Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you sell Dutch Homes?
I have an assumption that all the homes are basically the same home. Dutch can build an expensive Modular or an inexpensive single home. So do most of the other manufacturers. I believe that there is not much, if any, difference between homes. It is how the dealer stocks the home. Do they put stuff on the home or do they leave off stuff on the home? I have no problem with leaving stuff off if you know what they are leaving off. I used to do major customizing. With the demand for homes, they have told me that "we don't have to do major customizing anymore." I can still do some customizing/ I can make it bigger, change out bathrooms, put in windows, etc. I just can't draw up a floor plan and have them build it. Most manufacturers will not do a lot of customizing, Dutch does more than anybody else. .
Why should I buy from Nelson Homes?
Customization. Building a home with exactly the options that you want and not with those you don't want. Value. After you get the home, does it feel like home? Do we have room for grandma’s antique hutch? Are the windows in the right location to get the most light into the home? Etc. Other dealers are very good. Many of the salespeople though are not trusted by their bosses to customize for you. They can get in a lot of trouble if they don’t do it often. I am focused on making a home affordable for you.
What is the biggest problem facing the industry in the future?
The biggest problem is availability. That is all the manufacturers. The manufactured home communities have bought up all the production for Schult(Clayton), Friendship(Fairmont) and Dutch(Champion). One has to get on it very early in the year to get a home within the year. Used homes are very scarce. For a further discussion of availability click here. I do not believe that is going to change anytime soon.
Why are new homes so much money?
When I started selling new homes again in 2015 after I sold my dealership in 2000, I had a problem with the price. They were so expensive. How could I sell a home that I think is overpriced? I used an inflation calculator on the internet. I remember how much I sold homes for in 1997. I put in what I sold them for in 1997. In today’s dollars, they were exactly the same price. We don’t buy homes everyday so when we buy one, a price is fixated in our mind. Our mind does not account for inflation. It would be like going into a hamburger joint today and ordering a hamburger and paying $5.00 for it. When you bought the same hamburger 20 years ago, it was probably $1.50. You would think that the price of the hamburger today is atrocious. It is just inflation.
Fast forward to today. Inflation is rearing its ugly head. The housing market is no exception. Homes went up wildly in 2021. It was almost impossible to keep up with the price increases. I have lots of documentation as to why. Are they coming down? I personally don't think so. I will be happy if we don't get anymore increases.
The big bugaboo today is availability. All the factories are seeing 6-8 month offline dates. I believe it will stretch longer than that. Every day, they will sell more than one days production. If they sell a day and 1/2 production every day, every 2 days will add 3 days production.
What is the best home on the market?
I go to a show for dealers most years. COVID has limited the last 2 years. When I go to the show, all the manufacturers show their homes. I walk through all of them. I cannot tell the difference from one to another. We all the build them the same way, use the same materials and offer the same options. There is a little difference between one and the other in cabinets. Not construction but color. The best home is the one that fits you, your family and your lot the best.
Why are there not many used homes on the market?
A lack of used homes has been going on for a number of years. There are just not a lot of used homes on the market and there never will be. That is the primary reason that I started selling new homes again. I had been selling just used homes since I sold my dealership (Greater Dakota Homes-Fargo) in 2000. Shortly after that, the market changed substantially. The market was homes sold on their own property on foundations. The dealers were no longer stocking homes that would be sold in parks or property where the land was not owned by the homeowner. When they were put on foundations, it was unlikely that they would be sold to move. The parks became more vacant without the dealers putting homes in the park. The parks started selling new homes in their parks. However, they would not sell to someone who would be moving the homes. This is where you will see "homes that cannot be moved" In the meantime, the homes were getting older all the time. A home that was less than ten years old is now 20 years old. The dealers still do not stock many homes that would be sold to their own property. With the setting of homes on frost piers, it has become expensive to set a home in the parks. Dealers have been stocking more modular homes. Also, people have been keeping their homes. They have not been re-selling them or they sell them to a friend. Many of the 70’s homes have been going to the dump.
Do manufactured homes appreciate or depreciate?
The answer to this question has changed in 2021.
The answer is both. It depends on the age of the home. With the current pricing on homes, I expect the homes before 2021 to sell for higher prices than what was paid for the home new. Doubles went up $30,000 in 2021 and $17,000 (approximately) in 2021. People can buy a used home at substantial saving to a new home if they can find one. This scarcity coupled with the price of new homes will cause higher prices, I believe. i don't know but I think so. If you buy a new home in 2022 that is $100,000, and wanted to sell it 3 years later. The buyer has a choice between your home and a new home. New homes would have probably gone up $3,000 in those 3 years ($1,000 a year). Many people would probably say “for the difference, I will get a new home”. How much do you have to discount to make it attractive to the buyer? I don’t know. I would think that it would be about 20%. If it has to be moved, it could be more than that.
