Debunking Some Myths of Manufactured Housing

As someone that has been involved in the construction industry for many decades as a Realtor, GM of several lumber yards, Sales Manager for a new home builder, Sales Rep for both manufactured and modular housing, a General Contractor, and now as one of the leading bloggers in the offsite construction industry, I feel I need to set the record straight on what a manufactured home is and isn’t.

MYTH – Manufactured homes are mobile homes

There is actually a huge difference between the two. According to HUD, a factory-built home prior to June 15, 1976, is a mobile home, and one built after June 15, 1976, is a manufactured home.

A manufactured home is built in a factory or warehouse in accordance with building codes set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The homes are. transported to the home site, either in sections or as a whole, and installed on either a temporary or permanent foundation.

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MYTH – Manufactured homes don’t last very long

A report done by the Manufactured Housing Institute placed the average life expectancy of a manufactured home at 55.8 years. With the proper upkeep and maintenance, manufactured homes have a long life expectancy, with the potential to last forever. 

MYTH – Manufactured homes aren’t safe

If the manufactured home is in good repair and properly prepared in case of severe weather, these updated HUD standards mean a properly built and installed manufactured home is as safe in strong wind or weather events as a traditional site-built home.

MYTH – Manufactured homes aren’t structurally sound

Rather than a foundation that can shift and crack over time, the manufactured home is on a metal chassis that should last forever. Additionally, the simple roof design, if kept up, keeps the possibility of moisture intrusion lower in the manufactured home.

MYTH – Manufactured homes don’t appreciate in value

Though manufactured homes remain considerably less expensive than single-family homes, median manufactured home values across the nation increased by an average of 34.58% from 2016 to 2021 — nearly the same as the average increase of 35.44% for single-family homes.

In 2021, the average age of a used manufactured/mobile home sold was 22.1 years with an average price of $51,133. That’s a 71% increase! Even though factory-built homes are aging, homebuyers understand that manufactured homes are the best housing value in America.

MYTH – Manufactured homes are a bad investment opportunity

Manufactured homes could be a profitable investment in 2022. While the savviest real estate gurus are jumping on single-family homes, you can get a step ahead with lower-cost, high-demand units.

Author’s Note: I write about all types of construction, including hemp and 3D concrete, ADUs, and tiny homes, and recently I’ve been taking a closer look at manufactured housing. 

Gary Fleisher

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Gary Fleisher

Gary Fleisher, “The Mod Coach”, has been entrenched in the offsite construction industry for most of his life. Having started his career in the lumber industry, Gary spent decades working with manufactured and modular home producers and homebuilders. For the past 15 years his blog and LinkedIn postings have introduced thousands to the benefits of factory-built construction and have served as a forum for industry professionals to share insights and perspectives. Gary lives in Hagerstown, MD with his wife, Peg.

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