Difference Between Mobile Home And Manufactured Home

Comparisons, Knowledgebase

Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by mdmtool

Regarding homes on wheels, there are two main types: mobile homes and manufactured homes. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences before making a decision.

Mobile homes were introduced in the early 1900s as an alternative to traditional site-built homes. They gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s as a more affordable option for families looking to purchase their first home.

Manufactured homes were introduced in the 1970s and are built in a controlled factory environment, which allows for greater quality control and faster production times.

Here are the key differences between mobile homes and manufactured homes.

What Is A Mobile Home?

mobile home

A mobile home is a factory-built home designed to be transported to the site where it will be used. Mobile homes are usually built on chassis with wheels so they can be moved easily. They are also often referred to as travel trailers or trailer homes.

What Is A Manufactured Home?

manufacture home

A manufactured home is also a factory-built home designed to be transported to the site where it will be used. Manufactured homes are usually built on a permanent chassis so they can be moved easily. They are also often referred to as modular homes or prefabricated homes.

History Of Mobile Home And Manufactured Home

Mobile homes were initially built in the 1980s. In 1916, the mobile home was built by Alvan Macauley. He designed it as a temporary housing solution for World War I soldiers.

The first manufactured home was built in 1929 by the Redman Company. Manufactured homes were initially designed to be used as temporary housing for displaced people during the Great Depression and World War II.

Difference Between A Mobile Home And A Manufactured Home

what is mobile home

Construction Standards: One of the most significant differences between mobile homes and manufactured homes is the construction standards they must meet. Manufactured homes must meet the federal HUD Code, which sets minimum safety, durability, and energy efficiency standards.

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Construction Materials: Another difference between mobile homes and manufactured homes is the materials used in their construction. Mobile homes are typically made with comparatively lower-quality materials, such as particle board and laminated wood, while manufactured homes are constructed with higher-quality materials, such as plywood and lumber.

Energy Efficiency: Mobile homes are not as energy efficient as manufactured homes. The HUD Code does not require mobile homes to meet the same energy efficiency standards as manufactured homes. This means that mobile homes are more likely to have drafts and leaks and will typically have higher energy bills.

Cost: Mobile homes are usually less expensive than manufactured homes. They are not required to meet the same stringent construction standards.

Mobility: Mobile homes are designed to be easily transported from one location to another. Manufactured homes can also be moved, but it is generally more difficult and expensive.

Construction Methods: Mobile homes are typically built in two sections that are joined together at the site. Manufactured homes are usually made in one section and transported to the site.

Foundation: A mobile home must be placed on a foundation designed for a mobile home. A manufactured home is placed on any foundation, including a traditional concrete foundation.

Financing: Mobile homes can be difficult to finance because lenders view them as personal property rather than real estate. Manufactured homes are typically easier to invest in because they are considered real estate.

Insurance: Mobile homes are usually insured as personal property, while manufactured homes are generally insured as real estate. Mobile home insurance rates are typically higher than manufactured home insurance rates.

Selection For Homesite:  One of the most significant advantages of a manufactured home is that you can choose any type of homesite. Mobile homes must be placed on a mobile home park or leased lot.

Safety: Manufactured homes are required to meet the more stringent safety requirements of the International Residential Code (IRC), while mobile homes are only required to complete the federal HUD Code. This shows that manufactured homes are typically safer than mobile homes.

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Location: Mobile homes can be placed in any area, while manufactured homes must be in a site zoned for manufactured homes.

Time Consumption: Building a mobile home is typically quicker and easier than building a manufactured one.

Appearance: Mobile homes and manufactured homes can have a wide range of appearances, depending on the materials used, the design, and the location.

Perception: Mobile homes often have a negative perception, as they are associated with trailer parks and lower-income families. Manufactured homes have a more positive perception, similar to traditional stick-built homes.

what is manufacture home


Advantages And Disadvantages

Advantages Of Mobile Home

  • More affordable than traditional homes
  • A simple way of life without many of the hassles that come with conventional homeownership

Disadvantages Of Mobile Home

  • They may depreciate over time
  • They can be difficult to sell
  • There may be zoning restrictions on where mobile homes can be located

Advantages Of Manufactured Home

  • Can be placed on a permanent foundation
  • More financing options are available
  • Appreciate over time

Disadvantages Of Manufactured Home

  • It may require a higher down payment
  • Tight regulations on where they can be placed

What Is Hud Code?

The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code is a set of federal regulations governing manufactured homes’ construction. The HUD Code was created in 1974 to ensure that manufactured homes are safe, durable, and energy efficient. All manufactured homes must be built according to the HUD Code.

Factors Considered In Hud Code

  • The type of materials used in the construction of the home
  • The strength and stability of the home
  • The energy efficiency of the home
  • The fire safety of the home
  • The transportation safety of the home
  • The siting and foundation requirements for the home


What Is “Pre-HUD”?

Pre-HUD is a term used to describe homes built before the HUD Code’s enactment in 1974. These homes are not subject to the same safety and construction standards as those built after the HUD Code was enacted.


When choosing between a mobile home and a manufactured home, there are a few things to remember. Consider your budget, the size of the home you need, and your desired location. With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your needs.

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