Manufactured or Modular Which Should I Build?



Manufactured and Modular Homes

Can you tell which home is Manufactured and which one is Modular?

The Difference between a manufactured and  a modular home is very important to understand, whether you are purchasing an existing house or plan to build. The differences can affect a whether or not you can build what you want – think building covenants and restrictions, the home's price, and its resale value.

Before we learn about the differences let’s look at “on site” built homes.   

  • Other names are stick built or custom built.
  • The builder is typically local.
  • The home must be built to conform to all state and local codes where the house is located.
  • This is the most common type of built home and generally increases in value over time.
  • If built in a Planned Urban Development, is built to size and quality restrictions and covenants

Modular homes offer an option for a stick built home. 

  • Sometimes confused with manufactured home due to coming to the building site in sections.
  • They are built in a factory to conform to all state and local building codes for their building site.
  • Local contractors put the sections together on site and do finishing work to make sure everything is in proper working order.
  • The home is inspected, as required by state and local ordinances and laws to ensure proper structural requirements are met.
  • This type of building can be less expensive  to build per square foot.
  • Being built in a factory allows for more uniformity in building the main structure.
  • Modular homes are so similar to a stick built that they should increase in value.
  • Modular homes do not always come in 2 sections.  Some are two stories tall on a full basement, coming to the site in 4-6 pieces.
  • Modular homes can be remodeled and added onto like a stick built home.
  • Some homes can even be part stick built and part modular depending on the house plans.

Manufactured Housing is arguably the most affordable way to get into a new home on a smaller budget.

  • Most people refer to this type of home as “double wides,” mobile home, or trailer.
  • Like modular homes they are built in a factory.
  • The manufactured home does not have to meet local building standards.
  • The code to govern the manufacture home is the HUD CODE
  • There is a mandatory sticker placed on the home.
  • Special guidelines have to be followed when placing a manufactured home.
  • You will want to check this out for the minimum FHA requirements for purchasing a new or pre-existing manufactured home.
  • You will need to work closely with your banker to make sure you meet any other guidelines you need to meet above the FHA ones.
  • If the newest FHA requirements are not followed, financing can be difficult to non- existent.
  • While local inspectors make sure the home is set up properly they are not required to inspect or approve the structure.
  • Typically placed in a mobile home park on a lot with monthly lot fee in addition to regular utility bills.
  • Can be built on a basement foundation.
  • Typically built on a slab with a crawl space underneath it – can never be one level living with NO stairs – there will always be stairs to the entrances.
  • Most often the manufactured home decreases in value.
  • The house is provided a title like a car.  Some states require you to surrender to the state the title once the home is on a permanent foundation.

 Why is this important for you to know?

  • There are building codes set to protect you and others in the community.
  • The codes are usually stated to provide you with a safe living environment. 
  • Some developments will allow modular homes, but not manufactured homes. 
  • Manufactured homes are typically limited to mobile home parks, private acreage, or a development in the city limits designed to look like a traditionally built neighborhood.
  • You need to know and understand all deed restrictions prior to deciding on buying land for your new home. 
  • You should decide what is best for your budget and plan accordingly.
  • While manufactured housing is very attractive for getting into a new home, it can be difficult to sell it to a new buyer.
  • Modular homes can be as little as 20% more than a manufactured home for the same size and floor plan.

So did you get the Manufactured Home and the Modular home pick right?  The first/top picture is a manufactured home and the lower one is a modular home.

Be sure to call My Place Realty for all of your housing questions.  We will get you the answers.

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Sherri L. Underthun
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