MYTHS Vs. FACTS
Manufactured Homes: Myths Vs. Facts
Most proponents of manufactured housing have never lived in one or been around one for that matter. They don’t understand the basic facts about how they are made or what they are all about: “affordable housing built in a factory with very high standards”. It’s really that simple. A manufactured home is the proper term for any home built to HUD Code standards that was adopted by Congress in 1974 and went into effect on June 15, 1976. It is a factory built home built after June 15, 1976. “Mobile home” is the term used to describe homes built before June 15, 1976 when the HUD code went into effect and after 1953. Before 1953, the term ‘trailer’ was used to describe the homes. As the homes progressed, it was necessary to use new terminology to describe the difference in travel trailers and the new permanent, factory-built homes that were being produced.
Manufactured homes are found across the United States, yet many people still view them as second-rate housing. Outdated stereotypes and the mistaken belief that modern manufactured homes are no different from the unregulated mobile homes of the 1960s and ’70s have created several persistent myths. Research highlights the latest information about this flexible housing option.
Vulnerable to Damage
Myth: Manufactured homes are more vulnerable to storm or fire damage than traditional site-built homes.
Fact: Manufactured homes sold after 1994 are built to the same HUD standards for construction, strength, fire resistance and wind resistance that are applied to site-built homes. A report published by the state of Florida indicates that no manufactured home built to these standards received any major damage during the severe 2004-2005 hurricane season. Additionally, a study published by Foremost Insurance Company found that manufactured homes are less likely to catch fire than site-built homes.
Myth: Manufactured homes are poorly constructed, use inferior materials or are not suitable for long-term housing.
Fact: Manufactured homes are built with the same materials and, in some cases, are more durable ones, because they’re reinforced for transportation by road to home sites. Manufactured homes must pass thorough inspections approved by HUD and the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards before being sold.
Myth: Manufactured homes are all alike.
Fact: While many manufactured homes are similar in shape and size, the same could be said of traditional ranch-style houses and cookie-cutter homes common in many new subdivisions. Manufactured homes provide consumers with a wide range of interior and exterior options. Some manufacturers even produce luxury models with hardwood floors, whirlpool baths, stonework fireplaces and walk-in closets.
Myth: Only low-income people in manufactured homes.
Fact: Some people who could afford site-built homes choose manufactured homes instead. It’s not unusual to find larger and luxury manufactured homes priced at $130,000 or more. Meaning, a new manufactured home on a private lot may prove less expensive than a new stick-built home in a similar area, depending on the neighborhood.