Saving Time, Money, Hassles – How Can You Buy a Manufactured Home Without Encountering Problems? Pissed Consumer Video Interview of L. A. “Tony” Kovach on Manufactured Housing

How can you save time, money, and hassles when you shop to buy a manufactured home? Knowledge is potential power. Knowledge is a correct understanding of reality. Investing a reasonable amount of time doing your homework and research on the front end, before a purchase – can avoid serious head ache and heart ache after a purchase. Reading and viewing on a fact and evidence based site like MHLivingNews will doubtlessly help you or someone you know considering a mobile or manufactured home become a happier homeowner.

In part one of the periodic video series with the customer advocate site, Pissed Consumer interviewing L. A. “Tony” Kovach, co-founder of MHLivingNews, we reviewed the basics of what a manufactured home is. Through questions, answers, and illustrations, we compared and contrasted a manufactured home with the mobile homes or trailer houses of yesteryear. We also compare manufactured homes with conventional houses and answers several questions on that topic too.




Pissed Consumer co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Podolsky and his team developed a series of questions to probe those topics, which are covered in the video and transcript linked above.

Let’s note that the Pissed Consumer site, which reportedly attracts 3.5 million visits monthly, demonstrates through this education-focused video series that they are more than just a gripe site, as useful as that resource can be. They have some 78,000 companies reviewed by 1.7 million actual consumers. They have an impressive record that has been cited by mainstream media.



With that understanding, Podolsky and his dedicated Pissed Consumer team members wanted to know how can people best avoid problems in shopping for and buying a manufactured home?

Given that brief backdrop, let’s look at the next video and interview transcript, which are provided courtesy of the Pissed Consumer advocacy website.  The introduction that follows is from their operation. Some of the illustrations that follow are not in the video’s transcript but were added by MHLivingNews.



At the end of the video interview question and answer transcript, there will be links to other related information, interviews with actual manufactured home owners, and more. Any comments in [brackets] below are added by MHLivingNews and are not in the video itself.




We covered the idea of what manufactured homes are and learned why consumers underestimate them. Proceeding with our quest for the truth about manufactured homes, we move on to the process of buying.

In this video, our expert Tony Kovach shares his knowledge and firsthand tips on what prospective buyers should consider when dealing with a manufactured home company. Discover the questions to ask your sales manager when making a purchase decision. Read how to avoid complaints.

For details, please follow the points below:
The photos are all of different manufactured homes, all built to the HUD Code, the nation’s only federal construction standards for housing. The more you and others know, the better off you can be.

MHLN Note: in their transcript of the video’s “cold start,” two facts are worth noting. Multi-millionaire, Rock and Roll performer and movie star, Elvis Presley actually owned several true mobile homes.

In the cutaway edit in the second part of that cold start, the video cuts away to a teaser from later in the video. It is a tip that Kovach is giving to viewers, something to say in certain possible situations.


Tony in Video Cold Start:

That Elvis Presley honeymooned in a mobile home. That his mobile home had a gold plated sink and a gold plated tub and stuff like that…”

“…so I’m not threatening you, Mr. Seller. I’m just saying I’m going to keep being the squeaky wheel until I get the attention that I deserve.”

That old mobile home was built decades ago, and has been replaced with the federally regulated manufactured homes of today. To see a photo spread and report on the mobile home Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned in, click here.


For decades, movie stars and celebrities have owned manufactured homes. Collage by MHLivingNews, individual photo credits as shown or below.  If a rich person selects a manufactured home, that tells you they must be okay.  See the report linked here.


What Are the Reasons for Buying a Manufactured Home?


Hey, guys. My name is Michael. I am CEO and co-founder of Pissed Consumer. I am speaking to Tony Kovach again today. This is the second video in the series talking about manufactured homes. We brought Tony on to speak about manufactured homes to give you real tips that you can utilize in your life as you are looking to purchase housing for yourself or your loved ones.

Manufactured homes, and the expert Tony Kovach comes in to explain to us the processes that are involved in buying manufactured homes and how it will differentiate itself from buying a regular house. Tony will introduce himself again and talk about his expertise in the industry, and then we will get to questions.



