Modular or manufactured?

Exterior photo of a manufactured home on a lot with a driveway and front yard

Differences between modular and manufactured homes

The following details will help you understand the differences between manufactured (mobile) and modular homes. Although both types of homes are built within a factory there are different characteristics which will determine the types of loans you can secure as well as the interest rates you will receive.

Since modular homes are treated the same as a traditional site built home, lenders will typically offer more favorable rates and repayment terms than on manufactured homes. This is due to the availability of comparable sales and increased appraisal values. Costs for building each product will differ, as well as the costs for placing the home, since the rules of each jurisdiction will vary depending on the home type.

Manufactured (mobile) homes

Manufactured (mobile) homes are built conforming to HUD (Housing and Urban Development) codes which were enacted on June 15, 1976. These building codes are enforced by state regulators as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

When each section of a mobile home is built according to HUD codes a label is affixed to the end of the section to certify it. These labels must be visible when the home is transported to the delivery site. HUD labels (metal tags) are attached with special screws that are only available to manufactured home builders. If the metal tag is removed from the home, Tammac Holdings Corporation will not finance it because the certification will be voided.

Manufactured homes are available in different sizes and most commonly are sold as 14 or 16 foot wide single homes or 24, 28, 32 foot double wide homes with various lengths. Homes are transported by trucks, with wheels and axles attached to the underside of the home. When the home is delivered the wheels and axles can either remain on the home or be removed depending on the local building codes. In all instances the frame that the home was built on in the factory remains in place as it is part of the home structure.

Modular homes

Modular homes are built to the same standards as stick built homes but are built in a controlled environment in the factory and delivered to the building site. This prevents the home from being exposed to the elements while undergoing construction. The difference between a manufactured home and a modular is the building code that applies to modular construction.

This building code is referred to as the International Building Code (IBC) and is widely accepted in most states. modular homes are transported to the home site on a flatbed truck and the multiple sections of the home are lifted by crane onto the crawlspace or foundation. In some circumstances there are modular homes that are built to the IBC, but stay on their building frame so that no crane is needed to lift the sections once the home is delivered. The primary benefit to this way of building a modular greatly reduces the cost of the construction project.


Comparison summary

Each type of home is widely customizable and both are considered an affordable housing option in many market areas. The type of home you choose is a personal decision and will depend on the desired location of the home as well as your finances and preferences.

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