Site hosted by Build your free website today!


UPDATED March 16, 2005

I've made this page to help people who are interested in the purchase of a factory built Manufactured or a Modular Home.

I have lived in several Manufactured Homes, all set on permanent foundations, on private land.

CLICKHERE for updated photos.

Manufactured Housing was The Answer for me to go from a apartment renter to homeowner. I still hate to think about the money I spent on rent.

After you have browsed my webpage, checked out the links, and looked at the pictures, feel free to email me if you have any questions or comments. I've spent 11 years researching factory built housing, and am more than happy to help.


With the continued rise in the price of building materials and labor, factory built housing is a great alternative for a new home. Houses are available from bare-bones "starter homes" to ultra-curb appeal dream homes.


There is much confusion concerning Modular, Manufactured and Mobile homes.

Here is a brief explanation:

A MANUFACTURED HOME is a residential structure built in a factory setting, constructed under the guidelines of the HUD Code. The HUD Code is a performance code, that is, the code requires the structure to perform to a specific specification.

A HUD Code Manufactured Home will have a red HUD Seal attached (small rectangle) to the left lower corner of the front of the home (opposite the transport hitch end). Both halves of a double section home will have the seal.

HUD code homes are built on a massive steel support frame. 4 huge steel I beams (under a double section) with crossmembers and outriggers. A Manufactured Home is designed to be fully supported by the steel frame on a foundation approved by the manufacturer, HUD and local codes (frost depth). A Manufacted Home may be built on a typical "site built home" concrete foundation. This is required in many locations. (My home is on this type of foundation).

(NOTE: The term "Mobile Home" is no longer used in the industry as the majority of Manufactured Houses are never moved once sited.)

MODULAR HOMES are homes built to the building code of the state in which the home is to be sited. MODULARs are sometimes refered to by their code, example "BOCA" or "UBC". Modular Homes may look exactly like their sibling Manufactured Home, or they may look entirely different. Some Modular Homes are indistinguishable from elaborate site built homes.

Modular Homes can be built on a Manufactured Home type steel frame (becoming more common) or transported to the building site on a steel carrier, then lifted off the steel, and moved into the concrete and site-installed steel foundation.

Modular Homes are typically more expensive than a Manufactured Home, and thus appraise higher.

Recent changes in the finance and appraisal industries require Manaufactured Homes to be appraised against other Manufactured Homes, where a Modular may be appraised against site built homes. A grossly biased and discriminatory practice.

With the current finance and appraisal practices, I recommend that if you can afford a Modular, do so. While there is nothing wrong with a Manufactured Home, the financing for a Modular is more "friendly" to the homebuyer.

My home as seen after it was 4 years old. As you look at photos of my home, you'll begin to see changes. The house originally had green shutters, I changed those to "oxblood red." New "antique style" porch lights added, replacing the shiny brass, subtle changes in landscape, trim,etc. Always a work in progress!

A photo from the fall of 2004 showing the continual evolution.

My home when it was a year old. I tried stepping stones, then flagstone, both looked nice, but impracticle for shoveling in the winter.

Factory building of a house has great advantages, the building materials are stored indoors, never exposed to rain or snow. The entire process of construction is overseen by inspectors at each level of construction. Both HUD and Modular codes have their own inspectors. One of the biggest advantages to the homebuyer is the price difference. The factory buys in bulk, while the small site-builder must pay what the local building center/lumber yard charges. THE biggest advantage to a factory build home is the time save in the construction. Weeks rather than months.

HUD code Manufactured Homes can be set on private land on basements, crawlspaces, or on pier-type foundations found in planned communities.

It is recommended that the home be sited on private land and a permanent foundation for best appraisal and financing. Many lenders will require the permanent foundation (see the photos further down).

HUD code homes come complete with appliances, water heater, furnace, plumbing and draperies.

Most Modulars are offering complete "turnkey" packages with furnace, plumbing, appliances, carpet, drapes, etc. <

My first house

This home was a 2 bedroom, 936 square foot Patriot, built in Elkhart, Indiana. Not a bad home, a good starter model. This home is typical of the "entry level" homes common nationwide. Built in early 1994. It has recently been sold for just under $100,000 by the folks who bought it from me.


My second home's front yard

side view of the Victorian NR106, and the garage.


Fireplace in the Victorian home.


This home was a Victorian Homes 1144 square foot model with 3 bedrooms, and a detached garage, with a breezeway between the house and the garage built in the fall of 1996.This home has been sold twice since I sold it, most recently selling for $120,000


My House

My home now is a Crystal Valley brand home, a 3 bedroom, 1248 square foot floorplan, model VA112 from Brewbakers Housing, Onaway/Cheboygan, Michigan. The Crystal Valley is a division of Patriot Homes.

Crystal Valley was a former upscale 'trim line' of Victorian Homes, in 1997 a new facility was built just for Crystal Valley outside Middlebury, Indiana.

I have the house set on a permanent full perimeter foundation, as a site-built home would have, also a 2 car garage is attached. This house has factory tape and textured drywall throughout. 5/12 roof pitch, 30 year shingles, triple 3 lap siding. I opted for OSB floor decking and R-33 attic insulation, ice and water shield on the roof.

stone fireplace as seen in '99.

