, washer/dryer combos and even refrig units that are installed in manufactured housing have smaller physical specifications than stick-built. See if you can go to Sears or wherever in a few years and replace the ones they're supplying you with off-the shelf models. Many times you cannot.
Non-standard plumbing is also an issue with these homes. Special fittings and other items that help the manufacturer quickly put together homes on-site don't lend themselves well to home owner repairs later.... and they will come.
Ask your builder/manufacturer about these items, and do your homework. Don't rely on people in newsgroups for all the answers. This is a big decision for you.
Jake
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wrote:

Thanks. I'll add these to my list of things to ask when we go for the factory tour on Saturday. Their video says copper wiring, and that pvc or copper are the options for plumbing. They use name brand appliances but I don't know about the sizes. I'll find out. And I'll ask about 200 amp service. Thanks! Maxi
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Dave's answer is wrong. Often i see he is wrong but whatever.
Go 200 amps while its easy to do.
My home built in 1964 came with 100 amp service. 1200 square feet, gas oven, water heater. As is typical when i added A/C i had to have a 200 amp service installed to handle the load and meet code. This upgrade is costly, annoying and very much the norm.
In my area all new homes are required to have 200 amp service. So get 200 amp now while its cheaper/easier to do so.
Plumbing....get copper. Manufactured omes are notorious for having cheap plumbing. Are the faucets made of real chromed metal? On the positive side It says a lot that they even offer plumbing and electrical upgrades. At least they provide solutions to common complaints.
As far as i know all manufactured homes decrease in value. I suspect Dave's account of his parents home reflects a rise in land values. Our county appraisers website has a free property search. It shows both land and bldg values at each sale date. Perhaps you can search recent sales in your new area and compare bldg values to previous sale dates.
Anyways good luck with your new home. I was very suprised the first time i went inside a modern doublewide. Its was much nicer than my own home.
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Jerk (i mean Jake said) :This jerk that replied has been run out of more newsgroups than you can count. Please, please don't rely on his knowledge in your home decision.'
ME: Maxi, This is rubbish. Ive left NG's on my own accord and have never been 'run out' . So, you should be leary of listening to a liar who has an ulterior motive behind his comments . Further, this person is of a reprobate mind and doesnt like someone telling him to knock off his foul mouth/lewd comments/and slander toward homeowners that come to alt.hvac newsgroup looking for sincere information in a courteous manner. He is part of a bunch that enjoy tearing apart homeowners especially. , for ego gratification. They all play the one-upmanship game with each other to see who can use the most disgusting language toward unsuspecting homeowners that drop in.
'That said, I'm an electrician, and by-and-large, we don't like manufactured housing much. '
ME: Whos 'we' ??! You mean : You. Manufactured homes offer a turnkey approach to a home and there are many reputable manufacturers available that put out a good product . Just do your homework like you are doing, Maxi.
'200 amp service is standard for most homes over 1,200 square feet in the Midwest.'
ME: Ive never ever seen a 200 amp service in such a small house as 1200 or 1400 sq. feet and i live in the midwest and go in about 500-700 homes per year . If you have a gas furnace, gas dryer, ...and unless your husband runs two welding machines at the same time with the central air on, you dont need a 200 amp service. Its a gross overkill for what you have described in your future home. If the manufactured home comes with it, then see if you can get it reduced to 100 amp. My parents manufactured home is 1800 sq. ft and they have a 100 amp service. Its more than adequate.
Get references from the manufacturer so you can talk to people who have thier homes...and, try to see a few of them.
Good luck, Dave
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All anyone has to do is check your history Davey. I have asked you time and time again to keep your religion that I could give a rats ass about to yourself, and for your stupid ideas that you are a hvac tech to yourself. Funny...you are not welcome anywhere you go...the Vette guys hate you, the HVAC guys wish you were dead, the UK dating page has you pegged as a pedophophile after you made that post about having sexual thoughts about your customers kids....and you lie about everything you can. BTW..I have been posting in alt.home.repair longer than you have had your webtv toy, and will offer help to anyone in here that asks, even if its not what they wanted to hear. Hey...newsflash buby..I also have sold many parts to people iin here just over wholesale.... Now, for the benefit of anyone that might take you seriously, post your credentials, and where someon in Illinois can check your background out, since you are not listed as a legit business anywhere.

200amps is the min here. Period. If its going up, you will have a 200amp box in the place. If its being built, as a prefab, or a mobile, its gonna have a 200amp box in it.
Are you SURE you are in the trade man? You add a heat pump to some of these places and its gobbled up a ton of amperage in the box....
Now...post your stuff, or kindly shut the hell up.

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Maxi,
Sorry you got involved in a little in-fighting going on between the newsgroup folks.
Dave, in my opinion as noted (and thru observation of his many, many posts) is not qualified to answer your questions. I'm sorry he's mad at me (OK, maybe I'm not) but I wanted you to have good information.
The others that posted here said it all: 200 Amp service is what you want, and copper plumbing is something you can't do without.
I looked at the company "Virtual Tour" on the web and it's a slick presentation. Seems like they are trying to do things right. I noted their construction specifications like 16 inch centers immediatly... this is breath of fresh air for the manufactured housing folks (where CHEAP used to be their watchword).
I'll be interested in your impressions of the plant tour. After all, my dream is to retire to Arizona someday and live just like you're hoping to do.(-:
Good luck,
Jake
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On 11 Jun 2004 16:55:16 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com (Jake) wrote:

I've just spoken to a couple of people elsewhere who speak highly of Silvercrest, especially that they offer so many options, including upgrades. I'll be taking a list of questions with me tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.
Maxi
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