Why You Should Consider Buying a Manufactured Home

February 25, 2022

A manufactured home is a path to homeownership that is often overlooked. Offering both quality and value, a manufactured home could be an affordable option to get you into a home of your own.

Manufactured home

What Is a Manufactured Home?

Manufactured homes are houses built in a factory rather than on the land where you’ll live. They are constructed using the same building materials as site-built homes but generally take only two to three months to complete, compared to an average of seven to eight months for a site-built home.* Manufactured homes are more affordable because of the efficiency of the factory building process, which lowers costs.

To make sure that manufactured homes are safe, strong and durable, they are built under controlled conditions and inspected to meet or exceed standards set out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards, commonly known as the HUD Code. The safety standards include:

  • Design and construction.
  • Strength and durability.
  • Fire resistance.
  • Heating, plumbing and air conditioning.
  • Thermal and electrical systems.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Overall home quality.

With the HUD Code seal of approval, manufactured homes automatically meet regional standards for roof load, wind resistance, thermal efficiency, safety and durability, meaning they’re not any more vulnerable to storm, hurricane or tornado damage than a site-built home.

Manufactured homes are built on a permanent, nonremovable steel frame (chassis). They aren’t trailers or mobile homes**, which are built on wheels. You can install your manufactured home on vacant land that you own or lease, or in a manufactured housing community.

The Benefits of Purchasing a Manufactured Home

There are several advantages to buying a manufactured home.

Manufactured homes are affordable. The average price of a new manufactured home in 2022 was $127,300, versus $540,000 for a new site-built home.

Manufactured homes are versatile. Because you have the flexibility to add manufactured modules to your home later, you can start out with a smaller home footprint and expand your living space if your situation changes — if you’re getting married or starting a family, for example.

Manufactured homes are energy efficient. The HUD Code ensures that manufactured homes achieve a prescribed level of energy efficiency, which can save you money on your monthly utility bills. Manufactured homes are required to have insulation within the walls and under the home around its base, energy-efficient windows and high-efficiency water heaters. Inside, kitchens and bathrooms have energy-saving appliances and lighting, as well as water-saving plumbing fixtures and faucets.

Another consideration is the long-term value of manufactured homes. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index, a manufactured home appreciates in value similar to a site-built home.

If you’re considering buying a manufactured home, be sure to first look for available land where you are permitted to install this type of home. In suburban areas, there can be a shortage of available land with proper access and existing utility service. In some areas, zoning restrictions may require only site-built homes.

Home Loan Options for Manufactured Housing

There are mortgages designed for buyers of manufactured homes, such as Freddie Mac’s CHOICEHome® mortgage that offers conventional financing for manufactured homes that meet certain specifications. In addition, the Freddie Mac Home Possible® mortgage offers first-time homebuyers a low, 3% down payment solution.

Speak with your lender about the financing options available to you and which may best suit your needs.

For more information about the homebuying process, including finding the right type of home for you, visit My Home by Freddie Mac®.

*Given today’s current supply chain climate, the build time for both manufactured and on-site homes may fluctuate.

** A mobile home is considered built before June 15, 1976. A trailer or travel trailer is built to the recreational vehicle code, which may not be suitable for year-round habitation. A manufactured home is not a travel trailer, as travel trailers are designed to be moved frequently.