Manufactured, mobile, and modular homes are all types of prefabricated housing. However, they each have their own distinct characteristics and construction methods.
It’s common for people to confuse them, but the differences can be important. Especially when considering options for financing such a property.
Manufactured homes are built entirely in a factory and then transported to a site on a steel frame. They are often mistakenly referred to as “mobile homes” because they can be moved.
These homes are built to strict federal standards created June 15, 1976 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These standards include several things to improve the quality of a home, such as minimum requirements for electricity, plumbing, and energy efficiency.
Each manufactured home should have a HUD tag attached to the outside to certify that it was constructed to these standards.
According to HUD, “If the certification label (also known as a HUD tag) is missing from a home, the Department does not reissue labels for manufactured homes. However, the Department can issue a Letter of Label Verification for units for which it can locate the necessary historical information. The label numbers can be found on a data plate inside the home in one of three locations: on or near the main electrical panel, in a kitchen cabinet, in a bedroom closet. The data plate has a map of the United States to let the consumer know the Wind Zone, Snow Load, and Roof Load for which their home was built.”
Mobile homes are also built entirely in a factory. Once completed, they are transported to a site on wheels. They are not built to the same standards as manufactured homes. After HUD implemented its standards on building homes, mobile homes stopped being produced.
Modular homes are similar to manufactured homes. The main difference between them is that modular homes are built to local building codes rather than federal standards. So the construction and materials used in a modular home may vary depending on the location. In Florida, that could mean having thicker walls to be more resistant to hurricanes.
Modular homes are built in sections in a factory and then transported to a building site where they are assembled. Because they are constructed in a controlled environment, modular homes tend to be completed more quickly than site-built homes.
When deciding what type of home is right for you, it’s important to consider your financing options. Each of these property types have different requirements when it comes to obtaining a mortgage.