Paris, Tennessee - When it came time to retire in this modest town perched near the Kentucky state line, Jerry and Karen McKibben put their professional career experiences to work finding the perfect home to fit their needs.
He was an engineer, and she was a customer-focused inside sales rep. They had lived in all kinds of houses over the years, from conventional site-built abodes to a 20th century-style trailer house that was already on the land they bought in rural Tennessee.
But as it turned out, Tennessee's little Paris, with its scaled-down replica of the Eiffel Tower and its claim to fame as home of the world's largest annual fish fry, proved to be the perfect place to find the custom home of the 21st century -- hiding in plain sight along Paris' so-called "mobile home row."
Of course, there have been no mobile homes built in the U.S. since June 1976, when new federal standards ushered in the era of the modern HUD-code manufactured home. So what the McKibbens found was an array of retailers with dozens of different models of contemporary factory-built homes on display.
They settled on an upscale, residential-style manufactured by Sunshine Homes, which they discovered at Paris' Arrowhead Homes center.
Do they love their new home? Let them count the ways:
"Right now we're totally electric and the bills have plummeted," says Karen McKibben, the bill-payer of the household.
"The kind of construction, the methods of construction, the materials that were used, the appliances -- all those things … in my opinion make a manufactured home the better choice," over conventional on site building, says Jerry McKibben, the engineer.
Beautiful, inside and out
"It is difficult to tell it from any home out there -- stick built or otherwise," he added.
And then, there is the price tag: $80,000 for a high-tech home that would cost $180,000 for a comparable site-built model.
"If more people knew the standards and quality of the manufacturing of manufactured homes, then a lot more people would buy," says Karen McKibben.
See the McKibbens' new home and the exacting standards under which it was assembled in the factory in this edition of MHLivingNews' Inside MH: The Road Show. Watch the video here. ##
Photo caption: Jerry and Karen McKibben being interviewed by Inside MH's L. A. 'Tony' Kovach.
MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com are the leading trade publications for manufactured housing consumers and MH industry leaders who want up-to-date lifestyle and business news.
L. A. "Tony" Kovach, Publisher