Do you know the difference?
As Realtors in Eastern Colorado, we get this question a lot! At first glance it may seem like there is little difference between the three, but when you dig deeper into these types of homes you will find that there are very real and important differences between mobile, modular and manufactured homes.
What is a Mobile Home:
Mobile homes are exactly what they say…mobile. They were manufactured in a factory and moved to the home site. They have steel beams running along the base of the structure and serve as a permanent chassis. These I-beams can rest on a cider block or concrete foundation, wooden posts, metal supports or stone blocks.
On June 15, 1976 the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (commonly known as the HUD Code) went into effect. This code set out new and safer construction and installation standards for all homes built in a factory, therefore all homes of this type built since 1976 are called Manufactured Homes. Technically the term Mobile Home is used for homes built prior to 1976.
What is a Manufactured Home:
Manufactured homes arrive on wheels. They are towed to the site on axles and wheels that are removed when the unit is set. These homes should have a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Certification Label on the side or on each of the two sides if they are a double width unit.
Modern Manufactured Homes can appear similar to site built homes and they can be placed on the same types of foundations as the mobile homes listed above.
While the initial cost of manufactured homes may be less than site built homes, living costs can be significantly higher in older models. This is due to energy inefficiency. The higher cost of heating and cooling is less in “High Performance Manufactured Homes.” This trend involves a “whole building” design concept that makes the home more resistant to heat loss, wind, moisture penetration and boasts healthier indoor air quality.
What is a Modular Home:
Modular Homes are at the top of the factory made housing market. Modular homes are shipped to the site on flatbed trucks. They are structured WITHOUT a permanent metal chassis. These homes are built to the same standards as a site built or scratch built home.
These homes can have multiple stories that are attached to each other on-site. Once assembled they are designed not to be moved to another location.
Considerations When Buying or Selling a Manufactured, Modular or Mobile Home:
When listing or buying a mobile, modular or manufactured home, identify which type of home you have. This is important information for the lending side on these homes.
When trying to finance manufactured homes in certain areas, the property MUST be considered real estate and the title must be purged.
Titling Homes as Real Property:
Manufactured Homes are traditionally titled as personal property, much like a travel trailer/camper. It is titled through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and considered to be drawn over public highways.
To “Purge” a title to become “Real Property”: The manufactured home must be affixed to a permanent foundation and the certificate of title should be surrendered or “purged.” Then the home will be taxed as “real property.”
Many factors go into determining the value of any given home. Age, location, condition all play a part in setting the price of your property. Like any home, it is all about how it is cared for and maintained over the years.