Millennials don’t want to buy homes.

According to a few studies, this myth is ripe to get busted. Citing a Fannie Mae survey, claims that 91% of renters between the ages of 25 and 34 eventually want to own a home.* What’s more, U.S. Census data indicates that over a third of people 35 and younger already do.**

Part of the issue for this group (and all prospective home buyers today) is that as home prices have gone up, so has the amount of a traditional down payment. Another factor is that “starter homes” often require some work, further adding to the amount one needs to save up in order to buy a home.

Thankfully, there are a few other market forces at work that make the Millennials — poised to be the biggest generation in terms of sheer numbers — a very attractive demographic to market to.

The first thing working in your favor is the sheer affordability of manufactured homes (MH) vs. traditional stick-built homes. According to MHI data from 2018, the average price per square foot of a manufactured home is less than half that of a stick-built home.†† Which means a significantly lower down payment.

Additionally, there are new loan programs designed to make homeownership more affordable. From zero-down options offered through government-sponsored loans and down payment assistance programs, to One-Time Close (OTC) loans and two new offerings from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are ideal for MH buyers.

One-Time Close loans, which are sometimes called Single-Close loans, are a type of Construction-to-Permanent home loan that allows buyers to finance the purchase of a building lot, any needed site improvements, and the construction of a new home (site-built or manufactured), all in one loan closing and because there is just one closing, there is no need to requalify or have a second closing when the loan converts to a permanent mortgage. This greatly simplifies the process for both the borrower and the builder.

The new offerings from Fannie Mae (MH Advantage) and Freddie Mac (CHOICEHome) offer additional mortgage financing options on select MH home types. These homes have architectural and construction details that are similar to stick-built homes — such as higher pitched rooflines and attached garages.

So make sure you are maximizing this market. Millennials may turn out to be your biggest customer base yet!


Laura Brandao is the president of AFR Wholesale. She has more than two decades of industry experience and was named one of Mortgage Banking’s Most Powerful Women in 2018. Laura has also been honored as a HousingWire 2018 Women of Influence and one of Mortgage Professional America’s Hot 100 Mortgage Professionals in 2017. Look for more blog posts from her in the coming weeks!

Laura Brandao - AFR President
Laura Brandao, President of AFR Wholesale



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