8 Interesting Facts About Manufactured Homes That You Probably Didn’t Know

Modern Mobile Homes - The Cambridge by Adventure Homes
Photo captured at the 2020 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

The manufactured housing industry is full of innovative products and produces new advances every year. However, due in part to outdated stereotypes that still sometimes persist, not everyone is familiar with the real facts about manufactured homes. That’s beginning to change, however, because there’s a quiet revolution going on in the prevalence and popularity of manufactured homes.

In today’s article, we’ll reveal some interesting facts about manufactured homes that many people don’t know. There’s a great deal to know about these attractive and economical homes, so educate yourself with these eight fascinating facts.

1. Manufactured homes are a popular and cost-effective housing solution.

Amid rising housing costs and economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that have made site-built homes and apartments harder to afford, manufactured homes are providing housing solutions when and where they’re needed. Twenty-two million Americans now live in manufactured homes, and that number is trending upward as a full 10 percent of new single-family home starts are now manufactured homes.

When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why manufactured homes are popular. They cost, on average, just $53 per square foot, whereas site-built homes cost an average of $107 per square foot. Furthermore, as we’ll see, what homebuyers get for their money is just as good, if not better, than a site-built home.

2. When properly maintained, manufactured homes appreciate at a rate similar to site-built homes.

Purchase-Only graph on how manufactured homes appreciate

Because today’s manufactured homes are so well-built, they often actually maintain their value or appreciate at a rate similar to site-built homes. Research by the Federal Housing Finance Agency has found that home value trends for manufactured homes and site-built homes are relatively similar (assuming that a home is properly cared for and maintained), meaning that a manufactured home is a solid investment for many homebuyers.

3. Manufactured homes are regulated by the only federally-enforced building code.

The Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, commonly known as the HUD code, is a federal law that regulates manufactured home building standards. Manufactured homes today are required to meet strict federal rules in critical areas such as:

  • Structural integrity
  • Fire resistance
  • Height and width
  • Energy efficiency
  • Transportability
  • Wind resistance
facts about manufactured homes
Two homes in the construction process at Clayton Middlebury.

These standards have made manufactured homes among the most reliable housing options for a safe and comfortable living space.

4. In most cases, “mobile home” is no longer an accurate term.

The term “mobile home” technically refers to homes built before the introduction of the HUD code in 1976. These homes were often moved frequently from place to place, but this practice is no longer common. Instead, manufactured homes are now typically delivered straight from the factory to the home site, where they remain permanently.

5. Millennials are increasingly enjoying the benefits of manufactured homes.

As millennials start their own families and begin to look for their own housing, they’re finding that manufactured homes are an attractive option. Many millennials want to put their future on a firm financial foundation by leaving behind renting for homeownership, and manufactured homes present a perfect opportunity to buy a great home at an affordable price.

6. Manufactured homes are increasingly placed on private land in addition to mobile home parks.

Living in a mobile home park can be a great experience and provide a fantastic community. But in today’s market, the prevalence of manufactured homes on private land is higher than it’s ever been. In fact, 66 percent of new manufactured homes are placed on privately owned lots. That means greater freedom for the homeowner to alter their home and land as they see fit.

7. Manufactured homes are just as durable as site-built homes (or more).

Manufactured homes are built using tough materials that stand up to the elements. Every manufactured home is constructed on a steel frame, which provides exceptional structural durability and helps keep the structure of the home sound during transportation and siting. Some manufactured homes are even built with 2×6 framing rather than the standard 2x4s used in site-built homes. Finally, according to one study, manufactured homes are actually superior to site-built homes in terms of fire safety, with up to 44 percent fewer fires reported in manufactured homes.

8. Manufactured homes often feature customization options.

Modern Mobile Homes bathroom
Photo captured at the 2020 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

Although they don’t allow the extensive customization possible with site-built homes, mobile home floor plans still often offer options for customizations. Frequent points of customization include:

  • Extra bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Home offices
  • Porches and garages
  • Expanded master bedroom or bathroom suites
  • Upgraded kitchen appliances

Interested in learning more facts about manufactured homes? Check out some recent manufactured home production stats, or take a look at MHVillage’s manufactured home buying guide for expert tips on how to find the best deal.