Mobile home myths, misinformation, and stereotypes have robbed many people of the opportunity to live in more affordable housing.
They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know about Mobile Homes
People don’t know what they don’t know about manufactured homes. Last they probably heard were these homes are dangerous death traps and only poor people and dirty transients live in them.
They don’t know that federal regulation enacted in 1976 made the homes much safer and more equal to site-built home construction.
They don’t know that the homes can withstand winds over 110mph or that each home is built specifically for the region of the country it will be installed. Homes in the north can withstand greater snow loads and homes built for the southern US can withstand greater winds.
They don’t know that manufactured homes are less prone to fires or that fire destroys far less manufactured homes than site-built homes (source).
Those of us with a platform need to speak out against mobile home myths and misinformation because every family deserves to know the truth.
They all deserve to know that they can live stylishly and comfortably with less financial stress. They deserve to know that they can live debt free and be happy in a smaller or more reasonably priced home.
It’s important to me to set the record the straight about our homes. Not only for all of us that already own manufactured homes but for those that could really benefit if they gave factory-built housing another look without the burden of misinformation.
The Most Common Mobile Home Myths
The following mobile home myths are the most common. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to prove that each and every one of them is just plain wrong.
Myth #1: Only Poor People Live in Mobile Homes
The most common mobile home myth is that only poor people live in them.
If living in a home like the one below is considered being poor then I don’t ever need to be rich! Or even middle class.
I’ll be happily poor for the rest of my life!
Yes, there are poor people living in mobile homes.
There are poor people living in apartments and traditional homes, too.
Truth be known about it, there are poor people living in McMansions and oceanfront condos.
Read our top 30 tips for buying a manufactured home here.
Myth #2: Manufactured Homes Are Not Made To Last
This popular myth is purely based on a misunderstanding about home construction and the manufactured home industry, in general. People believe that all materials used to construct a manufactured home are substandard and that simply isn’t true.
The truth is that you get what you pay for in manufactured housing and that is the beauty of it!
Some manufactured home models are extremely affordable. You can buy a standard model double wide for less than $50,000! Those homes will have cheaper materials and there will be staples instead of screws, but, again, that is the beauty of manufactured homes.
Most families don’t need 2″ x 8″ framing and steep roof pitches. They don’t need stainless steel appliances or farm sinks or jacuzzi tubs. They just need a home that keeps their family safe and warm at a price that won’t have them working 3 jobs until their 80.
Some families opt to go with the higher end models and that’s awesome, too. If you pay $110,000 for a manufactured home I can assure you that the construction methods and materials used will be equal to or better than any site-built home of comparable size and cost. The studs will be larger, the roof pitches higher, the carpet plusher, and the countertops shinier.
Learn what you need to know before you buy a mobile home here.
Myth #3: You Can’t Build Equity in a Manufactured Home
One of the greatest things about owning your own home is the equity that you build as time goes on. Thankfully, the myth you can’t build that long term equity in a manufactured home isn’t true.
The trick to earning equity in these types of homes is to make sure that it is placed on a permanent foundation and is set up on land that you own. If it is, then the original structure and the land it sits on can build equity just like a stick built home. Of course, location, demand, condition, and other relevant factors will dictate the value gained on the property.
I wrote a whole article called Buying a Mobile Home: They CAN and Do Appreciate a few years ago. Click here to read it.
Myth #4: No One Will Finance or Insure a Manufactured Home
Admittedly, there are some issues when it comes to financing and insuring older mobile homes. New manufactured homes aren’t nearly as difficult to finance and insure, though. Learn all about insuring a mobile home here.
If you walk into a dealership tomorrow with a decent credit score, good job history, and own the land you’ll be placing the home on, you can get a fair loan offer on a brand new manufactured home. There are land and home package deals that have decent rates. Naturally, like any product financing or credit lending situation, there are companies that will take advantage and salespeople that will push for a sale. Research and education are the keys to finding the best financing offers and ensuring you don’t fall prey to unfair practices.
Learn the 9 easy steps to buying a new manufactured home here.
