You might think that all manufactured homes are the same, but the reality is that the styles and amenities they offer have gotten much more sophisticated in recent years. Nowadays, the seemingly endless options can be difficult to sort through if you’re not quite sure what makes them different.
Here’s an introduction to manufactured homes, plus tips for determining what separates the good ones from the great.
What Is a Manufactured Home?
It’s not uncommon to use the terms “mobile home” and “manufactured home” interchangeably. Technically, though, manufactured homes must have been built after June 15, 1976, and meet rigorous guidelines set forth by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Thanks to these standards, today’s manufactured homes are much more durable, safe, strong, and eco-friendly than those made prior to 1976. Learn more about the differences between mobile, manufactured and modular homes here
What to Look For in a Manufactured Home
Despite modern standardizations, not all manufactured homes are the same, and it takes some time and research to be able to distinguish those that are truly great.
Here are some of the most common questions about manufactured homes that you might consider asking during your own search.
- When was it made? There are still manufactured homes for sale that were made prior to the 1976 HUD code. If you have no way to trace the age of the unit, you’re better off assuming it isn’t up to HUD code. If you aren’t able to trace the age of the unit, it may not be up to HUD code.
- Is it HUD-compliant? HUD-compliant manufactured homes are made in climate-controlled facilities under modern-day regulations; a hallmark of compliant construction is a red certification label.
- What style is the home? Mobile homes are available as single-section (single-wide) or multi-section (double-wide or triple-wide). There isn’t an ideal size for a home. Rather, the best option is simply one that best fits the buyer. Just like traditional homes, manufactured homes also come in different architectural styles as well, with different types of trims and finishes to match.
- What does the floor plan look like? With a variety of different options of manufactured homes available, there also is an assortment of floor plans available to choose from. When square footage is limited, a great floor plan is intuitive and doesn’t waste any space.
- What materials were used? Just like traditional, stick-built homes, the quality of materials used could have an impact on the overall longevity of the home. Fortunately, in HUD-compliant homes, the same types of materials used in stick-built constructions are also used in manufactured-home constructions.
- What’s the community like? We live in a world where we can access what feels like a never-ending amount of information with the tips of our fingers. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of meaningful reviews about mobile home communities online. In order to find the perfect fit for your unique lifestyle, take some time to read up on what others are saying about all the different options that interest you.
What’s Best for You?
Above all else, a great manufactured home is one that makes you happy, matches your style, and fits into your life seamlessly. When exploring all of the options out there, always keep that in mind!