From nomadic caravans of the past to modern manufactured housing units, the typical mobile home is fast changing all over the world! According to President Biden’s affordable housing plan, manufactured homes may well be the way forward for affordable housing. With big industry giants like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae pushing for liquidity on loans that cover manufactured homes that are allocated as personal property, we are on the cusp of seeing more manufactured and prefabricated homes being the norm, rather than outlying, and alternative real estate options. With the help of the federal government, the mobile/manufactured home market is set to do more business than ever over the next few years, and may become commonplace as an affordable housing solution for the average American.
In light of this, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about mobile homes, and debunk some common stereotypes about these affordable, design friendly housing units!
Facts about mobile home living:
- Surprisingly, the largest groups of mobile-home residents are in the 18-29 year age range, closely followed by people between 50-59. This indicates that mobile home living has a broad appeal to both millennials and older age groups.
- Manufactured homes are incredibly space-friendly, giving you more space for your money. Ranging from $40-$50 per sq. ft. manufactured homes consistently cost less than site-built homes, all across the country.
- Most mobile homes are actually quite expensive to move once they are placed on site. It could cost somewhere in the range of $6000 to $12,000 to move a mobile home!
- The life expectancy of the average mobile home is around 55 years!
- Manufactured homes can be ordered and delivered as fast as a few weeks or months at the most! There are some companies that even offer delivery within a week or two.
- While commonly referred to as mobile homes, the tradecraft name for these types of dwellings has been ‘manufactured homes,’ since 1976. Today, more than 85% of Americans still use the term ‘mobile home’ when searching for a manufactured or prefabricated factory built house online.Unlike vehicles, manufactured homes do not depreciate over time. While the resale value might not always be higher than the original cost of purchase, various other factors such as condition, location, market demand and type of community it’s based in are all important in determining a fair selling price.
- There actually is a Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, where anyone can betransported to the 1920s.
- Manufactured houses are generally built using state-of-the-art technology and modern building materials, unlike on-site buildings, which still use more conventional and expensive building materials.
- They are extremely popular among celebrities, especially since they can be customized according to each individual’s preference, and the fact that they usually supersede national borders!
Debunking some common stereotypes about mobile homes
- Manufactured housing is not safe and is shoddy.
Many people get turned off manufactured houses because they think they are built with cheap materials. However, what most people don’t know is that manufactured housing units have had to meet federal safety standards since 1976! Even on-site houses don’t have to follow such stringent standards. Modern manufactured homes are even built to withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rains, hurricanes and tornados.
- Manufactured housing parks exploit their tenants
Not all manufactured housing parks are exploitative! Sure there are some that are run by unscrupulous owners, but there are also a lot of parks that allow residents to own their own part of the park. These are called resident owned communities, and it gives homeowners more control over their own homes and their neighborhoods too!
- Manufactured housing parks are neither urban, nor dense
Manufactured housing has a reputation for being rurally located, in low-density populated areas. However, more than 60% of manufactured housing is located in a metro area, and around 10% is located in urban centers. With an average of 8 to 15 homes per acre, these communities offer greater housing availability than typical nearby neighborhoods do. Local zoning laws also make sure that these communities do not breach past certain population densities, making them the perfect option for crowded urban areas!
- Manufactured housing is often disconnected from accessible routes
People tend to believe that manufactured housing communities do not offer proper access, and that they are cut off from surrounding neighborhoods. However, this is true not just for all communities. Most neighborhoods place value on privacy, security and sense of community that a closed area provides. Many gated communities, cul-de-sacs, and beach areas are cut off from nearby neighborhoods in order to limit traffic. Even if a manufactured housing community has problems with street access to walk, or for recreational activities, they can be retrofitted to provide better access for their residents.
- These ‘trailer parks’ are only for poor, low-income people
When you think of trailer parks, you might automatically think of low-income housing or small houses densely packed with people. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! A new wave of Americans are lining up by the day to make the switch to manufactured home ownership, since it costs much less and could give you more space for your money. Manufactured housing communities are perfect for families, young professionals, senior citizens and even rich celebrities, because they provide a number of luxuries and amenities that you wouldn’t be able to find for the same price at a site-built property.
- Manufactured housing is old-fashioned and is not design friendly
The manufactured housing market is currently booming, with new designs and layouts being developed every month! There are a large number of builders, who offer personalization beyond that which is available for a site-built house. Since they are built with the intention of allowing you to individualize your space, you will see that quite often a manufactured house will provide you with more flexibility in terms of space and layout. If you don’t like something, you can change it yourself, without a lot of effort!
So there you have it! A slew of fun facts and myths busted! The next time you think of manufactured homes, remember that these homes are not only affordable and spacious, they are designed to be more efficient than most site-built houses!