What Are Some of the More Common Misconceptions About Manufactured Homes?

More Americans are now opting for manufactured homes instead of the more traditional domiciles, according to an article in Realty Times. And for good reason– manufactured homes greatly appeal to a new wave of homeowners looking for a more affordable alternative.

Despite their growing popularity among new homeowners, however, many misconceptions still persist about manufactured homes.

Manufactured homes have been pre-fabricated off-site, with entire completed sections then transported for final assembly at the home location. The structures are placed onto a permanent foundation, with the wheels, axles, and hitches taken away.

It’s the outdated stereotypes on manufactured homes that these misconceptions persist. Many still believe that manufactured homes are second-rate, perhaps no different from the unregulated mobile homes that have proliferated in the ’60s and ’70s.

Here are some of the more common myths and misconceptions that persist on the subject of manufactured homes:

1. Myth: Only Low-Income Folk Live in Manufactured Homes

Fact: More people today just choose to live in a manufactured home, even if they could afford regular site-built homes. 

It’s just a more financially sensible option, and those who do opt for a manufactured home may decide to do so for a variety of different reasons, including location, options for customization options, energy efficiency, and more.

2. Myth: Manufactured Homes Use Cheap Materials 

Fact: the significant difference in cost attributed to manufactured homes are not because of lower-quality materials, but rather from the huge reduction in labor costs brought about by more efficient factory-building processes.

Assembly-line manufacturing eliminates many of the issues that are typically encountered in the construction of a traditional home. Labor costs, certainly, but the cost of logistics, damage to materials, adverse weather conditions, and pilferage, among others.

3. Manufactured Homes Aren’t Particularly Sturdy

Fact: Especially for manufactured homes sold after 1994, materials used for construction had to be HUD standard-compliant– and these same materials are also used in regular site-built homes. Every home must pass thorough inspections, including those from state building laws and regulations. 

Furthermore, it can even be argued that manufactured homes can even be more durable because entire sections must be reinforced for transportation by road to home sites. 

4. Manufactured Homes Are All Cookie-Cutter Houses

Fact: A lot of people think that manufactured homes can’t have much variety or luxury for that matter. And while it’s true that many are similar in shape and size, today’s newer manufactured homes allow for lots of options for customization.

Potential homeowners can now easily work with manufacturers with a range of interior and exterior adjustments, including more upscale additions such as hardwood floors, skylights, whirlpool baths, stonework fireplaces, and walk-in closets.

5. Manufactured Homes Can’t Appreciate in Value

Fact: Determining the appreciation value of any given home is difficult, as many factors come into play– location, market conditions, overall curb appeal, and more. 

That said, a manufactured home can appreciate in value just as much as a more traditional home, especially if these are in place:

  • You also own the land it stands on
  • Your home is attached to a foundation
  • Your home is well-maintained, perhaps even regularly spruced up
  • You have other additions attached to your home such as a garage, a work shed, and other extensions.

6. Financing a Manufactured Home Can Be Difficult

Fact: Maybe it was for a time, but today, home lenders and other financial institutions have options available specifically for manufactured homes, including FHA, VA, and USDA home loans.

A Final Word About Manufactured Homes

When people hear the words “manufactured home,” they tend to envision the old mobile home placed in a trailer park. Modern homes, however, have evolved tremendously from their origins, currently delivering a permanent, durable and beautiful – sometimes, even luxurious – dwelling alternative.

Manufactured homes today have the benefit of costing much less than a more traditional site-built counterpart; by greatly reducing the amount of labor put into the construction of a manufactured home, costs have also thus gone down significantly. 

And for many Americans, it’s these manufactured homes that provide an affordable alternative to homeownership.

So don’t rule out manufactured homes based on old, outdated preconceptions and inaccurate information. Times certainly have changed, and today’s new crop of manufactured homes continues to be a great housing option for a lot of first-time homeowners, retirees, growing families, and starter families.

(Photos courtesy of the San Bernardino County website, Freddie Mac, and the Michigan Manufactured Home Association.)

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