Are Manufactured Homes Storm Worthy?
Is a question on some peoples mind. My answer to that is most definitely Yes. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute along with several newspaper articles written from different newspapers through out this area, the first in 1996, after two major hurricanes slammed into North Carolina, causing widespread damage and destruction. The article states "The devastating storms, however, did provide some positive data for the manufactured housing industry. Surveys showed that construction and installation standards enacted in recent years have resulted in homes that withstood the high winds as well as site-built structures". In that same article, Jim Long the Insurance Commissioner commented "There's no doubt in my mind that homes built today are substantially safer than those built even ten years ago". The second article was written just after Hurricane Bonnie in August 1998. In the article Pat Walker, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, who heads the Manufactured Building Division stated after surveying the North Carolina coast "From my observation, it looks like manufactured homes came through equally as well as site-built. The damage we saw was surprisingly minor". In the same article North Carolina Manufactured Housing Institute (NCMHI) Executive Director Steve Zamiara, also along on the trip, stated "Our homes performed as well as, and in some cases better than others during the hurricane. We have to continue to educate the media to this fact and work with FEMA to get them to change the wording of their severe weather warnings". If you would like to read these articles, Please let me know.
Do Manufactured Homes appreciate in value?
In September 1997, the most extensive study to date on this topic was conducted by East Carolina university Department of Planning. That study revealed that "permanently sited manufactured homes appreciate at a rate comparable to that of their site-built counterpart and at a higher rate than condominiums. Administered by the ECU Dept. of Planning, the study examined the impact of manufactured housing on adjacent site-built properties in four counties, including manufactured homes on scattered sites and in MH communities. Fixed foundation manufactured homes or those listed as real property appreciated at a rate comparable to and in some cases higher than site-built residences. The study concluded that the proximity of manufactured homes did not adversely affect appreciation of site-built homes, whether on individual lots or in large scale manufactured home communities. Multi-section manufactured homes were liable to appreciate at a greater rate than single-sections. Other factors such as zoning, household income and land/housing markets played a role in appreciation rates". If you would like to see a copy of this article, Please let me know.
Is the HUD Code less stringent than state or local building codes?
Although the HUD Code is more performance-based while model codes, such as the CABO One-and Two Family Dwelling Code, used by many state and local jurisdictions to regulate site-built housing tend to be more prescriptive, independent analyses and comparisons of the HUD and CABO Codes generally come to the conclusion that they are comparable in nature.
A 1997 comparison study of the HUD and CABO Codes by the University of Illinois Architecture-Building Research Council stated: "There are many similarities in these codes, along with minor differences of slight consequence and some differences of notable consequence. On balance, the codes are comparable." This statement was made by Jeffrey Gordon and William B Rose, Code Comparison Summary, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture, published by the Manufactured Housing Institute, December 1997.
What is the difference between Manufactured, Modular, Mobile?
Our homes often mistakenly get lumped into the same category as other non-site-built structures. The truth is that each type of home is uniquely different from the other.
Manufactured Home: Built entirely in the factory under federal code administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which went into effect June 15, 1976, has been upgraded numerous times. Covers single- or multi-section homes and includes transport to the site and installation. Regulations include: Design & construction, strength & durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency & quality.
Mobile Home: The term used for homes built prior to June 15, 1976, when HUD code went into effect. Voluntary standards were previously in effect.
Modular Home: Built to state, local or regional code where home will be located. Multi-section units are transported to sites and installed.
The HUD Code
Every HUD Code manufactured home is built in a factory, under controlled conditions, and has a special label affixed on the exterior of the home indicating that the home has been designed, constructed, tested and inspected to comply with the stringent federal standards set forth in the code. No manufactured home may be shipped from the factory unless it complies with the HUD Code and is released for shipment by and independent third party inspector certified by HUD.
Manufactured homes are constructed with virtually the same materials as in site-built homes. However, in contrast to traditional site-building techniques, manufactured homes have the advantage of using engineered design applications and the most cost-efficient assembly-line techniques to produce a quality home at a much lower cost per square foot.
Are Manufactured homes more vulnerable to fire?
Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built onsite. As a matter of fact, a national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes. The study showed that the number of home fires is 17 per 1,000 for site-built homes, while only eight per 1,000 for manufactured homes.*
What is responsible for the improved safety of manufactured homes? Strict construction standards. Foremost Insurance Company's marketing research department took an in-depth look into the fire frequencies of manufactured homes built before the advent of the HUD Code construction and safety standards, as well as homes built after the standards went into effect in 1976. Foremost's researchers found that post-HUD manufactured homes experience less fire incidences and have lower fire losses than pre-HUD manufactured homes.
*Foremost Insurance Group of Companies, Fire Loss Study 1986