Now an explanation on how they appreciate. If they are sitting on their own land and can be sold with the land, they will be controlled by the real estate market of the area that they are located in just like any other home. It could go up or down. This would depend on the market where it is located, availability of land, and other factors regarding the location.
Also as there is more distance between new and used, it makes them more attractive because the new homes have gone up more (new homes go up every year by the rate of inflation; about 3%). In 10 years there is a difference of 30%. The used home will probably sell for what it was paid for. I sold new homes in the 70’s. I remember what I sold them for. Many of those models are selling for more than when they were new if they are nice. The trick is to own the home for a period of time.
What does it cost to move a home?
If you buy a new home with me, moving of the home is included. If you buy a used home from me, the moving costs are not included. Many of my homes are sold “on site” with no move.
Moving a used home depends on what it is, how far it is going and the availability of the moving company.
If I were budgeting, I would budget $5,000 for a single home and $10,000 for a double home. That is way too simplified. The distance does not really make that much difference usually. Usually a 5 mile move and a 100-mile move would be the same. The mover says, “once I get hooked on to it, what is another couple of hours.” It would also depend on entryways, storage sheds and decks.
I would be happy to discuss the particulars of moving a home with you. You don’t have to be buying a home from me. Feel free to call. I assure you that I will be as helpful as I can in suggesting movers and trying to help figure how much it might be. It is way too individualized to discuss here.
Should I buy a new home or a used home?
This goes hand and hand with the above discussion. If you know that you will be selling the home in 5 years. Use the example above. Say that you have to sell it for $15,000 less than what you paid for it. It may be more than that but we can use this for the discussion. So it cost you $15,000 to live in the home for 5 years on your own property. That is $3,000 a year or $250 a month to live in a new home. That included the move to your site and set up. That does not seem too bad to me.
A used home will generally sell for what you paid for it. Might be a little more but not much more. However, you had to pay for the move to get to your site. That will not come back to you. So on a single, it cost you $5,000 and a double $10,000. So if it was the $5,000, it was about $1,000 a year or about $100 a month. You probably would have had some maintenance to deal with also that a new home would not probably have had.
If you are putting the home on your own property, I would consider a new home rather than a used home. YOU might have financing for the home if you put a used home on it but if you were to sell the home with the property, a new home would be a better choice. I would probably choose this for the re-sale of your home. Some mortgage lenders will not finance a home that has been moved twice. That would be a used home moved from the original lot that it was moved to when it was new. This is too complicated for me to try to explain here. Shoot me an email or call, I would be happy to explain it to you.
Do you sell Modular Homes?
No, I am sorry to say that I don't. Modular homes have to be installed on basement or a perimeter foundation. I install my homes on a pier foundation. I choose not to sell modular homes. I don't have a basement crew that will travel everywhere that I put homes. i don't stock any modular homes. My competitors would be a better choice for a modular home. I choose to price all my homes. It is tough enough to just keep up with the homes that I sell. Just to be clear, I have done and can do modular homes. I just choose not to offer those homes.
Another reason is the difference is the price. You can get some major money tied up to do a modular home. Basements, modular frames, and other modular features add a significant amount to the project. If you want a basement, that is the way to go. Many of the people that I have visited with said that you could not give them a basement with the experiences that they have had previously. If you are looking for something less expensive, a modular is not the way to go.
Many of my customers would rather have a larger home with no basement rather than a smaller home with a basement.
What is the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?
Many people use these terms interchangeably. They are not. There are never any used modular homes for sale because they would have been on a basement when they were sold new. They would generally be sold with the lot that they are sitting on just like a site built home would be.
Manufactured homes are on a pier foundation. The framing of the home consist of 2 frames on each half of the home. Every point underneath where the home is blocked would have a 20-24", 5 1/2' cement column. The home is anchored to those piers. This is a legal foundation. It is accepted by FHA. Many structures around the world use a pier foundation. It is not just manufactured homes. The interior walls are 2 x 3". Modular and Manufactured homes have the same 6" exterior wall.
Modular homes must be put on a 5' perimeter foundation or a basement. This will be a significant amount of money. The home is built with a perimeter foundation frame. The interior walls are 2 x 4". There is minor wiring differences. Frankly, I don't know every difference. I know just a few differences. A dealer that sells both homes would be able to answer this question rather than me.
Why don't local banks finance mobile and manufactured homes?
There are a lot of misinformation as to why local banks don't finance mobile and manufactured homes. Here is the real reason. First of all, it is not very profitable to finance manufactured homes without land. They just don't do enough loans to justify them. A manufactured home loan is not a car loan, not a house loan on real estate, not a travel trailer. They are a unique loan. The buyer lives in the home as a primary residence. There are a number of disclosures that are required for people who finance their primary home. Most banks do not have that paperwork to do them. It would require a separate set of paperwork to do them. Many banks have a number of branches. All the people would have to be trained in the paperwork. With a low volume of loans, it just is not worth it to invest that kind of time. They have chosen not to offer them. Most loan officers are not explained this so they just say that "we don't do them".