In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do you regret buying a manufactured home? We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of manufactured homes and review whether it is a good idea to invest in one or not.
Do you regret buying a manufactured home?
Truth is, many buyers regret buying a manufactured home. Their reason may be financially related (these types of homes depreciate quickly) or personal reasons (many associate manufactured homes with poverty).
Still, there is the other side, buyers that do not regret buying a manufactured home. For them and many others, manufactured homes are becoming a real alternative to traditional brick and mortar housing.
Given the high price that it has reached in recent years, and the low economic availability of many families to aspire to traditional homes. A manufactured home is much cheaper than a traditional one, and in these types of matters, money is often the key to making a decision.
So why are these types of constructions not so widespread? In this article, we will try to give an answer to this dilemma.
Why buy a manufactured home, in the first place?
Manufactured homes emerged in the United States in the middle of the last century. With the intention of creating hybrids between mobile caravans and traditional houses, so that families who had to move from one place to another in short periods of time could live in a house proper. And not in a small trailer, with the facilities to be able to move the house wherever they want.
Those mobile homes evolved into what we know today as manufactured homes, much more consistent and durable. That in most cases they have already lost the ability to be moved to simply become alternative homes anchored in certain plots.
Manufactured homes spread throughout the United States and Canada in the last half of the 20th century. And they also became very popular in France, England, Israel and other countries.
This type of house can be just as functional and durable as a traditional house, provided that its materials and construction have been of quality. Even so, the savings in more expensive and heavier materials, and in labour, make a manufactured home much cheaper than a traditional home.
There have been cases of manufactured homes that have cost slightly less than a traditional home, being twice as large as the latter.
The advantages of buying and living in a manufactured home
Let’s now see the many advantages of deciding on a manufactured home:
- The first, which we have already talked about, is the price. The price of these prefabricated homes can vary greatly, depending on the materials, finishes and dimensions that we choose for the house.
A small house for two people can be around 15,000-20,000 dollars, the same price as a normal car, to give you an idea. As we increase the size of the house and the quality of the materials, obviously the price will also go up.
Even so, we can find houses of more than 100 square meters for less than 50,000 dollars. And those that exceed 100,000 dollars are usually houses of impressive quality, with two floors and with more than 250 square meters. It is impossible to find a traditional home for that price and with those characteristics. Normally, the price is usually between 30 and 50% lower than that of traditional houses.
- The location of the home can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, as we will see later. The fact is that to locate our prefabricated home we will only need to have a free plot, the size of the house we want to build. And normally facilitate the holding of the house with a layer of cement on the ground, so that it remains completely attached to the ground.
In this way we start with the advantage that the house will cost the same no matter where we place it, and its price will not depend on its location.
- The materials used in the exterior of these houses are usually wood or PVC, but they are always protected by sheets or special paints that ensure their maintenance against the corrosion of the facades in private homes.
This type of material is much more resistant to extreme climates, both cold and heat, rain and even snowfall. At the same time, these materials are thermal and acoustic insulators, so that in the long run, the cost of heating or air conditioning, for example, will be reduced. Since the temperature in the house is usually quite pleasant at any time of the year.
- The speed with which a manufactured home is built (maximum 6 months from planning to delivery of the keys) is another of the great advantages of these homes. Being made up of modules that are embedded and assembled, the preparation time of these modules is much less, since they are manufactured at the same time.
And once finished, they only have to be assembled in the place chosen to locate the house. Nothing to do with the years that the construction of any traditional house can take.
- The use of wood, PVC, plasterboard and other materials compared to cement, concrete, etc. .. of a traditional house also contributes to a greater respect for the environment, so we could talk about ecological houses.
In this sense, most manufactured homes are also usually located in natural environments, in mountain villages, surrounded by mountains or forests, so their adaptation to the environment is unbeatable.
- In this type of project, there is no excess or lack of materials. When planning the construction of a manufactured home, the companies that take care of its details in a budget the final price of the house. In most cases, this price does not vary one iota from the real one, since when it is built industrially, the costs are much easier to calculate.
So, are there only advantages in this type of housing? Obviously not. If they have not yet become a large-scale alternative to traditional housing, it is because many are still suspicious of these houses.
The disadvantages of buying and living in a manufactured home
Sometimes due to lack of knowledge, and sometimes because of knowing the disadvantages of manufactured homes, which also have them. Here are some of them:
- The location of these houses cannot be just anywhere, something that, as we mentioned before, can be a double-edged sword. And it is that in addition to the house, we will have to buy or have already bought the plot where to locate it. And buying land in the center of a city to put a single-family house of this type can be a real madness, for the exorbitant price that the plot would have.
For this reason, these types of houses are usually built where the land is cheaper, on the outskirts of cities, in towns or in natural environments such as forests, beaches or mountains.
- Due to this reluctance with their location in the heart of the city, manufactured homes have always been considered as a second home, like a house on the beach or in the country, where you do not live permanently. A good example of this is the classic cabins in the woods that are so abundant in North America.
- Before we have talked about the low price of these homes, but we must also analyze very well the type of house we want, its design and its dimensions. Normally there are already planned manufactured homes with a specific design, which tend to be cheaper because they are more “simple”.
If the buyer does not like these designs, a house can always be made to his liking, of course, this will be much more expensive than if he already uses the predesigned ones. By this, we mean that manufactured homes can also be expensive if we order them large and with a very special design to our liking.
Even so, they will surely be cheaper than a traditional house of the same style.
- The materials used must be of the highest quality, both in walls and partitions and in the finishes, pipes and cables for the electricity, water and gas supply. If not, it could cause unwanted problems in the house. This type of material costs more than the normal ones, of course, although many companies already use them in all their manufactured homes.
- Houses made of wood or PVC can suffer much more damage in areas with extreme weather events, such as floods, snowfall or hurricanes. Obviously, in a large tornado of great force, the prefab home will be at a disadvantage compared to a large brick and mortar house.
Even so, the firms in this sector are working to produce increasingly durable, resistant and reliable houses, even in the face of these types of extreme phenomena.
- It is true that manufactured homes are cheaper than traditional ones, but it is also true that it is usually more difficult to find a bank that will give us a credit for this type of housing, without it being a mortgage.
Given the success that these types of houses are beginning to have in our country, some banks have taken out special mortgage loans to pay for the purchase of these homes, but the issue of financing, such as legislation.
The bottom line
These are the main advantages and disadvantages that manufactured homes have over traditional homes. Each one can put them on a scale and estimate whether it is worth it or not to get a home of this type.
What do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions about manufactured homes!
FAQ on Do you regret buying a manufactured home?
Is it bad to live in a manufactured home?
It is not necessarily bad to live in a manufactured home, but it does have its disadvantages. One particular point should attract the vigilance of the new investor: it is the choice of camping. Indeed, not all campsites are created equal. And some practice abusive conditions, not to say illegal.
Is it good to buy a manufactured home?
The advantage of investing in a manufactured home is that you can buy for a relatively small amount compared to real estate in general. Indeed, it is possible to buy a second-hand model for $12,000, the price of a small car!
Why not buy a mobile home?
The biggest disadvantage of the mobile home is that it depreciates, it would be hard to resell and costly to maintain, especially during winter.