Are Manufactured Homes a Good Investment?

Manufactured homes have become popular for people looking for affordable housing or alternative real estate investment opportunities. These homes offer an alternative to traditional houses. Also, the U.S. real estate market experienced a 15% increase in the shipment of new manufactured homes in 2016, highlighting their continued high demand.

Learning about manufactured homes can give you insights into real estate and personal finance. This blog post will cover the benefits and drawbacks of manufactured homes so you can make a well-informed decision.

Bird-eye view from a suburban area showing rows of houses

Pros of Buying a Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes have a few benefits that make them attractive for individuals seeking affordable alternative investments. Let’s explore these advantages in detail.

Affordable and Energy-Efficient

Manufactured homes offer a more inexpensive housing option compared to traditional site-built homes. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute, the average cost per square foot for a manufactured home is $49. This is significantly lower than the average of $107 per square foot for a site-built home. This affordability allows people with a limited budget to own property or use it as an alternative real estate investment.

In addition to their affordability, manufactured homes are also energy-efficient. These homes have energy-saving features such as insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, and energy-efficient appliances. As a result, homeowners can expect lower utility bills, helping them save money in the long run.

Quality and Safety

Manufactured homes, contrary to common misconceptions, meet high-quality standards during their construction. The construction of these homes is subject to strict regulations and codes enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These regulations ensure that manufactured homes meet specific safety, durability, and quality standards, providing homeowners with a secure and well-constructed living environment.

Manufactured homes undergo rigorous inspections during construction to ensure they comply with these standards. Furthermore, manufacturers often provide warranties on various home components, giving homeowners peace of mind regarding the quality and reliability of their investment.


One of the advantages of buying a manufactured home is its flexibility in terms of design and customization. Many manufacturers provide a range of floor plans and layout options, allowing buyers to select a home that suits their needs and preferences. Whether you desire an open-concept layout, specific room configurations, or additional features, you can often choose a manufactured home tailored to your requirements.

Fast to Build and Install

Compared to traditional site-built homes, manufactured homes are built and installed relatively quickly. The construction process for a manufactured home is not affected by weather conditions or other external factors that can cause delays in site-built construction. Since these homes are built indoors within a controlled environment, the construction process is not subject to weather-related setbacks. As a result, buyers can enjoy a faster turnaround time, allowing them to move into their new homes sooner.

Close-up of a construction site

Able to Modify

Some people avoid manufactured homes because they think all the houses look identical. But the truth is, you can customize manufactured homes like any other home. 

You can choose the size of your home, the layout inside, and the number of bedrooms you want. You can even personalize the outside by adding features like porches and decks. So, you can make your manufactured home unique and tailored to your preferences, just the way you like it.

Financing Available

Obtaining financing for a manufactured home is generally more accessible compared to funding for a traditional site-built home. You can use a personal property loan instead of a mortgage, which can be easier to obtain.

A close-up of someone holding numerous hundred dollar bills in their hands

Cons of Buying a Manufactured Home

While there are several advantages to buying a manufactured home, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks as well. Let’s explore some of the cons associated with purchasing a manufactured home.

Land Accessibility and Affordability

You may find it hard to find suitable land to place your manufactured homes. Depending on the location and local zoning regulations, finding available land for purchase or lease can be limited. This scarcity of land can lead to increased competition and potentially higher prices, making it harder to find an ideal location for your manufactured home. 

Moreover, the cost of land can vary significantly depending on the region. In some areas, the price of land suitable for a manufactured home may be comparable to the cost of land for a site-built home. Sometimes, it can even exceed the land cost for a site-built home. So you need to carefully research and consider land availability and affordability before purchasing a manufactured home.

Financing Constraints and Criteria

Securing financing for a manufactured home can be more challenging than traditional site-built homes. Some lenders may have stricter requirements and guidelines for providing loans. This can include higher down payment requirements, shorter loan terms, and potentially higher interest rates. 

Additionally, lenders may have specific criteria for the age and condition of the manufactured home. Older homes or those in poor condition may have more limited financing options, posing a hurdle for buyers. You should explore different lenders to find the most suitable loan options and terms for your circumstances. This includes considering lenders specializing in manufactured home financing.

Appreciation Potential and Resale Value

Compared to site-built homes, manufactured homes generally have a lower potential for long-term appreciation in value. While the value of site-built homes tends to increase over time, manufactured homes may experience more limited appreciation. Factors such as the age of the home and the location can influence the resale value. 

Although there are exceptions, it’s essential to have realistic expectations regarding the potential appreciation of a manufactured home. If long-term investment potential and building equity are important factors, it may be worth considering alternatives such as site-built homes. You should also consider other real estate investment opportunities.

alternative real estate investment

Are Manufactured Homes a Good Investment

When considering whether manufactured homes are a good investment, there are several factors that readers should take into account.

Local Market and Demand

First and foremost, evaluating the local market conditions and demand for manufactured homes in the area of interest is crucial. Understanding the current and projected trends in the market will help determine the potential for resale value and rental income.

Thorough Research

Additionally, you should thoroughly research the specific manufactured home community or park where you plan to invest. You should also consider the community’s reputation, amenities, management, and associated fees or restrictions. Assessing the stability and desirability of the community will provide insight into the long-term prospects of the investment.

Investment Goals

Lastly, it’s important to evaluate personal financial goals and investment objectives. Consider whether the primary goal is to generate rental income, build equity, or have a flexible and affordable housing option. Assessing individual circumstances, such as the available budget, time horizon, and risk tolerance, will help align the investment decision with specific financial objectives. 

By carefully considering these factors, potential investors can make a more informed decision about whether investing in a manufactured home aligns with their financial goals and is a suitable option for their investment portfolio.


In conclusion, manufactured homes are a popular and affordable housing and real estate investment option. They offer customization and energy efficiency. However, challenges include finding suitable land and navigating financing constraints. To decide if it’s a good investment for you, assess the local market, research specific communities, and align your goals with financial objectives.