Homeownership is a big dream for many. One of the choices available to U.S. home buyers is manufactured homes. Typically priced much lower than traditional site-built homes, manufactured homes are particularly attractive to young families just starting out.
Pros & Cons of a Manufactured Home
A manufactured home can be described as a home formerly known as a mobile home, much improved. For a more technical definition, a manufactured home is a factory-built home. Today’s manufactured homes bear little resemblance to the mobile homes of yesterday. They usually offer a choice of floor plans and interior options and can range from basic models to elaborate designs featuring vaulted ceilings, drywall, fully equipped modern kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs and whirlpools.
Another fact to consider about today’s manufactured homes is that they’re not really mobile. They are meant to be moved only once. So when purchasing a manufactured home, it’s important to decide where you are going to put it. Your choices are buying or leasing a plot of land or leasing a lot in a manufactured home community.
Moving into an established community will give you access to the utilities and amenities of the community, at an extra cost, and you will be bound by the community’s rules and regulations. Setting your house on your own land, on the other hand, will give you more freedom and help maintain, and potentially increase the value ofyour home. Most manufactured homes are sold through retailers offering new and pre-owned options. You may also find existing manufactured homes through real estate agents, on general real estate listing websites and online manufactured home marketplaces. In some states, you can buy from the owner of manufactured home development.
When financing a manufactured home, you may have more limited choices than financing a site-built home. Unless you own the land on which your home will sit, your purchase will be considered personal property rather than real estate and you will have to take what’s called a chattel loan rather than a mortgage loan. Chattel loans typically come with higher interest rates, shorter loan terms, and fewer consumer protections.
Be sure to consider the pros and cons of manufactured homes.
- Construction delays minimized – built at one facility, in controlled environment, unaffected by weather
- Shorter completion time – streamlined construction processes and stockpiled materials
- Select your features and finishes – some level of personalization is usually available
- Peace of mind – reliable quality and safety standards, built to the HUD Code
- Within your budget – more affordable than stick-built homes
- Availability and cost of suitable land
- Extra costs imposed by manufactured home community
- Fewer choices and higher costs of financing
- Fewer personalization options and amenities
- Lingering stigma of mobile homes
- Questionable long-term value; slower, if any, appreciation
Manufactured homes offer an affordable homeownership option for some families, and the improvements in their quality and safety have made them a more desirable option in recent decades. For more information regarding different home types or real estate in St. George, contact our office.
Image Cullen328, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons