New vs Pre-Owned Manufactured Homes: Which One Is Right for You

Buying a home is always a challenge regardless of its type, age, cost, and design. When it comes to purchasing manufactured homes, you have several factors to consider. One of them is whether to settle for a new or used option.

Even if you were looking for a new home initially, you could end up purchasing a used home with a better location and lower price. Meanwhile, a used house you’ve been contemplating could have costly hidden problems.

In this article, we’ll go deeper into new and used manufactured home comparisons to help you make the right decision.

Benefits of Buying New Manufactured Homes

Before we start listing the benefits of new manufactured homes, it’s important to be clear on what these homes are.

A manufactured home is a living space that’s constructed off-site and transported to a chosen location. These homes are only mobile in the sense that they can be moved from the construction site to your lot. All manufactured homes must be HUD-approved.

1. Custom Built

When you opt for a new manufactured property, you work with a designer to create floor plans, determine the number of rooms, figure out which direction your bedroom windows are facing, etc. Besides having a say in the layout, you can select materials as long as they comply with the standards.

2. No Surprises

If you choose a new home, you can be sure it doesn’t have any hidden surprises, such as water damage, ant infestation, mold growth, and whatever else the previous owner may have decided to hide.

Even the most thorough pre-purchase inspection may miss a few elements that could turn into costly surprises after the deal is finalized.

3. No Major Repairs

Used manufactured homes may need major repairs, such as electrical work update, plumbing upgrades, roof repairs, and the like.

With a new home, you don’t have to worry about such repairs for at least several years.

4. Builder’s Warranty

Even if the house is brand new, it’s not immune to structural defects. That’s why a manufacturer usually offers a warranty.

The warranty defines the builder’s work-product obligations related to construction quality. Even though these warranties differ from one company to another, they usually give the new owner a substantial level of protection. Some mortgage programs require a home to come with a certain minimal warranty.

5. Location

When you buy a new manufactured house, you can choose its location. It’s up to you to find and purchase the land.

6. Innovations

As new building technologies appear, manufactured homes become more and more refined. When buying a new house, you get access to the latest construction and design trends while taking advantage of energy efficiency, eco-friendly methods, new materials, and much more.

Benefits of Buying Used Manufactured Homes

In some cases, buying a used manufactured house is a better choice than opting for a new one. Let’s look at the key benefits of such a decision.

1. Less Hassle

While a customized home may be an excellent solution for some owners, others prefer to get a ready-to-move-in product. With a used home, you don’t have to worry about hiring a designer, thus saving time and money.

2. Lower Cost

A used manufactured home is likely to be less expensive than a new one. You’ll have access to diverse loan options and lower mortgage rates since you can use the property as collateral (which is not an option when you build from scratch).

However, if you want to make sure your potential used home doesn’t come with costly surprises, it’s vital to inspect it properly before finalizing the deal. You may want to hire a professional inspector to do it.

  • Inspect windows and doors for gaps, cracks, and insulation quality (especially under belly wrap)
  • Check for plumbing and electrical problems
  • Test the strength of flooring and check for signs of warping
  • Check if the walls use 2″ x 6″ lumber with 16″ space studs
  • Inspect the anchoring system
  • Check roof integrity and inspect for leaks
  • Check the foundation for sinking or tilting piers
  • Look for homeowner built additions
  • Look for damaged skirting

3. Time Issue

Building a new home and getting it transported to your land takes time. Even though manufacturers promise to have your home completed in under a week, it’s not always that fast.

Depending on the number of customized features, homeowners’ special requirements, the builder’s schedule, and weather conditions, the process may take several months.

When you buy a used home, it’s possible to finalize a deal within a few weeks.

4. Established Neighborhood

A pre-owned manufactured home is likely to be located in an established neighborhood or community with convenient infrastructures, such as schools, stores, entertainment options, etc.

You may have a hard time finding an empty lot in an old neighborhood to bring your new home to.

New vs Used Manufactured Home: Which One Is Right for Me?

Manufactured Home Exterior

Your choice has to depend on several factors. How pressed are you for time? What is your budget? Do you want to have a say in the way your house looks? How hard is it for you to get a loan on a new manufactured property?

Since a home is one of the largest investments you are likely to make in your lifetime, it’s important to weigh all the pros and cons carefully. Even though manufactured homes are often less expensive and more convenient than standard houses, by making the wrong choice, you may not save as much as you hope for.