Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, are not just the stuff of trailer parks anymore. Consumers today are quickly realizing that manufactured homes are another way to achieve their dream home. The numerous advantages make it the perfect option for a first time home-buyer. Not sure if one is right for you? Read this article for a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of buying manufactured homes.

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What are the pros and cons of buying manufactured homes?

When it comes down to evaluating the pros and cons of buying manufactured homes, there are several key factors to consider. We’ll look at quality, cost, construction, and design.

The Pros

High quality

Manufactured homes have improved considerably in recent years. At this point, they even compete with standard, stick-built homes. In fact, the quality may be higher than traditional homes. Manufactured homes are made in a factory setting, which means that the construction process is under very intense quality control.

Manufactured homes must be durable enough to withstand transportation. They are built using jigs and other machinery that help increase the quality of the home. Lag bolts, for example, are better compared to nails or reinforcement straps, which on-site builders use.

Low cost

One of the major advantages of choosing a manufactured home is the affordability. These homes cost a lot less compared to stick-built homes of the same style and size. Since manufactured homes are built in a controlled environment, they are easier for workers to complete on time.

wood house

Selecting a manufactured home can also mean choosing a larger home because they come with more square-footage for the same price compared to smaller, traditional homes. If your budget is limited, purchasing a manufactured home can be a comfortable alternative to renting, and at a competitive price.

Improved design

In the past, manufactured homes have had a bad reputation of being cheap and low-quality. However, modern homes are required to meet strict, regulated standards to ensure that they are made to last.  In many cases, manufactured homes are sturdier than other traditional homes. Design options have also improved over the years. It is possible to add many customizations, such as decks, walk-in closets, and fireplaces.

Controlled manufacturing environment

Traditional houses are vulnerable to the elements during construction. Exposure to moisture from rain or snow can lead to deterioration in the home. Unlike traditional homes, manufactured homes are not exposed to the elements because they are built indoors in a controlled environment.

Construction speed

Manufactured homes are constructed a lot faster compared to on-site homes. While an average residence could take months to complete, a mobile home could take just a few weeks to finish. When it comes to stick-built homes, there are so many opportunities for delays. The materials – usually sourced from different parts of the country – can be delayed if suppliers are unable to distribute materials to the builder at the right time. However, because manufactured homes are built directly by the manufacturers, materials are readily available and in abundance to get the job done fast. If you have a time constraint in transitioning to a new home, a manufactured home will save you a lot of time.

The Cons

Financing and miscellaneous costs

Despite the fact that manufactured homes are quite cheap, it does not mean that they are always affordable to buyers. In most cases, you’ll need to pay upfront. If you cannot afford to do that, it is tough to find financing for a mobile home. Most manufacturers offer their customers in-house financing options, but the interest rates are usually very high.

There are more and more lenders who are willing to provide financing for manufactured homes than before. So before ruling out the possibility of owning one, check to see if you qualify. FHA loans will cover manufactured homes. But manufactured homes don’t qualify for USDA loans. The home you purchase will also need to fit stringent guidelines to meet the financial restriction, like having a permanent foundation. Inspections are usually very involved, and closing is bound to take longer than with other homes.

In addition to all that, you need to pay for the land separately. In some cases, you will find a property designed for manufactured homes that only requires financing or a down payment for the land. However, in other situations, you might have to pay for setting up the utilities, which can be more expensive.

Limited design

Because manufactured homes are built before purchase and installation, there isn’t much variety. As a buyer, you will get a set of floor plans to pick from, so additional amenities may be limited. From the outside, almost all manufactured homes look the same. Even if you are willing to add-on at your own expense, you must get approval and meet the requirements for your township/county.

floor plans

Low resale value

Despite the fact that manufactured homes have increased in value and quality, the resale value of your manufactured home is much less than other homes. It might also prove difficult to find a willing buyer when you want to sell.

Ownership

These are some of the pros and cons of buying manufactured homes. The decision to purchase one may also depend on whether you’re already a landowner. Do you own the land where you will place your home or do you simply own the home and lease the land? Owning just the home and not the property comes with its disadvantages because once you install your home, it will be difficult to move it. You’ll also need to adhere to your landowner’s requirements. Additionally, the rental land rates might increase with time, lowering your resale value. However, if you do own property, a manufactured home on a well-located site is likely to appreciate in value and is more convenient overall.

Have these pros and cons of buying manufactured homes helped you decide whether home ownership is right for you?

About Dan Leighton

Dan Leighton has been working in the mobile home industry for over a decade. His focus has been on sales and customer relations - making sure each person in the transaction is comfortable and fully transparent. He has a wife and one son. Dan continues to look for innovative ways to help both sellers and parks get the most bang for their buck.