First-time Homeowner Affordability Gap Leads to Manufactured Home Boom

Written by Posted On Monday, 05 February 2018 13:03

First-time homebuyers – those that haven't been blessed with a trust fund, help from family or a life insurance payout – are finding the tight housing market is causing home prices to skyrocket. Median home prices are up 48% since 2011, and traditional stick-built homes are going to the wayside for other housing types.

The tiny home craze has sent many homeowners into 400 square foot or smaller homes.

And the tight housing market has made it more affordable for some people to buy land and build rather than buy existing homes.

The affordability gap has also led to a rise in:

  • Tiny homes

  • Manufactured homes

  • Modular homes

Markets in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland are seeing a major increase in factory homes. These homes are designed to fit a homeowner's lifestyle, budget and time needs. Factory homes have a lot of benefits, too:

Affordability is a Major Selling Point

A major selling point of manufactured homes is that they're much more affordable than a traditional built home. These homes cost:

  • $41 per square foot on average

Of course, there are high-end manufactured homes that are more expensive than the $41 square foot average. The affordability isn't tied to the home being of lesser quality. It's quite the opposite.

The cost to build these homes are far less because they're built in a factory, meaning the costs are much lower.

Controlled Build and Faster Speeds

When the builder doesn’t need to worry about the weather or other factors when building, the time it takes to build a home is much faster. Manufactured homes are built in the factory, which means a few things:

  • Theft in the building process is eliminated

  • 35 – 40 less waste is produced

  • Time to build is 20% of a site-built home

If a site-built home takes 12 months to build, you can expect your manufactured home to take less than three months. Builders of manufactured homes also don't need to worry about wastefulness, theft or other factors that drive the building price higher.

Energy Efficient and Safe

Strict regulations require manufactured homes to be energy efficient and meet stringent safety guidelines. The same safety regulations that are imposed on a stick-built home are also imposed on a manufactured home.

The same standards of building must be followed.

Safety regulations also demand that manufactured homes meet the same safety of a site-built home:

  • Combustible material limits

  • Smoke detectors

  • Escape windows

You'll also have the benefit of being able to upgrade your heating unit, if you have the budget, because you're spending less on your home.

Financing is also widely available for a manufactured home. Many government programs are offering funding options for manufactured homes. There are a lot of lenders that will also offer the option to finance the home.

Some areas may have certain square foot, foundation and flood zone requirements.

If you opt to live in a community, you will find a lot of communities popping up that offer top-of-the-line amenities to their community members. Manufactured homes make a lot of sense for first-time homebuyers that are struggling to find existing homes in the low inventory market.

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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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