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Top 3 Questions (And Answers!) People Have About Manufactured Homes

Approximately 10% of the U.S. population lives in a manufactured home, and that number is growing! There are many questions and myths people have when it comes to manufactured housing. Here at Pacific Homes, we hope to shed some light on the top three things we get asked.

1. What’s the difference between a “Mobile” and a “Manufactured” home?

It might seem that the term “mobile home” and “manufactured home” can be used interchangeably, but there is a big distinction. Homes built prior to 1976 are referred to as “mobile homes.” These structures were unregulated, meaning there were not any standards in place for quality, installation, or safety and no agency providing oversight to hold manufacturers accountable for poorly constructed or dangerous units. Resembling giant tin cans, “mobile homes” gained a poor reputation for being cheaply made.

In 1976, HUD established the first federal construction standards for all factory-built homes. These requirements regulate energy efficiency, durability, fire safety, transportability, material, and construction quality. Implementing a uniform code and standards ensured a minimum level of quality and allowed for more standardization, which also led to a decrease in manufacturing costs. The terminology was also changed from “mobile homes” to “manufactured homes,” in an effort to shed the stigma that had become associated with “mobile homes.”

“Manufactured homes” describe all factory-built homes after 1976 that must adhere to the stringent HUD codes and undergo in-house and third-party multi-point inspections before being shipped from the production facility.

2. Are manufactured homes safe?

In the past, manufactured housing was more susceptible to damage from natural disasters. After several devastating hurricanes and earthquakes prompted HUD to gather data on how disasters were affecting manufactured homes and conduct studies on improving disaster resiliency, the HUD code was updated in 1994 and again in 2000. These changes have made modern manufactured homes significantly more resilient to fire, water, wind, and other natural disasters. In fact, the latest research conducted by FEMA has shown that properly installed and anchored manufactured homes built after 1994 are as safe as traditional homes built on-site.

3. Why are manufactured homes significantly cheaper than homes built on-site?

A huge misconception that we come across a lot in this industry is that manufactured homes are significantly cheaper than homes built on-location because they are of a lower quality. Wrong! A less expensive home with the same square footage as a comparable site-built home does not equate to lower quality. Actually, the modern manufactured home uses the same or similar materials as traditional houses and utilizes better construction and structural engineering.

What accounts for the substantial savings in cost you get with factory-built homes?

Much of the price difference is achieved by manufacturers benefiting from economies of scale. The manufacturers can purchase large quantities of products, materials, and appliances at less cost than a typical site-built home builder.

Another factor helping to widen the affordability of manufactured homes comes from the efficiencies of the factory-building process. Manufacturing engineers develop systematic assembly processes using custom-fabricated machines and skilled workers. Building materials are pre-cut to exact specifications in a tightly-controlled environment, producing little or no waste. The entire operation is streamlined, clean, and efficient, resulting in better construction and product uniformity.

Site-built homes consistently run behind schedule and have to deal with bad weather delays, theft or vandalism, negligence, disagreements with subcontractors and contractors, contract issues, material scarcity, and unexpected costs. These typical hurdles are virtually eliminated with manufactured home production, and the savings are passed on to the consumer.


Let Pacific Homes Be Your Guide To Affordable Home Ownership!

At Pacific Manufactured Homes, we could not be prouder of the service we provide to our customers and the quality of our homes.

Serving San Diego and its neighboring counties, we have been matching families to dream homes for over 30 years. Our talented team's expertise, connections, and experience are unmatched and invaluable. Whether you're simply curious or a serious buyer, give us a call or drop by one of our five offices in San Diego!

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