Fun Facts: The Difference Between Manufactured, Modular and Mobile Homes

By LandCentral

modular home with pool


Manufactured, Modular and Mobile homes, oh my! These three house alternatives have been growing in popularity as more and more Americans seek out convenience, functionality and affordability. But what is the difference between these three? Are they really that affordable? Do mobile homes really move? Check out these Fun Facts: The Difference Between Manufactured, Modular and Mobile Homes:


Manufactured homes come in three standard sizes:

  1. Single wide
  2. Double wide
  3. Triple wide

Fun Facts:

  • Manufactured in a home building facility (hence the name manufactured home).
  • Built in one piece then transported to its destination.
  • Often confused with mobile homes or trailers.
  • Conform to the HUD code
  • Built on a non-removable steel chassis.
  • Not always placed on a permanent foundation.
  • Inspected for local work such as proper electric hook up, but not inspected for structure approval.
  • Customization galore.
  • Much cheaper than site-built or modular homes.
  • Can decrease in value over time.


Modular homes look just like a regular site-built home, but with one key different: they were actually built somewhere else.

Fun Facts:

  • Built in sections at a home building facility. Sometimes up to five sections!
  • Built to conform to the city, state and regional codes of their final destination.
  • Transported to their final destination in sections on the beds of large trucks, then pieced together like Legos by local contractors.
  • Always placed on a permanent foundation. These homes stay put.
  • Typically larger than mobile homes or manufactured homes.
  • Inspected during the manufacturing phase and then again once it’s pieced together.
  • Less expensive per square foot than site-built homes, but more expensive than manufactured homes.
  • Can increase in value over time.


Mobile homes and manufactured homes are often used interchangeably. While they do fall into the same category, their difference is pretty easy to spot. Mobile homes refer to homes built BEFORE 1976, prior to the adoption of the HUD Code as building standards. Manufactured homes refer to homes built AFTER 1976, with the HUD Code in full effect.

Fun facts:

  • Mobile homes ARE in fact manufactured homes, just an older model.
  • Many are on wheels as they were once marketed as a way for workers to move to wherever jobs were available without having to leave their home behind.

Check out the fascinating history behind mobile homes.

With home owners longing for flexible, affordable housing, it’s no wonder manufactured, modular and mobile homes have gained in popularity. No matter what type of home you choose, don’t forget to include one important detail: land.

Finding the perfect land for your alternative house is the first step to real estate bliss. Good thing LandCentral’s got you covered.

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