Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

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Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by LionWater » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:52 pm

Hello, all,
I've been reading these posts for a while and am humbled by all the good info being exchanged. Here's my situation for you all to consider: My wife & I live on the central coast of California (stick-built median price: $700k) and have been visiting parks since last weekend getting a feel for what's out there. About an hour ago we visited a beautiful park where we found a brand new Silvercrest (a floor plan we'd previously seen & liked @ 1500 sq') ready to go for $275k w/ a $585 monthly rent that includes H20 & garbage & I believe gas (California... sheesh!). Since I cannot do what is often advocated by the MFH vets in this forum, i.e., choose the plan & options, be there when setup is done, choose my dealer carefully, etc. what are some recommendations for my next steps? I do know that Advantage Homes has a huge presence in the Bay Area-Silicon Valley-Central Coast region and that Silvercrest is one of the best manufacturers out there. Any help and suggestions would be appreciated.


Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by trmimo » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:13 am

You can have the house inspected by a home inspector specializing in manufactured homes.
If you can't find one, you can have an installer in your area do it. (preferably one that doesn't do work for Advantage.)
You can also have the home appraised. These are steps taken in the purchase of virtually all new site built homes, but are usually skipped in the purchase of new manufactured homes in communities.
Make sure the inspector has a copy of the installation manual for this home.
These steps will help insure that the home is properly installed and that it is worth what you are paying for it.
Also, advantage has probably sold homes in this community before. Ask the community manager for the names of a couple of people who bought from Advantage and ask them about their experience.
You will probably get a more rounded list of references this way than if you ask Advantage for it. Naturally, they will give you a list of happy customers.
Good Luck.

John Grissim

Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by John Grissim » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:58 pm

My first take was "275k for a 1500 sf Silvercrest? Whoa! That's an awful lot of money!" Background: My wife and I are N. Cal refugees who moved to Washinton's Olympic Peninsula 4 yrs. ago. We bought land and put a new 1500 sf Silvercrest on it. The home, together with 10k in upgrades (including 4 skylights, big master bath) came in at under $80k installed. Add another $20k or so for site prep and we were good to go for under $100k. No question Silvercrest is a terrific product, but I gotta tell you I would have a lot of questions to ask any dealer/park owner about how they got to the $275k asking price.

Having sold our home in Marin County we know all about the $700k mean prices of site-built homes, but it sounds like the MH builder/dealers are jacking up the prices hugely because they know in comparison their homes will look like real bargains. At the risk of blowing my own horn, I urge you to purchase my Complete Buyer's Guide to MH & Land. Its subtitle: How to find a reputable dealer and negotiate a fair price on the best-kept secret in American housing. It's now the #1 bestselling book in the US on MH.

Please don't move forward on purchase until you have thorougly checked out the situation. I'm seeing red flags. I hope you prove me wrong.
Best of luck,
John Grissim

David Oxhandler

Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by David Oxhandler » Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:00 pm

John's book is now available right here on this web site. At only $19.95, the download is a great value.... It is not an abridged or shortened version it is the entire 240 pages and all 66 illustrations. You can be reading or even printing your copy in just a matter of a few seconds, (and at the same time help us pay the rent - thank you). Get more details HERE
You have to compare price. If you have the time a good path to peace of mind is to continue visiting retailers and communities in the area to get a good grip on the price structure in your target market. If you want a quick price comparison you can find quiet a few new and pre-owned manufactured homes listed for sale across the country at the MH MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE
The price, over 200K, sounds steep but when you move into a MH Community you are often not just buying a home, you are buying into a life style. Facilities, amenities, activities, location and neighbors that are close to your ideal can make the price very reasonable.



Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by LionWater » Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:07 pm

Great responses! Let me take them one by one:

trmimo: Excellent suggestions, they all make sense. I actually did request a list of current homeowners but from Advantage. I'll let you know what transpires.

John: I know it's hard to believe but that is the going rate. For example: If I were to want a new Silvercrest the price is $112,000 retail. But I have to buy the OLDER home on the lot which (again, this is hard to believe) goes for $150 to $180-- & that price is for a smaller home on a lot that would be too small to fit the 1500 sq' Silvercrest!? Santa Cruz County's housing situation is ridiculous. I may simply continue to rent our apartment.

David: You're absolutely right but it seems that in the limited parks here that have the bigger lots all the new doublewides ARE going for over $200k. I looked @ a new 20x48' in a different park (not the 27x60' we want @ $275 k in the 5 star park) & its price was $250k. This is my market.

John Grissim

Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by John Grissim » Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:47 am

You sound like you're on top of the situation in Santa Cruz. California -- Oy! I do know that the price of MH in general has gone up due to materials increases, and David is right on factoring in amenities, quality of neighborhood, location-location-location, etc. I agree with his advice: research the heck out of the marketplace, make everyone work to earn your trust. BTW, the longest chapter in my book is on checking out land-lease communities. I think you may find it useful.


Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by Rschmitt » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:01 pm

You might want to consider the co-op parks where you actually own the land you are on, there are several in Santa Cruz County. You would need to buy an older unit, tear it out and replace. This would not only give you more options (including financing) but presumably a better investment.


Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by Mac » Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:38 pm

I agree with the last message, buy in a co-op... AND - look at having the new home delivered from a distance (as a bargaining point, at least). I've never seen one travel Hwy. 17 so I would imagine they go down to the Pajaro Valley and up Hwy. 1.
I rented behind Capitola Mall myself ten years ago...put a new Karsten triple on our Oregon land two years ago at a cost of $90K, set up on a slab. I feel for you - on the other hand, if I'd bought in, by the skin of my teeth, ten years ago, I'd have doubled my money. Far be it from me to say it's at the top of the market.


Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by BizDiva » Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:19 pm

I have always had a problem with how Bay Area retailers "jack up" the prices on MH homes. ( I *love* John Grissim's book BTW).

These retailers sell the *same* home that you can get from any reputable retailer at the *real* price point that John mentions in his post above. Some companies don't do the set-up so, you may need a separate crew for that. In other words, the delivery is included in your purchase price but the setup is not. Make sure you know what you've signed for.

How NOT to be taken advantage of:
1. When you are handed the invoice and you see loads of "upgrades" listed with no price per item. QUESTION IT! It is their practice to give you a list of items and give you a total at the end of that section. i.e. $28,000 options package. How do *you* know that's what those items total??? Get an item by item break-out or walk away.

I asked for just such a break-out from a local reatailer and have yet to receive it. Their silence was deafening! I was told that it was *their* options package. I said *show me*. They didn't. I walked.

2. If you're shopping for a new home in a community, know that you are being charged for the old house that the retailer pulled out. Another $30k or more tacked on to your purchase price. Yuck!

To John Grissim: Cudos to you sir! And many thanks for making your book downloadable!


Re: Potential Advantage Homes Silvercrest purchase in N. California

Post by Rschmitt » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:21 pm

In response to Mac- I have placed many homes in Santa Cruz Mountains, even taking one last year through downtown Los Gatos, over 17 to Scotts Valley and then back up to Summit Road because you can't make the turn up and over the overpass.

In response to BizDiva, everyone should get a line item list of every option cost, delivery, set-up, escrow fees, permit fees, removal and lot prep fees,etc. If you don't there probably will be something left out that will be a surprise later.

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