FAQs About Manufactured Housing

Q: What is the difference between a manufactured home and a mobile home?

A: They are one and the same. In 1980, the name mobile home was changed to manufactured home by Congress to better describe a home that is no longer considered as “mobile” as it was in its origin. Nonetheless, many in the industry and outside the industry still refer to manufactured homes as ‘mobile homes’ and those that sell them as ‘mobile home dealers.’ Call them whichever you prefer, but as the saying goes, “A home by any other name is still a home.”

Q: What are today’s manufactured homes like?

A: Many of today’s manufactured homes feature innovative designs and custom home features like state of-the-art kitchens, luxury bathrooms and wood burning fireplaces. Some are also available in amenity-rich communities, which include swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses and more – the same features you might find at a resort.  The options for today’s consumer are much more like traditional homes than they were 30 years ago.

Q: Are manufactured homes affordable?

A: Manufactured homes provide quality housing and an opportunity for homeownership. They often cost less than renting and can offer more square footage and distance from neighbors than an apartment.  The cost per square foot for a new manufactured home can be up to 50 percent less than the cost of a comparable site-built home, excluding land costs.

Q: Are manufactured homes a good investment?

A: Despite what you have heard, Manufactured homes do appreciate just like site-built houses. You can start building equity instead of pouring rent money down the drain. You will also get the investment and tax advantages that only come with owning your own home.

Q: Are site-built homes better than manufactured homes?

A: No!  Manufactured homes are the only housing in America built to a national code. There are so many advantages to owning a manufactured home versus the site built besides just the fact that they are much less expensive — including the fact that manufactured homes are constructed in a factory environment that is not subject to weather conditions that can impact a home built on site. Energy efficiency and fire safety are just two of many qualities of manufactured home construction that are superior to a typical site built home.

Q: How is a manufactured home different from a site-built home?

A: A manufactured home is constructed entirely in a controlled factory environment, built to the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, better known as the HUD Code. A site-built home is built “on-site” using traditional building techniques that meet either a local or state building code. Starting in 1976, the HUD Code established a stringent series of construction and safety standards that ensure that today’s manufactured homes are superior to “mobile homes,” the term used for factory-built homes produced prior to the HUD Code. Since then, manufactured homes are dramatically different in appearance and quality those built before 1976. Manufactured homes, like site-built homes, are now available in a variety of designs, floor plans and amenities. Today, they are often indistinguishable from site-built homes and are fully compatible with neighborhood architectural styles.

Q: Do manufactured homes use the same building materials and processes as traditional site-built homes?

A: Today’s manufactured homes are built with the same building materials as site-built homes, but in a controlled factory environment where the quality of construction is superior to what can be done outdoors. HUD’s building code for manufactured housing regulates the design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and overall quality of a home. It also sets standards for the heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. The HUD Code homes also adhere to a thorough inspection system that takes place at each step during the home construction process in the factory. There are major benefits to having your home built in a factory: Consumers benefit from to the technological advancements and cost savings associated with the factory-built process.
• There is less waste in the factory process than with site-built homes.
• All aspects of the construction process are quality controlled and inspected per HUD’s rigorous standards
• The weather doesn’t interfere with construction, cause costly delays and warp or damage building materials.
• Technicians, craftsmen and assemblers are on the same team and professionally supervised. Inventory is better controlled and materials are protected from theft and weather-related damage.
• Construction materials, as well as interior features and appliances, are purchased in volume for additional savings.

Q: Can they be customized?

A: With most manufacturers now using the latest in computer-assisted design, you have the flexibility of customizing your home’s floor plans, interior finishes, and exterior designs if there is ample time to do so.  Manufactured homes come with “standard” features that you would find in a site-built home. Many floor plans are available that range from basic models to more elaborate designs that feature vaulted ceilings, drywall, fully equipped modern kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs and whirlpools. You may also select from a variety of exterior designs and siding materials, including wood, hardboard, or vinyl siding. Many manufacturers also provide homes that are accessible for those with special needs. If you are interested in such a home, please work with us to order a home with accessible features, such as extra-wide halls and doorways, accessible counters and appliances and specially equipped bathrooms.  These must be ordered far in advance in order to get the home completed to your exact specifications.

