A Beginner’s Guide to Manufactured Homes

Finding a new place to live is no easy task. Even trying to do a simple search for places to live to get a basic idea of what’s out there can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed by options: houses, apartments, condos, duplexes, rental properties, properties to own. You might also see some listings for manufactured homes for some incredible prices. But a lot of people aren’t very familiar with manufactured homes, so you might be wondering about what, exactly, a manufactured home is or what benefits they have to offer.

What Is a Manufactured Home?

Manufactured homes are a type home that is built fully indoors in a factory, then transported to its intended site for installation. These homes are built according to strict codes set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since manufactured homes are built in factories, they have the advantage of being constructed using a highly-efficient building process that cuts down on the total construction time and helps keep the total cost of the home down.

Many people refer to manufactured homes as mobile homes or modular homes, but the reality is that manufactured homes are neither of those things. While many manufactured homes can be relocated after it’s been installed at its original location, moving them isn’t nearly as easy as the word “mobile” suggests and the vast majority of all manufactured homes stay at their original site.

Modular homes are also built in factories, but they’re quite different from manufactured homes. When a manufactured home leaves the factory, it leaves in an almost complete state. Modular homes are built in sections and are transported to the home’s site in sections. Modular homes are also built to a different set of building codes than manufactured homes are. Manufactured homes also have a permanent steel chassis, as required by the HUD code, to help with moving the home to its site. Modular homes do not have this chassis.

Are There Many Style Options for Manufactured Homes?

Manufactured homes are available in all sorts of styles, floorplans, and sizes and can come with all sorts of nice features. The manufactured homes you’ll find in HomeFirst™ communities range in size up to 2,300 square feet and many of the homes have spectacular features like walk-in closets, big garden tubs, kitchen islands, fireplaces, recessed lighting, pantries, plenty of cabinet space, separate laundry rooms, and so much more. In HomeFirst™ communities, every home comes with its own outdoor storage shed and there’s always the option to add a garage if you don’t already have one.

If you can’t find the home of your dreams in a manufactured home community, you have the option to have one custom built for you. Companies that make manufactured homes have a huge variety of floorplans to choose from and they can customize the home to meet your own personal preferences.

Where Can I Live in a Manufactured Home?

When you live in a manufactured home, there are two main ways you can do so: you can have the home placed on a lot of privately-owned land or you can live in a manufactured home community. Having your manufactured home on privately-owned land is the more expensive and high maintenance option since you not only need to pay for the land and its taxes, you’re fully responsible for taking care of the land. Manufactured home communities, such as HomeFirst™, are typically land-lease communities. With land-lease communities, even if you own your home, you lease the land it sits on. The advantage to this arrangement is that you don’t have to pay property taxes since you don’t own the land and the community management is in charge of maintaining the common areas of the community.

Living in a manufactured home community can also give you access to a lot of nice amenities that you might not have if you were to put your manufactured home on your own land. For example, many of HomeFirst™’s communities have swimming pools, fitness rooms, athletic courts, and playgrounds, all conveniently located right within the community.

Can I Afford a Manufactured Home?

Since manufactured homes are considerably more affordable than site-built homes, they’re a fantastic option for anyone who thought they just wouldn’t be able to own a home, whether it’s because they don’t have good credit or live on modest means. Even if you were to order a brand new manufactured home and have it customized to your own personal, it would still be much less expensive than buying a site-built home of comparable size.

Now that you know a little bit more about manufactured homes, do you think you might be interested in living in one? If so, we’d love to help you find a home! HomeFirst™ has manufactured homes for sale in communities found in some of Michigan’s premier locations. If renting is a better option for you, we also have manufactured homes to rent, too! Contact us today if you have any questions.

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