While there can be regional differences between manufactured homes, the videos and ideas found in this report are generally available in most any part of the U.S. That said, on November 2, 2021 Yahoo News – and now MHLivingNews – picked up a press release provided by the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA). The MMHA is deemed to be an affiliate of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) by MHI. MHI claims to be promoting the manufactured home industry. But what is the evidence that MHI is promoting the industry that they claim to represent “all segments” of on their website and elsewhere?
The video above is by the MMHA. On this date, there were 6 views on a video posted on 11.5.2021. Why didn’t they coordinate the release of this media pitch with that video? Why didn’t the MMHA ask every member to visit this video and then share it? That alone could yield hundreds or thousands of views. Hold those thoughts for later.
Following the MMHA media release, shown below, will be additional MHLivingNews information, a focused analysis, along with related linked items.
Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) Highlights Three Lesser-Known Advantages of Owning a Manufactured Home
Tue, November 2, 2021, 12:00 PM
OKEMOS, MI / ACCESSWIRE / November 2, 2021 / Manufactured housing has the reputation of being an affordable housing option for many, with the average sales price of $81,900 in the U.S. That’s just $56.56 per square foot. Compare that to the average cost of $118.91 per square foot for a single-family site-built home (without land). But, do you know some of the other advantages of buying a manufactured home? Here are three lesser-known advantages, according to the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association:
- Building Process. Anyone who has ever built a home can tell horror stories of cost overruns, delayed construction and difficult contractors. Such problems are rare in the manufactured home industry because the homes are built in factories under strict guidelines and tight federal regulations. The factories build the homes on assembly lines, which leaves little room for error. Additionally, the manufacturing process maximizes the efficiency of workers, and builds in a controlled environment that is not impacted by inclement weather, vandalism, and the potential unreliability of contractors. Factories can build a typical manufactured home in about one-third of the time it takes a contractor to construct a site-built home.
- Design Flexibility. When you buy a new manufactured home, you can choose the design style, floor plan, options and amenities that suit you and your family. Some options may surprise you. Most manufactured homes have options that include gourmet kitchens with islands and stainless-steel appliances, bedrooms with walk-in closets, large bathrooms with freestanding tubs and ceramic showers. Many come equipped with fireplaces, built-in entertainment centers and a home office. Nearly all the amenities you can find in a site-built home can also be added to manufactured homes. The only difference is that workers install everything in the house before it reaches your property.
Energy Efficiency. The new generation of manufactured homes is energy efficient. Many manufacturers outfit manufactured homes with Energy Star appliances and take great care in making sure each home is tightly constructed with efficient heating and cooling systems, efficient water heaters and high-performance windows, equipped to save up to 50% in energy costs. Plus, manufactured home construction is also considered environmentally friendly. Due to the efficient construction process, manufacturers of manufactured homes generally don’t waste a lot of building materials, and whatever scraps they do end up with are often recycled.
Whether your interest is in saving money, stress, energy … or just looking to get a beautiful home for a great value, manufactured housing is an option to consider.
The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association is dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of manufactured and modular home living and connecting people interested in finding a community or home with its members. MMHA is one of Michigan’s oldest trade associations, founded in 1941. MMHA is a nonprofit association representing the manufactured and modular home industry in Michigan. MMHA works to improve the image of manufactured and modular housing by educating consumers, media and government about the quality, affordability, design and beauty of the homes. For more information, visit the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association at www.michhome.org or contact MMHA, 2222 Association Drive, Okemos, MI 48864-5978; 517.349.3300.
Additional sources: How Stuff Works, US Census Bureau, Manufactured Housing Institute
SOURCE: Michigan Manufactured Housing Association ##
Showing their press release should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of the MMHA. It’s not. There are several true statements made, but there are some vexing things that are left out too. More on that below.
That said, this next video by the MMHA was posted on June 7, 2021, per their YouTube page. It has had on this date (11.9.2021) only 502 views after 5 months. So, the math is pretty easy, about 100 views a month. By contrast, several tiny house living videos might have experienced millions of views in a similar timeframe. MMHA and MHI, can you spell “ouch?”
The videos and their media release, on the surface, may seem fine. But clearly, people are not beating down the doors during an affordable housing crisis to learn more about manufactured homes, and then in turn by them. Such facts and evidence begs the question, why?
Why is manufactured housing not attracting hundreds of thousands or more buyers every year? What are the disconnects?
