The Pros & Cons of Buying Manufactured Housing

by Anna Assad

    Any type of homeownership comes with a particular set of drawbacks and benefits, including manufactured homes. Manufactured homes, for example, don't always build equity, which is the percentage of the home's value free of any liabilities, but have lower taxes than traditional homes. Before you buy a manufactured home, you need to consider the potential positives and negatives.

    A modular home is usually less expensive than a traditional home. You're not buying an existing structure in a neighborhood with amenities that add to the home's value or building a new home outside, where it's exposed to the elements. A manufactured home is made inside a factory under controlled conditions, where it's less likely a costly event or accident will impact the build. However, since you must rent or buy land on which to place the home, you'll need to consider land cost as a possible drawback.

    While you'll pay less for a manufactured home than a stick-built one, you still must finance the transaction if you can't pay in cash. You can't get a conventional mortgage on a new manufactured home build unless the home has a permanent foundation, you're buying the land and the deal meets the lender's criteria. You may have to get a personal property loan from a lender or the home dealer, and the interest rates on personal property loans are often higher than the rate you'd get on a mortgage secured by real property.

    Manufactured homes take less time to build than traditional homes. A traditional home build can last over six months and go a year or more if problems occur. A manufactured home build take less than three months. Even if you pick a traditional home that is already built, remodeling or repairs can force you to wait months before you can fully move in. Since a manufactured home has pre-made sections, part of the construction work is already done by the time the dealer moves the home to the assembly site.

    Manufactured homes styles represent potential pros and cons. You'll find a lot of variety in terms of design, layout and other significant features, but you may not find the exact home design you're looking for in the prefabricated styles. While adding on to a manufactured home could be less expensive than additions to a traditional home, doing so out of dissatisfaction with the home's original layout is a drawback.

    About the Author

    Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.

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