Thanks, Michael, again for having me in for this follow-up interview. One, I’ve lived in manufactured homes for about half of my adult life. I’ve lived in conventional housing, as I mentioned in the first video. Own nice houses in nice neighborhoods. So, I’ve got firsthand experience of manufactured homes as well as literally over 25 years of professional experience.

One of the things I like to tell consumers, Michael, is that some of the rich and famous have bought and lived in manufactured homes. Going back to the mobile home era, some people don’t realize that Elvis Presley honeymooned in a mobile home. Now, his mobile home had a gold-plated sink and a gold-plated tub and stuff like that.

But now I think that’s important to know because if it’s good enough for the rich and famous, it should be good enough for you and me. And they certainly have the ability to do their own homework, make sure that they’re making a good investment, making a good decision.

Also, there’s third-party research about the people who actually have purchased a manufactured home and how much they like or love their homes.

So, for instance, according to Southeast Research, which is a professional research certified operation, 97% of owners of new manufactured homes, they describe their homes as attractive. Some like 92% of those same people said that they feel like their homes are safe.


So about 45% of those surveyed said that they could have bought a conventional house, but they decided to buy a manufactured home instead. So, these are reasons to think that it’s prudent to consider buying a manufactured home.

A couple of years ago, we had the National Association of Realtors, a lady named Scholastica Gay Cororaton, she did research on manufactured housing. The market for manufactured homes, I think is what the name of her research study was. But basically, what she said is that manufactured homes have evolved from the trailer house and the mobile home era to being very quality homes that actually stand up well in tornadoes and hurricanes and so on and so forth.

We have videos and articles on that, on our MH Living News website. So the common fear that people have really shouldn’t be a fear factor at all. There’s something like 500,000 to one odds in your favor that if you own a manufactured home that you won’t be in a tornado and die, that kind of thing. So the safety factor is definitely there.


Okay. Now, having gotten rid of the typical things, let’s get down to some things that there are basically two different ways somebody might buy a manufactured home. And I’m going to oversimplify.

Back to top


What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Manufactured Home?



What are the pros and cons of buying a manufactured home? What do you see as positive sides and negatives that you can highlight to the consumers?



The positives are really quite numerous. One, if you’re buying the home, you’re saving money. Two, if you’re an environmentally conscious kind of person, as we said in the first video, there’s actually less waste. The homes tend to be more energy-efficient and so on.

So, apples to apples, with manufactured homes, there’s less waste than conventional housing. They’re more energy-efficient and so on.

On the negative side, quite frankly, I would say that maybe the single biggest factor that I’d say is frustration, the process can seem daunting. We want to get into that maybe a little bit more detail in a couple of minutes.

Another thing that I think can be a bit of a concern to some consumers is that there’s not as many financing options. There’s not as many manufactured homes sold as there are conventional houses.

There are not as many financing options. That said, for a serious shopper, if you really want to buy a manufactured home, there are regional and national lenders that do this kind of lending.

If you do a good Google search, you’re going to find that somebody in your market is going to be able to serve you. Beyond that, there’s FHA, VA, USDA, or rural housing. Many states have first time home buyers programs that manufactured homes qualify for.

So long story short, Michael, there’s a lot of positives in terms of purchasing the home, but there are some hoops to jump through, and we probably ought to talk about those hoops.

Back to top

What are the Steps to Consider When Buying a Manufactured Home?


There’s a consumer in front of us right now who’s watching this video. What shall the prospect consumer know before buying a manufactured home? What are the steps that the person should consider, and what are your insider tips for that prospect considering buying a home? And they don’t know whether it’s going to be a manufactured, mobile, or conventional home. What shall consumers know about manufactured homes, the industry that you are specialized in?



Sure. So, Michael, that’s such a significant question, because I think that if people are less afraid of the home buying process, then they’re going to be more willing to explore it. And when they explore the process, they’re going to find out that really there’s a lot of benefits that they could get.

Now that said, I’m going to oversimplify this and break it into two categories. Generally speaking, you’re either going to buy a manufactured home that’s already installed somewhere. It may be new. It may be pre-owned. That’s a pretty straightforward process.

