On A Budget? Take A Look At The Cost Savings Of New Manufactured Homes

According to the Department of Commerce and census data the average square foot cost of a new manufactured home was $41.24 nationwide in 2009, compared with $83.89 per square foot for a new site-built home.These numbers do not include the cost of the land. Data from 2013 is expected to be consistent with these figures which should re-affirm that the average cost of a new manufactured home is about 50% less than a comparable “individual” site built house.


Does this raw data mean that you can buy a new manufactured home, that is built equally well as a comparable site built, for one half the price? The answer is yes you can, but not necessarily in every instance. There are several factors that will dictate your savings, such as where the home will be located, the overall size of the home and the amenities selected for the home. Even with these factors present, the savings are substantial when cost comparisons are made between a new manufactured home and a site built home.


“A manufactured home buyer can generally save 25% to 30% compared with a similar site built home, depending on where the home is purchased,” says Joe Stegmayer, CEO of Cavco Industries, a large and highly respected manufactured home builder in Phoenix, Arizona.


The savings can be much higher in some markets, including rural areas where it is inefficient for a site home builder to go to the middle of nowhere to build a single modest home.


Stegmayer, who is also the past chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), says manufactured homes have changed significantly over the past dozen or so years and now appeal to a wide range of buyers. “There is a much broader line of manufactured home products with many more styles, designs and trends that are comparable to anything that site built does.” he says.


Today’s manufactured home is appealing and affordable for every market segment of home buyers, from the low priced homes to the ultra deluxe models, and endless choices to fit any lifestyle in between.


At the low end price, the key is affordability with the manufactured home industry returning to its roots with smaller homes, and even single section homes. Buyers of the least expensive manufactured homes are typically looking for a comfortable, safe shelter, and they are not heavily invested in amenities. The savings are large and incalculable as the on-site builders are not competitive with the entry level manufactured homes that are significant to many Americans realizing the dream of quality home ownership.


At the other end of the spectrum, higher end consumers are looking for larger homes with all the luxuries and features found in the more expensive site built homes, but they also want to save money and build more cost effectively. The savings at this level are considerable in comparison to the alternative choices.


Somewhere in between, and including the lower priced and higher priced manufactured homes there are many buyers that are now realizing it isn’t necessarily wise to buy the most expensive home they can afford.—-Many buyers now have other priorities.


“Maybe they can afford a higher priced home, but they don’t want all their money tied up in a home,” Joe Stegmayer says. “They buy a manufactured home at a much lower cost and use that excess income for other purposes: travel, hobbies,pastimes,investment. We’re seeing a lot more of that.”


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