In September 2011, I started Mobile Home Living.
I bought the domain name, published through a free blogging platform called Blogger, and had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
Looking back, it’s hilarious how naive and uneducated I was about the manufactured housing world and blogging in general. How this site eventually found its footing and gained popularity will always be the 8th great mystery of the world (at least to me).
Mobile Home Living was born when my husband and I bought a 1978 single wide in 2011 and I searched online for mobile home remodeling and decorating ideas. There were only a few legitimate results and the idea to create a site that offered remodeling and decorating ideas, along with repair help, was born. I figured if I was looking for this information others were as well. I guess I was right.
The Errors of My Way
By Mobile Home Living’s first anniversary I had already been contacted by a few people with the same complaint: I was committing a faux pas of epic proportions – I was using the term ‘Mobile Home.’
The nerve of me!
By our fourth anniversary, I had been contacted dozens of times, usually by an over-zealous salesman or someone that worked within the industry (but they never associated themselves with any one company). The argument was always the same; The words ‘mobile home’ supposedly conjured up negative opinions of factory-built housing so the term must never be used. Ever. Again.
New Rules = New Name?
July 1, 1976 is a very special day in the factory-built housing industry. You could even call it their rebirth. Though it would have been their second, or was it their third?
This day is when a new federal law went into affect across the nation regarding all newly constructed ‘manufactured’ homes. HUD, the government department that oversees housing and urban development, had worked with the industry to come up with a minimum set of standards that all homes had to meet.
Prior to these new standards the factory-built housing industry had basically ran amok.
Poor construction and terrible safety issues plagued the homes. Of course, there were a few companies that offered a superior home along with good customer service but there were far more companies that only cared about profit and their greed disgraced the reputation of the homes and the industry.
These new guidelines significantly increased safety and construction quality of the homes. From this new-found quality a completely new product was born and it would be called a ‘Manufactured Home.’
Gone would be the visions of the poorly constructed homes of yesteryear. It was a new day in the industry!
Is It a Mobile Home or a Manufactured Home?
It’s a mobile home if the home was built before July 1, 1976.
It’s a manufactured home if it was built after July 1, 1976.
And if you wanna get real technical, it’s a trailer if it was built before 1954 when the association of trailer coach builders of America (or something like that) decided they wanted to be called the mobile home builders of America (or something like that).
Are you noticing the pattern too? They sure do like to change names!
Oh, look, a very nice mobile home…oops, I mean manufactured home…..I mean trailer. I’m confused, again.
So, What’s the Big Deal?
There’s no big deal really. I’m just taking a stand against all this silliness.
I’ve been told that no builder or dealer would ever want to advertise on my little blog because they would not be associated with the term ‘Mobile Home.’ It’s probably a good thing I haven’t accepted any advertising from within the manufactured home industry (unless they go through a third party ad agency but I have no control over that). I want to remain neutral and honest about my opinions.
I have seen articles on industry sites that actually have rebuttals for salesman and employees to use if they hear the words ‘mobile home’ spill from someone’s mouth.
I even changed the name of this blog to ‘Mobile and Manufactured Home Living’ and have been very careful to explain the differences in articles to try to play along.
It hasn’t worked. I don’t think anything will work at this point.
Another Email? Oh, Joy……
Here’s the latest communication that I received just a couple days ago:
Your site is very interesting. Great site! But….. you really need to drop the term “Mobile Home”. The reason is, it gives people the view that these are “Trailers” and not homes. HUD changed it in 1976 to Manufactured Homes. If we as owners of these homes want to change all the misconceptions about these homes, the term “Mobile Home” must be eliminated across the board. It gives inspectors, insurance companies, banks, home buyers, etc. a total misconception of what these homes have become. There is so much wrong information given to people by so called, “people in authority”, because they think these homes are “trailers”, and the term “Mobile” is part of the reason….along with those people not knowing or caring to know what is fact and what is a myth. We as owners, need to start changing the misconceptions that has plagued these homes for many years. It is time to get the truth out about these homes, and helping our selves at the same time… just my opinion.
My Reply to All this Silly Name Changing…..
My issue with all this name changing is simple – you cannot change how people talk. I’ve called these awesome adobes ‘mobile homes’ my entire life and I ain’t stopping now.
I know all about 1976. Trust me!
Here is my official reply to all this silliness about the two small terms that has cause a lot of controversy:
The misconceptions of mobile homes are mostly true – some of the homes were junk, the buyers were preyed on, and the industry was a unregulated joke. It is what it is. Own it and move on….
The only thing that can remedy the situation is to make it better now and in the future.
No offense, of course, but trying to change a term is like trying to make the ocean stop creating waves – it isn’t going to happen.
The industry needs to focus on improving themselves and offering the best product at the best price possible and stop worrying about a term used by the people living in them or buying them.
The happy owners, like me and the other 6 million or so readers that have visited Mobile Home Living in the last four years, only want to enjoy our homes. Our lives advertise them better than any name change ever could.
This is My Stand…..
This is me, the founder of Mobile Home Living, saying to you that I love my home and everything it has offered me.
It has given me so many gifts -the most important being the ability to live a little more on a little less.
And I don’t care what you call it….I call it home.
Thank you so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living.