It’s going to be a lot like buying a house from a real estate agent or from a developer. So I’m not going to spend much time on that. I’m just going to say that it’s a straightforward process, no real surprises or hoops, extra hoops to jump there.

So, what I want to focus on for a few minutes is the idea of what if you’re going to a manufactured home retailer. There’s a lot of details there, and those details sometimes can seem daunting. But if you get through those details, I’m going to oversimplify this in a second.

So, let me list the details first. So, for instance, where do you want to put the home? So the site selection is a question. Is the proposed site that you’re interested in, is it suitable for a manufactured home?

Because not every site is going to be an ideal selection. And there are people that address those kinds of issues. Do you want to buy a manufactured home that’s in a retailer’s inventory or would you rather custom order a home, which is going to take longer because it’s coming from the factory?

What kind of floor plans do you want? Because there’s a wide variety of floor plans that are out there. Where do you go for financing? What about taxes, insurance, and other costs that people may not think about early on?

So, let me take the fear factor out of all those items we just talked about with this really simple principle. And if this seems like an oversimplification, sometimes the simple is just the truth, and it’s this.

What a person who’s looking for if they’re going to buy from a retailer is you want to find a good informed agent, meaning a sales agent, and you want to find a good company that’ll help you navigate those details.

Everybody wants to sell you a house. The question is this person that you’re about to engage with, are they informed? Are they experienced? Do they have any consumer complaints that they might find on a site like Pissed Consumer and things like that?

So not to insult a rookie sales agent, but for example, let’s say that you as a consumer went to a sales center and you’re asking the sales agent some questions. If the person doesn’t seem that informed, I would just stop right there and say, “Listen, I want to speak to the owner or manager.” And if the owner or manager cares, then they’re going to listen to your concern and they’re going to assign you somebody that can do a better job for you.

The other thing that a person might encounter, Michael, what if you’re talking to may be someone that’s got experience, but what if they’re not that ethical? And needless to say, you want to spot that unethical salesperson.

And so, here’s some of the things that I’d be looking for. If I’m asking somebody a straight question and it seems like they’re ducking that question. Are they shading? Are they trying to dip around it?

Again, I wouldn’t necessarily discount the company, but I would go to the owner or the manager and say, “Listen, I want to speak with somebody else. This may be a fine person, but we’re not hitting it off.” That kind of thing. “I want someone that’s honest. I want someone that’s ethical,” so on.

Now, so if you have someone that’s honest, that’s professional, then that is really maybe the most important thing that a consumer can do. Because once you sit down with that informed agent, then the rest of those items that we talked about, location, do you want to buy an inventory, all those different things, financing, or whatever, all that can come into focus.

They can simplify that process because they do that every day of their lives. We, as consumers, buy a house a few times a year, a few times in our lifetime, pardon me, and that’s it. But those people in the industry, if they’re good at their job, they do it all the time, so they should do a good job.

I’d give two more quick tips and then we can move on to whatever you have next Michael, but that’s this. Don’t let personality persuade you. I’ve seen people that are maybe not the most personable, but they’re as honest as the day is long.

I’ve also seen people that have great personalities, and unfortunately, they may have a reputation for being manipulative or whatever. So don’t let personality be what guides you. What you want is someone that’s going to shoot straight.

And don’t be bashful to ask somebody at that same location to speak to someone who is an expert that’s going to be fair. And if you don’t think you’ve got that, then I’d go on to the next place. I just wouldn’t do business there.

Back to top

What Questions Should You Ask a Sales Manager?


Would you be able to give a tip on how to recognize that player in the manufactured housing industry? Is there a question that you would suggest asking?


Even before I’d go into a retail center, and this isn’t a secret, but it’s sometimes useful for people that maybe have never thought about it before. I’d go to the Better Business Bureau [BBB], I’d go to Google ratings, and you certainly want to look at those things.

And if you see a problem, I would ask a sales person, “Hey, here’s a rating that I saw online. What was the situation with that?” So everybody can have a … You can be a good retailer and maybe you had a customer complaint and maybe the complaint was even a legitimate complaint. But what you didn’t see is the resolution on that.

