What Is A Manufactured Home?
These are homes built entirely in the factory under a federal building code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Manufactured homes may be single- or multi-section and are transported to the site and installed. The federal standards regulate manufactured housing design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and quality. The HUD Code also sets performance standards for the heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. It is the only federally regulated national building code. On-site additions, such as garages, decks and porches, often add to the attractiveness of manufactured homes and must be built to local, state or regional building codes.
Why should I consider a manufactured home?
If you are looking to get the most out of your housing dollar, consider a manufactured home. Depending on the region of the country, construction costs per square foot for a new manufactured home average anywhere from 10 to 35 percent less than a comparable site-built home, excluding the cost of the land. Today's manufactured homes offer the quality construction, modern amenities and livability you are seeking at a price that fits your lifestyle and your budget!
Can I Buy A Home Directly From The Manufacturer?
In Texas, manufactured homes are sold through retail sales centers, which are independently owned and operated. You may also buy from a manufactured home community owner or developer if they are licensed with TDHCA. Retailers offer a variety of products and services, including helping you customize the home to fit your needs and budget. The retailer is also responsible for coordinating the delivery and installation of your home. Furthermore, the retailer can assist in arranging financing and insurance coverage for the home. And, once you've moved in, the retailer is often the contact for warranty service. More information can be found at the TDHCA website.
Can I Customize A Manufactured Home To Meet My Particular Needs/Wants?
Today's manufactured homes come with "standard" features that you would find in a site-built home. Many floor plans are available that range from basic models to more elaborate designs that feature vaulted ceilings, drywall, fully equipped modern kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs and whirlpools. You may also select from a variety of exterior designs and siding materials, including wood, hardboard, or vinyl siding. Your lifestyle and your budget are the only limitations to the options available to you. Many manufacturers also provide homes that are "accessible" for those with special needs. If you are interested in such a home, work with your retailer to order a home with accessible features, such as extra-wide halls and doorways, accessible counters and appliances, and specially equipped bathrooms.
Are There Limits On Where I Can Locate or Place A Manufactured Home?
Many cities and towns, still relying on outdated perceptions and stereotypes of "mobile homes," have zoning regulations limiting where you can place a manufactured home. However, more and more urban and suburban governments are recognizing that today's manufactured homes are virtually indistinguishable from site-built homes and are allowing manufactured homes to be placed in their communities. Before purchasing a manufactured home, be sure to check the zoning regulations in the area where you want to live.
May I install my own home?
No. Only a licensed installer may install, re-level, or modify any component of the manufactured home's foundation
What are Wind Zones, and what do I need to know about them?
The counties along the Gulf Coast are designated as Wind Zone II counties because they often experience very strong winds, especially when a hurricane makes landfall. Therefore the homes that are installed in those counties must be built and installed to withstand these higher winds. To be installed in a Wind Zone II county, a manufactured home constructed on or after September 1, 1997, must meet Wind Zone II standards. Wind Zone II homes and homes built prior to September 1, 1997, may be installed in a Wind Zone I or II county without restriction. Wind Zone I homes may not be installed in those counties designated as Wind Zone II. The counties designated as Wind Zone II are Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson, Kennedy, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio and Willacy.
Is the HUD Code less stringent than state or local building codes?
No. While there are some differences between the codes, this difference has more to do with how the codes are intended to operate. While state or local building codes are basically prescriptive, meaning they prescribe what type of lumber or what type of electric wire must be used in the construction of the home, the HUD Code is more focused on performance, allowing the manufacturer to use products that are most compatible with the factory-building process as long as these products perform according to the guidelines established within the code.
Independent analysis comparing the state or local building codes with the HUD Code have found that "on balance, the codes are comparable" and "the net cumulative effect of the differences between the two codes is more likely on the order of hundreds of dollars, rather than thousands of dollars per unit." The HUD Code is the more restrictive in situations such as ventilation, flame spread and structural loads.
Does a manufactured home appreciate in value?
Generally, a home is a great investment. Appreciation on any home - either site-built or factory-built - is affected by the same factors: the desirability and stability of the community, supply and demand for homes in the local market, and the maintenance and upkeep of the home. When properly installed and maintained, today's manufactured homes will appreciate the same as surrounding site-built homes.
Will I be able to insure my manufactured home?
Yes. There are insurance companies that specialize in offering insurance coverage for manufactured homes.
What kinds of financing are available for Manufactured Homes?
Just as there are choices when you buy a site-built home, there are a variety of financing options for manufactured home buyers. Down payments and loan terms are similar - 5-10 percent of the manufactured homes sales price for a down payment and loan terms of 15-30 years.
If you are buying a home and land together, or plan to place the home on land you already own, some financial institutions offer traditional real estate mortgages with similar interest rates. If you purchase your manufactured home separately from the land on which it will be located, the home will most likely be financed as a personal property manufactured home loan, usually with a higher interest rate.
FHA-insured and the Department of Veteran Affairs - guaranteed (called FHA and VA) -loans are available to manufactured home buyers. These types of loans may offer lower interest rates or lower down payment requirements. If available in your area, they require more paperwork during the credit application and approval process and, therefore, may take longer for approval than a conventional loan.