What is a Manufactured Home?


Ever see the Lucy & Desi movie “The Long Long Trailer”? A hilarious trip that the newly-weds take after purchasing a travel trailer to make the long mountainous journey to Desi’s new job.  Anyone who has pulled anything can relate to this adventure. In those years that type of trailer was considered a mobile home as it was moveable and completely livable.

Later on smaller trailers were designed and became travel or camping trailers for the vacationers and bigger trailers were put on acreage to live in. The problem was, these big trailers were not built to be permanent houses and decreased in value and deteriorated quickly. The demand was there, and the industry responded with a major change on July 15, 1976.

In 1976 HUD (Federal Government Housing and Urban Development) got together with the manufacturers and set new high standards for these homes to make them truly livable and long lasting permanent homes. They renamed these homes Manufactured Homes which is what they are called today. New guidelines and rules were set on design, construction, strength, durability, fire resistance, energy efficiency, and overall quality. Even performance standards for all home systems such as electrical, plumbing, heating, a/c were set. These homes required intense inspections at the factory and on site. They soon gained popularity with home buyers.

Today there are many floor plans available from basic models to more elaborate designs with vaulted ceilings, drywall, fully modern equipped kitchens, mud rooms, fireplaces, trendy bathrooms, comfortable bedrooms and walk-in closets, kitchen islands, skylights, mudrooms, fireplaces just to mention a few.

Today’s Manufactured Homes are well constructed and very desirable. You often see ads for country acreage with a manufactured home on it at great prices. Don’t be afraid to take a look, you will likely fall in love with the land and the

home! These aren’t the mobile home from the 50’s and 60’s! These homes can be financed just like any stick built home as they are guaranteed HUD compliant.

There is one thing you must look for before you buy. That is the HUD  plates that are on the home exterior somewhere, usually on the back and front corners of home and/or there is paperwork stating that the house is inspected and meets HUD requirements.  That paperwork is usually in a kitchen cabinet or utility room. Without these stickers and plates you cannot get the home financed. New stickers can be obtained but it is both costly and a lengthy in process.

It’s those stickers and plates that make your home a true Manufactured Home. Here are some examples:

We often have some country properties for sale and many have Manufactured Homes.  Generally, they are 3 bedroom ranches with a porch or deck and often have a garage or barn.  Check out our current listings on our website  and you might be surprised at how lovely these homes are.

A Close Encounter Inspection

When we finish a project we often hire an independent home inspection to see if we have missed anything. This allows us to offer the best quality home to our potential buyers. We feel it is important to have these inspections, so we can fix anything that we may have missed before we list the house on the market.

One day we had a most unusual inspector ….here’s the story!

We arrived early to begin staging a home when we noticed a very faint sound but couldn’t quite determine where it was coming from. We had been informed an inspector would be there today – so we thought maybe he was there outside or under the house or on the roof or somewhere. Looking outside we didn’t see any vehicle and the sound faded away. We decided it must have been something outside. So off we went to bring in the furniture and various staging items.

After a while we heard the sound again and this time determined it was coming from under the kitchen cabinet. We opened the door only to find a squirrel sitting there looking back at us as if to say “yeah, everything is fine here. I checked the crawl space, the kitchen cabinets, the roof and gutters and even the attic. I did find a few crumbs in one cabinet, but I took care of that for you” and off he was racing through the house with us in hot pursuit.

He was so fast we couldn’t keep up with his zigging and zagging and we soon lost track of where he had gone. Was he done inspecting or off to another part of the house to check on things? We didn’t know! So not being able to find him we returned to our job and just kept an eye out for him. I must say if you ever have to bet on speed of squirrel vs racehorse, go with squirrel! Hours passed, and we had no idea where he was nor how he had gotten into the house.

We were almost done that day when I was getting ready to put a curtain up over the patio door (where earlier I had installed a curtain rod) and there he was, just sitting on that rod watching me! I had to laugh as I never seen him until that moment and he was just watching me work before taking off again. But this time he ran into the bathroom with me coming right behind and slamming the door.

Well how smart was that? Here I am in the bathroom with Mr. Inspector who jumped up on the sink and stopped to look at me. He was breathing hard and I think a bit worn out from the day’s activities. What was I to do? I suddenly realized I could open the window, take out the screen and hopefully he would see his escape route.

But would he go there, or would he jump on me? Was I in danger?! Maybe I shouldn’t be in the room! Then I saw the empty wastebasket. I picked it up while eyeing Mr. Squirrel and dropped it over him, then took a magazine and slipped it under the wastebasket and quickly scooted him off the sink and over to the now open window as fast as I could. Mr. Squirrel fell out of the wastebasket, onto the sill, and made his escape, looking back at me saying “Geeeze I was just inspecting the house, I might want to move into one day!”