Manufactured homes have become equally suitable for either seasonal use or year-round residences. There are factors to consider, just as in any home acquisition, and the potential savings are sufficiently substantial to make a close look well worthwhile.
Some pros of manufactured home ownership
1. The cost of construction materials is typically a good bit lower than for a conventional stick-built project, due to volume purchasing;
2. There is much less material waste in the assembly-line construction process;
3. A factory-built home is built in a few weeks, compared to several months for a site-build;
4. Substantial savings can be realized in the factory environment, due to a constant work-flow;
5. Construction sites often suffer theft and vandalism issues – this is eliminated in the factory setting;
6. Exposure to the elements can damage site materials, while in the factory, materials are protected;
7. Material delivery delays can stop all site work, but plant managers don’t have that problem;
8. Inclement weather ruins site construction schedules, resulting not only in work stoppages during the storm, but for several days afterward, waiting for the site to dry out;
9. Site workers usually work only a single shift, 5 days per week, while factories can run multiple shifts, all week long.
These factors combine to allow a new owner to take possession for about 40% lower cost per square foot. Factoring in the finance cost can equate to a savings of over $170K on a $150K factory-built home, vs. a comparable site-built house. That alone should be enough to warrant a close look.
While many may never take advantage of the possibility, the ability to relocate the home relatively inexpensively can be another major plus.
Some cons exist, too
• In some areas, local jurisdictions are limiting the number of mobile or manufactured homes, although removing the axles may bypass such restrictions. This is sometimes the case in areas prone to severe conditions that are seen as especially hazardous for factory-built homes, like earthquakes, tornados or hurricanes;
• A manufactured home may need to be set on a concrete foundation in order to be classified as a “conventional” home;
• Some insurance carriers won’t ensure manufactured homes, also citing their supposed inability to withstand severe conditions. Many jurisdictions, though, require insurers to provide such insurance;
• Some finance companies won’t finance “non-conventional” homes. As a result, many manufacturers now offer their own financing;
• Site-built homes will usually appreciate in value more rapidly than factory-built houses. Again, this is because of the spurious belief that manufactured homes don’t last as long. There was a time that manufactured homes even depreciated in value, but this has been largely overcome.
How does the quality compare?
Local agencies normally set the same standards as for site-built homes, so material and methods issues are similar. In fact, in some ways, manufacturers have the advantage.
• Factory workers often repeat the same task several times each day, while site workers may only do so once every few months;
• Factories check for quality compliance of materials, while such checks are rarely performed on site;
• Suppliers won’t risk losing a huge account by sending low quality materials to a factory, but may have few qualms about doing so with a contractor that only orders once or twice per year.
Thus, an argument can be made that the workmanship and material quality of a factory-built home is probably equal to or higher than that of a site-built home.
What’s the downside?
• cost close to half as much;
• are completed in a fraction of the time;
• will be of the same, if not better, quality;
• can result in interest savings of tens of thousands of dollars;
• will accrue significantly lower property taxes;
• will give many decades of use;
• will appreciate in value;
• can be relocated;
• can serve as either full-time residences or a seasonal vacation homes;
• need no more maintenance than any other construction method.
There is no downside, apparently.
Complete Mobile Home Supply, where we try to make mobile home living as comfortable and fun as can be. At Complete Mobile Home Supply you can get the latest in mobile home supplies. From vinyl skirting to complete kitchens, we have the mobile home parts you need to make your house a home.