More people finding manufactured housing the way to go

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The Index-Journal
By: St. Claire Donaghy
August 20, 2010

Manufactured home retailers are reporting big gains in new home sales nationally and locally.

According to an industry trade group, manufactured housing made up nearly a quarter of all new homes sold for less than $200,000 last year.

Analysts suggest more people are considering pre-fabricated housing as an option because of its affordability, offering homebuyers more for their money than traditional site-built housing.

Plus, manufactured housing is up and move-in ready faster than traditional site-built construction. Also, the process produces far less construction waste than traditional building methods.

Today's manufactured housing includes amenities such as natural wood finishing, eat-in kitchens, skylights, tile floors and energy-efficient compact-fluorescent lighting, programmable thermostats, low emissivity windows and quality insulation.

Manufactured residences available today can exceed 3,000 square feet, if that's what a customer wants and can afford.

Bobby Alberts, a retail-zone vice president with Clayton Homes, which has a home center at 1750 U.S. 221./S.C. 72, Greenwood, said the Southeast has experienced some of the biggest growth in manufactured homes sales recently, for both mobile homes and modular homes, which fall under the manufactured housing category.

"In the first six months of 2010, our data for Greenwood saw sales double from what they were last year," Alberts said. "Our top sellers have historically been three-bedroom houseplans. Hundreds of different floor plans are available."

Modular homes, Alberts said, are different from what people consider mobile homes and the two types are constructed by different standards according to building codes that regulate them.

"Mobile homes are built to a federal building code, whereas modular ones are built according to the state building codes in which the home will be placed."

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