Manufactured Home FAQs

A manufactured home is a house built on a chassis and manufactured in a factory and then transported to its final location. One of the biggest reasons that the term “mobile home” is no longer correct is that HUD-compliant manufactured homes are almost always only moved once–from the factory to the home site. Manufactured homes are typically built on above-ground pier and beam foundations, but today’s models can also be placed on other types of foundations, such as slab foundations, as soon as they are delivered.

The implementation of HUD code standards also revolutionized the manufactured home industry. Manufactured homes now must follow strict standards for fire safety, ventilation, structural integrity and other key elements of what makes a home.

Learn more facts and details about what is considered a manufactured home.

  • Cost: A new manufactured home in the United States, per MHVillage data as of May of 2019, the average sale price is $74,747 without land. Meanwhile, the median home price in the U.S. is nearly $230,000. For those who cannot or do not want to take on this significantly higher mortgage, a mobile home might be a better option.
  • Maintenance: Since mobile homes are built under controlled conditions in adherence to federal standards, the quality is extremely consistent. Materials for factory-built homes are purchased in bulk, which creates savings for the homebuyer. And those same materials are stored and then used for construction in a climate-controlled environment. All of this means there are fewer potential surprise maintenance issues involved with homes that are built in a factory.
  • Time: While the time commitment to building a traditional home varies due to several factors, many estimate the process takes an average of six months. And it could be much longer. Depending on the customizations chosen, new mobile homes can be completed in two months or less.
  • Land Ownership: With traditional homes, you have purchased the land as well as the home that’s built on it. For mobile homes, that isn’t necessarily the case: You can own the home and rent the land, or own the home and own the land.

Read more about the differences between mobile homes and site-built homes.

Manufactured housing industry trends and statistics show that over 22 million people in the U.S. live in a manufactured or mobile home. Manufactured homes make up 10% of annual new home starts.

Yes, manufactured homes appreciate in value.

It’s been a long-time misconception that manufactured homes depreciated after the initial sale. However, recent studies including a pilot report put out by the Federal Housing Finance Agency show manufactured homes do retain value in a very similar fashion to site-built homes. Manufactured home loan data from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae produced a pair of new indices that lead to the conclusion that manufactured homes increase in value.

For more information about the long term value of mobile and manufactured homes, read the article “Do Mobile Homes Appreciate?

Estimating the true value of a mobile or manufactured home involves several different factors.  Some of the most important ones include:

  • Age of the home
  • Size of the home
  • Materials used in the home
  • Condition of the home
  • Housing market where the home is placed

If you are an owner looking to upgrade or sell and want to know the worth of your home in dollars, there are a few options –  here are 3 ways to find out how much your mobile home is worth.

A big difference between these home types is the way they’re made and transported. Mobile and manufactured homes differ from modular homes because they are built on a chassis and wheels. This allows them to be towed behind a vehicle for transport to their final destination. On the other hand, modular homes are hauled on the beds of trucks rather than their own chassis.

Manufactured Homes

  • Built after June 15, 1976, according to HUD standards on design and quality.
  • Built with a chassis and wheels so they can be towed to their permanent site.
  • According to HUD, must be at least 8 feet wide by 40 feet long, or 320 total square feet.
  • Built in a single piece in a factory and transported as a single unit.

Modular Homes

  • Built in multiple pieces in a factory and transported in multiple shipments to the final home site.
  • Built to the standards of the local and regional housing codes of its final destination.
  • Transported on truck beds rather than towed on designated chassis and wheels.

Get the full breakdown between a manufactured home vs modular home.

An older study done in 1990 by the Manufactured Housing Institute placed the average life expectancy of a manufactured home at 55.8 years. However, given the same care as other types of homes, mobile homes should last forever. In fact, in mid-2018, the Federal Housing Finance Agency released a report showing that manufactured homes retain value much like site-built homes.

