There are many reasons to buy a manufactured home, but here are the Top 10 of those reasons. As you can see, a manufactured home makes a smart choice in today’s market.

Lowest cost per square foot

In a world in which traditional stick-built homes cost around $100 to $200 per foot, manufactured homes only average about $15 to $30 per square foot. That is a HUGE different – the manufactured home costs roughly 85% less! This one benefit alone should be all that it takes to convince you that manufactured homes are the way to go. Think of what you can do with the $100,000+ you are saving.

Higher quality thanks to factory controls

All of the pieces in the manufactured home are controlled and tested, in a way that traditional homes are not. In addition, they are assembled under ideal conditions in a factory, as opposed to sloppy methods in the rain out in the field, with sporadic supervision.

Little wasted space

What’s missing in the manufactured home? Nothing – just a lot of wasted space. Traditional homes have bigger hallways and more wasted space in the common areas. Why pay for the parts of the house that you don’t use?

Low maintenance

Manufactured homes are designed to be relatively problem free.  They contain a minimum of items that will break down on you, such as only one zone of air-conditioning and heating. All of the utility lines run in one central canal, so they are not affected by settling – and there’s no foundation to break.

Low repair costs

It costs only pennies to make repairs to a manufactured home compared to a stick-built. Here’s just a few examples: the roof, the foundation, water line leaks, electrical system shorts.  Each of these items would require gigantic costs in a traditional stick-built home, but cost maybe 90% less with a manufactured home. When things break in a manufactured home, it’s not a time of wondering how to pay your bills or starting to cry – you know it won’t be that much to repair.

Immediate delivery

When you want to get a custom home, it can take months from your order to delivery of the house. But with a manufactured home, the delivery time is days or weeks. That’s because building a home in a factory is so much more efficient, and does not depend on such factors as the weather.


No unhappy surprises

There’s no greater certainty then buying something that you can see, touch and feel. And when you buy a manufactured home that has not yet been built, you are able to walk through the exact model you will be purchasing. When you order a new stick-built home to be built, you have absolutely no idea how it will end up looking, and the end result is often not want you wanted at all. And the return policy on the stick-built home? None. Would you buy a car you could not test drive first? You can go to a dealer for Clayton, Fleetwood, and other manufacturers in one afternoon.

Freedom of choice and bidding

When you buy a manufactured home, you have the freedom to choose between a number of different manufacturers and often compare their bids. Stick-built homes are not nearly so easy to compare and negotiate, and you have no choice of what builder can be on your lot – you can only choose between different subdivisions, not builders.

Low utility costs

Because manufactured homes have less wasted space than stick-built homes, they deliver the square footage you need in a compact size. One of the key benefits is lower heating and cooling costs. This extra monthly savings can be applied to your mortgage payment or things you’d rather spend your money on.


Manufactured homes offer a carefree lifestyle that allows you to focus your time on what you like to do, rather than be a slave to your home and property. The “country” setting of most manufactured home communities is like being on vacation 24/7, and the homes are low maintenance. For many people – even more than the low cost – the lifestyle is the biggest selling point.


Each of these Top 10 reasons is a powerful enough argument to make you want to buy a manufactured home. But when added together, the choice is clear. Manufactured homes offer the best selection for your money, time and happiness. 

By Frank Rolfe
Frank Rolfe is a mobile home park investor and owns over 100 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also leads regular Mobile Home Park Investing Bootcamps through the


There is no better feeling than finding a good deal on a used manufactured home. You can save thousands of dollars, and often buy more home for your money than you were expecting. But to come away from purchasing a used home with a smile, it is important that you know what differentiates a “good” deal from a “bad” deal. So here’s a list of the most important items to watch out for when selecting a used manufactured home to buy.

Exterior in good order

What I mean by this is that the exterior shows no sign of rotting or detaching. You rarely see this problem except when the exterior is made of T-111, which is an artificial wood product that has proven to have extreme inability to withstand moisture. Metal, vinyl, modern concrete-based imitation wood – these are all fine in 99% of the cases. But T-111 is found to be lacking most of the time. Better to avoid it unless it is in perfect condition, as it might cause you to have to re-side the entire home.

Frame straight

This can only be observed when the home is up on wheels,  but you will sometimes see homes that are ready to transport but have a “bow” in the frame. This is a problem, not only for transport, but for leveling and longevity.

No signs of water leakage

Nothing destroys a manufactured home faster than moisture. It will rot the walls and floors, and can potentially lead to black mold. So beware of homes that have water stains on the ceilings, or any signs of rot around windows or doors.

