For several years in our Inside MH Road Show series of videos, MHLivingNews interviewed politicos, experts, but also homeowners of various builders of manufactured homes. Those video interviews are real people, who own actual homes and were not paid for their comments. We’ve learned over the years that manufactured homeowners gladly tell their stories, because they want to be part of the solution of debunking mistaken notions about manufactured homes and manufactured home community living.
We’ve interviewed people that live on privately owned land as well as in a land-lease manufactured home community. Satisfaction is routinely high with both groups.
On MHLivingNews, we tell the good, the bad, and the meh about what happens with mobile and manufactured home living. We do so citing sources, which as often as possible are from third parties. That’s done precisely so that real people who are exploring the lifestyle can have authentic insights. There are plenty of people that want to sell a manufactured home or lease a home or site that want to tell a story. No one anywhere online has anything quite like what we’ve complied here over years of ground-breaking effort. As a result, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Association of Realtors, a doctoral dissertation, and several mainstream media outlets have cited us. Some of our research has been published in the Congressional record.
If you can’t tell, that’s a record that we are proud to claim. We’re experts that have been praised by our peers and others for years.
A sampling of some of the locations and interviews we’ve done are on this page.
The Video We Never Produced…
To be candid, there is only one interview that we’ve done that to my recollection we opted not to produce. We made that decision not because it wasn’t a useful interview, but because some of the comments revolved around a misunderstanding by the resident about an issue that was entirely avoidable. That wasn’t easy to handle on camera. After we finished the interview, we facilitated a discussion with management and that homeowner. The minor issue was resolved after our video crew left. We’re told that resident was happy how it turned out, because she voiced an issue on camera that may not have come out any other way than through that interview. A happy resident that became happier, and that community operator got the opportunity to fix a minor issue.
It was a mutual win.
But that exception proved the rule. In the case of the other interviews we’ve done there were no such issues. That’s not to say that living in a manufactured home is perfect, we’ve never made that claim. But living in a site-built house isn’t perfect either. Millions watch tiny house videos, but not many actually buy one. Why? In part, we’d surmise, because not many want to live in such a tiny space that is hard to place and hard to finance. For those that do, we wish them only happiness. By the way, in fairness, placement issues for tiny houses may be getting easier. Good for them.
But often for the same or less money as a tiny house, someone can own a federally certified brand-new much larger manufactured home and have consumer protections no other form of permanent housing in America currently offers. Financing and placement are much easier, and if HUD Secretary Ben Carson has his way and say in the matter, that should become easier still in the days ahead.
Real World Examples
We’ve pulled a few video interview to make the points noted. The first one below is with an award-winning realtor whose husband is also a customer builder. She has sold hundreds of conventional houses, and hundreds of manufactured homes. Listen to what she has to say. Remember, we paid her not a dime to say what she said.
The interview that follows includes a home owner as well as factory clips with experts talking about how their particular brand of manufactured home is built. Keep in mind that while all manufactured homes are built to meet certain minimum standards for construction, safety, energy conservation, and durability, some home builders go over and above those standards to build housing that may be far superior to conventional building
Just page through our website to find video interviews with public officials, housing inspectors, industry professionals – and scads of homeowners.
Not Just Praise, Accountability Too
We hold the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and others in our industry accountable for several things that researchers on this site can dig into apart from this article. One such report is linked here and another is linked here. That said, MHI said that some research that they hired a third-party firm revealed the following.
We think as or more compelling is this next factoid that indirectly shines a light on manufactured home quality and satisfaction.
All states are covered by HUD’s federal dispute resolution process that applies to any new HUD Code manufactured home, regardless of price. From the most basic manufactured home to the most residential style manufactured home, and all in between, get the benefit of this federally established process that is part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 that the industry wanted and got into law. As you read this, bear in mind that you can spend far more for a conventional house, and not have this kind of consumer satisfaction process. See the mainstream news video and report linked here for more on the point that more expensive conventional housing doesn’t mean better quality or satisfaction.
Florida’s manufactured housing association happens to publish the number of actual customer complaints that go into the dispute resolution process. Bear in mind that thousands of new HUD Code manufactured homes are sold in Florida every year. Yet only a sliver – much less than 1 percent – of those homes ever go into dispute resolution. The teeny tiny percentage would be similar in other states. If you happen to need it, this third-party satisfaction process is there. But in the vast majority of cases, the process isn’t needed. Producers want a happy customer, and so they and good retailers and communities want to do what the warranty requires.
With that backdrop, take a fresh look at the focus group. You’ll begin to understand why these are not a hand-picked exception to the rule. They are common.
We know of no other place online that tells researchers, manufactured homeowners and shoppers the full story about manufactured home living. See the related reports for more, or just start scanning the pages and pages – hundreds of reports and videos – found exclusively on this site. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable living, news, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma, among other academic recognition.
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