Buying a new home can feel intimidating for anyone. The housing market is a whirlwind of fluctuating prices, competitive negotiations, and confusing industry jargon, often making it especially overwhelming for first-time homebuyers. However, manufactured homes have emerged as a life-changing alternative for many people looking to buy their first home–and for good reason. Read on to learn more about some of the key advantages of manufactured homes for first-time homebuyers. 

Manufactured Homes Are an Affordable and Economical Investment

Skyline Homes Westridge 1492CT Manufactured Home Living room featuring fireplace, built-in shelving, large windows, ceiling fan

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the average sales price of a new manufactured home in the year 2022 was $86,100. Meanwhile, the Bureau also reports the average sales price for a new house in 2022 was $530,000.  

The table below compares the average prices per month according to their survey data:

Month and Year Average Sales Price
January 2022$84,600
February 2022$87,700
March 2022$87,300
April 2022$83,100
May 2022$85,800 
June 2022$87,600
July 2022$85,200
August 2022$86,500 
September 2022$95,800
October 2022$81,400 
November 2022$88,000
December 2022$80,200 
2022 Average Price$86,100 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Average Sales Price of New Manufactured Homes: Single Homes in the United States [SPSNSAUS] 

Average Sale Price of
New Houses Sold 

Month and YearAverage Sales Price
January 2022$501,200 
February 2022$522,200 
March 2022$511,800 
April 2022$562,400 
May 2022$521,500
June 2022$472,000
July 2022$564,900 
August 2022$530,800 
September 2022$530,100
October 2022$543,300 
November 2022$527,400
December 2022$568,700
2022 Average Price $530,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Average Sales Price of Houses Sold for the United States [ASPUS] 

Based on the data above, manufactured homes are over 6 times less expensive than traditional homes on average, making them an affordable housing option for many first-time buyers.

But the savings don’t stop there.

For new homeowners, manufactured homes are also an economical investment with many long-term financial benefits.   

Reduced Energy Costs

Skyline Homes Westridge 1265CT Manufactured Home Kitchen featuring island, walk-in pantry, appliances, small window

According to Forbes analysts, Americans pay $429.33 each month on utility bills on average, totaling over $5,151 per year. Manufactured homes on the other hand are built following strict energy efficiency standards set by the federal government, allowing many homeowners to benefit from reduced energy costs.  

Many manufactured homes are built using EnergyStar certified insulation and can come fully equipped with EnergyStar appliances. Both of these not only upgrade your comfort and amenities but also reduce your energy usage resulting in lower monthly utility bills and substantial long-term savings. 

Cash Incentives for Energy-Efficient Manufactured Homes

Many states offer cash incentives to first-time buyers when they purchase an energy-efficient manufactured home. These incentives not only benefit new homeowners by reducing energy bills but also contribute to overall energy conservation and environmental sustainability. By simply opting for energy-efficient features and appliances, new manufactured home buyers can receive cash rewards from their local or state government, utility companies, or other organizations.  

Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon is one such organization that offers first-time homebuyers in Oregon cash incentives and rebates when they buy qualifying homes. Buyers who opt for a certified energy-efficient manufactured home may be eligible for cash incentives up to $1,100.

Len’s Home Center is proud to be a participating manufactured home retailer in this amazing cash incentive program. 

Explore the Energy Star Rebate Finder to see what incentives first-time homeowners in your area may qualify for. Or visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency to see which policies and incentives are offered by every state.

Lower Down Payment and Credit Score Requirements

Exterior of Skyline Homes Arlington 2289P Modular Home Porch

Manufactured homes typically come with lower down payment and credit score requirements compared to site-built homes, making them more accessible to a broader range of buyers. Traditional home mortgages often demand higher down payments, sometimes exceeding 20% of the home’s value, while some manufactured home loan options may require as little as 3% down.  

Down Payments as Low as 3%  

Fannie Mae MH Advantage Loans are a government-supported financing option specifically designed for manufactured homes. Not only do they offer down payment requirements as low as 3%, but this lending program also offers benefits like the potential for longer loan terms and interest rates similar to traditional houses.   

Credit Scores Under 600  

The FHA Title II loan program is a great option for first-time homebuyers who may not have extensive savings to dedicate to a down payment, or who have less than good credit scores. With a minimum credit score of 580 buyers may qualify for a down payment as low as 3.5%.

There are Manufactured Home Loans for Low-Income Households

Skyline Homes Westridge 1218CT Manufactured Home Living room featuring fireplace, large windows, and vaulted ceiling

Multiple manufactured home loan programs play a vital role in expanding housing opportunities to underserved communities through specialized financing options tailored to low-income households. These government-sponsored loans frequently enable individuals to achieve homeownership for the first time.

