Manufactured homes have greatly improved, especially after the introduction of the HUD Code in 1976. For instance, these homes come with better safety features, energy-efficient appliances, and great designs. So, the common question of ‘are manufactured homes safe,’ should no longer be in doubt.
Nevertheless, manufactured homes are still behind the quality of site-built homes. Despite this, they are still worth buying, especially because they are more affordable. With that said, should you still purchase a manufactured home if you have options?
In this article, we explore reasons why purchasing a manufactured home would be in your best interest.
Why Buy a Manufactured Home?
Why would you invest in a manufactured home and not a site-built home? Below are the reasons why:
Manufactured Housing Units are Affordable
Every customer is always looking for high-quality home options at an affordable cost. This is exactly what you get when you purchase a manufactured housing unit.
These homes are by far the best deals you will ever come across on the market. For your information, manufactured homes are mass-developed and produced in assembly lines, meaning they cost less to manufacture and, therefore, are cheaper to buy. Learn more about how mobile homes are built here.
Manufactured homes in the U.S. only cost about $87,100, on average, as of 2018. The cost may vary depending on the home’s design, size (square foot), and location. If you decide to invest in a manufactured home, expect to spend 50% less than you would on traditionally constructed counterparts, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute.
The lower cost of modular homes does present one challenge, however. They are considered personal property and not real property, making it difficult to get traditional mortgages. To secure traditional financing on a manufactured home, you must fix it on a permanent structure. Learn how to finance a mobile home here.
Manufactured Homes are Attractive
Many people who hear of manufactured homes think they are designed with cheap fixtures and old aluminum siding. However, these same people are surprised at the high quality of these homes when they set their eyes on them. For your information, today’s manufactured homes appear the same as traditional site-built homes, mainly due to the HUD Code for mobile homes.
These homes present a definite curb appeal thanks to having gorgeous landscaping, bow windows, quality vinyl siding, and exciting interior designs. In fact, the interior is designed with fireplaces, granite countertops, modern kitchens, stainless steel appliances, well-designed floors, and vaulted ceilings.
Additionally, you can customize the manufactured homes to meet your expectations. Contact the manufacturer if you seek to add certain features like walk-in closets to make the home more attractive. Checkout our top 10 manufactured home dealers in Michigan.
The Homes are Versatile and Customizable
Take a situation where you own a site-built home in one city, but get a job transfer to another city. In this case, you can’t move with your house to the new city. The least you can do is rent the home out or sell it to get the money and purchase a new one in the new city.
Luckily, this is not the case with a mobile unit. With it, you can easily move everything from one place to another. You just need to find a reliable mobile unit mover to care for everything. Here is how much it costs to move a mobile home.
Like traditional homes, you can easily customize your home by making upgrades and adding finishes that meet your personality and lifestyle. This might include repainting the walls or adding energy-efficient features. Learn more on how to make a mobile home more energy-efficient here.
You will Get a Sense of Community
We all know that most manufactured homes are placed in a manufactured home community. While mobile home living in a park is not as exciting as settling in a suburban or urban development, it presents a sense of community you surely will not get in a suburb.
Apart from getting a spacious compound, you will also be closer to your neighbors. This will improve interactions with everyone within the community.
Manufactured home communities present a chance to meet new people. For your information, there are group events and social activities, including fitness and games, that you can participate in to interact with your neighbors. From such, you can build lasting friendships and relationships.
High-Quality and Safety
Before 1976, manufactured homes were built without standards or regulations. However, the HUD Code was introduced in 1976 to guide the development of these homes. The code was put in place to guarantee the quality and safety of manufactured homes.
First, these homes are developed in an indoor facility where materials and build time is not affected by weather changes. The homes also undergo a thorough inspection to ensure they meet the required standards.
Additionally, modern technology is incorporated into manufactured home development and design. For instance, they have advanced anchoring systems to withstand the high winds. Learn more about wind zone ratings for mobile homes here.
