Used Manufactured Homes vs. New Manufactured Homes
In recent years, manufactured homes have become very energy-efficient. In fact, manufacturers now build to strict construction guidelines to ensure the energy efficiency of their water heaters, heating and cooling systems and high performance windows. Many now offer Energy Star appliances, high ceilings and quality fixtures along with ceramic tile and other amenities not always available in a standard on-site built home.
Many manufactured houses are constructed with a variety of desirable choices including fully equipped kitchens, vaulted ceilings, huge dining rooms, soaker bathtubs, jetted tubs, and walk-in closets. Some even have fireplaces, gabled roofs and bay windows. They are offered in a variety of shapes and colors and can be situated on private land or in a community where the land is leased.
Many of the beautifully landscaped communities are gated and offer high-level security, while others are available as an adult only community. Some communities provide a variety of amenities including fitness centers, walking trails, pools, and social activities.
The Many Benefits
This type of housing option is much cheaper to purchase or rent than traditional single-family homes, town houses and apartments. They are offered in a variety of sizes including large double and triple wide units with up to four bedrooms, or a small one or two bedroom home that resembles the ample size of a large apartment. In addition, these houses are much easier to maintain than a traditional on-site built home. Even so, many are manufactured with 2” x 4” and 2” x 6” construction on the exterior walls and high insulation values of up to R-11 in the floor and walls, and up to R-21 in the roof to keep the resident comfortable year-round.
For everyone interested in the manufactured housing market, there are now a variety of options for obtaining a loan on the home. Conventional loans are available through traditional financial institutions including local banks, along with the seller of the manufactured home. In addition, financing can be obtained through the federal housing agencies that include the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) and FHA (Federal Housing Administration). The federal agencies typically offer substantially lower rates and require a low or no down payment.
Appreciating in Value
For the homeowner, manufactured housing offers an ideal solution for building equity. With quality construction and ongoing maintenance, this type of housing option appreciates like a traditional site-built home. Its appreciating value is often a factor of the home’s initial price, current inflation, the local community, and the current housing market, along with the age of the house. As a result, it provides an affordable alternative to the purchase of a traditional home with many of the same creature comforts offered for a lot less money.
Setting up the home in a community avoids the hassle of purchasing expensive land, or being stuck at a long-term location. This serves as an excellent investment strategy, where the home can be rented out when it is no longer needed. In addition, it can be moved to a new location during times of job instability or other economic circumstances. In fact, there are lower property taxes and insurance costs involved with manufacturing housing when compared to a traditional on-site built home.
Every manufactured home in the United States is now constructed following the US Department of HUD (Housing and Urban Development). The strict standards regulate the durability, strength, energy efficiency and design of the home, along with its resistance to fire. The manufacturers of these homes remain confident in their workmanship and the materials used in construction. Because of that, most offer extensive warranties of up to five years. One of the advantages of manufactured housing is the quality control during the construction process.
Usually, there are no delays in having the house constructed in a factory. This is because a new home can be built much quicker than a traditional on-site house in an enclosed environment, eliminating typical delays often caused by inclement weather. Even a double wide that requires reassembly on-site can be made livable in as little as one day once both halves arrive by truck. In addition, all of the interior building materials avoid damage caused by bad weather because the entire unit is constructed indoors.
Buying Used or New
New manufactured housing is available in a huge assortment of floor plans, sizes and styles. Purchasing new allows the homeowner to select their desired size, style and price range. In addition, the potential homeowner can select the best and most desirable features and extras to create the ideal home of their dreams. In fact, due to competition, there are a variety of top-of-the-line manufacturers that offer a huge assortment of features and designs to build the ideal home. With a fast turnaround construction time, even double and triple wide homes can be built in less than half the time of a traditional on-site house.
Alternatively, a used home can save the potential homeowner a substantial amount of money over a new one. The lower-priced typically reflects is a lower monthly payment and down payment. However, their choices are usually limited to the available housing market. It is possible to find the ideal used home at a distant location and have it transported to the desired community or property. Because of that, buying used or new is really left to the preference of the potential homebuyer, and their ability to afford the house.
Manufactured housing offers a flexible and affordable alternative for the renter. It provides attractive benefits over purchasing a home that include:
- Living in a close-knit professionally managed community
- Renting at an affordable monthly cost
- The flexibility of an annual lease (or less)
- An affordable cost of renting a standalone home
- Access to a variety of community amenities including recreational centers and pools
In addition, renting offers an ideal solution for both the short-term and long-term renter. It provides the opportunity to rent for the short-term (2 to 5 years) where the purchase of a home might not return the investment in the same time. For the long-term renter, it offers the solution of an affordable price at a time when the pricing of traditional homes tend to be quickly on the rise.
This type of housing option provides the best fit for both families and older individuals that want to avoid the high rental cost of available apartments, townhouses and traditional on-site built single-family homes.
There is a financial advantage for both renters and first-time homebuyers interested in manufactured housing. These include lower costs with reduced monthly expenses, maintenance, and property taxes. With government and private lending available, it is easy to purchase or refinance a manufactured home at affordable prices and interest rates. Money is available from mortgage brokers, banks, mobile home dealers, credit unions, and other lenders.
For the renter, there is a wide selection of housing options available to meet the needs of the individual and small or large family. Now, anyone can afford to purchase or rent a home at reasonable prices.