Manufactured Homes, the Next Big Thing in a Housing Crisis?
Buying a home can be expensive, especially with the current market. Many people are experiencing challenges stemming from the shortage of affordable housing in their community. An October 2021 Pew Research Center® survey revealed that 49 percent of Americans would describe the lack of affordable housing as a “major problem where they live.” In the same survey, 70 percent of Americans believed that “young adults have a harder time buying a home than their parents’ generation did.”*
Let’s check out 4 reasons why you might want to consider purchasing a manufactured home:
- Affordability (in changing markets, too)
It’s no secret that housing prices have risen over the last few years. The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2023 was $426,500 (with the average sales price even higher at $479,800). The average sales price of a manufactured home in October 2022 was $160,400 for a double wide, and $81,400 (under “average sale price” data piece) for a single wide. That’s a significant difference in prices! Other options, such as renting, are also available, but renting may not be ideal if you are ready to put your roots down.*
- Potential Equity
One of the biggest drawbacks to renting is that you do not have the potential to build equity in the home. A manufactured home, however, can potentially be a good investment, particularly if the home is permanently affixed to land. When renting, the monthly rental payment becomes a permanent monthly expense as long as you rent. A mortgage, however, has an end date. If it is within your budget, you can also make extra principal payments toward paying off your mortgage loan ahead of schedule to eliminate having a monthly mortgage payment even sooner. I don’t know about you, but my mortgage is my biggest expense each month.
- You’ll have a home for your pets
If you are an animal person like I am, remember that your home is your pet’s home, too! Owning a home means you have more freedom with how many pets you can have. It is not uncommon for rental agreements to either limit the number of pets you may have or exclude them altogether in your rental home. And even if pets are permitted, rental agreements may still limit the breed, size, or weight of certain animals.
When looking to move to Tennessee, it was hard to find a rental property that would permit my cuddly 84-pound Rottweiler-Lab mix, Sadie. We had difficulty finding rental space with a fenced yard or personal outdoor space. We ended up renting a space with a shared yard, so we felt we couldn’t let our dog out without a leash or closely attending her. While this meant we would get to take fun trips to the dog park, unfortunately it also meant we had to stand in the cold rain for bathroom breaks. We were also perpetually worried the owners would one day decide they didn’t want to rent to pet owners. Now, since purchasing our own home, Sadie has a nice fenced-in yard.
- Freedom to make it your own
Rentals can also limit your ability to make your home feel like your own. Rentals may deter you from putting holes in the walls for hanging pictures, updating or remodeling, even painting sometimes. Homeownership offers all those freedoms. The sky is the limit for what weekend project you’ll find yourself getting into, whether it is a bathroom remodel or planting a garden. Plus, what’s the point of watching all those home improvement shows if you can’t utilize your inspiration from them?
All things considered, buying a home can still be expensive, especially if you’re unsure what to look for. So, are you thinking about a manufactured home? They are more popular now than ever, and for a great reason. They provide many of the same features you may be looking for in a site-built home, but they are available at a more attainable price point! Just imagine, sitting on your front porch sipping your sweet tea or coffee as you relax in your rocking chair, enjoying your own home for less than you even expected.
*Updated by Kayla Perez