When it comes to alternatives to traditional stick-built houses, there is a lot of confusing terminology floating around. It is not uncommon to hear terms like manufactured home, modular home, mobile home and trailer used interchangeably. In some cases, the different housing types do have a lot in common, but in other cases, you need to know exactly what type of alternative you are talking about. This guide will help you understand exactly what a manufactured home is, and how it differs from other housing alternatives.
Defining Manufactured Homes
A manufactured home is most distinct because it is manufactured in a dedicated facility before being moved to its destination lot rather than being built on-site and permanently affixed to a foundation. Manufactured homes are typically built from a catalog of floor plans and a selection of materials ranging from very simple to more exotic. Buyers are able to make some modifications to the design to suit their needs such as adding fireplaces, or upgrading finishes, but the construction itself will be completed off-site before the house is delivered to its lot.
How are Manufactured Homes Different from Mobile Homes?
Based on the description above, you may be thinking that manufactured homes and mobile homes are the same thing, and indeed, we use the terms interchangeably quite often. However, it is important to point out that there is a technical difference between the two types of homes. In 1976, HUD passed a series of guidelines which clarified building codes and standards for manufactured homes. Prior to this, mobile homes or trailers were largely unregulated, and the quality of their construction was called into question. When we say manufactured home, we are specifically referring to homes that have been built after 1976 which meet all of the HUD guidelines for safety, durability and consumer protection. As such, manufactured homes retain their value better than old mobile homes, and have earned their place as a viable alternative to site-built homes.
How are Manufactured Homes Different from Modular Homes?
Manufactured homes also have many differences and similarities with modular homes to be aware of. For instance, both manufactured and modular homes are built in a manufacturing facility that is designed for quick and easy construction with minimal delays. This allows you to order a house and have it delivered much faster than you could have a standard house built. On the other hand, a modular home is shipped in panels that are put together on site and attached to the ground. A manufactured home is completed prior to being delivered to the home site.
Why Choose Manufactured?
With all of these differences highlighted, you may wonder why some people choose a manufactured home over other options. In general, the choice comes down to pricing, timeline, and local codes. Manufactured homes are in high demand because they can be fully customized while remaining relatively inexpensive. They can also be delivered in as little as a few weeks if buyers find something they like on a lot. This makes them the perfect choice in rural locations and places where the cost of building pushes some out of the housing market.
Now that manufacturing standards have improved drastically, and more people are interested in more sustainable living, it's no surprise that manufactured homes are seeing a surge in popularity. For investors and banks, this is good news all around and highlights the fact that consumers are searching for more fluid options for financing and owning homes. To learn more, visit Triad Financial Services today.