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Manufactured home is a terminology that refers to an housing unit that is entirely built in a factory. It was formerly known as mobile homes until the new term officially came into force in 1976 when the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Code became operational. According to Tylon J. McGee (2002), we see that most people still refer to them as trailers and have generally a negative perspective towards this industry, but much has changed since those days. They can also be referred to as factory-built factory-made houses.
When this Code came into place in 1976, its main aim was to set guidelines in the construction and location of these homes so as to ensure safety and generally protect the owners and neighbors against natural disasters and wind as had been a norm back then. is law enforcement has considerably raised the standards of these homes since then that most people are in fact finding it more attractive to delve into this style once again.
In practice the HUD Code was supposed to supersede any local or regional law provisions of a state or county. However, with time amendments have been made that have seen more regulations being introduced as well as some others slacking in some regions. Some carefully craft legislations about housing that make it almost impossible to develop manufactured housing units in certain areas by inserting requirements that they cannot meet..An example is a requirement that some of these homes should have a basement so as to aid in times of disaster. There are even cases where these homes are not permitted completely. The HUD Code dictates how the standards for heating, plumbing, thermal and electrical systems should be installed in these structures.
Manufactured homes come in different sizes and also shapes as may be required by the owner. They are built entirely in factories, placed on a steel chassis and transported to the building site. The wheels can then either be removed or in some cases retained by the structure. They could also be simple one-storied structures to very complex units that you might not guess that they were constructed off the site.
Other than the manufactured homes, we have other kinds of factory built units. These include modular homes, panelized homes and also pre-cut homes. Modular homes are those ones that are built in factories and should strictly be located in areas that have been set by the local authorities. Panelized homes on the other hand are homes in which panels, which refer to the whole wall with windows, doors and wiring are transported to the site for installation. Pre-cut homes are those that have their designs and specifications of the materials are done in factories before being transported to the site for assembly. Lastly mobile homes are those that were manufactured in factories before the 1976 as said earlier. In addition to the homes, we can also have eon-site additions to complement the house such as garages, decks and also porches. These often add a beauty or attractiveness to the house and even to disguise these houses from those ones that are built on-site.
Both developers and citizens have no option but play by the rules of the local zoning authorities. But since the major benefit of using manufactured housing to the traditional building styles is that of affordability, most regions are readily embracing this culture and are encouraging them more and more. Therefore Manufactured housing has gone on to account for the largest proportion of affordable housing units produced each year. This is as long as technology and architectural innovation yield in giving us a substitute system tat would produce more durable and architecturally appealing houses with the little income most American families live on.
The affordability of having a manufactured home can mostly be attributed to the usual efficiency and benefit of economies of scale that emanates from any factory process. Many logistical problems are eliminated by the use of a controlled environment and assembly line techniques. Many problems that are encountered in on-site building such as poor weather conditions, theft, vandalism or even destruction of building materials on the site are greatly minimized if not completely eliminated. This reduction in the contingency expenses in house construction is what translates in their relatively low costs on the consumers. About economies of scale, manufacturers buy their building materials and products in bulk therefore greatly reducing the net cost of manufacturing a single unit and thereafter pass on the end savings to the home owner or buyer.
Another benefit that comes with having to manufacture homes is that of having very low wastage during the construction process. In the case of on-site homes, most dimensions are unique only to a given home and therefore the anticipated amount of materials that would be used are usually just estimates. Therefore with the same plan being used continually for manufactured houses, it is possible to determine exactly the amount of materials that are required to complete one housing unit. This therefore saves the costs and even can help monitor misuse and theft of materials for the houses.
In addition to these savings, the modern manufactured housing factories provide quality amenities and very advanced features that most home owners would really desire. These include state-of -the-art appliances being fitted to the house. There can also be working fireplaces and also having vaulted ceilings fitted to the houses. Floor plans are also availed in different ranges which include basic to more elaborate floors. Most homes nowadays have awnings, patio covers as well as permanent upgraded foundations. This ability for the manufacturers to customize the homes to fit the particular taste and requirements of the home owners makes it very attractive because it all comes at a cost they can afford.
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Generally, we can therefore conclude that many manufacturers today are becoming increasingly innovative and coming up wit architectural designs that blend in nicely to both urban and suburban neighborhoods. Actually most exterior designs make these structures hardly distinguishable from those that are built o the site. This therefore means that these homes would fit in seamlessly with already existing neighborhoods.
With emphasis being put on energy conservation and global warming today, many manufacturers have also shifting their attention to this issue and therefore we are having an increasing number of EnergyStar labeled homes. These homes have very efficient heating and cooling systems therefore giving the homeowners great value for their money in terms of savings on energy costs. Therefore with he global financial crisis hitting hard coupled with the mortgage wrangles that have plagued the US industry, it therefore makes this sector a suitable solution to low-cost housing. It will therefore remain a major provider of quality and housing for many years to come.
