Choosing the best mobile home manufacturer is a big decision, and it can be thrilling and stressful at the same time. Most of the best mobile home manufacturers provide beautiful and functional homes, which is exciting, but dealing with mobile home dealers can be hectic.
Even though the dealer helps you discover different manufacturer brands, you must first put yourself in control with a clear plan of what you want and need in a new mobile home. This way, the buying process will be easier. In this write-up, we will learn more about mobile homes and review some of the best mobile home manufacturers for you and your family.
What is a mobile home?
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A mobile home is also commonly known as a park home, house trailer, or trailer home. It is a prefabricated structure that is built in a factory on an indelibly attached chassis before being transported to the site.
Mobile homes are designed with steel frames and joinery allowing you to place the home on any stable foundation or posts available. They come in various options and can be custom-built to meet your needs. These homes can be used as permanent homes or temporary or holiday accommodation.
Manufactured Home vs. Mobile Home
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Manufactured homes are designed and built in factories following the construction and safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These homes are built on permanent base frames with wheels. Then they are professionally transported in one or more sections and installed on-site.
A mobile home, on the other hand, refers to manufactured homes designed and produced before June 15, 1976. These homes are movable; however, they received a bad reputation since they were not built with quality and depreciated faster.
Manufactured homes and mobile homes are both regulated by HUD. The only difference between the two types of homes is the manufacturing date. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a factory-built home before June 15, 1976, is a mobile home, and those built after June 15, 1976, is a manufactured homes.
Today, manufactured homes are not meant to be moved more than once. Structurally, they are safer and more comfortable. The homes are built to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards and then placed on permanent foundations.
What Are Mobile Home Manufacturers?
Mobile home manufacturers are people or companies who manufacture or assemble manufactured homes. Basically, the manufacturers replace the roles of contractors on a typical site-built home. Rather than working on the building site, the mobile home manufacturers design and build homes within their factories.
Just like a car, mobile homes are designed and built on an assembly line. Each of these manufacturers is required to follow certain internal and external building standards and regulations, including the federal HUD code for manufactured homes.
With that understanding, let's dive in and look at the top mobile home manufacturers for you to get the right fit.
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Clayton homes are the best home builders for home buyers looking for homes with superior structure quality as well as energy efficiency. This company is well known for constructing manufactured and modular homes and PMRVs. It is also well recognized for its implemented green practices, making it one of our top choices for energy-efficient mobile homes.
Recognized in the manufactured home industry, this company has won multiple awards for Manufactured Housing Institute Excellence in Manufactured Housing. The company also has an ISO 14001 Certification for green building standards and meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) energy efficiency requirements.
Clayton offers many styles, including modular, manufactured, tiny, and traditional, site-built homes. Again the company has built military barracks, dormitories, and many apartments. To buy a Clayton home, you need to find a retailer link and enter your zip code. From there, you will be guided by one of Clayton's retailers in your entered region.
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Palm Harbor Homes is another perfect option you can go for if you want to get a company with the best customizable floor plans and durable building practices. This company offers both single-section and multi-section homes with contemporary designs.
Know for producing homes that can withstand harsh weather, the company tracks its homes' performances through storms for better improvements and advancements. If durability and resilience are one of your top priorities, you won't want to skip over Palm Harbor Homes.
What I love most about these home builders is that they allow you to develop your own floor plans by customizing existing mobile home designs. This is a unique service that most of its competitors do not have.
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Champion homes is a modular and mobile home manufacturing company that has been operational since 1953. This translates to years of experience constructing a wide range of home types across a vast network of retailers. In addition, the homes Champion homes are professionally designed and engineered to meet national, state, and local building codes.
What we love most about this architecture firms is that it provides many factory-built solutions from single or multi-family homes to commercial and government buildings. The company's catalog of manufactured homes, mobile homes, modular homes, park models, and commercial modular buildings are located in the United States and western Canada.
Additionally, the company provides its home buyers with plenty of floor plan options. Whether it is your first time acquiring a factory-built home or you are an active senior, this company offers designs and customizable floor plans that are the ideal complement to your lifestyle.
4. Cavco Homes
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Cavco is one of the leading manufacturers of mobile homes, modular homes, commercial buildings, park model homes, and vacation cabins in the united states. What fascinates me most is that the company's insurance group offers a wide range of product insurance for manufactured homeowners.
Cavco homes are reasonably priced, and they come in every budget. Again the company offers design flexibility, seeing that you can fully utilize your space and even add other amenities like porches, garages, or decks, depending on what you want. Furthermore, the homes Cavco builds are professionally designed and built to meet national building codes.
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Fleetwood home is another manufacturer of affordable homeownership options that has been operational since 1950. This company designs and builds different buildings, including modular homes, mobile homes, tiny homes, college dorms, barracks, apartments, and more. What I like most is that they provide spacious homes with functional features like an open kitchen.