The fireplace in the winter of 2004. The carpet was changed in 2003.

Speaking of carpet, be aware that most MH builders use a low-end grade of pad and carpet in their homes. This carpet has a short life span if subject to high traffic. Mine lasted 4 years before being replaced.

The kitchen when the home was new

The kitchen after installing wood flooring.

The woodgrain insulated front door was too stark in all white, so I stained the door. The laminate wood floor was added to the foyer.


The Dining Room

The Living Room

Crystal Valley now offers my floorplan, and many others in 32-wide plans. The wider version jumps from 1248 sq feet to 1440! Features available today include 9 foot sidewalls, 7/12 roof pitch, tray ceilings and Hardi-Panel concrete siding.



I am proud to say that my new home was featured on the November 1999 cover of the manufactured housing industry magazine

Same view as the magazine from '99, just 4 years later.The landscaping is filling in nicely. Note how fast the blue spruce and cedar tree are growing.


My Folk's house was built in 1995. It is a Washington Park, built in Shipshewana, Indiana. This home has an attached garage, and sits on a permanent foundation on 2 acres. Washington Park was an upscale line in the Lincoln Park Homes division of Patriot Homes. Washington Park models are now available as Crystal Valley models.

A stacked stone fireplace is the main feature in the living room, large picture windows flood the home with light, beautiful oak cabinetry can be found throughout the kitchen and bathrooms.

Joe and Sue's House that I helped them with the selection and ordering of the house. Their home is a 1800 Square foot Crystal Valley, now with a breezeway and large garage.


Homes can be built from 12 to 40 foot widths, with lengths from 36 feet to 80 feet. Triple and 4 section homes, and 2 story homes. Cape Cod style HUD Code manufactured homes are available, with an unfinished 2nd floor for storage, or maybe on-site finishing for a home office or hobby room. A great way to expand the size of the home.

2000 view of the front yard

Same view but 3 years later. Split rail fencing, more landscaping (yeah, obessive)and more rocks and stones. Look how the oxblood red color I painted the shutters pick up the deep red in the red maple tree in my neighbors yard!

Check the Links List for manufacturers. Each manufacturer has many different floorplans, options, styles and standard features.

Many features in a BOCA Modular can be installed in a HUD Manufactured Home.

2 views of a permanent perimeter concrete foundation. Outerwalls are the same as a site built home, inner piers support the steel frame.

My house as it clears the 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge over Lake Michigan.

Front of my house being manuevered at the corner.

Prepping the "marriage walls."

Two views of the house being set.


Plywood Floor Decking

OSB Floor Decking (in regions where plywood is not available)

OSB wall sheeting

Skylights/Sky Windows - IF you are in "snow country" avoid skylights. Leaks are a problem.

Bay Windows

Patio Doors

Covered Porches

Island Kitchens

Basement & stairwell plans

Architechtural shingles


Appliance packages with dishwashers, microwaves, icemakers

Concrete fibreboard siding

Recessed porches and entry ways

Hip roofs

Cape Cod style attics with dormers & windows

Finished Drywall

Flat ceilings

8 and 9 foot sidewalls

Log siding

Reversed floorplans

Raised roof pitches-4/12, 5/12, 6/12, 7/12, 8/12

26, 28, 32 wide models,

Vinyl, concrete and wood siding options


The internet has a vast amount of information on Manufactured Housing. Many manufacturers have web sites, many dealers have them also.

Check out this site
discussion groups, and links. I urge you to research the web for as much information as you can find. Your home is a major purchase. One not to take lightly. Once you have search the web, and have started to visit dealerships, don't be afraid to ask questions of the sales staff. Find out exactly what the house includes, how it is built, warranties, upgrades and such. Be sure to find out that the house is designed for your region (example: A home built for Florida conditions, is inappropriate for Minnesota).

You will notice that some homes have more "flash" to them. Remember, you can always add the "flash" later, you need to make sure that the basic house is a well constructed home.

A good way to "test" the homes for quality of construction is to find a long partition wall between the living room and a bedroom with a door opening. Grasp the door jamb (with the door open), gently wiggle the wall.. if it moves, you've got a cheap house. The wall should be solid.


The staff at the dealership should be able to help you with most questions you have. The staff should be helping you buy the home you want, not just sell you a house. The salesperson should be your housing consultant. Beware of the "old school" salesmen, who are more interested in their commission check, rather than your satisfaction.

I've said this before, but it is important...RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! Find out everthing you can about the home, the builder, everything. Don't be afraid to crawl under the house! And be sure to shop all the brands, so you know what is available. And don't forget to ask for references!

Manufacturers of houses change styles, floorplans, features and options about every 8 to 12 months. Be sure to have the dealer give you the latest brochures. Also, when ordering a home, be sure to inquire about any changes in the home from the lot models or the brochures.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. I am more than happy to help!

NEXT PAGE - Manufactured Housing Links

Click Here to see my hobby room. Obsessive is right!
My obsession!

click for 
Saint Ignace, Michigan forecast

Back to the top of the page