How to Build Equity in a Manufactured Home

The exterior of a manufactured home with gray siding, roof and skirting and white trim in a neighborhood.

Learn how to build equity in your manufactured home, so you can increase the likelihood that your home will gain value over time.

We know you’ve worked hard to fulfill your dream of becoming a homeowner by carefully planning and budgeting. Buying a house is a big financial decision, so you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure your home works for you just as much as you worked for it. And that’s why we’re talking about home equity.

You may have heard this term before, but if you don’t know exactly what it means, let’s break it down. Your home equity is the actual amount of money you own on your home free from any financing. You may think the only way to gain equity in your home is to simply pay off your mortgage. While that’s one way, let’s talk about several other steps you can as a homeowner take to increase your manufactured home’s equity.

What to Know Before You Purchase

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There are steps you can take before and during the process of purchasing your manufactured home to set yourself up for having more equity in your home in the long term.

Mobile homes that were built before the 1970s weren’t set on permanent foundations, so they were considered vehicles and personal property rather than real property that could appreciate.

However, in 1976, the HUD code was implemented and created national standards for modern manufactured homes. These construction requirements mean a manufactured home that’s built today can be affixed to a permanent foundation. And while the specific factors can vary based on the home’s location, a permanent foundation means the home is considered permanent real property and can potentially appreciate.

Gaining value in your manufactured home can require a few extra steps when you purchase the home, including:

  • Picking the right location. Working with a real estate agent and looking for land to buy in a great location that people will want to move to can mean a greater return if you decide to sell your home and property in the future. The right land for your home is key to building equity.
  • Setting your home on a permanent foundation. Once you find the perfect land for your manufactured home and it’s built and delivered, have your home affixed to its foundation. This doesn’t guarantee your home will appreciate, but it will help your home retain its value.
  • Work with your home consultant. At Clayton, a home consultant at your local home center will explain the processes you can pursue to have your home permanently affixed to its foundation, based on your local area’s requirements.

Once you’ve purchased a manufactured home, you can also find other ways to help make your property a great investment. If your manufactured home is on land that you own, you could add a porch, patio, carport or detached garage to your home to increase its value. And if you’re interested in an attached garage, we recommend pursuing this option when you choose your home model, so it can be added into the home’s design during the construction process.

Manufactured Home Maintenance

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In addition, regular home maintenance is key to protecting your investment. The following tips are just a few things you can do to maximize the comfort and value of your home.

Cleaning the Exterior Siding

Over time, the exterior of your home will get dirty from being exposed to the elements. Clean your home’s siding regularly with mild soap and a long-handled scrub brush to prevent stains from accumulating. Doing this will give your home a new look and better curb appeal.

Maintain Heating and Cooling

Your home’s HVAC system is what makes your space livable and comfortable, and taking good care of it helps lower your energy bill and will increase the life of your system.

Your homeowner’s manual has instructions on how to clean and maintain your heating and cooling systems, including changing air filters and how to check for leaks. The great thing about a manufactured home hot water heater is that it’s low maintenance. And while you do need to check your systems regularly, manufactured home HVAC systems are typically easy to maintain.

Check the Skirting

The covering that wraps around the lower part of your home is called the skirting, and it plays a vital role in aiding with energy efficiency and regulating air flow underneath your house. Check the skirting regularly for holes or tears if it’s made of vinyl or metal, and check for cracks or holes if it’s made of stone or brick.

As with siding, clean the skirting to improve the appearance and add value to your manufactured home.

Seal Any Cracks

Any area in your home that’s sealed with caulk or grout can crack or separate over time. Check and reseal these areas, including where countertops meet the wall, around bathroom fixtures and any tiled surface. Ensure these areas are properly sealed to prevent water damage.

Maintain Landscaping

Your landscaping is an important aspect of curb appeal. Maintaining your yard will require weekly attention during warmer months but it’s worth it. A well-kept lawn and an array of plants will showcase your property’s potential. Plus, adding particular plants around your home can control bugs and pests.

Following these tips will help you get started on building equity in your new manufactured home, and the effort will pay off down the road. If you’re searching for land for your dream home, our Find Land tool can help you get started on your home buying journey.

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