Naturally, like any product financing or credit lending situation, there are companies that will take advantage and salespeople that will push for a sale. Research and education are the keys to finding the best financing offers and ensuring you don’t fall prey to unfair practices.
Some home dealers have special lenders to help people with less-than-perfect credit histories find the funding to buy the home of their dreams. If a mortgage isn’t possible, personal property loans can help. Here are 3 financing options for manufactured homes.
Let’s End Mobile Home Myths Once and for All!
I hope this has helped to shed some light on the most common mobile home myths.
Thanks for reading Mobile Home Living!
12 thoughts on “Ending Mobile Home Myths and Misinformation”
I enjoyed the article. I bought a mobile home and closed Halloween 2014; I paid cash in full for the home and land. I’ve been trying to find a lender who might let me borrow against the equity but found no one so far. Any suggestions?
Unfortunately, you probably won’t find anyone that will lend on equity for manufactured homes. Financing is one of the biggest cons of mobile home living. Sorry!
(If you do find someone please let me know – I don’t know anyone that has been able to secure an equity loan or even get a refinance on the home alone.)
I paid cash for a 91 double wide on a full basement 10 years ago that needed a total remodel. Went to my local bank & got a home equity loan. It was appraised for 3 times what I paid for it after only 2 years. Not sure if its the same everywhere or not, I’m in northern indiana
That’s awesome! It sounds like your home was converted to real property which gives you the benefits of a site-built home as far as taxes and financing go. You pay more in taxes but that’s not bad considering all the advantages.
Thanks for the comment!
Have lived in a 1971 single wide that I still own and rent out, along with 5 others. Also bought the park and pull homes for a company. I often ask people what their stick built would look like after it did 70 down the freeway for 200 miles. Also you can explode the fire myth by going to the National Fire Safety website. Yes earlier homes with the thin walls had a slightly faster burn time. But newer homes have a better record than stick with lower death numbers. Interesting read.
Great article, thank you! I grew up with mobile homes. My family still owns a mobile home park in N.J. that my parents opened in 1948. At 19 I bought a 1954 New Moon (the same model from the movie “The Long Long Trailer” which is why the original owner’s bought it) in our park. I am now retired and have just bought a 1955 Bunn in Florida for $1,500.00 That I am remodeling. I’m loving the vintage tiny home life.
It’s great to hear from you! New Moons are awesome! Would you have any old photos? I’d love to see the park and the homes!
I bought a new 14′ by 54′ in Nov of last year and it’s awesome.I have had fun decorating nd landscaping.Love mobile homes! It always makes me crazy when people say bad things about them when they have never lived in one!I really love some of the older vintage styles and the ones with stairs,to an upstairs or patio on top.I wish they still made those! So cool.
I sold a stick home in a settled community….owned it for 17 years…had over159,000 in equity and sold it for 50,000 more than we paid for it. Bought a 3 bedroom/2bath manufactured home on a golf course for 40,000 added lots of upscale appliances and extended yard space closer to golf course….we are the 85,000 to 90,000 range now. We pay for the lot which includes taxes, landscaping and use of facilities at 3 clubhouses. We now take vacations.
Travel. Enjoy friendship of folks our age and have time to love our life! Manufactured homes are indeed the right way to live!
I hope one day I can do exactly what you’ve done. It’s always inspiring to hear stories like yours. Thanks for reading MHL and for taking the time to comment!
I have no fear about living in “affordable housing”. I have been in my double wide for 12 years now and it’s standing strong. It survived the snow storm of 96′ here in Victoria, BC and is still solid. The snow was high and drifts were up past the windows in most places. I know the house I was living in at the time the drifts were up to the roof in some places. The ol’ house I’m in now was new in 84, we are a little saggy in places from settling but nothing too serious. Keeps me warm, dry and safe. Needs work but it’s home. My dogs and I are quite happy.
Glad you are happy and warm, Sue! It doesn’t matter what you call home, really, just having one is something to be grateful for. Thanks so much for reading MHL and taking the time to comment (it’s always a pleasure!).