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.