Why Should I Consider A Manufactured Home?
If you're looking to get the most out of your "housing
dollar", you need to consider a manufactured home. Depending on the region of
the country, construction costs per square foot for a new manufactured home
average anywhere from 10 to 35 percent less than a comparable site-built home,
excluding the cost of land. Today's manufactured homes offer the quality
construction, modern amenities and livability you are seeking at a price that
fits your lifestyle and your budget!
How Is A Manufactured Home Different From A Site-Built
A manufactured home is constructed entirely in a controlled factory environment,
built to the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (better
known as the HUD Code). A site-built home is built "on-site" using traditional
building techniques that meet either a local or state building code.
Isn't "Manufactured Home" Just A Fancy Name For A Mobile Home?
Starting in 1976, the HUD Code established a stringent series of construction
and safety standards that ensure that today's manufactured homes are superior to
"mobile homes," the term used for factory-built homes produced prior to the
introduction of the HUD Code. Today's manufactured homes are dramatically
different in appearance from the "mobile homes" of yesterday with estimates that
more than 90 percent of today's manufactured homes never move from their
original site. Manufactured homes, like site-built homes, are now available in a
variety of designs, floor plans, and amenities. Today's manufactured homes are
indistinguishable from site-built homes and are fully compatible with any
neighborhood architectural style.
Do Manufactured Homes Use The Same Building Materials and Processes?
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Today's manufactured homes are built with the same building materials as
site-built homes, but in a controlled factory environment where quality of
construction is invariably superior to what can be done outdoors.
How Can I Be Sure That A Manufactured Home Is A Quality-Built Home?
The HUD Code regulates and monitors the manufactured home's design and
construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy
efficiency and overall quality. It also sets standards for the heating,
plumbing, air-conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. The HUD Code also
ensures compliance with these standards with a thorough inspection system that
takes place at each step as the home is being constructed in the factory.
Is The HUD-Code Less Stringent Than State Or Local Building Codes?
No. While there are some differences between the codes, this difference has more
to do with how the codes are intended to operate. While state or local building
codes are basically prescriptive, meaning that they prescribe what type of
lumber or what type of electric wire must be used in the construction of a home,
the HUD-Code is more focused on performance, allowing the manufacturer to use
products that are most compatible with the factory-building process as long as
these products perform according to the guidelines established in the HUD Code.
Independent analyses comparing the state or local building codes with the HUD
Code have found that "on balance, the codes are comparable" and "the net
cumulative effect of the differences between the two codes is more likely on the
order of hundreds of dollars, rather than thousands of dollars per unit." In
some cases, the local or state codes are more restrictive, while the HUD Code is
the more restrictive in other situations such as ventilation, flame spread, and
While you should perform minor repairs and upkeep on the home, just as with any home, it is advisable to hire a professional for more extensive repairs and renovations. Your homeowner's manual outlines maintenance requirements.
Once your home has left the factory, the HUD Code does not include provisions for additions and alterations. Such modifications may jeopardize your home warranty. They may also create malfunctions or an unsafe home.
An approved addition should be a free-standing structure that meets local building codes, and you may need a construction permit from local authorities.
Failure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on maintenance and renovations can void the manufacturer's warranty, as well as lessen the value and life of your home.
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Generally, a home is a great investment. Appreciation on any home - either site-built or manufactured - is affected by the same factors: the desirability and stability of the community, supply and demand for homes in the local market, and maintenance and upkeep of the home. When properly installed and maintained, today's manufactured homes will appreciate the same as surrounding site-built homes.
The HUD Code regulates and monitors the manufactured home's design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and overall quality. It also sets standards for the heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. The HUD Code also ensures compliance with these standards with a thorough inspection system that takes place at each step as the home is being constructed in the factory.
There are major benefits to having your home built in a factory:
All aspects of the construction process are quality controlled.
The weather doesn't interfere with construction, cause costly delays and warp or damage building materials.
All technicians, craftsmen and assemblers are on the same team and professionally supervised.
Inventory is better controlled and materials are protected from theft and weather-related damage.
All construction materials, as well as interior features and appliances, are purchased in volume for additional savings.
All aspects of construction are continually inspected by not one, but several, inspectors.
NOTE: Homes built prior to 1976 may or may not comply with current HUD
codes. That determination would need to be made by a qualified
Mobile/Manufactured Homed inspector.
Like any home, while your mortgage payment may be your biggest expense, you will have other regular and periodic expenses, such as property taxes and service fees for water and utilities.
While, theoretically, a manufactured home can be moved after its initial placement, it is neither common nor advisable to do so. If you relocate, make sure you use a professional transporter; never try to move the home yourself. Cost is another consideration in moving the home. Besides transport expenses, which include licensing fees to take your home through a state, you'll have to pay for a new foundation, installation, and utility hook-ups.
Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. As a matter of fact, a national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire as manufactured homes. Fire resistance provisions of the HUD Code include strict standards for fire retardation and smoke generation in materials, large windows in all bedrooms, smoke alarms, and at least two exterior doors which must be separate from each other and reachable without having to pass through other doors that can be locked. Site-built homes are required to have only one exterior door and no "reachability" requirement.