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TRICKS AND TREATS Wood windowsills are easier to clean than sheetrock and have a real home feel. • Eaves should be a minimum of 12 inches wherever possible. This looks more residential and protects the windows from damaging rain running down the exterior walls into the windows. • Cement plank siding protects against fire, water and pests. It does not contract and expand with heat and cold. It needs to be painted less often than wood. • Baseboard molding is not standard at some factories. This is a basic, inexpensive must-do. • Front porches increase the “private property” look, adding equity. A factory-built porch is significantly cheaper than building the porch on site. • Ceiling fans with wired and braced J-boxes are an affordable alternative to expensive-to-run air conditioning. Look for fans that can reverse, driving cool air up in the summer and warm air down in the winter. • Many factories offer two-tone or multicolored interiors and Crown Molding, adding a nice residential feel to your manufactured or modular home. • Transom windows are a wonderful way to add light and elegance to what can be a dark or stuffy area. • Sky tubes cut down on energy use. Be careful to consider the effect of heat brought in by direct skylights in high-temperature areas. • Ordering two open-able high “summer” stack windows for each end of the house will reduce the interior temperature as much as 15 degrees in the summer. When they are open, along with a lower window on the cool side of the house, they act as a natural “convection current” removing the hot air from the home in an extremely efficient manner. • Can lights are currently fashionable. Incandescent lights can add a significant amount of heat. Florescent lights do not work on dimmers. The energy-conscious must leave the dimmers on high if florescent lights are used. • If you’re thinking of stack windows or a skylight in the bedroom, be sure to consider whether anyone is a day sleeper. Going Green There are many levels of “green.” From tank-less water heaters to completely off the grid. Many factories are now offering many green elements. Be sure your salesperson lets you know all the green items your factory offers! A prom is a one-night affair, your new manufactured will last a lifetime. Don’t rush your order. Look it over to make sure you have left no goodie behind! Your home will be the belle of the block! w w w.u m h m a g . c o m

Reverse Mortgages for Mobile or Manufactured Home Owners The following is a conversation with Robert Trommler, a reverse mortgage specialist with Wells Fargo Bank.


everse mortgages have become a popular source of retirement funds for homeowners over the age of 62. Using the equity in the home as security, lenders disburse funds to the owner and do not require repayment until the home is sold or the borrower moves out. Reverse mortgages are readily available for site-built homes, but what about mobile or manufactured housing? Many mobile and manufactured homeowners are sitting on large equities; can they tap into this sizeable source of funds? UM: Our research indicates that approximately 30% of the housing stock in the US is mobile or manufactured housing. Are reverse mortgages available for this housing segment? RT: Yes, indeed. In fact owners of this type of housing tend to be older and have significant equities. Furthermore, they are typically not strapped with large existing mortgages, making them good candidates for reverse mortgages. UM: We understand that there are rules which apply to reverse mortgages on mobile and manufactured homes which are different from site-built homes. Please explain. RT: Reverse mortgages are generally governed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The three basic rules are (1) mortgages are not available for homes built before 1978, (2) owners must own the land (no leased land) and (3) the home must be affixed to a permanent foundation.

UM: How are the rules enforced? RT: An inspection is required and an Engineering Certificate must be issued prior to funding. UM: What about homes located in coop or condominium communities? RT: In the past, co-ops and condos did not qualify. However recent legislation (HR 3221) will change that. While the details are still forthcoming, we should have co-op and condo programs in 2010. UM: What are the biggest obstacles owners must overcome to obtain a reverse mortgage? RT: One would think it is understanding the mechanics of a reverse mortgage; terms, interest rates, applications process, etc. But, in fact, the bigger obstacles are generational or emotional roadblocks. UM: Can you elaborate? RT: Owners over age 62 tend to be from the “old school.” The concept of borrowing money and not paying it back in monthly payments is a foreign concept. Also many were raised thinking “my home is my castle” and to encumber an asset which is free and clear is contrary to the values of previous generations. UM: How do you deal with this mentality? RT: When owners are aware of the current global economic situation and see their retirement plans eroding “the light goes on.” Yesterday’s home run won’t win today’s ball game. Reverse mortgages are a proven way to deal with the uncertainties of life in the 21st century. Upw a rdly

Mob i l e


Upwardly Mobile Magazine  

The Magazine of Mobile, Manufactured and Modular Home Living

Upwardly Mobile Magazine  

The Magazine of Mobile, Manufactured and Modular Home Living