You and I have talked about the fact that you had a customer complaint and it was resolved and you did a follow-up video. So those kinds of things can happen. So just because there has been a complaint, that wouldn’t cause me to disqualify somebody.

But what I’d say is there are a few things that I look for. One, is a location a magnet for bad news? And here’s what I mean by that, and I’ll get into some specifics in a little bit.

If you do a Google search of a company name, and I use searches in quotes. So let’s say that I was going to do a search for the biggest in our industry, Clayton Homes. I’d put Clayton Homes in quotes, and I would do a search for consumer complaints. And I’d put that in quotes, and then I’d hit enter.

And if a person does that, they’re going to find all kinds of information that you may not find with a regular Google search. So I think that’s an important thing to do. That one, is the location a magnet for bad news?

With new homes, again, one thing that you have with the manufactured home we talked about in the first video, Michael, even if you bought from a bad retailer, God forbid, and I don’t recommend doing that, but if you bought from somebody that has a reputation, you still have that dispute resolution process that HUD set up.

So, that’s a consumer safeguard that you don’t want to overly lean on, but you certainly want to be aware of. So those are some things that I think that you want to look for.

But basically I would just ask some questions about, “Hey, would you have some of your own customers that I could speak with, people that have already bought a home from you?” If they hesitate doing that, I think that’s a red flag. If they do give you the opportunity to do that and there’s no hesitation, I think that’s a good signal.

One other thing that I recommend doing is this. I would tell a retailer that I was seriously thinking about doing business with, I’d say, “Look, if you treat me well, I’m going to tell my friends. If you treat me badly, I’m going to tell my friends. And I may not just tell my friends. I may go to Pissed Consumer and tell them about you, too.” So if you do that, then I think you’re more likely to end up with that honest, ethical salesperson and honest, ethical retailer.

Back to top

How to Choose a Manufactured Home Retailer?


Does a typical retailer of manufactured homes, do they work with one company or multiple companies that manufacture homes?



Great question and you’re going to find some that do both. So you’re going to find some that only sell for one particular producer or manufacturer. Some will work with several manufacturers.

Big Manufacturer vs Smaller Manufacturer


As a consumer, shall I be buying from a big manufacturer or a smaller manufacturer? Are there differences to who manufactures my home?

 Yeah, so I have plans. I looked at the plans. Of course, the factory will provide a set of standard plans. I’m making an assumption. Style home is chosen. I am sure that these factories produce somewhat typical homes with some customization possible into that. But as a consumer, should I consider big companies, small companies? What shall be my criteria?



Michael, fascinating question. And one, I’d say if it were me and I had the option apples to apples of picking a big company or picking a smaller company, almost every time I’d say pick the smaller company.

Why? I would use the example of, let’s say, buying a shoe. If you go to a big box store and you want to buy a shoe, they may help you, but usually not very much.

With a smaller company, they’re typically going to give you that extra attention precisely because they want to grow. They want to satisfy their customer. And so nine times out of 10, I would encourage people to go with that more mom and pop size of operation.

Now, I’d also encourage people to do business with somebody that’s local for the same reason. You’re going to see that person at Walmart. You’re going to see that person at the local bank or wherever, maybe at your church or your synagogue or your place of worship. So when you’re doing business with that local person, I think you routinely have benefits from that.


Taking the Factory Tour



So I understand the personalization that you get from a smaller company. Am I going to be able to get a tour of the factory if I am buying?



I love to encourage people to go to the factory. Wonderful question, Michael. I’ve been through many factories myself. And if a person goes to the factory, almost every time they’re going to walk away very impressed.

And let’s take a step back before we dig deeper into this. I’m going to say very quickly that there are two general types of manufactured homes. There’s what they call basic or entry-level or shade and shelter manufactured homes. And then there’s more residential style manufactured homes that are going to look like basically any other site-built house.

So once a person understands that, if you’re going to the factory, you’re going to see with your own eyes what those construction standards are like. And yes, to your point, typically if you’re buying from an independent often that smaller company, they love scheduling a factory tour.

You generally have to set a day and a time for that, because there’s safety considerations. They make you wear a hardhat and so on. So you can’t just pop into the factory and expect to be toured.

