Sunday, March 16, 2008

house-hunting

We've only been looking at manufactured housing for a week, but one thing we've decided:  They all pretty much look alike.  Especially the single-wide homes, which one salesman told us are not being built very much, these days.

All of them (the single-wides) have the master bedroom on one end, the two smaller bedrooms in the other.  Most of the master baths have that stupid "garden tub", which is useless to people who usually take showers.   It's just a bigger-than-usual tub.

There are differences in the amount of cabinet space and how the kitchens are arranged.  And there's a difference in quality.  You have pretty-cheaply-made homes, and extremely-cheaply-made homes.  Oh, better quality can be found, but it's in a much higher price range.

None of this comes as a shock to us since, as I said before, we've lived in manufactured housing, as did my parents.

Yesterday was a drizzly, depressing day, so we decided to travel a hundred miles to Columbia, Missouri, and see if there was any difference in prices there.  There really isn't, not that I could tell.

We saw one repo that had just arrived on Friday.  I should have taken a picture of it.  Not because we were interested, but because I had never seen anything quite like it.  You could tell, from the outside, that it had two levels:  One end was actually lower than the other.  A split-level mobile home!  Turns out there was a huge bathroom in the lowered end with a garden tub in the center of the room and mirrors everywhere.   Indeed, it looked like it was intended for people who would throw a party and invite guests... in their bathroom!  Cliff and I had to laugh at the design.

This place reeked of smoke, and was pretty much trashed.  Doors were torn off hinges; one door was destroyed (it wouldn't take much to destroy a door in the cheaper mobile homes).  One room was littered with junk.  I mentioned to the salesman, "Somebody wasn't too kind to this house."

"Oh, that's one of the better ones," he said.  "Usually we can't even walk around inside the repos.  These people don't realize they are going to have to pay the difference between the amount they owe and the price we sell the home for."

So far, the nearest we've come to finding what we want is in Kansas  City.  There are a couple of homes on Craigslist, being sold by the owners, that we intend to investigate.

Things may fall into place nicely for all concerned.  Cliff's Wisconsin sister, who is in the process of getting a divorce, is going to move to this area.  She intends to buy a house, but she first needs to find a job and figure out in exactly what part of the Kansas City area she'll need to live.  She could stay in this house at no cost (except for utilities) until she finds out in which direction her life is going to go; she's excited by this possibility.  It would take a lot of heat off her, not having to rush into buying a home.

Oh, a friend of Cliff's who works in construction said he'll come out and help with the concrete pad we'll set the home on, and also help run the water lines to our new, peaceful location in the pasture.  We're thinking we might hook onto rural water, to get rid of our hard-water problem.  A lot depends on how much money we will have available, and we won't know that until the bank guy does a drive-by appraisal.  It may be two weeks yet.  (Of course I'll keep the money information to myself; there are a few details I don't share with my readers.  Hehe.)

And that's your manufactured housing report for today.

11 comments:

madcobug said...

I know they all get to running together when looking. You forget which one has what. I will send up a prayer that you find one just like you need and want. Helen

marainey1 said...

One of my friends recently bought a double wide and loves it.  She likes being on one floor and no stairs to contend with.  I on the other hand have lots of stairs and even though my old house has been updated with wiring and plumbing it still has a few old house woes.  But the great thng is it's all paid for and taxes and insurance aren't so bad so here I'll stay .  It sounds like you are having fun looking anyway.  'On Ya'  -ma

geocachelinda66 said...

Yes, mobile homes are pretty much the same aren't they?  Hope you find one you like.  Linda

plieck30 said...

Hope you find what you want. We took a couple looking once and it was kinda fun even though we weren't looking for ourselves. Paula

ryanagi said...

This is the company I mentioned in a previous comment. Do you have any modular home builders in your area?  Check out this model:
http://www.ritz-craft.com/sec_results.cfm?model=30366

Manufactured homes don't have to be just a "box". ;-)

breakaway1968 said...

I remember the excitement of finding our home...we were moving from the city where the neighbors driveway was in our livingroom!  And we hated it.  I mean when your windows were open and theirs were open you could hear their conversations!  We seriously talked about adding a little hallway for the kids (our 4 kids were best friends)   We got pregnant and realized that the house we were in was just WAY to small to add another child into it.  So we began looking in the country and ran into this house were in now.  We found it and bought it all in one week!   We just LOVED it and and it was on 20 acres.  We are also going to grab up any extra acres that pop up for sale around us!  

lmitc89854 said...

Years ago when I was first married we bought a single wide up in Rapid City, SD. They built a trailer up there more suited to cold weather. Walls were more insulated etc. Sturdier.  Make sure you check on the "r" factor!!

amy122389 said...

My mom lived in a trail....errr....manufactured home (hee hee) 20some years ago.  They have really come a long way as far as looks go.  (The trailer, not my mom)

I still would love to have a housebarn built on some property some time in my life....

~Amy

ickivic said...

so many choices, have fun on your search.  How exciting!  Vicki

nanlynska said...

WOW ! Sounds like you're on a roll there. Bill and I have been looking into the 'manufactured' homes too. This house we're in is becoming way too big for the two of us. Meaning.....I'm gettin' too old to keep the whole thing clean ! LOL.

It's taking longer and longer to get the housework done day by day. I will say....the remodel we did has helped a lot. The new 'pebble-tec' floor being the best decision we made....along with the new tile in the front bathroom. The house stays a lot cleaner with all the carpet out of here. Less dust etc. Anyway.....I am enjoying your saga of "The Hunt"......mainly because we are in the same boat !!  LOL.

suzypwr said...

It's a good idea to see a lot of them! When I was a social worker I must have been inside thousands of different kinds of manufactured homes. Some were really, really nice!

xoxo