7 Myths About Manufactured Homes

By: Susan
September 03, 2013

When it comes time to buy a new home, many potential home buyers often look solely at condos and single-family homes, leaving out a fantastic option – manufactured homes. These types of homes are often overlooked because of all the myths floating around. To help debunk these, here are seven myths that need to be addressed:

Myth #1: They Lose Value

This is a myth that you’re going to hear quite often, and it’s so far from the truth, it’s laughable. Unlike cars that lose value the minute they leave the lot, data has shown that manufactured homes can appreciate just like any other form of housing. Studies have shown that the land the manufactured home sits on can help increase the value over time.

Aside from the land, other factors that help the value include:

  • Location of the land
  • Age of the home
  • Housing market
  • Inflation rates
  • Availability in the area

Myth #2: They Don’t Last

Oftentimes, people think that manufactured homes aren’t built from the same materials that traditional single-family homes are made from. Once again, this is far from the truth.

These homes are actually made from the same materials that site-built homes are made from. The only difference that you’re going to notice with the building process is that the home is going to be built in a controlled factory environment. Here, the building materials will be protected from harsh weather and vandalism.

Built to abide by the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, also known as HUD Code, potential buyers can be comfortable knowing that strict standards had to be met before the home could be shipped to a lot. These standards allow the homes to be durable, fire resistant and efficient. On average, these homes last at least 55 years.

Myth #3: They Look Like a Trailer

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Sadly, this is a myth that just won’t go away. Yes, back in the day, a manufactured home could have resembled a trailer that you see in the parks. However, this isn’t the case anymore. They are just like any other home. You can make them your own through creative decor, custom modifications, and landscaping. The best part is you often get twice the square footage for what you would pay for in a normal house or apartment.

Today, these homes could fit right in the neighborhood that you live in today. Builders offer hundreds of options, designs, floor plans and models. Popular models include:

  • Cape Cods
  • California Bungalows
  • Stucco

With so many options available, it’s incredibly easy to build a house that you have dreamed of.

Myth #4: No Safety

Since a lot of people think these homes are similar to a trailer, they also think they won’t be safe because of this very reason.

Manufactured homes are not only safe, but they could possibly be the safest type of home to live in. According to multiple reports issued by fire departments around the United States, single-family homes are twice as likely to experience a fire. Why is this?

As mentioned above, these homes have to meet strict HUD construction and safety standards that went into effect in 1976. Some features that the HUD code requires is:

  • Egress windows in all bedrooms
  • Smoke detectors
  • At least two exterior doors
  • Each bedroom must have at least 50 square feet in space
  • Kitchen and bathroom must have a mechanical ventilation system

Aside from fires, another concern are disastrous natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and wind. Current building codes are designed to help homes withstand wind damage up to 110 miles per hour. So if you think you’re going to be safer in a single-family home, you will want to think again. High winds and powerful tornadoes are going to do damage to any home, regardless of how it was made.

Myth #5: Financing Issues

Back in the day, manufactured homes were deemed personal property because they were sold without the land. Because of this very reason, buyers found it very hard to get a loan. This isn’t the case today.

Today, potential buyers can get loans through the manufactured home company, local credit unions or a bank. Since the lenders are offered loan insurance through the Federal Housing Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs, banks are willing to finance these just like any other real estate transaction. Not only that, over 90 percent of transactions today are placed on permanent foundations on private land.

Myth #6: Nobody Lives in One

If you’re thinking to yourself that no one lives in a manufactured home, it’s time to think again. According to a recent study, more than 18 million Americans live happily in a manufactured home. Remember, even if you’re looking for these homes along the road, it’s going to be hard to spot them since most of them today are going to be unique.

Myth #7: Not Energy Efficient

Too many people think that the roofs are weak, the insulation is poor and the walls are as thin as paper. Again, another misconception that has to be debunked.

Unlike a cheap apartment where you can hear your neighbors, the average manufactured home is built with gypsum drywall that allows the wall to be more than four inches thick. In between the walls sits highly rated insulation, similar to a single-family home, creating a cozy atmosphere in the hot and colder months. These high insulation standards can help lower utility bills and keep the house quiet from outside noise.

Sadly, the public has a poor image of this amazing home industry. Leading the way in safety and construction technology, potential home buyers are slowly realizing how great this opportunity can be. As an attractive, unique and affordable option, there’s no reason to consider anything else.

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