What are the Benefits of Buying a Manufactured Home Versus Renting?

A beautiful kitchen with tiled floors. On the left is the sink, and further to the right is the kitchen cabinet.

White cabinets and a large kitchen island make this kitchen stylish and functional in this kitchen of the BBK-28603A Plan, a manufactured home by Clayton Homes in Mesa, Ariz.

As rents continue to rise throughout the country, many renters are considering home- ownership.

Some of these potential home- buyers, however, self-disqualify themselves out of the home process because they don’t think they can afford a home or cannot save for a down payment.

There are many options out there for these home shoppers, including buying a manufactured home versus renting a home that they are not building equity in.

The benefits of buying a manufactured home can outweigh those of renting, particularly when it comes to cost. “A few years ago, we bought a manufactured home in a nice park as a second home,” says William L. Seavey, a writer and publisher in Cambria, Calif., who adds that his neighbor is a college student whose father purchased the home as an investment and to save on rent.

Advantages of Buying Manufactured Versus Renting

1. Quality and Safety

Manufactured homes are built in an indoor facility, where changes in the weather do not affect build time or materials. Building homes in a controlled setting means uniformity in the building process, which means standard quality control. In addition, manufactured homes require a third-party inspection before they leave the facility.

“Our manufactured and modular homes are built under cover in our indoor facilities, where weather fluctuations do not influence the build time or damage the home during construction,” according to a representative from Clayton Homes, the largest producer of manufactured housing in the country. 
“Our builders know that ‘good enough’ doesn’t cut it, so we make sure that quality and accountability are taken into consideration every step of the building process. Each and every home undergoes internal inspections that, together with a third-party inspection program that reviews the building facility at various stages of the construction process, ensures the quality of our homes is upheld.”

A quality-built home means a safe home, too. That’s why manufactured home builders adhere to the latest in building technology and standards. This means that manufactured homes can often withstand high winds due to advanced 
anchoring systems and perform as well as standard homes in these types of events.

2. Cost and Value

A manufactured home can help homeowners build equity, particularly if they own the 
land the home is located on. If a manufactured homes is permanently affixed to the land, it is considered real property, just like standard homes, giving them higher value. (If it is not, then the manufactured home is considered personal property.) Getting a home set on the land will greatly help in appreciation.

In addition, by properly maintaining a manufactured home, a homeowner can see the value of their manufactured home rise. Seavey’s first home was not a manufactured home — at the time, he tried to purchase manufactured, but the deal fell through — but he highly recommends manufactured as a suitable first home.

“Many first-time buyers should consider manufactured homes to get equity and to establish a credit history before — if ever — they move to a standard home,” he says. “In my park, homes are even rising in price and we’ve almost broken even, despite the space rents.”

3. Customization and You

Just because a manufactured home comes from a facility doesn’t mean homebuyers will lose out on the opportunity to personalize the home to fit their lifestyle and personality. Unlike with renting, these homeowners don’t have to forego painting rooms and adding stylish features.

Just like with standard homes, buyers of manufactured homes get the opportunity to choose finishes and upgrades that will make their manufactured home truly theirs. For example, some manufactured home plans include pet-friendly features such as a pet washing station in the 
Toscana model from SEHomes of Texas.

If you are renting, but are tired of the rising costs and the many hassles that come along with it, buying a manufactured home may be a viable option. The benefits that come with purchasing a manufactured home mean freedom to personalize a home the way you want it and freedom from rental costs.

Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning journalist and former content manager for NewHomeSource. You can find her on Google+.

Sign up for the Home of the Week

New Home 101
New eBook Available

Expert Advice on Buying & Building a New Home

The eBook will be delivered to your inbox. We will not share your email address.