The Ultimate Mobile Home Manufacturers List {With Secrets On Buying}

by | Jul 13, 2018 | Blog, Buying a mobile home, Manufactured Home Worth




In the market for a brand new manufactured home? You might understandably be a bit daunted after just a cursory search revealed the huge amount of options. In this article, we want to help you out with the ultimate mobile home manufacturers list that will introduce you to some of the best manufacturers. And give a little more info about what you can expect.

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The ultimate mobile home manufacturers list

Champion Homes

We start with what is probably the most recognizable on our mobile home manufacturers list, Champion Homes. They are one of the first manufacturers of this kind, and the company was founded in 1953 in Michigan. Currently, they operate out of 28 facilities across North America and have built over 1,700,000 homes.

They are known for building all kinds of manufactured homes, including modular housing. They even have some commercial models for sale that are practically office buildings. The general quality of Champion Homes homes is superb with fantastic designs. The Manufactured Housing Institute has given them numerous awards in the design category to attest to this fact.

Clayton Homes

Clayton Homes is not far behind Champion Homes when it comes to their legacy or current fame. It was founded in 1956. They have recently passed a huge milestone by building and selling over 34,000 units in one single year (2015). This is one of the few better places to go to buy your manufactured home as they have won the MHI’s Retailer of the Year award twelve out of eleven times.

Their homes are also nothing to scoff at. They absolutely dominated the design categories of the 2017 MHI awards with 4 awards. In 2018, they won the Outstanding Interior Design award as well as Manufacturer of the Year (more than 3 plants) and Retail Sales Center of the Year (Midwest).

Fleetwood Homes

Fleetwood Homes isn’t quite in the same category as Champion or Clayton Homes, however, they are still one of the top manufactured home names. Founded in 1950, they are the oldest manufacturer on this list. Currently, they are a subsidiary of Cavco Industries but still operate largely independently.

Kitchen of a Fleetwood mobile home

Photo credit: Cavco Industries

They have a vast and varied catalog of homes in almost every part of the U.S that can almost rival the number of listings on a listing site. You can even find some multiple story models. They offer plenty of lands, park, and home and land packages if that’s something you are looking for.

Silvercrest

Silvercrest’s claim to fame is that they been building higher-end manufactured home models with beautifully designed interiors and exteriors since 1969. They also focus almost solely on either manufactured homes or park model homes so you can rest assured their focus isn’t divided.

Look through their galleries, and you would think you are looking at stick-built homes. Designer kitchens and bathrooms with designer appliances and silverware as well as fancy lighting and decorative finishes are the norm. Their Kingsbrook series of models is particularly noteworthy with Model 34 winning the 2018 MHI New Manufactured Home Design – 1,800 sq. ft. or less award.

Cavco Homes

You may have heard of Cavco Homes before. You might live in one, without knowing it. Cavco Homes not only manufacture its own homes but Cavco Industries is also the currently the parent company of a number of other manufacturers like Fleetwood, Palm Harbor, Fairmont, and Chariot Eagle.

In their portfolio, they have manufactured homes, park model RVs, modular homes, commercial buildings, and vacation cabins. They managed to rack up 7 MHI Manufacturer of the Year Awards in a row from 2010-2016. They have a number of their own ranges that vary widely in style, size, and function.

Palm Harbor Homes

Founded in 1977, Palm Harbor is one of the manufacturers that only started operating after the HUD Code came into effect in 1976. Since then, they have grown to be one of the U.S’s top manufacturers. Currently, they are owned and operated by Cavco Industries.

While their manufactured homes are still among the best you’ll come across, their modular homes are even better as well as having received more awards. Like Fleetwood Homes, they offer a number of land and park packages that you should look out for. Many of their homes are built to high energy-efficiency and “green home” standards.




Live Oak Homes

Live Oak Homes still primarily operates and provides homes in the Southeast of the U.S. They have been around since 1972, and while not one of the largest manufacturers, they are one of the most loved. Despite their renown, they have a surprisingly huge collection of mobile home ranges with diverse styles and layouts.

However, sometimes it does feel a bit like quantity over quality with a few of their ranges still being very old school. That being said, they have something for everyone in terms of style, price, and size.

Fairmont Homes

Fairmont Homes is yet another mobile home manufacturer that’s currently owned by the parent company Cavco Industries. The Shea family established Fairmont Homes in the Amish Country of Nappanee, Indiana in 1971. Since then, they have focused on building quality homes that provide a high standard of living at an affordable price.

Although relatively simple from an architectural standpoint, their homes are usually elegant, neat, and perfect for country living. Their homes are usually rounded off with attractive pitched roofs or decks/porches, and many of the models have garages.

Adventure Homes

Adventure Homes is a relatively small manufacturer making a big impact on the manufactured home industry. They have just won the Manufacturer of the Year (2 plants or less) for two years running (2017 & 2018). There is no reason to believe they won’t expand further and that we won’t hear a lot more from them in the future.

