Ever wonder how you can get an accurate estimation of your home’s value based on the latest market trends and according to what other homes are selling for? That’s exactly what a mobile home blue book is for. In this article, we’ll show you how you can use the mobile home blue book by the NADA to get an in-depth breakdown of your home’s potential value. This can be used by sellers, buyers or even mobile home dealers.
Who is NADA? What is NADA?
NADA is short for the National Automobile Dealers Association. They act as a general representative for all new-car dealers, whether domestic or imported, before Congress, federal agencies, the public, and the media. As a regulatory entity, they also provide education and guidance to all parties involved. This includes consumers, businesses, and officials.
In general, NADA also helps to represent dealers’ interest within the industry, especially concerning manufacturers. To do all this, they instigate and develop:
- a lot of research data relating to the industry
- run training programs and workshops
- organize and run a charitable donation for funds donated by dealers.
Helpful sources with the same ideas
National Appraisal Guides, Inc., a subsidiary of J.D. Power, is one of the largest publishers of pricing and information for a host of items including cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and mobile/manufactured homes. They act as the unofficial “blue book” of these types of items for the NADA, with most of their conclusions based on NADA’s research.
Whether you are a buyer, seller, dealer, bank, government agency, lender or insurance company, NADA is the go-to place to get the value of almost any model in your category. You can find them at their website, www.NADAguides.com. Their manufactured home division is here.
What is a ‘blue book’?
Simply put, a ‘blue book’ is a book that contains all the pricing information for most, if not all, models of a certain type of item. They act as a guide to produce a quote for a specific model based on certain criteria. For example- a model, year, make, condition, etc. They are used by almost everyone involved in the sale of these items, from buyers to individual sellers to dealers.
The term ‘blue book’ refers to the original hardcopy records that were usually printed on blue pages. The first ‘blue book’ was the ‘Kelley Blue Book’. In fact, ‘Kelley Blue Book’ is still one of the most widely used ‘blue books’ today. Its use was initially only intended for automobiles. But with time, ‘blue books’ sprang up for other consumer goods like RV’s, boats, motorcycles, and even mobile/manufactured homes.
As the benchmark, blue books are often used by dealers to come up with a base quote to present to sellers. This is usually the starting point for negotiations. The current market conditions, the demands of the dealer and seller/buyer, the unique characteristics of the home, and the home’s condition can then have an effect on where the price actually ends up. The biggest limitation of the blue book is that it doesn’t include the value of the land, which is often higher than that of the home.
In most cases, you get what’s called a ‘fair price blue book’. These books work on the premise of showing you the average price of how much others have bought or sold items that are the same as yours. In other words, the same model, make, year, relative condition, etc.
Sometimes, companies or businesses can have their own ‘blue books’ based on their own algorithms which means you can get various quotes based on who you approach. Manufactured home dealers or wholesalers often have their own to ensure that they treat all their customers equally and on a fair basis. However, the NADAguides blue book for mobile homes is the most prominent one. Ultimately, it becomes the unofficial/official mobile home ‘blue book.’
Lastly, lenders, insurance companies or even tax agencies may also have their own blue books that they use. Simply for judging value for loans, claims or for claiming taxes.
How to find & use the mobile home blue book
Go to the NADA Website
Choose a pricing plan that suits you
NADAguides has multiple pricing plans available geared towards different people. This is convenient as not everyone needs the same degree of accuracy. And truthfully, they probably prefer saving a few dollars. Respectively, the two most basic types are for individual consumers and professionals. There is also an option with a report for new homes. Here’s what you need to know:
1 Basic used home value report
This type of report is for consumers who want to either buy or sell a home. Additionally, with this report, you’ll receive a good idea of what you can expect to fairly pay for a home or present as your home’s listing price. Either option without having to approach a realtor or hire an appraiser.
This report is NOT meant for appraisers who are used to, or are supposed to be, using the 1004C or 70B appraisal forms. You will have a much smaller set of features to choose from. Furthermore, you’ll be asked for much less information than the other two versions. You can view a sample of what the report will look like here.
2 The professional used home value report
As you can expect, this type of report can be used by any professional involved in the sale of manufactured homes. From appraisers to community owners to lenders to retailers. Private property sellers/buyers can also make use of it if they don’t mind paying a bit extra for increased accuracy.
This in-depth value report is based on over 350 features and meets the requirements for either a 1004C or 70B appraisal form. You will need to enter a lot of extra detail, including floor plans. You can view a sample of this type of report here.
3 The new home price report
This report is for anyone who is involved in the selling or buying of a brand new mobile home. This could be a consumer, appraiser, lender or retailer. This is a cost-effective solution for HPML (Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans) Appraisal Rule compliance.
For first-time buyers, it can bring a sense of transparency, and therefore trust, to the whole experience. It’s also meant for home value appraisers that work for lenders or insurance companies. You can find a sample report here.
Fill in the form
Next up, you will need to provide the necessary information to get the ‘blue book’ value of your manufactured home. Each option has their own specific set of required information. We will give you a quick run through of each:
1 Basic used home value report
The basic value report will start off with basic home details that you should be able to find on your home’s data plate:
- The manufacturer’s name. For example, Clayton Homes, Fleetwood Homes, Champion Homes, etc.
