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.
Can they be customized?
With the vast majority of 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. 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 your retailer to order a home with accessible features, such as extra-wide halls and doorways, accessible counters and appliances and specially-equipped bathrooms.
What kind of financing is available?
Just as there are choices when you buy a site-built home, there are a variety of financing options when you buy a manufactured home. If you are buying the home and land together, or plan to place the home on land you already own, some financial institutions offer traditional real estate mortgages with similar interest rates. Should you be purchasing the manufactured home separately from the land on which it will be located, the home will probably be financed as a personal property manufactured home loan, usually with a somewhat higher interest rate and the down payment amount will reflect the amount of the entire loan, including the home and land costs being financed. FHA-insured and Department of Veterans Affairs-guaranteed (called FHA and VA) loans are available to manufactured home buyers. These types of loans may offer lower interest rates or lower down payment requirements if available in your area. They require more paperwork during the credit application and approval process and, therefore, may take longer for approval than a conventional loan.