So you do have to go to a retailer for that, that’s set up with that factory, but it’s a tremendous experience, and I can’t think of a single time that a customer that I worked with toured a factory that didn’t buy a manufactured home. It’s just impressive.



So that’s probably one of the questions, one of the suggestions we can make to consumers, right? The suggestion of actually if you’re considering buying a home, for most people you buy a house once or twice in your life. It’s a big purchasing decision. Before buying, go tour the factory.


I think that’s a great idea. I really do.

Back to top

The Industry Leaders and Red Flags


So, a respectable retail location actually wouldn’t mind for you to tour the factory to see what’s going on. And then you can make a decision. So we spoke about big companies. We spoke about small companies. Who do you think the industry leaders are and why?


I really don’t like the term industry leaders. I understand it, so I’m not picking on you, Michael. Generally, consumers might think of bigger companies as a “leader.” For reasons we already talked about, I’d be a big advocate in favor of the smaller companies. And I don’t give a specific endorsement to any company, because frankly, things change.

Management at a company can change. The workforce can change. Again, the good news is that with a HUD code manufactured home, all of those factories have to build to the federal standards. So there are some people that’ll talk about, “My home’s better than your home.” Well, your home may be fancier than somebody else’s home, may have more amenities, but that doesn’t mean that it’s “better.”

Now, that said, so let’s put that aside for a minute. I mentioned Clayton Homes a few minutes ago. They’re the biggest. Now, does that mean that they’re the leader? Now, according to statistical surveys, which is a third-party research organization or federal data, roughly half the industry is built by Clayton Homes.

And unfortunately, for whatever reason, we can talk about conspiracy theories or things like that, but the reality is that in news media accounts like Seattle Times, NPR, the Center for Public Integrity, Forbes, The Financial Times, Group Focus, there’s lots of allegations in mainstream media about what they call predatory practices at Clayton Homes, and that’s often tied in with lending.

There’s allegations about racial bias and things like that. This isn’t a secret, but these are the kinds of things that maybe a consumer may not normally think about.

So again, to go back to what we were talking about earlier, if we take a good Google search, and I put the search in quotes, so you take the word Clayton Homes, put it in quotes. Take the word consumer complaints, put it in quotes. Don’t just do an all search.

I do two different searches, one under all, one under news. Do both searches. When you do it under news, you’re going to come up with all kinds of articles. And you can do this with any manufacturer, not just Clayton.

So if you do that, now what you’re going to see is literally third parties reporting on what they say consumer experiences are with respect to Clayton or for that matter anybody else.

I’d elaborate this a bit more and say that several lawmakers, they’re often Democrats, but not always, I’ll use Maxine Waters as an example. She and some of her colleagues wrote a letter to the Justice Department a few years ago and the CFPB literally asked for an investigation of Clayton Homes and what they call predatory practices.

And frankly, Clayton Homes has admitted that they’ve been fined by the federal government. They’ve had to refund money to consumers. So certainly those are factors that I think a consumer should consider.

Now, does that mean that you should not buy from them? That’s something that a person has to weigh, but anytime that there’s that many red flags, I would personally as an industry expert and as an advocate for consumers as well as for business, I’d say you’ve got to look for those red flags, and it would be a big caution for me.



Is Clayton Homes, as compared to the second and third, a runner up in the industry?



Yeah. About half of the industry is Clayton Homes. And frankly, there’s some indications, I won’t say proof, but there’s indications that they and some others in the Manufactured Housing Institute have [are] maybe working with each other in certain ways.

There was a video done by a guy on HBO. His name is John Oliver, and he has a program called Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. This was last year. It’s a 16-minute video. Oliver is kind of a satirist, but he covers news topics with a satirical twist.

And in this video, we did some research on MHLivingNews so a person could go and see that. Literally every company in that video, and they had both community operators and people that Clayton Homes was prominently featured, every one of these companies were Manufactured Housing Institute members.

Now, you would think that, and by the way, I don’t want to say that the Manufactured Housing Institute means that everybody in there is shady or dishonest or whatever. I personally know people in that organization that are fine. And I should give as a disclosure that I used to be on the board of directors of the suppliers’ division at MHI until we parted ways a few years ago.

