10 Facts That Show Manufactured Housing Is an Affordable Homeownership Solution

Editor's note: This is an update of an existing resource, Manufactured Housing: Top 10 Truths.

Manufactured housing is an important affordable homeownership solution and home to 20 million Americans. Below are 10 facts that show manufactured housing as a high-quality and affordable homeownership option and dispel stereotypes.

1. Manufactured Homes Are Not Mobile

“Mobile home” is a misnomer. Over 82 percent of manufactured homes remain where they were initially installed.According to the 2013 American Housing Survey, the cost of relocating a manufactured home can run between $6,000 and $10,000, equal to five to seven years’ worth of equity for homeowners.

2. Today's Manufactured Homes Are Well-Designed and Constructed

Manufactured housing is of comparable quality and lifespan to site-built housing.

3. Manufactured Housing Is Home to a Significant Number of Americans 

Nearly 20 million Americans live in manufactured housing, or 7 percent of the nation’s housing stock (American Housing Survey, 2013). Manufactured housing represents nearly 8 percent of the housing for families living at 50 percent area median income or less and is the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the nation (Kevin Jewell, "Appreciation in Manufactured Housing: A Fresh Look at the Debate and the Data," 2002). 

4. Manufactured Housing Is Energy Efficient

Today’s manufactured homes are safe and energy efficient. A new manufactured home can be quickly installed and customized with numerous features. For millions of homebuyers, a manufactured home is the smart choice: an affordable investment with the potential to appreciate.

5. Manufactured Housing Is a Stable Housing Option

Manufactured housing owners are not necessarily more transient than the general population and represent less than 5 percent of all Americans who moved in between 2015 and 2017 (American Housing Survey, 2017). 

6. Manufactured Housing Is Found Across the United States 

Manufactured homes can be found in urban, suburban and rural areas throughout the country, according to the 2015 American Housing Survey. Manufactured housing makes up about 4 percent of all housing in metropolitan statistical areas and 14 percent of all housing in rural areas. Forty-four percent of manufactured homes are in rural areas, 9 percent in central cities and 47 percent in suburban areas.

7. Most Manufactured Homes Are Located on Individual Lots, Not in "Trailer Parks"

Most manufactured homes are placed on privately owned land, rather than in land-lease communities, or “parks,” where homeowners rent their home site. In 2015, 34 percent of new manufactured homes were placed in land-lease communities

8. Owning a Home on Rented Land Is a Precarious Situation, But Residents Can Own and Operate Their Own Parks 

Approximately one-third of manufactured homeowners do not own the land beneath their homes. However, 34 percent of new homes are placed in land-lease communities.

9. Residents of Manufactured Home Parks Can Own and Operate Their Own Communities

Homeowners want the security of community ownership. Throughout the United States, there are about 1,200 resident-owned manufactured home communities (See ROCUSA.com for more information). A national nonprofit, ROC USA, works with local and national organizations to provide technical assistance and financing to help homeowners become community owners.  

10. Manufactured Homes Can Appreciate

Properly installed on land with long-term security, manufactured housing can be an asset-builder for homeowners. The most important factors affecting appreciation are land control, financing and titling. Under the right circumstances, there is no inherent reason why a home built in a factory cannot appreciate as a comparable site-built home would.

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