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Sales: Lance Duke
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California Manufactured Homes: Why Energy Efficiency Matters

Posted by:admin | Posted on: July 19th, 2011 | 1 Comments

Buying homes in California is big business. Major site built developers make billions from the site built home industry. However, many of these same developers that earn billions of dollars in profit are way behind the energy efficiency ball when it comes to giving people solid energy efficient design. This is odd, given the fact that the California climate varies so much and energy efficient design could greatly reduce the overall cost of buying and owning a home in California. There are climates in the state that are exceedingly hot almost year round, e.g. Palm Desert/Palm Springs and the Inland Empire. Moreover, there are areas where it is exceedingly cold almost year round. You would think major developers would see the fluctuation in climate and the energy demands these climate variations impose as a reason to offer energy efficient homes. Compared to their site built counterparts, manufactured home builders offer the flexibility and energy efficiency to meet energy efficiency demands quite easily, especially in a state like California. Buying a California manufactured home for energy efficiency makes a great deal of sense. Companies like Hallmark Southwest are able to offer customized energy efficiency packages that will meet the unique needs of consumers in almost any climate. And with a state larger than most countries with a wide variation of climate types, it makes sense to buy a manufactured home in California if you really want the savings an energy efficient home brings. Perhaps the major site built developers will catch on one day that energy efficiency is what many consumers want because they appreciate anything that will reduce their overall cost of ownership and features that benefit the environment. Maybe they won't. The point is, however, that if you want an exceedingly energy efficient home in California, you should take a serious look at the craftsman quality, manufactured home options available on the market today.

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Hallmark Southwest Earns Manufacturer of the Year Award

Posted by:admin | Posted on: July 12th, 2011 | 0 Comments

The California Mobile Home Park Owners Alliance carefully selects a California manufactured home builder each year that they feel offers the highest quality products and customer service to manufactured home buyers each year. Hallmark Southwest is happy to announce that this year we earned the highly respected title and it means a great deal to us. This year, Hallmark celebrates 35 years of business. Getting the award means a great deal to our employees, especially since we have managed to stay in business throughout these difficult economic times. In the last few years, the manufactured home industry has seen a number of manufactured home builders either claim bankruptcy, go out of business entirely or get purchased by larger companies. After 35 years of business, Hallmark Southwest remains an employee owned company and we continue to provide craftsman quality homes that our network of retailers and clients appreciate. So, how does an employee owned company manage to stay in business in a difficult economy while much larger companies are going out of business? Hallmark Southwest provides the highest quality homes on the market. This is, in large part, why we continue to thrive even in a down economy. Our business practices and fiscal responsibility play a large part in our success as well. Whereas many manufactured home builders that have gone bankrupt or left the industry entirely have focused on rapid expansion to provide the greatest possible return for their shareholders, Hallmark Southwest is focused on what counts: our clients, our homes and our retailer relationships. We would like to thank the California Mobile Home Park Owners Alliance for giving us the nod this year as the Manufacturer of the year. It means a great deal to us and we appreciate the recognition.

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Weather Safety Tips for Manufactured Homes

Posted by:admin | Posted on: June 27th, 2011 | 1 Comments

In light of recent national weather events that destroyed homes and property, some families may benefit from weather safety tips for manufactured homes. Wind safety is important to learn in light of serious tornado damage to many communities. High winds can hit unexpectedly and destroy entire communities of modular homes, manufactured homes and pre-fab homes, even if the homes are not in a direct storm path. In California and parts of the Southwest, summer thunderstorms can cause damage just as devastating as the tornadoes of the East Coast. With that in mind, follow these weather tips for manufactured homes: Pay attention: Listen to weather forecasts on the radio and television, specifically listening for weather WATCH and WARNING announcements. Note the regions (cities, counties, etc.) thought to be the most at risk. Know when to leave: Do not try to “ride out” a hurricane, tornado or severe storm in any of these structures, even if the structure is tied down or “seems” protected. Evacuate the home early into the storm. Prepare your home and family: Prior to any storm, be sure your home is installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all applicable state regulations (if you’re a Hallmark Southwest customer, we can assure you that your home is). Beyond that, make a plan with your family that covers where you will go to stay safe. Gather supplies you will need to act on your plan, including a several days’ supply of food and water. Stay tuned for more weather safety tips for manufactured homes next week! Photo Credit: www.lightningsafety.com