Most buyers make arrangements to finance their homes through the retailers from whom they buy the homes. These retailers most often than not have a close relationship or business partnerships with various lending institutions which can assist in credit application. The houses can be paid for as personal property on leased land whether community or private. This availability to source for funds to buy homes is another key factor driving the growth of the sector today. Even in cases where the home is funded as a joint venture by the owner and the retailer, the home can still be registered as personal property. But there has been an increasing trend for people to put their homes on land that they are intending to purchase or they already own. Therefore manufactured home lenders have designed various land-and -home financial lending programs that would accommodate this trend.
Another notable trend is that which the buyer of the home opts to finance both their home and land together as real property and use the conventional mortgage financing that is obtained from the usual traditional mortgage lenders. An example in Freddie Mac which is advocating for this kind of plan by accepting real estate mortgages for 20 to 30 year terms which are secured by manufactured homes.
Just like traditional on-site homes, it has also been discovered that manufactured homes can also appreciate in value. This only would depend on the surrounding environmental factors such as urbanization or immigration. It therefore casts away the tendency to regard these homes as only for the short-term purposes but can be used as investments to anticipate profits in the long run.
It should also be noted that safety in manufactured homes has been greatly increased even to the level of matching those that built are on-site. This is by the kind of materials that are being used and the precautions that are being undertaken by the manufacturers themselves to curb any anticipated problems with the houses or even vandalism. The homes are also engineered to counter wind disasters depending on the geographical location of the homes. Examples are homes built in areas that are prone to typhoons and storms which have to use generally heavier materials than those in other areas where this is not a common phenomenon. They also include smoke detectors, escape windows as well as limited combustible materials around the furnaces.
Manufacturing in a factory always has targets and estimates of the number of units that are to be produced each day or period. This therefore means that construction is carried out at optimal speeds to avoid any unnecessary time-wasting. Homes are usually erected within 1-2 days as compared to about 4-6 months in the case of on-site homes. Work can also be done at the site where the house would be laid as well as in the factory simultaneously. Since most of the work is controlled within the factory, it is very rare that weather can cause delays in the process. There is also easy supervision for all the craftsmen and staff to ensure that al the work is done professionally and according to the required standards. In this way the completion schedule is about 50% faster than in the case of on-site construction of houses. This can also translate in a quicker rate of return in investment for the investors because more units are gong to be constructed in comparison to the on-site building technique. The environment also faces less degradation as the manufactured home construction does not harm the surrounding areas that much.
As alleged by Graham Rickard (1989), a factor which probably was the seminal reason for the establishment of manufactured homes is that of mobility. Unlike the traditional on-site housing units, manufactured houses can actually be moved in case the owner would like to move to a different geographical location. In the case of an on-site house, it is almost impossible to recover most of the materials that are used for construction thus leading to so much wastage. All the home owner has to do is to tow the manufactured house just the dame way it was brought to the site to the new preferred destination. This option of mobility comes in very handy because after all our preferred choices of locations do vary with time because of very many factors such as new jobs, insecurity and natural disasters thus making it necessary for us to move. Most manufacturing companies of these homes have such arrangements for their clients and they readily do this upon request from their clients.
Despite the many advantages that come with manufactured homes, there are also some drawbacks in employing this technique as opposed to on-site construction of homes. The largest one of these is the fact that most mobile homes are not considered real estate unless they are constructed on a permanent foundation. In this way, one is not entitled to any title deed like in the case of an on-site structure to prove ownership.
Legislation in some areas may also limit the areas on which these constructed homes can be located. According to Graham Rickard (1989), this becomes very difficult if one is to settle in areas where these restrictions prevail. It is however good to learn that many states are continually going easy on these manufactured homes and they are increasingly becoming common in many areas of the country.
It is also a fact that most manufactured homes are not as dense as those that are built on the site. This therefore makes them less resistant to sound. This is an aspect that cannot be easily avoided as they are designed to be transported to the site and therefore have to be light. Therefore noise interference is common to people who own these manufactured homes.
In cases where these homes are built in a park, there is less privacy as most structures are squeezed together to allow for more units to be installed. This coupled with the fact that they don't filter sound that much makes it very uncomfortable for the inhabitants as they are not free to do or discuss private matters with the fear of people eavesdropping.
In cases of natural disasters, manufactured homes are much more likely to be severely affected than on-site structures that are stick-built. Lack of a foundation and their light density make them more susceptible to harsh weather conditions and the damages that come with it. Most of them do not have basement and therefore give no protection in case bad weather or disaster is looming.
There are also cases where the net value of owning a manufactured home does not necessarily translate to reduced costs. An example is a case there is no properly installed heating mechanism or poorly constructed walls leading to so much expenditure on heating. So much money would therefore be used to buy oil for heating especially in extreme winter seasons.
There is also might be the unfortunate case of the rent of the leased space increasing for those who do not own the land. This therefore means that their aggregate costs would be raised considerably to adjust to the new rent rates.
In conclusion, manufactured housing is a very innovative way to live for the low income bracket and even for the rich who would like to have somewhere to stay during the hot summer seasons. It is a trend that is continually being embraced by many especially because the trailer-tag that used to be associated with these structures is slowly diminishing.