Research: Modular Home or Manufactured Home?

Research: Modular Home or Manufactured Home?
  • What is the difference between a modular home and a manufactured home?
  • Many places do not allow manufactured homes. So can you put in a modular home?
  • What is the difference?
  • Is a Modular Home a Trailer?

Manufactured Homes are also called Mobile Homes and Trailers.

Modular Homes are also called Factory Built Homes, Pre-Fabricated Homes.

Both are built in a factory, then delivered and set up. But there are BIG differences.

Manufactured Homes have to be put somewhere that is not restricted against them, in a trailer park or mobile home community. Many areas have restrictions against mobile homes.

Modular Homes can be put in nearly any neighborhood.

Manufactured Homes are built on a steel chassis with wheels. Even after the wheels are removed, it is still possible to reattach them and move the trailer somewhere else.

Modular Homes do not have a steel chassis. Modular homes are brought to the building site on a truck or trailer. They cannot easily be moved again. (I know, house movers can move any house, but not easily.)

Manufactured Homes may initially cost less, but they are harder to finance and often have higher interest rates. The higher interest rate means a higher monthly payment. They do not appreciate in value. They often depreciate significantly, with the homeowner immediately owing more than they will ever be able to sell the home for.

Modular Homes initially cost more. They qualify for a standard mortgage, with lower interest rates. Modular Homes have a much higher resale value than a manufactured home. A well-built, maintained modular home will build equity.

Manufactured Homes are completely pre-built in a factory. Multiple trailers may be attached to create a double wide or triple wide.

Modular Homes are also built in a factory. Small ones may be complete. Larger ones are built in sections. They are transported, then put into place using a crane or bulldozer. They are then finished on location, depending on the home, usually adding the roof and porches.

Manufactured Homes are put on a pad, piers or block to level. They are tied down. Then usually skirting is placed around the bottom.

Modular Homes are attached to a permanently foundation. The foundation can be a slab, piers, footers or a basement. A small modular home may be put on a permanent foundation or put on temporary piers, more like a trailer if zoning permits it in your area. Any home on piers can have skirting placed around the bottom of it.

Photo Credit: Pleasant Valley Modular home photos, Riverview Homes, Inc., WikiMedia Commons