Out of the trailer park and into the fire

Well not the trailer park. Just the trailer. Ok, technically, it’s a “manufactured home” (I swear I actually just did air quotes in my head) but to the bank and the insurance company, we live in a double-wide mobile home. When I bought the house in 2008, it was just me and Princess Punk. It was a nice, 3 bedroom, 2 bath house and I got a decent rate on it considering my timing. It was before the crash when the banks decided interest rates on mobile homes should be twice what a “stick-built” home would be. When the Zen Master moved in, the space was a little tight, but still plenty. And then came The Peach. And now, the house that was the perfect size for my family 4 years ago is now woefully inadequate to fit our current needs. Honestly, a 3 bedroom house is plenty for a family of 4 but the layout of the house is weird and we end up with a huuuuuge living room and teeny tiny bedrooms. It’s inconvenient at best. There are closets in all three bedrooms, ours is a walk in but at a hopelessly awkward angle that makes it difficult to actually use, Princess Punk’s in deep but narrow which is kinda useless and The Peach’s closet is itty-bitty and also houses the hot water heater. Not to mention The Zen Master’s office is currently in the breakfast nook, which is for some odd reason, right next to the washer and dryer… Oh and the heating bills are ridiculous because the house is not super insulated or even air-tight and we have to use kerosene as a heat source which is probably, as fuels go, one of the most expensive. And our homeowners insurance is high. Stuff is falling apart. The door handles stick to the point where I actually got stuck in my bathroom for an hour. The bathroom fan sounds like a helicopter when it is working at all. The edge of the counter just peeled off last month. Princess Punk got particularly snitty one day and slammed her door and it fell right off the hinges. She didn’t slam it that hard.

And here’s the kicker… Because it’s a mobile home, we can’t sell it. I mean, we can put it on the market, but nobody is going to buy it. Why pay a 6-7% interest rate on a house when you can get one the same size that’s built on a foundation instead of a slab with a 3-4% rate? And mobile homes depreciate just like cars do. Every year that goes by, my house is worth less and less.

So here’s the good news. Apparently, we can trade up! We can refinance the house but instead of refinancing our current house, we’ll be signing a loan on a completely new structure. There is a local modular home builder who will take our mobile home in trade. Obviously a modular will cost more but since the bank considers modular homes stick-built, we can cut our interest rate in half. Which means we can have a better house and end up with just about the same monthly payment. It’s not set in stone yet, we have to talk to the bank and figure out the logistics, but basically, they’ll come in, take our house apart (literally), cart it off to a place it can sit until they sell it, remove the slab, dig a foundation, pour a basement and set up a modular home on the site where the mobile home used to be. And even though the house will be about the same size, still 3 bedroom and whatnot, now we’ll have a full basement so we’ll have tons more space. And The Zen Master can have his geek-man-cave downstairs, and we can put the furnace and washer and dryer and hot water heater down there too. And get a pellet stove so we can cut our heating bills in half and then in half again. And I can have a nice kitchen, with appliances that work and drawers that don’t come apart in your hand. And we can do it (hopefully) without anyout of pocket expense.

Sweet right?

I’m stoked… and apprehensive, because it all depends on the bank (or rather, credit union) at this point. Unless they determine we have enough equity in the home to be able to do this with no out of pocket expense, we won’t be able to do it. It’s likely they will do it though since the builder tells us that from start to finish, from taking the old house apart to us moving into the new house, it will take about one month. He said, rather nonchalantly, “Oh yeah, you could be in the new house by mid-October.”

Please excuse me while I giddily spin around in circles until I fall down.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. coffeepoweredmom
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 13:38:21



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