“BIG” AND “LITTLE” DECISIONS WHEN ORDERING YOUR NEW MANUFACTURED HOME
Deciding to purchase is the “Big” decision, but what are the “Little” decisions that go into the purchase of a new manufactured home?
Purchasing a home may as well be the biggest decision any of us will make in our lifetime. If you have finally made that momentous decision to buy a new manufactured home, then you are on your way to realizing the uniquely American dream of homeownership.
Your commitment to purchase is the “Big” decision; however, there are a multitude of “Little” decisions to be made that are also important and will contribute to the enjoyment and satisfaction of your new manufactured home for years to come.
THE “SPEC OUT” IS THE FUN PART OF YOUR PURCHASING EXPERIENCE
The specification process, otherwise known as a “Spec Out,” with your retailer is the fun part of the purchasing process, wherein you will determine how your home will look on the inside and outside. This will also determine what options, upgrades, and customization you will require. Being that most manufactured home retailers are able to build a truly custom manufactured home floor plan of your choice, this gives the homebuyer the ability to build a (potentially) one of a kind home, for a fraction of the cost of a custom site-built home.
Assuming you and your manufactured home retailer have agreed upon a price for the home, which is often based upon your viewing of a lot model with changes in equipment. Or, by purchasing the home with a base price, with the final price to be determined after you have chosen the options during the specification process. Regardless of the method, it is important to understand what the standard specifications are on the floor plan prior to the “Spec out.” The manufacturer’s floor plan brochure will detail what equipment comes standard in the home.
DECORATING THE HOME TO FIT PERSONAL TASTES AND REQUIREMENTS
Decorating the new manufactured home is a personal process that allows the home buyer to choose colors and qualities that fit personal tastes and requirements. Your retailer will ask you to choose from factory samples of carpet, vinyl plank floor coverings, paint, countertops, window coverings, kitchen appliance finishes, exterior colors and more.
Make sure that manufactured home retailer advises which samples you are viewing are standard, which are upgrades, and what your additional cost will be.
It is a good idea to have a preconceived color scheme in your mind before you arrive for the “Spec out.” Purchasers often bring with them to the session something to help coordinate their own furniture and accessory colors with those colors selected for the new manufactured home, such as a sofa cushion, a throw pillow, etc.
UPGRADES, OPTIONS, AND CUSTOMIZATION ARE VIRTUALLY UNLIMITED
Many manufactured home builders offer a plethora of optional features and upgrades. Your retailer may be somewhat hesitant to show you a full list of upgrades that are available. That hesitancy is based upon past experiences where customers decide on so many options that the additional costs exceed their budget or their approved total consideration loan amount.
Following are some of the more popular options or upgrades that are frequently chosen by previous manufactured home buyers. Some of these are optional with some manufacturers and standard with others.
From a home buyer’s perspective, the appearance and utility of the kitchen and master bedroom are the most important rooms in the home. These are also the areas where personalization choices and options are most available. Below are suggestions when making those decor and equipment selections.
A refrigerator and other appliances are standard in all manufactured homes. Sizes and upgrades are available in white, black and stainless steel.
Your choice of countertops will vary a great deal depending on the brand of manufactured home you are purchasing. Typically most all will have Formica-type laminated countertops. Some will offer upgrades such as granite and other material surfaces.
If standard kitchen sink is plastic (this is uncommon) we recommend an upgrade to china, porcelain or stainless steel. Currently, a popular option is the deep stainless steel “Farmer’s sink.”
A dishwasher is usually standard equipment, but not always. If standard there may be upgrades that include additional features.
Kitchen islands are very popular with homemakers. A center island adds additional countertop workstation space and/or snack and serving bar, ideal for casual dining and entertaining. An island is usually a standard feature in most open floor plans.
MASTER BEDROOM SUITE
Many manufactured home multi-section and larger single section models will include a standard master bath that includes a soaking tub and a separate stall shower.
Upgrading the master bath is very popular with many manufactured home purchasers. Several manufacturers will offer a “Glamour bath” option that will include a large oval or rectangular platform soaking tub, an extra large tile shower, “His” and “Hers” dual sink vanities and an abundance of handcrafted cabinets and linen closets.
Some larger manufactured home floor plans will feature a master bedroom retreat area with an available optional fireplace.
MAKE SURE SPECIFICATION CHOICES ARE RECORDED IN WRITTEN FORM, SIGNED AND CONFIRMED BY BOTH PARTIES
At the completion of the specification process, you should receive a copy of your selections endorsed by signatures of both you and the retailer representative.
This specification order is then forwarded by the manufactured home retailer to the manufacturer. Before the home goes into production the factory will send the retailer a confirmation copy of the order to build. It is important that you advise the retailer that you will want to see that confirmation and verify everything is as agreed. While you await the confirmation copy, there will be time to make changes. It is not unusual for a customer to have second thoughts about some of their choices and to change their selections.
Here at ManufacturedHomes.com you will find unique 3D virtual tours of thousands of new homes with various decor and amenity combinations that may be helpful in your “Spec out” process. Chances are good that you will find a 3D tour of the home you are purchasing, as all of the manufacturers nationwide are listed on this site, and most will have 3D virtual tours and/or interior photographs.