Are Manufactured Homes a Good Investment?: All You Need to Know

Are you looking to buy your first-ever home? Does a manufactured home tickle your fancy?

Manufactured homes are making a strong comeback in the real estate landscape of the United States. In fact, shipments of these homes continue to climb since 2009. It no longer comes as a surprise seeing more home hunters joining the bandwagon.

But you need to answer the main question of “are manufactured homes a good investment?”

Before deciding to part with your money or saying “no” altogether, you need to weigh the benefits and disadvantages. Continue reading below as we attempt to settle the score in prefabricated homes.

Are Manufactured Homes a Good Investment? : Resolving the Conundrum 

Before you search for tips in buying a prefab home, you must first look at the pros and cons of buying prefabricated homes. Are manufactured homes a good investment? Check out the list below before answering the question.

The Pros

Let’s take a look at the advantages of buying a prefab home:

  1. More Affordable

First and foremost, manufactured homes are more affordable options. Compared to a site-built home, prefab houses like modular homes may cost only a quarter of the former’s price.

Manufacturers build prefab houses in controlled factory environments. This means the homes receive protection from theft and damage. In turn, these factors help lower their prices.

In addition, manufactured homes tend to come with more square footage for less the price. With its competitive pricing, a prefab house ends up as an excellent alternative to renting.

  1. Standard Quality Control

As we mentioned above, manufacturers build modular homes in a controlled indoor facility. Thus, the weather and other outdoor elements do not affect the materials. It does not delay the manufacturing process.

This equates to uniformity in terms of their construction. This ensures all houses go through standard quality control.

When homes go through quality control, it means they are safe to live in. Generally, reputable manufacturers follow the latest standards and building technologies. You can expect prefab homes to perform the same way as standard houses in the middle of high winds, for example.

  1. Room for Customization

Despite going through a controlled manufacturing process, prefab homes still give you room for customization. Compared to homes for rent, you have the freedom to repaint your walls. You can also install additional features.

There are no rules that will prohibit you from doing so. Moreover, you can select the type of finishes and upgrades that you want.

  1. Saves You Time

Another advantage of prefab homes is the speed of construction. Manufactured houses only take one-third of the construction time of a site-built home. The moment the house reaches your location, it is already 90% complete.

This allows you to move in and acclimate to your new home faster.

What you need to do on your part is to prepare the foundation of the prefab home. You need to establish key utilities like water and electricity.

  1. Key Amenities

Believe it or not, you can also fit most of the key amenities that you find in site-built homes inside your prefab house. You can install hardwood floors, ceramic tiles, and 10-foot ceilings. You can also enjoy the latest lighting fixtures, as well as Energy Star appliances.

The only catch is you need to tell the manufacturer beforehand. You need to instruct them to install the items before they bring the prefab property to your location.

Nevertheless, most manufactured homes do come with built-in features. Some of these amenities include fireplaces, walk-in closets, and bay windows. Some homes also include double sinks, jetted tubs, and soaker bathtubs.

The Cons

Now we move on to the cons. Here are a few factors that you should rethink before making your final decision:

  1. Poor Quality

Though we mentioned earlier that manufactured homes go through standard quality control, not all companies employ such standards. With the goal of offering affordable prices, some companies lower their quality standards.

These companies use sub-par construction methods while others suffer in terms of efficiency. Some of the most common reflections of these poor practices include unvented attics.

Other prefab homes also lack electrical service panels. Others, on the other hand, suffer from subfloors that easily sag.

  1. Financing Concerns

There are also some drawbacks in regard to your financing options. Sometimes, the manufacturers offer insufficient financing options.

Yes, manufactured homes are cheaper but not all buyers can afford them. This is because some manufacturers require customers to pay upfront. Though you can opt for financing, the interest rates tend to soar high.

Your goal is to remain patient. Get in touch with various lenders and see which one offers to finance with friendly rates. Look at all the different types of home loans and see where you qualify.

In addition, you also need to prepare for miscellaneous fees. These are the items outside of the home like your utilities and payment for the land.

  1. Low Resale Value

Lastly, manufactured homes tend to command low resale values. These homes usually depreciate more quickly compared to their traditional counterparts.

In addition, you may find it hard to look for a willing buyer. This is because lenders are not keen on financing second-hand prefab homes. If the buyer finds a willing lender, the latter will likely charge high-interest rates.

The Verdict

Manufactured homes are not for everyone. They cater to a group of homebuyers that have certain needs and requirements. If you are working on a tight budget, then buying a prefab home is a wise move.

If you want something that you can resell at a much higher value in the future, then a traditional home is the best choice for you.

Make Better Decisions Through Information

Are manufactured homes a good investment? With the pros and cons we presented above, you can now answer the question in line with your requirements and financial situation.

In regard to your other home-related decisions, we invite you to check our other blog posts. We discuss different topics that aim to educate. Through our articles, we can help you make better decisions.

Strongbox: Your Bespoke Industrial Equipment Investing Solution

For a construction company, one of its most significant investments and expenses involves purchasing and maintaining expensive equipment. From cranes and earth-moving equipment to lift equipment and construction vehicles, it is often not feasible for a company to invest large amounts of capital in these pieces of equipment. As a better option, many companies tend to lease these and other equipment pieces.

