Collage by, all rights reserved.

Surprised by the Truth, While Shopping for a New Home

Roughly one out of eight Americans annually are shopping for a new place to call home.

That means that right now, you and hundreds of thousands of others are researching on line.

Some are just curious. Tens of thousands from coast-to-coast are looking today for answers to their housing questions.

While no two people are identical, there are some common questions and insights home buyers or renters are seeking. Not necessarily in order of importance, they include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Location.
  • Affordability.
  • Appeal.
  • Quality.
  • Features.
  • Energy savings.
  • Comfort.
  • Style.
  • Buy/Rent factors.

For many, among the desires is to have a place you can be happy to bring your friends, family, faith, fun, or fellow coworkers too.  Hold onto that thought along with the other points above.

Every home in the collage above is a manufactured home, by various builders. Photos come from various parts of the U.S.

Surprised by the Truth

For the next few moments park all of your thoughts about a:

  • house,
  • condo,
  • townhouse,
  • apartment,
  • duplex,
  • tiny house,
  • container,
  • PreFab,
  • mobile home,
  • modular home, or
  • manufactured home

aside for the next few moments.

Clear your mind, but don’t clear your good, common sense.

Public officials, advocates, educators, media, and millions of others are looking for solutions on complex housing issues. The answers for millions are found in modern manufactured homes, but they may not realize it. When properly installed, modern manufactured homes are an appealing, safe, and affordable alternative to rentals or more expensive housing options. Chasing the Dream image credit, PBS.

Look at all the facts and visuals, with new eyes.

We’ve all had times we’ve heard something that sounded “too good” to be true.

We’ve also all had the experience of thinking badly about some person, place, or thing. Right?

Later, something or someone gave you new insights, and then followed a surprising “Aha! Moment.”


That “Aha!” moment of discovery is often a great experience, isn’t it?  Some people call that an awakening, others call it surprised by the truth.

In an age of doubt and skepticism, people don’t want an advertisement.

Rather, most people want honest answers.  In this introductory report, we’ll provide the facts, insights, and interviews.  You decide if it makes sense to you and/or those you’re searching for now.

JohnBostickPresidentSunshineHomesRedBayAL-OurIndustryProvidesGreenAppealingOptionsWeeksNotMonths-DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews (1)

Today’s Mix of Previous, Plus New Videos and Facts

BuffetServingLineMHLivingNewsReaders have asked us for such a starting-point story.  An introductory or “40,000 foot” level overview report.

This will be ‘take one’ at that goal.  If you’re brand new reader or viewer here, this should be a great starting point.  For those returning, you’ll see a mix of previous and new information, all presented in an informative intro/overview fashion.

Your video interview buffet awaits…watch what interests you.  No two people are alike, there are plenty of different people and backgrounds in this one-page article.


Lenders, Investors, and Public Officials

Lenders and investors have to be about “brass tacks.” Good, successful lenders and investors are all about the facts.

So, the first video below has three vice-presidents with two different nationwide lending operations.



We’ll start with these two videos that give you a snapshot of what lenders and billionaires are thinking about manufactured homes today.



But you’ll also see in this post below, examples of homeowners from a wide range of backgrounds.

Experts in construction, finance, public officials and policy, real estate, and more are also in this column – but hundreds more are found on this website.


We can’t find any evidence that Kid Rock  – or some of the millionaires and billionaires we’ve reported on – were paid anything to endorse manufactured home living.

Kid Rock’s language is a bit salty – rated M for Mature – so parents consider that if your youth are within earshot before you click the above and listen/watch his music video. Some of the visuals are suggestive. But you can click on the picture above, and see Kid Rock’s manufactured home in his hit music video. Kid Rock also told Dan Rather on “The Big Interview” that he loves his manufactured home, loves his private jet, and that Rolls Royce.

That lack of a paid sponsor is what made their story interesting. They weren’t plugging anyone, or being paid to advertise. They were wealthy or famous people, telling their own stories.


The rich can often pick whatever type of home they want, thus their selection of a manufactured home is noteworthy, isn’t it?

For those worried about stereotypes, clearly, the wealthy ignored them – some are making manufactured home living hip, hot, smart, and cool.

Facts. Kid Rock had a mansion, sold it, bought and loves his manufactured home. The performer believes it’s a good choice for him. He’s worth an estimated 80 million dollars, so he can clearly buy pretty much whatever kind of home he wants.

You may love and/or hate his music, videos, politics, beliefs, lifestyle – or whatever – but for those looking for the truth about a modern factory built home, Kid Rock’s story is interesting.

The people we interview for Inside MH or MHLivingNews videos are similar to that famous performer/musician in this way. We don’t pay anyone we interview to tell their stories.

Betsy Russell, Pamela Anderson, Stevie Nicks, Minnie Driver, and Matthew McConaughey – each of these stars selected contemporary manufactured homes as their residence, after they became famous.