But that said, when you’ve got just numbers and numbers of complaints and things like that John Oliver video that cites their sources. So it’s not just a bunch of allegations. There are allegations with documentation.

Those are reasons to sit back and think twice. Another thing that John Oliver hit and a big thing for consumers is the community side of the industry, Michael. You can either buy a home and put it on your own property or you can buy a home and go into a manufactured home community, what some people call mobile home parks.

So, one of the guys in that John Oliver video is a guy named Frank Raul, and he and his partner, they’re quite large in our industry and they’re getting big.

And exhibit C, which I’ll show you a copy of, it’s letters from Senator Elizabeth Warren, and she actually names a number of these companies, so it’s a very good consumer resource in my mind, that had been accused of doing improper things with residents and manufactured home communities.

TPG is an investor in purportedly notorious partners Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds led RV Horizons, which has since been rebranded as Impact Communities. Others named by Warren are found in the letters at this link here. Each of those firms are members of the Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI. Given consumer and media concerns and complaints raised, like those Senator Warren noted, each of those firms should be approached by consumers with caution. 

So, if I was a consumer, whether I was a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I would look at that list of companies that Senator Warren cited and I would put that on my red flag list.

Is this the kind of place I want to do business? And a number of members of Congress have done similar kinds of communications about specific companies.

That said, I would want to stress my goal that just because there’s some big players and purportedly problematic or predatory players, that’s not a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There’s lots of good companies in the industry, and again, they just tend to be smaller companies. So if a person can find those honest, ethical, smaller companies, I think you’re routinely better off.

Back to top

How to Avoid Complaints After Buying a Manufactured Home?


So, let’s say a person bought a manufactured home. What is typical? I know you’ve done some research on Pissed Consumer and you’ve seen some of the complaints, plus your expertise as far as the industry is concerned, right? What are the typical consumer complaints that you’ve seen?



The kinds of complaints that I think are the most common are going to fall into broadly three categories. There’s finance complaints, there’s complaints about installation, and there’s complaints about service.

So if you’re looking at an installation complaint, if I was the consumer and you’re watching this video or you’re on my website and you’re looking at this video on my website, I’m going to have a link to that HUD dispute resolution.

I would tell the retailer very quickly, “Hey, if you don’t take care of this, I will contact the state and HUD, and one way or another, you’re going to fix this.”

So, Michael, the best thing I can tell a consumer, let’s take two steps back, and then we’ll take a step forward. The best thing that you can do is avoid the problem in the first place, right? And the way you avoid the problem is by telling the retailer, “Everything that we discuss, I want it in writing. I want it in my paperwork.”

And so there’s none of this he said, she said. There’s none of this, “Well, you promised me.” Anything that a consumer has on their mind before they buy, that’s when it should be reduced to writing.

And I personally had a manufactured home retail center. We were in business for several years, and I’m not saying I’m the only one, because there are others that could probably say similarly.

I never had a letter from an attorney on behalf of a consumer. I never was sued on behalf of a consumer, because we did exactly what we promised. So if you do what you promise, then 90% of the consumer complaints are going to go away.

Now, if you have that complaint, to specifically address your question, what I would be doing, Michael, is this. I would say, “Look, I’m an educated consumer. I know about websites like Pissed Consumer. I know about the HUD dispute resolution process. If you don’t take care of this situation, it’s going to cost your business. That’s not a threat. It’s a reality. I’m going to make my complaints. Other people are going to see the complaints, and it’s going to cost you more to lose somebody else’s a possible business than it would satisfy me as the customer.”

And so to elaborate on that, in fairness to our industry, and I did a search on YouTube. You can have consumer complaints about three, four, 500, $600,000 site-built homes.

So, I just picked one. It’s D.R. Horton. It’s a builder I happen to know. It’s a big regional/national builder. There’s certainly plenty of others out there, Lennar, whoever, but I did a web search under D.R. Horton.

It’s interesting. Your video [about D.R. Horton Homes] on Pissed Consumer was the first one that came up. So you can have consumer complaints on literally very expensive conventional housing. So again, you want to look at this thing not just from a manufactured housing perspective.

