Manufactured Homes: Myth vs. Reality

 Myths vs. Reality? Prior to the late 1970’s, the mobile home was considered by many to be a sub-standard shelter for those who could not afford a “real home.”  That notion of shoddily constructed “trailer homes” was not always accurate, but was the prevailing imagery for many years.

For over 30 years, the manufactured industry has been working very diligently to dispel that negative imagery, which is no longer an accurate portrayal of the current manufactured home model.  The following is an attempt to dispel some of the myths still prevalent in the assumptions of many people, and the reality of manufactured housing industry.

 Myths vs. Reality

MYTH: Manufactured homes are cheaper than site built homes because they use less and inferior quality building materials.

REALITY: Contrary, it is quite common that a manufactured home will contain more construction materials than a comparable sized site built home.  The additional material is used to ensure the integrity of the home during shipment and installation on site.  The quality of all building material equals or exceeds the quality of materials used in on-site construction.  In addition, manufactured homes are built on steel frame foundations not used any other form of residential construction.

Manufactured homes for home buyers are less expensive than site built as a result of cost savings through efficiencies as a result of the manufacturing process, discounts from material suppliers as a result of high volume purchasing year round, lower labor costs and control of waste.

Manufactured Housing Facts

Myths vs. Reality

Manufactured homes built in a factory environment are not subject to material weather damage, theft, or delays that are all too prevalent in site built job sites.  These homes are equipped with quality name brand appliances, fixtures, and floor covering.  Superior energy efficiency is obtained with the use of high-density insulation in walls, ceiling, and floor.   Manufactured homes are indeed priced lower than site built homes but also have more built-in value.

 Myths vs. Reality

MYTH: Manufactured homes depreciate in value unlike site built homes which appreciate.

REALITY: This myth carries over from the mobile home and trailer era of the past.  A mobile home was originally considered to be in the same category as the automobile.  For many years, mobile home value was based upon the same criteria employed to evaluate the depreciation of a motor vehicle, such as the model year, brand, and condition.   Unfortunately, there are still a few states where the manufactured home is still titled and licensed by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, although lenders and appraisers do not assess value based upon the automobile misclassification in these states.

Studies since the early 1980’s consistently indicate that the modern era manufactured homes appreciate in value under the same conditions as site built homes.

The conditions listed below will have the same impact on all homes:

–        The housing market in which the home is located

–        The community in which the home is located.

–        The initial purchase price of the home.

–        The age of the home.

–        The condition of the home.

–        The inflation rate.

–        The availability of community sites which reflect the supply and demand influences on the home’s value.

The appreciation in value of a manufactured home comes back to the old Utah real estate axiom “location, location, location.”  When properly sited and maintained, manufactured homes appreciate at the same rate as other homes in surrounding neighborhoods.

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