The Evolution of Today’s Manufactured Housing

The American dream of quality, affordable home ownership is attainable with today’s manufactured home. Affordability is probably the most important consideration in determining home ownership. A manufactured home is not only more affordable than a site built home, it is also equal to or better built than many site built dwellings. The manufactured home of today is an evolution of style and amenities that has its roots in a history of answering the American public’s demand for quality housing at an exceptional value.

History of Manufactured Housing

Following the end of World War II American veterans returned home to find housing in short supply. The trailer industry responded by building small homes to house families of veterans that could be moved from place to place. In the 50’s and 60’s American families wanted larger homes with new innovations in appliances and other amenities. The 50’s movie “The Long, Long Trailer” staring Lucille Ball, inspired many to consider trailer houses as an alternate home choice. The trailer in the movie was in fact a 1956 Redman 10’ x 36’.

Evolution of Manufactured Homes
It was this demand that ushered in the era of the “mobile home”, which was bigger in size, nicer in appearance and met the needs of prospective young homeowners. Eventually, the desire for mobility would begin to wane in favor of “settling down” in one place. The homeowner’s desire for more living space resulted in the advent of the longer 10’ and 12’ model homes in the 60’s and early 70’s.

In 1974, Congress passed the National Mobile Home and Construction and Safety Standards Act (HUD CODE). This unprecedented legislation made mobile homes the only form of single family buildings subject to federal regulations. These regulations became effective in June of 1976 and preempted any local construction and safety codes applicable to mobile homes.

The Housing Act of 1980 officially mandated that “manufactured housing” replace “mobile homes” in all federal law and literature for homes built in a factory post 1976. The effect of federal legislation was to more clearly define mobile homes as buildings rather than vehicles.

The manufactured home today is truly a quality built home that bears little resemblance to its trailer/mobile home ancestors. The Manufactured homes of today are well-designed, innovative, efficient and cost less than their site-built counterparts. The only time a manufactured home is “mobile” is on the day it is transported to the home site. In fact, less than 5% of all manufactured homes are ever relocated from their original location.

Potential home purchasers are encouraged to visit their local manufactured home retail display center to experience the exciting options available before making that decision.


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