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5 Things You Can Do With Your Mastercard Online

There are three different types of people; older groups of people usually only use cash or some people who prefer their privacy and anonymity to convenience. There are people who have tons of credit cards that they forgot how paper money feels like anymore. And finally, you will find people who are loyal to their debit cards. They stick to the amount of money they have but at the same time, they don’t feel like walking around carrying all the cash they own around in their bags. Regardless of which type of person you are; we must all agree how the possibility of online transactions has changed our lives. There are a lot of things that you can do online with your Mastercard, here are some of them.

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Investment Trends to Watch in the Near Future

The last year was one of the worst years for investors. Quite a lot of opportunities were lost, and most of the asset classes were anything but alluring and profitable.

This year is looking much brighter, bringing plenty of investment possibilities for all those who know exactly where to look for them. Here are the top investment trends for 2019, and the years ahead.

Interest Rates in the US Will Increase Even More

The global economy is not at its highest, but the US Federal Reserve is still making steps for increasing the interest rates in the US. President Trump raised concerns over the interest rates increase recently, saying that the Federal Reserve “made a big mistake: they raised interest rates far too fast.”

He urged the Federal Reserve to cut rates so that the economy could grow. However, his trade war with China could create an even bigger uncertainty, as more businesses could refrain from investment.

If the Fed raises interest rates more in 2019, the US dollar could go even higher. However, investors from the UAE will continue to earn money from overseas investments and remittances.

Emerging Markets Might Spring Back

Emerging markets didn’t see many opportunities for investment and growth in 2018, but that could change entirely this year. The emerging markets that experienced the worst falls were Argentina, China, South Africa, Venezuela, and Turkey, but most of them may be able to breathe freely once again.

China has been especially falling sharply because of the trade war with the US, so a lot depends on those tensions, and how the whole situation will play out. The country has the second-largest economy in the world, so it could bring plenty of investment opportunities if it strikes a good deal with the US.

Investors should be very cautious this year. The best option for them might be investing in low-cost ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds). According to Vijay Valecha, chief market analyst at Century Financial Brokers in Dubai, ETFs can yield generous dividend income. 

The Increasing Volatility on the Stock Markets

 No one has ever predicted that low-interest rates and quantitative easing would last as long as they have. However, “the party is coming to an end,” as Edward Bonham Carter put it.

The vice chairman at Jupiter Asset Management talked several months ago about the fact that 2019 won’t be to everyone’s taste. The monetary policy that made the stock market party go on for a decade is about to “leave global markets with a bigger hangover than anticipated.”

The increased rates in the US are creating great volatility on the stock markets (both the equity and bond markets). This volatility is certain to continue rising, which is why investors should look to buy at the trough levels. 

AI Will Keep Connecting People and Technology

People already have AI-powered devices in their homes and offices. However, the integration of AI is still only in its infancy stage.

Contrary to popular belief that AI will take over jobs, this technology continues to create more and more opportunities for connecting people and tech. Artificial intelligence helps people make data-driven decisions, eliminate errors, and save costs and time.

It automates repetitive tasks, helping businesses focus on their core competencies and gain a competitive edge. Since AI can sift through huge amounts of data in seconds, it truly does bring people and tech together.

There are many more reasons why investing in AI right now could bring myriads of benefits. As already mentioned, one of the investment trends is investing in low-cost ETFs, so that’s where investors should look. 

The Cybersecurity Market Spending Will Surge

 Cybersecurity is increasingly becoming one of the most popular investment areas as well. This is because there are more and more cyber attacks, which is why the demand for cybersecurity is on the rise.

To prevent potential data breaches and security incidents, more and more businesses are investing in cybersecurity. According to IDC data, global security spending will top $103 billion in 2019.

The rising demand for cybersecurity, together with the increased market spending, is fueling further innovation in the industry. Apart from various security software solutions, companies are increasingly investing in business virtual private network solutions.

Business VPNs provide an extra level of security, successfully preventing data breaches and data theft. They encrypt connections and hide online activities, making one completely anonymous online. Investing in these services is a trend that is here to stay.

If you’re looking for lucrative opportunities to invest in this year, keep all these investment trends in mind. Being careful with your investments will help you yield a much better income.

5 Personal Finance Apps to Help You Save Money

With the average personal debt exceeding $38,000, most people need all the help they can get when it comes to managing their personal finances.

This is exactly why some of the more popular apps today are those that can help the user manage their budget. Depending on the user’s financial situation, their budget plan, and their needs, some of these apps might be more suitable than others.

Money Dashboard 

Available on the web, and on Android and iOS, Money Dashboard is a personal finance app that allows the user to have a clear overview of their spending.

The app is free to use, and once the user’s signed up, they should input all of their financial accounts, including all their current bank accounts, credit cards, and even savings accounts.

The app will automatically group, tag, and display all recent transactions so that the user can know exactly where their money is being spent.

Money Dashboard also has a budget planner feature that allows users to set their limits and track their savings goals.