HUD inspects manufactured homes

Since 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has maintained a high level of quality inspection on all manufactured homes. In fact, it’s not a manufactured home until HUD has attached its metal verification plate. With inspectors in a home-building facility several times per month (not to mention in-house inspection and quality assurance), manufactured homes rank as the most heavily inspected form of housing.

For more details, learn about the lifespan of mobile homes

Lot rent, or a lot lease payment, is a rental/lease contract on a parcel or “lot” of land. Every month, rent is paid to the property owner where a mobile home is located. Often the homeowner will get a loan for a mobile home that pays for the home itself, but not the land it will sit on. For those who want to become a resident of a mobile home park, or manufactured home community, a monthly lot rent payment should be expected.

While the specifics can vary by community, lot rent typically pays for:

  • Utilities
  • Amenities
  • General Maintenance / Upkeep
  • Infrastructure Upgrades

For an in-depth breakdown of this topic, read “Mobile Home Lot Rent 101

A long time stereotype that our industry has worked hard to clear up relates to the safety of manufactured homes during storms and natural disasters.

Manufactured homes are not more vulnerable than site-built homes to natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes. The fact of the matter is, manufactured homes are held to a rigorous building and quality standard that makes it the most heavily inspected form of housing.

For more information, read our latest article about the safety of mobile homes and manufactured homes.

The materials used in mobile home construction are the same as “traditional” or site-built homes. These materials include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lumber framing
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Electrical wiring
  • PVC or chrome plumbing
  • Wood flooring
  • Other primary systems within the home

The difference is that these materials in a mobile home or manufactured home are ordered in bulk. A bulk order provides a discount for the homebuyer. And, all the materials are stored and put to use in a temperature-controlled climate. Having materials indoors ensures the quality and lifetime performance of the manufactured and mobile home construction materials.

An overview of the steps involved with building a manufactured home:

  1. The Manufactured Home Chassis
  2. Floor Construction
  3. Wall Construction
  4. Roof Construction
  5. Windows and Doors
  6. Exterior Walls and Siding
  7. Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC Systems
  8. Interior Finishes

To understand the full, in-factory building and construction process read “How Are Mobile Homes Built?

According to MHVillage’s latest data, the average price of a manufactured home is around $75,700 with newer single-wides averaging $57,022 and double-wides averaging $102,551. In May of 2019, the overall average listing price of a home in the United States reached an all-time high of $300,000, so even the most expensive mobile homes are considered a bargain for most owners.

mobile home prices

For more details and considerations read “How Much Does a Mobile Home Cost


Having a bad credit score should not discourage you if/when you’re looking to buy. Remember that there’s no one specific score that you need to get financing on a high-quality mobile home. Someone with bad credit can often still get an affordable manufactured home loan—you just have to know where to look.

Many different financing options are often available to manufactured home buyers, even if you don’t have great credit. Make sure to investigate all of the following options when searching for an affordable manufactured home loan:

  • FHA Loan
  • Dealer Financing
  • VA Loans
  • Chattel Mortgage
  • Personal Loan

For a further breakdown of these options, and to learn more about how credit impacts your ability to buy, check out “What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Mobile Home?“.

Many different financing options are often available to manufactured home buyers, even if you don’t have great credit. Make sure to investigate all of the following options when searching for an affordable manufactured home loan:

  • FHA Loan
  • Dealer Financing
  • VA Loans
  • Chattel Mortgage
  • Personal Loan

Read more about the different types of loans for manufactured homes.

Closing costs will always vary, but they’re typically around two to five percent of the value of the mortgage loan. Examples of costs at the closing stage can include:

  • Property tax payments
  • Inspection and appraisal fees
  • Mortgage origination fees
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Attorney’s fees
  • HOA fees
  • Title and homeowner’s insurance

Read more details about the closing process for a mobile home

Find a Place You’ll Love to Live

Find homes, communities, dealers, and floor plans on the nation’s leading website for buying manufactured homes.