This best mobile home manufacturer has been an affordable quality home provider for customers in Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The amazing bit is that all Fleetwood Homes are built in an environmentally controlled facility with no exposure to the outside elements. Again all their building materials are stored in an environmentally controlled warehouse to limit exposure to the outdoor elements.
Besides that, Fleetwood Homes' Quality Assurance Process is thorough, ensuring all their homes comply with the Federal Factory-built Housing Construction Safety Standards code. Again they have an internal house quality control team that inspects the homes even during the construction.
6. TRU Homes
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TRU is another great option for First-Time Home Buyers. This company has been fabricating quality manufactured homes since 2012. It specializes in single and double-wide manufactured homes designed for comfort and functionality. I love the fact that this manufacturing facility builds its homes with extensive testing and precision and with no compromise on building materials or construction methods.
The TRU mobile home manufacturer is part of the larger Clayton group manufacturers, specializing in designing affordable mobile homes for small families. The fantastic bit is that TRU homes have a steel beam foundation that ensures your home is always standing on the solid ground regardless of the weather.
Again, the homes come with a vapor barrier that helps with energy efficiency, leading to lower bills. The vapor barrier will also protect your home from allergens, pests, and moisture. Their home flooring system is professionally engineered to provide a solid and sturdy base translated to durability.
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Founded in 1951, Skyline homes are home builders with a great reputation for delivering high-quality homes. Initially, this company used to produce affordable mobile houses, but they evolved into the manufactured and modular homes built today.
We listed this company as one of the top 10 mobile home manufacturers because they are committed to providing the best housing solutions at the very best prices. In addition, the company offers different floor plans depending on your location. Again, you can get a mobile house with amazing natural light and spaces, including bedrooms and full bathrooms.
If you are looking for a company that provides tiny homes, then Skyline home is a great option.
8. Deer Valley
image credit: Deer Valley Homebuilders
Deer Valley is the perfect option if you want a mobile home manufacturer that offers heavily built homes that will stand up for years. These mobile home manufacturers build and sell manufactured homes, park models, and modular houses. They also offer different floor plans, allowing you to customize your home to your liking.
What I love most is that Deer Valley home builders understand the needs of each of their customers and provide them with high-quality homes. Furthermore, the company never compromises on building materials or quality construction principles.
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Buccaneer Home builders are other mobile home manufacturers that deliver high-quality homes. The company has a facility that produces quality manufactured homes within a regulated climate-controlled environment.
What I like about this company is that the company produces mobile homes that meet or exceed the set building codes. This way, the buyer is assured of quality, energy efficiency, strength, durability, and fire resistance. Again, this company is that most of its homes are fairly priced and customizable.
10. Sunshine Homes
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Friendship homes is another great manufactured home and modular homes manufacturer in the industry since 1982. Over the past years, this company has tremendously succeeded in providing strength, value, and beauty in various home designs.
Friendship Home builders have provided thousands of families the security and comfort that only a quality-built home can offer. I love that all the homes designed and built by this company meet national, state, and local building codes. This way, the buyers are assured that they are getting quality homes.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Mobile Home Manufacturers
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1. Quality and Building Standards
When purchasing the best mobile home manufacturers, you must ensure you purchase from a brand that meets the required quality and building standards. HUD has a set of standards that must be applied to a manufactured home.
The great bit is that most manufactured homes today meet the necessary standard. This means their homes are constructed within controlled factories by highly skilled workers. Again they cover issues covered in the HUD code, such as building material quality, design, relocation accommodations, strength, and durability.
2. Types of Factory-Built Home
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Before deciding on the factory-built home you want, it is necessary to understand the three types of factory-built homes: manufactured, mobile, and modular.
1. Manufactured Home/ mobile homes
Mobile homes are single or double-wide homes constructed on movable chassis. These homes were specifically built before 1976 when quality, materials, and construction methods were not firmly monitored. Nowadays, these homes are called manufactured homes.
The manufactured homes are mobile homes built since 1974, following the HUD construction standards. They are built on a steel frame that physically tells apart the manufactured home from other factory-built homes. Although these homes are initially less expensive than other factory-built homes, their value quickly depreciates over time.
2. Modular Home
Modular homes are multi-section homes built in factories, usually in an indoor, quality-controlled setting. The homes usually come in different designs, sit on piers, slabs, or full foundations, and usually come 75%-90% assembled.
These homes initially are a bit more expensive than other mobile homes, but their value generally appreciates over time. Amazingly, they are usually easier to finance than factory-built homes.
3. Pre-Cut Homes
The pre-cut homes are also designed and built in the factories, then transported to the site in compact sections or pieces to be assembled on site. These homes are transported much faster to the site since they are shipped in smaller sections. However, they need the most on-site labor and thus have a higher end cost than most factory-built homes.
