Mobile Home vs. Manufactured Home vs. Modular Home
There’s a common misconception that mobile, manufactured, and modular are all interchangeable terms for the same type of home. This is not the case! These are 3 distinct categories of home, check out the descriptions below for an idea if their similarities and differences.
A mobile home refers to a home built in a factory on a chassis PRIOR TO June 15th, 1976. At this time mobile homes were transported to property and set either temporarily on a slab (such as in a mobile home park) or permanently (on a foundation). These homes are not built to current HUD codes. Typically you cannot get a bank loan or other type of financing for these homes. Though these homes are technically movable, many local jurisdictions require additional inspections and permits before they will allow them to be moved.
A manufactured home, though often referred to as a mobile home, is a home built in a factory on a permanent chassis AFTER June 15th, 1976. This is the date the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Code) building codes went into effect. Manufactured homes are constructed in 1, 2, or 3 pieces and then transported to the land they will be placed on. The home’s sections are then ‘stitched’ together by a professional set crew. Manufactured homes are either temporarily set (such as in a mobile home park) or permanently set (on a foundation). These homes may qualify for financing in some cases. These homes are also movable in most cases.
A modular home is a home built in a factory to International Residential Code (IRC). These homes are constructed just like a traditional stick built home, but in a factory. In many cases they are built even stronger than their typical site built counterparts, as these homes must withstand highway wind speeds to be transported to their final destination. A modular home is usually very customizable, and can be built in 1, 2, 3, or even 10 pieces, depending on the square footage of the home. The modules are then each transported on a modular home carrier to the land, where they are stitched together by a set crew and permanently attached to a foundation. A modular home must go on a permanent foundation and cannot be placed with a temporary set. These homes qualify for ‘construction to perm’ financing, which means you can get a construction loan which generally covers the home build and the cost of contractors to prepare the land, pour the foundation, run utilities, etc. Once the home is set and receives a certificate of occupancy, the loan rolls in a traditional mortgage.