Hey look it's the Doublewide Dudes.
Mousetrap: Alright welcome back to another episode of Doublewide Dudes. This is going to be another segment of the family experiences. In the short series where we're interviewing families that bought a mobile home to share their experiences. Yeah before we get into that you’re finally back on the podcast AP, you've been gone for a week.
AP: I love how you call me out in that last episode man. I did the interview. I was in the podcast.
Mousetrap: Yeah I mean the editing part I guess, I just jumped the gun on saying that.
AP: But yeah I'm back.
Mousetrap: Yeah we had that solar eclipse today man, what do you think?
AP: You know I look like an absolute idiot. I didn't want to look at the sun because I didn't have the goggles. And my brother said hey do a selfie and then you can see it on the back. And I went and did 10 selfies.
Mousetrap: See on the back how?
AP: You know you can do the selfie cam and I could see the sun behind me right. And I took like 10 or 12 selfies. I didn't see anything.
Mousetrap: Pure blur, just a big blob.
AP: It got a little darker and the rest was just a normal Monday.
Mousetrap: Yeah I tried to look up at it. I was excited to say the least. I'm in the house and I was believing the hype.
AP: Look cool online right?
Mousetrap: What else, what else do we got going on in your life?
AP: We've got a major event happening here for our Braustin family. We broke ground last week on what's going to be our brand new model center there off 281 South. Getting trees cleared. We got power poles put in and really excited to get that place up and running, come January of next year.
Mousetrap: Yeah these pop ups have really worked well for us and who knew where it was going to take us. A year into it. I guess we're finally going to have the lot, a nice lot come January next year.
AP: Yeah it’ll be nice, looking forward to it.
Mousetrap: Let's jump into this interview that you did with the Gomez family.
AP: Yeah this was a fun one and at full disclosure, Ernest actually now works with us at the Braustin Mobile Home family. And we weren't around as a company when he was going through the mobile home purchase with him and his wife Liza but they just bought a home, 3, 3 and a half years ago. Now that he has being on both sides of the industry I just thought they had some real valuable insight for our listeners thinking about making a mobile home purchase.
Mousetrap: Yeah there is definitely a lot of good information there. Took a listen to it while I was editing it and so without further ado let’s jump into the interview and see what they had to say.
Alberto: So I guess first off why don't y’all introduce yourselves?
Ernest: Hey folks, my name is Ernest Gomez and I have my wife here.
Liza: Hi my name is Liza Gomez.
Alberto: I appreciate you'll joining us. The segment we're working on right now is family experiences. And what we're really trying to capture for our listeners is that experience that home buying experience that I know y’all went through not too long ago. How long ago did you'll actually purchase your manufactured home?
Liza: About 3 and a half years ago.
Alberto: So I guess first off walk us through, what was the whole buying experience like for you guys?
Ernest: Well Liza is extremely thorough when it comes to doing her research. I mean she was doing her online research and when it came down to it we had gone through pretty much every place that up and down 90, 410 and 90. Anywhere we could get our hands on to walk through. I mean it was tiring to say the least. I was exhausted after the first place I wanted to quit but I couldn't.
Alberto: It's a big decision right?
Liza: Yes it is and we just knew exactly what we wanted, what we needed, what we could afford. And that specifically as we walked through the door, that's specifically what we told the representative. We need to be in this price range, we don't want anything fancy but he still kept showing us the houses. The very first company that we went to. I think it was Solitaire, even though we said we needed a house within like 30, 40 grand total, they showed us the house that cost 90 grand. I'm like are you serious. I was thinking about the representative, like did he even hear what I said? Like we need something simple, 30, 40 grand is the most I know you can do it. And you're showing me the one that cost 90.
Alberto: Is that something that you'll ran into a lot during your shopping?
Ernest: Yeah almost every place they try to upsell us and it was frustrating. We knew exactly what we wanted, what we want it to be and nobody took that into consideration.
Alberto: So were you'll able to do any kind of research online before you went and physically shop dealerships?
Ernest: Minimal and I know she did a little bit, but there was really nothing online to really help us. It was you want to view the house, come on in. No prices, no real information.
Alberto: I guess let's step back before y’all even started shopping. What was going through your mind when you were deciding to make that jump in a home ownership and what led y’all to choose a manufactured home for your first home?
Ernest: Well we had just gotten married and since I've grown up in a mobile home, pretty much my entire life. We were living with 7 other people besides us. So you're looking at 9 total in a 4 bedroom home. And luckily we had our own room but it got real crowded, real quick. So we were just wanting to get out of our current situation and we had looked into rentals and I was the only one working at the time. So I was trying to find something close to work. But heck, even on the South East side we're looking at rentals for a one bedroom apartment and because I had pets, I mean they are looking at about a $1,000 dollars a month. I mean they are fairly decent but if I could afford that we figured we might as well look into something I knew. I get that these properties and a home and it just make sense.
Alberto: And Liza was that your same train of thought at the time?
Liza: Yes we were looking into rental, pretty much everywhere not only close to his work because I wasn't able to work at the time. And when I took over the finances and saw how much we could actually afford a month, either to rent or to buy our own house. It just make sense to have something paying for that's going to be ours eventually, rather than just throwing money away on rent.
Alberto: And y’all actually ended up purchasing a piece of land and building on a piece of land that you own right? Take us through the experience of finding the land and finding the right place for you'll to live.