4. Prefab homes
The Prefab homes are kits sold to homeowners or builders. Basically, individual walls are built in a factory and transported for assembly.
5. Panelized Homes
Panelized homes are also designed and constructed in the factories. These homes are characterized by their use of paneled walls. Their wall systems are delivered to the site pre-manufactured with windows, doors, sheathing, and wiring already installed. Generally, these homes require more on-site labor because they are complete at arrival.
3. Customization Options
The customization option the manufacturers offer is the other major factor you need to consider while purchasing the best-manufactured homes. For example, some manufacturers allow you to customize their floorplans to cover your needs. Other manufacturers may offer fireplaces, coffered ceilings, fixtures, and coffered ceilings.
However, you will find some that do not have these options. So if you want to customize your factory-made homes, you need to look for a company that offers that.
4. Cost of a Manufactured Home
The cost of the manufactured home is another crucial factor you will have to c have to consider. The cost of the manufactured home you want to purchase will depend on a few things. For starters, the size of the house will definitely affect the cost. For instance, the cost of a single wide floor plan will not be the same as that of a double- or triple-wide floor plan.
Therefore you will require to prepare a budget and plan accordingly. It is important to contact mobile home dealers to know the options you can get within your budget. Also, keep in mind that you need to have a piece of land where the hose will sit. Therefore, in your budget, you can include the cost of buying or renting a piece of land.
5. Property Valuation
Unlike standard homes, mobile homes are not permanent, so they do not appreciate. Some homes will generally appreciate over time, but you will find some depreciating quickly. So, if you want to sell the property after a few years, which you probably would after a certain time, you need to pay much attention to this factor.
6. Delivery and Installation
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Mobile home manufacturers deliver and install the homes for you. However, they have to ensure that the foundation they are installing in the home is safe and meets their regulations. For instance, the homes can not be installed on grounds softened by rain, so they will need to wait until the grounds harden. Therefore, ensure that the chosen manufacturer will deliver and install the factory home for you.
7. Mobile Home Financing
Apart from budgeting, you will need good mobile home financing. Like conventional home financing, most mobile home buyers can finance their homes. Mobile home financing is structured similarly, except that most have higher interest rates.
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If you need mobile home financing, you must look for FHA-approved lenders who can make loans on new purchases or refinances of manufactured homes. Again you will need a lender with great interest rates. The good thing is you can get financing for both the home and the land your home will sit on.
8. Construction Time
The other factor to consider is the construction time. Most factories in which design and manufacturers build mobile homes are highly efficient. They operate like assembly lines, and their facilities have large cranes for lifting walls, trusses, jigs, and templates for quickly building repeatable structures.
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Most times, it takes a few days for a factory to build a mobile home. However, the period between the time of order and the time of delivery varies across brands. Some will take at least 2 to 3 months, and others will take longer depending on demand.
Benefits of Buying a Manufactured Home
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The average cost of a mobile home is substantially lower than the traditional site-built home. Manufactured homes cost 35% less per foot to build than standard homes. The manufacturing companies achieve economies of scale by buying appliances and materials at cheaper rates. As a result, building manufactured homes becomes much cheaper.
2. High quality and building standards
Since HUD regulates mobile homes, the building material quality, construction standards, transportability, strength and durability, fire resistance, and energy efficiency are guaranteed. This makes manufactured houses better than site-built homes in terms of durability and quality.
3. Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly
Manufactured housing is more environmentally conscious and energy-efficient than traditional on-site housing. The HUD Code ensures that these homes achieve high energy efficiency.
4. Construction Timetable
Purchasing a mobile home means moving into your own home faster. The construction of a factory will take about 3 months to have everything set, unlike construction on site, which will definitely take longer.
The other advantage is that the best-manufactured homes come with warranties. Most of them will offer a one-year warranty for construction. Other companies have separate warranties for doors, windows, faucets, siding, and appliances.
Risks of Buying a Manufactured Home
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1. Location limitations
In most countries and sites, mobile homes are not allowed, meaning you can not just have your home anywhere you desire.
2. Lingering Stigma of Mobile Homes
Although mobile homes are designed with the latest designs, there is still a bias against them in most areas, mostly because of their value. Mobile homes have been thought to decrease in value, causing the stigma.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Mobile Home Manufacturer
1. Is a manufactured home better than a traditional home?
Manufactured homes are more affordable, but traditional on-site homes have many mortgage options. The main advantage of modular building is that it has more firm quality control, meaning each home component is manufactured precisely, guaranteeing quality.
2. How much does a mobile home cost?
The prices of a mobile/ manufactured home vary depending on a couple of factors. The main factors are square footage and standard options. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average price of a manufactured home was $111,900 in November 2021. However, these prices may vary depending from state to state.
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