If I’m thinking about buying between a manufactured home and a site-built home, frankly, there are more consumer protections for a manufactured home, in most cases. And you could spend many thousands of dollars more on that conventional house.

So at the end of the day, what a person should be doing is looking for a way to communicate effectively with that retailer and say, “Look, one way or another, you’re going to make me happy. And if I were you, I’m just going to suggest. I’m not threatening you, Mr. Seller. I’m just saying I’m going to keep being the squeaky wheel until I get the attention that I deserve.”

Now, last thought, I think, on that subject unless you want to elaborate more. I think there are times that a consumer, in all fairness, has an unrealistic expectation. If you buy a shade and shelter manufactured home, for example, the cabinetry in there may be basic cabinets as opposed to fancy cabinets.

The same thing can happen in an apartment. The same thing can happen on a site-built home. So if you have an entry-level manufactured home, for instance, that has what they call a wrapped cabinet. So you’ve got a photo finish or something over particle board or OSB or some kind of surface like that. If you have a dog or a cat and they start scratching away at that, guess what? It’s going to look like heck.

Is that the seller’s fault? Absolutely not. And so that’s not really something that HUD would care about, the state won’t care about, the manufacturer won’t care about. And odds are really good that that’s going to be covered in your closing paperwork.

That said, as long as you’re asking about something that’s a legitimate consumer complaint, the home wasn’t properly installed, there’s a roof leak, there’s a plumbing leak. Usually those kinds of things, a good real retailer, they want to get that taken care of quickly.

It’s easier to solve a water problem on the front end than to let it persist and now the problems are just going to become more expensive. So a good retailer, a good factory, they want to address that quickly. And the simplest thing to do is just let them know, “Hey, listen, this is an important issue. Please take care of it quickly. If you don’t, you’re going to hear from me again and again until it’s done.”

Back to top

What Is the Warranty on the Manufactured Home?


What is a typical warranty on the manufactured home?



Excellent question. So the structure itself is going to have a warranty and each manufacturer is going to offer something a little bit different, but the typical minimum warranty is going to be one year on the structure.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a longer warranty. You can also buy what they call extended warranties, and so that’s available. The other thing that you’re going to be looking at is warranty on things like the siding, on things like shingles.

A typical warranty on the shingles of a home is going to be 15 to 20, sometimes 30 years. A typical warranty on, let’s say, vinyl siding, it maybe 20, 30 or more years on the vinyl siding. There’s a kind of a siding called Hardie Board or Smartboard or things like that.

There are different brand names for that. Those will often have multi-decade warranties. So they’re good products. They last a long time, and they have good warranties.

Then you have appliance warranties or you have heating and air conditioning warranties, and those are also manufacturer specific. And technically it’s not the manufactured home builder that’s warranting that. It’s the maker of that appliance or the maker of that heater or that air condition.



I really enjoyed our second meeting or the second video. Thank you very much. I very much appreciate your time and your knowledge that you’re sharing with our consumers. We’re putting together this series of videos to educate the consumers about the pros, cons associated with manufactured homes, and I appreciate you spending time with us talking about it.


First I would say that we have a lot of respect for your resource. That’s how we met is I contacted you because of a video that you had. And I think you guys do a great job of giving consumers a place where they can complain outside the normal stream. I think that’s useful.

But to your point, especially the older consumer, if somebody is let’s say a 50-year-old, and that’s about half of our industry’s market, a lot of those people have already owned a site-built home, and a lot of them will after they’ve toured that factory, they’re happy to buy the manufactured home. And they may be selling a site-built home and buying a manufactured home.

So, you’re 100% right. If you are thinking about a manufactured home, especially if this is a second home for you, then I would think that going to the factory is going to answer a lot of questions.

I would quickly add that not every factory does customizations. Many do, but if you want to customize your home, there’s obviously going to be a charge for that, but it’s still going to be less expensive than having a site-built home.

So, the long and the short of it is you do learn a lot from going to the factory. And if you’re working with a good, ethical retailer, especially someone that’s been in business for a while, then a lot of the typical headaches that consumer experiences can be avoidance.

