In a small neighborhood just outside of downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, a number of new homes have joined a growing community. To passersby, these new homes may seem like any other new development in the community. In reality, these homes are a part of an innovative new concept in affordable housing being pioneered by businesses like Clayton Homes – a Maryville, Tennessee, based homebuilder.
This “new class” of housing is meant to help support an expanding gap in housing affordability, while retaining high-performance features and aesthetics that fit the neighborhood. These include a higher roof pitch, garage or carpool, drywall throughout and energy-efficient features meant to save homeowners on their monthly payments. In nearly every part of the country, those looking to purchase a home find themselves priced out of the market. However, constructing homes indoors (in a controlled environment) controls costs, and makes them more affordable for home buyers.
The timing of these new homes’ placement coincides the release of new financing tools for factory-built homes from Freddie Mac. Their CHOICEHome program is an affordable mortgage initiative offering financing for manufactured homes. One of the key benefits for factory-built home constructed to meet CHOICEHome finance specifications is that the homes can be appraised in comparison to site-built homes in the same neighborhood – allowing for homeowners and families to build wealth through equity in their home.
Clayton Homes – Bean Station (that specializes in their Norris Homes brand) is one such factory that is building homes to this specification. Currently, they are rolling out about six homes per day, and are shipping them anywhere from Delaware to Florida. Factories like Bean Station are dedicated to quality craftsmanship, and ensuring that their processes keep homes more affordable for hardworking families.
As home prices continue to rise, and rents increase year over year, projects like this become more important to help preserve the dream of homeownership. Innovative and forward thinking in housing – such as factory-built homes – can ensure that preservation.