Manufactured housing offers an affordable option for buyers looking for updated space without the uncertainty and expense of remodeling a fixer-upper home.

More house for the money

Ordering a prefabricated home may seem leading-edge, but manufactured homes already make up to 10% of new construction in the U.S. Buyers can tour houses virtually on many builder sites. Then they can purchase homes through local retailers where they can walk through model houses and pick out cabinets, trim, flooring and other options. And, if a homeowner wants to remove a wall from the floor plan, have nine-foot ceilings, or turn their bath into a spa, they can.

“Money that might be lost to delays and waste can stay in the buyer’s pocket or go to home customization,” says Joan Brown of Northwest Housing Association. “Factory construction also offers reliable project management, inspections and a timely delivery.”

Flexible design for customization

Manufactured homes offer two things buyers find very appealing: the ability to customize and a cost per square foot that is much lower than other new construction.

“Consumers want homes truly customized to their lifestyle and taste, and builders have responded with new flexibility in design,” Brown says.

Adding long-term value

Brown suggests that home buyers focus on adding custom features that increase the value of their home or offer savings over time. “Adding a garage or upgrading your home’s energy efficiency pays off in the long run,” Brown says.

Comparison shopping helps buyers make smart choices. Different manufacturers and sales centers offer different home features and services. Buyers should plan on visiting several retail centers and asking about standard and custom features before making a decision.

The Northwest Housing Association is the official representative of the systems-built housing industry in the state of Washington. Members include manufactured and modular home builders, retail centers, brokers, developers, financial institutions and suppliers of goods and services.