Living room of an Adventure Home mobile home

Photo credit: Adventure Homes

In 2018, they also won two design awards: New Manufactured Home Design – Over 1,800 square feet for The White House model and New Single-Section Manufactured Home Design for the Hudson. We also featured their Mohave Series 4643P as one of our favorite mobile homes. With only two plants, availability may be an issue.

Commodore Corporation

Commodore Corporation is another popular manufacturer that has built a home worthy of our best mobile homes list. We loved the Astro Single Section 1A135A and thought that is one of the best examples of how to make the most out of a limited amount of space in smaller manufactured homes. It also won the 2017 New Single-Section Manufactured Home Design award.

One odd thing about their homes is that they tend to be rather plain on the outside and absolutely mesmerizing on the inside. So, it will be up to your individual priorities and taste whether their models are for you.

O’Hara

O’Hara is a much lesser well-known brand than most others on this list. However, they have certainly deserved an honorable mention. Their catalog of homes is filled with striking, colorful, and modern designs suited to anyone looking for something unique that will catch people’s attention. This is a refreshing site in an industry where homes can often seem too generic.

They are focused on smaller homes that almost fall within the “tiny living” category with most homes below the 1,000 sq. ft. mark. They only have two ranges as of now; one for smaller and the other for larger (1,000-1,200 sq. ft.) homes.

Tips when buying a mobile home from a manufacturer

Prefab vs. Park model RVs vs. Manufactured/mobile homes

While looking through mobile home manufacturers, you will no doubt come across some of these other types of housing. Many people are still confused by the differences between these types of homes and what makes one more suitable than the other. Here are the basics:

Modular Homes

  • Are manufactured as separate units that are then assembled on site.
  • Are always permanently attached to a piece of property and therefore count as real estate.
  • Generally, have more financing options because of their status.
  • Usually look more like stick-built homes; the more complex designs like multiple stories, irregular shapes, etc. are most common with this type of housing.




Manufactured Homes

  • Are evolved from mobile homes. They were officially renamed ‘manufactured homes’ by the FHA’s HUD Code in 1976 that drastically improved their build quality and standards.
  • Come in single, double, and multi-wide forms. This refers to the number of pre-manufactured sections that are attached on site.
  • Have a chassis, axle, and wheels to be moved from location to location.
  • Can be permanently affixed to a location and then apply for real estate status through a process.
  • Have a slightly “boxier” look and more complex designs are less common.

Park Model RV

  • Despite the updated appearance, these are still much the same as the mobile homes of yesteryear.
  • Are usually the smallest of these types of housing, and therefore the most mobile.
  • Cannot under any circumstances be regarded as real estate.

Check out their customization options

Manufactured homes are no longer the generic-looking models that we generally and stereotypically assume. You can get a wide range of design options with varied interiors and exteriors. Standardized and improved manufacturing processes that use CAD (computer-aided design) also mean that most manufacturers allow you to customize your model before you buy it.

You can add facilities like a fireplace, alcoves, designer appliances, designer kitchens/bathrooms, raised roofs, etc. Most also allow you to style the color scheme, light fixtures, etc. This allows you to buy the perfect home out of the box.

Look for home and land packages

You might already wonder what happens once you buy your mobile home. After all, you do need a place to put it, right? If you don’t have a mobile home park lot in mind just yet or you don’t have your own parcel of land for a home, you can look at manufacturers that sell land and home packages.

neighborhood of houses

Most of the big names offer home listings that are already located on a piece of land, a lot with a home in a park, empty plots of land or you can choose a home and a piece of land. The biggest pro of this type of transaction is that it can save you a lot of time and hassle. It may also be cheaper than buying them separately.

Ask what your purchase includes

This ties in with the previous tip. Once you purchase a home, it needs to be moved to the location, the sections attached and put in place. You should make sure whether your manufacturer includes this in the home price or as a separate service.

Moving a manufactured home is understandably a very challenging and expensive undertaking. If your manufacturer does not cover it, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars extra. So, make sure you know where you stand regarding this.

Your other options

Buying a brand new home straight from the manufacturer isn’t your only option when it comes to purchasing a mobile home. The mobile home secondhand market is alive as well, and there are plenty of other avenues open to you to look for a home.

Here are just some of the other places you can look:

  • Mobile home wholesalers: These companies make a living off of buying and selling mobile homes. Often, they take care of any moving requirements as well as sprucing up the place.
  • Online listing sites: Sites like MHVillage, Manufactured Homes Today, and other property listings sites often have thousands of listings across America where you can buy old or new.
  • Mobile home parks: If there is a park in the area you want to stay, you can approach them directly and ask whether they have any homes for sale.
  • Bank auctions: You can find some terrific deals looking for manufactured homes at bank auctions.
  • Mobile home brokers: These are like realtors but have the appropriate licenses to sell manufactured homes. Always check whether the person has a manufactured home selling license in your state.

That’s a wrap

Which manufacturer caught your eye? In this mobile home manufacturers list, there is something for everyone. We hope it provides you with a good starting point to kick off your search. To help you with the rest of the process, we have written The Complete Guide on How to Buy a Manufactured Home. We hope that you find the home of your dreams. Good luck!



 

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