Believe it or not, a current “hot” trend in housing alternatives is manufactured homes. One in seven new homes sold in the past year were made in factories and transported to their permanent site. Close to 10% of the U.S. population now live in manufactured homes. Since 90% of manufactured homes are purchased with borrowed money, there are some critical factors to consider when financing. Most buyers must finance their manufactured homes as “private property”- like purchasing a small plane or boat. The down side to this situation is that interest rates will be higher if your home is titled and taxed as personal property rather than real estate. Many dealers will finance manufactured homes, but you can go competitive loan shopping. It is to your advantage if you plan to place your home on your own land or a lot with a long-term lease. On a positive note, Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored organization, began buying loans on manufactured homes classified as titled real estate. Many states are changing policies and defining manufactured housing as real estate rather than personal property. If you own your land, you can now get a good loan rate with an affordable down payment. Manufactured homes were once commonly called “mobile homes” but they are usually residential dwellings that are moved to a permanent location. They are built on solid foundations – using concrete blocks, poured concrete pads and brick masonry. You can even get manufactured homes with outside entrance basements as an option! With shingled roofs, bay windows and expansive front porches, it is hard to tell manufactured homes from the regular “stick built” versions.