Tycoon

Founded by Jessica Perez, Tycoon is an app specifically designed with models and freelancers in mind. The app is popular with those in the fashion industry, but it can prove to be useful to any self-employed person.

Since it can be rather difficult for freelancers, and the like, to keep track of all of their projects and memorize when each payment is due, Tycoon was created as a solution to this.

The user should input details about the project and set a timetable. This allows them to stay updated on all payments that they’ve received, those that are scheduled to come in, and those that are late.

Another feature of Tycoon is that it can calculate the take-home pay of a gig, letting the user know exactly how much they’ll earn after taxes or agent commissions have been deducted.

Acorns

While coin jars were an effective way to save some money in the past, most people don’t fill them up anymore since most of them don’t use paper money for making transactions.

This doesn’t mean that the “spare change” doesn’t exist anymore, and consumers can still save money the old-fashioned way (though with a modern twist).

Acorns is an app that allows users to save their spare change and make micro-investments. Users need to connect their card to the app, and every time they make a purchase, the app rounds it up to the next highest amount. The difference is then invested in a low-cost ETF that the user’s selected.

You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a unique app that pushes users to live within their actual income. It works by giving every single dollar a specific job, be it paying down debt, living expenses, investments, or anything in between.

If users get off track, the app can help them figure out what to do differently to manage their budget more effectively.

Besides setting up weekly/ monthly budgets, users can set up budgets for individual projects as well, such as birthday gifts or holidays.

The users need to pay a fee to use the app, but an added bonus is that they can have online classes with a live instructor who can teach them about the budgeting basics.

Mint

Finally, Mint is among the oldest and most reliable personal finance apps. Users can connect all of their bank and credit card accounts, as well as their monthly bills, allowing them to keep track of all of their finances in one place.

All of the transactions are categorized, and the app lets users know when their bills are due, whether they have any debts that they owe, and what they can afford to pay. It also notifies users when they’re approaching their budget limits, and shows their real-time credit score.

Are the Apps Geo-Blocked?

Some personal finance apps are geo-blocked, or in other words, they’re available only to users from specific countries.

Those who’d still like to take advantage of these apps can bypass the restrictions by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It can change the user’s IP address, making it seem like they’re coming from a country where the app is available for download.

Even if the apps aren’t geo-blocked, users are advised to use a VPN, since it protects their privacy and ensures that no one can monitor their device.

Conclusion

Money is a major source of stress for many people. These apps can help users manage their budgets, achieving better financial stability, and improving their mental well-being.

Starting a joint-venture? 3 mistakes to avoid

The early days of a joint venture are an exciting time and it can be easy to get swept up in the inevitable energy and positivity:  New relationships are forming and many partners enjoy a “honeymoon” period.

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However, as a venture progresses, it can become rapidly complex and if you don’t set clear boundaries, targets and goals at the outset, then you’re potentially setting yourself up for a fall.  That’s not to say that things will go wrong, but there’s an old idiom that holds much water:

“Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

How does a company plan effectively and embark on a joint venture?  Here are 3 mistakes you can avoid in order to maximize the potential of your collaboration…

Lack of Transparency

Generally speaking, a joint venture is born of a mutual desire:  Two (or more) companies, operating in the same marketplace (or marketplaces with overlapping elements), join forces in order to achieve a synergistic outcome.

Often though, these companies will be competing to a certain degree at one level or another and this can stem the flow of information between partners for fear of losing competitive advantage in other, non-joint areas of their business.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to draw up an agreement early on that establishes exactly what information can and/or should be shared, in order to avoid the project coming to an abrupt and unexpected halt.  This agreement need not be complex and many online contract libraries (such as Docsketch) offer the opportunity to download and customize such agreements in minutes.

Inertia Through Conflict

Embarking on a joint venture doesn’t just mean that a number of companies come together, it also means that a number of cultures must come together.

Differences in management style and philosophy can seriously hamper a venture’s productivity as each interested party tries to steer the project in the direction they would like, the way they would like.

By taking the at outset to sit down and discuss who will control which elements of the project (and how) can save considerable amounts of time, thus avoiding the venture stalling and potentially, ultimately, failing.

Keep in mind that all methods have their merits and that the goal of a joint venture is a productive relationship, not an abusive one.

Failure to Define an Exit Strategy

It can be difficult to envisage, let alone plan, the end of a joint venture that could vary in length from weeks to years, but it’s an important consideration that’s often neglected at outset.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll only need an exit when the venture’s objectives are achieved either, as there may be other unforeseen events that prompt its termination earlier than planned.  Any agreement should cover such scenarios so as to ensure a smooth exit, regardless of the events that precipitate it.

By avoiding these common pitfalls you can help to ensure that your joint venture is a success.

Moving On A Tight Budget

When you intend to move, but you’re on a tight budget, you need to take all the necessary steps to save as much as possible. Moving can be an expensive process, but there are ways to go about in on a budget. To cut down on your moving costs, you should remember that as you relocate, you have a perfect chance to leave behind what you don’t need and haven’t been using for a long time. Such things can either be given to charitable organizations or be sold. It won’t make sense for you to pay for the relocation of stuff you don’t intend to use, and it can save you quite a bit of cash.

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