If you are shopping for a less conventional home than the standard single-family home, you may come across modular and manufactured homes. While the homes may sound similar, they have quite a few differences. We look at them below.
What are Modular Homes?
Modular homes look much the same as single-family homes built on site. The difference is that they are built in a factor in sections. Once a section is complete, it’s transported on a truck to the home’s site. Once all of the pieces are there, contractors put the home together or ‘build it.’
The largest benefit with this type of home is the savings. It’s often less expensive to buy a home that is built in a factor than one that is built on site. The life expectancy of the home is about the same as a home built on site. There aren’t any major differences in quality or even appearance of the home.
What are Manufactured Homes?
You have probably already seen manufactured homes in your lifetime; you just didn’t know their name. Manufactured homes are also called mobile homes. These homes are also built in a factory, so they are similar to modular homes in that sense.
Manufactured homes are not built on the site, though. They are on a steel chassis. As the builder completes the sections, they transport the house on its own wheels. Just like modular homes, though, the units are joined together at the site. Mobile homes can then be ‘mobile’ or permanently affixed to the site. If they are not permanently affixed, though, you may have a tough time getting financing.
The City Codes
No matter the type of house you have built, it has to be the city or county codes in your area. The city will send out local inspectors to make sure the home is built up to code and there aren’t any safety issues or violations.
With manufactured homes, though, the building inspectors mainly check on the electric hook up and any other systems. They don’t necessarily have to approve the building work of the mobile home, though.
The Issues you May Face
Certain communities don’t allow any type of modular or manufactured home. Even though a modular home is about the same as a site-built home, many communities are not up to par with the lingo, which causes them to ban both types of homes.
In the communities where you can have a modular home, you may not be able to have a manufactured home. If an area does allow them, they typically have to meet certain size requirements in order to be approved. In the case of mortgage financing, a manufactured home must be permanently affixed to the site – in other words, you can move it, or you won’t get mortgage financing.
Modular and manufactured homes are only the same in the fact that they are both homes to live in and they are both built in a factory. Aside from these factors, they are completely different, especially when it comes to mortgage financing. You’ll likely find it easier to secure financing for a modular home rather than a manufactured home.