Millennial homebuyers have finally become the dominating force in the housing market. But one important aspect is that these homebuyers prefer different types of homes in different types of neighborhoods than their parents and grandparents did. Unlike previous generations, which predominantly bought conventional homes in big cities, millennials prefer factory-built homes that are located in the suburbs or rural areas. To better understand the trends that are shaping the housing market right now, let’s take a look at the most important factors that influence millennials to purchase a manufactured home.
Home Quality and Safety
Not only are today’s manufactured homes designed and produced in factory-controlled environments; they’re also built and installed according to the HUD code. The HUD code includes a series of standards that address every single aspect of the manufactured home building process, including the structural design, construction, plumbing and electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, fire safety, energy efficiency, and transportation from the factory to the site. In order to ensure that all the standards are met, the HUD Code also requires every manufactured home to be rigorously inspected by quality assurance professionals during the design, construction, and installation process. As the HUD code and inspection process guarantee that newly manufactured homes are built to the highest standards, these homes demonstrate comparable quality, safety, and lifespan to site-built homes.
With outstanding student loan debt and annual earnings that are lower than the income of baby boomers at the same stage of life, millennials cannot really afford to buy and maintain homes over $300,000. Furthermore, shrinking inventory levels and increasing home prices have pushed millennials toward factory-built housing alternatives, which require lower down payments and loan amounts compared to conventional housing.
Because manufactured home builders regularly purchase materials in bulk and mass produce homes using standardized manufacturing processes in factory-controlled environments, they’re able to save a great deal of money, which translates into lower sales prices. Considering the sales prices of manufactured homes in comparison with conventional housing options, we can definitely say that manufactured homes hold the key for younger generations.
Amenities and Customizations
Newly manufactured homes are typically shipped with a wide range of amenities, including walk-in closets, bathtubs, wooden or granite countertops, energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and low-E windows. Additions like fireplaces, decks, patios, porches, and other structures are also achievable with most manufactured home models.
Today’s manufactured homes are Energy Star rated as well, which means they’re more energy efficient than many of the existing conventional homes. Because an energy-efficient manufactured home can cost less than or the same as an older conventional home, which uses more energy and may need to be retrofitted, most millennials prefer manufactured homes over site-built housing options. What’s more, advances in the manufacturing process allow builders to produce manufactured homes in a variety of architectural styles and floor plans, some of which can be customized to better fit different budgets, needs, and lifestyles.
Sustainability is quickly becoming a must-have for millennial homebuyers. In fact, recent research has found that 90% of millennials are more likely to buy products from brands that implement sustainable practices across their projects and company culture.
Today’s manufactured homes are, by definition, eco-friendly. However, manufactured home builders are making efforts to offer true eco-friendly manufactured homes to their customers. Besides building their homes in controlled factory settings—which typically generates up to 90% less waste than traditional construction methods—many manufacturers are implementing a series of modern green practices, such as the use of recycled materials, sustainably harvested wood, zero-VOC paints, and greywater systems. All these allow manufactured home builders to reduce their carbon footprint, which contributes to the sustainability of the industry.
Unlike older generations, which used to prefer a shorter commute, millennials have more flexibility to work from home. So, access to metro areas is less important to them. In general, millennials are happier living in secluded neighborhoods with a strong sense of community. As most manufactured home communities are located in the suburbs or rural areas, they offer great views and a calm atmosphere, just perfect for relaxation after a long and busy day. In addition, many manufactured home communities are located in close proximity to shops, schools, and hospitals. Some may also provide various white- and blue-collar employment opportunities.
When installed on a permanent HUD-approved foundation and maintained properly, manufactured homes appreciate in value just like conventional housing. As a result, these homes can be an asset-builder for millennial homeowners.
In addition to all these, manufactured homeownership comes with some other important benefits, including tax deductions, the opportunity to build equity, financial predictability, a greater sense of stability, and the ability to personalize the home the way you want it.