Are Manufactured Homes the Hottest Housing Trend in America?

A Hidden Gem You Should Consider

High-rise metropolitan condos. Cozy vintage brownstones. Suburban homes tucked behind picket fences. Everyone is after finding their own slice of paradise to call home, but what’s the right pick for people today?

When kids start leaving their childhood homes and forging their own independence all the way until adults start searching for the perfect place to retire, it’s clear that adults are nearly always on the hunt for a house. But with one in six adult renters falling behind on rent and median existing-home prices smashing records and topping $350K in May 2021, picking a humble abode is becoming…complicated.

Nationwide rent spikes and homes in higher demand than ever are two factors that make it seem like there’s no clear winner in finding a pad to lay some roots. However, there’s a resurging housing option that nearly 20 million Americans have already discovered—manufactured homes.

Without gouging monthly fees like new-build rentals, the astronomical cost of buying a home, and all the long-term restraints that come with both, manufactured housing could be the hottest housing trend in the US in 2021 and beyond. See why it’s such an appealing choice for today’s buyers and why it’s a hidden gem you should consider.

What Is A Manufactured Home?

First of all, let’s clear the air about what counts as a manufactured home. While you may think it’s just a fancy, long-form term for “mobile home” or “trailer,” a manufactured home is truly neither of those.

The history of mobile homes stretches far back into the nation’s past—think Conestoga wagons traversing the bumpy country. It wasn’t until the 1950s, though, that companies started sincerely designing these homes on chassis for full-time living. Trailers were suddenly being built with more home amenities while growing wider and longer. While they remained towable, they were often set up for the long haul in trailer parks dotting the US.

Manufactured homes made their debut in 1976 with the passing of the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act by the US Congress. This bill was designed to ensure these homes were safer and built to be more durable and sturdy for its long-term livers—and its benefits have been a boon to the industry as a whole.

Today, manufactured homes are at least 320 square feet in size, can have multiple rooms and levels, and still have a permanent chassis so it can be towed to a location and permanently installed (a major difference between these and modular homes). They can be built on-site or off-site in a factory, or employ a blend of both, but one thing’s always for sure: Manufactured homes are here to stay.

For more than 20 years, we’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of families realize the dream of home ownership while rebuilding neighborhoods in partnership with Monte Christo Communities. CHRIS PODESTA
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