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The Ins and Outs of Purchasing Your First Manufactured Home


What is a manufactured home?

A manufactured home is a home built in a factory, according to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, commonly known as the HUD code. These federal standards regulate all aspects of construction, including design and construction strength, durability, transportability, fire resistance, and energy efficiency. The HUD-Code is periodically updated based on recommendations of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, comprised of a balanced group of users, producers, general interest and public officials who meet on a regular basis to work on recommendations for revisions to the MHCSS. Prior to the 1976 code, manufactured homes were known as mobile homes or trailers

Manufactured Homes, or HUD code homes, come in one to three sections, commonly known as single wide, double wide, or triple wide. They have a variety of features, trim levels, price points, just like site-built homes. Their prices range from high value homes at around $50,000, to a large, luxury homes that cost upwards of $200,000. The higher priced models will have features such as garden tubs, granite throughout the home, hardwood floors, energy star appliances, and even smart home technology. Because of the technology in the building process, builders are able to put just about any feature imaginable in a new manufactured home. The sky truly is the limit.

When did manufactured homes first come on the market?

Manufactured homes were originally built to help those that needed to move around frequently. We can trace the origins back to the 1950s, when travel trailers owners started leaving their trailers in one place, and permanently connecting it to local utilities. And in 1956, builders introduced homes that were 10 feet wide, which solidified the line between mobile home and travel trailer. Throughout the 60s and 70s, the homes became even larger and more difficult to move, which warranted re-classification. Thus in 1976, the federal government create the HUD code, and the manufactured home was born.

Why should you buy a manufactured home?

The answer is simple: value. Manufactured homes offer the most value of any home product on the market today. And don’t confuse value with “cheap” or “poor quality”. Manufactured homes are held to the same building codes as site built homes, and they come in at every price point imaginable, from $50,000 to $300,000+. The advantage of a manufactured home is that your money will go a lot further than it would in a comparable site built home.

In 2021, the median price per square foot for a new site built home was $150. For a manufactured home, the median price per square foot is around $80. That’s nearly a 50% drop. And like we said above, these homes are not low quality. Builders are able to keep their price affordable because of their construction method. Manufactured homes are built in a factory. Factories are able to purchase materials in bulk, build homes on an assembly line, and avoid weather delays – all which help them build homes more efficiently. This efficiency is what enables them to keep costs down and offer a better price to the consumer.

Where can you purchase a manufactured home?

Manufactured Homes are sold in every state in the country, from Alaska to Florida to New York and everywhere in between. New homes are sold through a dealer network, much like cars, boats, and RVs. If you’re looking to buy a new home, you will need to either go to a manufactured home retailer or community with a retailer’s license. These two businesses will purchase the homes in bulk from the manufacturer, and sell them to home buyers. The retailer or community will also assist with financing, insurance, delivery of the home, and installing the home on your property. Pre-owned manufactured homes are sold much like an existing site built home. They are listed on the MLS, and you can find them on real estate sites such as Zillow,, and Trulia.

How do you purchase a manufactured home?

Purchasing a manufactured home is very similar to purchasing a site built home. The first step is figuring out what type of home you need. You may know this already, or you may need to visit a manufactured home sales center to tour some homes. These are located all over the country and will usually have several homes on display. Try and walk through all the homes at sales center and look for things that interest you. Pay attention to size, finish, floorplan, exterior appearance, and interior features. Buying a new home is large purchase, and you need to spend time figuring out exactly what you want in your new manufactured home.

Next, you will need to find property for your home. If you already have property, you’re good to go here. If not, you will need to seek out the help of a realtor to find property for sale in your area. You can also look on websites such as Zillow or Trulia to help you find land for sale. When you’re looking, keep zoning in mind as some areas unfortunately do not allow manufactured housing.

Once you have your home and land picked out, you will need to work out financing. Cash is always an option, but for many, the cost of a new home and land is too much for a cash purchase. Fortunately, there are many manufactured home finance companies available in the market. Interest rates, down payment requirements, and term lengths will all vary based on the buyer and the manufactured home they choose. Rest assured that there are A LOT of financing options, and lenders have programs available for just about every type of buyer.

Who’s buying manufactured homes in 2021?

In the wake of the housing affordability crisis from Covid-19, site-built homes have become increasingly and prohibitively expensive. Lower- and middle-income workers have been priced out of the site-built housing market, and they are looking for an affordable alternative. Manufactured Housing is that alternative. Whereas twenty years ago manufactured homes were only in rural, lower income areas, we are now seeing manufactured homes delivered to all sorts of neighborhoods all over the country. Millennials, Gen Z, Boomers, and all other generations are purchasing and enjoying life in their new manufactured homes.

If you’ve decided that manufactured housing is the best option for you, we’d love to help you in that process by providing you with an affordable, service-oriented insurance option. Click here to head over to our application and start the insurance process today.

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