THE ADVANTAGES OF
Why choose a
There are many variables involved in determining the price of a
manufactured home. There are features, floor plans, and details that
prevent a simple answer. The sales price for a new manufactured home
ranges from under $20,000 for a single-section home with the most
basic features to prices in excess of $100,000 for a deluxe
multi-section home. Depending on the region of the country,
construction cost per square foot for a new manufactured home
averages anywhere from 10 to 35 percent less than a comparable
site-built home, excluding the cost of land.
There are major benefits to building a home in a factory.
• All aspects of the construction process are controlled.
• The weather doesn't interfere with construction and cause delays.
• All technicians, craftsmen and assemblers are on the same team and
• Inventory is better controlled and materials are protected from
theft and weather-related damage.
• All construction materials, as well as interior features and
appliances are purchased in volume for additional savings.
• Cost of interim construction financing is significantly reduced or
• All aspects of construction are continually inspected by not one,
but several, inspectors.
Today's manufactured homes come with many "standard" features that
can be found in a site-built home. Many floor plans are available
that range from the basic models to more elaborate designs with
living and dining rooms with vaulted ceilings, fully-equipped modern
kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms
with recessed bathtubs and whirlpools.
Homebuyers may also select from a variety of exterior designs,
including metallic, vinyl, wood, or hardboard and design features
such as a bay window, a gable front, or a pitched roof with
shingles. Awnings, enclosures around the crawl space, patio covers,
decks, and steps are more of the many features available. Such
innovations can make manufactured homes virtually indistinguishable
from their site-built counterparts.
With many manufacturers now using the latest in computer-assisted
design, homebuyers have the flexibility of selecting variations to
the floor plans and decors, including the color and thickness of the
carpeting. These options can include everything from the type of
exterior siding materials to energy-efficiency features to kitchen
HOMES OFFER STATE-OF-THE-ART OPTIONS AND DESIGNS
Homebuyers in the market for
affordable, technologically advanced housing realize that
manufactured homes can fill that need. There are approximately 22
million Americans living full time in 9.5 million manufactured
homes. A 2002 Owens Corning study, conducted by National Family
Opinion, found that 93 percent of manufactured home owners are
satisfied with their housing choice.
“Manufactured homes are becoming increasingly
appealing because of high quality construction materials,
architectural design innovations, enhanced amenities, ease of
maintenance, improved site options, and increased availability of
financing,” said Chris Stinebert, president of the Manufactured
Housing Institute, Arlington, Virginia.
Manufactured homes are more technologically
advanced then ever before. Homebuyers can chose from features such
as vaulted ceilings, walk-in closets, fireplaces, brand-name
appliances, and jacuzzi tubs. A variety of designs and features,
like bay windows, pitched roofs with shingles and gabled fronts, are
available to individualize the home's exterior. Manufactured homes
can be designed to be compatible with almost any neighborhood. A
growing number of manufacturers are now giving homebuyers more
control over choosing the right floor plan and interior to fit their
Single-section homes are constructed to be 12
to 16 feet wide and up to 80 feet in length. Multi-section homes are
usually two or more units joined together, that can range from 24 to
32 feet wide and up to 70 feet in length. Different styles range in
size from 400 square feet to over 2,500 square feet.
Although single-section and multisection
manufactured homes continue to be the most popular, two-story and
cape cod models
are increasingly being purchased as well. New technologies in the
factory and transportation process have allowed manufacturers to
build two-story models that are becoming popular with home builders
and developers alike. More recently, manufactured homes in a pilot
program in Seattle, Washington were built as townhomes. The future for
homes built in the factory is limitless.
It is easy to see why so many manufactured
home owners are satisfied. Not only do they have choices, but they
get more home for their money. The buyer of a manufactured home with
custom upgrades can still pay less than the cost of a “standard”
site built home. Manufactured homes generally cost 10-35 percent
less than a conventional site-built home.
Purchasing a new home is the single most
important investment a family will make. Anyone who has shopped for
a home knows how important, and confusing, it can be to purchase the
best while staying within a family's housing budget. However, the
effort and time spent on choosing the right home is worth it.
Knowledge is a homebuyer's best asset when
making shopping for a home. Consumers should look for homes that
complement their lifestyle and meet their needs, now and in the
future. For instance, if the buyer plans to age in the home, they
may want to consider lowered countertops or ground-level entry. Each
homebuyer should consider factors such as family size, composition,
lifestyle and personality.
While a mortgage payment may be a consumers
biggest expense. There are also other regular and periodic payments
to consider. They may include utilities, property taxes, land rental
fees, insurance, routine maintenance, and other service fees such as
water and sewer. Today’s manufactured homes are built to meet energy
standards set by HUD, and increasingly manufacturers are building to
the Energy Star standards. Energy conserving features help reduce
the homeowners monthly energy costs.
Several basic factors should be considered before beginning the
search for a suitable home. These factors include location, price,
room layout, floor plan, investment potential and quality of
construction and design. In addition, every family has their own
particular needs. Is this a starter home, a move-up home or a home
for the retirement years? Answering the following questions can help
buyers select a home that will serve them for many years to come:
• How do you want your home to look?
• What size home and floorplan do you want or need?
• Is it important for all rooms to be on one level for current or
• What custom options and features are available?
• Is a garage needed to provide space for garden equipment or other
• Is extra room needed to accommodate a home-based business?
• What appliance packages are available?
• Will the location meet your needs for schools, shopping and work?
• Is there potential for future renovations?
• Will this home require extensive maintenance?
If you are like most homebuyers, you will require a loan or mortgage
to finance your new home. The retail sales center where you buy your
home can provide information on financing and assist you in
submitting an application for a loan. You also have the option of
shopping for your own financing.
Most lenders require a minimum down payment of
5 to 10 percent and will have loan terms ranging from 15 to 30
If you are buying the home and the 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 purchase the manufactured home
separately from the land on which it will be located, it will
probably be financed as a personal property manufactured home loan.
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 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 home retailers can provide more
information on financing options available to you. You may also wish
to contact your manufactured housing state association.
According to the Census Bureau 69 percent of manufactured homes were
placed on private property in 2000. Buyers choosing this option must
consider zoning laws, restrictive covenants, and utility connection
regulations. A manufactured home retailer can help guide a homeowner
through the process.
Another option is to place the home in a
land-lease community specifically designed for manufactured homes.
Here, you own the home but lease the land. Placing the home in a
land-lease community involves fewer site considerations such as
Today’s modern manufactured home communities
offer attractive conveniences, recreational facilities and extensive
services. Many manufactured housing communities have the atmosphere
of a site built neighborhood, with wide city streets, curbs and
A third option is buying the home and land
together in a planned subdivision where site issues are handled by
For the consumer looking for quality,
affordability, and a solid investment; a manufactured home may be
the right choice. Today's manufactured homes feature quality
construction, durability, low maintenance, and a variety of floor
Whatever a homeowner chooses, they need to be
sure it fits their lifestyle. However, a manufactured home is
flexible enough to meet the needs of most homebuyers.