Eyes on Akron and Today’s Surprising Factory-Built Homes

Tim Williams, the Executive Director of the Ohio Homes Association, requested we consider drawing attention to online newspaper coverage, “Akron Beacon Journal Article entitled “Factory Built Homes…May Just Surprise You”. One of the most positive news articles regarding our industry in some time.”

Williams is right, quite so!

Williams has told ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com of their vision for advancing the image and understanding of modern factory-built manufactured and modular homes by letting thousands of home shoppers – as well as the media and public officials – walk through properly displayed model homes.


Photo Credit: Welcome Home Ohio, Eastern Ohio Home Show May 16-18th, 2014.

Williams told the Akron Beacon Journal, “People think they’re just trailers,” he said. “… If they see it, I think they’ll realize the benefits” in terms of affordability and quality.

Author Sheri Koones said, “I was totally blown away. … I thought, this is like a miracle,” when a friend of her’s purchased one, had it installed, and walked her through their new home the next day.

Koones has since published 5 books on the subject, including her latest, Prefabulous World. Koones book titles’ are a play on the words, “Pre-Fab” which describes the fact that the homes were built – pre-fabricated in a factory – transported and permanently installed on home site.


19 Homes will be on display at the Eastern Ohio Home Show, photo credit Welcome Home Ohio.

Indeed, these homes are fabulous, as Koones suggests. But many people still think factory-built housing is inferior. “This is like the best-kept secret in America,” Koones said.

Brookhaven Living Room

An Entry Level Manufactured Home, displayed at Rona Homes in Pataskala, Ohio;
Rona is one of the co-sponsors for the Eastern Ohio Home Show.

As ManufacturedHomeLivingNews readers know, modern factory-built homes must meet or exceed all state and/or federal building comes, depending on the kind of home you are considering. So while there are entry level homes’ as well as ‘residential style’ manufactured homes, all of these types of homes must meet the same safety, construction and performance standards.

The Mary Beth Breckenridge, writing in the Akron Beacon Journal, deserves praise for getting a number of important points correct – including this key part of the story – namely:

Although factory-built homes are sometimes confused with mobile homes, they’re not the same. Mobile homes — an outgrowth of travel trailers — haven’t been made since 1976, when a set of federal construction and safety standards called the HUD Code took effect.”

Starting Friday May 16th , with a half-day trade event, through Sunday May 18th with a event opened free to the public, some 19 homes, dozens of industry exhibitors and thousands of members of the public are expected to tour the displayed manufactured and modular homes.

As Koones pointed out to the the Akron Beacon Journal, you can find homes that include factory-built “mansions.” These upscale homes shatter the false perceptions, and attract savvy professionals such as doctors, attorneys or the movie stars who live in “million dollar” manufactured homes overlooking Zuma Beach in posh Malibu California, as does Betsy Russell, whose two million dollar manufactured home made headlines last summer.

Major sponsor UMH Properties has recently acquired a number of manufactured home properties in Ohio. These include one that has benefit from a dramatic upgrade since they acquired the property, The Story of Colonial Heights, as was reported in MHProNews.com.

As home buyers, lenders, public officials and investors all begin to be better understand the incredible value offered by the factory-crafted home, the future for the industry indeed looks bright.

More information on the Eastern Ohio Home Show can be found at the Welcome Home Ohio site, linked here. ##

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