The Complete Buyer's Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land: How to Find a Reputable Dealer and Negotiate a Fair Price on the Best Kept Secret in American Housing

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9780972543606: The Complete Buyer's Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land: How to Find a Reputable Dealer and Negotiate a Fair Price on the Best Kept Secret in American Housing

At last--the definitive, comprehensive guide to manufactured homes and purchasing land or leasing a home site. Exhaustively researched with extensive input from both industry insiders and consumer advocates, this new guide, published in the Spring of 2003, is an indispensable resource to help you find a dealer worthy of your trust, make the right home selection, and, as important, be an informed, empowered, and swindle-proof consumer.

Destined to be the standard authoritative reference work for manufactured homes, the guide Includes the Top 25 manufacturers rated, many helpful charts and diagrams, 66 illustrations, and essential information that retailers, even the good guys, don't want you do know--and which can save home buyers thousands of dollars.

Written by veteran journalist and author John Grissim whose plain spoken observations have made him a respected advocate for the home buying consumer.

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From the Author:

It is a pleasure to bring this second edition to the manufactured home shopper’s marketplace. Readers may notice the title has also been revised slightly—from The Complete Buyer’s Guide... to The Grissim Buyer’s Guide.... and here an explanation is in order:

Following the book’s first publication, I was deluged with questions from readers about different manufacturers. In the absence of any guide that described and rated all U.S. builders (79 at last count), I resolved to tackle the project. The result was a second consumer guide, The Grissim Ratings Guide to Manufactured Homes, published in early 2006, designed to be an essential companion resource to this book. Thus, the two books together now properly comprise the complete buyer’s guide.

One final note: While I am a booster of manufactured housing, I am also an outsider, one of the industry’s most vocal critics whose loyalty is to the home buying consumer. Over the years I have crossed swords with more than a few builders who were not at all happy with my critiques. As a journalist I am fiercely protective of both my independence and professional integrity, as well as the credibility of my writing. Accordingly, other than income derived from the sale of my books and from speaking and writing about the consumer’s point of view, I neither solicit or accept a dime from the industry about which I write. My readers have my assurance that I intend to keep it that way.

From the Back Cover:

The Complete Buyer's Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land

The Definitive Buying Guide to Manufactured Homes and Purchasing Land or Leasing a Home Site

Forget everything you've thought about "mobile homes." Manufactured homes (as they are now called), have come a long way from their trailer house origins. Constructed in climate-controlled factories using top-grade materials (and built to exacting federal standards) today's manufactured homes offer a wide range of styles and floor plans that can meet the expectations of the most discriminating mainstream home buyer.

Many models are indistinguishable from conventional homes, although they can be sited and readied for move-in in far less time than a comparable site-built dwelling, often at a great savings.

Yet for all their advances, manufactured homes are still sold like cars: through street dealerships, most of them still focused on selling lower end models to consumers unable to qualify for conventional home loans. Along the way the industry has attracted more than its share of predatory dealers and finance companies.

Most retailers are reputable but until now no comprehensive resource guide has been available to consumers that explains how the manufactured home industry operates, how to find a dealer worthy of your trust, how to make the right home selection, and, as important, how to be informed, empowered, and swindle-proof. This buyer's guide is that resource-and it could save you thousands of dollars.

Exhaustively researched, and with extensive input from both industry insiders and consumer advocates, this guide contains much information that retailers, even the good guys, don't want you to know. Whether you are in the market for an affordable first home or a vacation getaway, or a larger residence, or you're thinking about moving to a land-lease community, this guide gives you all the information and tools you will need to successfully find and purchase the home of your dreams.

Topics include:

The top 25 manufactured home builders rated
Pros and cons of manufactured homes
The 19 warning signs of an untrustworthy dealer
The 19 encouraging signs of a reputable dealer
Trapped entrances, up rotation, write-ups, and other mysteries explained
How buyers get fleeced, a worst case scenario
Checking out a dealer, getting the local lowdown
The anatomy of a dealership, factory rebates, how retailers make their profit
Calculating your buying power-get your own credit score and shop for the money first
How dealers determine their retail prices
Guidelines for checking out lot models
Back-lot bargains: repossessed homes, the pros and cons-danger signs
Handling high-pressure sales techniques
Shopping for land-Search tips, how to get the best effort out of your Realtor
Construction loans-making sure your lender protects your interests
How to determine the fair price of a home
Smart negotiating tactics, what not to disclose
Deal terms-what to insist be in writing
When disputes arise-best strategies for prompt resolution
Checking out Land-lease communities- questions to ask and where to ask them
Deciphering lease and rental agreements
Preventive steps to avoid contractor rip-offs
Site-preparation and installation-what you should know, an inspection check list
Warranty problems-how to get prompt and satisfactory service.

John Grissim is a journalist, author and recent convert to manufactured housing. During a career spanning more than 30 years, he has authored eight books and contributed to many periodicals in the U.S. and overseas, including Rolling Stone, discovery, Sports Afield, Surfer, Playboy and Smithsonian. He lives with his family on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

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