Manufactured homes can sometimes get a bad rap. People often think of them as “low-end” or “temporary” – but they really aren’t. Manufactured houses can be good choices for many families. And more lenders are willing to finance manufactured home purchases, which is why you can get a loan for a manufactured home just like you can for a more conventional-style home. So let’s fill you in on all you need to know about manufactured homes and manufactured-home loans.
Manufactured homes are high-quality homes
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has regulated the design and construction of manufactured houses since 1976. HUD regulations ensure the homes are built with reliable electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems. The regulations also require the homes to meet high standards for fire resistance, energy efficiency, strength, and overall safety.
Manufactured homes offer many of the same advantages as stick-built homes. Here are a few of them:
- They can be spacious (typically between 1,500 to 2,000 square feet)
- There are customizable floor plans with choices for comfortable living rooms, well-equipped kitchens, deluxe bathrooms, and bedrooms featuring walk-in closets
- You can upgrade cabinets, flooring, and lighting
- You can also select extra insulation, ceiling fans, and efficient windows to help keep the house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer
Perhaps, best of all, manufactured homes are typically less expensive to buy than stick-built homes – which can make them a good choice for many first-time homebuyers!
Differences between mobile homes, manufactured homes, and standard homes
A few things distinguish mobile homes from manufactured homes. Mobile homes are treated and financed more like cars and trucks. Mobile homes usually have wheels, vehicle identification numbers (“VINs”), and can be towed from place to place. Homes that were manufactured before the HUD regulations went into effect in 1976 are technically considered “mobile” homes, even those that aren’t on wheels.
Manufactured homes don’t have wheels, are permanently affixed to their site, and must meet HUD standards. While they can be moved, considerable work is involved in the process. (You’ve probably seen them on large flatbed trucks driving slowly down the highway.)
While some manufactured homes may look just like stick-built homes, there are differences between them, as well. The biggest difference is that manufactured homes are, well, manufactured! Their pieces are built in a factory and later assembled on the home site. Stick-built homes are built entirely on the home site. This is one reason manufactured homes are cheaper and faster to build than stick-built homes.
One of the most important differences between manufactured and stick-built homes is the ownership of the land on which the homes sit. When you buy an existing manufactured house, you may or may not be buying the land under the house, too. Therefore, you may need to include the cost of buying or renting the land when you think about buying a manufactured home.
By contrast, most stick-built homes also come with the land on which the homes are built.
Financing and refinancing manufactured homes
You have a lot of options when searching for a loan to purchase a manufactured home. Choices include FHA loans, VA loans, or conventional loans. Manufactured homes may need to meet certain requirements that are different from those imposed on stick-built homes; click the link above to learn more.
We’ve got plenty of information about all kinds of loans for all kinds of homes right here.