Thursday, July 2, 2015

Vermont Blurring the Lines Between Modular and Manufactured Homes

The USDA Rural Housing program has given the OK to 30 year mortgages to manufactured/modular homes in Vermont. These are not your typical HUD code manufactured homes but rather a highly energy efficient mobile without a steel undercarriage that will fit right in with its siblings in a typical mobile home community.

I think what the USDA is doing is a wonderful thing for those that need to replace their current HUD trailer because of high energy bills, with many exceeding $400 a month for a single wide, with new energy efficient homes. The problem is that if this works for Vermont, will it become the law of the land and open the floodgates for every HUD manufacturer to begin building these homes and calling them true modular homes?

The modular home industry has enough problem trying to establish itself as equal to and in most cases better than custom site built homes but now we are being dragged back to being equated with single wide mobile homes by the USDA and soon the powerful marketing machines of HUD manufacturers like Clayton, Champion and Cavco will begin churning out their new lines of "modular" homes.

If you haven't read about this, CLICK HERE to read what is happening in Vermont.

One home manufacturer, VERMOD, is already building these homes and using the USDA program to sell them. After visiting their website I still can't tell whether they are building a better HUD home or building a single wide modular that just happens to look exactly like a mobile home.

Either way, this could be another blow to modular homes just as we seem to be starting to agree on what we are going are going to call ourselves.


Anonymous said...

A Rose by any other name is a ROSE. What will be interesting is how the states will classify the end result. These are modular homes designed to meet the need for a particular housing sector even though they will be sited in mobile home parks.

Anonymous said...

Clayton, Champion, Cavco and others all produce HUDULAR products but since this is technically OFF FRAME I for one welcome an energy efficient SFR that can be marketed as affordable with long term mortgages. Hopefully the states will classify them as DACA products for the housing need in the South.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to VERMOD for using manufactured home grants to develop and build a modular product that can be marketed as an energy efficient value product to the manufactured home buyers.

SonnenBrille said...

In these homes the best plan (especially in Vermont) is to increase R-value and lower cost to heat the home. The smart option is to add a layer or 2 of polyiso outside and fill in the walls with cellulose instead of the typical single/double wide batt insulation. Up there as well people would rather have a wood stove as their source of heat during the winter months with a smaller heat source for hot water which can save tons of $ in just one year!