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Books on Manufactured Homes

Posted by:admin | Posted on: June 20th, 2011 | 0 Comments

You can get lots of information on manufactured homes right here; but if you’re the type of prospective buyer who appreciates manuals and books, there are plenty of books on manufactured homes out there. A few of the most popular are summarized here: The Grissim Buyer’s Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land Written by a fairly recent convert to manufactured housing, this book covers topics such as the pros and cons of manufactured homes, worst case scenarios for buyers, and site preparation/installation. There’s even an inspection checklist for your convenience. This book covers essentially everything, from shopping for land, to manufactured home plans, to warranty strategies. The Manual for Manufactured Home Repair and Upgrade Written by an experienced contractor, this has been called the only book of its type, as the repair and upgrade techniques described in this manual are specific to manufactured homes. It answers countless questions that apply to most manufactured home plans, including those on floor and belly repair, siding/wall/windows, roof and ceilings, plumbing, and exterior. The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land Written by the same author of the Grissim guide, this is a comprehensive guide to manufactured homes and purchasing land or leasing a home site. It includes the Top 25 manufacturers rated, many helpful charts and diagrams, and 66 illustrations to help communicate the information. Books on manufactured homes are few, but this handful of titles should serve interested buyers well. To continue obtaining information on manufactured homes, stay plugged into our blog or contact Hallmark Southwest today.

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Manufactured Home Code Changes in the Wake of the Floods

Posted by:admin | Posted on: June 14th, 2011 | 0 Comments

After the Mississippi Valley floods, new rules could mean that manufactured home options for homeowners looking to replace their manufactured homes may be limited for safety's sake. In the wake of what’s being called the “flood of the century,” there are new rules for owners of manufactured homes in the form of code changes, specifically in flood prone areas of the South. This comes after new codes for manufactured homes in specific areas of the South went into effect last August, months before the flooding took place. The changes could keep many of those wanting to relocate from moving back into those flood prone areas - which means saying goodbye to the land they previously lived on. One example that stands out is in Tennessee, one of several states in the Mississippi Valley affected by the worst floods to hit the central United States in more than 80 years. In August 2010, Shelby County, TN changed its code requiring the floors of manufactured homes be at least one foot above the 100 year floodplain. In some manufactured home developments affected by the flood devastation, the units were approximately 6 to 8 feet below the floodplain. Residents and builders received letters from code enforcement last week, which indicated that new manufactured housing units would have to be raised substantially. Why are we talking about it today? Because if you aim to build a new manufactured home, whether on your own land or a park property, it’s important to investigate the code requirements in your county. Whether or not you live in a flood prone area, it’s a manufactured home owner’s responsibility to be aware of local housing codes – just as it would be in a stick built home.

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Net Zero Manufactured Homes: Not Just Solar

Posted by:admin | Posted on: May 23rd, 2011 | 1 Comments

Look whose Net Zero manufactured homes have caught the attention of Green Technology World! Hallmark Southwest is proud to be recognized for our new Net Zero energy efficiency option, which is capable of providing environmentally sustainable energy production for valued buyers of our manufactured homes. How does the option work? Along with solar photovoltaic systems, Hallmark Southwest also provides other Net Zero features, which include: -Proprietary ventilation systems - Efficient heating and cooling systems - Solar hot water systems - Industry leading insulation - Programmable thermostats Not to mention exceedingly tight construction designed to maximize thermal efficiency, vinyl Low-e energy efficient windows, tankless water heaters, energy efficient lighting and on-demand hot water. As you can see, this is a far cry from throwing up some solar panels and calling it Net Zero! Our Director of Business Development, Luca Brammer, explains: "Any builder can say their home is ‘Net-Zero’ by placing an excessive amount of solar panels on their roof, but this is not the most efficient way of making a home Net-Zero... At Hallmark, we make our homes extremely energy efficient through the use of proprietary elements, drastically reducing each home's electrical demands without altering the lifestyles of the people who live in our homes. We then use the minimum amount of solar panels to accomplish Net-Zero efficiency.” That’s it, in a nutshell. Solar panels, yes; but so, so much more. To learn about Net Zero manufactured homes, contact Hallmark Southwest today. We will be glad to send you more information.

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Manufactured Homes Help Save the Environment

Posted by:admin | Posted on: May 22nd, 2011 | 0 Comments

Manufactured homes are not only high quality and built to stand the test of time these days, but they are extremely important during and after natural emergencies. Over the last decade, the world has witnessed more natural disasters than one would like to remember and manufactured housing, due to its ease of transportation, has come to the rescue of many an American in need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regularly uses manufactured homes as temporary housing units for victims of natural disaster. These units are described as "temporary" in press releases and in the descriptions you read on the FEMA website and in news articles, but the reality is, many victims of natural disaster live in these units for a very long period of time. During hurricane Katrina, FEMA utilized over 101,000 manufactured home units (source, FEMA.Gov) and spent well over 4.2 billion in these housing related expenses. Moreover, many residents of the areas affected by hurricane Katrina spent well over a year in these so called temporary housing units. While the recent hurricane Irene did not pose as great a threat to the environment as hurricane Katrina, vast damage to housing and the environment did occur. FEMA indicates it will begin installing more manufactured homes as temporary housing units in North Carolina as soon as possible to provide relief for local residents that have lost their homes. Manufactured homes currently play a significant role in emergency management in the United States. As history has shown, these temporary structures are being used far longer than originally intended. In order to serve the needs on natural disaster victims, these units need to be used with the intent of providing a short term solution, but built to the standards that will provide long term use if necessary. After years of using manufactured homes as emergency shelters and after experiencing frequent natural disasters, it is refreshing to see the government feels the same way.

