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When shopping for a manufactured home, the research should begin with a comparison of the best mobile home manufacturers. Since this type of home is built start-to-finish inside the manufacturer’s facility, you want to be sure that the materials and workmanship meet your standards and expectations. While you will need to coordinate the purchase of your mobile home through a licensed manufactured home retailer, your satisfaction with the experience and your new home will largely be impacted by the manufacturer you choose.
Mobile homes, a term that has more frequently been replaced with "manufactured homes," are built to the specifications of the federal HUD code and offer affordable living options. In fact, these homes can have per-square-foot building costs that can be half of what a comparable site-built home would cost. The investment will depend on the manufacturer you select, the floorplan you choose, and the options you spring for—such as a garage-ready mobile home or a supersized house with family-friendly features like four bedrooms, a bonus room, and a large kitchen island.
Single-section manufactured homes (also sometimes referred to as a single-wide) have a width of 13 feet or less but can be 60 feet or more in length. These are often the most affordable mobile homes to buy but may have limited layout options. Multi-section manufactured homes are greater than 13 feet in width, with the individual sections assembled on-site. You also might be considering a modular home, which is factory-built in a manner similar to a manufactured home but is finished on-site and must meet local building code requirements.
If you're unsure where to begin, we compiled a list of the best mobile home manufacturers, so you can settle into your new digs soon.
Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" (or "Master Bathroom") as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.
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Champion Home Builders: Best Overall
Champion Home Builders has been manufacturing mobile homes since 1953, and this experience translates into a wide range of available home types across a vast network of retailers. Both manufactured mobile homes and modular homes are produced in climate-controlled environments before site delivery, when final installation occurs.
If you’re shopping specifically for manufactured mobile homes, there are plenty of floor plans to choose from. Depending on your region, Champion offers two dozen or more single-section mobile home plans and nearly double that in multi-section homes.
One of the most useful tools when shopping mobile homes from this manufacturer is the ability to filter by floor plan options, like splurge-worthy primary bathrooms, garage-ready homes, or an elevation with an included porch for sitting and socializing. Virtual tours of some of the most popular floor plans make it easy to visualize the space and find an option that works for your lifestyle from the many models offered by this mobile home manufacturer.
Depending on area availability, the Essentials series offers compact single-wide mobile homes starting at around 850 square feet. Other standout series include the Northwood and New Moon, both of which offer the Spa Radiant package with a freestanding tub in the primary bath.
And, while your home might be manufactured on an assembly line, you’ll have the option to make customizations that fit your style and budget, with options for stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets, vaulted ceilings, built-in entertainment centers, and more.
Clayton Homes: Best for Energy Efficiency
Making the choice to shop for a manufactured home doesn’t mean that you have to compromise in terms of energy efficiency. Instead, seek out a mobile home manufacturer that is committed to quality construction, keeps drafts to a minimum, and contributes to a tight building envelope and lower energy costs.
Clayton Homes, a major player in the manufactured home space, has made great strides in energy-efficient construction for its mobile homes—even earning recognition as a 2020 Energy Star Manufactured Housing Builders Market Leader Award from the Environmental Protection Agency in 20 locations.
The company’s commitment to building energy-efficient manufactured homes means addressing three key areas of energy efficiency in each one: the building envelope (including using insulation that meets or exceeds national standards), air distribution (ensuring that ducts are sealed and airtight), and energy-efficient appliances.
The easy part of choosing one of these energy-efficient manufactured homes is the utility savings you’ll enjoy. The hard part is choosing from the manufacturer’s expansive lineup of floorplans. Clayton produces both single-section and multi-section homes with contemporary designs.
Depending on which region of the country you’re shopping in, you can expect to see manufactured homes starting at about $80,000 and costing upward of $120,000. It’s worth noting that the majority of Clayton manufactured homes feature three- or four-bedroom floorplans—making them a smart investment for families or downsizing couples that still want space for overnight guests, a home office, or something else.
Fleetwood Homes: Best for Families
Find plenty of room to spread out in the family-friendly floorplans offered by Fleetwood Homes.
Part of the Cavco family of brands, Fleetwood offers spacious mobile homes that accommodate even large families, thanks to the lineup of double-wide manufactured homes with up to five bedrooms and 1,800 or more square feet of living space. Depending on the region you’re shopping in, series like the Pegasus, Westwood Classic, or Sandalwood XL are designed to live largely.
Aside from having plenty of bedrooms for the kids, grandkids, or guests, these floorplans include great gathering spaces for the family to enjoy—like an activity room or bonus family room. Functional features like an open kitchen with an island or large utility rooms that give you plenty of space on laundry day make these floorplans livable for large families. Multiple bathrooms, including en suite options for the primary bedroom are also available—and result in less commotion on busy mornings.
Of course, there are plenty of smaller floorplans to choose from, too, if you are looking for a single-wide or less living space. Overall, Fleetwood Homes offers an extensive catalog of mobile homes to choose from and is available across a vast majority of the United States.
Skyline: Best for Tiny Homes
If you’re looking for a mobile home manufacturer for tiny houses, check out the cozy options at Skyline Homes, which joined Champion Home Builders in 2018.
Depending on which part of the United States you’re shopping in, series like the Shore Park, Stone Harbor, or Palm Haven offer floorplans with abundant natural light and versatile spaces, including second bedrooms, loft bonus areas, and full bathrooms. And the best part? They're all included in 500 square feet or less.
Of course, there are other mobile home options that stay small but aren’t considered tiny. If you’re looking for more space while staying mobile, consider Skyline’s extensive selection of single-section mobile homes. The Sandcastle, available regionally, earned the MHI Manufactured Home Award for 2020.
