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The Complete Buyer's Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land: How to Find a Reputable Dealer and Negotiate a Fair Price on the Best Kept Secret in American Housing Paperback – March 24, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rainshadow Publications (March 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972543600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972543606
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...outstanding research...jam-packed with information and advice...Fair and balanced...Will save money, effort and frustration." -- St. Petersburg Times, October 16, 2004

"Finally, a detailed map of the manufactured home marketplace....Extensive up-to-date information...With this solid book [consumers] have their tool." -- Shelterforce Magazine

...a guide no manufactured homebuyer should be without. -- Carson City Appeal

...tells home buyers everything they need to know about shopping defensively and with confidence. -- Peninsula Daily News

A definitive, soup-to-nuts buying guide to manufactured homes, a comprehensive work. -- Marin Independent Journal

offers detailed information on every aspect of planning, purchasing and siting manufactured information about the top 25 manufacturers. -- Sequim Gazette

From the Author

It is a pleasure to bring this second edition to the manufactured home shopper’s marketplace. Readers may notice the title has also been revised slightly—from The Complete Buyer’s Guide... to The Grissim Buyer’s Guide.... and here an explanation is in order:

Following the book’s first publication, I was deluged with questions from readers about different manufacturers. In the absence of any guide that described and rated all U.S. builders (79 at last count), I resolved to tackle the project. The result was a second consumer guide, The Grissim Ratings Guide to Manufactured Homes, published in early 2006, designed to be an essential companion resource to this book. Thus, the two books together now properly comprise the complete buyer’s guide.

One final note: While I am a booster of manufactured housing, I am also an outsider, one of the industry’s most vocal critics whose loyalty is to the home buying consumer. Over the years I have crossed swords with more than a few builders who were not at all happy with my critiques. As a journalist I am fiercely protective of both my independence and professional integrity, as well as the credibility of my writing. Accordingly, other than income derived from the sale of my books and from speaking and writing about the consumer’s point of view, I neither solicit or accept a dime from the industry about which I write. My readers have my assurance that I intend to keep it that way. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Anyone considering buying a manufactured home needs this book.
The book is not just read once but after reading to use as a reference and guide throughout the process.
One guy noticed it and winced uncomfortably, the other said "Oh, yeah, that's a good book."
Anthony Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Gary P. Zerbst on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
The short answer is yes. If you buy this book and it doesn't help you to save thousands, then you either didn't buy a manufactured home or you didn't read the book.

When we began our search for a Manufactured Home, we had design and purchase requirements which were slightly different than the mass market niche at which most manufactured homes and their sales are aimed. Further, we realized that we didn't have enough knowledge or information to make informed and knowledgeable decisions. So-- How to get that knowledge? There's got to be information on the internet- right? Lengthy searching on the internet brought us to a site that promised to rate the top 25 manufacturers. We gleaned as much free information as we could from the website, but it wasn't enough. We decided to spend (invest) the few dollars for the book "The Complete buyers Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land", by John Grissim that promised to give us the unbiased information that would allow us to navigate safely through the minefields of manufactured home purchase. When the book arrived, we were surprised at the clarity and extent of information it presented. The book reaffirmed that a manufactured home purchase would be a good move for us. As it turns out, we did not buy our new home from one of the top 25 (25 biggest) manufacturers, but the book made passing reference to several smaller high quality manufacturers. After interviewing and visiting various of those manufacturers, we found one whose materials, structure, fit and finish seemed a notch above the rest, and most importantly, who was willing to work with us and our design to build us a custom home that does satisfy some our special requirements. We are vastly pleased with the home that we were able to design, have built and installed on our property.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Baker on March 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
My copy of Grissim's guide is pretty dog-eared and beat-up from being carried around while checking out home models, but the book has proved itself invaluable. I trust it. A couple of times when I had it with me, I got different reactions from sales people. One guy noticed it and winced uncomfortably, the other said "Oh, yeah, that's a good book." It figures. Dealers vary. Reputable ones are OK with knowledgeable customers, the cheesey ones hate the book because they can't pull any of their old tricks on you. Bottom line: this book puts the home buyer first, and in control, every step of the way. It's made me confident and swindle-proof and helped me find a dealer I can work with. Five stars.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John on December 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
The other reviews tell you what's in this book. All I will add is this: I have read the book, AND I am using it! Works like a charm. I am in the middle of buying land for a manufactured home, and so far I have followed Grissim's advice nearly to the letter. I am very thankful that I came across this book before I started shopping. When my land deal is done and it's time to buy my home, I will open this wonderful guide again and follow it like a road map. That's the best way to describe this book. While it is full of interesting history about manufactured homes, its most valuable content is in the step-by-step instructions: turn here, go there, look out for that trap! This book has helped me enjoy an exciting but sometimes confusing process without getting hurt or lost. My only hesitation about this book before I bought it was that $24 seemed like a lot for a 240-page paperback. However, now that I have read it, I can say without a doubt that it has saved me countless times its price. You are getting invaluable knowledge here, and if you are thinking about spending tens of thousands on a new house, this book may be the best dollar-for-dallar investment you ever make. The only reason I rate it four stars instead of five is that I wish it had more color photos of various manufactured homes.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Peter D Laufer on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
If John Grissim's fine and thorough book on the manufactured housing industry had only been written when I went through my own personal manufactured home horror story, I would have been saved plenty of heartache and lots of precious time. Grissim's "The Complete Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land" is exactly what the odd subculture of manufactured housing needs: it's an encyclopedic look at this growing business, a detailed roadmap on how to avoid the cheesy hustlers, and a step-by-step guide for those of us who realize a manufactured home is an opportunity to live the American dream, not a deadend introduction to the world of trailers [poorly built]....
John Grissm knows that world of the manufactured home hucksters. But what he makes clear in "The Complete Buyer's Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land" is that the industry is changing fast. He takes the prospective manufactured home buyer by the hand and point by point shows how to avoid the [dishonest] artists and instead take advantage of the fact that today's manufactured home can be every bit as elegant and well built as an on site constructed dwelling.
The book helps the American dreamer choose a reputable manufactured home dealer, figure out the often-confusing world of manufactured home financing, and find appropriate home sites.
... all these details can be ponderous. But "The Complete Buyer's Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land" will undoubtedly be used by future authors as a model for the next generation of how to books becauseit is so easy to navigate, and at times even fun to read. John Grissim was a writer long before he became a manufactured home expert (he bases his book on his own experiences relocating to his dream house in rural Washington state).
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