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Avoid Manufactured Home Rent Control

Posted by:admin | Posted on: May 16th, 2011 | 0 Comments

Renting Vesus Buying a Manufactured HomeWith many cities and counties imposing rent control ordinances on manufactured home communities, many families are waking up to the fact that buying a manufactured home is smarter than renting one. By purchasing a manufactured home, you can potentially avoid costly rent control headaches and the stigmas that ensue. This is an easier process than ever, because there are now mortgage products like FHA loans for manufactured homes that work the same as traditional home loans. What’s better than buying a manufactured home? Ordering one that is custom built. By researching manufactured home builders, you can get an idea of what you like and want for your own: siding and structures that hold your home together, flooring that matches your lifestyle needs, and the cabinets, countertops, and fixtures that suit your tastes and budget. It’s even possible to design your own green manufactured home by ordering it to be built with solar panels, low flow plumbing, and other incredible eco-friendly features. If you’re doing the manufactured home “thing,” you have every reason to do it right; after all, this is your family’s next home. Choose from a park you’re comfortable with, or build on your own land. That’s the beauty of an affordable manufactured home. Manufactured home rent control? Not for your family. Buy a manufactured home instead of renting, and watch your quality of life improve. For more information on designing a custom built manufactured home, contact Hallmark Southwest today.

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Manufactured Home Loans: New FHA Program

Posted by:admin | Posted on: May 9th, 2011 | 1 Comments

FHA and Fannie Mae offer loans for home energy improvements What’s the best way to pay for energy improvements to your new manufactured home? The answer may lie in new government-backed mortgage programs. Both the Federal Housing Administration and mortgage investor Fannie Mae recently partnered to offer brand new options for homeowners seeking energy conservation solutions. The FHA PowerSaver program will allow eligible owners to borrow up to $25,000 at fixed rates between 5% and 7% for as long as 20 years. Homeowners of stick built and manufactured homes can use the money to upgrade to high-efficiency windows and doors, heating and ventilating systems, solar panels, geothermal systems, and insulation and duct sealing, among other retrofits. Although The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has made it clear that PowerSaver is a pilot program, it estimates that 30,000 of the program’s loans will be closed during the next two years. If successful, PowerSaver may eventually become a major national program for residential energy upgrades, with total loans extending into the millions. According to the Los Angeles Times, the FHA will insure loans to cover the improvements up to the $25,000 maximum under the following guidelines: The house must be your principal residence, detached and single-family only. No rentals, no investor homes, no second homes are eligible. You'll need to demonstrate that you are a solid credit risk. Minimum FICO credit scores of 660 are required, plus your total household monthly debt-to-income ratio cannot exceed 45%. Houses with negative equity will not qualify. You'll need some level of equity in the property; there is no mandatory minimum stake, but the combined primary mortgage debt plus the PowerSaver second lien cannot exceed 100% of the appraised market value of the house. You could, for example, have a 10% equity position in a $200,000 home, and still qualify for up to $20,000 in a PowerSaver. Lenders are likely to take an extra hard look at all your income and asset documentation because, unlike other FHA-insured mortgages, PowerSaver will cover only 90% of the lender's loss or insurance claim in the event of a default.

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Manufactured Homes Save Energy, Says HUD

Posted by:admin | Posted on: April 28th, 2011 | 0 Comments

Today, thousands of Americans are tuned into what Washington has to say about energy saving practices. When the federal government gets behind an energy saving concept, people pay attention – and for the past several years, government agencies have promoted the benefits of saving energy with manufactured homes. Energy Efficient Manufactured HomesIn fact, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a comprehensive guide to “Manufactured Homes: Saving Money by Saving Energy” in 2005. The tips, techniques, and information contained therein on improving heating and cooling system performance, improving lighting efficiency, and insulating walls, floors and ceilings – not to mention reducing solar heat – are just as applicable today as they were six years ago. However, it’s worth noting that with the significant advancements in manufactured home fabrication and energy efficiency that have occurred since then, there are even more great benefits to choosing manufactured homes. For example, today’s solar grids can be more effective (even when you choose a DIY solar grid), and the manufactured home builders of today (like Hallmark Southwest!) have far more energy tools at their disposal. We can incorporate Energy Star® appliances, low-flush toilets, and advanced insulation. In short, there are even more reasons to consider energy efficient manufactured homes today. We recommend downloading the HUD report “Manufactured Homes: Saving Money by Saving Energy.” Then, we suggest you contact Hallmark Southwest to inquire about your energy efficient manufactured home options.

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