Q: Where can I put a manufactured home?

A: It doesn’t matter whether you want to live in a city in a neighborhood, out on acreage, or in a leasehold community. Visit us and we will gladly provide information and guidance to help you build your custom home on the land of your choice or in one of our amazing communities.

Q: Does a manufactured home require special financing?

A: Purchasing a manufactured home is much like purchasing any other home. But the loan you get may depend on whether you already own property: plan to lease property or to purchase property. Most manufactured home dealers can help contact lenders and provide support and guidance throughout the process.  We typically deal with companies that deal in manufactured homes only, including 21st Mortgage, Triad, and Credit Human, as well as some local brokers and specialists.  In specific communities, in house financing can also be available.

Q: Are manufactured homes covered by warranty?

A: Most manufacturers now offer warranties to guarantee the quality, workmanship, and major heating and cooling systems of the home for a specified time, usually ranging from one to five years. This warranty also tells the homebuyer what to do if a problem arises. Makers of the appliances provided in the homes also provide either “full” or “limited” warranties. There are major differences among warranties and these warranties should be provided to you in writing. Amber homes also offers an extended 5-year warranty on top of the manufacturers warranty that can help offset potential problems in the future.

Q: Are manufactured homes more susceptible to fire than site-built homes?

A: Modern manufactured homes are as safe as traditional site-built homes and pre-1976 mobile homes. The manufactured housing industry produces safe and fire-resistant homes that are in the market today. They are no more prone to fires than homes built on-site. In fact, studies prove it. The results of a 2013 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report comparing the impacts of fires on manufactured and traditional housing showed:
• The fire-death rate in HUD Code homes, those built after 1976, was equivalent to other site-built housing, and that manufactured homes have 38-44 percent fewer fires than site-built homes.
• Manufactured homes have essentially the same fire death rate as other single-family residential homes.
• Manufactured homes have “a lower rate of civilian fire injuries per 100,000 occupied housing units than other one or two-family homes” and post-HUD standard manufactured homes are more likely than other homes to have fires confined to the room of origin.

Studies indicate that most fires in manufactured homes are related to human carelessness, disproving the assumption that the structure is at fault. The second leading cause of fires in manufactured homes involves mechanical failures in the homes’ heating systems that can occur in all types of homes. Fire resistance provisions of the HUD Code include strict standards for fire retardation and smoke generation in materials, large windows in all bedrooms, smoke alarms, and at least two exterior doors which must be separate from each other and reachable without having to pass through other doors that can be locked. Site-built homes are required to have only one exterior door and no “reachability” requirement.

FAQs About WGP Property Management

Q: What is Amber Homes role in purchasing the manufactured home? Can I buy directly from the manufacturer?

A: Most manufactured homes are sold through retail sales centers, including us at Amber Homes, many of which are independently owned and operated. Others are owned and operated by a manufacturer. In some states, you may also buy from a manufactured home community owner or developer, or if you’re purchasing a previously owned home, a real estate agent. Most states do not allow you to purchase a home directly from the manufacturer. Retailers offer a variety of products and services, including helping you customize the home to fit your needs and budget. Typically, the retailer is also responsible for coordinating the delivery and installation of your home. And, once you’ve moved in, the retailer is often the contact for warranty service.  At Amber Homes, we take care of everything for you, completely turnkey, from financing to closing, making it a smooth and easy transition.

Q: Who takes care of installing my manufactured home? Can I do it myself?

A: Unless specified, your home through Amber Homes, is completely turnkey and done through our experienced set up crews. Most states have laws that govern the installation of a new manufactured home. Amber Homes or your hired subcontractor installing the home is responsible for ensuring that the home is installed in accordance with state regulations and the manufacturer’s installation instructions or with an installation designed and approved by a licensed, registered engineer. The proper method of installing the home will depend on the home’s design and the location’s conditions, such as climate and soil type. Depending on the type of loan used to finance the home, the lender may have some specific requirements for the foundation and installation of the home as well.