10 Advantages to Owning or Renting a Manufactured Home

By: HomeFirst Certified
September 05, 2013

Manufactured homes are constructed in factories and then transported to their final location. They are also known as prefabricated or “prefab” homes. Approximately 22 million Americans live in these homes. They have allowed the dream of home ownership to be realized by those who would otherwise not have been able to afford their own home. They present a number of advantages when compared to homes that are constructed on site. Those advantages include:

1.They are More Affordable

Not only are they significantly cheaper to build, they sell for a lot less as well. The building costs of a prefabricated home can be anywhere from 10 to 35 percent less than that of a site-built home. The lower cost is largely because they are assembled in factories; this allows manufacturers to save money by purchasing materials in greater quantity. This is not possible for most contractors or developers who are building site-built homes. The danger of loss due to damage from weather or to theft is also limited since construction takes place indoors and away from the site. There are additional savings after construction since owners of prefabricated homes pay less in taxes than owners of traditional homes. Homebuyers have flexibility in that they are able to rent land on which to place their home rather than purchase a lot along with it.

2. They Have Fewer Problems in the Building Process

These homes are built on assembly lines under strict guidelines, whereas site-built homes are constructed from scratch. Contractors do not have the same kind of oversight as home manufacturers and therefore the quality of a standard home may not be as consistent. In addition, contractors regularly face certain problems such as cost-overruns and construction work being slowed by weather; these are greatly limited with factory-built homes.

3. Construction is Faster

Once a foundation and utilities are in place, the assembly of a prefabricated home takes about a third of the time compared to a site-built home. Delays in traditional construction are common. Also, site-built homes are not typically built by one crew of workers. Multiple teams of contractors and subcontractors are used to carry out the construction of most standard homes, this can slow down the building process. With most prefabricated homes, a single team of workers builds the home; this makes the process faster and more efficient. Another factor is that the construction of these homes is almost complete by the time it gets to the homebuyer’s property. This allows builders to finish it at a fast pace while still adhering to building codes. Factory-built homes are inspected by building inspectors just like homes that are built on site.

4. They are Customizable

Owners of prefabricated homes have the option to add porches, decks and garages to suit their needs. Manufacturers offer a wide range of layouts, so that homebuyers can choose the one that best fits their lifestyle. They also have a range of interior finishes so that the homebuyer is not limited when it comes to décor either. Factory-built homes can be customized with the homebuyer’s choice of carpet, hardwood floors or upscale plumbing fixtures to suit their budget and taste.

Manufactured Home Decorating

5. More Energy Efficient

The latest manufactured homes are designed to reduce the homeowner’s/renter’s energy costs. Not only can they come with Energy Star appliances, they may also be built with materials that are more energy efficient than those used in site-built homes. The homes themselves are energy efficient and thus “green;” the construction of prefabricated homes uses less energy as well.

6. Reduced Waste in the Construction Process

Unlike traditional construction, not a lot of materials are wasted when putting together manufactured homes. When there are construction materials left over, they can often be recycled.

7. They Provide Multiple Community Options

Owners have options regarding the location of their prefabricated home. These homes may be located on private property or they may choose to rent land instead. They may reside in gated communities or place the structure on their own land away from other homes. Unlike old fashioned mobile homes, there is no need for them to be limited to a trailer park.

8. They Gain Value Over Time

Today’s manufactured homes are vastly different from the mobile homes of yesteryear. Designs, materials and construction methods have changed so that homes that are made in a factory can stand the test of time and appreciate in value just like homes built on site. As with standard construction, the value of the home depends largely on the housing market in the area and how well the structure has been maintained.

9. There are Warranties are Available

Unlike standard construction, prefabricated homes usually come with a warranty. The home itself may be covered by the warranty, as well as various elements of the construction like plumbing and siding. In some cases, home manufacturers may even offer extended warranties.

10. They Are Safer

There is a stigma associated with prefabricated homes. Some people confuse them with the mobile homes of earlier times that were frail and easily damaged in harsh weather conditions. Modern factory-built homes tend to be equally or more structurally sound than site-built homes; this is because all aspects of the construction process are carefully monitored. Those who are weighing the pros and cons of these homes should bear in mind that they are not only designed to withstand weather, but the rigors of transportation as well. They are engineered to stand up to hurricane force winds; there are also laws that mandate the installation of smoke detectors and the limited use of combustible materials in the areas around furnaces and water heaters.

Home ownership in the United States has increased dramatically in the last decade, this is largely due to the popularity of manufactured housing. Not only do lower income families now have the option of owning homes, they are able to get many of the amenities that were previously the exclusive province of those who owned standard homes.

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