A Division of Silverhawk Realty

Manufactured vs. Modular Homes

There are many decisions to make when buying a home. Many start the process by writing down a list of criteria broken down into wishes and requirements, but even before deciding on whether or not a pool is necessary, many state they’d like to live in a single family residence. A manufactured home and a modular home fall into that category and might be something you come across during your home search. They are often confused for being the same, but in reality, there is a huge difference! This article will explain the difference between the two because helps to know when you’re thinking of potentially investing in either one.

Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes are essentially what most refer to as trailers or mobile homes. They are built to federal (HUD) code in a factory and have their own wheels for transport. We know trailers have gotten a bad reputation, but know that their construction has improved over the years. While the manufactured home may be more affordable and allow for a lower monthly mortgage, it is also unlikely to ever increase in value. The manufactured home does well enough to serve it’s purpose as a place to live, but do not expect to turn a profit over time as the manufactured home is known as a depreciating asset.

Manufactured homes are usually covered under warranty through the manufacturer. Retailers offer financing although, a lender will sometimes agree to offer financing under the condition that the manufactured home be situated on a permanent foundation. Manufactured homes are not exempt from being eligible for VA and FHA loans. Before purchasing land for a manufactured home, be sure to check that there are no restrictions in place preventing the use of a manufactured home on that land. Discuss with your real estate agent the local zoning ordinances and deed restrictions to ensure they will allow for the land to be used for that purpose.

Modular Homes

Unlike the manufactured home, the modular home does not arrive on its own wheels but rather in sections where it is then assembled by local contractors. The modular home falls between the category of a site-built house and manufactured home, but unlike a manufactured home, a modular home is built to regional code as well as federal (HUD) code. The modular home can be considered as an investment because it is possible that its value will increase over time. It is also easier to get financing for a modular home than for a manufactured one.

The main benefit to buying a modular home rather than the traditional site-built home, is a lower cost per square foot. But another benefit to the modular home is that may actually be stronger and more precise than those built on-site. Think about it; because the modular home is built indoors, the structure’s frame is in a climate controlled environment rather than open to the elements. The modular home must be made strong enough to withstand transport. And because the modular home must be built, then later assembled, it’s measurements must be precisely accurate. There is no room for design flaws. It is also a more efficient construction method and is therefore built in less time.


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