Modular vs. Manufactured House: What’s the Difference?

Modular vs. Manufactured House: What's the Difference?

Last Updated on December 10, 2021 by azamqasim

Planning to buy a house?

Not everyone wants to live in a traditional home. The real estate market continues to rise, scaring away many would-be homeowners.

You don’t have to shy away from buying a house. There are other options out there, like getting a modular or manufactured house. Contrary to popular beliefs, these aren’t the same types of homes.

Not sure what’s the difference and which type of home to invest in? We’ve got a breakdown below to help you out. Continue reading to find out more:

Initial Appearance

At first glance, modular and manufactured houses look similar to each other. It’s not easy to identify the differences, especially when you look at a new house. There are two main differences, however, and these will tell you a lot about their construction.

The first thing to look for is a label from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A HUD label will tell you right away that you’re looking at a manufactured house.

This is because manufactured homes don’t follow the same coding laws as traditional houses. Modular homes, on the other hand, do follow coding laws and other housing conditions.

Another telltale sign is the indication of wheels. Manufactured homes often have rigs for wheels, though most remove the wheels once the house is at its proper location. Modular homes don’t have these rigs.

What is a Manufactured House?

When it all comes down to it, what defines a manufactured house? Unlike traditional homes, a manufactured house doesn’t require on-site construction. Instead, the manufacturers assemble the house in a factory.

Once they complete construction and assembly, the manufacturers can then place the house or pieces of it onto a moveable frame. This frame comes with detachable wheels, allowing the manufacturers to bring the house to its final location. Upon delivery, they’ll assemble and put the whole house together.

More often than not, they’ll remove the wheels too. This makes the house look more permanent, avoiding the presumption that manufactured homes are simply fancy trailer houses.

Unlike regular homes, manufactured homes don’t rest on a traditional foundation. They instead rest on a sturdy frame.

What is a Modular House?

In many ways, a modular house resembles a manufactured one. There are a few key differences, however.

The first thing to note is that a modular house uses a traditional foundation. They don’t rest on a frame, meaning a modular house can’t move once you assemble it at a certain location. Disassembly and transport might ruin the house or cause unnecessary damages.

Another difference is that not all of the parts of the house come from one warehouse. Different manufacturers might handle different portions of the house.

You might have a different warehouse or construction company responsible for the foundations and another for the walls. There might be a third company responsible for assembly or the electricals and water pipes.

If interested, you can read about modular homes with this guide here.

Where Do Mobile Houses Fit?

It’s easy to mistake a mobile house for a manufactured home. However, a mobile house remains mobile. Manufactured houses often become too complex or heavy for a trailer to transport.

Manufactured houses no longer look like traditional wide trailer homes. You often won’t find wheels on them either. Manufacturers can keep on adding new rooms, upper floors, porches, and other extensions to make them bigger and more luxurious.

On the other hand, a mobile home has to remain small and light enough for quick transport.

Financing Differences

The buying process for modular and manufactured homes also differs.

Modular homes fall under the same jurisdiction as on-site homes. This means you can traditional financing options. You can apply for a housing loan at a bank or credit union, for example.

You won’t be able to get a housing loan from a bank for a manufactured home, however. Traditional mortgage loans don’t apply. Instead, you can rely on alternative financing options, including a large personal loan.

Why is this the case?

Establishments and banks treat modular homes like on-site properties. The only key difference is the fact the parts of the house came from warehouses instead of on-site construction. Everything else is the same.

This means the value for a modular home goes up and down along with the real estate market. Manufactured homes don’t follow this trend, meaning their market values depreciate as the years go by.

Security and Stability

Manufactured houses follow the regulations set by HUD. These regulations saw consistent revisions and updates over the years. This is particularly the case ever since the department set a division differentiating mobile homes and manufactured ones.

Like on-site houses, modular homes follow traditional security and construction standards set by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

Manufactured House or Modular House?

Which of these housing options should you get? It depends on several key factors that you should spend time considering. The first factor is your financing capability.

Can you qualify for a traditional mortgage loan? If you don’t, looking for alternative financing options already points you towards manufactured houses over modular ones.

Modular houses will give you the same feeling like a traditional on-site home. Go for these if you want something conventional but built faster and customizable. In more ways than one, the customizable and more affordable nature of modular homes makes them the future of the real estate market.

When should you consider manufactured homes? These are a good option when you’re tight on a budget and you want a house built as quickly but as sturdy as possible and from one warehouse.

Get the Right House Today

Now you know the difference between a modular and a manufactured house. Both are great options, especially when buying an on-site house is out of the conversation. The differences might seem subtle but things like the financing options, sources of each constructed part, and long-term value can make or break your decision.

But why stop with this guide on modular and manufactured homes? If you want more real estate posts or are looking for travel or beauty guides, we’ve got your back. Continue reading through our list of content today to learn more tips and tricks!