How cost-effective is manufactured housing?
Housing is expensive. Especially these days. Most people are struggling to get by, let alone being able to afford the downpayment and mortgage on a new home. Is there a way to buy a home and get out of the renters’ game if you don’t have deep pockets? Yes, there are some options. Here’s some information to help you decide.
Straight-up cost comparison.
There are many possibilities but let’s start with a direct comparison of like-for-like homes. Manufactured homes are 10-20% less expensive than their stick-built counterparts for the same quality and features. There are efficiencies in building homes in factories that bring the costs down. The two homes would have the same standards and be built to the same specifications. So in a straight-up comparison, manufactured homes are less expensive. Still, this is a permanent home, and owning the land would be a good idea but very expensive, so let’s look at some other options.
Homes built with high quality but fewer features.
If you are willing to compromise on your home’s features and luxuries, you can gain serious savings with manufactured homes. Stick-built homes are around $150 – $250 per square foot. Manufactured homes range from $50 – $250 per square foot. So you could get a manufactured home with lots of goodies, and it’ll come out in the same general price range. But if you are willing to forego the luxury extras, manufactured homes are dramatically less expensive while still providing the same quality of construction.
Park models are a great choice if you are on a budget. They are less than 400 square feet and thus qualify as recreational vehicles even though they are more like real houses or large tiny homes. You can rent space in a mobile home park and put your park model on a rented pad, so you don’t have the expense of buying the land to place your home on. You can get into a Park Model home for less than any other standard home type. This is the most affordable option unless you want to live permanently in a camper.
Semi-nomadic living in Park Models.
Park Models haven’t moved around much, but they are highly mobile. If you go from place to place and are only there for 6 months to a year, this would be an ideal type of home if you want more than just a camper trailer. It is basically like having a 5th wheel camper, except your camper looks and feels like a real house. You can move a Park Model for a couple of thousand dollars if the distance isn’t very far. It does qualify as an exceptional convoy since it is wider than 8ft, so you would have to hire a professional moving company to relocate it. But the savings and quality of life might be worth the extra hassle. For people who are semi-nomadic, having a proper home might be a better option than a travel trailer or RV.