- You will then be able to choose from the available models listed for that manufacturer.
- Choose the state in which the home is located.
- Select the year in which it was manufactured.
- Choose an overall condition of ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.
- Enter your home’s length and width. If it as an irregular shape, round up to the maximum perimeter.
You will then need to get more specific about the home’s construction. For example:
- Roof material (metal, wood, shingles, etc.)
- Siding material (metal, wood, vinyl, etc.)
- Number of porches (if any)
- Each set of 3 steps and their materials
- Is there skirting? If so, what material is it? (masonite, metal, vinyl, etc.).
- You then have a number of features to choose from, such as:
- Exterior doors: deluxe, storm doors, sliding glass doors.
- Windows: storm windows, skylights.
- Vaulted ceiling.
- Tiled entryway.
We then get to the interior section where you will even provide some information on the furniture and appliances. For example:
- Is the home all-electric? By which they mean whether the furnace, water heater, etc. are all electric.
- Is there a built-in buffet or hutch?
- If and where the home is carpeted.
- Is there central AC?
- What appliances are there? (ceiling fan, stove, washer, etc.)
- Select other fixtures:
- Permanent fireplace.
- Bathroom fixtures (types of showers and tubs).
- Kitchen fixtures (fridge, sinks.)
As you can see, you should know most of this information out of memory for your own home. At most, you will need to take the exterior measurements of your home and count a few of your appliances/fixtures.
2 The professional used home value report
With the professional value report, you’ll see the home details section is already way more advanced. It will preload possible dimensions from the make and model you selected. You can also add on tip-outs or expansions.
You will then also need to indicate:
- The overall condition.
- Whether the home is in a land-lease community, and
- The wholesale value – here you state whether the house will need to be moved from its current location. Make sure you state whether or not to include retailer’s commission.
More information to include
You will see that the professional value report also has a much more in-depth features section. To get the most value out of this section, you should at the very least include the information you would provide on a basic report. We recommend that you use this checklist provided by NADA and fill it in first. This will make completing the report much easier.
Some of the other features you will be able to provide are:
- Components: Countertops, cabinets, overhead cooling ducts, plumbing, etc.
- Accessories: Awnings, enclosure rooms, water coolers, etc.
- Additive values: These are major additions or upgrades to the home or property, such as a wall(s)/fence(s), driveway, landscaping, concrete slab(s), or the home’s energy star certification.
You will be able to provide precise measurements and details for every single feature that you add. That’s why we recommend filling in the checklist first and then trying out the form. Otherwise, it can quickly become very frustrating and confusing.
3 The new home price report
As you can expect, with fewer variables, the new home report is much simpler than the above two. You will only need to provide the basic home information so that they can identify the make and model. As this home isn’t used, there will be no aftermarket additions and the value will solely be based on the going rate for this model.
All you will need to enter is the:
- model year
- plant where the specific home is produced, or where you’ll buy it
- model series name
- specific model/floorplan code
You will then be able to choose from the preloaded floor plans. That’s it.
Make a payment
After you submit all the required information via any of the forms, you will then need to provide your personal and payment details. There is nothing tricky or new here. Notably, just your name, company, in what capacity you want to buy, telephone number, and email address.
The payment is also straightforward. For now, you can only pay for your report via credit card. Once you’ve supplied your card info, you can submit the form.
View your results
You should then be presented with a generated report based on the info you provided. The report will look like the sample reports we linked to earlier, but with your own information included.
Here, you will see the approximate value of every feature, characteristic or addition to the home that has an effect on its value. For example, if you have cabinets, it might be valued at $600. And this amount will be added to the total home value.
Other characteristics like the age, model, overall condition, energy star rating, location etc. will be added or subtracted from the total of the home as a weight/adjusted value. Remember that these values are not set in stone for everyone in the manufactured home industry. Other ‘blue books’ might generate different values.
Get a second opinion
Although the NADAguides blue book is seen as kind of a ‘Rosetta stone’ of manufactured home values, there’s no harm in getting a second opinion. You certainly aren’t limited to taking only the word of any blue book online.
- Get an appraisal: You can always get a professional appraiser to do an appraisal on your home. These appraisers sometimes use a blue book to inform their decisions along with their own experience and what they see on site. An appraiser might also be able to put a value on your land – something the blue book doesn’t do.
- Do your own research: We always recommend to our readers to arm themselves with as much information as possible. You can get a ballpark figure of your home by doing your own research by looking at similar home’s prices. Listing sites like MHVillage might be helpful, the market conditions, and talking to mobile home realtors, etc.
- Check your tax statement: To assess your taxes, your local tax administration places a value on your assets, including your home. These records are public and you should be able to find them on your local tax authority’s website or by contacting their offices. However, this is usually lower than market values.
Find the value of your mobile home
And, that’s how you use the NADA mobile home blue book to get the value of your mobile home. Whether you are a seller who wants to make sure you charge a competitive price or a buyer who wants to make sure the price being quoted is fair, or even a professional who needs to sign off on a loan, this is an invaluable resource.