10 Widely Believed Mobile Home Myths

Despite the presence of mobile homes across the country, there are still a lot of common misconceptions about these types of homes. If you are looking for an affordable path to home ownership, mobile homes have a lot to offer. We’re offering this debunking of widely believed mobile home myths to you as a guide to finding a new mobile home. We’ve also included some remodeling mobile home tips so that if you choose a mobile home, you can get the most out of it.

1.   Mobile Homes Are Easily Damaged

When people discuss mobile homes that are highly susceptible to damage, they are often talking about homes that were built pre-1976.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (or HUD) established safety guidelines and oversight of mobile homes in 1976.  These guidelines were revised again in 1994 and 1999, increasing safety standards even further. Older mobile homes that were built prior to HUD oversight may live up to the stereotype of being poorly built and easily damaged, but newer homes have more stringent standards. Mobile homes built to HUD code should be structurally sound and properly anchored, making them much more durable than their older predecessors.

2.   Mobile Homes Are Substandard

This is another myth that can be debunked. Newer homes, built to HUD standards, can in fact be used as long-term housing. This is because they are built with the same durable, reliable materials as traditionally-built houses. Mobile homes are regulated and approved by National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards and HUD. Standards are strictly followed before any of these are sold to the public.

3.   They All Look Alike

While some manufactured homes resemble each other, they are not all similar in shape and sizes. Mobile homes are no more the same than traditionally built neighborhoods that utilize similar floor plans and structures multiple times. Mobile homes can be custom-made and remodeled to reflect a wide array of taste and styles. They come in a wide range of exterior and interior options and designs.There are manufacturers that make luxury mobile homes featuring walk-in closets, stonework fireplaces, hardwood floors, custom kitchen cabinets and wrap-around decks or porches.

4.   These Homes Lack Class

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While older mobile homes may need a new coat of paint or other types of TLC, you may also choose to purchase a newer, custom home that comes with luxury amenities and all the bells and whistles. Don’t be fooled by this stereotype. While mobile homes are generally more affordable than traditionally built homes, some are priced at $130,000 or more. A mobile home can be as classy as an owner wants to make it. Whether you remodel an existing home or customize it directly from the manufacturer, you can purchase a home you can be proud of.

5.   Mobile Homes Are Tornado Magnets

Don’t underestimate the strength and durability of mobile homes.They are designed and constructed to withstand tornadoes and strong winds. This myth may have originated because many mobile houses are located in places where tornadoes are common. A mobile home that is properly built and installed is no more likely to be damaged than its traditional counterparts.

6.   Mobile Homes Are Susceptible to Fire

Manufactured or mobile housing is as safe as site-built homes when it comes to withstanding fire and similar problems. To understand this myth, you first need to ask, “Why do mobile homes burn down?” The most common cause of fire is human error. If you have unsafe practices at home such as overloading outlets or neglecting smoke detectors you increase your odds of fire hazards. This is true in any home, mobile or otherwise.

7.   Mobile Housing Does Not Appreciate in Value

Depreciation and appreciation in value do not depend on whether your house is site-built or manufactured. Appreciation of any type of home is generally determined by location, proper maintenance and supply and demand.

8.   Mobile Homes Are Less Energy-Efficient

Times have changed and energy efficiency has been taken seriously now by mobile home manufacturers. The more recent mobile homes are being built with energy efficiency in mind.  Newer mobile homes often utilize energy-efficient lighting and windows. If you have an older home, you can always upgrade or remodel to make your mobile home as environmentally friendly and efficient as possible.

9.   These Homes Are Difficult to Finance

Manufactured homes were previously financed or purchased as personal property, making loans more difficult to obtain. Today, it’s easier to finance. They are now generally financed as real estate. There are programs like the Federal Housing Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs that offer loan insurance for these types of mortgages.

10. Mobile Homes Are Only for Low-Income People

This myth is not only wrong, but condescending as well. Mobile homes are just as durable, homey and reliable as traditionally-built houses. Stop by into some of the best mobile home park in Arizona and talk with the residents to give you insights that can help you decide.

If you’re convinced that these myths about mobile homes are inaccurate and are going to buy or already have a mobile home of your own, don’t forget to have it insured.

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Steve Gebhardt

Gebhardt Insurance Group was honored by AAA Insurance for being the top New Policy Agency in Arizona for 2013 and achieving the "Emerald Achievement Award."

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