Back to top



Consumers, please subscribe to our channel. This is video number two out of a collection of probably five or six videos that we’re going to do with Tony. We’re really going to do deep dive into the industry of manufactured homes trying to bring to you the useful information about home purchasing experience. Tony, thank you very much. Do you have any closing?



Thank you, Michael. I appreciate the opportunity.”



In this second video interview,” Pissed Consumer said in the concluding remarks, “we dived into the details of the buying process. Tony shared his expert tips on how to choose your manufactured home retailer, what questions to ask before contracting with them, and how to avoid headaches after purchasing the house.

We appreciate the insights that Tony gives here as well as his desire to help consumers be informed about the peculiarities of the manufactured home buying process.

Stay tuned, share comments, and ask your questions about manufactured housing below.” The page where their transcript and video are posted are linked here.


ICYMI, the link to first video interview in this series is found here.




Once more, the video that the transcript above was produced from is posted below.



MHLivingNews Additional Information

If there are numerous things that you heard or read in this video that seem different than what you’ve heard before, keep in mind what Emmy Award winning journalist said. In a promo for her upcoming book scheduled for release on November 24, 2020 – Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism, is the following quote.

When the facts don’t fit their Narrative, the media abandons the facts, not the Narrative. Virtually every piece of information you get through the media has been massaged, shaped, curated, and manipulated before it reaches you. Some of it is censored entirely. The news can no longer be counted on to reflect all the facts. Instead of telling us what happened yesterday, they tell us what’s new in the prepackaged soap opera they’ve been calling the news.” Keep in mind that Attkisson loves her journalistic profession. After years of award-winning coverage, she departed left-of-center CBS News, and became part of an independent media movement that seeks to provide fair and balanced report that plays no favorites. But she isn’t the only one who made such observations in media reports.

Consider this related pull quote from a terminated ABC News journalist, who was caught on a hidden camera making the quoted statement shown below.




While they are often talking about politically connected issues, never forget that affordable home ownership is one of the hot-button topics in our country today. Some people make billions, or prevent others from entering the manufactured housing industry field, by projecting a ‘false narrative’ on manufactured homes.

Over 150 people in the field of writing, publishing and academics have made similar comments to those of Attkisson. See their various statements in the report linked below.





Thanks in good measure to an increasing use of the term “fake news,” public realization that media narratives exist is becoming more commonplace. What former left-of-center MSNBC news producer Ariana Pekary and dozens of others have said in published statements is that you can’t count on even your favored news media outlet to be telling you straight facts.

This is helpful. MHLivingNews exists to a significant degree to use facts, evidence, and interviews like those that follow to educate the public on the truth about mobile and manufactured home living.

To learn more about the evidence-based truth about manufactured homes, see the related reports and video interviews that follow.

MHLivingNews looks forward to doing more videos with Pissed Consumer.  Until then, there is years of content that one can find by using the search tool, checking out linked reports below, or going to the MHLivingNews home page. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, lifestyle news, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)

On 12.3.2019, following the FHFA Listening Session address and meeting, father and son hit the Hill to do various meetings with those on both sides of the political aisle. While everyone was friendly and professional, Congressman Green’s team was outstanding. This photo op was thoughtfully offered to take a picture of Tamas Kovach behind the desk of Congressman Al Green (TX-D). One of several fun photos.

(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

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 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:


Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.


Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

Stacey Epperson, top left, Jim Ayotte left, Linda Hazelhoff, center, Michael Wnek, right, NextStep home top center, Jacobsen Home, bottom right. See the report and video, linked here.
Still from the video on the page linked here.
Becki Jackson is a state inspector of manufactured homes. She was touring the model home that you see in this video, where Inside MH was wrapping up an interview. Tony spotted the state seal on Becki’s jacket, and asked her if she would be willing to sit down for a video interview to share her insights. See that video interview, linked here.
Still from video, posted further below.
Third party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media. Collage by MHLivingNews.



Check Also


October 2023 Ultimate Manufactured Housing and Mobile Home/Manufactured Home Research – Trends, Statistics, Expert Views, Fact Checks, and Insights

Objective research is an obvious way to establish the truth about a subject, including modern …