Manufactured Homes: The Only “Starter Home” Option Left?

The housing market in California and throughout the U.S. has been impacted by a number of outside forces that have made it more difficult for those seeking to upgrade from an apartment or living with family members to a home of their own.

Are manufactured homes the solution to the market’s challenges? Judging by the number of homebuyers we’re seeing at Ma Williams, the answer is yes.

A struggling economy, lingering COVID issues, and potential regulatory burdens have all combined to create a shortage of “starter homes” – these are single-family dwellings that are a little smaller and a little less expensive than most homes. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, the inventory for these homes has dropped by 28%. At the same time, prices have increased nearly 20% in major cities across the country. And many economists fear that affordability is going to remain an issue for the foreseeable future.

For those who don’t wish to delay their starter home purchase by a few more years, manufactured homes offer a quality alternative.

While this market has also been affected by increases in the cost of building materials, it is still true that manufactured homes are lower in price than site-built homes. And buyers seeking that lower price do not have to compromise on quality. Homebuilders such as Skyline-Champion and Silvercrest offer a wide range of floor plans, sizes, and amenities that compare favorably with those provided by traditional site-built homes.

Younger homebuyers are from a generation that grew up hearing phrases like climate change and global warming. They feel a much greater responsibility to the environment as a result, and prefer products that compliment their commitment to saving energy and living a green lifestyle.

Manufactured homes also fit that description. Factory construction makes more efficient use of building materials, and any leftover lumber, drywall, wiring and plumbing can be reused or repurposed instead of being thrown away. According to the National Association of Home Builders, manufactured homes can eliminate as much as 75% of the 8,000 pounds of waste generated in the construction of a 2,000 square-foot site-built home.

The manufactured housing industry has shown a further commitment to green solutions with the establishment of the EnergyStar program, which identifies and promotes energy-efficient heating, cooling, water heating and appliances.

Once you’ve found the home that best fits your family’s needs, it will take about one year to build it and transport it to its permanent location. Most people buy their property at the time they buy their home. For those of you who don’t have property, our in-house realtor, specializing in land purchases, would be happy to assist you in your land search.

So before you put off your dream of moving into your first starter home, talk to a Ma Williams representative. Moving day may only be about a year away.