These loans may feature lower interest rates, reduced down payment requirements, and flexible terms. In rural areas where traditional housing options may be limited, manufactured homes offer a cost-effective solution, and specific loan programs aim to facilitate homeownership in these regions.

Very Low to Low Income

USDA Direct Loans are an initiative administered by the United States Department of Agriculture. These loans are specifically designed to assist low- and very-low-income individuals living in less populated regions, which helps support the growth and stability of rural communities. These loans offer lower interest rates and extended repayment periods of up to 38 years.

Low to Moderate Income

The Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Program is specifically designed to assist low- and moderate-income borrowers. This program encourages the financing of homes in underserved communities, such as those designated low-income, or areas impacted by natural disasters. The program offers advantages like accommodation to lower credit scores, reduced interest rates, and lower private mortgage insurance costs, which can substantially lower monthly payments.

Manufactured Homes Appreciate at the Same Rate as Site-Built Homes

Skyline Homes Westridge 1260CT Manufactured Home Living room featuring fireplace, large windows, carpet flooring, ceiling fan, carpet flooring

It’s a common misconception that manufactured homes depreciate in value faster than other housing options. However, research shows that manufactured homes can appreciate in value at similar rates to traditional site-built homes. In fact, a report from the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) even shows that manufactured homes can appreciate at an average annual growth rate of 3.4%, compared to the 3.8% of traditional homes.

Just like traditional housing options, the value of manufactured homes can be significantly influenced by various factors, including location, upkeep, and more. Manufactured homes that are placed in desirable areas often see higher appreciation rates comparable to stick-built homes in the same area. Similarly, regular maintenance, upgrades, and expansions can also positively impact their overall value.

Reduced Maintenance

Not only can manufactured homes appreciate at a similar rate to traditional homes, but they are also easier to maintain. These homes are built with high-quality materials designed to last, reducing the need for frequent repairs. Since these homes are constructed in a factory setting, the building materials are not exposed to the elements during the construction process, resulting in better build quality and less maintenance down the line.

Additionally, when you’re choosing to build a manufactured home, you’re getting a brand-new house at a fraction of the cost and minus the wear and tear of an older, traditional home. This can lead to fewer immediate repair needs or long-term maintenance issues.  

In addition to contributing to good appreciation rates, the reduced maintenance needs that come with owning a manufactured home can translate to long-term financial savings. Funds that would have otherwise been spent on maintenance can be allotted elsewhere, which is a crucial factor for those managing a homeownership budget for the first time. 

Manufactured Homes are Backed by Strict Quality Assurance Standards

Manufactured homes are built in an environmentally controlled factory and are backed by strict quality assurance standards. Throughout the fabrication process, there are fewer opportunities for error or oversight, and consistent quality control is much easier to maintain, making manufactured homes a good investment for many first-time homeowners. 

Quality Manufacturing Guidelines 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandates strict adherence to quality, durability, and safety standards for all manufactured homes during the construction process. By enforcing rigorous standards, these guidelines ensure that manufactured homes are built to last, often meeting or exceeding the quality benchmarks set for traditional site-built homes. As a result, manufactured homes are perceived as reliable and structurally sound investments that can garner appreciation over time. 

You Can Build-On to a Manufactured Home

A custom designed master bathroom in a Manufactured Home in Coos Bay Oregon

Another significant advantage of owning a manufactured home for first-time homebuyers is the ability to expand and customize it according to your changing needs. As your family grows, your home can grow with you, eliminating the need to move or invest in a different property. Whether you need an additional bedroom, a playroom for little ones, or simply more living space, manufactured homes offer many opportunities for expansion. 

Custom Home Design and Renovation

Custom designing and building a traditional house can be a long and costly endeavor. For many first-time buyers, manufactured homes offer the opportunity to build the home of their dreams at a fraction of the cost.  

Manufactured homes offer a broad range of customization opportunities that allow buyers to personalize their living space according to their individual preferences and needs. When purchasing a manufactured home, buyers can choose the layout and floor plan and can even work with the manufacturer to design a custom layout that suits their requirements.  

There is a wide selection of finishes, fixtures, and materials available to choose from, providing the customization benefits of a newly constructed house, without the stick-built construction timeline or price point. This flexibility allows first-time homebuyers to create a home that accommodates their lifestyle now and allows for future renovations as well.

Affordable Homeownership Starts Here: Manufactured Homes for Sale in Oregon 

At Len’s Home Center, we know purchasing a home is an important decision, especially for first-time homebuyers. With over 50 years of experience as a premiere Fleetwood Homes and Skyline Homes retailer, we’re here to make the process as straightforward and seamless as possible.  

In addition to helping you find the home of your dreams, our team can also guide you through the entire process of property identification, site inspection, site improvements, infrastructure installation, exterior finishing work, and other general contracting services.  

Use the form below to contact us online or give us a call at 541-269-9326 to speak with a member of our team today.