Why You Should Choose Manufactured Housing
Quality Construction and Affordable
If home ownership feels like it’s beyond your reach, don’t throw in the towel just yet on the American Dream. In the face of an ever-widening housing affordability gap, there are options you may not have considered. Manufactured homes (factory-built homes) are commonly available at lower monthly payments than what it costs to rent,providing an affordable path to home ownership for millions of Americans. Manufactured homes can be found anywhere in the country, in rural, suburban and urban communities.
There are 8.6 million manufactured homes nationwide, representing nearly 10 percent of the nation’s housing stock.
These days, manufactured homes are being built with quality construction to meet rigorous federal standards for safety, installation and construction. They come with features that today’s homebuyers want like luxury bathrooms and state-of-the-art kitchens with energy-efficient appliances. What’s more, many are often situated in communities with swimming pools, playgrounds and clubhouses.
While these amenities may sound like they come with a hefty price tag, manufactured homes provide quality housing at a lower cost. Indeed, the average price of anew,single-section manufactured home is less than$45,600 (excluding land) per square foot, compared to $177,000 per square foot for a traditional home, according to MHI statistics
It’s important to remember that the affordability of manufactured homes is not a product of lesser quality, but rather the efficient way building materials are produced, a savings that is passed on directly to the homebuyer.
The terms of a manufactured home purchase differ from site-built homes. Be sure to ask the right questions at signing, including whether the home and its components come with warranties. Manufactured homes can be found anywhere in the country, in rural, suburban and urban communities.
If you are ready to take the step of saying goodbye to writing rent checks, do your research to discover the varied paths to affordable homeownership available today.
Manufactured Homes are as Safe as Traditional-Built Homes
Quality Construction and Affordable
There’s an old stereotype that needs to be cleared up. Manufactured homes (those built after 1976) are not more vulnerable to natural disasters than site-built homes.
The fact is that tornadoes or hurricanes do not discriminate as to what types of homes or buildings they destroy. The only safe place to be during a tornado is in appropriate shelter.
Manufactured Home Durability
The building materials in today’s manufactured homes are the same as those used in site-built homes. The homes are engineered for wind safety and energy efficiency based on the geographic region in which they are sold.
For example, in areas prone to hurricane-force winds (Wind Zones II and III of the HUD Basic Wind Zone Map), the standards for manufactured homes are comparable to the current regional and national building codes for site-built homes. Manufactured homes are designed and constructed to withstand wind speeds of 150 miles per hour in Wind Zone 2 and 163 miles per hour in Wind Zone 3.
In fact, during the hurricanes that struck Florida in 2004, not one manufactured home built and installed after 1994 was destroyed by hurricane force winds.
What that means is, the construction standards for manufactured housing across the country are subject to robust compliance and quality assurance regulations, sometimes more stringent than those for traditional site-built homes.
Anchoring is what hold manufactured homes firmly in place. Anchors are steel rods several feet long that screw into the ground, and steel straps fasten around the frame of the mobile home and are attached to the anchors with adjustable bolts.
In 2007, the federal government established standards requiring all new manufactured homes to meet minimum requirements for installation and anchoring in accordance with its structural design and windstorm standards.
In addition, states have the authority to establish additional installation standards above the minimum federal standards. State governments may establish installation and anchoring requirements for homes depending on soil conditions and other factors in their state.
The industry supports state efforts to ensure that older homes are retrofitted with proper installation technologies to ensure their safety.
Benefits of Living in a Manufactured Housing Community
Quality Construction and Affordable
Manufactured housing is one of the most affordable options for Americans to achieve the American dream of home ownership. New homes cost an average of $68,000, compared with $272,200 for a single-family site-built home.
There’s also more home for the buck: Manufactured homes often cost between 10-35% less per square foot to build than site-built homes, despite comparable interior finish-out. And, today’s new homes average over 1400 square feet of interior space.
The median annual income for those who choose the option of a manufactured home is $34,700, but almost a quarter of all manufactured home owners have a media income of more than $50,000.With lower costs, manufactured home owners are able to save more than they would with a site-built home or by renting an apartment.
Sense of Community
Living in a land-lease community, a homeowner can park by his or her own home. There is a yard and outdoor space. There are no shared walls. Best of all, residents in a manufactured home community truly are part of a community. In many communities, there are social or activity clubs, fitness amenities, and friendly and caring neighbors. “Sense of belonging” is among the most frequent response about why residents enjoy living in a land-lease community.
