Mobile homes are prefabricated structures typically built within a factory setting. Mobile homes are often used as permanent dwellings and they are particularly popular across Europe and North America. This form of housing has a long and detailed history in the United States as ‘house trailers’ became a prominent form of traveling while living on the road. While mobile homes have their place, they should not be construed or misdiagnosed as a manufactured housing unit. Manufactured homes are markedly different from conventional mobile homes, despite the reputation derived from misinformation that these buildings have earned.
To understand the value of manufactured housing investments, we must first dispel three key myths that continue to plague the industry to this day.
Myth #1 – Manufactured Homes and Trailer Homes are the Same
The first and most immediate myth that must be dispelled is the confusion between manufactured homes and mobile homes. Manufactured homes and mobile homes are both traditionally built inside of a factory setting. With that being said, this is where their similarities end. Mobile homes are typically built before June 15, 1976. As a result, manufactured homes are held to a higher standard of safety than their traditional trailer counterparts.
Fact – Manufactured homes must comply with the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards enacted on June 15, 1967. Trailer homes are factory-built products that came before 1976 and are not beholden to these new standards.
Myth #2 – Manufactured Homes Are Unsafe Dwellings
Perhaps the most damaging myth that continues to permeate the industry is the idea that manufactured homes are somehow unsafe when compared to conventional dwellings. While manufactured homes are often modular in design, they are consistently built with higher-quality materials due to the higher level of standards that they must appeal to. FEMA has even declared many modular homes to be safer than conventional homes when considering hurricanes.
Fact – Manufactured homes, like any other piece of property, can be completely safe around-the-year. Manufactured homes must adhere to higher building standards thanks to the aforementioned HUD Code referenced above. With that said, it is important to purchase manufactured homes from quality sellers to ensure building standards.
Myth #3 – Manufactured Homes Are Too Specialized to Invest In
Have you discussed moving into a manufactured home with your realtor? Have you discussed the idea with friends and co-workers? Many times, the general opinion of manufactured housing does not match with reality. While your realtor may advise against investing in manufactured housing due to a ‘smaller resale market’, they would not be entirely correct. According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 95,000 manufactured homes were shipped to the United States in 2019 — a 14% increase over previous years.
Fact – Manufactured housing is a booming market that continues to grow as property prices and land availability struggle to compete with a booming American population.