Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Buy a Manufactured or Modular Home?

By visiting this, you’ve already taken the first step in purchasing a quality home in Tennessee. Just like a car, you cannot purchase a new home directly from the manufacturer. New manufactured homes can only be purchased through licensed retailers like our members. As you browse through the websites of our members or visit their on-site sales locations, start thinking about your current and future housing needs. Begin the thought process with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need and continue with amenities, upgrades, and finishes.

Get through that process and our members’ professional sales teams can help you choose the perfect home for your lifestyle and budget.


Today’s manufactured homes come with the “standard” features you would find in a site-built home. Many floor plans are available which range from basic models to more elaborate designs which feature vaulted ceilings, drywall, fully equipped modern kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs and whirlpools. You may also select from a variety of exterior designs and siding materials, including wood, hardboard, or vinyl siding.

With the vast majority of manufacturers now using the latest in computer-assisted design, you have the flexibility of customizing your home’s floor plan, interior finishes, and exterior design. Your lifestyle and your budget are the only limitations to the options available to you.

Many manufacturers also provide homes that are “accessible” for those with special needs. If you are interested in such a home, work with your retailer to order a home with accessible features, such as extra-wide halls and doorways, accessible counters and appliances, and specially equipped bathrooms.


Most manufacturers offer warranties to guarantee the quality, workmanship, and major heating and cooling systems of the home for a specified time, usually ranging from one to four years. This warranty also tells the home buyer what to do if a problem arises. Makers of the appliances provided in the homes also provide either “full” or “limited” warranties. There are major differences among warranties and these warranties should be provided to you in writing.

The retailer also has distinct responsibilities in the installation and servicing of the home. Be sure to have the retailer clearly state in writing, its responsibilities and warranty coverage for the home’s transportation and installation.

Even if your home and some of its appliances do not have a written warranty, the buyer does have implied warranties under state laws which require a new home and new appliances to work normally and perform properly.


Once you have found your dream home, you have multiple financing options available to you. There are two common ways of financing. When you are financing the land on which you’re placing the home along with the home itself, you’re likely to use a conventional land or land construction loan. If you’re financing just the home itself, you’ll probably use a chattel loan.
Just as there are choices when you buy a site-built home, there are a variety of financing options when you buy a manufactured home. Down payments and loan terms are similar – 5 to 10 percent of the manufactured home’s sales price, and loan terms of 15 to 30 years.

If you are buying the home and land together, or plan to place the home on land you already own, some financial institutions offer traditional real estate mortgages with similar interest rates. Should you be purchasing the manufactured home separately from the land on which it will be located, the home will probably be financed as a personal property manufactured home loan, usually with a somewhat higher interest rate. FHA-insured and Department of Veterans Affairs-guaranteed (called FHA and VA) loans are available to manufactured home buyers. These types of loans may offer lower interest rates or lower down payment requirements, if available in your area. They require more paperwork during the credit application and approval process and, therefore, may take longer for approval than a conventional loan.

Our member business housing professionals can further explain the differences between the two types of loans and how things like a stronger credit score may help in your ability to find the right loan for you.


Here again, you have two choices:

You can place your home in a manufactured home community, where you own the home, but rent the land underneath. These communities may offer lifestyle amenities and location preferences that suit your needs. A big advantage of moving your new home to a manufactured home community is that the site work is already done. But make sure to check the terms of any lease and the community’s rules and regulations before you sign on the dotted line.
Or, you can place your home on land you already own or are looking at purchasing. Before you buy a home to place on your own land, make sure to check things like local zoning ordinances, utility access, deed restrictions, and the slope and grade of the land.
Before purchasing a manufactured home for an urban area, be sure to check the zoning regulations in the area where you want to live. Be aware of subdivision covenants and deed of restrictions.

In Tennessee, state law prohibits local jurisdictions from discriminating against manufactured housing, solely because it is constructed in a factory. As well, state law prohibits local jurisdictions from oversight on the installation of the manufactured home. The Department of Commerce and Insurance, State Fire Marshal, Manufactured Home Division, is the local authority having jurisdiction on the ‘installation’ process, here in Tennessee


The process does not stop when you sign a contract to purchase a home. If it is a new home, the manufacturer will provide an approximate delivery date. If there are any changes to that date, your sales consultant will contact you immediately.

Whether the home is new or preowned, the home site where it will be installed must be prepared for its placement. Consideration must be given for the removal of vegetation, grading of the site (for water remediation), and utilities have to be addressed. For example, the installation of a septic tank in rural areas. Foundational footers may need to be poured, as well.

Once the site is properly prepared, the home is shipped and installed on the site and connected to utilities. After a final inspection is completed, you are ready to pack up the moving truck. It’s time to move in!

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