Small manufactured homes are relatively simple one-floor homes that are built almost entirely in factories, being constructed on a chassis system with a steel frame, axles, springs and wheels. When the home is placed on its permanent site, the frame goes on top of the foundation.
A small manufactured home can have upgrades such as a gourmet kitchen, but might not have more than one or two bedrooms. Even though manufactured homes, regardless of their size, are largely constructed in factories, some of the homes appear very similar to homes that are built on site. The homes are generally less expensive than site-built homes, with the U.S. Census Bureau stating an average price per square foot for a manufactured home in 2012 of about $42. This compares to about $86 for a traditional home in the same time period.
Consumers buy new manufactured homes from dealerships rather than through real estate agents. The homeowner's insurance should be purchased through an insurance agent rather than through the dealership salesperson, recommends About.com. Features that help make a manufactured home last longer and get a better resale price include insulation, a shingled, pitched roof, vinyl siding, real hardwood flooring and shutoff valves at water sources.