Solid floors

Floors take a lot of beating in a manufactured home, and there are other sources of problems besides moisture than can take their toll. Replacing floors is dirty business, and can require replacement of the entire carpet or other flooring in the room. So walk the home from one end to another and see if you detect any weak spots in the floor.

Floor plan

Many older homes have floor plans that are not in keeping with modern tastes. So see if the floor plan is one that you like. Remember that you can’t really change it, so if it is not perfect, you might want to wait for a different home.

Quality of finish out

Different manufacturers and models have different levels of finish out. Just because it is a Clayton Home or a Fleetwood Home – or any other brand – does not mean that it has the same finish-out as the home you saw a couple days ago. All manufacturers have different price levels of models, and the fittings and cabinetry vary based on the price of that model. See if the way the home is detailed out is what you desire. It is very expensive to change the aesthetics of the home later.

Gas vs. all-electric

Do you want a home that’s got gas and electric, or do you want one that’s all-electric? In many northern climates, customers prefer to heat with natural gas as it is normally less expensive. So think through what you want to power the home with, and make sure that’s how the home was designed to be heated.

Room sizes

One of the big design changes over the years in manufactured homes has been the size of the bedrooms – especially the master bedroom. Make sure that the home you are looking at has a room size that will accommodate your furniture and lifestyle. Since you will spend probably 10 hours per day in the bedroom, it better be what you want.

HUD seal

This is an extremely important item – and one that many people do not know about. All manufactured homes began carrying a HUD seal starting around 1976. This seal demonstrates that the home was built based on the standards of the U.S. Government. Without this seal, the home may not be able to be moved into a manufactured home community in many cities. So make sure that the used home has a HUD seal to save yourself from problems down the road. The seal is normally located on the left, rear of the home (but can also be found sometimes in the hot water closet and even under the sink in the kitchen).


Everyone likes a good deal. So make sure that you are buying one. This list will keep you out of trouble, and set you on the path to buying the home of your dreams – at a bargain price!

By Frank Rolfe
Frank Rolfe is a mobile home park investor and owns over 100 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also leads regular Mobile Home Park Investing Bootcamps through the


You can read all the books that you can find on negotiating at your local book store – and you’ll find that none of those work in the real world. Negotiating the purchase of a manufactured home requires some special preparation, and the end result of that advance work is what will allow you to get the price you want , not trying to copy Donald Trump’s acumen at “take it or leave it” diplomacy.

Many sellers don’t take well to threats

The type of negotiation that is used in many books on the subject is called “win/lose”. This is based upon a threat to the seller that “if you don’t take my offer, then I’m out of here”. When presented in this manner, most sellers become defensive and their primary instinct is to tell you to get lost. This type of negotiation posture is only really effective when the seller has no other options – but, of course, in this case they do.

Use the sheer volume of the competitive market as your weapon

A better negotiating style is “win/win”, in which both the seller and the buyer have mutual benefit and both get a fair deal. This is the best method to approach the seller. And to show the seller the benefit he will receive from the sale, the key is to overwhelm them with the competitive forces of the market. Tell the seller that you are looking at over 1,000 homes on-line, all that meet your criteria. Tell them that you have the money to close, and will take the first deal that is compelling. Now the pressure is on them to prove to you that they should be the manufactured home that is selected.

Know everything about values

Another key to proper negotiation is to know absolutely everything about market values on new and used mobile homes for sale.  When a seller tells you something wrong, tell them “there are actually nine homes of this same make and model priced at 20% less than that, and I can email you the information on them to prove it to you”. In case after case, the buyer who best knows current values is going to drive the best bargain, and convince the seller of the correct pricing.

Play effective mind games

Despite the win/win negotiation model, there are practical mind games that should be used in negotiation. One is to never appear too anxious. That will send a signal to the seller that they don’t need to make any further price concessions. Also, if the seller won’t accept your price, feel free to walk away from the deal and see if they call you to try and get the negotiation on-track again.

Never get personally attached to any home

No matter what style of negotiation you use to purchase a new or used mobile home, you should never get personally attached to any one home. The key to this business is volume, and you lose that weapon when you narrow the field of acceptable homes to just one. Just because a home has a certain stained glass window in the cabinet does not make it the “perfect” home. You can always add such decorative items into any home for a price. Treat every home as just one of many, and don’t get personally involved in it – that will ruin your ability to negotiate effectively.


Negotiating is an important skill. Buying a new or used manufactured home – and feeling good about it – requires you to drive the hardest bargain you can. Use these negotiation tips to help you get the new or used mobile home of your dreams, at the lowest cost possible. It’s not as hard as it looks.

By Frank Rolfe
Frank Rolfe is a mobile home park investor and owns over 100 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also leads regular Mobile Home Park Investing Bootcamps through the