Manufactured Homes: Did You Know? (Quick Facts, Studies, and Reports on America’s Dream Home)
Manufactured housing is probably the most studied and analyzed form of housing in the country. It sometimes appears that the site built housing industry has an obsession attempting to find something to discredit manufactured homes. Most of the negatives that they have “discovered” were sometimes true of the “mobile home” industry 40 years ago! But not now.
Today’s manufactured home is equal or superior in many important respects than site-built homes, and of course, a lot more affordable. The following are a sampling of random results of studies and opinions by people and organizations with “no axe to grind” in the housing debate.
According to a study by the Foremost Insurance Company, 88 percent of manufactured homeowners report satisfaction with their housing choice. Likewise, a most recent Owens Corning study, conducted by National Family Opinion, found that 93 percent of manufactured home owners are satisfied with their housing choice.
Siting And Placement Of Manufactured Homes
According to the U.S. Census in 2011, 74 percent of manufactured homes were placed on private property, while the remaining 26 percent were sited in residential land-lease communities. The percentage of manufactured homes placed on private property has been growing over the last decade, and this trend is expected to continue as more and more residential land is zoned appropriately to allow for manufactured housing, especially in several states that have passed legislation that prohibits the discrimination against manufactured homes in, heretofore, “site-built only zones.”
Fire Safety Of Manufactured Homes
A national fire study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes. The study showed that the number of home fires is 17 per 1000 for site built homes, while only 8 per 1000 for manufactured homes.
A 2011 report on “Manufactured Home Fires in the U.S.,” by Dr. John Hall, Jr., National Fire Protection Association, compared manufactured homes built after the 1976 HUD code and other dwellings and found that manufactured homes have a lower incidence of fires and lower injury rates than other single family homes. Moreover, according to the report, the fire experience rate was 38 to 44 percent lower than the rate for other dwellings.
Wind And Storm Safety
A recent study by Dr. K.R. Grosskopf of the University of Florida found that not one manufactured home built and installed after 1994 Code changes, was destroyed or seriously damaged by four hurricanes that struck Florida in 2004. The same phenomenon occurred in the Gulf Coast region during Hurricane Katrina with newer manufactured homes performing beyond expectations
When properly sited and maintained, manufactured homes will appreciate like any other form of housing in the surrounding area and will not have a negative impact on the values of those homes.
Enhanced energy efficiency in manufactured homes, achieved with upgraded levels of insulation and more efficient heating and cooling systems and the factory building process, provides another source of savings for homeowners — especially in this era of rising energy costs. Energy Star-labeled manufactured homes can result in as much as 30% additional energy savings.
Manufactured homeowners are the only form of single family homeowners that receive a Homeowners Manual required by Federal regulations. Manufactured homes are also warranted against defects in material and workmanship and structural defects for at least one year following home occupancy.
According to a report released by the Millennial Housing Commission, manufactured housing accounted for almost 72% of the growth in the nation’s affordable housing stock in the 1990s.
Most studies show that a manufactured home is 15 to 30% less expensive today than a comparably built and located site-built home.
(Photo credit: International Insurance Group, Inc.)