What Is a Manufactured Home?
Manufactured housing, formerly called mobile housing, refers to housing built in a factory then delivered to and installed on a property plot. Homebuilders construct these affordable home alternatives in accordance with building codes and safety standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The homes are typically sold to consumers through retailers, similar to car dealerships.
To purchase a manufactured home, prospective home buyers go to a manufactured home dealership to look at different models, floor plans, and pricing, select their preferred design and features and arrange delivery, much like a car purchase. Popular options include single-wide and double-wide homes with different square footage that affect the cost, mobility, and lot size needed for the new home.
In addition to purchasing the home, owners will need to rent or buy a plot of land where they can have it installed. While these homes are often located within a manufactured home community, homeowners who prefer more solitude may find land with more space and privacy in a more remote region. Typically, manufactured homes are transferred from a portable chassis (the supporting frame or structure of a vehicle) to a permanent foundation. While manufactured homes are not designed to be moved more than once, moving the home to a new location under certain circumstances is possible.
What Are the Advantages of a Manufactured Home?
When considering the many types of homes available, there are many advantages to owning a manufactured home:
- Cost: Affordability is one of the greatest draws of a manufactured home. Generally more cost-effective and energy-efficient than traditional homeownership, a manufactured home can be a great option for first-time homeowners or those with a limited budget (even when taking additional costs, like installation feeds, land, rent, and utilities, into account).
- Customizable: Manufactured home customization allows owners to take charge of the design process so they can build their dream home. The purchaser makes the final decisions on various factors, including square feet, layout, amenities, and craftsmanship.
- Speed: The end-to-end process of purchasing and moving into a manufactured home is generally much faster than the process for traditional home construction or buyers.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Manufactured Home?
Despite the many advantages, there are also many drawbacks to manufactured homeownership:
- Financing: Securing financing for your manufactured home is not as straightforward as a traditional home purchase because they are generally considered personal property instead of real estate. Therefore, manufactured homes do not always qualify for traditional home loans and mortgages so interested buyers may need to pursue alternative lenders with higher interest rates
- Rules and regulations: Every state and local authority has its own rules and regulations for manufactured housing, which prospective homeowners should research. In addition to these regulations, there are rules to abide by in manufactured home communities similar to those in a home owners association , a community association that helps form local regulations and allocates funds to maintain shared spaces. For example, two towns in California might have different regulations for pre fabricated, and mobile home parks within those areas may have different rules for residents.
- Value: Manufactured home values do not appreciate at the same rate as a traditional home, although their value can increase over time.
What Is the Difference Between a Manufactured Home and a Mobile Home?
While manufactured home and a mobile home refer to similar housing with one key distinction: the build date. The term “mobile home” was the original name for a manufactured home until the Housing Act of 1980 decreed that the word “manufactured” be used instead of “mobile” to refer to any manufactured housing built after June 15, 1976. This change coincided with the release of HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (MHCSS) code, which updated the standards for manufactured housing.
Additionally, the term “modular home” is sometimes used interchangeably with “manufactured homes.” These two styles of portable housing are also very similar except for one key distinction: the modular home is manufactured in parts and then assembled on the home site, whereas the manufactured home is built in its entirety off-site.