Additional Information, More MHLivingNews Analysis and Commentary
Sales of manufactured homes in Michigan and most of the United States are a fraction of what they were 2 decades ago. Some details are found in the reports linked below.
While the information that MMHA, or MHI for that matter, may be on the surface correct, they obviously fail to address the concerns of the bulk of the home seeking and home buying public.
MHI’s own research, when it is carefully unpacked, reveals that the image of manufactured housing is so poor that they ‘ran away’ from their own product’s name. Agree or disagree with that strategy, it is what a rival trade group that is also involved in factory building noted approaching two years ago.
Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the Modular Home Builders Association, chided MHI for trying to appropriate the term “modular” for use with manufactured homes. Hardiman called that ‘deceptive.’ Hardiman also said that MHI should ‘own’ manufactured housing and be proud of the product.
Hardiman’s arguments were largely quite correct. Ironically, a prior MHI president and CEO, Chris Stinebert, noted a key part of what is going wrong with manufactured housing. Hardiman said that happy customers will lead to more happy customers.
MHI claims high levels of satisfaction. This is both true and misleading. Most people who own a manufactured home are happy with their purchase, that seems to be a well-supported statement.
However, manufactured home communities are often accused of being ‘predatory.’ So too is some of the financing being offered by companies like Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). Those three brands are all owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
The report linked below shows the formal complaint filed against Clayton Homes General Counsel Thomas “Tom” Hodges, J.D. Hodges is also MHI’s chairman. If you want to understand what is going wrong with manufactured housing acceptance, its a useful place to dig in and read what numbers of others have said.
Several days after asking Hodges, Kevin Clayton and others to respond to the allegations, none of them, nor their attorneys have bothered to respond. Which begs the question, why not?
The answer may be sobering, and relates to what this MMHA media release obliquely raises questions about. MHI members, not all to be sure, but many of their key members are among those who have been credibly accused of predatory business practices. Some of those same brands are members of the MMHA.
Instead of invoking their so-called “Code of Ethical Conduct” and making their members live up to those nice sounding words, there is no known evidence – per another state association executive and an MHI board member to MHProNews – that MHI has ever invoked their code of conduct.
The disconnects were bad enough where specific MHI state affiliates quit the MHI trade group.
What is the logic of all this? Perhaps oddly at first, the apparent answers are sinister and sobering. MHI’s key members are busily at the work of consolidating the industry. They have in many cases said so themselves.
What that means in a practical matter for manufactured home shoppers?
Just over a year ago, MHLivingNews was featured in two in depth video interviews with Pissed Consumer. In brief, they said in part at the time that it was prudent to avoid doing business with an MHI member brand.
But more specifically, someone should do their homework on whatever company someone is considering buying from.
Manufactured homes are a fine option. As has been disclosed several times, this writer has spent a large part of his adult life in manufactured homes. They are a fine option.
But what must occur for this option to be more available is for good existing laws to be fully and properly enforced. This is something that MHI and their dominating brands are apparently either miserably failing at doing, or they are deliberately allowing the status quo to continue. Why? Again, the evidence and logic suggests that it is due to the drive to consolidate the industry. See the reports linked below and herein for more details.
Every time a state association – be it MMHA, Florida, or others – attempts to posture an effort like the above, serious business professionals would look at the results. The results are obviously not impressive. That suggests that these are show efforts, not serious ones.
Part of what should occur is that people of good will press their federal lawmakers for a serious investigation of HUD, MHI, and others.
If there were another plausible explanation for this vexing fact- and evidence pattern, MHI’s attorneys would be responding. Who says? An MHI attorney.
There is more like statements similar to the one by David Goch on behalf of MHI, shown above.
The bottom line?
Manufactured homes are a fine option. But a savvy shopper should avoid as much as possible feeding the hands that would bite them and others. That’s just common sense. The facts and evidence may be an ongoing embarrassment to MHI and their dominating brands. But reality is what is. Do your homework. Verify the facts and evidence shown herein. Then act accordingly. ##
Here on MHLivingNews, dozens of times a year, we lay out the facts and insights that some others are too unmotivated, agenda-driven, or otherwise uninformed to do. That’s what makes this and our business daily news sister site – MHProNews – the runaway leaders for authentic information about affordable housing in general, the politics behind the problems, and manufactured homes specifically. That’s a wrap on this installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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