What to Know About Living in A Mobile Home: Myths vs Facts

Over the past few decades or so, the U.S. housing market has experienced some seemingly promising highs along with some very devastating lows. The most notable example of this turbulence was definitely the bursting of the housing bubble. The effects of this can still be felt in the craziness of the current U.S. housing market.

As a result, many people are now on the lookout for alternatives to traditional homes. Mobile homes have been a worthy alternative to traditional homes for quite some time now. But why has it taken people such a long time to come around on them? 

Well, there are actually several reasons. The most evident ones are misinformation and unrealistic expectations of what mobile homes have to offer. Let’s see if we can get rid of the stigma of living in a mobile home once and for all.

Myth #1: Mobile Homes Are Cheap and Flimsy

The myth that mobile homes are flimsy is definitely extremely prevalent in the United States, even to this day. The negative stigma of living in a mobile home comes mainly from the preconceived notion that they are less durable and poorly made. This association is certainly annoying to say the least. However, we do somewhat understand where this mindset is coming from.

This line of thinking is really born from the fact that mobile homes are much more economical than traditional homes. Thus, many individuals rush to label them as cheap and, by extension, poorly made and flimsy. We note that characterization comes mostly from those who are uninformed about the various facets of mobile homes.

What is true is that over the past few decades alone, mobile home quality has come extremely far. Not just in terms of the materials and parts used to build them but also the quality of construction. Additionally, it is not uncommon today for mobile homes to be built out of the same materials that are used to construct stick-built homes.

Poor quality construction is also something you don’t have to worry too much about when it comes to mobile homes.  At least, not any more than you would worry about in a stick-built home. This is because mobile home construction is subjected to HUD (Housing and Urban Development) building codes. In fact, more often than not, the required standards are even stricter than those that stick-built homes have to deal with.

So, why are mobile homes oftentimes the more economical choice compared to stick-built homes? Well, it actually has nothing to do with the quality of the parts and instead is a result of the way they are made. Mobile homes are created using standardized parts. This allows manufacturers to produce them at a much faster rate while having an overall lower cost of production.

Myth #2: Mobile Homes Are Cookie-Cutter

This mobile home myth has a firm foundation in the way manufactured homes were historically designed. However, enduring the idea that mobile homes are cookie-cutter is definitely a misconception that needs to be done away with.

What you need to know about mobile homes and their origin is that they were initially popularized as a form of supplementary housing. This was during and immediately after the Second World War. The manufacturers at that time were concerned with creating sturdy mobile home models that could easily be mass-produced.

Due to the state of the mobile home industry then, mobile home buyers had to deal with a significant lack of design options. In addition to this, post-construction customization options were also virtually nonexistent. Efficiency, functionality, and cost-effectiveness took precedence over customizability, design, and aesthetics.

Fast forward to today – with the maturing of the mobile home industry, companies have changed their approach towards the market.

Standardized models do still exist, and understandably so as there is still a market for them.  But, there is also a great deal of additional flexibility when it comes to customization. In fact, a lot of this customization can actually be done by the factory before installation.

That being said, post-installation customizations are perhaps the most popular choice nowadays. These interior or exterior renovations come in the form of add-ons such as skirtings, skylights, and attached carports. Other often-seen upgrades include awnings and canopies, patio and deck covers, and much more. 

Myth #3: Mobile Homes Are Only for A Certain Type of Person

As we pointed out, when mobile homes were first popularized, they were meant as a form of affordable housing – and that’s a good thing. Over time, what was actually one of the benefits of mobile homes led to mainstream audiences viewing them as being for persons with financial issues.

Stereotypically they have been associated with low-income earners or senior citizens. Regardless of whether this was the case in the past, it is certainly not a fair assessment of the types of persons who make up the mobile home market today.

One of the biggest shifts in the mobile home industry happened in the 1970s; particularly in June of 1976. This was when the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards went into effect. The introduction of these HUD standards created a kind of domino effect. It inevitably led to mobile homes being subjected to high quality standards and thus increased societal standards, as well.

This overall rise in mobile home standards has directly affected communities that contain mobile homes, as well. For starters, mobile communities are usually very close-knit. This creates a social barrier against illegal activity.

Many modern mobile home communities are now being designed with a strong focus on “sight lines.” With this design, you and your neighbors always have a clear view of nearby homes. Security patrols and neighborhood watches are also commonplace in many mobile home communities. Their primary focus is on locating criminal activity and reporting it, keeping the community safer. 

Make no mistake, mobile homes are still an affordable housing option when compared to stick-built homes. But, they should no longer be viewed as solely being for persons who have financial issues. With the longstanding stigma of living in a mobile home being erased, many younger buyers are now seeing them as an attractive option.

Large numbers of young professionals, newlyweds, and first-time homebuyers alike are embracing mobile homes. Why? Well, one very good reason is that a mobile home is a means of owning a home without having to shoulder exorbitant amounts of debt.

Myth #4: Mobile Homes Do Not Have Access to The Same Amenities as Stick-built Homes

Before the introduction of HUD standards in 1976, some manufacturers were satisfied with producing mobile homes that consisted of little more than four walls and a roof. In fact, it was not uncommon to find mobile homes that simply did not have the same amenities as stick-built homes.

An important part of what to know about living in a mobile home is that, all of that has changed for the better. Today, the vast majority of modern mobile homes and contemporary mobile home communities provide residents with access to all of the amenities necessary for modern living. What’s more, prominent mobile home communities often have utilities included in lot fees at no extra charge.

Many mobile home amenities are also just as efficient as similar amenities used in traditional homes. In some cases, they are actually more efficient. One clearcut example of this is mobile home HVAC systems. It can often produce the same effect as a traditional system at a fraction of the cost.

There is now a fast-growing market for mobile home renovation services. Many people are now looking for ways to improve the overall livability of their mobile home. On the other hand, some mobile home owners are simply seeking ways to make their mobile home aesthetically unique. Check out the awesome renovation ideas in this revamp of a single wide mobile home.

It is not uncommon to see renovated mobile homes sporting amenities on par with traditional homes. These include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and state-of-the-art heating and ventilation systems.  

Star Mobile Home Supply: Your Mobile Home Parts Partner for A Lifetime

It doesn’t matter if you’re a short-term or long-term mobile homeowner, Star Mobile Home Supply is the perfect choice for your needs. From fixtures and add-ons to renovations and repairs, Star Mobile Home Supply has everything you need to maintain your home, make it your own, and support a positive mobile home living experience.