Like Kid Rock, the people we interview WANT to TELL OTHERS their honest experiences with:



Note that each of those 3 different types of homes in the bullets just above can be called PreFab (prefabricated) or ‘factory built’ homes.  Some call them all “MH” too.


But for your own sake, please keep those different names separate in your mind.  Because the proper name tells you what standards a home was built to, which is important to owners, shoppers, lenders, public officials, media, and others.

The video below by CBS News is interesting, but uses some incorrect terminology.





Start Your Search for the Truth with Common Sense

This article is intended to be like a buffet at a good restaurant. Pick as little or as much as you want for now. There are no time limits.

If you are searching for yourself or others, a thirty second video just won’t do it. Those 30 second to a minute spots are usually ads, not interviews.  Marketers tell companies that people have a short attention span, yes and no.  Properly understood, that’s nonsense. 


Dr. Harold Hunt, Ph.D., with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University has done studies on the affordability and energy savings found in today’s manufactured homes. Dr. Hunt explains, “These are not your grand-father’s trailer house.”  His expert takeaway, below.


Tens of millions of smart people will watch a movie for a couple of hours.  People spend hours, days, weeks, months, or years shopping for that ‘just right’ home.

We’re not saying that videos, terrific photos, or other ads are bad — ads just are what they are.


Among the most important life decisions people make is housing. Why make a $50,000, $100,000 or $250,000 or more mistake by rushing it?

Besides, rushing often creates stress.  The video below has a realtor, a vet, a millennial, and housing pros – all featured in snippets from other interviews.


If you have time, then take your time.  Research, read, view, and listen until you’ve discovered the truth for yourself or the ones you are discerning the truth for in their housing hunt.

A Word About the Mainstream Media

We’re media too, but we are experts and specialists. Like a tech, automotive, medical, or any other specialized media, we’re trade media too.

Like other specialized media, we offer insights for the general public here at MHLivingNews, and for professionals/investors at


The mainstream media routinely gets some things right – and regrettably may get other facts wrong – about factory-built homes.  They’re human. As professionals who are often in a hurry to get a story done, it’s not surprising when mainstream media make a mistake, or emphasize something incorrectly.

There’s been favorable and unfavorable news about manufactured homes, mobile homes, modular or tiny houses for years.


Even when a specific story happens to be accurate, that doesn’t mean that there’s some broader take away. Let’s look at two quick, common examples.

Safety Examples

A common example is fire reporting.

Fact. Mobile homes – recall those are homes on a frame built before June 15, 1976 – that haven’t been updated are more fire prone than a conventional ‘site built’ or ‘stick built’ house.

Mobile homes – built before June 15, 1976 – burn at about 3 times the rate as manufactured homes built after that date. Manufactured homes are as safe or safer than far more costly new, conventional ‘on-site built’ housing.

Fact. The safest home against a fire is a manufactured home.

The NFPA report demonstrates that post-HUD Code manufactured homes are as safe or safer against fires than their conventional housing counterparts.

Those are facts confirmed by the National Fire Prevention Administration (NFPA).

The NFPA are correctly very specific about definitions, because the housing type determines fire safety records.


NFPA report, see page linked here or click the image above.

But all homes have a low incident of fire deaths. Often, avoidable accidents are reasons someone dies.

Per the U.S. Fire Administration (FEMA)

> Fire Deaths (all types of construction): 3,275; in 2014.

Learn more about conventional, mobile home and manufactured home fire safety at this link here and Home Safe Home,” linked here.

COMPARE: To give a comparison, per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

> Vehicle crashes in the United States in 2015 in which 35,092 deaths.

So, there’s more than 10 times the number of fatalities in vehicles than from fires.

People don’t stop traveling in vehicles due to fatalities. Nor should a tragic fire or some other out-of-place fear cause you to not buy a certain kind of housing.  Doesn’t that make good sense?

Weather, Windstorms — The Facts

As the National Weather Service chart below proves, there’s simply no comparison between weather related deaths and vehicular deaths. Vehicle deaths to lightening deaths was about 1000 to 1 last year. Tornado or hurricane deaths were even fewer.

Weather Related Deaths, per the National Weather Service (NWS):

National Weather Service (NWS) NOAA Weather Related Deaths by year, all deaths, all kinds of housing. To download this graphic full size, click here. Then click, save as.

Every premature death is understandably seen as tragic. See this new video, a Hurricane Irma survival story.



But media has – intentionally or not – hyped weather fears, keeping many from buying their dream otherwise affordable home.  That’s a mistake.



It’s worth recalling that FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

In the video below, real estate broker Linda Hazelhoff, who’s husband is a custom house builder, explains why after selling hundreds of manufactured homes to often well qualified buyers, she understand the truth about today’s factory-crafted homes.