You can find a retailer for Skyline Homes' selection of spaces via the company's website.
Adventure Homes: Best Custom
If you’re looking for the experience of building a home with custom options but want to capture the time and cost savings of a manufactured house, consider a floorplan from Adventure Homes—a subsidiary of Clayton Homes.
The company is focused on helping customers choose from a catalog of options for everything from siding color to appliance finishes. The variety in HUD manufactured houses is not impressive in itself, as there are just two lines: the Nevada series and Mojave series.
Within each, however, are more than a dozen different floorplans and each of them can be customized with a suite of options available from Adventure Homes. The end result is a home that is unique to you—and stylish at that. Adventure Homes was awarded the MHI Interior Design Award in 2020.
While a mobile home retailer is often instrumental in assisting buyers in making selections and executing the order process, you can preview the options on Adventure Home’s website. A 40-page catalog details the numerous interior customization options available, while a separate décor colors booklet gives the buyer control over items like countertop selections, backsplash picks, and the shade of shingles for your new home.
You’ll notice that the standard selections may need some upgrading for a truly residential feel—for instance, a plastic sink bowl is standard for the bathroom. But the point is that Adventure Homes empowers the buyer to decide where and how to spend money on upgrades, making this a top pick if you’re shopping for mobile home manufacturers with custom options available.
TRU Homes: Best for First-Time Home Buyers
With a down-to-earth approach to homebuying and a variety of single-wide mobile homes that are budget-friendly and practical for first-time homebuyers, there’s no reason to be intimidated by TRU homes. This mobile home manufacturer is part of the larger Clayton group of mobile home manufacturers but specializes in streamlined designs and affordable single-wide and double-wide mobile homes for singles, couples, and small families.
The TRU series of mobile homes starts with the Bliss, a 765-square-foot, single-wide trailer that lives large with two bedrooms and a split floorplan. The Grand is an impressive, super-sized single-wide mobile home that includes four bedrooms and two bathrooms, making it a solid pick for first-time homebuyers with a family.
TRU manufactures houses that adhere to the federal HUD standards for mobile homes and has placed homes in more than 31 states, meaning it also is a widely available option for the majority of first-time, mobile home shoppers.
Deer Valley: Best for Modular Homes
If you're planning to put your mobile home on a permanent foundation, consider a modular home that is factory-built like a mobile home but lacks a permanent chassis. If you don’t intend to move your home, a modular house can offer more floorplan possibilities and may even appreciate in a comparable way to conventional stick-built homes.
For a heavy-built house that will stand up to years of use, check out the modular homes available from Deer Valley. This mobile home manufacturer produces a variety of impressive modular home floorplans that will be a great match for a homesite with a permanent foundation. With features like standard 2 x 6 construction for all exterior walls on every floorplan and 2 x 8 floor joists with double perimeter rails, these manufactured houses are built to be solid and sturdy for years to come.
Deer Valley manufactures four different series of homes, including its flagship Deer Valley series, the Woodland Series, Sun Valley Series, and a special Mossy Oak series in partnership with Nativ Living. The available elevations and expansive floorplans of Deer Valley’s modular home options make them a natural fit for permanent homesites. The abundance of options and customization also adds to the homey feeling of these floorplans and delivers a more traditional home-buying experience.
How We Chose the Best Mobile Home Manufacturers
To find the best mobile home manufacturers, we sorted through more than a dozen manufacturer websites, including subsidiaries of larger conglomerate manufacturers—like Champion Home Builders, Cavco, and Clayton. We assessed availability and floor plans using geographic locations in the Eastern, Southern, and Western regions of the United States to compare the variety of homes available.
Special attention was given to manufacturer standard practices, in-home assembly and components, the availability of both single-wide and multi-section homes, the catalog of available features (including highly desired options like walk-in-closets and primary bathrooms), and pricing. We also consulted the MHI (Manufactured Housing Institute) for recent Excellence in Manufactured Housing Award winners.
Champion Home Builders earned the title of best overall for its selection, offering both manufactured mobile homes and modular homes produced in climate-controlled environments, while TRU Homes is the best pick for first-time homebuyers for its down-to-earth approach. If you’re looking for the experience of building a home with custom options, Adventure Homes is the best pick.
What Are Mobile Home Manufacturers?
A mobile home manufacturer replaces the role of a general contractor and crew on a conventional site-built home. Instead of the work being supervised and carried out at the building site, a mobile home manufacturer oversees and completes the work of framing and finishing the mobile home within its factory.
Manufactured homes are built on an assembly line, in the same way an automobile is crafted. Each station is responsible for completing an aspect of the build and inspections are regularly performed to ensure that the home meets internal and external standards, including the federal HUD code for manufactured homes.
Who Should Use Mobile Home Manufacturers?
Buying new from a mobile home manufacturer offers a number of advantages. Obtaining a mortgage for a manufactured home is often easier when the home is new, since depreciation and other factors may make lenders skittish of financing this type of home if it's pre-owned. Additionally, buying from a mobile home manufacturer gives you the opportunity to shop for the floorplan that is best suited to your needs. You can often customize the exterior or interior finishes to suit your preferences and maximize your budget, rather than settling for selections made by a previous owner.
How Much Do Mobile Homes Cost?
Pricing can vary widely for manufactured homes, with factors like square footage and standard options greatly impacting the price point. As a general range, however, budget mobile home manufacturers offer models starting around $40,000, while other manufacturers with high-end, custom mobile homes may charge upward of roughly $150,000 for multi-section homes.