Quicker Construction Speed
One thing that many appreciate about manufactured homes is that they have a quick construction time. As per the U.S. Census Bureau, mobile homes can be developed and installed within two months. This is shorter than the average time it takes to complete a site-built home, which is about eight months.
Additionally, the manufactured housing construction process is environmentally friendly. For your information, they are developed in a humidity and temperature-controlled facility, thus emitting less construction waste in the process. In fact, they produce at least 40% less waste than stick-built homes.
They Hold Value Better than Ever Before
We all know that market conditions determine the home’s value. Though mobile homes have been known to lose value overtime in the past, manufactured homes have been not only keeping their value, but actually increasing in value just like stick-built homes. This means that an increase in home value in certain places will also translate into an increase in the price of manufactured homes.
For this reason, mobile home owners now can build equity or wealth over time that they can translate into cash. Learn how to increase the value of a mobile home here.
Mobile Homes are Energy-Efficient
Do you want to settle in a home where you will pay less in energy bills? If yes, then we recommend manufactured homes without second thoughts.
Thanks to the HUD Code, manufactured homes are designed with energy-efficient features. It is common to come across Energy Star-certified appliances in these homes due to the standards put in place by EPA.
If you purchase a mobile unit, expect to save at least 27% more energy than site–built homes. This means that you will pay less and save more on utility bills. Here is everything you need to know about mobile home expenses.
You Can Get Manufactured Home Loans
If you decide to purchase a manufactured home, but lack enough funds, you can access different loans for mobile homes in parks to facilitate the purchase. However, you will not be able to access a traditional mortgage. Let’s consider the available loan options below:
A manufactured home is considered personal property and not a real property asset, unless you fix it on a permanent home foundation. For this reason, it becomes difficult to access conventional loans from lenders.
With that said, getting conventional loans becomes possible if the home meets certain criteria. Here, you can either access loans from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Can you buy a mobile home with a FHA loan? The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) offers these loans and are available with lower credit and a fixed interest rate. Here, you can access Title I or Title II loans. Title I loans only finance the manufactured home purchase, while Title II loans finance both land and the home.
Can you buy a mobile home with a VA loan? A VA loan also finances the manufactured home and the lot it sits on. However, these loans are only available to veterans and those who qualify for active service.
To qualify for this loan, your manufactured home should meet HUD guidelines and have a permanent foundation.
These loans do not come with restrictions like the other options. You can even get $100,000 from lenders to purchase your home here. However, be prepared to pay high interest; sometimes as high as 20%.
You can purchase manufactured homes and other properties, such as boats and cars, with chattel loans. However, expect lower loan limits and shorter terms with chattel mobile home financing, compared to mortgages.
The manufactured home you are financing will also be held as collateral. Therefore, failure to pay for the loans could lead to the home being taken.
Disadvantages of Purchasing Manufactured Homes
Even though purchasing a manufactured home presents several benefits, you will also encounter some drawbacks. For instance, since manufactured homes are considered personal property, they are typically expensive to finance. For example, taking a chattel loan will have a higher interest rate than a traditional mortgage.
Another disadvantage is if you have your mobile home in a manufactured home park, the landlord might decide to evict you for breaking their community rules. In this case, you might be forced to sell your home or move it immediately. For the case of selling, mobile homes are sometimes difficult to resell; thus presenting the challenge of getting a buyer.
Finally, manufactured homes are not usually anchored on a permanent foundation. In case of a natural disaster like a storm or earthquake, they can be easily exposed to damage. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons of manufactured homes before committing.
Without a doubt, manufactured homes offer a cost-effective housing option when compared to site-built homes (see our manufactured homes vs. stick-built guide). Additionally, they are versatile and offer a sense of community. Furthermore, you can easily get loans to purchase the homes.
With all this being said, they also present different disadvantages that you should be aware of. All in all, purchasing a manufactured home might be the best housing decision you will ever make.