October 12th, 2016 11:51 AM by Bob Arabian
What's the difference between manufactured homes and mobile homes? It's common to find these two terms used interchangeably, but that's not exactly correct. It is fair to say that they both have things in common. Both mobile and manufactured homes in California get manufactured in a factory and may provide an affordable and durable alternative to a traditional house. Because of this, they have become increasingly popular alternatives to traditional homes. However, there are also some important distinctions.
Mobile vs. Manufactured Houses
In the past, mobile homes were mostly trailers that got pulled behind a truck on their own sets of wheels. The homes are totally manufactured in a factory and are delivered in their completed form. Once the mobile home gets to its final destination, it may be hooked up to local utilities and even attached to a cement or concrete foundation.
Modern mobile homes could range from small camping trailers to large double-wide or triple-wide units. Very often, larger mobile homes do get attached to foundations, so they aren't really very mobile once that happens. That might be why manufactured and mobile homes get confused with each other.
Manufactured homes have their parts constructed in a factory. Trucks deliver these parts to a lot and then a crew assembles the parts into the finished home. With manufactured homes, the homes must be assembled according to the same building codes that would apply to any house. Also, they are not intended to be mobile.
Because the parts are precisely machined in a factory and assembled to high standards, it's fair to say that the manufactured home is as durable as any home that has been totally built onsite. Once the home has been completed, it's virtually indistinguishable from a traditional house that has been built on a lot from scratch.
Are Mobile and Manufactured Homes Good Alternatives to Traditional Homes?
Both mobile and manufactured homes are likely to cost much less than a new house that has been built from scratch. Since the cost of new homes has been rising lately, lots of people consider these alternative ways to get a home. The biggest difference between a manufactured and mobile home is that a mobile home is more likely to depreciate and a manufactured home may appreciate the same as any other house. A mobile home may provide an affordable solution for housing, but a manufactured home has a better potential to serve as an investment.