Sharing is caring    +1 Share Share

How are manufactured homes made?

Check out this manufactured home building facility tour to see how most are made.

To begin your journey home in one of our communities, Find a Home here.

Why Opt for Manufactured Housing?

If the prospect of homeownership seems financially daunting, there’s no need to abandon the American Dream just yet. In light of the widening gap in housing affordability, consider alternatives you might not have explored. Manufactured homes, also known as factory-built homes, often come with lower monthly payments than rental costs, offering a feasible path to homeownership for millions of Americans. Found nationwide, in rural, suburban, and urban areas, there are currently 8.6 million manufactured homes, comprising nearly 10 percent of the country’s housing stock. Modern manufactured homes boast quality construction that adheres to rigorous federal standards for safety, installation, and construction. Equipped with sought-after features like luxurious bathrooms and state-of-the-art kitchens with energy-efficient appliances, these homes are often located in communities with amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, and clubhouses. Despite such amenities, manufactured homes provide quality housing at a lower cost. The average price of a new single-section manufactured home is under $46,700 (excluding land), and for a multi-section, it’s $89,500, compared to $286,814 (excluding land) for a site-built home. The affordability of manufactured homes stems not from inferior quality but from the efficient production process, translating to savings passed on to the homebuyer. The terms of purchasing a manufactured home differ from those of site-built homes, so be sure to ask pertinent questions at signing, including inquiries about warranties. If you’re ready to bid farewell to rent checks, conduct thorough research to explore the diverse paths to affordable homeownership available today.

How Does the Cost of a Manufactured Home Compare to a Site-Built Home?

The affordability of manufactured homes stands out when compared to both site-built homes and apartment rentals. Manufactured homes are often a more affordable option because they provide more space and amenities per unit. Additionally, manufactured homes offer a more affordable option as rental rates rise sharply in most markets. Manufactured homes are less expensive overall and per square foot than site-built homes. In 2016, the mean consumer sales price of a brand-new single-story manufactured home was roughly $46,700, while the average price of a brand-new multi-story manufactured home was roughly $89,500. As an example, a chattel loan of $40,000 with a $5,000 down payment and a 10.5 percent interest rate over 25 years for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom manufactured home results in a monthly payment of $377.67. Comparatively, the average adjusted rent for a two-bedroom apartment in markets like Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, is $1,228 per month. In this scenario, the manufactured home emerges as the most affordable option.

Are Manufactured Homes Affordable?

At a lower cost than renting, manufactured homes provide high-quality housing and a path to homeownership. Compared to apartments, they often offer greater space and a greater separation from other properties. When land costs are taken out of the equation, a new manufactured home can be purchased for up to 50% less per square foot than a comparable site-built home.

Do I Have to Buy from a Community, or Can I Go Directly to the Manufacturer?

Most manufactured homes are sold through independently owned and operated retail sales centers, some of which are owned by manufacturers. In certain states, purchases can also be made from manufactured home community owners or developers, and for pre-owned homes, through real estate agents. Direct purchase from the manufacturer is generally not permitted in most states. Retailers offer various products and services, assisting in customizing the home to fit individual needs and budgets. They are typically responsible for coordinating the delivery and installation of the home, as well as being the contact for warranty service after move-in.

Who Handles the Installation of a Manufactured Home? Can I Do It Myself?

The installation of a new manufactured home is typically governed by state laws. Retailers or subcontractors handling the installation are responsible for ensuring compliance with state regulations and the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The proper installation method depends on the home’s design and local conditions, such as climate and soil type. Depending on the financing used, lenders may have specific requirements for the foundation and installation, and it is generally not recommended for individuals to handle the installation themselves.

Do Manufactured Homes Come with a Warranty?

Most manufacturers now provide warranties to ensure the quality, workmanship, and major heating and cooling systems of the home for a specified period, typically ranging from one to five years. This warranty outlines the steps to take in case of any issues. The appliances in the homes also come with either “full” or “limited” warranties, and these details should be documented. The retailer plays a distinct role in the installation and servicing of the home, so it’s crucial to have their responsibilities and warranty coverage for transportation and installation clearly stated in writing.

Do manufactured homes appreciate in value?

Generally, a home is a sound investment, and the appreciation of any home, whether site-built or manufactured, is influenced by factors such as community desirability and stability, local market supply and demand, location, and home maintenance. When properly installed and maintained, today’s manufactured homes can appreciate similarly to surrounding site-built homes.

What Financing Options Are Available for Manufactured Housing?

Buying a manufactured home comes with a variety of financing options, just like buying a site-built home. Certain financial institutions provide conventional real estate mortgages with similar interest rates if you are purchasing the house and land together or if you intend to build the house on land that you already own. The manufactured home will probably be financed as a personal property manufactured home loan, frequently with a slightly higher interest rate, if it is bought separately from the land. There are loans that are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and FHA, and depending on your area, they might have lower interest rates or less of a down payment needed. Even though the application process for these loans requires more paperwork, they can still be good choices.

When ready to purchase a manufactured home, having your finances in order is crucial. Depending on the loan type, having savings for the down payment and closing costs is essential. Understand your credit score, gather necessary financial records, and be prepared for the credit application process. Getting pre-approved by a lender is a recommended step to determine your budget based on income and current financial situation, allowing you to explore various lending products.

Are Manufactured Homes Safe?

Contrary to an outdated stereotype, manufactured homes built after 1976 are not more vulnerable to natural disasters than site-built homes. Tornadoes or hurricanes do not discriminate between home types. Modern manufactured homes use the same building materials as site-built homes, engineered for wind safety and energy efficiency based on geographic regions. They are designed to withstand specific wind speeds, such as 150 miles per hour in Wind Zone 2 and 163 miles per hour in Wind Zone 3. Anchoring, achieved through steel rods and straps, holds manufactured homes securely in place. Federal and state regulations ensure proper installation and anchoring standards, contributing to their safety.

What Are the Benefits of Living in a Manufactured Housing Community?

Manufactured housing offers an affordable option for home ownership, with new homes costing significantly less than single-family site-built homes. Manufactured homes can be 50% less expensive per square foot to build than site-built homes, providing more space for the cost. Living in a land-lease community allows homeowners to have their own space with a yard, outdoor area, and no shared walls. Communities often offer social clubs, fitness amenities, and a sense of belonging among residents. Since 1976, the Department of Housing & Urban Development has governed and upheld standards for manufactured housing; as a result, modern manufactured homes fulfill safety requirements that are either on par with or higher than those for site-built homes. Manufactured homes are considered eco-friendly because their building process produces up to 90% less waste and environmental impact than that of site-built homes.