Cost and Community: Inside the rising popularity of manufactured homes

Did you know that most manufactured homeowners are between age 18 and 29, and the second largest group are aged between 50 and 59?

If those numbers didn’t surprise you, this might: 22 million Americans live in mobile or manufactured homes, making these homes one of the largest sources of affordable housing in the U.S.

There are many reasons for the growing popularity of these factory-built homes and the disappearing stigma they once held. Mostly, however, this can be contributed to the combination of affordability and community.

Affordability

Everyone knows manufactured homes are cheaper than site-built home, but few know by exactly how much.

The average cost per square foot of a manufactured home is estimated to be about half of the average square foot of a traditional home. Half! It’s no wonder that so many Americans are going with manufactured over site-built homes.

In fact, as of 2021, the average price for a manufactured home is calculated to be $98,300, according to the United States Census Bureau.

This cost comes with a caveat. It’s a good average to base your assumptions on, but there are many varieties, shapes, and sizes of manufactured homes, and location comes into play too. So if you’re going the high-end route or looking for something more affordable, add or subtract from that number.

At one point in time, the cost of manufactured homes contributed to its stigma. But now more and more people are realizing that the quality of these homes is comparable to site-built homes.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces strict preemptive building codes specifically for manufactured homes, ensuring they’re safe, environmentally sound, and energy efficient, making them a great alternative to traditional homes.

In short, manufactured homeowners get the advantage of price while not having to settle for less quality.

Community

Another reason people choose manufactured homes is because of the amazing communities that arise out of the parks, allowing you the opportunity to surround yourself with like-minded people, or join a community that will quickly welcome you into their regular activities and social circles.

Many manufactured home parks are 55+, making them great retirement communities, while other parks attract residents based on location, like waterside property, or amenities such as tennis and basketball courts for some friendly competition with neighbors. Each park has its own unique community, and with 100,000s of parks across the U.S., you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you.

But the best part about the community-based aspect of these parks is that you still have your own private home with your own walls, driveway, backyard, and private living space.

Some might just say it’s the best of both worlds.

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