How to use this guide
This guide is designed primarily to be used as an
essential companion resource for The Grissim Buyers Guide to Manufactured Homes
and Land, written to help first-time manufactured home buyers understand how the
manufactured home industry operates (insider secrets and all) and how to
confidently deal with the many complex issues and potential pitfalls involved in
the purchase and siting of a new manufactured home. More information about that
book is on page 95. However, if you are already familiar with this industry and
how manufactured homes are sold—and the shenanigans that unfortunately are still
going on—this guide will serve you well as a stand-alone reference for
up-to-date information on the companies and the products they build.
Note: the terms manufactured home and HUD-code home
refer to the same product and are used interchangeably here. For a quick primer
on the distinctions between the different types of homes built in factories,
please see page 11.
In these pages you will find descriptions of the
entire spectrum of what manufactured housing has to offer, from gorgeous high
end dwellings indistinguishable from site-built homes to bare bones single
section housing, from luxurious two-story Cape Cods costing $250,000 (exclusive
of land) to $20,000 low-end entry level boxes you could probably kick your way
out of. You will find no bias for or against any type of home, regardless of the
quality of its construction (or lack of it). Even the most humble abode can
represent the realization of the cherished American dream of home ownership, and
its owner deservedly proud to call that home his or her castle.
Index of MH builders, pg. 12
Listed here are all 79 U.S. companies that build
HUD-code homes. Some are subsidiaries of larger companies on the list—for
example, Marlette Homes and Golden West Homes are subsidiary companies of
Clayton Homes, Inc.. These companies are identified as such. For a full picture
of that company, please be sure to read the listing of the larger company to
which it belongs.
Index of brands, series and models—and their
manufacturers, pgs. 13-15
Every brand, series and model mentioned in this
guide is listed here alphabetically, with the name of the MH builder producing
them. But there are literally thousands of model names, and builders regularly
discontinue some names and add others. If you don’t find here the name you’re
looking for, ask your retailer for the name of the builder responsible. That
name will be on the list of MH builders. From there you can go
directly to the manufacturer’s listing.
Manufactured home construction features &
specifications table, Pgs. 16-18
Take a few minutes to browse this table and the
cut-away illustration on page 9 of a two section home. The accompanying notes
(pgs. 19-20) and the glossary of terms (pgs. 20-21) provide commentary and
definitions of terms, respectively. The table describes not only the principal
construction features and specifications involved in the production an a home
(I’ve chosen 56 in all), but presents them within a one-to-ten scale
representing their comparative quality. I believe it’s fair to say this is the
most comprehensive, detailed table ever made available to MH buyers.
The table serves three main purposes:
1. Using the manufacturer’s construction rating in
this guide—say, for example, 7—you can examine the features and specs in the
table that fall beneath that number to get a good idea of what likely goes into
that builder’s homes.
2. You can take the list of features and specs of a
home you are considering and see where they line up in the table, thus enabling
you to arrive at your own construction rating for that particular model,
independent of what a sales center may claim.
3. You can see how construction features are
measured, enabling you to ask knowledgeable questions. For example, if a sales
person says a home has an “upgrade carpet and pad,” you can ask “How many
ounces?” for the carpet, and “How many pounds?” for the pad, and learn precisely
how much of an “upgrade” you’re dealing with....