Ready to Visit a Mobile Home Dealer? Do These 5 Things First.
5 Steps to Take Before Visiting a Mobile Home Dealer
If you feel like it’s time for your family to visit a mobile home dealer and start shopping for homes, there’s a few things I would urge you to do first.
Because it is easy to become distracted while home shopping, you’ll need to take some steps that safeguard against impulse buying—an action that nearly always results in spending too much and feeling buyer’s remorse.
Keep reading and do these 5 simple things to make sure you find a great mobile home dealer and end up with a home you both love and can afford.
(1) Set a Budget
Sometimes home buyers want to “know what’s out there” before setting a budget. But the point of a budget is not to create one around what you are buying, but instead to buy what fits into the budget you’ve created first.
Your budget should fit comfortably into your life, allow for savings each month as well as give you opportunity to have a little fun. Maxing out your home budget can very quickly make the home you’ve longed for a depressing drain on your finances.
This is one of the most important steps to take before shopping around at mobile home dealers.
You need to walk in knowing what your price cap is and insist on not seeing or hearing about any homes that don’t fit in with it.
And if you come across a salesman that is not respecting your budget, that’s your queue to do business elsewhere.
(2) Know What You Want
Similar to creating your budget, it’s also important to have an idea of what you want in a home before you go walk through a ton of them.
Make a list of what is most important to you in a home.
Do you need a lot of counterspace? Room for a big dining table? A big laundry room?
Think about where you and your family live most in your current home and what you wish was different.
And remember this: Decorations can be changed but square feet cannot.
It’s hard, but don’t let pretty finishes and nicely arranged furniture distract you from what you need in a home.
Take your needs list with you and focus on finding the home that checks each of those boxes.
(3) Do Your Research
You’ve set your budget and you know what monthly payment you are comfortable with. So it’s time to go shopping right? Wrong.
In the age of the internet, we don’t have to shop in person at each mobile home dealer to get a feel for what they are like.
We get to look at reviews!
And reviews will tell you a lot about where you want to do business.
Look for dealerships that have mostly good reviews and try to see if there is a theme of common issues.
Some complaints to look for that should put up red flags:
- Customer had trouble getting refund of a deposit
- Customer did not receive call backs either before, during, or after installation of their home
- Customer was surprised with extra costs and fees in the closing process
- Customer did not receive the incentives promised to them
Keep in mind there will always be one or two customers that weren’t satisfied no matter how hard the dealer tried, what you want to watch for is a trend of disappointed customers.
Another part of doing your research means shopping for the lowest prices. Most mobile home dealers do not post their prices online except for homes on “clearance”, so this step can be a bit more difficult to achieve without actually shopping in person.
The key is to do as much online research as possible and get an idea of what prices are out there, and refer back to them once you get your quote.
(4) Gather Necessary Documents
Next, you’ll want to get a few documents ready that will make sure you can fill out an accurate credit application (unless you are buying in cash).
You will need two years of W-2’s or 1099’s if self-employed, your two most recent paystubs, your driver’s license, and social security card.
It is also good to either have or know where your down payment is coming from and this typically cannot be money that is borrowed on a credit card or loan.
It is handy to have these documents together, but that doesn’t mean you need to hand them over immediately to your sales person. Just set these in a safe place so that when you are ready to proceed with a particular mobile home dealer, you will have what is needed to fill out the credit application.
(5) Leave Your Checkbook at Home
Lastly, do not go check out a mobile home dealer with the intent to buy, deposit, or in anyway offer up money that same day.
Remember, you are doing research. You are scoping the place out, getting a feel for the people, and determining whether this is the place you want to do business.
If you feel rushed, prodded, pressed or pressured to pay for a credit application (which is free), put a deposit on a home so you don’t ‘lose’ it, or have your credit score run before anyone will give you the time of day, then I think we can safely say that isn’t the place for you.
Buying a home is a big decision. It takes time, planning, and a lot of thought. Your mobile home dealer should readily understand this and be willing to answer your questions whether you want to buy a home that day, next week, or a year from now.
If you follow these 5 steps, then you will absolutely be more equipped when deciding where you want to buy your mobile home.