Single mom lower-middle income class looking to buy land & manufactured home in 19020/19053? Land questions & R there loan program for single

Asked by Megan Malone, 19020 Tue Oct 6, 2009

mothers? I want to buy land to permenantly attach a manfact. home, can I do this in stages? Where do I start?
I was looking at a single lot of land in 19053, MLS/Source ID 5461407, Lot size 0.28 acres. The description states that the builder has homes in mind to build there. Why wouldn't the builder just build instead of selling undeveloped land? My original question on here was specific to this property but I misunderstood the idea of Tulia's Q&A Forum. I would love answers specific to this property, but if not then in general, if someone could answer the following I would appreciate it:

As a builder, why would he list just the undeveloped land w/o a house?
If I buy land in Bucks County, PA, what is my obligation to build on it & in what time frame?
What is my obligation for upkeep until I build there?
Will a bank mortgage just land w/o a structure, or would that be a loan, would the loan have to be a personal loan?
Where can I find the average $ per acre in PA 19053?

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KathyGentner, Agent, Doylestown, PA
Tue Oct 6, 2009
Hi Megan,
WOW! You really want to get a new home! How awesome!

Although you are looking for specifics on this particular MLS listing, it is challenging to answer you questions, since there are many scenarios that can effect the sale, building and developing of a real estate transaction.

I am going to para phrase what I hear you asking.

You found a lot in the 19053 zip code, that a builder has building plans for and the builder wants to sell without building the house. You are interested in building a modular/manufactured home on this piece of land and you are not sure WHY this builder would sell without building on the lot.

You can do a few things here.
1st you can call the owner of the land and ask him/ her if they are interested in handling the placement of the home you are interested in and you can mortgage the whole expense at the time of settlement IF the seller is able to handle the financial expense of the upfront transaction costs.

2nd you can ask the seller if he/she is interested in building the home that they have plans for and then sell you the home and land at that time, again IF the seller is able to handle the upfront financial expense of the transaction.

3rd you can buy the land, find your own builder and have that builder place you manufactured home on it after you pay for the land.

To continue to asnwer your latter questions another way,
The builder may not have the money to fund the building of a home at this time and would like to sell the land. BUT he/she has performed the initial tasks with the township and zoning board for a new owner to easily build a home on the lot with their own builder.

When you buy land in Bucks County you are required to keep the lawn maintained according to township requirements, which is usually grass height under 8 in. You are required to keep the land safe of harm to any trespasser who enters your property and paying the taxes for the land. You can visit the and contact the zoning commission which will direct you to all required maintenance and ordinances for this particular parcel.
Usually, an interested party will hire a qualified, licensed and insured builder who will handle all the township requirements for building on a lot in the county/township.

I strongly encourage you to contact a Realtor in the Bucks County area who can assist you with all of your questions and can give you the proper direction.

Success in finding your new home,
Kathy Gentner
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1 vote
Heather Mori…, Agent, Allentown, PA
Tue Oct 6, 2009
Hello Megan!

Okay The best way to get all the answers you need is to go direct to a Manufactured & Modular home Dealer who specializes in selling New Manufactured/Modular homes.

I know this because I started my career in Housing selling these affordable homes so I know exactly what I am talking about. If you would like to be represented by a Buyer Agent which I would highly recommend - this way you are protected from working directly with the seller/Dealer and you would like help from someone that knows exactly what is going on...Also, all this work you are doing on your own would be done by the Buyer Agent. But, just in case you want to do it on your is some info.

You will need to get pre-qualifed with special financing because not everyone will finance a Manufacture/Modular Home even if it does sit on a Full Basement. Bank of America Home Loans does these type's of Loans and also DSC Incorporated I have experience with both companies.

The closest Dealer is Weisser Homes - You would want to call and talk to Art at x 103 - Ask him to explain to you about Land/Home Construction. I have already left a message for him to ask him if he would pay me 2% commission to help you as your Buyer Agent...I am waiting on a reply call. Just in case you would like my help.

You many notice I do not normally cover your area..but, this is such a specialized situation that not many Real Estate Agents have experience in this can tell my the lack of replies you have received.

Anyway...Good Luck and I hope this information has helped you!

OH! And usually the Manufactured/Modular home dealers also have access to land in the area that will have no problem with placing your home and your mortgage will cover the land, improvements, and home.
1 vote
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0 votes
Megan Malone, Home Buyer, 19020
Fri Oct 9, 2009
Wow. Many thanks to both you for your very imformative answers. I should have been a little more clear about my sistuation. With the economy the way it is and the job market so unstable I have a job that is not paying me what I am worth. I hope to have a higher income in the near future. Also, I spend most of my free time researching & dreaming of my first home but I think I am truly a little scared to make such a big purchase. I never even had a car loan as the size of the loan & the commitment kind of freak me out.

I am not sure that I can afford a mortage on $125K (asking price for the land) + $80K (about the price of the manufactured home I am looking for) which is why I was hoping I could purchase the land & then in a couple of years build or attach the manufactured home to it, kind spreading the process, & costs, out in stages.

I guess this doesn't really make sense theoretically. I should just buy the land when I can afford to buy the house as well. I am just a little anxious to get settled somewhere because I have a son starting Kindergarten in Sept. 2010. I can't really afford much house on my salary & I dont really want to buy a 2 bdrm apt./condo or townhouse and then move again in a few years when I can afford a bigger house.

It seems like its hard for single salary families to get approved for house loans on such a small amount of income (I am relying on "How much house can I afford" calculators). I am sure its not true that single salary families cant get approved for mortgages, because single parents buy houses all of the time.

Will any programs in PA help people qualify for mortgages that their salary would usually disqualify them for?
Sorry I am probably not saying what I mean as I know that last question sounds confusing.

I am not saying that I want to buy a house with 5 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms that is way out of my means, and I think that $100K -$125K for a 2 bdrm 2 bth condo/apt/townhouse with no land for swingsets & pools is a waste of money that could never produce a return, if only purchased for a term of 2-3 years at the most, isnt it?

Depreciation + short term ownership really freak me out too, my mom (single parent) bought house in 1990, in Phila., with fresh paint that covered up problems, and didnt have the money or equity to fix a lot of the problems, and in a neighborhood that by 1999 had houses that depreciated in value by sometimes $20K! This is why I am really nervous to spend so much $$ on a small condo type dwelling for a short time.

I was hoping that the housing market 'plumetting" would be to my advantage but NE Philly & Lower Bucks County I did not see a dramatic drop in asking price for smaller single homes, did it effect this area like it did others?

Well sorry for the additional questions. Thanks again for your original responses and I appreciate it very much that you have listened to me vent!
0 votes
Megan Malone, Home Buyer, 19020
Tue Oct 6, 2009…

One answer to my similarly asked question.
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