September 11, 2018

Myth vs. Fact: Manufactured Homes

When you think of manufactured housing, the words "modern", "sustainable", and "energy–efficient" probably don't come to mind. However, today's manufactured homes often feature modern, high–quality design options and custom home features comparable to site–built homes. Floor plans range from basic to elaborate, with vaulted or tray ceilings, fully–equipped, state of–the–art kitchens, and walk–in closets.

In fact, it's getting harder to tell the difference between a factory–built and a site–built home. Except that the average price of a new manufactured home is $71,600 versus $372,900 for a new site–built home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here are five prevalent manufactured housing myths and the facts that debunk them.

Myth: They're less expensive because they're made with cheap materials.
Fact: Manufactured homes are made with the same standard building materials as site–built homes. These homes are more affordable because of efficiencies in the factory–building process and not because of inferior materials.

Myth: They're trailers.
Fact: Manufactured homes are not trailers. They're built in a factory and must meet or exceed the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (HUD Code.) They're secured on a permanent, nonremovable steel frame (chassis) and can be titled as real or personal property, whereas "trailers" or "mobile homes" are built on wheels that can be pulled by a vehicle.

Myth: They're unsafe.
Fact: Manufactured homes are built entirely in a factory under controlled conditions and inspected per HUD's safety standards for design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, heating, plumbing, air–conditioning, thermal and electrical systems and overall home quality.

Myth: They're more vulnerable to storm, hurricane and tornado damage.
Fact: Having the HUD code seal of approval ensures that a manufactured home meets regional standards for roof load, wind resistance, thermal efficiency, safety and durability.

Myth: You're confined to living in a trailer park.
Fact: Actually, you can install your manufactured home on vacant land that you own or lease land or in a manufactured housing community (MHC). Many MHCs offer security, amenities, neighbors and a sense of community.

Through the Duty to Serve initiative, we're working with borrowers, lenders, nonprofit housing organizations and other industry stakeholders to change these old perceptions about manufactured housing by evolving it. When done responsibly, manufactured housing serves a critical need in this country for affordable housing.