To help in your search for a new home, we’ve tried to answer some of the more commonly asked questions about manufactured housing.
The construction of all manufactured homes marketed in this country is strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (or the HUD Code). In many cases, manufacturers view the HUD Code as minimum performance standards – and exceed mandated standards in their basic designs and offer buyers option packages with upgrades for increased energy efficiency and overall performance.
The HUD Code encompasses not only the construction of the home, but also the performance of heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, thermal and electrical systems.
Many types of financial institutions and service companies – including banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and consumer finance companies – offer loan programs for manufactured home buyers. These companies can offer a number of types of consumer, conventional and government-insured financing, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA), USDA/Rural Development and other loan programs.
As for their investment possibilities, manufactured homes can retain – and gain – value when placed in the proper environment, installed and maintained properly, and treated as a long-term housing investment.
While manufactured homes are more affordable than most other types of housing, the reasons lie in the inherent advantages of any on-going production process.
Manufacturers purchase their building materials in volume – allowing the homes to be built with the highest quality materials and components. Because they are built in a controlled environment utilizing a systems-engineered production method, there are no costly weather delays in the construction process. Manufactured homes are less labor-intensive and require a shorter production time than site-built alternatives.
Independent studies and research by the National Fire Protection Association confirm that the incidence of fire is actually lower in a HUD Code manufactured home than a site-built home.
And construction requirements for wind resistance for manufactured homes are equal to, or in certain areas of the country – even more stringent than the requirements for site-built housing. And, recent revisions to the HUD Code called for enhanced structural features and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes sold and placed in high wind areas – like the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal regions.
While most manufacturers adhere to common sizes for both single and multi-section units, today’s manufactured homes come in a variety of floorplan designs to meet almost anyone’s housing needs. Available options in exterior materials, colors and interior amenities – like fireplaces, whirlpool baths, walk-in closets and quality built-in appliances – give homebuyers an array of choices in their selection of a new home.