Ernest: Well, that we did pretty much online to start. When we had looked everywhere Lytle, Natalia, Sommerset, Castroville. Anyplace that had a piece of property that we felt that we could afford we looked and we ran into was, what property anywhere between 20 and 30 undeveloped. Maybe cleared out but just straight raw. And we knew it was going to take some money to get septic and water and the electric and everything else that included.
Alberto: So ultimately what led to y’all choosing the piece of property, you ended you buying it?
Ernest: Honestly, sheer luck. We ran into a gentleman who actually help us with the home buying and he was selling a property that it was in the area that I knew, that I liked. It was 3 quarter of an acre worth of land and it was completely developed. I mean we had to do a little bit of upgrade but nothing a couple thousand couldn't fix. We got it for a steal. For about 20,000 and we jumped on it. The land was perfect and that was exactly where we want it, just enough space to give us a good home and it just make sense.
Alberto: And aside from buying the land and buying the home what other cost were involved for you guys to put together that land home package?
Liza: Well we had, first of all the pad of course that we had to do. The house that we got was a newer house and the land was old so that the electric post was at 100 amps and the house was sold up to 200 amps so we need to upgrade that. Which was an extra 2 grand. We needed to put all the water lines, not the water lines to connect the septic. To save a little money not to have somebody else do it, we did it ourselves. That was time consuming and of course we needed to buy all the materials for that. It wasn't nothing crazy but still cost money.
Mousetrap: They go on to talk about what they contracted out to get the site ready for the mobile home. They did the sewer lines and water lines and as much as they could themselves but they had a buddy of theirs do the electric and the base pad. So it goes to show you put a little hard work, you could save some money in the back end to get your site ready.
Alberto: So when during the process did you figure that stuff out and I guess how did you account for that financially?
Ernest: We didn't take into account the electricity until we had already bought the property. I didn't know anything about it and we weren't told about the electricity amps until after we bought the house and that's when we did the research on having our electrician go out there. He's the one who told us yeah you got to upgrade from 100 to 200 and this is what its going to cost kind of thing. The base pad we had an idea that we needed but it was a little more than we expected. Luckily we had that in savings. And when it comes to material for like pvc pipe and stuff like that, we knew that wasn't going to be too too much so we were kind of prepared for that.
Alberto: Was there anything else during the buying process that maybe caught you by surprise or you didn't know about getting into this?
Ernest: Yeah everywhere we went, which drove me nuts was they always ask us for our credit and our down payment. I mean it was very much an interrogation as opposed to really finding out what make sense for us and what was important for us. I mean I knew my dad had bought a mobile home 20 years ago and I mean he kind of let me know what he went through. It's kind of like nothing changed. He even told me that he had to put a deposit fee or application fee or something like that and every place asked for our credit and at the time I mean I let the first place do it, but I was adamant about not letting anybody else doing it again because once I realized what credit was I wasn't trying to get hit anymore.
Alberto: So what about the process after you decided on the builder, you decided on the home, the financing part of this deal. What was that like for you?
Ernest: Since I was the only one working, I mean it was fairly simple until they had to get a hold, the bank had to get a hold of my employer.
Mousetrap: Ernest does a good job of explaining that some things are out of his and the retailers’ control. Financing in the mobile home industry is pretty similar across the board from place to place. They all use the same banks and the same processes. So it's just another hoop home owners need to jump through to get to the deal wrapped up.
Ernest: It was just between the bank and my job.
Alberto: Now that y’all have been living in this home for 3 and a half years. What has manufactured home living meant to you guys?
Ernest: It's really everything for us. I mean it fits exactly our life style. I mean we're not completely frugal, but our priorities are set towards travelling and to do more experience based things. Being that we never had a huge high cost rent of $900 or a $1000 dollars or mortgage. I know some people pay $1200 or $1500 or something like that. I mean we paid off our land already. We travelled to numerous countries over the last couple years and now we still planning a really big trip for the world cup next year. We have a lot of opportunities that a lot of people may not with different priorities.
Alberto: Well lastly any advice that y’all would have for someone listening that's maybe thinking about becoming a home owner, doing their research on manufactured home retailers, builders, what would you'll advice be to those folks.
Liza: I would advise you start with a list of things that you want. Specifically want. Starting with actually the house that you want, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, floor, carpet or whatever it is. Start with your basic needs, like compare those and see what fits your picture and go from there. Pricing wise, like knowing your budget that would really help and initially when you're starting to look for a house, like what you can afford. Know how much a month you're bringing in, how much you're spending and how much you will be able to put away for your house, for your payment for your house or how you're going to be doing it. My main advice to all of you people who are looking into a home, home ownership is to start checking their finances very very well, otherwise the process it going to be taking forever. Because the banks are going to be looking at it anyway and if you're not prepared already, the process is going to take you longer.
Alberto: So get organized and get prepared before you make the jump? What about you Ernest any advice you'd share with our listeners out there thinking about buying a home?
Ernest: Before we bought the house, I got one little tip from somebody I trust and he said at the least you're going to get frustrated. At the very least it's going to be a little frustrating. So just have patient because a lot of things that happen aren't going to be in your control and they're not going to be in the person you buy the house from’s control. It's just going to be things that happen.
Mousetrap: There you have it. That was the conversation between Alberto and Ernest and his wife Liza. They pointed out some really good perspectives on what actually happens in a typical home purchase when choosing a retailer and getting the whole thing set up. I hope you enjoyed it, you got some good insight out of the conversation and hopefully helps you point in the right direction to get something like this done for you and your family. Well that does it for this episode guys thanks for listening as always and talk to you on the next one.