Is a Manufactured Home Right for You?

You’ve followed the financial guru’s advice to increase your credit score and have saved up a good down payment. You are finally ready to make one of the most important decisions of your life, buying a new home.

Deciding to buy a new home is just the beginning. The next step is to decide which kind of home is most suitable for you, your family, and your budget.

You will need to take a good look at your lifestyle and ask yourself a few questions to see if a manufactured home is right for you. The following are just a few key points you’ll want to consider.

 

Site-built or Factory-built? 

The three most popular types of homes are site-built, modular, and manufactured.

Each home has their own pros and cons. For example, site-built homes have unlimited design options but long construction time. Manufactured homes have a much faster construction time, practically unlimited design and decor options, and a lower price per square foot.

In Dave Ramsey’s article, Is Building a Home Right for You?, he breaks down benefits and advantages of building your own home instead of buying an existing home. Every point he makes is true for a manufactured home, too:

 

is a site-built home or a manufactured home right for you

Image Source: daveramsey.com

Manufactured homes offer every advantage in the left column! 

 

A manufactured home isn’t right for everyone. But if getting a home that has never been lived in and getting to design the home exactly how you want then a manufactured home right for you.

 

Single Wide or Double Wide? 

There are a couple of questions you need to ask to decide whether a manufactured home is right for you and your family. Both answers will play an important role in to find the home of your dreams.

 

Where do you plan to put the home?  

The property’s dimensions will determine the size of a home more than anything else. The property’s size and shape should be large enough to safely install a manufactured home to code. Remember to leave room for utilities and driveways.

 

Related: Avoiding Issues During a Manufactured Home Purchase

 

How much living space does your family really need?

Living space is the most discussed topic on my favorite ‘find my new home’ show. It’s a heated topic because many buyers put their wants above their needs.

Plan a family night to create a realistic list of the things you absolutely need in a home, along with the ideal room size, to help decide how much square footage of living space you need.

Don’t forget about future events when choosing your square footage. The space you need now may not be the needed after the kids graduate.

 

Related: Buying a Manufactured Home: Warranties and How to Handle Issues After the Sell

 

A single wide can be great for a single person or small family, but if you have children or plan to grow your family you may want to consider a double wide.

 

 Related: 9 Easy Steps To Buying a New Manufactured Home

 

Is a manufactured home right for you - double wides on spacious lots - energy dot govImage Source: Energy.gov

How Much Home Can You Afford? 

Dave Ramsey is a financial genius that has helped many people make smarter money decisions. He has a large section on his website titled Home Buying. One of the first lines you see is:

 

Each month, thousands of people spend too much on their home purchase.

Dave Ramsey

 

When considering if a manufactured home is right for you need to think about your budget honestly and thoroughly. You only want to spend what you can comfortably afford today and tomorrow. Most financial pros agree that your monthly mortgage payment should never be more than 25% of your monthly gross income.

Related: 30 Tips for Buying a New Manufactured Home

 

Manufactured homes will likely be the most affordable home option. They are much lower when compared to the price per square foot of a site-built home.

The price range of a typical single wide can range anywhere from $24,000-$78,000. While the price range of a double wide can be anywhere from $48,000 to as much as $120,000 depending on the features and size of the home.

 

PS Manufactured Homes Can Appreciate 

Many people believe that a manufactured home cannot appreciate. These people are wrong.

When attached to the property a manufactured home can gain equity just like a site-built home. A study done a few years ago proved that manufactured homes gained value just as well as a site-built home. Manufactured homes in parks and communities outside of the popular retirement areas do lose value more often than not but the lower housing costs can still make choosing a manufactured home a smart choice.

 

Read ‘Manufactured Homes Can and Do Appreciate’ to learn more.

 

Manufactured homes have given millions of families the opportunity to own a beautiful home at a price that us regular people can actually afford. The industry leaves a lot to be desired and financing and insuring is often a pain but manufactured homes are a good housing choice for many.

Yes, the McMansion is nice but so is having your home paid for by the time you are 40.

Imagine how many people could have had a great home at lower price if only they would have taken a good, neutral look at manufactured homes. Many could have retired earlier!

 

I hope you have enjoyed this article! Thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!

Learn more about buying a manufactured home here.

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5 Comments
  1. Paula says

    Dave Ramsey is not a fan of mobile/manufactured homes (he even says this in his book The Total Money Makeover which I have at home) due to their “depreciation.” He does, however, tell people to buy homes within their means and pay it off as soon as possible. I have a 1990 single wide that is paid off and just pay lot fee now. We are a family of three and don’t need a big place just for stuff. I like having a smaller home that is easier to heat and take care of.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      It sounds like you have it made, Paula! Isn’t it nice to have a home that’s paid off?

      Mr. Ramsey’s opinion doesn’t seem to be based on any actual data though (that I could find). He, like most everyone else, keeps saying they depreciate more than they appreciate but all the data I have seen prove otherwise (for homes not in parks).

      Thanks so much for reading MHL!

  2. Shelly Newman says

    I am semi retired and I bought a 1999 Redman single wide last year. I will have it paid off in 3 years. It has 3/2 bd/bath and I at last have my craft room and my cats have their own room to hangout complete with a cat door. My bathroom has a big corner tub and a shower stall. I’ve been decorating it for the last 6 months. I love my home, large covered porch and it’s in the trees. My choice isn’t for everyone, but I have confidence now that I will have an affordable place to live throughout my retirement years.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Shelly!

      It’s great to hear from you! I want a craft room and a cat room! (We have a very spoiled Burmese we got her from the Humane Society). It’s amazing the great lifestyle that is possible with a manufactured home! Thanks so much for reading Mobile Home Living!

  3. DweezilAZ says

    I like Dave Ramsey too, but every time I hear him mention manufactured housing he trashes them and always says they depreciate. Which as you pointed out is nonsense.

    He never mentions the fact that if it’s on land or in a planned development where the owners own the land, they appreciate just like stick built houses.

    We have one house here in the ‘hood that is actually stick built and if you didn’t know, could never tell as it looks just like everyone else’s MH.

    Found Ramsey after I had gotten out of debt [ zero house, car or credit ], but find him completely on my wavelength about personal financial matters.

    I find the people who blast him the most are the ones that don’t want to hear it.

    Even without land an MH is a better solution than an “air estate”: a condo. There are no people sharing the same walls, no one above or below, your own patch of ground, parking, and one actually owns something.

    Then there are HOA fees that almost cost as much as lot rent and on top of that property taxes. Yet the MH will still be sneered at.

    Own something tangible or the surfaces and air space inside your unit. Which one is the “greater fool” for buying one over the other ?

    My MH is nicer than any place I ever lived in Hollywood and The Valley over nearly 40 years. Insulation ? What a concept. Central air ? When did that happen ? When did builders stop using cloth covered wiring and glass fuses ?

    I loved my condo [ yes, I owned one ] and post war shack in Van Nuys, but neither were as nice as this house is.

    Great article, Kim. I look forward to reading more of your writing

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