MHLivingNews likes to encourage housing shoppers to use their common sense. An open mind, and a willingness to discover the truth that is hiding in plain sight.


We also encourage people to realize that just as your telephone has changed from 10, 20, 30 or more years ago, so too has all types of housing being built over the years.

Just as phones evoloved over time, so did trailer houses, that evolved into mobile homes, that with updates in June 15, 1976 and since became manufactured homes.

Generally – for all of housing – the newer the home type, the more energy saving and safer they tend to be.



We have friends and colleagues in all parts of the housing industry. We’ve personally lived in and owned several types of housing, in many parts of the country.

But it isn’t so much our experiences, as that of others that we bring you here. We interview home owners. Some are rich, others have very modest income, even more are in between.

It’s a Fact. Manufactured Homes are more affordable overall than other types of housing. GAO – Government Accountability Office – graphic.

When we bring you true stories of everyday people or the rich and famous, what they have in common is they discovered an affordable, quality, and appealing way of life.

In this Survey of Select Videos and Links to Fact-Based Reports

As in the examples above and below, we tackle the fear and the facts people have.  It may be politically incorrect to some, but we think the truth is always in style.

The videos will spotlight people who discuss:

  • Appeal/Looks – style, beauty, curb appeal.
  • Features and benefits.
  • Behind the scenes look at homes being built. You’ll see it looks a lot like on-site building, only its being done in doors, and routinely with more equipment, and building materials being used.
  • Public officials, current and previous, starting with an elected one.



  • Financing, and lending related issues.
  • Safety issues (like those noted above),
  • Location,
  • Appreciation/home value,


and much more.

Interviews with home owners, real estate agents, builders, engineers, and other experts.

No one article, no one video interview will cover it all.


CFPB and manufactured home lending, see the video above.


But you can come back as often as you’d like, and view/read at your own pace.


If you do your homework well, you may discover a way to save half the cost of conventional housing – apples to apples. Not all will save half.  Some can save more, others, less. Who states those facts? The federal government, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Many will find that manufactured homes offer a way to save on their monthly housing payments.

The story linked below is from a federal report that documents that manufactured homes, and conventional houses, can appreciate side-by-side per a university level study.

Donald Tye’s family’s development project (see photo collage, above) or the more recent case in Oakland, CA are examples of how properly cited manufactured homes can rise in value, increase the value of surrounding homes, benefit the tax base, and are a proven, affordable path to home ownership.

There are hundreds of articles and videos, a search tool, and headlines to browse.


No two-people MHLivingNews has interviewed are alike. If you like someone we interviewed, great. But if someone isn’t your cup of tea, coffee, water, soda, or that energy drink – just smile for a few minutes and see what they’ve got to say, or you can go on to another.

Keep in mind, we’re showing specific videos because that person(s) said something interesting or revealing that others may need or want to hear.

Depending on your age, the ‘average American’ will live somewhere from a few years to 10 or more years in a dwelling.


So, it only makes sense to learn more, so you can save more and live better.

Buying vs. Renting

One simple truth. Whatever you buy or rent, you’re paying for someone to own that housing. Either you will own it (buying), or someone else will own it (renting).

HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, an CFED – a consumer group that’s renaming as Prosperity Now – agree on this.

For more recent details on third party quality facts, click the image above. Poster credit – despair. Magnifying glass credit – xinrendujia. MH Kitchen photo from Tunica Manufactured Home Show.

Owners of homes have a much higher net worth than renters do. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) research indicates that all adult groups by a wide margin prefer owning when they can, instead of renting.

The average home owner has $200,000 net worth, says Carson. The average renter? $5,000 net worth.


Owning when you routinely makes good sense.  But as with all of this research, “We Provide, You Decide.” ©.

Entry Level and Residential Style Manufactured Homes


Just as some only want or can afford a basic cell phone or car, the same is true with factory-built housing.

There are entry level manufactured homes that use more basic materials.  They are still built to the same basic safety and construction standards as the HUD Code for manufactured homes requires.

Often, more expensive models will have taller ceilings, nicer finishes, fancier baths, appliances, cabinetry or heavier duty construction and energy saving features.

Find the type of home that makes the best sense for you or those you are researching for now.

What’s in a Name?

Plenty. There are names we like, and others we may not.

But if you meet someone you like that has a name you don’t, what do you do? You find a way to smile and live with it!  We covered part of the ‘What’s in a name” topic above, but there are articles on terminology linked here, and on our professional site here.

Bottom Lines

The bottom line is simple.

Don’t let someone fast talk you – for or against – a particular kind of housing. You need to do what’s right for you and your circumstances. Learn what you can, then go look, touch, experience, and feel what’s real for yourself. Odds are excellent that you’ll be glad that you did. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHLivingNews.

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