Safety and Quality
The Department of Housing & Urban Development has regulated and ensured standards for manufactured housing since 1976. All manufactured homes must meet this code.The performance code involves every aspect of the home including heating and air conditioning, fire safety, plumbing, electrical systems, structural design, construction, energy efficiency and even the transportation from factory to site. Today’s manufactured homes are built to a standard of safety comparable to, and in some cases exceeding, standards for site-built housing.
The construction of a manufactured home, from factory to finish can actually yield up to 90% less waste and environmental impact than site-built housing, owing to the efficiency of factory construction and the high standards of the HUD code.
Manufactured homes and manufactured housing communities are far more green and eco friendly than site-built communities. Manufactured home construction uses fewer materials without compromising the home’s safety or structure. Key heating, cooling and utility components of manufactured homes are energy-efficient.
Further, because manufactured homes are built in a factory and assembled on site, the environmental impact of transportation of the home is magnitudes less than the impact of the moving raw materials to the site to construct a home.
- Why should I consider a manufactured home?
- What are today’s manufactured homes like?
- Are manufactured homes affordable?
- How are these different from traditional homes?
- Can I buy a home directly from the manufacturer?
Starting in 1976, the HUD Code established a stringent series of construction and safety standards that ensure that today’s manufactured homes are superior to “mobile homes,” the term used for factory-built homes produced prior to the HUD Code. Since then, manufactured homes are dramatically different in appearance and quality those built before 1976. Manufactured homes, like site-built homes, are now available in a variety of designs, floor plans and amenities. Today, they are often indistinguishable from site-built homes and are fully compatible with neighborhood architectural styles.
Retailers offer a variety of products and services, including helping you customize the home to fit your needs and budget. Typically, the retailer is also responsible for coordinating the delivery and installation of your home. And, once you’ve moved in, the retailer is often the contact for warranty service.
- Can they be customized?
- Are there limits on where I can locate or place a manufactured home?
- Who takes care of installing a manufactured home? Can I do it myself?
- What kinds of financing is available?
- Are manufactured homes more vulnerable to damage from tornadoes and hurricanes?
Many floor plans are available that range from basic models to more elaborate designs that feature vaulted ceilings, drywall, fully-equipped modern kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs and whirlpools. You may also select from a variety of exterior designs and siding materials, including wood, hardboard or vinyl siding.
Many manufacturers also provide homes that are accessible for those with special needs. If you are interested in such a home, please work with your retailer to order a home with accessible features, such as extra-wide halls and doorways, accessible counters and appliances and specially-equipped bathrooms.
Depending on the type of loan used to finance the home, the lender may have some specific requirements for the foundation and installation of the home as well.
Just as there are choices when you buy a site-built home, there are a variety of financing options when you buy a manufactured home. If you are buying the home and land together, or plan to place the home on land you already own, some financial institutions offer traditional real estate mortgages with similar interest rates. Should you be purchasing the manufactured home separately from the land on which it will be located, the home will probably be financed as a personal property manufactured home loan, usually with a somewhat higher interest rate and the downpayment amount will reflect the amount of the entire loan, including the home and land costs being financed.
FHA-insured and Department of Veterans Affairs-guaranteed (called FHA and VA) loans are available to manufactured home buyers. These types of loans may offer lower interest rates or lower down payment requirements if available in your area. They require more paperwork during the credit application and approval process and, therefore, may take longer for approval than a conventional loan.
Manufactured homes perform as well as site-built homes during a storm. In fact, the explanation for the reports of damage to manufactured homes from tornadoes is quite simple: manufactured housing is largely found in rural and suburban areas where tornadoes are most likely to occur.
As to hurricanes, valuable lessons were learned from the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which destroyed or damaged thousands of site-built and manufactured homes. Now, in areas prone to hurricane-force winds, the standards for manufactured homes are equivalent to or more stringent than the current regional and national building codes for site-built homes in these high wind zones. These new standards were put to the test in during the hurricanes that struck Florida in 2004. The result was that not one manufactured home built and installed after 1994 was destroyed by hurricane force winds.
Also, proper installation and anchoring of the home is a key element is how a manufactured home will perform in severe weather situations.